Winning at Least 1 Should be the ‘Point’ for NASCAR’s Championship

2014 could provide the first ever “Winner” that did not win even one race all year. Wait . . . what???! More »

4 Minutes of Football #27

It’s only Week #2 of Pre-Season, but the Frat House Sports boys are in mid-season form for this week’s “4 Minutes of Football.” This week Toyota listened to the fan base and More »

The Frat House Sports Show #151: 3rd Annual NFL Pre-Season Round-Table

The Frat House “gang” is ON VACATION . . . and celebrating a “House” wedding, but that didn’t stop them from making sure there was an ALL NEW show . . . More »

SPORTS MEDICINE: Ask Your Doctor if “Sokrasz” is Right For You!

In order to be the best 50-something hater today, it was imperative that my 16-year-old self must forever rage as well. More »

Can NBA & NCAA Correct “One-and-Done” Without a Train Wreck?

At issue, is the age of players entering the NBA and the “one-and-done” rule which has dramatically affected the conduct of men’s basketball in the NCAA for the past eight years. More »

 

Winning at Least 1 Should be the ‘Point’ for NASCAR’s Championship

Bank of America 500 - Practice

By: “Uncle Mark” McShane

I like the changes that NASCAR installed for the 2014 season. Further, I think the on-track product was, for the most part, more compelling and competitive than in the last two or three years.

Just as promised, The Chase for the Sprint Cup has provided an exciting “win or go home” component which would drive (pun intended) teams to bring their “A-game” every week, in tireless (pun intended) pursuit of Victory Lane, checkered flags, and event awards (trophies, Grandfather Clocks, heck, enormous lobsters) in order to advance. That was the point, right?

Naturally, the format changes have generated considerable conversation and debate by not only the participants but by the fan base as well. While relatively young (65 years) when compared to other major sports, NASCAR boasts a very loyal, vocal and opinionated core; and buying into the notion that favorite drivers not only have a following but a “Nation” (y’know, Harvick Nation, Busch Nation, Jr. Nation, et.al), stock car racing has assembled many ‘corps’ within that core. Another good point.

The 10 races which effectively separate the “regular” season from the “post” season have been known as “The Chase for the Sprint Cup” over the last 10 years. 2014’s inaugural “knock-out” rounds, consisting of 3-race segments, have been the prism through which everyone has seen the array of colors that weren’t quite as visible in the past. The “Challenger 16,” reduced to the “Contender 12,” trimmed again to the “Eliminator 8” in playoff replication; finally, whittled down to a “Final 4” I suppose I call it. Bravo, NASCAR. The cause-and-affect sought to improve the competition, performance, and product has worked. Winning races was the point.

If you’ve read this far, you have probably detected my thinly veiled premise here. There isn’t a major sport that operates without a reliance on a point system. NASCAR has effectively diminished points as criteria for success this year however, and the model is almost perfect. There’s just one little wrinkle that ought to be looked at for next year, and I thought to offer my proposal in solution. Are you still with me?

This weekend is it for NASCAR. We’re going into the “super bowl” weekend – the championship – all-the-marbles!! On Sunday evening, we’re going to have a unique conclusion to a notably improved season of American Stock Car Racing. Consider: (1) Each of the final-4 eligible pilots vying for the 2014 title have never won a Championship; (2) Homestead-Miami is a once-a-year venue (unlike other race locations used twice throughout the year); and, (3) 2014 could provide the first ever “Winner” that did not win even one race all year. Wait . . . what???!

Yep. That’s the wrinkle I mentioned earlier. When rolled out last January, there was no one who knew this possibility would actually play out, but perhaps there were a couple folks who should have seen it coming. Arguably, the odds of a winless winner are very, very long but it could happen. If it does, the sport will have carved itself a somewhat ignominious niche in history that might ironically usurp all of the integrity intended by the changes in the first place.

On January 30th Brian France had this to say:

“This new format rewards winning. It elevates the importance of every race across the entire schedule. It ultimately rewards those drivers and teams who perform at the highest level when the championship is on the line.”

Implicit in his words are a couple of ideals of what constitutes winning . . . particulary like, y’know, winning . . . at least one race. That’s where Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations, along with other competition directors ought to tweak the 2015 format.

My idea is simple: the acceptance of one or two winless drivers into the field of 16 Chase drivers is fine. As I stated, there isn’t a major sport that operates without a reliance on a point system, and the transfer based on points is not only sensible but ties the ‘new’ playoff system to the ‘old’ Cup system. By extension, the transfer through the 3 “knock-out” rounds, (Challenger to Contender to Eliminator), using point totals as criteria to advance is fine also. What is my proposal, then?

