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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Sports fans should look to NASCAR for entertainment

NASCAR is the ugly stepchild of sports. Take a left turn. And another. And another.

NASCAR is more than left turns and loud engines. The sport is full of strategy, skill and stamina, but no one gives it a chance.

Maybe this is because the media pours the idea that sports consist of men hitting each other repeatedly for hours on the gridiron, or taking a baseball bat and trying to slam one over the fence.

NASCAR may lack the brute strength that some sports utilize, but racing has finesse that is constantly overlooked. Being surrounded by 42 other drivers, one wrong move can send you into the wall. The wall can send you to the hospital. The wall can end your season. The wall can end your career.

The mental pressure is not comparable to other sports.

In the CNN article “Going the Distance” by Jack Stark, a psychologist for Hendrick Motorsports, he says, “[In] football, you go hard for 15 seconds, rest 30-40. Basketball, you have time outs. You can’t stop a race and get out of your car.”

Drivers are under this pressure for 2-3 hours with less than 20-second “breaks” for pit stops. Even then, the mind is still on edge. Positions can be gained or lost with a one second difference. Maybe changing four tires instead of two was a bad idea. Maybe not changing tires at all will hurt you later on. What about fuel? The strategy never ends. The consequences come back to haunt you.

The constant strain of concentration is not for everyone. It rivals every sport in mental toughness, if not taking laps around them.

Take that concentration and pair it with the intense heat in the car, the G-forces pressing down around each turn, and you’ve got yourself a sport

To top it off, add in the sheer volume of competition. In the end, it all comes down to that last lap.

Anything can happen. But most viewers don’t wait around.

You could be neck and neck with someone and this is where that strategy and mental toughness pays off. Drivers who were in the lead but chose to forego that last pit stop may run out of gas. Or that last pit stop that a driver did take could cost them the race.

All of those little changes to the car throughout the race don’t matter on that last lap. It’s just you and those other drivers who all want that victory.

Chaos is normal. Twists and turns in the story line of a race happen without end. Yet, isn’t that the basis of any sport? Competition. Skill sets. Winning. Why does NASCAR not count?

Next Sunday sit down and watch a race. Maybe minds will be changed. Maybe NASCAR will get the credit it finally deserves.

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