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Where's the outrage?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by rpmmutant, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    Scott Kalitta makes the second driver in two years to die in NHRA. Include John Force's crash that almost killed him last year and that's three pretty brutal crashes.
    In any other sport, NASCAR and boxing included, two deaths in two years would bring calls for banning the sport. Too dangerous. Too barbaric. Who wants to see people die while competing?
    I haven't seen the same kind of outrage after two drag racers are killed. Is it because it's kind of expected in drag racing that something terribly wrong could happen in any race? Or is it that people really don't care about drag racers?
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    It's not that I don't care, it's that I almost expect it. Sad but true. "Gentlemen, start your coffins."
  3. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    I don't think anybody reallly knows anything about drag racing, so they don't much care. I'll bet 98 percent of this country doesn't know that two drag racers have died in two years. In fact, I didn't know that until just now, and I work in the sports department at a newspaper.

    If it was boxing or MMA, people would definitely be outraged, but I think it's because there's just something about hand-to-hand combat that seems more gruesome.
  4. pallister

    pallister Guest

    No one really cares about boxing or MMA, either, unless it's one of a handful of well-known boxers. When it comes to tragedy in sports, the outrage is directly proportional to a given sport's popularity. Doesn't make the Kalitta tragedy any less significant than the Dale Earnhardt tragedy, but that's the way it is.
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    This may show what a terrible person I am, but it is less significant. Is it less tragic? No. But Earnhardt's death rattled NASCAR to its core, and Kalitta's just won't have that effect.

    Medlen's did, but only because Force made the NHRA get up to date on its safety equipment and started the Eric Medlen Project to improve the safety of the cars. That, he said, saved his life at Texas.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    See, I don't think boxing would get that reaction, but I think MMA would because of it's newness. We fear what we don't understand. When college football players are severely injured these days, we comment on the tragedy but don't question the brutality of the sport the way we did at the turn of last century.
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    My outrage is reserved for the 25,000 who die on the highways because of alcohol.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Has there been a cause to what made his car blow up?

    Tough to be pissed if you don't know what to be pissed at.
  9. Highway 101

    Highway 101 Active Member

    Death in NHRA...

    Expected is not the word.
    Anticipated isn't it either.
    Understood is close.

    Respect doesn't justify.

    I have never met any group of "athletes" so daring, bravado, fearless, with so much "Live for the Moment" attitude as I did one weekend in Minnesota covering an NHRA event. They knew they put their life on the line.

    The winner walked in the media room and asked, "Ya'll got a beer in here? Gimme one."

    At that moment, he only cared about that moment. Tomorrow may as well have been year 2025.
  10. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Sometimes top fuel cars (both dragsters and funny cars) just blow up due to the stress they're put through. Remember, this is a 500ci hemi V8 with a supercharger running a 90-10 nitromethane-methanol mix making at least 8,000 horsepower, making the car run at speeds of over 330 mph. It's out there on the hoary edges of control in the first place. There probably isn't enough left of the engine to determine a root cause.

    Every so often they blow up. They just do. And everyone involved is aware of the possibility. NHRA funny car drivers wear serious fire-protection equipment. At one point a decade or so ago, John Force's engines were so far out on the bleeding edge that he was fireballing every other week and he made a joke out of it by painting flames on all his fiberglass car bodies.

    As noted on the other thread, it's highly doubtful that the fire killed Scott Kalitta. That was a hell of an impact.
  11. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    More than one driver after Kalitta's death noted that the track there is too short (i.e., not enough runoff space past the quarter-mile) to accommodate potentially out-of-control dragsters. It was built decades ago before anyone dreamed of 330 mph nitro cars. And they say it's not the only such track on the NHRA schedule. There's the outrage if you ask me.

    Then again, the drivers aren't boycotting. They know exactly what they've signed up for.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I was a drag-racing fan when i was a kid and have tried to keep at least vaguely aware of what happens since then. And, honestly, I'm shocked to learn that only two people have been killed in the last two years.
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