Golden Tate says NASCAR drivers aren’t athletes, hears it from racing fans

AP

Seahawks receiver Golden Tate stepped into a controversy this week when he went on Twitter and proclaimed that NASCAR drivers aren’t athletes.

Tate was watching the ESPY Awards and saw that NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson was nominated for male athlete of the year. Tate wasn’t impressed.

“Jimmy johnson up for best athlete???? Um nooo .. Driving a car does not show athleticism,” Tate tweeted.

That led to a bunch of racing fans tweeting back at Tate, telling him he was wrong. But Tate wasn’t backing down.

Who looks like a better athlete?” Tate asked one NASCAR fans who challenged him on Twitter. “Lebron making a sick play or a guy or Jimmie riding on circles?”

I’m not saying NASCAR isn’t hard,” Tate added. “I’m just saying u don’t have to be athletic to do that.”

I’m sure I’ll hear it from racing fans now, too, but Tate is obviously right that to call Johnson the best “athlete” is ridiculous. Tate is a much better athlete than Johnson. Every NFL wide receiver is a much better athlete than Johnson.

Of course, if the ESPY Awards were really looking to honor the best “athlete,” they’d nominate a bunch of Olympic decathletes. What the ESPY Awards actually mean when they say “Best Male Athlete” is “Man who has accomplished the most in his sport.” Johnson is a five-time champion in his sport, so it’s easy to see why he was nominated.

When told about Tate’s comments, Johnson extended an invitation for Tate to attend a race. And Tate tweeted that after hearing from passionate NASCAR fans, “I will say my respect for NASCAR has gone up tremendously.”

238 responses to “Golden Tate says NASCAR drivers aren’t athletes, hears it from racing fans

  1. There are some NASCAR drivers, Mark Martin, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin who come to mind first, that are very, very fine athletes. Assuming Johnson isn’t an athlete is a slippery slope. Just because he chooses to drive a car doesn’t mean he’s not capable of doing other things. See Denny Hamlin’s twitter proposition to Tate.

  2. solid comments by Tate. Racing is trash, its a bunch of hillbillies driving around a circle for 3 hours, what the hell is fun about that. 90% of the idiots that call themselves racing fans just go to drink, blackout, and watch the car wrecks. That shouldn’t be up for any awards whatsoever.

  3. I agree with him. I wont argue that its not difficult but I still dont think its a sport. Unless the car is the athlete…..

    I know its not a popular opinion, but at the same time I dont think horse, or dog racing is a sport either, unless the horse is the athlete.

  4. Tate is absolutely right. Its not a sport. I equate NASCAR to playing video games. Sure it takes skill, dedication, and concentration, but so does Call of Duty. Look at the comparisons between a NASCAR driver and a gamer… They both sit in chairs, they both compete by using their hand-eye coordination to react to what others are doing by using an instrument in their hand. One happens to be a wheel, and the other a joystick.

    I think everyone would agree that an over-weight, pot-smoking gamer is not an athelete, so why in gods name would a race car driver be considered on?

    Let the backlash begin…

  5. In response Jimmie blew by the NFL players like they were standing still if they played off him, and ran right over them when they tried to jam him at the line.

  6. Well, he’s right. NASCAR may be a sport, but it’s drivers are not athletes, they’re drivers.

  7. No offense, but i believe he’s right.. You do not HAVE to be an athlete in N.A.S.C.A.R.. I think expanding on the abbreviation says it ALL.. N.A.S.C.A.R. = Non Athletic Sport Catered Around Redn#cks! LOL

  8. I agree with him 100%.

    I have a solution: get the best “athlete” in NASCAR and have him compete with Golden Tate in 10 different sports and see who is truly the better athlete.

    I’d be my left lung that GT wins in a landslide. Literally my left LUNG…

  9. Driving takes skill but to me athlete means running,jumping,throwing, catching.I’ve had people tell me bowlers are athletes.If you can have a beer and a pizza while playing your “sport” you’re not an athlete.

  10. I guess Tate can drive a car at 200mph and put his car in a spot betwwen 2 cars at that speed where you dont even have a foot between them . but before that he should learn how to catch a football .

  11. They aren’t…. they are drivers.

    ath·lete (thlt)
    n.
    A person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts.

    You can argue endurance?

    I agree with Tate.

  12. Put Tate in a NASCAR race car for 500 miles going 200 miles an hour, he wouldn’t fare so well. Race car drivers are athletes just as much as any other sport, but its a completely different sport with a different means of competition. It would be like saying that Tiger Woods isn’t an athlete because all he does is plays golf.

  13. Tate is right…but then again, ESPN thinks that playing cards, spelling and the WNBA are legitimate sports, so what can you expect …

  14. buzzz84 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:12 PM
    I wonder if the oval track reminds Tate of donuts?

    ————–
    nooooo I thought I’d be the first donut comment!

  15. To those saying “Yeah well Tate can’t drive a race car hurr durr”, that has NOTHING to do with athleticism. Racing is an activity that requires skill. It’s not a sport and car drivers aren’t athletes.

  16. I’m surprised he said that. His cousin, Folden Chair, is a big Nascar fan. Nascar drivers are more of an athlete than baseball pitchers.

  17. Oh My Lord!! Is this really a story!! Anyone with the slightest bit of brains could tell you that Nascar Drivers arent Athletes.. REALLY? No one said it wasnt a Skill/talent.. just not one that requires Athleticism!! Are Nascar Drivers Really Offended? Is this really worth discussing!!

  18. Oh, I suppose we’re going to hear that “Bass Fisherman” aren’t athletes either, yeah? yeah???

  19. bengunby – not the point. Golfers arent athletes either….there are some good athletes that play golf but there are also golfers that are not athletes…..that is the point.

  20. So much ammo….

    Golden Tate is an athlete? Who knew?

    Jimmy Johnson has championships, Lebron? not so much.

  21. He’s right its not a sport and drivers should not be called athletes. The argument that a car is hot and uncomfortable to sit in for 3-4 hours is dumb. NASCAR is a sport in recreational sense, just like Hunting & Fishing, but the bread & butter of American Sports are athletic sports and NASCAR does not fit the mold. Sorry.

  22. They consider playing Starcraft 2 the national “sport” of South Korea. A frickin’ vidjuh game. I suppose that makes the 120lb, four-eyed nerds “athletes” as well.

    Heck, I guess this means I’m an athlete, despite not having run more than a block in years. I like the sound of that, and agree with NASCAR fans 100%…

  23. Nascar is no more a sport then golf, bowling, fishing, etc..

    Does it take special skill that most don’t possess – Yes
    It it taxing on the body – Yes
    Does one have to be a physical specimen to compete and do well at these activities – NO

    That’s why you see fat golfers, bowlers, etc.

  24. Couple things to consider.
    1) Have you ever driven a race car?
    If not take part in a driving experience or class. the one you drive not a ride along.

    2) Can a non athlete perform at a top level in 135*-150* for 3-4 hours?

    I recently drove an IndyCar. Until you have been behind the wheel you have no idea.

