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  #46  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -What- View Post
Michael Schumacher was only able to race because he was supported by several local businessmen.
But he still had to work to get to that point.


Like that matters
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  #47  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:45 PM
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-What-, I think the one thing that you seem to be missing from the equation (and that others so far haven't drawn too much attention to) is IMO the biggest factor in all competitive sports - mental strength. Being able to compete at the top level of any sport is easily as much about an athlete's mental focus, resilience and ability to perform under extreme pressure than it is about any physical aptitude.

Take an extremely physical sport as an example, like MMA fighting. These people are extremely physically fit, powerful and well conditioned. I myself am very fit and in very good shape because I train alongside and help to coach a number of local fighters at the gym I go to. However, would I ever be able to compete at any kind of level, despite my physical abilities? Hell no! There's absolutely no way I have the strength of mind, courage, drive to succeed (not to mention slight insanity!) that fighters of any discipline have. Physical ability is only one part of any sport.

Look at the complete opposite end of the spectrum - a sport like darts. The physical effort required to play darts is basically standing on a stage and chucking three little brass darts a 6ft distance over and over again. It's easy. What's not easy is the mental strength needed to be able to produce the winning dart at the perfect under the hot lights and the TV cameras in the World Championship Final. EVERY professional darts player can hit bullseyes and treble 20s all day long when practicing. Only a tiny minority can produce the goods consistently under the extreme mental pressure of a World Final. The psychological pressure put on a player in that circumstance is probably akin to the pressure put on a starting quarterback in a Superbowl. That's why I'd argue that Phil Taylor is a great sportsman - because he has had the mental athleticism to produce the goods time and time and time again in the big matches, enough to become a 13 time World Champion.

Coming back to the sport (and it is a sport) of motor racing - imagine the pressure that goes through the head of a Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmy Johnson etc. They have tens (if not hundreds) of millions of development and sponsorship money ploughed into their cars, they have a team of hundreds who have spent thousands of man hours preparing the cars and they have a global audience of hundreds of millions scrutinising their every move, and yet ultimately it all comes down to them. One little lapse in concentration, one poor decision and their race/championship could be over in an instant. And what's worse, they could end up seriously injured or even dead. There is also the fact that driving an F1 car for example requires incredible reflexes and mental agility too, to a level that most 'normal' people simply could not cope with. Just look at the Top Gear episode where Hammond tries to drive an F1 car to see what happens when a 'regular Joe' tries it out for himself - he literally could not think fast enough to get the car to to perform.

So not only do they have to endure extreme physical duress throughout a race distance (which has already been pointed out to you in the video Niko posted, so I won't go into details) they have to produce the goods every single lap without error no matter how much they're hurting or sweating. Let's just say for arguments' sake that you ARE capable of withstanding the physical effort of all the heat, G-forces etc, would you be able to perform the incredible feats of mental agility involved in wheel to wheel racing at >200mph, and under the unimaginable pressures put on you to not screw things up, every single lap of a race? I mean no disrespect, but I sincerely doubt it. Only a tiny minority of the thousands of kids who get into racing every single year will ever make it to the pinnacle of the sport. It's not because they're not fit enough or strong enough, but because they don't have the mentality of a racer and of a champion.
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  #48  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -What- View Post
I'm not trying to ruffle feathers, I'm trying to understand. I'm trying to understand why race car drivers consider themselves to be ATHLETES. Athletes? Serious?

Answer this...is John Force a professional athlete? Jeff Gordon? Schumacher?


Why is racing considered a "sport" and their drivers "athletes" when 99% of the race depends on the CAR.

Are jockeys professional athletes? Are pilots athletes?



I like racing. I like it...but I want to understand the logic.


What about the dude sitting in the driver seat of the rally cars that tells the driver his upcoming route...is he an athlete? Has there been a race car driver that achieved an injury from over-stressing while performing his "sport"?


I am not trying to offend anyone.
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  #49  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:12 PM
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I have no doubt that people like Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber could be competiitve in a marathon or triathlon or something like that because they are tremendous athletes.

Whoever said that 99% of racing is down to the car? By that logic I could jump in a Ferrari and win the world championship. If you have the fastest car, you need the fastest driver to use that avaiable performance. Thus the fastest driver wins, just like in any other sport, the best athlete/team wins.
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  #50  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -What- View Post
Why is racing considered a "sport" and their drivers "athletes" when 99% of the race depends on the CAR.
Um for the same reason that rifle, shotgun, etc are Olympic sports. For the same reason that golf is considered a sport and don't forget jockeys, etc. To be a driver like Schumacher you need lightning reflexes, excellent hand eye coordination, bodily endurance to handle lateral g-forces continuously, etc.

