NASCAR, college football form unholy alliance

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Former University of Alabama and Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler was recently named grand marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend from June 19-21 at Infineon Raceway. UA coach Nick Saban served in the grand marshal role for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega last month.

Already featuring comparable fan bases, NASCAR and college football appear to be attempting to form an alliance of sorts. What would college football look like if it took on a NASCAR influence, and vice versa? Here are some things that might change:

1. Advertising. This would never happen as long as the NCAA exists, but, to become more like their NASCAR counterparts, college football teams would have to embrace advertising. How about Gene Chizik insisting on a box of Cheez-Its for the post-game press conference, Nick Saban riding in the back of a Brinks truck onto the field for games, or USC players plugging their agents during every interview. Wait, um…

2. Locker rooms. Like the garage at races, opposing football teams will share locker rooms, and reporters will be allowed in after games. This would ensure viewers would get to see a little extracurricular activity after the contests end. Instead of Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth exchanging shoves, though, we’d get two teams full of athletic specimens brawl out their differences.

3. NASCAR fans’ seating arrangements. Instead of fans of different drivers being scattered throughout the stands, there will be bloc seating. This way, fans can develop different cheers for their drivers. “Two bits, four bits, six bits a dollar,” I can hear one small group of fans chant. “All for A.J. Allmendinger, stand up and holler!” Has a nice ring to it, huh?

4. Marching bands at races. Along the same lines as the previous item, NASCAR could use a little more “team spirit,” so to speak. I’m thinking the big feathers might seem a little out of place, though.

– Stephen Dawkins is the sports editor for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Sunday and each Wednesday. Read his blog at He can be reached at