Archive for July, 2008

NASCAR, An Olympic Sport?

Alright, while it may sound a little strange, I have been pondering the idea of auto racing becoming an Olympic Sport. I must admit that I am a bit biased since I’m a huge fan of NASCAR. Anyone who follows stock car racing gets the question from non-fans all the time; how can you call them athletes?I’ll answer that question clearly by stating, that a person who drives a vehicle pushing 200 mph for almost 4 hours must have some athletic ability. Racecar drivers are manipulating a vehicle that is constantly vibrating, bouncing and at times almost unmanageable. These vehicles are nothing like what we drive everyday on the highways with power steering, navigation systems and shocks that keep you from feeling the road. Driving a stock car can sometimes feel like riding a ten-speed bicycle over a pile of rocks. Anyone who denies that a stock car driver is an athlete just doesn’t understand the demands of the sport-this is most often the case.

So as the Beijing Olympics approach I thought to myself, could racecar driving ever become an Olympic sport? Only time will tell, but over the past few decades, we have seen the expansion in the sport of racecar driving. In fact, we have more international names associated with NASCAR this year than ever before. Just to name a few: Juan Pablo Montoya, who hails from Bogotá, Columbia, Patrick Carpentier, from Quebec, Canada and Dario Franchitti who’s from Edinburgh, Scotland. As you can see, the all American sport of NASCAR has reached its way across the oceans and has brought with it some of the most talented individuals to ever sit behind the wheel of a racecar.

You can see why I would be optimistic about the possibility of NASCAR or any form of car racing making it to the Olympics. We have seen NASCAR hold its first race outside the United States in Mexico and we can be sure that talks are underway for a European appearance. When the international lobby starts its campaign with the Olympic committee you can be sure there will be plenty of evidence why this sport should have its place on the world stage.

While it may be a few years until we see the dust of rubber and smoke in the air at an Olympic event, I hold out hope that in the future more people will understand the sport of racing. It is so much more than cars going around in circles, but more of the challenge of man versus machine. It is not just the challenge of running out of gas, but how to do it while only filling up twice in 500 miles. Maybe someday people will get that changing four tires, pulling out a spring rubber and adjusting your shocks in less than 14 seconds isn’t your average day at the corner oil and lube! So I salute all the racecar drivers who I sincerely recognize as some of the great athletes in sports-maybe someday we’ll see some of them wearing gold!

Nathan Taylor

Saturday, July 26th, 2008 Sports No Comments

Tony Snow is “Love”

As I sit here at the computer today to write a tribute to the now late Tony Snow I do it with a soft heart, tears in my eyes and a sincere feeling of loss. How can I possibly put into words the deep personal feelings I had for Tony Snow? Usually I’m not at a loss for words, but today when I turned FOX NEWS on to hear that the world had lost one of God’s great creations, I could only sob and lament for his family; immediate and extended.We often hear that the good die young, and in this case that phrase couldn’t be more accurate. I was fortunate enough to know folks that had met Tony and they always expressed admiration when referring to him. Over the course of the next few days we will be hearing from those closest to Tony, talking about what he was like to work with, be a friend of and just have in their life.

What attracted so many people to become fans of Tony Snow was his unique way of communicating with others. Tony communicated in a manner that most people in the media business can only dream of. His honesty, integrity, strong character, passion and above all LOVE is what made him the man he was. Tony loved his family, loved God, loved his work and loved the American people. His dedication to bringing the truth to the citizens of this country, and his uncompromising focus of the issues is why President Bush named him Press Secretary.

I enjoyed listening to Tony speak about the issues because I always knew he was giving it to me straight. I knew he was relaying his honest opinion about a subject and that if he disagreed with someone about something he would make it known. Tony was a man that exemplified love of God, love of country, and love of family. As a news junkie, I was often glued to the television listening to Tony on FOX NEWS SUNDAY or listening to him on his radio show. I must admit that I was a little disappointed when Tony Snow took the Press Secretary job, since I knew how much he would be missed doing political commentary. However, I couldn’t have been more proud of Tony’s reasons for accepting the job. I remember him saying that he wanted to serve his country, serve the President and take a once in a lifetime opportunity. How refreshing to see someone in the political world take a job for the purpose of serving others rather than serving himself. Tony didn’t need the White House Press Secretary job and as many know he had to take a pay-cut when he accepted the position.

We have all lost a real man, one who wasn’t afraid to show his emotions. So often in my life I have heard the saying that real men don’t cry. Well I have never believed that and when I saw Tony speak about his cancer in the White House briefing room, I couldn’t help but get emotional myself. Tony taught us all to enjoy life to its fullest, treat others the way we want to be treated, and love what we do. My thoughts and prayers go out to Tony’s family and all those that were so close to him. While I didn’t know Tony personally, I had a deep affection for a man that defined one of the most important emotions in the world; LOVE, that is Tony Snow!

Nathan Taylor

Saturday, July 12th, 2008 Human Interest No Comments

Proud To Be An American

As we celebrate this years Fourth of July, I reflect on the things that make me proud to be an American-I’ll just list a few that are near and dear to my heart!

  • The right to free speech
  • The right to bear arms
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Freedom of the Press

While I could go on listing more of the Amendments to the Constitution that make me proud of our forefathers, I’ll leave it to those few that come to mind. I’ve always been the eternal optimist, but today I think a lot about the future and where we could be headed. I pray often that our country and its leaders can continue to learn from our mistakes.

Our country is young and has accomplished more in its short time of existence than anyone could have ever predicted. While we are loved, feared, hated, revered, and often targeted, our spirit as a people continues to thrive. Our resilience is unmatched in modern society and with a new generation soon to take the helm of our nation I remain optimistic.

Being an American is much more than recognizing the gift of freedom we possess. It is being able to adapt to change while not forgetting what is important about the past. Most of us have heard the saying, “you can’t go forward without knowing where you have been”, well that’s one of my favorite quotes because if taken to heart it can keep us all grounded.

Just a few things that I’m truly of:

I’m proud of our military personnel that make sacrifices every single day to protect the freedoms we so cherish. I’m proud of my grandfather who served in the military and cared deeply about the future of this nation. I’m proud of those who exercise their right to vote and take the time to engage themselves in the issues. I’m proud of those who seek public office, and dare to share their views while popular or unpopular. I’m proud of American companies that keep their businesses here and employ so many of our citizens. I’m proud of Judges who rule based on the law and refuse to legislate from the bench. I’m proud of those who volunteer to improve that quality of life for others. I’m proud of law enforcement officials that spend time away from their families to dedicate themselves to protecting our borders and ensuring the security of our cities, neighborhoods and streets. I’m proud of young people who work hard in school and strive to be productive members of our society. I’m proud of single parents that make sacrifices to provide for their kids and encourage them to be model citizens.

I could write a novel just on the things that I’m proud of in this country, but instead I’ll leave you with this. I’m proud to be an American because this is the one place on earth where we can be ourselves. We don’t have to hide who we are and life continues to go on despite any faults we may have. Personal responsibility, accountability and always daring to hope and dream makes America the greatest country on earth!

Nathan Taylor

Friday, July 4th, 2008 Human Interest No Comments
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