Race #9 of the Chase is the final “cut” race of eligible drivers for the title and I propose that “eligibility” should be modified to only include four drivers with at least one win during the year that shall compete for the championship at Homestead-Miami.

For instance, (using this year as a model), if drivers A, B and C have each survived through the playoff rounds by virtue of their points and wins combination, and driver D is winless but transferred through on points alone, at the conclusion of Race #9, winless driver D shall be disqualified and replaced with a previously “cut” driver based on his or her prior win(s). How does that sound?

To clarify my thought a bit further, I’m ok with driver D continuing through the rounds and receiving transfer ‘credit’ but not past race #9. If the emphasis is actually on winning, (and with each winless race driver D transfers through, the pressure to get that one win at least in order to proceed will increase), then I think winning (at least one race) has to be held as the final requirement to compete for a title. Period. If driver D doesn’t qualify, go to the “cut” list and enter driver E as part of the Final-4.

I reiterate, the odds of a winless driver D are long but, as it is now, whoever finishes highest among the four title-eligible drivers is NASCAR’s new champion . . . without needing to actually win anything. How do you like this as a Finish order: Winless driver D rolls to 3rd, driver A (had 4 wins) rolls in 5th, driver B (had 2 wins) rolls in 6th and driver C (had 3 wins) rolls in 10th. Driver D wins? REALLY? I wouldn’t like this scenario if it was MY “super bowl” event.

NASCAR racing is vastly improved this year, in my opinion. The future of the sport appears to be bright. Broadcasting of the sport commencing next season promises to be likewise improved and engaging. The sport is cutting edge in fan interaction with use of social media and websites. There’s great history and legend attached to it, in an authentically American way throughout its 65-year life. Let’s fix the Finale and ratify the Chase so that, as Brian France said, “This new format rewards winning.”

4 Minutes of Football #27

Toyota NFL Red Zone - 2014

It’s only Week #2 of Pre-Season, but the Frat House Sports boys are in mid-season form for this week’s “4 Minutes of Football.”

This week Toyota listened to the fan base and determined that the NFL was doing enough damage in the “red zone” all by themselves. No need for added “interference.” The Jaguars apparently aren’t really serious about getting better. And, the Oakland Raiders are looking to move, but the San Antonio Spurs (yes, the Spurs) say “NOT in our backyard!”

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The Frat House Sports Show #153

Frat House 153-04

Don’t think the guys are just sitting around counting down the days to the NFL football season. Oh no, they’re getting into the nuts and bolts issues of the Tony Stewart incident and it’s a compelling bit of conversation.

Frat House Sports has been talking about the problems in the NCAA for three years and a decision in O’Bannon vs. NCAA only creates more issues.

Tiger who? Rory McIlroy has taken the golf world by storm and he deserves every bit of credit and attention he’s receiving.

4 Minutes of Football has Toyota in the Red Zone; Blake Bortles on the sideline; and, the Oakland Raiders in limbo. Mike’s screwy stories brings you Coco Crisp’s new doo; lightning strikes twice in Houston Astros Minute Maid Park; and, Cubs fans have a new way to drown their sorrows.

NASCAR has just four races remaining in the regular season after a who-da-thunk-it result at Watkins Glen International last weekend.

IT’S THE FRAT HOUSE AT ITS BEST! It’s another wonderful show you gotta’ pass around to all your friends & family!

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4 Minutes of Football #26

David Wilson - Giants

NFL FOOTBALL IS BACK!!! . . . and that means the boys at The Frat House have brought back everyone’s favorite “4 Minutes of Football.”

This week it’s Pre-Season Week 1, a perfect time for the the Washington Redskins to go on the offensive with the defense of their team’s name . . . just NOT WITH Mark Moseley! Philadelphia Eagles fans are so high on Chip Kelly they want to wear him. And, the Giants and all of NFL lose a tremendous talent far too young — David Wilson!

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The Frat House Sports Show #152

Frat House 152-08

What a difference two weeks can make! Two weeks ago we were making-up stories. Today football season is upon us and we’re loaded with topics & compelling talk.

We open with a raucous debate about ethics and sports and the missteps of Roger Goodell via Ray Rice, Josh Gordon, and Jim Irsay.

4 Minutes of Football makes its return with the Pro-Washington Redskins Dan Snyder-Mark Moseley tour; The Eagle love Kelly so much they want to wear it; and, a sad end to New York Giants running back David Wilson.

Let’s not forget MLB because there’s still some screwy baseball stories: Kevin Mitchell prefers dogs; the strangest fielding play this century between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians; and, the New York Mets showing some love to the Philadelphia Phillies.

