Monday, May 24, 2004

The Winston

I love the Winston or, as it's called now, The Nextel All-Star Challenge. Some bullshit like that. I think I got it wrong but I don't care. It's still the Winston to me. The Winston is a very dangerous all-star shoot-out style stock car race that is held at a facility too big and fast for such an event to be held at. It's good sparkling car-smashing fun until someone dies. That hasn't happened yet. Personally, I think they are dodging a bullet every time they hold this all-star race. I still love it though. This race has everything that draws me to racing, guys putting their asses on the line for the sake of a big wad of cash. The event is purposefully staged for a maximum amount of chance taking by the drivers. The announcers make a big deal about the one-million-dollar prize for winning but if you put these guys on tricycles and awarded the winner a soda pop they would hurt each other just to be first.

I won't bore you with details other than to say that, once again, the Winston was great fun. There was some aggressive racing, there were bonehead moves, there was the unexpected and finally a great pass at the end for the win.

What was disapponting was the unnecessary ceremony and the bloated television coverage of it. All season long I have found the coverage by Fox Sports to be lacking in substance (the race in California had a last lap with lead-lap cars running out of fuel all over the track and Fox totally blew the coverage. That would never have happened back when ESPN covered the sport). Thank god Darrell Waltrip is in the broadcast booth to bring to bring it back to the race once the green flag drops. How bad was the coverage? Think Superbowl bad. Last night, while watching the pomp between the first and second segments, I thought of the bit that Lewis Black does about the Superbowl. He claims that eventually the coverage will get so bad that it will be unwatchable. The Winston coverage might get there first. Last night's lengthy show made the last two minutes of an NBA game look like the 100 meter dash. When Mark Martin walked out during the fireworks and forced fan screaming I could see by his demeanor and his face that he just wanted to get the damn race started. I was with you there, buddy.

Several times last night I was dying to be at the race. I'll be there next year, dadgummit.

100 Meter Dash

There was an invitational track and field meet on TV yesterday and I was lucky enough to catch the men's 100 meter dash final. There are few things more exciting than the ten seconds it takes these guys to run 100 meters. I found out a couple of years ago that it's not about speed. A human can only run so fast. The key to winning the race is who can maintain top speed the longest.

No comments: