The view from my couch
Free Pass Comparisons To Other Sports
by Vivian Simons
July 9, 2004
The media and Nascar both like to compare ending under caution to football, baseball, golf and basketball, etc. so why not compare the free pass to them as well?
This is the way I see it: Nascar is in a league of their own when it comes to giving awards in order to assist drivers so they will have a chance at winning a race. Giving a driver a free pass back onto the lead lap amounts to the following things in these other sports. At this time we do not see the other sports doing these things.
1. If a lineman knocks a receiver down, they do not just let the receiver have an extra 10 or so yards or even place him at the beginning of the red zone since he was pushed back over the yards he had just gained when he was hit. They don't let the field goal kicker make up extra points if there are too many to overcome by the end of the game.
2. They don't let a batter have a free pass to 3rd base if one of the opposing team managers goes out on the field to talk to his pitcher or another of his players? If the runner is called out for sliding onto the base as the outfielder tags him, they don't let him advance to third base without penalty. Neither do they let a batter advance to third base when he hits a foul ball.
3. If a golfer's ball lands in the rough, in water or in the trees, they don't allow that player to play that hole over until he lands near the hole. In fact, they never let the player keep going over and not counting it until his score is only slightly behind the leader to give him a better chance at winning the round?
4. In basketball there are no free throws until enough points are scored to put one team close enough to the other in points so it will not be a wide margin of victory. And they don't have free throws until the other team comes from behind enough in points to be able to take over the lead in the next play.
NASCAR wants to be like other sports and wants to compete with the NFL in particular for television ratings; but I feel in their haste to do this they have implemented some rules that no longer make Cup racing fair to all of it's drivers and teams. The free pass rule in no way leads credence to the fair competition, which is what racing is all about.
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