I can pander to those who enjoy sports. My methods are generally to say one generic thing everyone knows. So, for example, for football, “That Tom Brady. Am I right?” But one sport I will never understand no matter how many times it has been explained is Nascar.

angelique Inchierca / photo editor

angelique Inchierca / photo editor

I think the most memorable part of any Nascar match would be that ever-exciting left turn. Often, people talk about Nascar as being a thrill of adrenaline, and explain it with the power of the car; even in the top of the stadium you can feel the cars shake the ground as they pass by. My experience with races include alcoholic beverages being spilled on me and almost getting into fights with  multiple people I can confidently say were not in their most lucid state. 

In terms of the sport itself, I would say it is impressive. The speed the cars reach along with the swift actions of the pit team. But then, to watch that and the cars going around a track for upwards of 300 laps sounds like more of a chore for me I will never understand the interest in drinking under the hot sun over a baking field of asphalt when I could be anywhere else.

Historically speaking, it is interesting to observe the origins of such a practice as watching people ride around in circles in a stadium. Such sport dates back thousands of years; back to Rome and the time of the chariot racers. 

Upon looking through research done on the origins of these races, I came across an interesting observation made by Pliny the Younger, a Roman writer and statesman, in the first century CE. He said, “I am the more astonished that so many thousands of grown men should be possessed again and again with a childish passion to look at galloping horses, and men standing upright in their chariots. If, indeed, they were attracted by the swiftness of the horses or the skill of the men, one could account for this enthusiasm. But in fact it is a bit of cloth they favour, a bit of cloth that captivates them. And if during the running the racers were to exchange colours, their partisans would change sides, and instantly forsake the very drivers and horses whom they were just before recognizing from afar, and clamorously saluting by name.”  (Translated by William Melmoth, H. A. Harris, Sport in Greece and Rome.)

It is interesting that such observations were made at a time when it was such a widespread event involving priests and kings and emperors and the common folk, and yet still the sport exists and is prominent in today’s society.

Sebastian Mehegan can be contacted at smehegan@kscequinox.com

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