RE: NASCAR Chase
Interesting (to me and precious few others) add to the final Chase race Sunday. NASCAR is wetting itself giddy that there is a 3 horse race within 46 points for the title. I don't blame them. Although....46 points is like.....12 spots on the track. And the odds of Harvick beating Hamlin by that much and JJ by nearly that much? Slim at best. It's mostly a two horse race.
So......as always I track who would be winning the title under standard scoring and luckily this year Harv made it easy. He would. Simple. He had a huge lead going in (that gets erased) and he's still right there. So Harv is your defacto "shoulda been" Champ for this year. Congrats to him.
That's the "fair" way to do it. THe "exciting way" is the Chase which will likely see JJ win #5 in a row or Hamlin get his first. Exciting? Yes. But quite by accident. This is the first chase in the format's existence that is at all exciting or interesting. So it's a false positive if you ask me. Thats why I want JJ to win so that changing the system is still the mood of the higher ups in NC. A great race Sunday or a Hamlin title might be the worst outcome..it could easily make NASCAR over confident and then go another 10 years of boring after this. It's just random.
I'm on record as advocating single elimination like every other playoffs. Cruel, sudden, but exciting every week. The lower 9 drivers are eliminated anyway by this point....why not make it gutwrenching to see who goes home every week by finishing the worst of the remaining Chasers? My system? 12 Chasers...10 weeks. Worst Chase finisher each week is eliminated.
Attached find what would have happened in a single elimination format. Points are thrown out for this...so you'd have 3 drivers TIED for the lead.....best finisher wins at Miami this weekend. And those three guys would be? Harvick (fair), Edwards (what?) and Kenseth (atta boy). Would having Matt or Carl win the title when Ford has sucked all year and they've only won one race between them be fair? NO!! But Fair doesn't live here. Fair is Harvick. We've established that. Playoffs aren't about fair. * Credit to the 48....they've won an astonishing number of Chase races over the years. They are an amazing team with a killer instinct. He is deserving of what he has won. No question. But it's been a ratings nightmare. So with all due respect to them......it's important I frame the argument around what is the most exciting television.
Would JJ having gotten bumped in week 1 of the Chase be good for ratings? Yes.. Hell yes. It would get racing talked about above the fold for sure which is important. It'd be the 16 over 1 seed upset shocker. Good for ratings I think. Folks can handle #1 seeds getting bumped in football. Its what makes the playoffs so amazing.
And right now racing has its coveted three driver finale. "Hey,how 'bout that?" But my system? Guarantees that EVERY year...and adds brutal disappointment of sending a guy home each week. Can't have exciting and fair. No such thing. Either go back to fair and concede the ratings for the final 10 weeks to the NFL. OR....ensure the excitement and sacrifice a little fair.
Come on Stevey...you got the NHL to go shirts and skins for the All-Star game. Let's make this happen.