This is the Statt Mann Baby. It's time to Scat a little bit.

Six months ago it was the NFL that had its players locked out. Owners blamed them for the financial ills of pro football. Now we’re getting the same headlines from the NBA where the players are blamed for the league’s apocalypse.

In both instances the real issue is big market owners versus small market owners. The players are just a pawn, something the fans can point to when the tickets cost too much.

Well there’s a motorsports analogy to this. Only racing owners aren’t even bothering to point a finger at the drivers.

In racing, it’s just as likely that the drivers are the ones bringing money to the table. But because drivers need resources to win, and the resources are with the wealthy teams, the best drivers usually end up with the richest teams.

That might change this year if Tony Stewart wins the Cup title. He’d be the first owner-driver to get the title since Alan Kulwicki in 1992.  But, I know, Stewart’s really a satellite team from Hendrick Motorsports.

But he’s not in the big house. And he’s not a sharecropper on NASCAR’s plantation. Stewart’s team is a middle class operation, the kind that’s being driven out of business in all forms of sport.

That defiance of the norm is another reason to cheer for Smoke in this Chase run.