Little known fact: "Lunch beer" is comes from the same Latin root as "Friday." Also, I'm self-employed, and one of the (BIG) perqs of being self-employed is a very lenient consuming-beer-on-the-job policy. Helps make up for that "could possibly end up living in a van down by the river" downside of self-employment.
So Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- cheers! Pull up a chair and let me pour some out for my homeys. No afternoon meetings for me and only one radio ad to write for the day job, so lunch beer ... engaged. Another note: lunch beer is common in Europe. These are my ancestors! (English and German). Embracing my roots. Final note: my radio ads are better when written with the aid of beer.
F1 on NBC?-- Cue the bag breathing. According to this story from the AP, F1 will bag SPEED next year and is in negotiations to move to one or more of the NBC stations. Why am I bag breathing (excited) about this? Couple reasons ...
1) If NBC gets F1, they have the two high-profile (at least here in the colonies) road and street racing series. Granted, F1 is hugely hugely hugely more popular globally than IndyCar, but in the U.S. I'd call it a draw. F1 is probably more popular than IndyCar in the U.S., but not by much.Then again what isn't most popular in the U.S. than IndyCar?
ANYWAY, my point is this: If NBC has both IndyCar and F1, they are in position to try and package them together in a way that says "we got the best twisty racing right here!" I have said (many times) before that an idea for IndyCar is to use its twisty (I use them "twisty" as a way to avoid typing "road and street" all the time. "Twisty" is shorthand, NOT a pejorative for road and street, OK?) element to differentiate itself from every other kind of racing here in the U.S.
If NBC has BOTH F1 and IndyCar it could maybe launch an "embrace the twisty" initiative. THAT, in my view, would benefit IndyCar. Since most twisty fans (that I know) are fans of all twisty racing, associating IndyCar and F1 by a common network would help both.
Again, IndyCar is drawing 250,000 viewers per race, so it's not like there is a bunch to lose. I seriously doubt that IndyCar viewers will abandon it en mass to watch F1 instead. They could have done that when F1 was on the SPEED Channel.
2) Varsha, Matchett and Hobbs. Yeah, I like the NBC Sports Network booth posse just fine and I'm not saying they suck, but the Speed F1 team of Bob Varsha, Steve Matchett and David Hobbs are the best in the U.S. at calling twisty races. Watching road races with these three calling the action greatly helped me develop an appreciation for twisties. So let's imagine those three doing BOTH F1 AND IndyCar on NBC Sports Network. BAM.
So I hope it pans out and NBC gets F1. I would venture at least some if not all of the races will be on NBC Sports Network. IndyCar is contractually prevented from airing on NBC broadcast network (the mothership) because ABC owns the broadcast (as in non-cable/satellite station) rights.
I see tons of upside to having F1 on NBC Sports Network, including bolstering the network's overall image and offerings. When a show that attracts 275,000 viewers is your entire network's highest rated show of the week, as it is on NBCSN, you need more viewers, period.
Junior's Brain -- We found out a few days ago that Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered an undiagnosed concussion about six weeks ago when he crashed during a tire test at Kansas Speedway. Doctors figured it out when they examined Junior after Talladega last weekend. They said he had a concussion at Kansas AND Talladega, so that's two concussions in six weeks. Story. On the advice of doctors, Earnhardt decided not to drive this weekend at Charlotte and next weekend at Kansas.
Absolutely the right call there. You don't want to dick around with brain injury. Your brain is unbelievably awesome and unique in history. Much of how it works is still a mystery. But for all its awesomeness, the brain has a weakness: it can't heal. Once your brain is damaged, it's essentially damaged forever. Neurology and neurosurgery are primarily about damage prevention and damage control. Once your brain is damaged, as one neurologist put it, it's "diagnose and adios." There's no cure, per se. There are medications that can help control the damage and mitigate the deficits. The brain itself can reroute circuits to make up for deficits so maybe you can learn to walk again, etc., but he deficit itself is there forever. You can't "shake it off." Once you have a brain injury, you have to use medications and other means to make the best of it. This is why neuro doctors are almost universally safety Nazis.
So the key is to avoid the deficit in the first place. Driving with a concussion doesn't make you brave or tough, it makes you an idiot -- perhaps literally. So good for Dale listening to his doctors and taking care of his brain, which is way way way more important than any racing achievement could ever be.
I'd go even further and say NASCAR and IndyCar should have a rule (or should maintain one if they already have one) that says if a neurologist says you shouldn't race, you can't race, period. Why? Because if you leave it up to the individual, you know what will happen. Most will be "tough" and "not going to let anything get in their way" and race anyway. This is too big of a deal. Shut 'em down until they get cleared to drive. By rule. NASCAR should also follow IndyCar's example and create a neurological baseline reading (not sure how this exactly works, honestly) during pre-season physicals. From what I understand, these baselines are critical to determining if someone has had a concussion and if so, how severe, etc.
Mazda Road to Indy -- Current and prospective participants in the Mazda Road to Indy (consisting of USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights) were at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Wednesday and Thursday to for the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy tests. Kind of an audition thing. IndyCarAdvocate.com shot out to IMS and has some observations here. My homey Ryan at JuniorOpenwheelTalent.com has reports here and here.
Among the participants were Ayla Agren from Norway, who made a Viking-like assault on the prestigious Women of pressdog® list. Behold ...
Saucy! Insert viking horn sound here! Definitely a contender for spot #25 on the wopd list. Here's Ayla's Facebook site.
The two-day Festival of Testing is a good idea. Golf applause. Unfortunately, actually landing a spot on a team is still way way way way too much about bringing cash. So while driving skill is an element, a big check is still too big of a factor (perhaps the main factor). But that's true in all of open-wheel racing, sadly.
Honestly, there's not much in the feeder leagues to attract sponsors. Audiences are tiny. It's friends and family at the races. I continue to believe IndyCar should invest in trying to build a fan base in the feeder series so the fans follow the drivers up to IndyCar. Other than that, IndyCarAdvocate.com has some interesting observations on the feeders here.
That's all I got. Better get those radio ads cranked out. NASCAR at Charlotte this weekend. Check nascar.com for times. Woman of pressdog Danica Patrick is in action. No wopd Johanna Long at Charlotte, but she'll be deployed in Kansas. I'll be rolling to Kansas Speedway next week. Already got a super-special interview lined up. Gotta get MENTALLY READY FOR IT.
Peace out and DRINK, ye BASTARDS®. BTW, $1 of every DRINK, ye BASTARDS drinkware bought HERE goes to support this site. Just sayin ...