The calendar has rolled… The IMSA Rolex 24 has rolled… The Busch Clash has rolled… Now there is a pause for football and everyone goes nuts. Even during the other event dates, the football story lines were weaving their way in. It’s as if racing was on the sidelines even when it was the main line.

Now, as Daytona is in the back field and the Super Bowl is on tap, once again it is time to ponder the popularity of the game of football. Take a moment to consider how many people actually play the game. Sandlots to high school it is a percentage who actually get on the field. From that group, only a fraction go on to the college level. Of that bunch, only a percentage go on to the NFL or other variations of the “pro” level.

Fun fact, by the way… The first Super Bowl was played in 1967. (Kansas City was in it, just for further detail. The Packers beat them…) The first Daytona 500…? 1959! Lee Petty won it…

Super Bowl 1 (1967) – Winner: Green Bay Packers [] The First Daytona 500 (1959) – Winner: Lee Petty

Dates and history aside, consider when, or if ever, you last touched a football. Maybe think of what football has actually done to improve anything for anyone that doesn’t actually play.? Helmets and pads and shoes and uniforms are lighter and safer but that is for the players. Few if any of these advantages spill over to the “civilian” world of common use.

On that, consider racing and your car. People drive or ride in a car almost every day. The car in the driveway has been heavily influenced and improved because of racing. Fuel economy, power, brakes, safety, aerodynamics, construction materials, tires… The list is extensive. Racing has made the “daily driver” a better machine.

So… Why…? Why does football eclipse motorsport in candid conversation?

Enjoy your game… Just remember… Your car will be there to get you to work the next day. What will the football do…?

Super Bowl… Why all the hullabaloo…? Television news segments… Interviews… Analysis from every angle… Commercials… Puppies…

It’s ridiculous. The amount of time dedicated to the Super Bowl is insane. It’s not just game day but the preview programing and attention that is all over the place is all kinds of blown up. With that out in the open, here are some questions:

  • When did you last play football?
  • When did you last touch a football?
  • Did you even play football in high school…?
  • Or college…?
  • Have any element of the game of football altered your daily life?

Facts are that few people really play this game. A handful of kids from league play go on to play in high school. A small percentage of them play at a college level. Even fewer go on to the NFL… Beyond that, the safety advances in helmets and gear benefit only the players on the field and do nothing for the “fans” of this game. Unless you are lucky enough to be so geeky in statistics that you actually manage to make a buck on a sport bet there is little actual benefit to the game of football. The general public gets nothing but beer fueled conversation after the last second of play…

How does the innovation in this football helmet help you…?

Now… Compare to motor sports. The Daytona 500 is one week after the Super Bowl. Have you seen any major news preview discussion, interviews or any mention of significance? The Super Bowl has been discussed for weeks… With that, here are some questions:

  • Do you own a car?
  • Do you drive it?
  • When did you last drive?
  • When were you even a passenger in a car?

The Daytona 500, like all car racing, is a testing ground for automotive technology. Fuel economy, braking efficiency, hybrid technology, passenger safety, aerodynamics and suspension… It all has been advanced through motor sport. The tech that is in your car has been directly impacted by the tech that is innovated for racing.

So… The bigger question… Why is there so much attention on football while racing gets barely a side glance of a nod? The attention on motor sport should be much higher when the benefits to the general public are obvious. Cleaner and safer cars… For everybody.

What does football really do for you when your driving your kids to practice?

Ryan Newman (6) crashing with Corey LaJoie (32) – Daytona 500, Feb. 17, 2020

Ryan Newman and Corey Lajoie survived the crash pictured above. The advances of safety in design for racing play major roles on the track and on the street. Can football do that…? Get it now?