Holy schnikes, people. Is it over? Is the Festival of Grand Mal Frothing over? Forget Superstorm Sandy, Shit Storm Randy went on for what felt like DAYS (actually, don't forget her, she's more important, but we'll get to that).
Well I, for one, feel cleansed. Breathe in ... breathe out ... shake away the tention ... shake, shake, shake it away.
So I'm trying to gauge the reaction ... we had a few camps. One painfully analytical (that would be me), a few "F*CK YOU, INDYCAR!!!", some "we all reacting different ways and they're all ok... you judgmental SONS A BITCHES." There was a lot of "the BASTARDS KILLED RANDY!" And of course, the mandatory "Don't worry; be happy!" Plus a "you know you love it."
My friend Meesh posted THREE times in rapid succession (here) to fully explore her feelings. I kid Meesh, because I know she can take it. Meesh: "**&%$(&^ you, pressdog." Meesh is a passionate one, that's for sure.
Which is what the reaction to Randy Bernard being refiresigned (combination of resigned and fired. We need a word for it) is all about, honestly. Passion in varying degrees invested in various things. I'm passionate about fans taking control of their spending and viewing decisions and deciding for themselves if they are being served/benefited from a sport. If not, bail, but always YOUR CALL. Be the boss!
That's been my evolution over the last five years. No longer held in place by the "you're a hard-core, man, you ain't going anywhere." I was at one point, but that bond was eroded away, and now I'm a "Yo, sport X, win my business. Show me what's in it for me if you want me to pay attention to you" kind of consumer/fan. Even when it comes to IndyCar.That makes me smart or disloyal or some of each, depending on who you talk to.
As Meesh said, there's no right answer. And as my wife said when I told her about this kerfuffle "Who's Randy Bernard?" EXACTLY. I maintain that random fans ... don't care very much who CEO is. They only care if they are entertained. But let's not get back into THAT again.
So then this morning I read a column by a hard-core sports fan named Tory Brecht that "resonated" (a very trendy word, that). It's from a University of Iowa fan and you can read it here. (Shout out to Twitter buddy and fellow Iowan Jeremy Wheelock (@papawheelee) for making me aware of it.) The University of Iowa and Iowa State University are big damn deals here in Iowa. We have no NFL-level pro sports in Iowa, so the Hawkeyes (Iowa) and Cyclones (Iowa State) are the top rung -- by all measures including fan base side and fan spending. Every year around Labor Day the Iowa/Iowa State game is like the Iowa's Super Bowl.
ANYWAY, as you can imagine, there is a crapstorm of passionate fans for both teams. Iowa isn't doing so hot this year, so some of the hardest core fans are slipping into comas of despondency over it. UNABLE TO FUNCTION. And the hardest-core fans feel that it's on him or her to remedy this situation. To post The Answer on the message boards or write a blog with The Solution ... IF ONLY YOU DUMB BASTARDS WOULD UNDERSTAND!!! I HAVE THE ANSWER RIGHT HERE!!
Sound familiar? It does to me. All I have to do is google back to some TrackForm posts from me in 2003 or so. The upshot of the column, which you should read (here) is that Tory didn't watch the game last weekend in which Iowa got pounded by Northwestern University. He was at a soccer game and could only follow via the "howl of anguish" flowing through The Twitter from his fellow fans tweeting that the world was ending as the Hawkeyes lost.
Twitter does that. It's like a direct, mainline connection to your passions and snap reactions. They just seem to flow right out on Twitter, and I'm far from immune from the phenomenon. It's the good and bad of Twitter. It's driven a few people I know from using it.
Submitted for discussion: it's possible to have an unhealthy passion concerning some things. I'm not judging if others are over-passionate, I'm just saying it's possible to be over-passionate ... and sometimes I am.
I'm trying to cut down on that. Trying hard. Trying to redirect my passions to stuff that matters most. Wife, family, faith, having a positive attitude, not thinking fixing the world is up to me, personally, and not being afraid to enjoy what I enjoy. Trying NOT to get over-invested in stuff that, really, doesn't mean a lot, grand-scheme or that continues to bring me down (harsh me!) or return my passion with pain.
So I'm trying to chill a little. Stop thinking me and this tiny blog can RESCUE/ENHANCE/CORRECT IndyCar in some major Biblical way. Coffee spew. That's hillarious. No. Just for fun. Not big deal. If IndyCar disappears (and I hope it does not), I'll be sad, but I won't be crushed. World still rotates and there are many other interests/pastimes that could take its place. One thing that ain't going to happen is I'm not going to keep stepping up to get kicked in the crotch, and I ain't going to just show up because I always have. So if that's IndyCar's marketing plan, best wishes with that. I know where the line between loyalty and masochism is.
So thanks to Tory Brecht and his column for slap upside the head and reminder not to get so freaked out. Dude. It's not like a superstorm came and flooded your house and washed away your dog. IndyCar knows what I think and what gets my business (God knows, I've been clear). That's all I can, or want to, do. We'll see what's what in St. Pete. Until then, I got positive stuff to focus on. No more self-harshing.