Dale Jr. cheated out of points

Brian Scullin and Brian Scullin

It is amazing how far things have changed since Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, but I never thought it would actually effect the outcome of sporting events like NASCAR’s inaugural chase for The Nextel Cup.

Here is a scenario for those who do not follow NASCAR (and I know their are many of you who do not).

The Bowling Green State Falcons football team are running off the field victorious 35-34 after defeating arch rival Toledo to advance to the MAC Championship game. During a post-game interview with the local media, a player or coach lets out in jubilation a minor profanity.

Maybe it was uncalled for and the coach or player could be subject to some sort of reprimand.

However, I do not think the referees are going to see the utterance of foul language and run back on the field and say “Attention fans, due to the actions of the BGSU Falcons after today’s contest, the team’s final touchdown will be eliminated from the final score. Therefore, Toledo wins and Bowling Green is done for the season.”

Someone try to tell me there wouldn’t be a riot or a brawl in BG.

This is exactly what is happening in NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr. responded to a question after his victory at Talladega on the NBC telecast with the phrase “Well, that don’t mean s–t.”

So, instead of NASCAR fining Earnhardt or maybe even telling the media to delay their broadcasts or stay away from Dale Jr. until he cleans up his mouth.

They take the most illogical approach and take away 25 championship points that he earned through his victory because he said “s–t”.

So, instead of leading the championship standings after the race, he now trails Kurt Busch by 12 points with only a handful of races to go.

In essence, he didn’t win on Sunday, the second place car driven by Kevin Harvick won.

How is this possible in America? When did the governments influence toward decency become authoritarian where a single word effects someone’s accomplishments in this way.

This represents a bigger problem than just a NASCAR driver getting punished for foul language.

It is a problem with society in adequately dealing with things that are deemed indecent.

Seriously, people need to lighten up a bit.

Dale Jr. could have done a lot of other things worse in his post-race antics.

I did not see him punch a fellow driver, attack a fan, or sputter out racial slurs that might have warranted such a harsh reprimand (Something that has been see all too much in sports).

He was a driver excited about winning a wild race –and if you saw the race, it was wild — and he wasn’t thinking about pleasing the FCC or the NASCAR head executives with a cute post-race interview.

Maybe there is no excuse for such behavior on public television.

In fairness to NASCAR this would be the third time they have dished out this type of penalty. So, drivers like Dale Jr. should have know this was possible.

People exclaim why give Earnhardt Jr., the prominent symbol and name synonymous with NASCAR across America, any sort of preferential treatment? And I agree to an extent that no person should be above the sport or profession they are in.

However, these acts of minor profanity have nothing to do with the actions on the race track.

He didn’t cheat by using an illegal engine or nitro boosters to win on Sunday. He and his team worked tremendously hard for weeks to win within the rules, all of which was washed away because of uttering one word.

Fine him, stop interviews with him, do anything besides robbing him of the success he worked so hard for.

Docking points is for regulating the fairness of the competition, and not for regulating the driver’s foul language.

NASCAR’s concern and actions in response to bad publicity and FCC scrutiny is ridiculous because it has actually has infringed on the outcome of the sporting events they present.

Preferential treatment or not, if Earnhardt loses the championship by less than 25 points, you’ll see ratings plunge next season starting with the Daytona 500 in February. Including my television which will be tuned in to something I guess will be more “wholesome”.

I guess the sporting world has really turned to…., oh, I almost forgot I can’t say that!