Friday, March 27, 2009

If the NFL pushes, NASCAR has to give

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- OK, first of all, is there anybody who seriously doubts that the NFL will add two games to its regular-season schedule if it can find any way to pull that off?

More games means more money -- from ticket sales, from television and from everywhere. There aren't many businesses, let alone sports-related businesses, that leave money hanging on the trees.

So let's assume that by 2012 or so the NFL pushes its season back a couple of weeks and the Super Bowl falls in mid-February -- the Sunday before the third Monday. That's also the traditional date for the Daytona 500, of course. So what would happen?

NASCAR would blink. Period. End of discussion.

There's no way NASCAR can have the Daytona 500 on Super Sunday. Forget that. It will not happen. The reasons stack up like a pile of wood. Yes, you could start the race at noon (which is when it should start anyway) and have it done well before the football game starts. But where does it go in the next day's paper? How deep into SportsCenter would the first NASCAR highlight be? Would anybody want to talk to the Daytona 500 winner the next day? Then there's all the corporate reasons. Sponsors can't blow out two events on the same day. It just wouldn't work.

There is wiggle room in the racing schedule. NASCAR could push its schedule back a week now, eliminating the open date that falls after Atlanta, and be done with it. It also could condense Speedweeks from the schedule it has now to something more reasonable, which wouldn't hurt, either.

But the NFL is going to do what it wants to do and NASCAR is just going to have to deal with that. That's just the way the world is.

27 comments:

jrguyiii said...

If this scenario were to happen, which I highly doubt since the extra game(s) would replace pre-season games most likely, why not just run the race on Saturday? Why can't Nascar's biggest race be shown in primetime on saturday afternoon/evening? This would also give Nascar an option to reschedule or postpone the race until early Sunday afternoon if rain plays a factor again. This way, everyone would still be around for the race and Nascar wouldn't have to worry about finishing the race on a monday afternoon, with no one in the stands. Sometimes the answer is so easy and obvious that Nascar doesn't see it.

jrguyiii said...

Why doesn't Nascar just schedule the Daytona 500 on a Saturday anyway? That way it gives you an extra day in case of rain, so you won't have the rain-shortened finishes we have had recently. For the biggest race of the year, I expect it to be at least completed, not whoever leads after the halfway mark wins!

Aven said...

If they moved the race and eliminated the Atlanta break, htye would have to compete with the college basketball league tournaments and would lose again. The only reason the break is where it is not is so it doesn't complete with the tournaments. NA$CAR will work around both college basketball and the NFL because they know they will finish last in any competition.

Blackbug99 said...

David,

Won't happen. The NFL will back step and make the last two preseason games into real ones. Preseason games stink anyhow. They keep their schedule and gain more money and interest.

Holleracha said...

Better idea!! NFL uses a big beach ball and all the players are in cars...

Richard in N.C. said...

Mr. Poole, to be fair you should also have mentioned that virtually everything adjusts their schedules due to the Super Bowl. For instance, almost all TV and cable networks either schedule throwaway shows or shows geared to non-football fans against the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl has almost become the equivalent of a national holiday. NASCAR is far from the only activity that has to adjust because of the Super Bowl.

Does the Charlotte Observer make preparations to possibly alter its press run to ensure that it gets full Super Bowl coverage in for Monday morning?

Anonymous said...

They will make two preseason games regular games.

And the SuperBowl needs to be on Saturday anyway. PERIOD!

Rob said...

David, what you're right about is the NFL is probably gonna add two games to it's "regular" season but, they will also eliminate "two" preseason games. So the i believe the NFL schedule is gonna remain the same. I don't believe NASCAR is gonna be put in a position to "have" to change their schedule.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that David Poole is worried about space in the Observer after the Observer yanked the story about the Charlotte 49ers win over unc-chapel hill in baseball earlier this week. Supposedly, a spot on the front page was reserved, but when Charlotte won the game the Observer decided to yank the story. How pathetic is that?

Scum Mudd said...

