Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rubbin's Racin'

Well, football season has come and gone. Somehow the city of New Orleans has survived and is now waking up with one massive hangover. It's the doldrums for sports fans, March Madness has not kicked in. Baseball is just starting to wake up for the pitchers and catchers. Who can not wait for that fantastic curling competition from Vancouver? One thing has caught my eye. Maybe its the hillbilly in me. Maybe it was those Friday nights of my childhood, watching Bo and Luke drive that beautiful orange 1968 Charger around Southern California...uh I mean Hazzard County that did it. NASCAR, for the first time in a few years, has caught my eye.

I had followed it as a kid due in large part to the aforementioned Duke boys. There's something about fast, loud, carborated machines racing and jumping over junk cars that stuck with me. NASCAR was a part of my sports watching childhood that I have been kind of feeling nostalgic for. I loved "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville". I remember the Allisons, the Pettys and Dale Sr. I remember the old days, when a guy from a small one car team could still compete. Those days went away as the sport grew, as did myself.

I got into other things, grunge music, skateboards, the Grateful Dead and girls. NASCAR lost its roots too much for me. I missed, a half in the bag, Tim Richmond going out and lapping the field. I missed Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison knocking the dog snot out of each other on the backstretch at Daytona. It got replaced by a sponsor driven, monotonous, glorified IROC race. In short, NASCAR took the fun out of racing.

With the advent of cable television, the sport grew, but at a rate that it could not handle. Too many people wanted a piece of it and NASCAR wanted to appease everyone. In the end, they may have alienated everybody. We got drivers who were more concerned about their sponsors than the racing itself. We got sponsors who pushed drivers down our throats who could not produce. We had a sanctioning body give us boring racing with too many rules. They were too afraid that people may be offended by colorful drivers or fights on the backstretch. Here's what they forgot. That is what made the sport so great. Fans don't want to hear how the Lowes # 48 has the best crew. They want to hear why you think the guy in the # 20 is an asshole for knocking you into the wall.

Fast forward to this year, NASCAR realized and may be a bit too late, that they were losing fans. The Car of Tomorrow was and is, looking like the NASCAR's version of Windows Vista. It was something that supposed to make the racing better, but showed again that NASCAR had forgotten its roots. NASCAR should be, simply at its core, "stock" car racing. We are already seeing the testing of next generation cars with, get this, "fuel injection". Wow, way to step into the 1980's. The COT alienated an already worn out fan base by watering down the sport even more. I am glad that the Car of Tommorow, appears to be the the car of yesterday by next season.

They still need to address the small teams ability to compete. Today, if you're not in a multi-car team with big sponsors, head to your nearest dirt track. You don't have a real chance to compete. I'm not saying there needs to be a spending cap, but Nascar needs to make it easier so the small guys can compete. The Car of Tomorrow, instead of making it easier to compete, created a large disadvantage to the small teams, due to lack of money for development. In a sense, NASCAR gave us their version of the Pontiac Aztec.

NASCAR announced that they are "relaxing" the rules for bumping and restrictor plates. They said that they want the guys to go at it. Ok prove it. My gut tells me, it will be more of the same. My other fear is that they will manufacture the rivalries between drivers, ala Vince McMahon and tamp down any real heat between the drivers. Let it happen naturally. With that much speed and that much testosterone, it will happen by itself.

When these announcements were made, it gave me hope. It gave me hope that they may be finally listening. If I watch the race on Sunday, I hope to see something that hasn't been there in a long time. If its more of the same, I'll just simply turn the channel...


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Playoff PAC

Do you all remember my rant just month or two back on the PR war in college football? Well guess what?????????

Monday, December 7, 2009

Random Thoughts Just in Time for the Holidays

Well, the season has come and gone. Charlie is gone although, not quietly into that dark night. Timmy has left Gainesville and Coach Stew is still hugging everyone within an arm's reach. The wacky recruiting time has begun and yet again, we still will not have a legitimate national champion at the end.

Let me see your war face!
In my WTF moment of Sunday morning, I soon learned that Mr. Fleischer is earning his bucks at the BCS. During my morning work out, I had on Sportscenter on the World Wide Leader. They began talking about the BCS and the bowl match ups. Of course, those in Bristol were espousing how the BCS worked so well, because the top two rated teams were in the national title game. More importantly they were pimping how Boise State and TCU were both invited. In my mind, it wasn't enough, because they are playing each other, not teams from the BCS schools. They still do not have a legitimate shot at the title. The term that the paper puppet used when announcing the match up was that the BCS was at the "Forefront" of getting the non-BCS schools a fair shot. Again I say, huh and what about Cincinnati? I'm sure Mr' Fleicher has sent out the list of terms to be used. The contract hasn't even kicked in yet and as they say on the farm, it's going to get real deep.

Charlie, Charlie Charlie
Some of us go graciously. Some of us are escorted by security guards. Others get an exit interview. Charlie Weiss gets a stage and what a performance it was. Any man that has the balls to call out Pete Caroll for pulling a "Tiger" has got to be crazy or just plain bitter. I guess if you can't beat the man, do it the old fashioned way and create a tabloid media frenzy.

Put the gun down Pyle!
You know there are too many bowls, when Detroit is a host city. Nothing against our friends in the motor city, but it's not a place that I would think I would want to spend the holiday season. Imagine going through a long season of games, plus all of the off season workouts and your reward at the end is...Detroit.

