Friday, February 29, 2008

'Sarah Fisher Racing' Starting to Make Sense

So I and a lot of people who follow racing were puzzled by Sarah Fisher's leaving a full time ride at Dreyer & Reinbold to start her own team which is barely ready to run this year even part time.

Her press conference didn't do much to explain the real reason I think she started a new team but now I think we know. If you catch her interview with ESPN from yesterday you'll catch what I think is the real reason as she alludes to wanting to start a family sometime in the near future now that she's married. That is entirely understandable and becoming an owner allows her to stay in racing without having to be in the car. I think knowing this, no one can fault her on making this move now because this is obviously all about looking out for their future and staying in racing which is what they love.

Also learned is that they estimate to start up a team it costs roughly $5 million the first year including buying everything you need... now I know just how much I need to win in the lottery...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Forsythe Championship Racing closes shop

I'm sure Tracy will end up somewhere, but we at least know who it won't be with.: Here, here, and here.

this makes you wonder just how much money Forsythe poured into keeping Champ Car alive...

Tracy says: “Right now, I need to quickly regroup, regain my composure and then start looking for another ride – and I mean in IndyCar. The team may be done, but I’m ready to go racing.”

Indy Car Series 2008 begins... now!


That sweet looking ride you see there is Marco Andretti's.

I for one am extremely happy in part because it looks dang sweet, but also because its not red, white and blue which seems to be the preferred color of most: Manning, Mutoh, Duno, Rice, and now Meira... Then add Wheldon, Dixon, Castroneves, Briscoe without the blue...and possible Roth as well, its a lot of red and white on the track and that not only is hard to distinguish but can be boring...

So yesterday was NEWS day, Champ Car and Indy car have merged but not all details are set yet... and it was also the first day/night of testing and what have we learned... well..

1. Twin Ring Motegi and Long Beach will be run on the same weekend AND Long Beach will be a Champ Car send off using the DP-01 chassis from Champ Car...

2. Helio and Julianne Hough are NOT an item... and Helio is tired of that question...

3. Panther racing has added National Guard as a sponsor, and although they are abandoning Yellow Black to give us yet another red white and blue car, I have to say its one sweet looking car.

4. All the CCWS transfers are being paired up with current IRL teams, that we knew, what we've now discovered are the pairings: "Forsythe with AGR, KV with Ganassi, Conquest with Vision, Walker with Penske, Minardi and Coyne with Panther, Newman/Haas with Rahal, and Pacific Coast with Foyt. Rocketsports wasn't assigned." -Curt Cavin's blog

Two things to note of it: I imagine all those teams are going to come over at some point... but secondly... no one was paired up with Dreyer and Reinbold...by chance or by choice?

5. Surfer's Paradise is meeting with Tony George sometime soon to setup their race for 2008. Some have stipulated this is a done deal and the meeting is just to sign the papers required.

6. Sarah Fisher Racing is official... but really nothing beyond the team existing and going to run at least Indy was official. I personally would rather see her in Dreyer & Reinbold's second car again at least for the full-time-ness of it.

7. And oh yeah... there was testing!! Click here or here for some good photos. What did we see from testing?? Well Dan Wheldon had the top speed and Milka Duno didn't have the worst, that was a spot taken by AJ Foyt's Darren Manning. Chip Ganassi and Penske took 1, 2, 3, 5 with Kanaan taking 4th spot...

Now from someone who wasn't just looking at the final results of the day after the fact, what was important to note here is that Milka's speed came at the end of that day, as you followed her times, they improved as the night went on, so it at least shows that she and her team are getting acquainted as well as learning to make improvements...and that is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing concerning Milka, as SAMAX and her never was able to do this last year, at least shes up to a decent running speed...

On the other hand Manning's best lap came early, 12th lap out of 85 he ran. The team seemed to have problems throughout testing with some handling issues, but this is what testing is for, so they can work these things out. The same can be said for Panther/Vitor Meira who I personally expected a little better from after all their off-season testing...

Danica apparently came down with the flu though Marco did a quick shake down of her car and still managed to best Milka and Manning's best laps...

Good news was seeing AJ Foyt IV in 6th position and consistently running laps in the high range all night in a sweet stealthy all black car (I hope thats the look for the season); for a driver who almost seemed a question mark for Vision until this week, thats a very impressive stance and a good way to tell them to never question him as a driver...

The biggest disappointment for me though was that Marty Roth never hit the track. NOTE: Jay Howard didn't hit the track because his rookie test got rained out and it still hasn't been completed. Marty however just never went out and a lot of us are curious as to why... everything up until now has looked good and part of the IRL gang type movements and setups, but why not even some initial testing runs, all his gang was there and all the parts...?

BUT NONE of this really means anything until we see what everyone does today in comparison... what did they learn, what changes are made, etc. so I'll report more on that tonight as things go... right now Indy Pro Series practice is closing up with Rafael Matos on top of the speed chart most of the session (got to wonder what he's thinking of unification as he could be in an IRL ride... though the AGR IPS ride isn't a bad place to be.. its just that AGR's pension for graduating its IPS drivers doesn't always look so great...)

UPDATE: One thing to note about the testing is that Tony Kanaan's car sported Frank's Energy Drink on the engine cowling while Marco's sported Coca-Cola just above the cockpit... both were thought to be sponsors in the making for IRL... is this a sign?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

a few points

So Tennessee's reign lasted a day or so. They were completely out-played by a team with less talent who had two of its top three players on the bench for most of the second half. As much as I like Bruce Pearl, I have to point to coaching. I understand the bench position is awkward, but it is not an excuse for being out-coached. Tennessee was taking dumb shots and making even dumber fouls. When you are more athletic than the other team, you cannot continue to send them to the free throw line. Like I said yesterday, Foster did step up. But I never thought they could pull it off with Ogilvy in foul trouble. Great win for Vandy.

It seems the NFL is doing away with the salary cap. I'll talk more about it if it actually happens, but I have to agree. These leagues are businesses (sorry purists, but go watch high school and college if you can't accept that) and this is America. There are no other businesses in America that have to compete on the same level with one another. I am as big of a baseball fan as anyone and the day that the Devil Rays win the AL East, it will mean that much more. The AL East is exactly what our country is like. Being a dealt a winning hand right away OR... accepting your place and doing your best and, when the stars align, coming out on top and reaping the benefits of hard work. I do not really like the Yankees, but I love having them in baseball.

Speaking of baseball, Spring Training is here. Games start today. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post some of my predictions for the season.

And I updated my profile to show my favorite teams (my biases) and a list of the top high school basketball players I've seen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Watch out for K-State

Hopefully some of you caught the Texas-Kansas State game last night or have had a chance to see K-State play this year. Michael Beasley is the best freshman I've seen in a while. Yes, he can be better than Durant, Oden, and the other recent one year stops. This kid is like a point guard who has the ability and the size to score at will. I love how he draws the triple teams, then can see right over them to pass off.

The thing is, Beasley may stick around. And Kansas State remarkably has built a solid young team around him and managed to keep it in place with the departure of Bob Huggins. If Beasley, Walker, and Pullen stay together for another year or two (and do not repeat efforts like Walker's 0-14 performance last night) I think you'll start to see these Big 12 match-ups go the other way.

For this year, though, keep an eye on them for the tournament. If they lose to Kansas then beat Iowa St. and Colorado, that gives them 20 wins heading into the tournament. And I think they can play with anyone. To me, Texas is a #1 seed and they were tied at halftime. If they hit more threes (Fred Brown?) and make the shots that Beasley sets up from his double- and triple-teams, I think they can actually beat most teams out there. Young teams get better as the year goes on.

March Madness is practically upon us. I'm ready. Tennessee/Vandy tonight. If Foster steps up, Vandy can take it at home. I think Ogilvy can control the middle.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Get Happy Racefans!

