Guess what everybody? Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal has named NASCAR CEO and czar Brian France as the 16th most influential person in sports business.
That’s right. Brian France. Influential.
The article states:
“Jim France, Brian’s uncle, might technically own NASCAR, but Brian still runs it. The son of Bill France Jr., Brian oversees the day-to-day operations and the unit chiefs report directly to him. Brian is still the best-positioned France to dictate the direction of the sport, whether through instituting cost containment measures for teams, tweaking the Chase for the Sprint Cup format or setting the overall agenda. And if he decides to wield his influence on an issue, his voice will be heard above all others.”
For those of you unfamiliar to the term “influence”, it means “to sway without applied force”.
Funny, that doesn’t seem to describe Brian France, does it?
Let’s take a look at some of the things France did this year alone:
-Effectively ended the career of a NASCAR driver by accusing him of doing drugs; Something that has yet to be proven.
-Effectively ended the career of another NASCAR driver by levying fines and penalties against him that he knew he couldn’t pay.
-Basically told 43 drivers that they couldn’t race each other that day, just hours before a race.
-Told the world once the championship was already in one team’s hands that the competition was “the best he’s ever seen it”.
Since taking over the reigns of NASCAR in 2004, France has turned a once-great sport into a bunch of 4-hour long parades and a one-team show. Despite the desperate cries from fans to make the competition better, France has merely thumbed his nose up at them and defended his every move.
That includes his brain-child, the CoT car, the Chase system, which many believe to be flawed, and the current schedule, which features many of the same-style of cookie-cutter tracks that produce said parades. All of which have, according to many of NASCAR’s die-hard fans, destroyed the sport. Or at least, the competition.
And all of these are things he has forced on the teams, the drivers, and most importantly, the fans.
And now we’re calling this man influential? Oh dear, we are in trouble!