So, the semester's over, the parties have been gone to, and I'm finally back to business as unusual. Sorry for the absences. I've been writing some Top 10 lists (of the year, of the decade) for Art:21, which should be appearing over there before too long. However, I ran into a student at an opening this weekend, and she told me that she'd been reading my football posts, so I feel a certain vindication nonetheless.
And, while I'm at it, can someone give a prize to Kelly Shindler, who seems to run the Art:21 blog single-handedly while working on her Ph.D. full-time? This is a Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson-style dual excellence, and she deserves props.
Anyhoo, I've been spending today catching up on things that I've been supposed to be getting around to, which includes reading hours and hours of online newspapers. And, one in particular has my underoos in a twist.
Dave Caldwell has an article in today's Sports section that I just don't get. This grumpasaurus is basically intimating that, since Dale Earnhardt's death, auto racing has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Let me list the supposed "developments" that "Earnhardt might have bristled at." Now, Caldwell doesn't outright say that these are bad things, but the tone ain't exactly gumdrops and lords-a-leapin' either.
-An expansion in the popularity of NASCAR.
-Head and neck restraints.
-Escape hatches in the roof of each car.
-Slightly slower but much safer cars.
-Younger drivers acting as celebrity spokespeople, thus increasing their own and the sport's revenue streams.
Then, he goes on to complain about Jimmie Johnson (above, with his unprecedented four straight championship trophies) and Danica Patrick, as part of a certain kind of well-behaved, capitalismogenic pitch people phenomemon that stands as evidence that the sport is less about racing and more about product placement, certainly less cooler than when patrolled by The Intimidator.
Bitch, bitch, bitch.
Listen, I have one thing to say to you all who think his is a reasonable complaint.
This is the perfect example of a sport acting swiftly and responsibly to protect the safety of its participants. Does anyone even remember that they outlawed the wedge? I've forgotten.
Caldwell's crankalation is rather dismissive about the new security measures taken on by NASCAR, and his final statement that "No. 3 decals proliferate on cars in Nascar parking lots, but racecars do less racing these days" does nothing but place him in that pantheon of oblivion previously reserved for Wall Street executives, the 43rd President, Martha Stewart's personal warmth, and Dennis Rodman's stylist.
I'm willing to sacrifice a few miles per hour to prevent any injury or loss of life. Why Caldwell seems to prefer speed over safety bewilders me.
And, in case you don't think I know the stakes, allow me embarrass myself for a moment...
(The management waiting to ride in a NASCAR car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.)