NASCAR gets a reprieve of sorts this weekend when Talladega returns to the schedule for its second weekend of the season. It is a welcome reprieve from months of subpar racing, despite some spurts of good competition at Charlotte, Pocono, Michigan, Indianapolis, Fontana, and Kansas.
But it is the first superspeedway race for the Car Of Tomorrow - the pig, as some are calling it - and throw into the mix the entry of F1 champ turned open wheel washout Jacques Villeneuve, whose career the last few years has been an embarassment and whose overall personality is a complete waste of time dealing with. Of course this is assuming Jacques Clouseau-Villeneuve even makes the race.
But the fact he is even entered, combined with Dario Franchitti's pending arrival and the continued employment of Juan Montoya - involved in another wreck, this one at Kansas - illustrates trends the sport is seeing that aren't good for it. Some of those trends are illustrated here and when you add in more dubious decisions made for the sport of recent - such as increasing incompetence in officiating - it shows what should be obvious in any endeavor - bad leadership makes bad choices.
The New England Patriots saw it with Chuck Sullivan, and Brian France is so reminiscent of Chuck Sullivan that it's frightening.