NASCAR has just five races remaining to the regular season with an all-important road course this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

IT’S THE FRAT HOUSE AT ITS BEST! It’s another wonderful show you gotta’ pass around to all your friends & family!

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The Frat House Sports Show #151: 3rd Annual NFL Pre-Season Round-Table

On the Set-03

The Frat House “gang” is ON VACATION . . . and celebrating a “House” wedding, but that didn’t stop them from making sure there was an ALL NEW show . . . and one of the best of the year . . .

. . . here is this year’s 3rd Annual Frat House Sports NFL Pre-Season Round-Table . . .

. . . Talking QB’s – young & old – smart & dumb . . . Power rankings for coaches? Seriously? Have we gone too far? – But, are we ranking their ability to be policemen? . . . Do the Vikings have a QB controversy? Does anybody really care? . . . Jimmy Garoppolo IS the next Tom Brady; well, according to some – maybe not us . . . Can the Dolphins “O” improve? *crickets* . . . Sam Bradford may fall on the dull sword of his own O-Line . . . Running around the divisions & conferences with bravado & predicts,

It’s a MUST see . . . which is why we ONLY do it once a year!

IT’S THE FRAT HOUSE AT ITS BEST! It’s another wonderful show you gotta’ pass around to all your friends & family!

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The Frat House Sports Show #150

Frat House 150-04

It’s another slow sports news weeks . . . but, fear not (!), we’re making it up for you!!!

BREAKING! Andrew Wiggins AND LeBron James have been traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Clippers! JUST RELEASED! Coordinators of the Tour de France will allow PED’s and doping for the final stages of the race. Lance Armstrong will oversee the coordination of these changes. THIS JUST IN! NASCAR has announced they will run the 2015 Daytona 500 on Super Bowl Sunday!

But the gang gets real with CLW83 Touch ‘em All host Jim Williams talking everything MLB across both leagues; the upcoming trade deadline; and, the mess called the Philadelphia Phillies. There are some real screwy stories and Sidekick’s picks for this week’s Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

IT’S THE FRAT HOUSE AT ITS BEST! It’s another wonderful show you gotta’ pass around to all your friends & family!

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The Frat House Sports Show #149

Frat House 149-02

It’s that time of year for our annual “MAN Do We Need Some Real Sports Now Show” as the gang yearn for the beginning of football season . . . but, they tough it out by discussing LeBron James’ move back to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Germany’s dramatic win in the FIFA World Cup Final.

The “race report” includes NASCAR; three (Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and Kasey Kahne) who have to make a move now to make “The Chase;” and . . . bicycles! It may have been the All-Star break but there’s still some screwy stories including the fine vintage of this year’s All-Star Game Midsummer Classic WINE; and you can take your recently acquired $287,000 baseball glove to your $244,000 Yankees Stadium luxury suite in September!

IT’S THE FRAT HOUSE AT ITS BEST! It’s another wonderful show you gotta’ pass around to all your friends & family!

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The Frat House Sports Show #148

Frat House 148-06

Welcome to our “mid-summer classic” Frat House Sports Show but does anyone really care about the MLB All-Star Game anymore? The boys are talking about it. The NFL Concussion Lawsuit is still in the news and will continue to make headlines, and the guys are on it. What’s with this “Race Team Alliance” stuff in NASCAR? The Frat House gang analyzes it.

Sidekick & Uncle Mark look at the best Sprint Cup Series Fantasy picks for New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Frat House Mike brings a rare NHRA update. Sidekick has a rooting interest in the FIFA World Cup Final.  Don’t be snoozing on our “MLB Screwy Stories” . . . you might get sued; or a nasty e-mail from Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort. Instead, sit back; relax; and, enjoy a beer with Andruw Jones.

IT’S THE FRAT HOUSE AT ITS BEST! It’s another wonderful show you gotta’ pass around to all your friends & family!

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The Frat House Sports Show #147

Frat House 147 - 09

Lots & lots of red, white, and blue USA chat as we celebrate America & the World Cup on this week’s 4th of July show . . . & Frat House Mike and Sidekick discuss the merits or faults of Major League Soccer.  First though, Alex Rodriguez is back in the news. This time it seems MLB gave him a wink and the secret handshake.

The Houston Astros keep making the top of Frat House Mike’s screwy stories; the Tampa Bay Rays suck so bad, they’re good; and playing Dungeons and Dragons for $40 million! NASCAR pays its second visit of the season to Daytona International Speedway and Sidekick’s got the “plate picks.”

IT’S THE FRAT HOUSE AT ITS BEST! It’s another wonderful show you gotta’ pass around to all your friends & family!

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