  25. Nascar drivers are very talented at their sport, but they aren’t athletes. Can you seriously call Tony Stewart an athlete without laughing inside?

  26. Many people dont understand nascar and thats fine. But its annoying when you get someone like tate who is absolutly clueless as to what hes talking about. No you dont have to be athletic to be in nascar but you do have to be in good shape. Its physically demanding to drive those cars the way they do for 3-4 hours. What people dont relize is in nascar its probably the most mentally demanding sport of them all. You need constant concentration for hours at a time all while being in a hot uncomfortable race car. Jimmie Johnson has owned nascar for the last 5 years in a row. He has set a ton of records and he is the first driver ever to win 5 championships in a row. He deserves the credit and recognition and more. Golden Tate wont be anywhere near as succesful in the nfl as johnson is in nascar so he should shut up with his stupid twitter comments and educate himself a little.

  27. Tate is now offically hated by Nascar and all donut shop owners in the greater Seattle area

  28. NASCAR should thank Tate for giving attention to their “sport”.

    If you’re not first you’re last.

  29. How are they not atheletes all of you computer trollers. They are stuck in a little space in a car that reaches upwards of 150degs during the race. The car does not have power steering like all of your 1989 corollas do. The steering alone is like a workout, and they have to do it for five hours straight. Factor in the 30+ other drivers that you have to manuver around, and they are athletes. They HAVE to train, and be in shape, or their bodies would not last the entire race.
    Furthermore, I agree with the Tiger statement. you call him not an athelete because he only plays golf. Open your eyes people.

  30. The point is it does not take pure athleticism to race a car. That doesn’t mean racing a car does not take skills that most people do not possess, it just means great athletes do not necessarily make great drivers.

    It’s a coincidence if Jimmie Johnson happens to be a great athlete. His success on the track does not come directly from any inherent athletic ability.

    On the other hand, it’s really hard to accept the notion below average athetes can be highly successful wide receivers (or in Tate’s point, basketball players).

  31. Tate is an idiot. You tell me a guy doesn’t have to be in shape to weather temperatures in excess of 140 degrees for four hours while wearing a full fire suit AND helmet and driving at speeds close to 200 mph. I guarantee Tate couldn’t handle it.

    As for Johnson’s nomination, while you may not be a NASCAR fan, you have to appreciate greatness when you see it, and anyone who can win 5 consecutive championships is nothing short of great.

  32. When you see someone like Tony Stewart be successful at racing, you know they are not athletes.

  33. There maybe some athletes in NASCAR, but it doesn’t take an athlete to drive a car.

    And who really cares what NASCAR fans think.

  34. They’re making a left turn! Here comes another left turn! Now he’s turning left! What’s gonna happen next?
    *drains box o’ wine*

  35. The award is titled “Male Athlete of the Year”, not “Best Male Athlete”. There is a difference. It’s kind of like the age old Most Valuable Player vs Most Outstanding Player debate.

    The ability to maintain concentration lap after lap for hours on end in blistering heat and in close proximity to other cars is not something many folks could do without being properly conditioned.

    I have no doubt that there are plenty of better athletes around than Jimmie Johnson. But ole Five Time has accomplished more than nearly all of them.

  36. Also if Tiger Woods can win athlete of the year, for walking, then no Reason johnson shouldnt be eligible as well ($10 says Tate would argue Tiger is an athlete).

  37. 2) Can a non athlete perform at a top level in 135*-150* for 3-4 hours?

    yes, they can…….they do it all the time…..not an athlete!

  38. Apparently I’m the only football and nascar fan here.

    Nascar is the sport i watch when nothing else is on, yes i consume alcohol, no i dont watch the whole race, yes i watch for crashes, no i dont consider drivers atheletes, and yes i am white trash

  39. “fargovikesfan says: Jul 15, 2011 3:13 PM

    Put Tate in a NASCAR race car for 500 miles going 200 miles an hour, he wouldn’t fare so well. Race car drivers are athletes just as much as any other sport, but its a completely different sport with a different means of competition. It would be like saying that Tiger Woods isn’t an athlete because all he does is plays golf.”

    Vikings fans are morons.

  40. Golden Tate…. Shut up, learn to run NFL caliber routes, Do the work necessary to become relevant in the league. Contribute to your team and the Seattle community . So far you are NOT getting it done. Shooting off your mouth does not make you look very good . Become something . When you do, folks will be more apt to listen to you. You are extraordinarily gifted but remember … the world is full of unfulfilled talent.

  41. He’s absolutely right. If you want to get politically correct about it, maybe you can call them “sportsmen”.

    Pretty much if you have decent vision, endurance, and the ability to turn left, avoid pissing yourself for several hours at a time, anyone can be a NASCAR driver with enough training.

  42. a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

    Where does Nascar driving fit in the above definition? Tate is right.

  43. If NASCAR drivers are athletes, I’m friggin’ turning pro.

    That three point turn I made in the Best Buy parking lot last weekend was easily the athletic equivalent of going over the middle with a OLB bearing down on you.

  44. Johnson can do a .05 second 40. His best vertical is about 8 feet, and his horizontal is around 15 semi trailers.

  45. The only true athletes in motorsports are motocross racers. If you are not in perfect physical condition then there is absolutely no chance you will do well. I didn’t believe it till I tried it. I have rode dirt bikes since I was 8 and I was dying after 3 laps…

  46. This isn’t news….it will be news when an athlete says that NASCAR drivers are athletes!

  47. From Websters…

    Definition of ATHLETE

    : a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.

    Sounds like a competitive race car driver to me.

    You don’t have to be a chiseled, steroid shooting, womanizing, rain-maker, play taker off’r, authority figure basher, purple drank drinker, ball throwin’, fan killin, gun totin, unabashin knife slashin, chump to be an athlete.

  48. NASCAR drivers are athletes.

    Let me know when you are fit enough to drive in a car that is 155 degrees and stay in the car for 5-6 hours, have 4 G’s forcing you down every turn, and go 200 mph every weekend.

    Yeah, not just anyone can drive a nascar. You have got to be an athlete to do it.

  49. Change it to: Best Male Sportsman

    Thats a wrap. Who cares, Golden. Go work on your route running. Just dont run across the middle against the Niners. Willis and his fresh legs will decapitate you 😉

  50. abengalfan says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:24 PM
    Couple things to consider.
    1) Have you ever driven a race car?
    If not take part in a driving experience or class. the one you drive not a ride along.

    2) Can a non athlete perform at a top level in 135*-150* for 3-4 hours?

    I recently drove an IndyCar. Until you have been behind the wheel you have no idea.

    =====================

    ^^^this^^^

    The old days of good ol’ boys are dead. No more fat bootleggers.

    I will chime in with a few more….Today’s top drivers (NASCAR, Indycar, F1, etc) are probably the most superbly conditioned athletes out there. A 3-4-5 hour jaunt with a 125 plus degree track temperature at 150-200 mph, maintaining 100% concentration, muscling your competition without killing yourself or others….is phenomenol.