It's Official - from indycar.com
------------------------------------------------
George, series owners sign unification agreement
By Dave Lewandowski

Indy Racing League founder and CEO Tony George and owners of the Champ Car World Series have completed an agreement in principle that will unify the sport for 2008.

Gerald Forsythe, co-owner of Champ Car, signed an agreement in principle Feb. 22 in Chicago, joining his partner, Kevin Kalkhoven. George signed the agreement Feb. 21.

Details of a news conference about the agreement will be forthcoming. When scheduled, the news conference will be shown live on indycar.com...
------------------------------------------------

Happy weekend everyone!

The Day of Ping!

I was really hoping to be able to give a summary/analysis of the American-Open-Wheel Amalgamergafiblendification this week, and that's why I've held off on commenting on it, and as it looks like its at least getting set back to this afternoon at best; there is a lot of interesting talk about drivers and teams making moves and Rahal and Hunter-Reay doing PR together, but for now its time to look at what we do know is coming tonight.


NCAA baseball opening day!

Although technically Hawai'i and Hawai'i-Hilo got the ok to start their season against each other last week, the entirety of the season starts tonight across the nation...

I've been to a lot of sporting events of all types and all levels of competition, and I have to admit that possibly my favorite would have to be college baseball. Ticket prices are cheap, the games are generally competitive (depending on the competition), you can watch talent develop, its extremely family friendly (a great thing to attend with your kids) Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium constantly allows the championship to feel like a purer form of the game and most of all...
the underdog ALWAYS has a shot; even through LSU's reign in the 90s, parity has been the cover story of NCAA baseball as you have had 13 different champions over the past 20 years... and the team to win the last 2 is from a northern colder weather state.

So what do you have to look forward to this year? Well the first obvious note is that there is NO FAVORITE going into this season, the polls currently give us Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA as starting #1 teams: Baseball America, USA Today, Collegiate Basseball, Rivals.

USA Today's poll alone has 6 different teams receiving first place votes, and every poll is about 50/50 with teams that were ranked at the end of last year vs. ones that weren't. So what does that all mean... it means whatever team you root for has a realistic shot, no one is thought to have a huge edge... and this goes back to talking about parity in just following the sport, any conference and any team can upset and contend: the contendors list goes from your typical Tigers, Rebels, Trojans, Hurricanes, Gators, and Longhorns, to the Torreros, Owls, Commodores, Golden Eagles, Ragin' Cajuns, Anteaters, Green Wave, and (my personal favorite) the Dirtbags.


Other things to look for:

Here in Baton Rouge, LSU's fans are desperately hoping that the Tigers can get back to the playoffs as they try to recover from baseball's version of the Bear Bryant effect after Skip Bertman took them to 17 straight regionals and 5 National titles... 2 years hiatus from the playoffs is sending the city into a frenzy, and especially more-so when ALL 3 of its in-state rivals (Tulane, UNO, and ULL) all made the playoffs last year, and Tulane continues to hold its place in the Top 25. The team looks more like a small ball team than its past "gorilla ball" teams (though it does sport 2 of its BCS champion football players), will it work?

Can anyone in Mississippi make the next step: Southern Miss, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss made the playoffs last year and are all expected to be good again, can any make the next step through Omaha?

Can Conference-USA finally stake a real position of power? with Rice, ECU and Tulane already starting in most polls and Southern Miss and Houston just outside, but has yet to make its way through to the end with only Rice and Tulane actually making it to Omaha in the history but never making it to the championship.

Will North Carolina be the Buffalo Bills/New England Revolution of college baseball? They've lost the championship twice, and in fact twice to the same team... Can they win it this time or is their championship game run over?

Will cold schools make themselves known? Will the NCAA's new cohesive starting date and practice dates take away the southern edge? Michigan, BYU, Maine, and others have flirted with the polls in the past, Michigan and Ohio state have now managed to take their rivalry to baseball, AND though its not generally known for being warm or cold, Oregon state has taken the past 2 championships, I'd say we were already moving into their direction. I'd think it has somewhat to do with College baseball growing popularity and parity, but forcing the Southern schools to wait until northern Schools are at least close to playable has to help level the playing field.

