• NASCAR should refrain from making political statements by which sponsors it chooses

    NASCAR plans to reevaluate its involvement in deciding race sponsors, following the controversy that shrouded last weekend’s NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.  But I argue, however, that NASCAR should be hands-off when it comes to sponsorships.

    Firstly, the NRA was a good fit for the Texas race – the winner shoots guns in victory lane. When asked about it, reigning most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. started talking about the guns he owns and his love for hunting. Track president Eddie Gossage said there were fewer than two dozen complaints sent to the track about the sponsorship.

    And while the unfortunate death in the infield was caused by a gunshot, it was in no way connected to the name attached to advertisements. It’s not like the NRA passed out guns to race attendees as they entered the track. An advertisement is an advertisement – not a direct command to buy or advocate for that specific sponsor. NASCAR may want to have more control in approving sponsorship deals, but it won’t have any way to control how fans view each sponsor and interpret ads.   

    I’ve never owned or shot a gun, and I am aware of the political controversy that surrounds gun control. However, I also believe that NASCAR needs to stay out of any political fracas. Keep NASCAR as the relatively good officiating body that it is. If sponsors have the money and want to brand a race, let them. A soda company? Auto parts? Beer? Guns? It’s business...not the Senate floor.

  • Bruins clinch playoff spot in emotional first pro sports game in Boston since marathon attack

    “We are Boston. We are Strong.” Those were the words projected on the center ice screen during the emotional pregame ceremony in Boston Wednesday night.

    It was an emotional night in the city as the Boston Bruins hosted the Buffalo Sabres in what was the first professional sports game in the city since the tragic events occurred at the Boston Marathon last Monday.

    Although the Bruins lost the game in a shootout, they gained a point which clinched them a playoff berth as they are now tied with Montreal atop the Northeast Division.

    The night was more than just a hockey game, however. It was a tribute to all of those affected by the events on “Marathon Monday”.

    The night started with a moment of silence and then tribute video of the Boston Marathon. Tears came when Boston favorite Rene Rancourt, who was singing the National Anthem, let the audience take over singing and all 17,565 in attendance loudly sang the Star-Spangled Banner followed by a U.S.A. chant.

    At the end of the game, both teams met at center ice with sticks raised in a salute to the crowd in Boston.

    Instead of remembering a somewhat disappointing overtime loss for the Bruins, the city of Boston will remember the game for its inspiration and devotion.