    I personally know a few top tier driver/athletes and the workout/cardio regime they conduct is mind blowing. Golden may have NFL muscles, but Jimmy Johnson can last all day without a break…..Tate sits 3/4 or a game.

  51. Tate is right. But is Peyton Manning a great athlete? Is he a better athlete than say, Carl Edwards? Isn’t an athlete someone who can run, jump etc? Peyton’s never shown much in the way of athleticism. I could say the same about many other quarterbacks & kickers.

    Tate should be concerned with actually fulfilling his potential as an NFL wide receiver before he starts slamming other sports. I doubt he’ll ever be nominated for an ESPY, no matter how ridiculous they are, anytime soon.

    Why can’t people just be happy with their station in life, no they have to get snarky with everybody else. beat their chest telling the world why they’re more worthy of breathing the air.

    I guess anything that diverts his attention from B&E’ing the local Dunkin’ Donuts is cool.

  52. paulitik74 says: Jul 15, 2011 3:38 PM

    Pretty much if you have decent vision, endurance, and the ability to turn left, avoid pissing yourself for several hours at a time, anyone can be a NASCAR driver with enough training.
    ===============================

    You don’t really have to avoid pissing yourself to be successful in NASCAR. You might look strange in the post-race interview but you can always claim it was a drink shower, not a golden shower.

  53. hedden93 says: Jul 15, 2011 3:08 PM

    I actually agree with him. Even if I was a NASCAR fan, its nothing to get upset about. Geez everything is a big deal nowadays.

    —————————————————-

    NASCAR fans have a well deserved feeling of inferiority about their dumb ass ‘sport’. NASCAR receives tons of ridicule…and rightfully so. The fact that NASCAR has developed a large following outside the corn pone South is a reflection of the general dumbing down of Americans.

  54. I hate to break the racing fans hearts, but unfortunately I believe Tate is right. They aren’t athletes.

    Just because a competitive event takes concentration doesn’t make it a sport and people involved athletes.

    We don’t call chess players ‘athletes’, so why do we call racers ‘athletes’?

    Yes, danger is involved, so what?

    With the amount of sponsorships involved, the ‘sport’ is diluted any spirit or passion.

  55. Knitting a sweater takes specialized skills.

    If ANYBODY puts enough time into it, they can learn how to knit a sweater.

    Knitting is not a sport.

    Re-read the previous three sentences and substitute “Driving a NASCAR car” for “Knitting a sweater”.

    The preceeding message was brought to you by Logic for Idiots.

  56. gd2483 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:47 PM
    NASCAR drivers are athletes.

    Let me know when you are fit enough to drive in a car that is 155 degrees and stay in the car for 5-6 hours, have 4 G’s forcing you down every turn, and go 200 mph every weekend.

    Yeah, not just anyone can drive a nascar. You have got to be an athlete to do it.
    ========================

    Let me know when a fat turd Tony Stewart can run a fly pattern and beat an NFL cornerback for a touchdown.

  57. NFL linemen are not athletes. All they do is stand there and push people around. Bouncers at concerts stand there and push people around for hours at a time, and they’re not considered athletes. Pushing someone around doesn’t require athleticism – sure it’s a specific skill that might be difficult, but anyone can learn to do it.

    Just as dumb an argument as saying that the athleticism required to win championships in Nascar is not to the level that would designate a Nascar driver as an athlete. I’m not even a fan of Nascar, but I understand the toll that such a race takes on the body and the conditioning and athleticism required to excel in the sport.

  58. “NASCAR fans have a well deserved feeling of inferiority about their dumb ass ‘sport’. NASCAR receives tons of ridicule…and rightfully so. The fact that NASCAR has developed a large following outside the corn pone South is a reflection of the general dumbing down of Americans.”

    Really? And all this time i thought it was from electing Presidents from the south. Especially that one that just influenced the American citizens for 8 years.

  59. Modern drivers are athletes. They aren’t on the level that they should be in any voting for “Best Male Athlete” in the country or world though.

  60. richatthelake says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:51 PM

    Why can’t people just be happy with their station in life, no they have to get snarky with everybody else. beat their chest telling the world why they’re more worthy of breathing the air.

    I guess anything that diverts his attention from B&E’ing the local Dunkin’ Donuts is cool.
    ==================

    You do see the irony of asking why people have to get “snarky” and following it up with probably the snarkiest line of the entire comment string?

    Why can’t you just be happy with your station in life?

  61. Well, NASCAR fans are in as good a position as anyone to comment, parked on their couches all the time like they are.

  62. seatown12 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:26 PM
    Also I’ve never even seen a NASCAR driver make a right hand turn! …just sayin-

    Never watched road course race-Just saying

  63. Fishin is a sport. On the Pro Tour, i.e. my neighborhood park, where I imagine I am on the pro tour, we call it Bassin.

  64. There’s people out there that actually consider NASCAR a sport? Obviously it’s hard, but so are a lot of things. A task being difficult doesn’t make it a sport (same applies for the spelling bee, poker, chess and other “sports” for some reason ESPN shows)

  65. It’s hilarious when NASCAR fans get all offended every time a civilized human being with a full set of teeth and who knows how to take a bath, mocks their dumb sport. A stupid stock car going in a circle 400 times – real cool. Seems more like a convention for a bunch of hillbillies who let their filthy kids run around a trailer park with ice cream stains on their shirts for three days. That’s what NASCAR makes me think of.

  66. Speaking of Call of Duty, if anyone wants to add me on PSN feel free…. MackDaddyRich…

    Just sayin

  67. if you have to be a top physical specimen in fantastic shape to be considered an athlete, you just eliminated about half the linemen in the NFL… And pissed off Pat Williams

  68. What about baseball pitchers, bowlers, golfers, etc. Plenty of them are generally very unathletic, but still accomplish athletic things. I would imagine driving in circles for 500 miles requires a certain physical capability that the average person lacks.

  69. bhindenemylines says:
    Jul 15, 2011 4:01 PM
    Knitting a sweater takes specialized skills.

    If ANYBODY puts enough time into it, they can learn how to knit a sweater.

    Knitting is not a sport.

    Re-read the previous three sentences and substitute “Driving a NASCAR car” for “Knitting a sweater”.

    The preceeding message was brought to you by Logic for Idiots.
    ===============================
    Same can be said for ANYTHING, including football. If ANYONE put enough time into it, they can learn how to play football.

    Doesn’t make them great at it. Just because you can drive a car doesn’t mean you can drive and compete at the NASCAR level.

    The preceding message was brought to you by folks with half a brain.

  70. NASCAR is not an athletic sport. Let’s just look at what NASCAR stands for and you will see.

    Non
    Athletic
    Sport
    Created
    Around
    Rednecks

    There you have it.

    –Mike

  71. benh999 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 4:29 PM
    What about baseball pitchers, bowlers, golfers, etc. Plenty of them are generally very unathletic, but still accomplish athletic things. I would imagine driving in circles for 500 miles requires a certain physical capability that the average person lacks.

