October 01, 2007

Are We Still in Kansas?

LONG race yesterday. I'm not sure Biffle should have been called the winner since he was clearly out of gas and was passed by Bowyer and Johnson. I was glad to see, my guy, Truex Jr. getting more face time. But, I think that ESPN in car camera cursed him!!! Funniest line: "Tony Stewart has declined an interview." Ya think?!

The Twins WON their final game of the season against the Red Sox. I pray they do better next year with whoever they will have on the team next year. There are a lot of questions about who will still be with the organization.

Oh, and the Vikings lost at the Dome against the Pack. I still think the border needs to be closed-Wisconsin border that is.


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I know! All I can say is "Wow"!

October 01, 2007 11:47 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Terry: I understand.

October 01, 2007 1:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't.

But I am going to have to find a "Most variety in a Catholic Blog" category for you, Cathy, when the voting comes up again.

With your spiritual posts, your fashion posts, your cranky rants, and your Twins and NASCAR updates, among other things, I don't see how anybody could top you in that kind of a category.

Most of us just have two or three topics we cover.

October 01, 2007 4:38 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: It's all my personalities.

October 01, 2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...


ESPN has something else to be called into question.

In 2005, during a Busch race at Talladega, rain forced the start to be delayed into 5 PM ET. Fox pushed their programming officials and had the race aired in its entirety -- no move to FX or Speed as soon as the 8 PM (ET) Primetime Sweeps hour approached.

As Fox entered the primetime hour, they removed the first of two episodes of Cops to show the finish of the Aaron's 312 at Talladega, and gave the race until 8:30 PM ET.

Despite having to go GWC, it was Martin Truex Jr's victory that Fox televised into the waning hours of daylight. It was the first time a Busch race went into network primetime, and Fox was proud of that honour.

The ESPN Broadcast Network cut off the race at 6 PM and should have simply told affiliates to show their local news and return to the broadcast at 6:45 PM. But instead, they moved the race to ESPN2 for the final 70 minutes of craziness.

The reason was to protect Disney's sacred cow, Desperate Housewives. That's right -- a rauncy show about five sleazy women has more priority than a Nextel Cup Playoff. They wouldn't do this for the Indy 500, which takes place in rerun season for the sleazy show I never watch.

That erased six years of hard work NASCAR made in pushing their races into network primetime in spillover situations. If Chris Myers, Mike Joy, and the gang at Fox covered this event, they would not have jumped ship to cable at the hour.

ESPN treated the Nextel Cup Playoff like the Preakness Game (which was a different situation because of restrictions by Magna Entertainment and NBC; Magna stated the start time of the Preakness and NBC had to start the pre-game at the exact time in question. Also the NHL playoff game was not a rights-fee event, while the Preakness is.).

The funny thing was I had attended a reunion event for our college group, and you have to remember Sidney Rice played for the Ol' Ball Coach here at my alma mater. I had the race recorded to watch after I came home, but when I got back home, the race was on ESPN2, not the ESPN Broadcast Network, and they were about to resume with the last 62 laps.

I agree Biffle should never have won. He broke the safety car speed rule at the end (it's affected a few incidents in the past) and Bowyer should have won.

If the Fox crew was around, I could see all of them calling Barry Landis, Artie Kempner, and the production crew for a GPS review of the final lap to see rules violations.

There are some grumblings that Sidney Rice should not have left after his sophomore year. Another year or two would have made him a first-round pick.

P. S. One of my college friends' mother is battling breast cancer as of this moment. Keep her in your prayers.

NOTE 2: An update on Michelle Thomas (college friend whose tumour in spine was removed) -- her church is setting up a fund for medical bills, as has The South Financial Group (Carolina First). They need it for an MRI on the spine.

October 03, 2007 11:39 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Bobby: Yes, I will keep Michelle and your friends' mother in my prayers.

I forgot about the channel switch. It is a huge annoyance. I was thinking what if the switch messes up someone's attempt at recording the race? I know ESPN replays the race on Monday afternoon and you can watch it online but those options may not work for everyone. I think they switched networks one other time this year. I can't remember which race though.

I miss DW calling the race. He is just a riot, as well as one of the best drivers ever. I like Rusty though too. Rusty was the driver I followed prior to his retirement. Then, I switched to Truex Jr. I think they should put Rusty and DW in the booth. It would be like a straight man/clown routine featuring two great and, well respected, drivers.

