Tuesday Commentary: Daytona, NBA, MLB & the Royals

Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about life. – Billie Jean King

This past weekend I watched some sports on television. By the way, I also scooped snow – lots of snow. Here are some thoughts about sports:

  • Daytona 500
  • NBA All-Star Game
  • MLB & the Royals

Daytona 500:

Fans may call it the “Super Bowl” of stock car racing, but not too many people cared to watch Sunday’s Daytona 500.

SportsMediaWatch.com reported:

The Daytona 500 earned a 5.1 overnight rating on FOX Sunday, down 22% from last year (6.5), down 16% from 2016 (6.1), and the lowest for the race in at least ten seasons.

The last Super Bowl received a 47.7 overnight rating.

I watched a little of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. NASCAR is having a tough time. While the Daytona 500 is well attended when you watch other races a lot of seats are empty.

FOX was broadcasting the race. After watching a few minutes, it seemed like it was the Daytona 500-commercials-every-hour show. There were way too many commercials.

The 2018 Daytona 500 race was won by Austin Dillon after he wrecked the leader.

Danica Patrick was caught up in a wreck and finished her last NASCAR race in position 35. It’s probably a good time for Patrick to get out of NASCAR. The last remaining star of the sport, Jimmy Johnson, wrecked on lap 59 and finished in position 38.

Here are some problems that I see with NASCAR:

  • There are few stars left in the sport
  • There are too many cars in the races (40)
  • There are too many races. The season runs from February to mid-November.
  • They change the rules too often.
  • The races are too long – the 2018 Daytona 500 lasted 3 hours 26 minutes
  • At the end of the Daytona 500, only 10 cars were on the lead lap.

Many of the races will be broadcast of second-tier sports stations (FS1 and NBCSN) this season. NASCAR is not dead yet, but it’s having chest pains…

NBA All-Star Game:

Maybe, just maybe, the NBA has found a formula for their All-Star game. Team LeBron beat Team Stephen 148-145.

By the way, Fergie sang the National Anthem.

The overnight viewership ratings were not that good. According to SportsMediaWatch.com:

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game had a 5.1 overnight rating on TNT and TBS, according to Sports Business Daily — even with last year (5.1) but down 6% from 2016 (5.4). 

This year LeBron James and Stephen Curry “drafted” the All-Stars for their respective teams. They were the top vote-getters from the east and the west.

It was pretty competitive. One thing that may have helped was the winning team received $100,000. The losers received $25,000. Money talks.

MLB & the Royals:

Spring training has started and the first spring training games begin Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The regular season begins on March 29 and ends on September 30.

My Kansas City Royals are probably going into hibernation for another 25-30 years. They have lost many of the players that helped them get to the World Series in 2014 and win it in 2015.

The thing that pisses me off about sports these days, especially in Major League Baseball, is players show no allegiance to the teams in which they became stars. Many are big rich crybabies who don’t care about the teams or the cities they represent.

For example, Royals’ first baseman Eric Hosmer is reportedly signing a $144 million contract with the Padres. A lot of it was guaranteed. It’s for eight years. He was making about $6 million a season with the Royals and was reportedly offered $17.4 million a season to stay a Royal.

Somebody should tell these athletes that they will never be able to spend all that money.

The Royals also lost Lorenzo Cain and Jason Vargas. They will probably lose Mike Moustakas.

While some Royals fans say thanks for the memories and wish the players well, I don’t see it that way. The actions of players like Cain, Hosmer, Vargas, and probably Moustakas show they have no allegiance to the organization that made them stars and earned them a World Series ring. Shame on them.

George Brett played Major League Baseball for 21 years – all with the Royals. He is very well respected for this and honored for it in Kansas City.

That’s why Brett will be thought more highly by Royals fans for his allegiance than Cain, Hosmer and the other players who left for more money.