    ========================

    Baseball players period.

  72. Nascar is hard, and takes a ton of skill to do. No one is going to deny that. I don’t care if it takes a ton of conditioning to prepare for it. They are sitting on their asses and making left hand turns. I don’t care how hot it is. I’m sure plenty of farmers are using tractors without air conditioning that they sit in all day too. Are they also athletes?

  73. Jimmy Spencer -who smokes and always has and looks like he’d drop if he ran more than 20 yards- was an “elite” driver, so was Benny Parsons who was about as round as he was tall. There are dozens of more examples on all levels of stock car racing that fit the same bill. Add in the fact that a 52 year old can compete with a 25 year old and all that jazz about G forces and concentration and high temperatures means two things: jack and squat. It’s tough to do and no not everyone can do it on an elite level but it’s a skill competition that old guys and out of shape fat guys can do just as well as the young in shape “athletic” guys can. I don’t know what exactly the criteria is for making something a sport but I know when one doesn’t pass the sniff test…anything old guys and fat out of shape guys can do at the top level is not a sport in my book.

    Oh and the cars are actually slower than they used to be so the G forces on all these modern athletic looking drivers of today are actually less than the fat boys of the past used to endure with crappier, less comfortable cars. They also used to race more than they do now and those fat guys had no problems with the G forces higher heat levels and less professional medical care going into their R&D.

    Oh and they turn right twice a year at road courses. I guess the guy that’s never seen em turn right had his head hermetically sealed in his posterior.

    Sorry, it’s a skill competition, not a sport. And no Golf isn’t a sport either anymore than cards or spelling Bees, WTF happened to ESPN by the way? They did the same thing MTV did (do they even play music anymore?)….forgot what their purpose was. I mean poker…really?

  74. I believe the OLDEST DRIVER is 53. That is why I totally agree with GT . If they are athletes then that means every truck driver who long hauls is an athlete. If a guy who is grandpa can win at that event then it is not a sport and the people who participate are not athletes. Makes sense to me.

  75. Some NASCAR drives are athletes, but you don’t have to be born with athleticism to be successful. It’s a skill that takes practice, like golf and bowling, but by no means they are athletic. It probably puts a toll on your body, and is hard, but isn’t a sport.

  76. Jimmy Johnson won 5 Championships in a ROW, who is Golden Tate? Golden Tate? uou are pulling my Tate right, lol.

  77. Not flaming, but to the common eye, it seems like nothing. Just like when someobody says “how hard can it be to hit a baseball?” Please tell me the last time any of you have driven 500 miles in a car that’s atleast 120 degrees. These guys piss themselves in the car. I’m serious. You have to have endurance. You’re not running the 40, but you have to have endurance. Arm strength is also required to control these 3500 lb vehicles. You can’t be fat and slip in thru the window neither. You can’t compare to NFL players and their workout regimine, but drivers in all sports, F1, superbike, motocross are more athletic than golfers.

  78. athlete [ˈæθliːt]
    n
    1. (Individual Sports & Recreations / Athletics (Track & Field)) a person trained to compete in sports or exercises involving physical strength, speed, or endurance
    2. a person who has a natural aptitude for physical activities
    3. (Individual Sports & Recreations / Athletics (Track & Field)) Chiefly Brit a competitor in track and field events
    [from Latin via Greek athlētēs, from athlein to compete for a prize, from athlos a contest] WHAT ABOUT FORMULA ONE DRIVERS ?

  79. Any sport where the person isn’t the object propelling him or her forward (car racing, horse racing, boat racing, etc etc) … it’s not a sport.

    Hell, Cheerleading is more of a sport than NASCAR.

  80. This reminds me when Tiger got AP athlete of the decade. Hes a golfer not a athlete. I would have gone with Federer, even though tennis is kind of lame. Anyhow Nascar isn’t even close to being athletic. Just like Notre Dame isn’t even close to being relavent in college football.

  81. tdk24 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:46 PM
    From Websters…

    Definition of ATHLETE

    : a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.

    Sounds like a competitive race car driver to me.

    You don’t have to be a chiseled, steroid shooting, womanizing, rain-maker, play taker off’r, authority figure basher, purple drank drinker, ball throwin’, fan killin, gun totin, unabashin knife slashin, chump to be an athlete.
    _______________________________

    BAM! Talk about shutting everyone up!

  82. Ouch. Well I wasn’t gonna respond here, but this is crazy. Am I the only one here who has competed in a race car? I’m ok with the football crowd defending their own, but, please, this just sounds like rampant ignorance.

    Please do a search on any pro driver’s workout. JJ’s was covered well on the HBO special last year. The workouts are grueling. Racing in a top series is extremely physically demanding. I run during the midday sun and had to increase all my strength exercises to keep competitive.

    Sadly, the idea of hanging a left turn all day has been perpetuated.

    Have you ever seen a fat Indy car driver? Really? How about a fat D lineman? How many dozens?

  83. Either way you look at it, Jimmy Johnson is 100 times better at his craft then tate is at his. He needs to accomplish something before he calls out someone who’s won the last 5 championships in another “sport”

  84. As a notes dame fan, I think Tate and most of u are all morons. None of you, not a single one of you knows what it takes to drive a stock car. The postings in this article just just back up my belief of how in incredibly stupid and ignorant our society is.

  85. If Nascar is a sport, then this fat guy Roy I know who drives a bulldozer for a living is one of the greatest athletes I’ve ever met since he’s been doing it for 40 years.

    It’s not a sport, it’s a competitive activity. It’s incredibly hard to do, and incredibly dangerous. I used to watch races frequently since I was a Rusty Wallace fan (until he retired). However, it’s not a sport.

  86. First of all, NASCAR isn’t even a sport. It’s an entertainment company. So the drivers are just actors!

    I will say this, driving a race car at high speeds for several hours does involve a degree of mental toughness and endurance, but you certainly don’t have to physically athletic to be successful.

    He’s not the first ball player to make this statement.

    Maybe he’s just upset because none of the drivers are named Golden?

  87. ESPN is even trying to argue that the idiots who see how many hotdogs they can swallow in ten minutes are athletes. Which I suppose brings us into Jenna Jameson territory too…

  88. I don’t really care if Drivers, Golfers, etc are considered athletes. I still enjoy NASCAR, PGA Tour, & The NFL among other sports.

    Each sport has their own skills involved.

    I will say this. If all you’re supposed to do is sit in a chair and turn left? Why aren’t all of you out there making millions of dollars, being famous, and being chased down by groupies. I mean it’s SOOOO easy to drive a car, RIGHT?

  89. Thank you Golden…Anyone claiming that Kobe Bryant, Lance Armstrong, and Jimmie Johnson are all “professional athletes” is insane.

    NASCAR is definitely competitive, but you definitely don’t have to be a professional-level athlete all around to make it in that sport.

    Same goes for bowling…

  90. Being an athlete requires athleticism. Driving a car as fast as they do requires skills, yes, but not athleticism.

    I hope Golden Tate doesn’t apologize. He’s right.

