As childish as it may sound, I’m opting for escapism as a method of coping with the ridiculousness that has already become the Indycar off-season…
My form of escapism you ask?
Statistics. Historical statistics.
Hey, groan all you like but I’m finding more every day that the old axiom holds true – ‘the older I get, the less I know’. Rather than suffer through the off-season lamenting why I never studied a foreign language in my many years of book-learnin’, or feeling remorseful for not learning more from my mother about how to, from scratch, cook a great meal, I’m going to spend a considerable chunk of the Indycar doldrums with my nose in this:
“When you are old and gray and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire,
take down this book and slowly read, and dream of the soft look
your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.” -William Butler Yates
Ah yes… the smell of soy-ink-printed semi-glossy paper. Black-on-white typography with no graphics or visual representations. Just numbers… sweet, sweet numbers… arranged tightly in columns and rows… will I dare to follow that footnote which teasingly runs onto another page of… *gasp* more numbers and perhaps a brief snippet? OOOooohhh tingly bits, why must you betray me so? (I always have wondered about the juxtaposition of accountancy and erotica so thanks for indulging me briefly).
As much as I think I know about Indycar, there is always something to discover in a sport with over 100 years of history. I’m going treasure hunting this off-season and I aim to bring you nuggets of interest/trivia so stay tuned. Also, if you desire a tangible countdown method for the upcoming Indycar season, buy one of these and make a habit of crossing off the days until St. Pete 2013…
Here’s a quick example:
Q: in 2013, Indycar will make its first return to Pocono Raceway since 1988 and attempt to smash the qualifying record speed of 205.724 set by whom in 1986?
A: Michael Andretti
End of another year and, as many do, I pause to look both back at the previous year and ahead at what may come. I looked back in my blog entries to find some unfinished drafts and decent thoughts within which I now unabashedly review and present this day as blog-filler (or ‘clearing the mental-leftovers’ if you will).
– There were no less than three posts which contained only a title and no body copy. Those titles were; “The Yellow Submarine”, “Next Generations”, and “Peter Brady”. Fairly certain where I was going with the former two, but not the latter (fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to blog, son).
– A few unfinished ‘for/against’ or ‘wish list’ themed entries appear rightfully dated now, based on the happenings of 2010.
– A very long and incomplete summary of this year’s Indy 500 trip was present. I enjoyed reading my recap and now am wishing I had done this for each year I’ve gone. Recently I’ve found great Indy daydream material when I get sucked into the detailed historical journals posted by Paul Dalbey over at MoreFrontWing.com. I’ll post a snippet of mine here:
[…So in review, here are my impressions for the 94th Indy 500 – 2010.
1. Camping – My group of early-middle aged crazies (with the annual rookie tripper) again enjoyed the relative freedom found in 5 days of a lesser regard for manners, hygiene, liver protection, ambition, order, and calm. All in all, the camping portion of the trip was another success and the near-perfect weather was a huge factor in being able to enjoy the weekend to its fullest. An under-canopy bar and music area was new this year and was a rousing success. Duly noted.
2. Food and Beverage – I will say that the absence of the 4-star chef from our ranks was noticable on many levels but the no moreso than the decrease in ambition and direction shifting the eating to a more improvised dinner each night. The quality was still there, albeit a reduction in the anticipation of knowing what was ahead for our gullets each night was noted. We tried a keg this year in support of our multitudinous cases of beer. BeerFail. To keep the keg cold and palatable, a larger tub and more ice than we had available was required. I just returned it last night to retrieve my deposits, feeling like we had fallen short of expectations. Most, if not all, of us were just as happy with the numerous dirty 30s loaded and emptied in the 5-day iced coolers. Duly noted….]
I plan to continue my blogging here and, with the upswing in Indycar mojo, hope to make time for more timely and consistent entries for the seven (oops, just fact-checked my stats) make that, nine of you who read this. My aim for 2011 is to continue to provide something that’s not already being made out there. This requires the use of only my brain primarily so you can see how we’re standing on shaky ground.
So it’s a Wednesday in the middle of November and I’m forced to reneg on a promise I made to myself LESS THAN A MONTH AGO, that was supposed to last until March 2011.
Steph (@99forever) over at More Front Wing (a very well-organized and well-done Indycar blog) illuminated and challenged we Indycar slobs to not succumb to the all too frequent curse of obsessive fandom: off-season withdrawal. Too often we feed the monkey with little hits of junk here and there to get us by until the new season starts, but they often come from low-grade rumor and unnewsworthy news required by our 24/7/365 desire for infotainment which serve no greater good. Unfortunately, my promise has been thrown from the wagon by recent developments urging me to take a hit off the Indycar off-season pipe once again (OK, enough addiction references):
1. Biggest Blood-Pressure-Raising, Swear-Inducing, Palm-to-Forehead Slappin’, Anger-Management-Forgettin’ Major Pisser-Offer: The shuttering of the Silent Pagoda.
Seriously? SE-RI-OUS-LY? “This is soooo necessary and the world of Indycar will certainly meet a pre-Mayan-Calendarian doom if we don’t DO SOMETHING AND NOW… Let’s shut down a fan-favorite blog because the waste there is rampant”, said the overzealous counter-of-beans. The Anglophile in me would say, “FOOKin’ ‘ELL MAN!” For those that don’t know the Silent Pagoda, you can trust the opinion of this established Indycar devotee when I say this was the most-enjoyable damned blog related to Indycar… period. Pure entertainment and blissful irreverence for a sport that is frought with overseriousness, just for the sake of having a laugh (and showing by our very nature a higher intelligence than most autosport fans). Granted some of the seriousness is justified given the precarious nature of our beloved sport… SOME, not all, so humorous satire is a welcome distraction for this Indycar fan’s workaday world. It’s Indycar news like this that makes me want to break shit. (okay, deep cleansing breath)
2. Best News of the Month so far: Chevrolet announces an Indycar engine program to compete with Honda. Yes, yes forward momentum and all. Great news for sure. Looking forward, though, I predict even better news. My bet is that Ford, possibly Fiat (new owners of Chrysler) via Alfa Romeo (it’s soon to be re-introduced brand to the US of A), and maybe one other manufacturer will be in the fold by 2013. Thank you Chevy for remembering that you once had cojones.
3. Worst Racing News of the Month so far: Tony Kanaan is out of a ride. I understand the mechanisms behind it all and am mostly disappointed for my 7-year old son who has been a TK fan for as long as he can remember. Literally. I purchased a new TK 7-11 replica crew shirt for him at the Kentucky race as a reward for having such a great start to his 1st-grade schoolyear. “Hey, guess what, my son, that shirt which is one size too big so it will fit you next summer, is outdated”. Thanks for nothing 7-11. “I don’t like 7-11 anymore dad, and Slurpees are off my list!” (his words, not mine). ’nuff said.
In light of my current mood, I am now preparing to not ‘give it a rest’ this off-season and the house-cleaning begins with this blog. I plan to examine revamping and energizing this blog, so stay tuned…
As always, this season of thankfulness emplores me to express gratitude for those who make my life more interesting – many of you know who you are and for the others, I will attempt to show gratitude as I can. Thanks to you for stopping by. Feel free to leave me a comment or input, and hope to see you at a great Indycar event next season…
DZ (firstname.lastname@example.org, @groundedeffects