2011 Daytona 500 start - Courtesy NASCAREnlarge Photo
NASCAR--yes, NASCAR--is happy to take some credit for the New York Giants' victory over the New England Patriots in last night's Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
The racing sanctioning body revealed New York's defense has a package named after NASCAR, and that many of the athletes on the defensive side of the ball work in similar fashion to NASCAR's drivers.
Take Giants DE Justin Tuck, for example. He went to college at Notre Dame, less than three hours driving time from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR evaluated Tuck's moves - often resulting in a sack of a quarterback - and think they are reminiscent of Darrell Waltrip in Daytona International Speedway's Victory Lane after finally winning the Great American Race in 1989.
They then looked at the swim move of DE Osi Umenyiora, whose alma mater Troy University is about two and a half hours away from Talladega Superspeedway. Umenyiora's go-to move has him juking right, swatting another player aside and launching left. NASCAR suggests this could be the move we see on the rush to the checkered flags at the Daytona 500 on February 26th!
NASCAR knows everyone who watches football is down with JPP, Giants' DE Jason Pierre-Paul. The player attended University of South Florida - between NASCAR's season-bookending racetracks of Daytona and Homestead-Miami Speedway. JPP's specialty is off the block speed on every single play. If the NFL had an American Ethanol Fastest on the Restart Award as NASCAR does, he'd win it every game.
Is it any wonder these Giants nicknamed their all-out pass rush after NASCAR?
"We came up with NASCAR; we call it our speed package," said Tuck, who recorded two sacks of Tom Brady last night. "Why do we call it that? All of us compete about who's the fastest and who gets to the quarterback the fastest. So NASCAR's just something that felt right."
Can anyone blame NASCAR for milking this? After all, both sports are about speed. NASCAR suggested perhaps NFL "should just give in and end games with a checkered flag."