Enjoy your retirement Coach Bobby Bowden and Coach Mickey Andrews from FSU. I wish I could wish you good luck in the Gator Bowl, but we still owe you one for 1975 Bobby. See ya in Jacksonville...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Marketing Machine Chugs Along

Well, those at the BCS fortress of Ineptitude and at the World Wide Leader have done it again. Those that have read my blog, may recall my bashing of ESPN for calling out the WAC for hiring a PR firm to bolster its case for the BCS. Why would I find it curious that ESPN, as of now, has yet to report this little nugget? Ari Fleischer has just been hired by the BCS to be their front man in their PR war to keep the BCS in our "hearts and minds".

For those who don't recall, Mr. Fleischer was W's press secretary. He is, in my mind, one of the best in the buisness. I'm not trying to be political, but any guy that can deliver the message stating the case for our war in Iraq, has to be one hell of a salesman. The BCS hired the best and I'm sure he's earning quite a few more pennies than his time in the White House.

Again I throw the BS card to our friends in Bristol. Why has this not been reported by the World Wide Leader? Why do they call out the WAC for doing the same thing, yet fail to report it when the BCS does the same thing? Again, as stated before, it is all about protecting their investment, with that fat new TV contract with the BCS.

The marketing machine chugs along. Charlie Weis is done and have you heard, it's Tim Tebow's last game in Gainesville? This and other over reported stories are coming to you next on sportscenter...


Friday, November 13, 2009

The Greatest Shootout in Soccer History

This could be the greatest amount of taunting I have ever seen in one shootout. Italy-Brazil for the world cup, no way. I'm talking Stony Brook-Hartford in the America East. Ocho Cinco, take notes...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Image is Everything

We have now reached a breaking point in College Football between the haves and the have nots. The world wide leader has just reported that the WAC has hired a PR firm to keep itself in the discussion for the BCS. It is now more apparent than ever that the system is broken and corrupt and the only thing that will save it is some sort of Armeggedon.

Of cource I have a few issues with this whole scenario. As I had stated in a previous post, I felt that the BCS was and is, all about marketing. It is nothing more than a beauty contest made up of 300 lb. lineman. This action by the WAC is proof in point. I don't like it at all, but I understand that they are forced to do it. The big 6 have built in marketing machines due to their television contracts. Why do you think this story was reported in the first place? It's straight out of the last election cycle. You make the WAC look desperate and that they don't belong. They then get knocked down a peg in perception. ESPN reports it as a true news story when in reality they are helping their own wallets by keeping the teams they have rights to, look more relevant. Spin, Spin, Spin.

What does the Mountain West have to do? Are they going to have to put up a billboard in Times Square? Oh wait, Oregon already did that. Maybe they'll just start having commercials on why they deserve their votes. You think I'm crazy. It's coming if nothing is done. I can see it now, a man walks out and says, "What is a Horned Frog?" and of course then we get to see a 20 second clip of highlights. Then we get the tag line, "Vote for TCU". I may be out in left field or maybe I have the next great marketing idea. By the way I am a whore and can be had for the right price and yes please vote for TCU...cough, cough, wink, wink.

Enough is enough. Settle it on the field. It will be alot cheaper in the long run, and the returns would far outweigh what we get now in the bowl system. If the television deal for the NCAA basketball tounament is worth $ 6 Billion, imagine what a football deal could be worth for a playoff. The problem is that we may teach our children to share, but the BCS does not. The NFL figured it out a long time ago. Revenue sharing is the name of the game. In the long run it pays off. As Chuck Klosterman pointed out in his most recent book, Pete Rozelle was a genuis to get capitalists to act like communists. We all share and we all get more. Too bad the socialists on most of these college campuses haven't figured it out yet.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Random Thoughts Headin' to November

We have reached the report card part of the season. In the immortal words of Dennis Green, "They are who we thought they were!" This is the make break part of any college football season in regards to post season play in some antiquated system that only rewards those who put asses in seats instead of play on the field. Anyway let's take a look at where we are now.

Basketball season is right around the corner. Who would have thought that Duke actually has a legitimate shot at the league title? It looks like another 40000 draw for their championship game. I'm so happy that expansion thing has worked so well for them. I can't wait to see their Nielsen numbers. They just may beat out the World Curling Championship in the ratings.

The Big XII
Have you heard that Sam Bradford hurt his shoulder? The marketing of a mediocre conference continues. My little Gracie is putting her horns in the air and screaming , " Hook em!". The horns are all but set to go to the national title game. Brand sells, play on the field does not.

Yet again, they are getting talked out of the national title hunt by those with the big TV contracts. I have heard from a lot of talking heads who say that they don't have a marquee win and the rest of their schedule is full of pancakes. Really? I guess the thrashing of the new media darling Oregon, was a fluke huh?
I don't know whether to say, if it's going to be another mediocre Big 10 (11) team in the national title game or really they are that good. Anyone in Iowa City will probably say the latter. The win in Happy Valley showed me something. Sometimes, like the Ohio State team in 2002, the bounces go your way for a reason. Now watch them lose every game from here on out after I just typed this.
The Big East
OK my point of view is shaded, but the league is good and always has been. The preseason polls as I said before, are based on marketing and preconceived notions that are not true anymore. I am convinced now more than ever of this. It sometime takes the hacks in the media a little while to start to come around. Here is what going to happen. Everybody in the Big East will beat each other and there will be no clear champion. The media hacks will say how the Big East doesn't belong in the BCS due to record. True to form, the Big East champ will then smoke their opponent in the BCS bowl. It happens year in and year out. It is by far the most balanced conference in the nation.
And Finally...