It's February, and that means a few things. It's time for love, presidential holidays and NASCAR. It's true, I am a NASCAR fan. You may be wondering, "His picture doesn't make him look like a hillbilly, beer-guzzling car junky!" Well, I am, other than the hillbilly car junky part.\nIt all started when my older brother moved to Charlotte, N.C., the NASCAR capital of the world. My brother is easily influenced, and since he was surrounded by stock-car racing fans everywhere, he soon became one too. So I did the same thing you readers are probably doing now -- I made fun of him until he would cry. \nI ran out of interesting quips to make him whimper, so I made my first mistake in becoming a fan -- I watched a race so I could find out things about this so-called sport to make fun of him even more accurately. Well, I got hooked. So I am here to offer all of you readers a guide on how not to become a fan because if I could accidentally become one, you could too.\nStep One: Never watch a race\nIf you don't want to become one of us, never, ever, ever watch one of these 500-mile escapades. If you do, you might just find something you like about it.\nStep Two: Do not choosE a favorite driver\nSo let's say you accidentally watch a race whether because it's on at a bar, strip club or Grandma's house, do not pick a favorite driver. If you do, you are done for. After watching my first race, the 2002 Daytona 500, I for some reason had a weird fascination with Sterling Marlin, No. 40. Maybe it was because he drove the Coors Light car. Maybe it was because he was hilarious in his post-race interview, or maybe it was because he didn't drive the Viagra car. Either way, I was drawn to him. I found myself watching more races rooting for the Silver Bullet car, as well as hoping Jeff Gordon's engine would blow. I would ask myself, "What's wrong with me?" \nThen I realized it was because every week I got to watch my favorite driver compete against all my least favorite drivers. Every single week was rivalry week. It was like seeing the Bears play the Packers every week, or the Boilermakers battle it out with IU every Sunday.\nStep 3: Do not ever go to a race\nIn August of this past year, my girlfriend, two of my best friends and I watched the Pepsi 500 at the Michigan Speedway, and after that experience I will never be able to call myself normal again. After four hours of drinking Coors Light, watching cars race at 190 mph and experiencing a 60-year-old lady flash Dale Earnhardt Jr. almost every lap, I would never be the same. \nThere is no live sport that can even compare with live NASCAR, mostly for one reason -- coolers. While you classier-folk are off spending five bucks a beer at an NFL game, we are chowing down on one of the 25 sandwiches we made and guzzling down the two cases of Coors Light we brought. Now don't get me wrong, drinking does not automatically make sporting events great, but just think about how great tailgating is. Now think about tailgating while in the stadium. Great, right?\nSo that is my guide. Most of you will have a stronger will than I did, but NASCAR has to be doing something right if they can hold the attention of millions of rednecks every Sunday even without 300 lb. guys getting concussions.
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