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When I was a teenager and, let's say, any time before the 1970s, I certainly don't ever recall auto racing as a sport. In fact, the only race I even paid any attention to (although not all that much) was the Indy 500.

This NASCAR thing is considered to be not only a sport we follow with basketball, football, etc., but every bit as popular and maybe even more so.

I realize it must require a lot of stamina, concentration, endurance and skill to withstand hours of nonstop racing at those speeds. However, it's just hard for me to classify anything as a sporting event when you're sitting on your butt and all of the action and motion come from a gasoline engine.

I'm sure some would come back at me and say, well then, what about bicycling and the great athletic ability of a Lance Armstrong? Don't they sit on their butt, and haven't those races always been considered sporting events?

My answer would be: They spend as much time, if not more, standing up as they pedal in order to reach maximum speeds. Second, there is no engine that supplies the force that propels the motion or movement. Like every other sport I know of, all the energy of action in movement comes solely from the individual.

I don't care if race car driving is the hardest and most challenging thing to do on Earth. Mind you, I'm not saying that it is. I believe digging ditches with a hand shovel all day is much tougher. But the degree of difficulty alone should not classify it as a sporting event when you sit on your butt propelled by a gasoline engine and others assist you to keep performing (I refer to the pit crew).

Maurice (Moe) Covert, Clearwater

Other voices

This is awkward.

The Chicago Sun-Times ran an editorial Thursday suggesting the owner of the Cubs sell the team. What makes it awkward is the Cubs are owned by the Sun-Times' rival in the newspaper business - the Tribune Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune.

An excerpt from the Sun-Times editorial:

The Sun-Times wants the team sold - immediately. Tribune Co. has been derelict in its duty as custodian of one of the most cherished teams in American sports. Fans are suffering from emotional abuse and mental anguish. Four meager playoff appearances in more than a quarter-century of Tribune ownership are offered as proof. The Cubs have the longest World Series drought in baseball.

Some blame the Curse of the Billy Goat. Don't believe it. Owning a baseball team, especially one as beloved as the Cubs, is a public trust. Current ownership has broken that trust. The only goat in this scenario, our complaint alleges, is Tribune Co.

Cubs fans are among the most loyal fans in any sport. They deserve better than a team synonymous with losing.

He said it

You gotta love former NBA star Charles Barkley, who talked about his love for gambling on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday:

"I don't condone gambling. I like to gamble. I'm going to continue to gamble. I've got to gamble for less money. ... I tell my family one thing: When I die, I will be broke. I'm not gonna let them fight over all that money. First of all, they didn't get one single rebound."

Sponsorship of the day

For the first time in the 93-year history of legendary Wrigley Field, there will be advertising on the famed brick-and-ivy outfield wall. The Cubs have struck a three-year deal with Under Armour, which will have two 7- by 12-foot signs - not on the brick, thank goodness, but on the outfield doors.

Football news of the day

Bill Cowher, left, is becoming a talking head. The recently departed coach of the Steelers is taking his jutted jaw to CBS to be a studio analyst. Cowher was hired Thursday to join the NFL Today pregame show next season. The strong rumor is Cowher will do the broadcasting thing until the right NFL job opens up in a year or two.

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