Speaking of the beavers. Oregon state has once again been told that their previous experience and accomplishments won;t help them and no one expects them to win it all this year. Twice now they have, according to experts, limped or barely made their way into the playoffs only to upset all the favorites and win it all. Can they make it 3 or will NCAA's baseball parity make itself known once again...

What to look for this weekend... for me? well it looks like the closest I'll get to news for the Indanapolis area will be the LSU Tigers starting their baseball season against the Hoosiers tonight... for you? well anything, any game you can find, there are plenty great match-ups out there and plenty Steve Miller Band and "put me in coach" to hear as the team's warm up, take your kids out, say hi to the players who in most cases will say hi back, and have a great night tonight at a game!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Peace at Last!

The Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD war seems to be over, Fidel Castro has resigned... and now it seems the Champ Cart/CART vs. IRL war may finally be over... what has this world come to!?

I'm going to wait for more official word before I go too in depth on the merger/unification (mostly because no official details have been released, yet IRL testing starts a week from now), but I will be obviously most happy just to see everyone on the same track at the same time, even if this is a transition year for a lot of teams, but secondly will be incredibly happy for something almost as huge for me...

People will inevitably stop talking about this crap!

For 12 years now people continue to bring up Tony George vs Kalkhoven & Forsythe vs CART vs whoever. People have become so involved in this crap they have forgotten that both series were pretty darned good racing, and instead were busy commentating simply on the split itself...than noticing any of the on-track news stories and drivers and teams and if this deal is done, then that is freaking over! Amen to that!

Sure for a few months maybe even a year people might comment about pre-unification and their dislike of George or the new series BUT in time it'll become like commenting about the AFL vs NFL or NFL pre replay or pre 2-point conversion... in time there will be idiot old people who may think about it, but now, hopefully, we can all look forward to a time when people argue about drivers, and rules, and opinions on the racing itself...all the media and bloggers can focus on the product at hand and not some silly "war" frankly I think some forums may well implode at this idea...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Superdunk

For those of you who did not get a chance to see the the NBA Slam Dunk competition, as an overall competition it was really nothing... not because it lacked great dunks.. but because they all came from the same contestant...

They weren;t all bad, Demario Moon's first dunk would have killed in the 90's and 80s for sure, Rudy Gays would have been great had Howard not already upped it with his first one...

Dwight Howard killed, and while Gerald Green had one great dunk (blowing out the candle) Howard had 3 and 1 ok one. Not going to go into description, just watch here:

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

I think my favorite thing about the superman dunk is that it was Superman-esque in that he really didn't dunk, he like threw the ball down through the hoop... Green's cupcake was great but he didn't have anything left... what would have been awesome as my wife thought up would have been if instead of doing his final dunk in socks... he should have untied the shoes made them loose and put velcro on the bottom of them then put down a strip of velcro tape on the floor and literally jumped out of his shoes...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Quick Quips to end the week

Tomas Scheckter has been officially confirmed for 3 races in the Indy Racing League.

In what is possibly the quickest season ever. After failing to qualify an obviously mishandling car for the Daytona 500 in the Gatorade Duals yesterday, it looks like Jacques Villeneuve's season may be over due to lack of sponsorship...

And a, gee duh what took them so long ruling, the IOC is going to allow athletes to blog while they participate in the Olympics, though within the ruling are a billion rules about what they are allowed to write about... I can't wait for an athlete to be stripped of his or her medal because she quotes one of her fellow athletes in regards to a conversation they may have had... the NCAA had a big run-in with bloggers and baseball last year, it seems that mass media and the world want to continue to bash bloggers credibility and ignore their existence in the world yet are very actively trying to crush them...