October 03, 2007 1:19 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Bobby: Oh, and 'dega here we come! Woo-hoo.

I think letting that IRL driver start in NASCAR at Talladega is just about the worst idea I've ever heard. I forget the drivers name right now. You probably know who I mean.

October 03, 2007 1:21 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...

As I drove home from our reunion Sunday, the sports radio station had Larry McReynolds (Darrell was speaking at the Tennessee Right to Life banquet in Franklin, TN - now that's a great calling to show what a champion can do - great city) calling from Kansas (where he was doing press notes for Fox Sports Radio) attempting to decipher the rest of this mess.

McReynolds is the type of guy who would go to a football game and read the coach's mindset to see how the game goes from that brain, not the brain of a player. (Steve Byrnes, another Fox reporter, is on the NFL broadcasting roster and called a game from the Metrodome last year.)

Fox officials wanted the Waltrip and McReynolds team because he wanted both sides of a broadcast, but Richie Zyontz and Artie Kempner (a former SEC linebacker) have been able to bring other sports influence in their broadcasts. Jeff Hammond is their "utility fielder" in that he can be in the studio to demonstrate mechanical issues and analysing the event from pit road, report from pit road, or be the race analyst.

This helped Fox assign Tony Siragusa at NFL games as a hybrid sideline man and game analyst who watches the game from game level and not from the booth.

ESPN's attempts at mimicing the style haven't cut it. Tim Brewer doesn't stay out of the Dish Tech Center all day to study pit stops or catch in-race issues -- he does not have the pit road or booth man duties.

In regards to Jacques Villeneuve II (who never raced in the IRL; also referred as The Son to prevent confusion with his uncle of the same name (known as The Brother), both of whom won CART events at Road America -- the reference is compared to the late Canadian F1 ace Gilles Villeneuve. Bill Davis obtained #27 because it means so much to Jacques, since his father died in a Ferrari #27 in Zolder, Belgium. Jacques' best racing moments have come in cars with #27.), NASCAR has a minimum proficiency test for drivers before they are allowed to race at tracks, different than the Indy Racing League's minimum proficiency test. The IRL requires drivers to pass a four-stage rookie test that involves former and current drivers evaluating in the final stage. NASCAR requires drivers to have enough experience in racing at certain speeds.

NASCAR's decision on Villeneuve was based on his proficiency at high-speed circuits -- he ran two CART (1994-95 Michigan) and two USAC (1994-95 Indianapolis) races at tracks with speeds exceeding 200 MPH, with a win at one of the USAC races. Villeneuve was easily cleared for the Las Vegas truck race because of his experience at those two tracks and NASCAR gave him the clearance for the higher-speed tracks after observing him in Las Vegas. They will be watching him in Saturday's Mountain Dew 250 truck race (he is driving for an exempt team -- BDR's NCTS #27 was the #36, and later #22, after driver and sponsor changes). If he is deemed sufficient to race in that race, he will be cleared to run Talladega in Cup should he qualify. If not, Mike Skinner or Johnny Benson (other Bill Davis Racing drivers who have run Cup races at Talladega) would drive the car in that situation if it qualifies.

I like the IRL's proficiency test procedure because it involves open tests with veteran drivers. NASCAR could do proficiency tests at Rockingham (mile) or Kentucky (intermediate) for Cup racing during teams' private testing.

But my take: Villeneuve passed a proficiency test at Las Vegas. He has the Craftsman Truck race at Talladega (exempt team) before the Cup race. He must qualify for the Cup race on time. If he passes the Talladega truck race, he has full clearance for all races.

Earlier this year Johnny Benson's crew chief was fined and suspended for having a driver who had not been cleared by NASCAR for a 1.5 mile track testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Australian Marcos Ambrose had to wait until Martinsville to make his Craftsman Truck debut because he was not cleared for anything but short tracks (basic level) since his racing was on road courses.

Juan Pablo Montoya was cleared by NASCAR because he ran ARCA and Busch races before moving to Cup. NASCAR said he was clear anyway, because he had raced CART with the Handford Device (drafting) at Michigan and Fontana.

October 03, 2007 2:41 PM  

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