Wasn't this guy banned a few days ago?
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  #51  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:40 PM
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What's going to happen here is that people will show how racing drivers portray and uphold athletic qualities while What will state that the car does the work. I don't see a conclusion in reach.
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  #52  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:49 PM
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I think anything that can be defined as requiring skill to complete, (mental and physical)
and then be marked/judged against competitors can be counted as a sport.

thus driving is no different to sprinting, its the same track and conditions as your competitors, but it comes down to the driver and the setup. (equivalent of training in sprints)
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  #53  
Old 02-11-2008, 09:34 PM
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Dear What, either you simply don't have a clue about racing or you simply want to keep making threads that attract attention... I think it's both so I've bothered try to answer...

It's clear to me that you have never ever driven in a competitive fashion. You might be fit, but i'm willing to bet that after a handfull of laps in a competitive racing kart, preferably a shifter, your neck, shoulders and arms will be in pain. Probably you'll also have a couple of spots with live flesh in your hips because the seat will not fit perfectly (it's not your kart after all) and you'll be moving around under conering, and you'll have a couple blisters in your hands.

So please, get the phonebook, look up kart racing tracks near you and renting places and book a drive in a kart for this weekend, then come back tell us that you broke the lap record because you are fit. I'll bet you'll not be able get even within 10% of the lap record (set by a local hero) on your first outing. Then come back and tell us how you can beat Shumacher in a good car. Ha!

A few other random thoughts:
- Using your same logic Golf isn't a sport because the club does all the work! Tiger only "drives" it! No science in that, is there? If tiger was given a club 10 inches too short, will he be as good? Same with a car...
- Do yourself another favor and go buy or just browse an Autosport magazine at the local Barnes and Nobles. While your are at it buy or browse a Grassroots Motorsport magazine. You'll get to see there are thousands of racers on hundreds of racing series around the world, not just the 5 or 10 series with a couple hundred drivers you know.
- About the rags to riches issue. just read a Mika Hakkinen interview where he said his dad worked two jobs, one at a track and second as taxi driver, also Nigel Mansell who almost went bankrupt chasing the dream. Montoya's dad paid for local series, and up to Barber Saab in the states, then mortgaged the house to pay for a portion of F3000. A few local companies helped out, but when funds dried up Helmut Marko agreed to finance the operation. Montoya came second in that year and the rest is history. Not rags, but not a billionaire.
- In the words of Ernest Hemingway, only bullfighting, (high) mountain climbing and racing are sports, all others are games; meaning that life is at risk everytime you engage in any of these as opposed to, say, golf! (Yes, it isn't actually a Hemingway quote but it's generally accepted as).
- Actually, you can pay for an F1 ride, I think it's in France, just google it.
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Last edited by magracer; 02-11-2008 at 09:48 PM.
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  #54  
Old 02-11-2008, 09:53 PM
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A few things -WHAT-. Firstly, have you ever been driving for a long time and got tired? There is no doubt u have. It takes a lot of effort to concentrate when you are tired. Imagine driving for abou 1-3 hour but in 40+ degree heat, no chance to relax. Its hard enough to concentrate for 1-3 hours just sitting still and reading let alone with all the variables involved in driving.

Secondly i bring the point up about "spot the sportsman". Formula , Rally, Circuit drivers are more than athletes that most american footballers. Some of them run on the field, kick the ball and run off, harld a sportsman. Drivers have to race for hours on end for most of the year. The F1 actually started as soon as the last race was finished. Teams were already loking at next years car, the drivers would have been getting ready for training, practice ect. (Personally i dont consider most of NFL a sport, the NFL [players are amazed at out league and union players as they were no padding (some helmets) and stay on the field for the whole game (80min)).

Tiger Woods can be compared to Micheal Schumacher as they both (when Schmacher was still in F1) practice for long periods of time. If Tiger Woods doesn't train or practice (even get coaching) his game goes bad, because if you dont practice your body loses the natural memory of the movement and thought process. Schumacher has needs to train and practice a lot otherwise he would lose his thought process and natural memory of movements. HE would still be able to steer but not get the car on the perfect racing line.
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  #55  
Old 02-11-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butcher View Post
I have no doubt that people like Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber could be competiitve in a marathon or triathlon or something like that because they are tremendous athletes.
Webber does indeed do that, ever year for the last few years he holds his own charity event through Tasmania which is akin to a triathlon event. Schumacher quite often competes in Soccer matches, and is hardly embarrased either!
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  #56  
Old 02-12-2008, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -What- View Post


And did someone mention "agility"? What agility does a race car driver need?
Jacky Ickx was capable of walking a 4 metre rope.
Seb Loeb started his career as a high level gymnast.
It helped both to apply their sense for equilibrium on track.

The ground effect F1 cars from the eighties were banned because the drivers could not stand the G-forces.