In one last rant... can someone explain to me why ESPN still has NFL Live in its nightly line-up right now? That HAS to be getting shitty ratings right? I mean my football nut friends wouldn't even watch speculation from ESPN's C-team analysts on where they think Chad Johnson may end up... not to mention Ex-player with too much time's new updated list of where he thinks everyone is going to be drafted...seriously take a break from football for a couple months...


Happy Daytona 500, NBA All Star, NHL season, anything else weekend to all... don't miss 2 posts from yesterday below...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What the hell is Jalen Rose talking about?

(It seems Wedge just posted, so scroll down to read a post about more than just basketball...)

So we all remember the Fab Five. I was in high school and nothing was bigger to me than basketball when these guys came onto the scene with their black socks and trash-talking, their baggy shorts and attitude ("we know we're freshman, but we're better than the upperclassmen"). Webber, Howard, Rose, King, Jackson. The Fab Five. I highly recommend reading Mitch Albom's book about these guys. He's a great writer (and was great even before all of his non-sports bestsellers) and the Fab Five was definitely good for the game in the nineties.

And I don't mind saying that, even with the disappointing combined NBA accomplishments of the group. We never expected much after college out of King or Jackson, though Webber, Howard, and Rose had worlds of potential. But potential aside, I still think it's safe to say they had decent careers, being paid to do what they loved to do. And while Webber is still making headlines when he's traded and Howard is still sitting on someone's bench (Dallas?), Jalen Rose has recently retired and is now an NBA analyst for ESPN.

Now I don't watch a whole lot of ESPN these days, so I haven't seen Rose do a lot of "analyzing." But I did hear him on the radio the other day and have to completely disagree with him.

According to Rose, the Top 5 teams in the NBA West (Suns, Mavs, Jazz, Lakers, Spurs) did not include New Orleans! Let's forget that if you look at the standings as I type this, the Hornets would hold the number 1 seed if the season ended today. Let's forget that he said this the day after the Hornets had beaten the Suns (the current #2 seed) on national television. What is more astonishing is that he said Utah may be the best team in the West.

I think Utah is a very good team, but to say they may be the best team in the West and then not even include New Orleans in the Top 5 brings serious questioning to your credibility, as far as I'm concerned. Utah is 34-19, only 12-16 on the road. New Orleans is 36-15, and 19-7 on the road. I'm perplexed.

I don't claim to know everything, but I think if I were paid for my opinion, I'd at least have to include the current best team in a discussion of the top five, even if I were only giving my reasons for why I believed they would begin to drop off. Then again, should we really expect extraordinary analysis from someone who had nothing more than an ordinary career?

13 Things on the Way to a Weekend

Ok Firstly let me get this one done with... Roger Clemens may or may not have used steroids, and then may or may not have lied about it.... who cares?

I mean seriously, the only ones who should are Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee because one of them is getting a perjury charge eventually... News outlets are busy wasting time drowning us with it that I barely even put any sports TV on these days, plus lets add in some BS "Greatest Highlight" thing plus Nascar NOW is back but lacks content when if it were an all-inclusive motorsports show it'd have a ton to report... thats my little rant, but here are some things that are taking us into the weekend starting with what should be the #1 story in sports right now:

1. Richard Zednik has been upgraded to "good" condition. For those of you who are unfamiliar, NHL player (Zednik) was seriously hurt in a freak accident 2 nights ago when his teammate Olli Jokkinen was upended and his skate hit Zednik in the neck cutting him badly, cutting an artery, he was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery... fortunately he has now been moved out of intensive care, and doctors are even speculating that they may be able to discharge him in 48 hours.

2. American Open-Wheel merger or not? If merger articles were ninja stars, I could probably be pretty deadly with all of these things. Unfortunately I have no "my guy" "my source" in racing unless its the IMPBA, if this were USM sports I've got a guy that knows everything there, but unfortunately I'm stuck to reports of all kinds but none with concrete announcements, and its become very apparent that the teams know nothing as well, and that strikes me as very dangerous.

