What if NASCAR handled all sports discipline?

Thu, Mar 11

Carl Edwards avoided suspension for wrecking Brad Keselowski in spectacular fashion at Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event in Atlanta. Sure, intentionally hurtling into someone would land a civilian in jail, but so would driving a car without doors in some jurisdictions. NASCAR is a different world.

Carl Edwards
Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire

NASCAR's decision to let Edwards off with three weeks of probation seems to be motivated by its attitude that drivers should be allowed to mix it up a little more, thereby giving fans more excitement. So, have other sports unfairly punished players when they should have commended them for inspiring fans?

Page 2 looks at how NASCAR's approach would have worked in other sports.

MLB: Robin Ventura, suspended six games for charging Nolan Ryan in 1993
NASCAR: A letter of thanks for providing fans the joy of watching a whippersnapper catch the business end of old-man strength.

NBA: Carmelo Anthony, suspended 15 games for punching Mardy Collins in 2006
NASCAR: Suspended 50 games. The fans paid for a show, not a track meet.

NFL: Steve Smith, suspended two games for sucker-punching a teammate in practice in 2008
NASCAR: Suspended four games. Save the good stuff for the games!

NBA: Ron Artest, suspended 73 games for going into the stands in 2004
NASCAR: 73 games. Edwards crashed another driver, but he didn't drive into the grandstands.

NBA: Ben Wallace, suspended six games for starting the whole mess with Artest
NASCAR: A bonus. Wouldn't have gotten such great TV without him.

MLB: Juan Marichal, suspended six games for beating John Roseboro with a bat in 1965
NASCAR: Nothing. Roseboro should have worn a helmet and HANS device.