Northwest Horizons

Competitive entertainment; NASCAR in a category of its own

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There has been a long standing question of whether this or that activity is considered a sport. Among the most controversial are cheerleading, gymnastics and dance. But what about NASCAR? No one runs, there’s no ball, theoretically, no one breaks a sweat.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

So the answer? No. NASCAR is not a sport and shouldn’t be considered one.

“It’s not really a sport, its entertainment,” senior Matt Russell said, “You don’t really need physical fitness.”

As Russell said, there is a difference between entertainment and sport. And while NASCAR may be an entertaining activity, and watched by millions, it is not the same as a sport. People go to watch movies and plays for entertainment, so maybe that’s the category NASCAR needs to fit into, maybe it’s just competitive entertainment.

I’ll admit, NASCAR makes millions of dollars and is a very profitable “sport”. Between advertising, merchandise and tickets, it’s one of the most profitable programs on television.

In recent years, main stream media networks like ESPN have picked up NASCAR and added it to their regular rotations, benefiting the racing industry and increasing their fan base.

Many students are not entirely sure in which category car racing fits.

“It doesn’t require physical activity for the driver, so maybe it’s not a sport, but I guess the people in the pit do a lot of work,” senior Hailey Parker.

The pit crew takes around 15 seconds to change four tires and fuel up the car, getting it on its way, while they may have to do their job at a very fast pace, does this deserve the title of sport?

Besides, that’s still only half of the team. The driver, who comprises most of the spotlight, may have mental endurance as races often last over three hours, but physical? The car seems to be doing most of the work.

“They go super-fast and probably get dizzy with all those left turns, but I’m not sure it should be considered a sport,” senior Razvan Lazar said. “The car is a big part of it.”

All in all, NASCAR may seem like a sporty activity, but is it a sport? It seems to me to be an overpriced and overrated competitive form of entertainment bordering a sport, but not quite pushed over the edge.

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Competitive entertainment; NASCAR in a category of its own