What do we know?, IRL officials went to Japan to talk about possibly moving and they came back and said nothing to anyone; CHAMP Car officials deny everything though many outlets report they may be going bankrupt and even one of its own teams thinks so, then reports yesterday that Kevin Kalkhoven (one of the main 2 owners of CCWC, yes I realize there 4 in all) has packed up and left the building and taking parts of the operation with him, reports of Dallara chassis being delivered to CCWS teams various team leaving reports, a its fun to see all the news going around, and I'm starting to think this is the real definition of Silly Season... so what's happening on the IRL side... Tony George is saying nothing, either he knows a deal is done or he's done trying.. either way he's gone off to Great Britian for the weekend for...

3. Scott Dixon's wedding to Emma Davies. Just wanted to say congratulations to IRL driver and 2003 champion Dixon and his finance Emma. Being just a year younger than Scott and now newly married, I can say its the best thing to happen to me and judging from all the photos you see of he and Emma, they not only look genuinely happy but I'm sure this is the best thing that has happened to them. I've always stated I'm a fan of all drivers, but I have to admit if you've ever gotten the chance to meet or see him talk or react to anything on camera he's a guy that makes it so easy to be a fan of.

(on a side note about age, life's getting to that interesting stage where the people in sports are the people my age... in High School we lost twice to the young Eli Manning, some guys my brother and I know are making their way into and even out of baseball and football)

4. Danica Patrick in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Unfortunately while this was done so well and classy, it comes off the heels of of that stupid GoDaddy ad. Everything is in the eye of the beholder, and while some think that she is the next Anna Kornikova; I think they should look at her race track record, people want to quantify by wins, but thats hardly a stat to judge anyone on; just ask Dan Marino, or maybe Andy Roddick is a better comparison.

5. In a bit of concrete Indy Racing League news. Scott Sharp has been found in breach of contract by the judge over the double lawsuits of Scott Sharp vs. Rahal Letterman Racing. Now it doesn't mean he's actually lost yet, but it means the judge is throwing out Sharp's counter-lawsuit against RLR. RLR's breach of contract lawsuit can now go to a jury, meaning Scott will either at this point have to settle or go to court to find out just how liable a jury will find him.

6. ESPN is stupid. Theres tons of news in hockey, NASCAR, Indycars, basketball, college sports yet its like as soon as football is over they lose their f'n minds. I just cannot honestly believe someone thought this greatest highlight thing was a good idea, sure I imagine its cheaper that paying reports to do pieces on those things I mentioned above but it just seems like over time ESPN is losing touch with actually COVERING sports and just inflating the NFLs ego more and more...done rant

7. NBA All-Star weekend is upon us. and the story you need to know about is Rudy Gay and the slam dunk contest. Why? People have said over time that it gets old and we need something new, well THIS is the something new and great. Rudy Gay has made a call to the world to post videos on You Tube of their best dunks and he's going to do the best ones in the slam dunk contest for his dunks! Now thats awesome.

8. NASCAR engine problems. this will be forgotten about if it goes away but it seems very eerie that Hendrick has replaced all its engines after 3 of them blew out all within minutes of each other and a bunch of Toyotas have had similar problems... (apparently a bad coating on a lift rod is the problem)

9. Which means all those guys need to start at the back of today's Gatorade Duels... what does that mean... honestly nothing; the Duels have historically been one of the more confusing setups in motorsports. Why even run qualifying times, what does it all mean... Dale Jarret needs to root for Kurt Busch so that it'll give him a chance to get into the Daytona 500 and even though Carpentier was a top half qualifier in speed he may still not make the race.. the madness the madness!!! Still if you are off, someone can explain it to you if you watch them on TV I'm sure.

10. Which of course brings us to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 this weekend. If you need a reason to watch here it is. for all motorsports fans, its opening day. the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is like that Thursday opening NFL game or the MLB opening night games or the ones in Japan, but the Daytona 500 is like Major League Baseball's opening day, or that first Sunday in the NFL or that first real Saturday in college football, just being a fan of racing is reason to watch, its the BIG start of race season.