The NFL has made it clear it wants its season to extend into February to get "sweeps month" ratings for tv, enabling networks to set higher ad prices. Yes, NASCAR, while #2, will blink to the NFL, which is far and away #1. Saturday before Super Bowl would fill a major sports hole and give NASCAR a clear stage to promote its product.

Monkeesfan said...

Saturday is supposed to be for the support race, not the main feature. It also belongs to the local tracks, not the Winston Cup track. Running the 500 on Saturday makes no sense.

The 500 will be pushed back if the Superbowl winds up going to mid-February. I will say, though, that I don't see where NASCAR could not simply run the 500 beginning at 12:30 on Super Sunday.

Anonymous said...

It bothered me that in an ESPN interview, an ISC spokesman was much more concerned with their "partners" and sponsors than fans. Would their "partners" be inconvienienced or not support a change. WHAT ABOUT THE FANS ISC?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I would LOVE to see the 500 on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

Running out to things to write about Mr. Poole? Slow news day in motorsports? You've posed a hypothetical moot question about whose occurrence will never happen.

NFL season won't change. It currently has a 20 game schedule. The only thing that will change is that one or two of those 4 preseason games become a regular season game.

Nice filler article.

Anonymous said...

Why change the time or date for the 500.The press has named it the "All American Race",the Super Bowl of Racing.If all the hoopla is true that gets shoved down our throats every Febuary.Why even question moving it.If anything the NFL needs their heads examined for going up against NASCAR!!!!!!
WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The NFL is a TRUE Professional Sports Organization.NASCAR is a false unprofessional wanna be sport.The 500 is overated just like eveything else in Nascar.

Anonymous said...

3:56.
Your so right on.You know Poole better than he knows Poole.
Just another bunch of mumbo jumbo that means nothing and makes no sense.
Shocked he didn't mention that the 500 was won by Earnhardt,or that Earnhardt kicked the bucket there.Or that lie about the penny on the dash.
GIVE ME BREAK!!!

marc said...

monkiesbutt - "Saturday is supposed to be for the support race, not the main feature. It also belongs to the local tracks, not the Winston Cup track. Running the 500 on Saturday makes no sense."

And other than one or two track in Fla how many "local" tracks run in Feb?

Care to give is a list monkiesbutt?

Iowa maybe? Upstate NY?

Comeone, surely you can list a bunch of tracks running on Sat in Feb.

Anonymous said...

The Superbowl will not get pushed back in order the expand the schedule. One or two of the preseason games will be converted to regular season games. Meaning the NFL regular season will start sooner rather than end later. It's common sense, but the media needs something to write about and hype in order to sell more papers and get more hits on their websites. I'm surprised Poole fell into the trap. David, you are usually much brighter than this.

Matthew said...

to be honest with you, me as big of a fan as i am of nascar, i can tell you who won the last three winners of the daytona 500. but can't tell you who won the super bowl this past time to save my life. I'm not blind to the knowlegde that the super bowl has a bigger audiance then the 500. but i think its mainly because of the advertisements they show during the game. If the 500 can get marketers to come up with off the wall ads' it would most likely draw in more t.v. ratings. but this is just me thinking out loud. If someone would to come up to me with two sets of tickets a pair to the super bowl and a pair to the Dayton 500 and they were both on the same day and had to chose. I'm going to Florida.

Anonymous said...

The simple solution is obvious: Switch the Homestead weekend for Speedweek. Then you have the major race of the series where it belongs (at the end of the season) and make the Chase more relevant.

I understand that this would shake up tradition, but NASCAR has never been a stickler for keeping things as they are.

Run the 500 in November, when the NFL is just getting interesting, make it a night race on a saturday, and voila, you've got a bona fide world class event again.

David Poole said...

Guys, if the NFL adds two games what will likely happen is the season will start one week earlier and last one week longer. That would create a conflict with NASCAR.

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NASCAR on Yahoo said...

I agree, there's really nothing that they would do; they would simply accept. Even if they considered the alternative, which would be tickets to NASCAR events
selling at an all time low, they would quickly see that it's much better for them to work with the NFL than against them. It's just good for business.

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