Monday, April 30, 2007

Turn Left...

If you know me, you know i grew up in the South. Like Alabama said in their song Tennessee River, "...i'm southern born and southern bred". Although, i'm sure there are a number of Gulf Coast Cajun's that would debate the fact, Oklahoma is still south of the Mason/Dixon, and that makes me a Confederate Southern Gentleman. With that said, i do have a bone to pick. Let me make this clear'ern rattlesnake snot...


I watched almost the entire race at Talladega yesterday, in my limited understanding, one of the fastest, most exciting races of the year. In fact, here is a quote from the official Talledega
site, "Talladega Superspeedway is the biggest, fastest, most competitive motorsports facility in the world. Records for both speed and competition have been established at Talladega".
I mean, the place seats 143,000! Plus the rednecks that tote in their horsetrailers full of more rednecks and their mulleted progeny into the 212 acre pasture they refer to as "the Infield". It has basically two runways, both over 4000 feet long where the cars reached speeds yesterday of just over 200 mph, at least that's what the monitor on the tv said. So you would think this would be pretty exciting right? Well, it was, for the most part. I'll admit i even listened to the radio broadcast for part of the race to the eventual "winner" Jeff Gordon and his pit crew. Let me tell ya, THAT was interesting, here's a little sample of the majority of what i heard,

"OK, looking good, five single file and three deep all the way back..."

Entertainment at its finest. But, like i said, for the most part it was exciting, well kinda. I thought it was pretty amusing when one of the drivers, Tony Stewart, was involved in a multicar hairball, after the dust settled, he jumped out of his car to...ahem, politely wave to the other gentleman that "crashed" him. OK, so let me get to the part that i'm still scratching my head over.

This is the heralded "TALLADEGA" (you're supposed to say that almost reverentially, apparently lowered whispered tones, yet with a wistful sparkle in the eye, like "if i could only BE THERE!"). So we're down to the end of the race, there are like 31 or 32 cars left of the original 43, and they are lined up bumper to bumper, single file for like, i don't know, 800 feet. Its like watching the pre-rush hour traffic on steroids, i'm thinking, boy, how can these fans stand the suspense?!" We're under 10 laps to go and the excitement mounts, i mean, i'm actully starting to sense it too, and then some driver "MOVES TO THE INSIDE!!!" and 5 or 6 others jump in right behind him to draft and push him so they all go faster, and then all hell breaks loose and the aforementioned metallic fracas occurs. So the yellow flag comes out for the 37th time of the race and everybody lines back up and sets the cruise. The announcers are screaming some drivel about "OK, you've only got two laps to go after the green drops, and boy its gonna be exciting!"

And here's where i'm still going, "WHAT THE....??????!!!!! They are interviewing Tony Stewart and rewinding the footage, wanting to get his comments on the carnage he was just involved in. They screw up the replay as he not-so-subtly lets the replay tech know. So here we are watching the bad rerun of a mediocre wreck. Meanwhile,

"And Jeff Gordon wins the Talladega 500!"

WHAT THE $@&%# just happened? I watched almost this whole race, just to hear THAT!!! Like, "Oh yeah, Jeff Gordon is the default winner, since he was in the lead when the wreck took place."

To me, its like watching the NFL playoffs and this one decides who goes to the Super Bowl, there's 4 seconds left in the 4th, the Broncos have the ball at the 3 yard line with 3rd and goal to go...they break the huddle, move up to the line of scrimmage, the tension mounts until you can almost FEEL IT!! The crescendo of the crowd rises as they come to their he scans the defense checking the play, Cutler screams, "BLUE 21 BLUE 21, SET...!"

and Al Michaels breaks in, "Hey John, let's take a look at that play where Rod Smith twisted his knee..." the replay booth overlays the real action for the replay and the telestrator with Rod in the picture and Michelle Tafoya holding the mic asking him about the play. ... and after they show the linebackers cover the 3- and 4- holes, totally missing Rod's deep post route, and over that you hear the crowd roar in the background!! Your going, "WHAT THE _______ JUST HAPPENED?!

"Oh yeah, Broncos win, anyway, about the injury..." as the team celebrates the touchdown. It was so anticlimactic, i just turned the whole thing off and...


Bag Blog said...

Although "Go Dogs Go" is one of my favorite children's books, I've often wondered what the lure of the race track was like - thinking "Wow, cars going round and round." Thanks for the insight. I will stick to the book.

palmer_ths said...

BOOGITY, BOOGITY, BOOGITY, LET'S GO RACIN' BOYS! Awesome ain't it. You just have to watch it more to understand it. And for sure, just go to a race one time and yer hooked. I'm tellin ya, you go one time and you know why 150,000 go to a race.