  91. Saying something negative about NASCAR is like saying something negative about religion. Sure you might be right, but there will be a lot of nuts freaking out and taking exception to it.

  92. Can someone defending NASCAR explain to me what about driving a car requires athleticism? I mean, during competition, they literally sit on their ass for 3 hours.

    And skills at something doesn’t make you an athlete. I’m good at drawing and playing the bass, does that make me an athlete?

  93. A NASCAR driver has to be about at athletic as an OTR trucker. They’re not athletes, period.

  94. whoisgonnasing says: Jul 15, 2011 4:55 PM

    Have you ever seen a fat Indy car driver? Really? How about a fat D lineman? How many dozens?

    ————————————————–

    It is the same reason why you dont see fat jockeys. The extra weight adds drag to the car.

    I wouldnt be shocked if NASCAR drivers purge themselves before a race just like models do before a shoot.

  95. Question…….are marathon runners athletes? How about track and field, are they athletes? F1, Indycar, Nascar, et all use the same muscles. No need for steroids, just major training and conditioning. Based on some of the comments here, I guess they should not be considered either.

    Sounds as if there are more ignorant rednecks here at PFT than in the stands at a race.

  96. skinsrollyou says: Jul 15, 2011 4:57 PM

    As a notes dame fan, I think Tate and most of u are all morons. None of you, not a single one of you knows what it takes to drive a stock car. The postings in this article just just back up my belief of how in incredibly stupid and ignorant our society is.
    ————————————————————-

    The measure of our society’s collective intelligence, in your eyes, is somehow related to a lack of NASCAR knowledge??

    Your statement, in and of itself, does a much better job of supporting the belief that our society is ignorant than does a lack of NASCAR knowledge by the general public.

    When did they teach southern boys how to access the internet anyway? I can’t believe the amount of comments this post is getting for NASCAR lovers. If you like watching cars slogging around the oval fighting for inches, that’s great, but don’t think those boys are athletes. Yes it is hard to do, but they aren’t athletes. Bowlers are more athletic. Their mechanics and pit crew team are more athletic.

  97. 100% correct! also Golfers are not athletes either.Thanks Tate for finally saying something about NASCAR drivers being athletes.Its just a big joke to compare them even with the 50th player on a football team

  98. I’m a racing fan of Indy cars, Neckcar, Formula-1, motorcycles, etc. I’ve raced open wheel for years. Sorry, the drivers in these sports are NOT athletes. Many of the drivers are athletic and in shape, but that does not make them athletes, nor does the sport require athletes.

    BTW, golfers are not athletes either nor does the sport require much athleticism. They WALK up to the ball or ride in a cart, someone else carries the bag, there is no time limit. Yes, hitting a stationary ball is hard and takes skill, but not athleticism or endurance.

    Let’s stop making a mockery of the word “athlete”.

  99. Granted, it would be easier to teach Golden Tate how to drive in a NASCAR event than it would be to train most drivers to play football at a high level. Good vision is a prerequisite for both sports. Football coaches say, “He can see the whole field.” The same applies for drivers; The best ones have it.
    Who cares, anyway?

  100. NASCAR fans have a well deserved feeling of inferiority about their dumb ass ‘sport’. NASCAR receives tons of ridicule…and rightfully so. The fact that NASCAR has developed a large following outside the corn pone South is a reflection of the general dumbing down of Americans.

    ————————————————————-

    Wow, did a NASCAR driver dilly dally with your best heifer or what?

    Some people might say that a sport that consists of a 40 second break after every 7 seconds of play is pretty sissyfied.

  101. Can someone defending NASCAR explain to me what about driving a car requires athleticism? I mean, during competition, they literally sit on their ass for 3 hours.

    ——————————————————–

    You could say that about the majority of football players, too.

  102. debates like this always remind me of the movie kingpin when thy walk into the tournament and the amish guy says

    Ishmael: “Wow, it’s kind of intimidating to be in the presence of so many great athletes”.

    as they are all eating pizza and clearly not athletes hahaha

  103. “unless you’ve trained your heart like a distance runner, built your muscles like a football player, and conditioned your body to withstand 150-degree heat, you’d probably kill yourself and several bystanders by the third turn.”

  104. I’m kinda on the fence with this argument. It’s well documented that it gets extremely hot inside those cars for long periods but todays nascar driver does have the benefit of ‘cold air pumps’ that pump cool air to the drivers head via a hose inserted into his racing helmet. Few drivers if any could run a full race during the summer months without them.
    As far as the cars being hard to steer, Danica Patrick who’s female and all of 95lbs soaken wet, runs nascars 2nd tier series in similar cars but shorter race distances has never complained about having tired arms after a race.
    I enjoy nascar, but get irritated when the drivers vie for athletic awards.

  105. It’s hilarious watching all the yayhoos get all up in arms. Look, you can type ’til your fingers bleed about how NASCAR racing is physically demanding, but that still doesn’t make it a sport. Coal mining is far more physically demanding than NASCAR– are all coal miners athletes too? Gimme a break. Jimmy Johnson is an incredible competitor and winner, but the guy just isn’t an athlete.

  106. It’s hilarious watching all the yayhoos get all up in arms. Look, you can type ’til your fingers bleed about how NASCAR racing is physically demanding, but that still doesn’t make it a sport. Coal mining is far more physically demanding than NASCAR

    ————————————————————–

    How do you know? Of course it’s a sport. The problem is that you want to have your own definition of “sport” and it doesn’t work like that.

  107. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 6:42 PM

    Can someone defending NASCAR explain to me what about driving a car requires athleticism? I mean, during competition, they literally sit on their ass for 3 hours.

    ——————————————————–

    You could say that about the majority of football players, too.
    ——————————————-
    Thanks for answering the question.

  108. granadafan says:
    Jul 15, 2011 6:24 PM
    I’m a racing fan of Indy cars, Neckcar, Formula-1, motorcycles, etc. I’ve raced open wheel for years. Sorry, the drivers in these sports are NOT athletes. Many of the drivers are athletic and in shape, but that does not make them athletes, nor does the sport require athletes.

    Let’s stop making a mockery of the word “athlete”.

    ==========================

    a weekend warrior at Skip Barber or JimRussell does not make a driver.

  109. There aren’t any unathletic and successful drivers. They all have to work out. Lift weights, plenty of cardio. Think about it. They’re not driving Bentleys to the market, they’re wrestling 700-horsepower machines that weigh a couple of tons around tracks at 180 MPH at the very edge of control, pulling G-forces that would make any of you fools puke and/or poop your double bacon loserburgers all over yourself after a few seconds and they’re doing it for hours at a time with NO TIMEOUTS except for the ones that the machines need. Of course they’re athletic, rubes. They just use their athleticism professionally in a different way that you apparently are too thick-headed to comprehend.

    Thumbs down if I’m talking about you and you know it.

  110. Next time my band’s drummer plays for 2+ hours in a full suit at an outdoor wedding reception in the middle of July, I’ll be sure to remind him what a great athlete he is.