11. Upcoming is of course March Madness, and if you are like me, its conference tournament time that you start to pay attention as the brackets get set for easily THE best playoff in sports. Why? because 65 teams get an equal shot, and there are no second chances or a best of 7. here you guys go, win and move on, you get 1 shot. The big note going in, Memphis is still undefeated, and unlike the Memphis of past seasons, they've got a schedule to better back up their clout going into March this year.

12. NCAA baseball starts next week. I'll leave the preview for next week but they've finally gotten one thing done that should have always been done (and should be done for football) An official opening day (Feb. 22nd). It doesn't matter where you see a game, the pings of the bats officially start on the same Friday.

13. For those of you who have never been, I highly recommend a college baseball game; some might argue about hating aluminum bats, but its no more a matter than arguing the different chassis styles & engines in various auto racing; no matter what kind, its still racing, and this is still baseball. If you can just appreciate the different variations of sports, college baseball is one not to miss. Guys coming up, cheap tickets and cheaper concession prices than MLB, not a bunch of nonsense on the PA system throughout the games, and genuine talent and also developing talent on the field; and like college basketball a true playoff system at the end of the season with plenty games for comebacks and time to get going...

I recommend one thing for everyone to try this year, a road trip to any or between venues. My friends and I started taking trips between MLB baseball stadiums, and last year threw in Kentucky Speedway and the Ford Museum in it and there is nothing better. This year we're going college with Alex Box Stadium (LSU), Privateer Park (Univ. of New Orleans), Turchin Stadium (Tulane), Pete Taylor Park (Southern Miss); and maybe a second trip somewhere for a race. Either way if you can spare even 1 race, or 1 game; get out, you might see more on TV but nothing beats the sound of engines or the sound of "Put me in Coach" during pre-game baseball, the endurance of a soccer game and the experience of being there at least once no matter where IT is.

My goal is to hit as many stadiums, tracks, theaters, venues as possible for all things in life but no doubt sports is the best; I'm young yet, but check my progress, its a heck of a start, start your own map.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Unification orrr.......

UPDATE: It seems kind of either ironic or just funny in overview that the key to American Open Wheel Racings merger lies in fixing a schedule change in Japan...

So as the week comes to an end, the merger talks in Indy Car land are going nutso, and to be honest, more nutso than ever.

I think the 2 reasons mostly being that people are sick and tired of the split AND because what Robin Miller has discovered has some real concrete to it; I mean he essentially forced all the other paid media outlets to do their job. Everything since Robin's report has a LOT of skepticism to it, but thats just being cautious from over the years. The most glaring thing for me so far today is how much Kevin Kalkhoven really needs to stay away from the press:

"It's a major hurdle but it's not the only one. There are significant advantages in merging but there are also significant advantages in not doing it. But at the moment there are no discussions until they move Motegi."

Please, anyone name one significant advantage to Kevin Kalkhoven or CHAMP Car of not unifying?

"Once again, as has happened previously in the past four years, somebody has leaked a story to the press, and the press has turned it into a tornado," "Now it has everyone running around in a circle. It's almost malicious, and it disappoints and infuriates me." "We were very close to a deal a couple of years ago and everything got leaked. Then instead of the key people working it out, everybody gets involved in the discussion. If people are trying to help unification, silence is the best thing."

Two BIG things here... welcome to the world Mr. Kalkhoven; have you ever seen umm... ANYTHING else in the world: look at NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA etc trades, Free Agency, new teams, pre-season the drafts; just look at the college football recruiting that just went on... they all seem to do perfectly fine under a fine amount of scrutiny. If you can't stand up to any of those things to make a decision you know is good and well, then you have no business running anything...

Now I don't think Kevin is a stupid person (yet); he's just a horrible public speaker and immature in taking shots at Robin Miller for doing his job.

Give credit to Robin where its due people, the man has a true source and while some people want to play his reports as false... I have yet to see anyone deny anything he's reported...

