It's a safe bet that no one from Forbes magazine will be getting an invite to the NASCAR Christmas party this year. Certainly not Jack Gage, the author of a fairly cold-blooded look at the current state of NASCAR and the stewardship of Brian France (read the story here).
At the very least, Gage's story is a stark counterpoint to the one produced by Sports Illustrated in 1995 (which you can read here). It might overstate things to say that the two serve as suitable bookends for NASCAR's unrivalled run to the top of the American sporting landscape begun more than a decade ago, but not by too much.
Gage's article will doubtless be criticized by NASCAR and its partisans; and, indeed, the story doesn't necessarily break any new ground -- he hits on all the usual suspects: ratings are down; sponsorships are harder to come by; races and drivers are boring; the Car of Tomorrow is dull, and so on.
Fine, we know all this, but that, in and of itself is part of the problem dogging NASCAR: these have been issues of concern for at least a few years, and, obviously, they remain issues of real concern. And they need to be considered, legitimately, by anyone who cares for the sport.
Shooting the messenger -- Gage and Forbes -- won't be good enough.