  111. @melonnhead: In all seriousness, then wouldn’t fighter jet pilots and astronauts be athletes, too, or even more so? Or can someone only be an athlete if they’re competing?

  112. Good for you, Golden. You’re absolutely right – driving a car (I don’t give a damn how powerful it is) does not make anyone an athlete. I was starting to think that I was the only one who was aware of this. It’s nice to see that others know it, too.

  113. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 7:26 PM

    There aren’t any unathletic and successful drivers. They all have to work out. Lift weights, plenty of cardio. Think about it. They’re not driving Bentleys to the market, they’re wrestling 700-horsepower machines that weigh a couple of tons around tracks at 180 MPH at the very edge of control, pulling G-forces that would make any of you fools puke and/or poop your double bacon loserburgers all over yourself after a few seconds and they’re doing it for hours at a time with NO TIMEOUTS except for the ones that the machines need. Of course they’re athletic, rubes. They just use their athleticism professionally in a different way that you apparently are too thick-headed to comprehend.

    Thumbs down if I’m talking about you and you know it.

    —————————————————

    They are still not athletes regardless of how much you try to spin it.

  114. Next time my band’s drummer plays for 2+ hours in a full suit at an outdoor wedding reception in the middle of July

    ————————————————————-

    Don’t even bother. He’ll take breaks and so will you.

  115. Thanks for answering the question.

    —————————————————————-

    Rhetorical questions don’t deserve an answer. You already know the answer you want, and it’s the only answer you’ll accept.

  116. melonhead is….well…..melonhead.
    Quit trying to mediate understanding of ridiculous hillbillies. If they wanna spend their money on NASCAR, who cares? But their heroes ain’t athletes.

    ESPY Awards. Exceptionally Stupid People Yawning

  117. NASCAR has athletes they just arent driving the cars. The guys in the PITS are amazingly fast at what they do and a lot of them nowadays are former college players who never made it. They never get any credit but they are some tough sonsofbs.

  118. melonnhead says:
    Jul 15, 2011 7:26 PM
    There aren’t any unathletic and successful drivers. They all have to work out. Lift weights, plenty of cardio. Think about it. They’re not driving Bentleys to the market, they’re wrestling 700-horsepower machines that weigh a couple of tons around tracks at 180 MPH at the very edge of control, pulling G-forces that would make any of you fools puke and/or poop your double bacon loserburgers all over yourself after a few seconds and they’re doing it for hours at a time with NO TIMEOUTS except for the ones that the machines need. Of course they’re athletic, rubes. They just use their athleticism professionally in a different way that you apparently are too thick-headed to comprehend.
    ________________

    Another swwiiiiiing and a miss. Seriously, man. You can’t knock down a brick wall by banging your head against it, and you can’t change the facts here no matter how you try to twist definitions. I used to work in roofing. It runs about 120 degrees on a black shingle or metal roof on a hot summer day. I had to be in good cardiovascular shape to climb up and down ladders and do physical labor all day. And I was lifting constantly. You have to be pretty dextrous to walk on a pitched surface– often covered with loose shingle grit and sawdust– all day without falling. I spent eight to ten hours up there, five or six days a week. Professionally. I never had any idea that someone would have a definition of “athlete” that included me. Your whole position is silly– does it really take that much away from your enjoyment of watching dudes turn left to know that no one north of the Mason-Dixon line considers them athletes?

  119. @melonnhead: In all seriousness, then wouldn’t fighter jet pilots and astronauts be athletes, too, or even more so? Or can someone only be an athlete if they’re competing?

    ———————————————————

    The definition of “athlete” normally does require some level of competition to be part of the equation. The word “athlete” is variant stem of āthleîn – to contend for a prize, derivative of âthlos – a contest, according to the Random House Dictionary. Merriam-Webster pretty much agrees.

  120. Lets have the NASCAR drivers pick what combine they want to do basketball or NFL. Then we can pick and choose which ones are athletes.

  121. Just b/c they are not athletes does not diminish the sport.

    Calling a race car driver an athlete makes as much sense as considering a jockey an athlete.

    It takes a lot of skill and practice but they are not athletes.

    However the horses are definitely athletes

  122. Yep, you guys are idiots..As you show your true colors calling driver in NASCAR Hillbillys etc..
    A driver is at an adrenaline high for 500 miles. Concentrating always evaluating and focused the whole time.
    NFL players on offense say, get a rest, a break, go to the sideline and sit under the misting fans..Is a sport ONLY physically against another person?
    Try keeping the car in place at 200 mph, holding lines, evading crashes.
    Oh yeah, show me some fat drivers.
    Is bodybuilding a sport?
    Let’s define sport- An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others. So theres no physical exertion? Then anyone can do it right?

  123. To say nascar doesn’t have athletic drivers are idiots why don’t you people take a look at there backgrounds first jimmie johnson, tony stewart for instance have motocross backgrounds which in my opinion is the most physically demanding sport out there and those drivers are put in super extreme conditions such as always being 120-150 degrees for 31/2 hours most driver lose 10-15 lbs in that time so they do have to be really well conditioned they work out daily. just because there not dunking like lebron doesn’t mean there not athletes. by the way he is a 5 peat champ how many lebron win? oh and also its also a billion dollar sport just like the other jocks!!!

  124. racing is a competition of skill and machinery; football is a game of skill and athleticism. key word “athleticism.” root being “athletic” as in being an “athlete.”

    there is nothing about driving a car that requires you to have any athletic ability whatsoever, that’s no disrespect and doesn’t discredit the skill it takes to compete as a driver, it’s just pointing out a simple fact.

    i also agree with pft’s description of what the award really is.

  125. 1. Who is golden Tate?? Much not be much of an athlete! 2.I’m a fan of all sports and Jimmy won 5 straight best male athlete period! 3. You all consider line men and kickers athletes ? Dont be the ignorant fan or writer in this case who probably has never been to a race it is a team sport and guess what they are athletes maybe not all of them just like anyother sport!!

  126. The only NASCAR driver I’ve ever respected was Dale Ernhart, Jr.

    At least he figured out how to make that ONE right turn.

  127. not a car racing fan here, altho i like to drive fast.

    but, realistically, the concentration, endurance and forearms of race car drivers, are to be envied.

    plus, they have minds and require technical knowledge. most ballplayers dont know jack.

    golden tate is just a pothead.

  128. Lets have the NASCAR drivers pick what combine they want to do basketball or NFL. Then we can pick and choose which ones are athletes.

    —————————————————————–

    I don’t think you’d like the outcome. Isaiah Thompson ran the 40 in 6.06 and had a 25 inch vertical.

  129. Stamina is a trait of athleticism, endurance is not. NASCAR drivers have endurance, not stamina. Stamina is being able to push the limits of your body for extended periods of time with minimal drop-off in performance. Running a marathon takes stamina. Driving in NASCAR takes endurance.

