Loose Lugnuts by Mike Sanders
You're Kidding, Right?
There are a lot of NASCAR-related blogs out there. Some are run by guys who are already members of the media (local or national), some by just regular guys with a passion for the sport and a bit of spare time on their hands. I try to peruse as many as I can as often as I can to see what people are saying about the topic of the day. I love it when I can see what the kool-aid drinkers in the national NASCAR media are spouting. It's even better when I can send in a comment when I think they're trying to blow smoke up my butt. Such an occasion came about after the Cup race in Kansas a couple of weeks back. In a blog penned by a well-known member of the national NASCAR media (I won't mention his name, but if I did you'd instantly recognize it). He was talking about the now infamous incident when The Bimbo got p.o.'ed at Landon Cassill and tried to wreck him, only to send herself careening into the outside wall and destroying yet another race car, while Cassill drove away laughing at her and ending up with a top 20 finish. In the last paragraph of the blog was this line: "Danica Patrick is a talented racer who will almost certainly enjoy a long and lucrative NASCAR career." I couldn't help but sending in a response to that. I said that line sounded more like a talking point generated by the cementheads at NASCAR HQ than it did a heart-felt opinion. I called her Michael McDowell with breasts, except that McDowell is a better driver in worse equipment. I also said that she'd be out of racing in five years or less and that she's already had a lucrative career, but hasn't done a thing to earn it (even her sponsor is growing weary of the lack of on-track results; after next year they could become Gone Daddy). Well, none of that sat well with the author, who refused to publish my comments but instead issued this rebuttal: "If you're looking for your comment, you will not find it. Name calling does not fly on this blog, and we also do not travel the cheap insult route. If you are capable of making your point without the trash talk (and based on your first effort, I suspect you may not be capable), feel free to try again. Otherwise, don't waste your time submitting another comment that will never see the light of day". Wow...you're telling fans who are passionate enough to not only read your blog but write in to comment on it not to trash talk? Especially when the blog that day features a story about the most polarizing figure in the sport today? Are you effing kidding me? Trash talking is part of being a fan. Hey, it's your blog so you can make your own rules, but don't expect many fans to bother reading it. Later that day I sent in a politically correct comment and he did publish it, and thanked me for not name-calling. Too late, dude. You showed yourself to be a thin-skinned coward. And yes, I still think you were just regurgitating talking points at the end of your blog.
It's Only Going To Get Worse Next Year
Other members of the kool-aid drinking national NASCAR media were gushing over The Bimbo's 24th place finish at Texas last week. Not only did she almost get a top 20 finish, but she FINISHED ON THE LEAD LAP !!!!! NASCAR is saved!!!!! Yep, I'm telling you, if she were to actually get a top 10 finish in a Cup race next year (nah, not gonna happen, but don't tell these guys that) we would never hear the end of it. I counted at least five separate articles on Monday breathlessly chronicling her day at TMS. It must have been a slow news day for NASCAR, or something. Of course we've already been subjected to complete, lap-by-lap accounts of her 14th place, 2 laps down finishes in the Nationwide Series this year as well. And I wish the media would quit referring to her as a "star". She's NOT a star, she's a publicity stunt. She's Geraldine Ferraro in a firesuit. For those too young to recognize the name, Google "Geraldine Ferraro" and you'll see why I call her a publicity stunt.
The Storyline Continues
Last year, as soon as Bent Sh!tcan was mathematically eliminated from Chase contention, it appeared that NASCAR HQ sent out a memo to the media that said that 2012's storyline would be the 48 team's pursuit of title number six. You saw more articles published about that than you did the finish of the Chase, almost as if since the 48 wasn't going to win it wasn't worth paying any attention to. Once this season started, it appeared that The Felon was going to make damn sure that the 48 did win it all again this year: what, Cheating Weasel gets busted for cheating in Daytona? Well, we'll just appeal it and I'll make a couple of rather large contributions to Brain Dead's liquor fund and all will be forgiven. (You'll notice that the 27 team didn't have as much luck with the appeal process after getting busted at Michigan. I guess Childress' pockets aren't as deep as The Felon's). And then there was last week at Texas, when Bent Sh!tcan jumped the final restart and held off B-ski for the win. Ummm...that's against the rules. But once again, we can't be interfering with the storyline, can we? So, Robin Hoodless comes out and says yes, he did something illegal, but it was so close we decided not to call it. Really? So, in order to get busted for cheating it has to be blatant? I think Clint Bowyer would disagree with that...
Something Else That's Going To Get Worse Next Year
Race attendance is bad and getting worse this year. How many blimp shots of empty grandstands (like last week at TMS; that was a real shame) do we have to be subjected to before the cementheads admit that there is a real problem? Every time one of these morons talks it always "yes, things are great for NASCAR right now". Um, no they're not. And with the economy potentially falling off a cliff next year, be prepared to see Cup races where the attendance approaches that of a high school football game...in Alaska. Daytona, a few years back, decided to close off the backstretch grandstands for the July race because of poor ticket sales. More tracks should start thinking of doing that. Just close down the backstretch and fill up the frontstretch. Use the principle of supply and demand; it does work.
Why Do They Do It?
Sometimes it appears that the TV networks covering NASCAR deliberately try to enrage their viewers. Most viewers despise DW, so what does FOX do? Why, they give him a contract extension. Rusty, universally acknowledged to be a great race car driver, is also universally acknowledged to absolutely suck in the broadcast booth. ESPN's solution? Why yes, it would be a contract extension as well. The FOX booth bozos drool over Mini Douche, and the ESPN Chase race coverage, especially this year, is more like an on-air meeting of the Bent Sh!tcan Fan Club. And sponsors can't be happy with this, either. They're not getting a decent return on their investment, which is why so many are leaving the sport. No butts in the seats at the track, and horrific TV coverage, leading to dismal ratings. Yep, sounds like a recipe for success...