I honestly think Kalkhoven is just pissed it got announced before he got to announce it, and I think this is also a way of brushing people off so he can go back to working in silence... because to be honest, if they actually call this off because it was leaked, then he/they are by far the stupidest people on the planet.

The promising thing about it all is that it seems that Tony George and company are still on their way to Japan, and of course only time will tell what comes of it, and I doubt that Robin's source is on the trip (assuming its a source and not George himself) or that anything further will be leaked until an announcement of either a merger or a confirmation from the IRL that it is all gone.


on other issues concerning it: a lot of fans seem to be freaking out over 2 things: losing tracks and the disparity of competition and teams that will happen but the best thing that can be said was said by Paul Tracy:

“We’ll be at a disadvantage to the IRL teams the first year but such is life. Getting everybody back under one roof is what needs to happen.”

Maybe only 3 tracks get in the schedule for 2008, but that certainly doesn't translate for all the future, there will be tons of compromise, but people need to realize compromise is the only way this is going to work. Hopefully sometime next week I can report on some kind of good announcement, but until then we'll just have to focus on what little series-related team news exists...

Is It Over?

In the ever great words of Agent Smith... I normally would never comment on American Open Wheel racings on-going split and merger possibilities because there have been literally over 100 false hopes of a merger in the past, and even as recently as a month ago.

And as I left work yesterday I started seeing rumblings that we should have BIG news on it in the next day or two about the split being over...

And verily overnight came the overflow of reports from bloggers and news outlets: TSN, Indy Racing Revolution, Autosport, Pressdog etc etc but they are all basicly stemming from Robin Miller's Report on SpeedTV

It looks like one thing has definitely happened, whatever "no deal" was being said a month ago looks like it was a smoke screen to all the media so that they could get some kind of merger actually done... look like...

So is this 12+ year war in Indy Car racing over? Will we finally have only ONE series, will the Indy 500 go back to its overflowing fields, will we see races with over 18 cars on the track?

Obviously after 100 non-mergers one wants to just wait for the official announcement and not get the hopes up, but I have to say that my hopes are up real high right now. Why, because while most media are being stymied, the one guy who is getting the information (Robin Miller) has been supposedly getting it from an inside source and no one has yet come to the light and refuted anything he has reported, they've surely side-stepped but never denied.

I'll wait for details before I do any kind of big report, but what makes Robin's report look good is that it has quotes from the big players and owners all acknowledging that some kind of deal has been agreed to and is being hammered out... more on this later...hopefully

Monday, February 4, 2008

NFC 33 - AFC 32

The Unstoppable AFC loses in the years comprehensive result. That's right maybe the NFC isn't so horrible after all... in fact, I'd submit to you that we just witnessed the exact turning of the tide.

The eerie thing is how close this year and Superbowl is to the last time we saw the tide turn (Patriots over Rams) in that game the Rams were 14 point favorites, and no one thought an AFC team could beat a NFC team, then the game was not only close but the team that had been hammering people seemed to buckle under a startling amount of pressure from the other defense, and in both games the underdog won the game in the final minute of the game...

Sound like yesterday's SuperBowl much?? Well what's in store for the AFC, take a look at the AFC East outside of the Patriots... Look at how weak the AFC West has become... I'm not going to guarantee it but it sure looks like we just witnessed the next turn in the tide of AFC vs NFC... its happened numerous times, its nothing new, its just annoying to hear the announcers/analysts talk all year about how crappy the NFC was compared to the AFC.. especially when the NFC won the matchup (and if you don't count Superbowl they tied, which is much better than being "over matched").


Patriots Side note: Is Bill Belichick a robot? Did any of you SEE that press conference, and the word though reporters is that he basically had nothing to say to the team after the game... was he not programmed to have losing as a possibility?

On the best note of all: Congrats to Tom Coughlin and especially Eli Manning who in 5 consecutive weeks shut up all his antagonists (and the 1 interception in all of it was the receivers fault); and congrats to Tiki Barber... just because...

Chicago Cubs