  130. I used to work in roofing. It runs about 120 degrees on a black shingle or metal roof on a hot summer day. I had to be in good cardiovascular shape to climb up and down ladders and do physical labor all day. And I was lifting constantly. You have to be pretty dextrous to walk on a pitched surface– often covered with loose shingle grit and sawdust– all day without falling. I spent eight to ten hours up there, five or six days a week. Professionally. I never had any idea that someone would have a definition of “athlete” that included me.

    ———————————————————–

    That’s because it doesn’t include you. You didn’t compete with other roofers until somebody won something, therefore you weren’t an athlete, even though your job may have necessitated some degree of physical effort and endurance.

    It shouldn’t be a difficult subject to grasp.

  131. well i do agree with him that the drivers are not really athletes..i will say that there pit crew guys are in pretty good shape..i saw a video about those guys and man..they spend alot of time in the gym lifting and doin like shuttles and cone drills and stuff like that..plus doin the pit stops over and over again..i would say the pit crews are more athletic than the drivers are but everyone has there on thought on which sport is this or which sport is that..just enjoy the sport and dont worry what people who dont watch it have to say about it..

  132. it depends on how you define athlete and sport. racing actually require strength, endurance, reflexes and knowledge of the game. so to me race car driver are athletes. not the same kind of athletes but athletes. and until you have done 500 laps in a car at 200 mph with 42 other cars around you doing the same thing i don’t think you should be so quick to judge… besides carl edwards can do a back flip

  133. Everybody thought it was raining in Seattle but it is really Golden Tate CRYING because he realized he eff’ing SUCKS! I’m sure he will be bashing other sports soon!

  134. Jimmie Johnson could do 2000 pushups a day and train until he runs 4.3 40 and has a 60-inch vertical and it won’t make him one lick better at driving a car.

  135. Anyone who has ever played a competitive sport knows Nascar is not a sport. Get in your car, go to an empty parking lot, drive in circles for 3 or 4 hours. You’re an athlete. What a joke. Athletes. Anyone can learn to drive a stock car, put one of these “athletes” on a football field, or basketball court. The pop warner kids I help coach are more of an athlete than a driver.

  136. Most NASCAR fans are just sister loving rednecks and their sisters. when their most popular driver is so athletic that he has not won a race in over three years one has to question if it’s even a sport, or just another scripted reality show. The ladies and many of the men fans sure love those cute boys though

  137. Why are NASCAR fans getting all bent out of shape about this? The guy is right, it is not a negative comment at all like they are making it out to be. No one is saying that being a NASCAR driver is easy they are saying that it doesn’t take athletic ability to do it. Saying that a car is really hot when you drive it for hours takes athletic ability means that the Greyhound drivers who have the route from El Paso to Phoenix are also “Athletes” as well. Other sports who’s participants are not athletes

    Bass Fishing
    Poker
    competitive eating
    “pro” video game playing
    bowling
    golf
    competitive chess
    spelling bee
    Pokemon trainers and anything else invented in Japan.
    equestrian

    The gist is, the one thing these all have in common is ANYONE with the right amount of training could excel at any of these sports. Athleticism on the other hand is something that can’t be taught.

    As for the person who made the comment that QB’s and Kickers aren’t athletes. Keep in mind both roles do require being agile. Kickers once the ball is up become tacklers and QB’s need to have the ability to evade tackles and possibly tuck the ball and run themselves.

    In closing, don’t take it personally NASCAR fans. He’s not mocking your favorite past time. He is just pointing out the obvious in that putting Jimmie Johnson in a catagory for “Best Athlete” against anyone who wears a jersey is a slap in the face to those who actually are excerting some energy to do what they do.

  138. What ever the case tate, nascar drivers make a hell of a lot more money than you, so there you go.

  139. I tend to disagree with one of the earlier posters. Fishing is much more of a sport then Nascar. Try having the endurance, patience and overall strength to pull in a 1200-1800lb Marlin.

  140. So what is your defination of an athlete?

    If driving a car at 150mph and maintaining control of it as other drives try to shunt and overtake you isn’t a sport, you go and do it.

    Let’s see how long you last.

    My reckoning is less than half a lap before you crash.

  141. There is no doubt that it takes physical and mental skill, endurance and extreme concentration to be a NASCAR driver. As well as being slightly nuts. Whether or not that is the definition of an athlete is obviously up for debate.

    I think they’re athletes. There are no overweight slobs driving on sleep apnea in NASCAR.

    If NASCAR drivers aren’t athletes, neither are golfers. Tiger Woods is not an athlete.

    Go fast, turn left!

  142. zeckwreck says:
    Jul 15, 2011 5:31 PM
    Thank you Golden…Anyone claiming that Kobe Bryant, Lance Armstrong, and Jimmie Johnson are all “professional athletes” is insane.

    NASCAR is definitely competitive, but you definitely don’t have to be a professional-level athlete all around to make it in that sport.

    Same goes for bowling…

    *******************************************

    AND GOLF!!!

  143. If they want to call golfers athletes, drivers can be too.

    For those of you not familiar with the sport, imagine strapping yourself in a machine for 3 straight hours, over 100 degree heat, keep your focus and attention at 100% for those three hours except for the occasional caution flag.

    Those guys are exhausted when they get out, even top-shape guys like Edwards.

  144. Nascar is not a sport. It’s drivers are not athletes. Nascar is one of the last events where fans can still bring their own coolers full of beer. It is nothing more than a tailgate party gone wild.

    The end is on the horizon however. As it’s growth continues, does anyone really believe the coolers of beer will be continued to be allowed?

    Of course not. The track owners will see all the potential $7 beer sales and move to take full advantage.

  145. Those of you who say its not a sport. Any competition among others is a sport. Look it up.

    Those of you who say you have to be fit, Pat Williams isnt exactly the most chiseled bodied specimen out there. Ortiz on the Sox looks pretty hefty, Tony Gwynn didnt exactly light the scale on fire.

    Those of you who think its merely sitting in a seat and driving on a freeway, you’re as ignorant as they come. Perhaps they don’t fit your definition of an athlete, or a sport, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fit (95% of them anyway) and is no different than many other sports in the same way.

    In fact if you wanted to go the body mass route, only soccer and basketball would be considered sports, but even in basketball you see some heftier guys (yeah you Shaq).

    Oh, and about the whole alcohol deal, more fights break out at baseball and football games than at a NASCAR even which houses more people at each venue then a football and baseball game combined.

    Suck on those facts.

  146. TheWizard – doesn’t matter…….they are not athletes…..workers in a steel mill work long and hard……they aren’t athletes……construction workers work long and hard, they aren’t athletes……..sorry

  147. Golfers aren’t athletes either………there are SOME athletes playing golf as there are some athletes that drive professionally..but they aren’t athletes because of their profession.