And the art of racing is not to go fast, but to go as fast as possible, and the possibilities can be best explorerd when in a pretty good shape.
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  #57  
Old 02-12-2008, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockefella View Post
What's going to happen here is that people will show how racing drivers portray and uphold athletic qualities while What will state that the car does the work. I don't see a conclusion in reach.
Why not ?
-What- raise a questino based on lack of knowledge and so far we're seeing quite a few comments that -What- was unaware of and may influence his point of view.

re the car versus the man then if we look back we can find many examples of race drivers in "ordinary" cars driving faster than even performance cars. Jackie Stewart did it in a Capri ... more recently looking up Sabine's lap at the 'ring in a TRANSIT VAN as shown on Top Gear will educate on the difference a driver actually makes.
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  #58  
Old 02-12-2008, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Bauer View Post
Look at the complete opposite end of the spectrum - a sport like darts. The physical effort required to play darts is basically standing on a stage and chucking three little brass darts a 6ft distance over and over again. It's easy. What's not easy is the mental strength needed to be able to produce the winning dart at the perfect under the hot lights and the TV cameras in the World Championship Final. EVERY professional darts player can hit bullseyes and treble 20s all day long when practicing. Only a tiny minority can produce the goods consistently under the extreme mental pressure of a World Final. The psychological pressure put on a player in that circumstance is probably akin to the pressure put on a starting quarterback in a Superbowl. That's why I'd argue that Phil Taylor is a great sportsman - because he has had the mental athleticism to produce the goods time and time and time again in the big matches, enough to become a 13 time World Champion.
Was thinking of this example all the time when i read the thread...can we call Andy Fordham or even Raymond van Barneveldt an athlete is the "trained" sense of the world? Not really.....
What about chess players.
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  #59  
Old 02-12-2008, 01:15 AM
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I always wondered whether or not drivers were athletes as I wondered whether motorsport was a sport.

Here's the definition from dictionary.com.

Athlete: a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

EDIT: and here's the definition for sport: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

Last edited by Kitdy; 02-12-2008 at 01:32 AM.
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  #60  
Old 02-12-2008, 02:32 AM
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It's 'Quail or "What." UCP's not big enough for the both of us.

Great work answering "What"'s question. I'm going to start berating him now. If I get banned, so be it. He's ****ing this whole website, and I can't imagine why it's still tolerated.

What, I've made every effort to be civil, losses of temper and the occasional humorous (though often tasteless) ribbing aside. But you've snapped this old 'Quail's last banjo string with this thread.

You're a real piece of shit, "What," and you're bringing this whole website down to your level. That so many have expended so much time on this horseshit thread is a testament to the quality of UCP's membership, but I deal with enough lunatics earning my paycheck; I'll not tolerate them here.

Are you like those Westboro Baptist Church assholes, "What?" Have you from a young age perceived the anger and ridicule directed towards you as vindication? Do you like angering people, "What?" Does it bring you satisfaction?

The 'Quail knows your type, "What;" I've dealt with your kind before. You're a John Wayne type; a type-A personality. Your mind is strong, impenetrable, a fortress.

But you're flawed, "What," I know you are.

You're lonely.

You've got your friends, sure, sure, but they're all assholes, aren't they? You associate with your own kind, but you're all bottomfeeders, losers; you're really all the same, aren't you? You don't have anyone, really, do you?.

You don't. Your kind doesn't. It's just assholes and isolation all around you; just a bunch of assholes keeping to themselves and timidly snickering at "inside jokes" in the far corner of the bar. Nobody would "get it." Nobody would give two ****s. Nobody cares; you've got nothing, and you know you don't.

You're a loser. You always have been. You never "got the girl;" you've never been anyone's hero. You had your chance during your "education," but you just sputtered and died on the launch pad. You didn't do shit. You're a failure. Always have been a failure. Worthless.

How long has it been since you moved out of your teenage bedroom, "What?" Do you still sleep there? Do you justify it, somehow? Do you tell your asshole friends that you're not going to 'waste money on an apartment?'

You're going to continue ad nauseam with your weak excuses and half-hearted explanations for why you're so pitiful. It's going to go on until you're a soft-bellied, ever-chuckling and fat sack of shit; cramming Doritos down your craw and drawing air only because your pussy father and cow mother see fit to feed and shelter you, contrary to their better judgment.

'Quail's got your number, don't he? If you disagree with 'Quail's prognosis, then go **** yourself. This is how I've got you figured, and if you want to change my mind, I'm in Conway, Arkansas. Look for the black Subaru on Ash Street. We'll sort it out in my front yard.

I won't be coming back to this site until this asshole is banned. If "What" stays, 'Quail leaves. Somebody PM me when his sorry ass is out of here.

Squawk.
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Last edited by LandQuail; 02-12-2008 at 02:37 AM.
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