Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A hockey fan's guide to NASCAR

The vehicle was allowed to finish the race, then
listed as day-to-day with "car crash like symptoms".

Hockey fans may not have paid much attention, but one of the biggest sporting events in North American was held over the weekend. That would be the annual running of the Daytona 500, the signature event NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.

While there may not seem to be much overlap between the two fan bases, the NHL and NASCAR actually share more than a few characteristics. They both began as largely regional attractions, both have seen significant revenue growth over the past 20 years, and both have struggled with trying to expand their appeal without alienating diehard fans.

So if you're a hockey fan who's interested in learning more about one of America's most popular sports, here's a guide to some of the other similarities and differences between NASCAR and the NHL.

NASCAR: Fans of other sports cannot understand why anyone would want to watch someone just repeat the exact same thing over and over again 200 times in a row.
The NHL: Fans of other sports cannot understand why anyone would want to watch Sidney Crosby be interviewed.

NASCAR: A "green-white-checker finish" is a rule that allows a race to be completed with two full laps of racing instead of ending under a caution flag.
The NHL: A "green-white-checker finish" is currently being applied to Don Cherry's jacket.

NASCAR: A vehicle known as the "pace car" starts out in the lead and sets the pace before everyone leaves it in the dust and it's never heard from again.
The NHL: There's a similar concept, but it's called "the 2013 San Jose Sharks".

NASCAR: According to stereotypes, is a sport populated entirely by toothless Southern beer-guzzlers with ridiculous mullets.
The NHL: Has never been accused of appealing to Southern people.

NASCAR: The Daytona 500 packs the stands in Florida with 180,000 fans each year.
The NHL: The Panthers pack the stands in Florida with 180,000 fans each season.

NASCAR: This weekend's events were marred when a crash sent debris into the stands, injuring several fans.
The NHL: Debris that flies into the stands and injures fans has taken the first step towards becoming NBC's studio analyst.

NASCAR: If you see 43 cars waiting patiently without moving, you can expect to soon hear the famous instructions "Gentlemen, start your engines!"
The NHL: If you see 43 cars waiting patiently without moving, you can expect that one or two of them will make it out of the Scotiabank Place parking lot by midnight.

NASCAR: Former driver and NASCAR co-founder Bill France Sr. came to be known to owners and fans as "Big Bill", because he was 6-foot-5.
The NHL: Commissioner Gary Bettman has come to be known to taxpayers as "Big Bill", because that's what you're getting stuck with if he convinces your town to build a new arena.

NASCAR: A rookie can be identified by the yellow stripe that appears on their back bumper.
The NHL: A rookie can be identified by the way everyone desperately wants to punch them as soon as they celebrate a goal.

NASCAR: While the sport is indisputably dangerous, recent years have seen the introduction of extensive rules around mandatory safety equipment that are strictly enforced.
The NHL: The NHLPA can't understand why NASCAR drivers don't fight to make wearing seat belts a personal choice.

NASCAR: A "fabricator" is the term used to describe the member of the technical team who specializes in custom building parts for the racecar.
The NHL: A "fabricator" is the term used to describe every hockey rumor blogger.

NASCAR: Danica Patrick recently became the first woman to win the pole at a NASCAR race, although she is currently the only female competitor on the roster.
The NHL: The opposing team's roster is made up entirely of females, according to the hilarious bro you get stuck sitting in front of at every game you go to.

NASCAR: "Drafting" refers to driving directly behind another vehicle to reduce air resistance. Drafting well can be an excellent way to improve your chances of winning.
The NHL: Nope, sorry, not ringing any bells, say Flames fans.

NASCAR: Each year, the "Chase for the Cup" refers to the points-based playoff system held during the final ten races of each season.
The NHL: This year, the "Chase for the Cup" will refer to Gary Bettman sprinting out of an arena with 20 angry hockey players chasing after him while realizing that maybe he should have let somebody else handle the trophy presentation this year.

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  1. A "fabricator" is the term used to describe the person who relays Marian Hossa's medical condition to the NHL.

    1. He has a concussion but will play next game.

    2. "Poor Jannik Hansen." said no one.

  2. Great post!

    But for the sake of accuracy, the same thing (a lap around the oval track) happens 200 times at Daytona, not 500.

  3. "as soon as they celebrates a goal"

    1. Well, aren't you proud of yourself, Miss Grammarian?

  4. NASCAR: The annual all-star weekend consists of the best drivers going all-out to win a $1,000,000 payday.
    NHL: Going all-out at the semi-annual all-star weekend results in a fine of $1,000,000.

  5. Great stuff... but the car in the photo has a "Front Body Injury", not "Car Crash Like Symptoms"

  6. All of the commenters above me who have published a hockey humour book, raise your hand. Nope, didn't think so.

    1. I thought "Front Body Injury" was pretty good. I am surprised that DGB did not think of it.

  7. The Mike Milbury line was one of your best ever!

  8. NASCAR: No one is quite sure why TSN insists upon subjecting Canadians to extensive coverage 20 - 30 times a year.
    NHL: You should know by now that DGB has to mention the Leafs in every post.

    1. I don't know about anyone else, but if I was going to make such a comment, I'd probably avoid doing it on a DGB post that has no mention of the Leafs...

      Loved the Cherry/Milbury lines, although the fabricator one was perhaps the best because it's both smart and funny.

  9. NASCAR: There is incidental contact made throughout every race, and drivers do everything in their power to keep their car moving.

    NHL: Now we know why there aren't any NASCAR drivers from Vancouver.

  10. Actually, you ought to check out the Charlotte Checkers (Hurricanes AHL affiliate) special uniforms - they have a race night and will sell out Time Warner Cable Arena (only time that Michal Jordan > Michael Jordan).

    There are lots of hockey fans in North Carolina that couldn't care about NASCAR.

  11. As a Flames fan I can't agree with that dis hard enough...

  12. The sid line and the mullet lines were classic. i look forward to each new post.

  13. NASCAR: According to stereotypes, is a sport populated entirely by toothless Southern beer-guzzlers with ridiculous mullets.
    The NHL: Delete "Southern."

    1. The way it was originally written was more subtle and more funny.

  14. Nearly did a spit-take on the Flames line. Awesome, as always.