    Also, fat lineman ARE athletes…….they aren’t chiseled athletes like a Terrell Owens but they are still athletes…they train with weights…they ARE strong (which they need to be for their sport) and they do have (at least to some degree) some cardio training…

  148. to the people who say nascar is americas #1 sport because they “draw 150,000 people to every event” here are some things you might want to think about..on any given sunday across the united states there are between 12 and 16 NFL games going on with an average attendance of 80,000 people..so by my math (insert redneck joke here if you so wish) there are over 1 million fans attending games every sunday..just imagine for a minute how many fans the NFL would draw if like nascar they played 1 game a week in 1 stadium..and before you respond think long and hard about all the things todd helton has done for the last 5 years to try and stop the bleeding about declining attendance at most of the tracks and even more importantly worsening TV ratings..something the NFL hasnt had to worry about.After Dale Sr. was killed nascars ratings spiked through the roof for about 5 years and have been in decline ever since…partly because Dale Jr has been a huge disappointment and hasnt won a race in 2+ years. The argument of whether drivers are athletes can continue (and there have been some on both sides that have made me laugh out loud) but the argument that nascar is “americas favorite and most popular sport” is both naive and ignorant.

  149. and yes nascar nation…i do know what im talking about…im the demographic of racing fan and sports fans that have left your sport in droves because of a number of things including increased commercialization (7 minutes of racing followed by 5 minutes of commercials) and the increased number of BORING cookie cutter 1.5 mile tracks where racing IS like putting M&Ms in a toilet and flushing…round and round they go and most of the excitement in a 4 hour race is in the pits or with 10 laps to go when they actually start to race on the track and cant stop crashing into one another. Todd Helton can try all he wants (the ever changing chase..wild cards..the car of tomorrow…the car of today…restrictor plates or not..god forbid the most over rated driver in ALL of motorsports Danica Patrick..) but until he finds a way to increase TV ratings and also fill those empty seats at most tracks disguised as fans Nascar will continue to struggle finding its niche in American sports landscape.

  150. TheWizard says:
    Jul 16, 2011 7:43 AM
    If they want to call golfers athletes, drivers can be too.”

    —————————————————————————————-

    Golfers aren’t athletes either and neither are drivers. John Daly can barely WALK 18 holes without looking like he’s going to start flopping like a flounder. Tom Watson, a senior citizen can still compete with the young guys. Golf is not a sport. It’s a game. Just because it’s popular doesn’t make it a sport.

  151. NASCAR drivers are NOT athletes. They have to be physically tolerant and possess hand/eye coordination but, that is not the full definition of an athlete. I would no more call an airline pilot (who sits) an athlete than I would a NASCAR driver.
    Being an athlete means the “individual” themselves competes in physical skill tests such as speed, strenght, stamina, ability to maneuver, jumping, and using one’s feet and full body in motion. A bowler is also a competitor but not an athlete. A pool player is a competitor but not an athlete.
    NASCAR requires great skill and bravery. But, the driver does not meet the true definition of an athlete. I cannot classify someone performing on their butts as athletes.
    Since they push on the gas peddle, maybe they could qualify as having “athlete’s feet.”

  152. I dont watch nascar but i do know that they can take around 4 to 5 g’s on corners.

    Thats almost the same as getting crushed by ray lewis twice a lap. When they crash they can take a split second of 20-30 g’s. And it does get up to 120 degrees inside the car during the race.

    At least have to respect the guys.

  153. @alldayap

    Nope sorry, body mass index doesn’t define ones athleticism. Bottom Line, you sit in a car and go around in a circle. Any way you slice it, it’s not a sport, nor are they athletes. Ping Pong players are more athletic than NASCAR drivers.

  154. oh come on now. its hard to take that key and put it in the ignition. think of the muscles you need to push down on that gas pedal. and dont get me started with turning the wheel. years of training by Mr. Miagi (wax on wax off) are need to master the art of turning in a cirlce. not athletes? gimme a break.

  155. Nascar is not a sport. It’s drivers are not athletes. Nascar is one of the last events where fans can still bring their own coolers full of beer. It is nothing more than a tailgate party gone wild.
    *************
    This is a bad thing? Seems like that would be a reason to go to a NASCAR race. We’re down to how much the beer costs as a determining factor in a sports legitamacy?

  156. In the words of the great Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, you’re LAST!”

    Sorry Nascar homers….its not a sport…its what guys do who have limited athletic ability.

  157. When are you idiots in here going to get it…….?????

    There is a difference between sports and athletics…….race-car driving IS a sport……it is NOT athletics…..basketball & football are athletics…..and yes, a sport………but athletics ARENT required for something to be a sport. Bowling, golf, skeet-shooting, hunting, racecar driving are ALL sports…not athletics!!!!!!!!!!

    Stop saying something is not a sport because you dont have to be an athlete……..WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

  158. Looks like a bunch of ignorant people on this board like Golden Tate was. But Golden was smart enough to do a little research and now has changed his mind and concedes that NASCAR drivers are some of the best athletes in the world.

    http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/6789712/nascar-golden-tate-coming-drivers-athletes

    Oh, and Race car drivers as a whole are much better athletes than football players are.

    Just review the results from the American College of Sports Medicine report from 2002.

    http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home_Page&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=4285

    Then come back an appology about your ignorance.

  159. “anactualnflowner says:
    Jul 20, 2011 1:53 PM
    NASCAR fans… You tell me why NASCAR is a sport and I’ll tell you why poker is a sport.”

    Nascar, or any high speed competitive racing requires physical stamina and endurance which is part of the definition of an athlete. That “and” the fact that it is highly competitive with large amounts of money on the line makes it a sport. Poker and chess for that matter is not a sport, it is a game, because it involves “mental” endurance only, not physical endurance.

  160. Wow. Nascar drivers are not athletes? You know Nascar drivers are not out raping women. Caught with drugs (some have) but no where neat commit the crimes and murder the players in the NFL do. Micheal Vick should never be allowed to play foosball again because of what he did but hey guess what he is. If a Nascar driver gets a dui he loses his ride its over. You think its just a bunch of rednecks turning left? Just goes to show you have never been in a racecar at 200 mph. You feel up to 2 to 3 gs over hours and hours. Not only that but the track changes so changes are made to the car. Look at the guys in dirt stock car racing who build their own cars and drive themselves to the track to run late into the night at 1am driving from Florida to Utah to race and earn a living. You damn sure wouldnt see Le bron being able to do that. You change tire compounds chassis componets and they do it all themselves the driver. Now I know Nascar drivers just drive the car but if you are to say that they are not athletes your are ignorant and foolish. Formula 1 is even more demanding. Football is just a bunch of criminals running up and down a field throwing a pigskin.

  161. Lets see Anthony carmello take a hit to a wall in a stock car at 180 mph and see what he says after. I used to race go karts. Top speed was 90 mph in my class we drove road courses and ovals and after 15 minutes of racing i was spent. I played baseball , football , and soccer in highschool and nothing was as demanding as driving a go kart and thats not even a damn racecar.

  162. Nascar drivers amd Formula 1 drivers train way more then football players. Plus its a whooole lot easier to get into a school for a scholarship on football and work your way up into being a pro football player then it is cutting your teeth in karts and in short track late model racing or sprint car racing. I garuntee all of you who are downing Nascar as a sport do not even know half of what goes on in the sport and what it takes to work up to it.

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