Monday, January 16, 2012

“Silly Season” as Entertaining as Race Season

As Daytona 500 betting preparations are in full swing with NASCAR Thunder preseason action taking place this week it has become apparent that the most exciting time of year may not be racing season but instead “Silly Season” as the American stock car circuit has never had an offseason with so many changes on teams, rules, and sponsors. “Silly Season” has evolved into a brand all to itself.

Times have certainly changed for NASCAR, as there was always the term “Silly Season” used to describe rumors of changes, hiring’s, firings, and transfers. Back in the roaring days of a booming economy, “Silly Season” often had to do with a major new sponsor and the millions of dollars that were to flow into the NASCAR coffers. With the recession now in its fifth year, NASCAR and its teams have found that “Silly Season” is a lot more serious and a lot less silly than in the past.

Silly Season” is indicative of the culture we now live in and that means no patience for building or training and everyone is expected to win every race.

Due to the world of Twitter, Facebook, and recession, “Silly Season” is now a much more spontaneous time of year with far less advance planning than was the case in the past. Sometimes NASCAR would announce changes YEARS in advance, rather than minutes in advance such as the case is now.

With the recession also comes the reality that teams are under intense pressure to win because with money so tight, sponsors simply cannot afford to back a loser that isn’t giving them the full bang for the buck that is demanded.

Just a decade ago when NASCAR began to explode in popularity there was a predictable pattern to learn about drivers, crew chiefs, sponsors and rules that now change on the fly. With social media now exploding, NASCAR feels the pressure of “feeding the beast” and “Silly Season” never ends where it used to be a small part of the overall big picture of the sport.

Keep in mind that with this new age information and recession, hiring’s and firings will take place literally after every race and the only constant will be change. “Silly Season” is now full season and often more interesting than today’s “Car of Tomorrow” generic and antiseptic style of racing that has seen NASCAR lose fans and TV ratings along the way.

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