This year, Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf disrupted the peace and quiet of the PGA Tour by offering paydays far beyond what “the tour” could or would provide. Bad feelings, pending litigation and LIV’s tournament at a Donald Trump golf course too close to where the Twin Towers fell have attracted lots of press, but not much public concern.
Perhaps the disturbance of a professional sports league by a competing entity that promised already well-payed players even more money did not strike most Americans as unusual or notable. We are talking about capitalism, after all, and revenues drive sports.
Plus, let’s face it: Golf, like Nebraska, isn’t for everybody. As spectator sports go, golf doesn’t. What does? The NFL is king, and the NBA and MLB both have enough games to draw billions in TV contract dollars, even if the MLB did just approve significant rule changes aimed at speeding up their games. But beyond those leagues, let’s talk about NASCAR. Wrecks, fistfights, bizarre fans — it’s hard to beat during the summer when other sports are on hiatus.
So, what might happen if the Saudis got into stock car racing and lured personnel away from NASCAR with prize money for a single race that would be twice what a driver or a team could win in an entire season of races?
Think of the Saudi host site possibilities: Abha, Buraidah, Tabuk, Riyadh, with banked ovals of various lengths; quarter-mile dirt tracks all over the place. Weekly extravaganzas. Oh, and non-alcoholic beer in the stands.
American race tracks likely would not, one assumes, rent out to the Saudis for the occasional weekend. Or perhaps a few million bucks would do the trick. Regardless, any new Saudi racing organization surely would be able to find a place, if only because Donald Trump could make it so. He could build a nice track on one of his unprofitable properties, thus making it profitable. A golf course could be turned into a road course. (A course is a course, of course.)
But the good-old-boy (and girl) NASCAR fans would be in something of a bind were Trump to become involved with a Saudi-led racing alternative. America First, right? Most of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 attacks were Saudis. But Trump allowed that LIV Golf tournament on his property, and Trump said nobody knew for sure who was responsible for 9-11. Are golf fans like NASCAR fans? Which group is more likely to take umbrage over political considerations?
Perhaps NASCAR fans would pay money to Saudis for the privilege of seeing their once-favorite drivers turn left for two or three hundred miles. Or, perhaps, the organizers could curry favor with fans by having the races consist of right turns instead of (Marxist) left turns. Perhaps they’d show up just to shout obscenities.
A new acronym sure to receive attention
NASCAR, as the cognoscenti know, is an acronym of “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing,” a redundancy thus obscured.
A Saudi incursion into NASCAR would require a distinctive acronym of its own. My suggestion is Aggregation of Saudi Stock Car Auto Racers, which preserves the redundancy whilst yielding a truly unique acronym.
Just think of the talk around the break room on Monday morning: “Say, did you watch the ASSCAR race on Saturday?”
“No, I watched Sunday’s ASSCAR race instead.”
NASCAR versus ASSCAR? Stay tuned.
Money can make just about anything possible.