Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

State of IndyCar Hob Nob - A Fiesta of Funny Faces

I attended the State of IndyCar presentation and infiltrated the Driver/Media interview hob nob and social.  In lieu of taking any GOOD pictures, I took THESE.

What I learned -
  • Simona Drank one too many Red Bulls
  • Katherine Legge gets all silly like a school girl around Robin Miller
  • Tony and Ed are up to something
  • Alex Tagliani - Practice, Practice, Practice
  • Helio is Auditioning for the role of Lucky Luciano in an upcoming gangster movie
  • Ryan Hunter Reay grew two feet in the off season and is being followed around by a couple Smurfs.
  • Scott Dixon gots the giggles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

2012 IndyCar to Feature New PART System to Enhance Competition

On Monday and Tuesday of this week the long awaited 2012 IndyCar turned its first laps on the track at Mid Ohio.  Amidst the hubbub over the looks, the sounds and the racing potential of the new vehicle another significant feature was overlooked by many commentators.  The 2012 car will feature the revolutionary Position Adjusted Racing Turbo System.  The PART system is designed to adjust the boost settings for each car based on its relative position on track.  The second place car will run at 5 HP more than the first place car, the third place car 10 HP more than first place and so forth on down the line.  Based on the scoring for each previous lap the PART system will update the boost allowed to each car reflecting the most current position for each car.  Expectations are that the additional HP boost for trailing cars will increase the number of overtaking opportunities at places like Mid Ohio or Sonoma and vastly increase the competitiveness of racing overall.
Asked about how the system was operating during its first test, Technical director for the 2012 car program Tony Cottman was quoted as saying “Yes it seemed to be working very well during our test.  We had some concerns as the electronics involved rely on an electronic stream of data from our timing and scoring system.  Some people have reported having issues with that stream in the past.  We have observed no problems so far, we can’t wait to get two cars on the track to test the system further”
When asked why the PART system was developed, Cottman responded, “We really want to think about the enjoyment of our fans as being vital to improving the sport.  We have repetitively heard that fans find passes made on track to be entertaining.  Our first effort at engineering additional passing into races, the Non Defense rule, has been met with only lukewarm reaction from fans”.
Perceptions of the competitiveness of racing as a sport seem to be a concern in many circles.  It seems that in the age of digitally enhanced car chases in action movies and race based video games, racing fans are no longer content to simply watch the fastest car and driver combination race off to victory. 
The first series to dabble with rule changes to enhance racing competition was nascar.  In the 80's Nascar began a policy of “Competition Yellers” to insure that if the lead car was about to lap a popular and marketable driver with a nice sponsorship package, a yellow was dropped in order to clean hot dog wrappers off the track and allow the other cars to bunch up behind the lead car again.
Champcar and later IndyCar were next to tinker with competition by introducing technology aimed at increasing competition during races.  Multiple compounds of racing tires and a various versions of a “Push to Pass” system that allows drivers to temporarily increase the horsepower of their cars by pushing a button on their steering wheel have been utilized by the league.  Additionally, the non defense rule introduced by the league makes it illegal for car a leading car to defend any racing line other than the preferred racing line.
These changes ultimately did not disturb the balance of power on the track as after the Competition Yeller, the fastest car was still allowed to drive away after the drop of the green flag and the soft compound tires and P2P’s were doled out in equal shares across competitors.  This level handed approach to increasing passing was blown out of the water earlier this year when Formula one introduced it’s new Drag Reduction System.  The DRS shifts the balance of power towards the trailing car by allowing it to reduce the drag created its rear wing down long straightaways, allowing the trailing car to accelerate to much quicker speeds than the leading car. 
The DRS has reintroduced the concept of “Passing” back into F1 after its disappearance following the arrival of Micheal Schumacher during the early 90’s.  Many fans have raved about the effect the DRS has had on the show “Wow! I saw a car go past another car! I’ve never seen such a thing before!” Said an excited Sean Clayton.
But not all fans are impressed.  “It’s horrible!  It’s not racing” said a distraught John Pembrokeshire.  “It’s like the second car was shot out of a bloody cannon and just went buggering on by the poor wanker who was leading”
It remains to see how IndyCar fans will react to the redistribution of horsepower to cars that had previously under performed.  Well known skeptic, curmudgeon and opponent of change, George Phillips was quoted as saying “It sounds like Socialism to me”.
Cottman was more optimistic when asked how he thought fans would react to the 20th place car running at 100 more horsepower than the leader, “I think when our fans see these new cars rolling into turn 1 at Long Beach with the new PART system, they will be really excited at what they see.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

App Happy in IndyCar Land

IndyCar the tech savvy, social media pioneering racing league continues to expand the use of modern social platforms to reach customers in new ways.  Launched this year, the official IndyCar app for Android distributed through Verizon has been very popular with fans of the sport.  The app allows users to access timing and scoring info and a bevy of multimedia content wherever and whenever they want.  Fans such as Ima Corngrower at the most recent race at Iowa Speedway raved at how it enhanced their racing experience.  “Sometimes, it gets confusing to know who is in the lead, who’s pitted and who is a lap down, the timing and scoring is real blessing”
Not to be outdone by the league, Individual drivers are also developing apps for their fanbases to download to their mobile phones.  The first driver to make such a service available was Pippa Mann.  The Pippa app, is offered as a standard part of the celebrity social media service.  The app allows Pippa’s fans to access biographical and multimedia information from Pippa’s website more conveniently than through a normal mobile browser.  The app also consolidates all Pippa’s social media messages from Facebook, twitter and into a single stream.
But the Pippa App doesn’t plan to stop there and simply be a feed director, the Pippa II app due out at the end of the month plans to integrate additional hardware functionality of the user’s own phone to create a true interactive Fan experience.  “I’m really excited about the Shoe Sister functionality” said Mann.  “It will allow my fan girls and Pressdog, to take a picture of a shoe they are considering buying or wearing and then the app will provide commentary in my voice offering my honest thoughts about the fashionability of the shoe and what kind of outfits it would look smart with.  It will help all my fans keep up with Pippa Style!”
Another driver who has recently released an App is James Hinchcliff.  The custom built Hinchtown app has the customary feed redirects, but also features a Tim Horton’s Proximity alarm.  Whenever the app senses that the user is within a specified distance of Hinch’s favorite donut shop an alarm featuring Hincliffe’s voice will sound “Mmmmm Tim Horton’s EH?”
“It’s really simple how it works” said renowned app designer David Craske.  “If the GPS functionality of the user’s phone is turned on, the app takes the Longitude and Latitude readings from the phone and using stored coordinates for Tim Horton’s locations, calculates the Euclidean distance the user is from each store in the Tim Horton’s chain.  If a calculated distance for one of the stores is below a user set threshold, the alarm sounds.”
Taking the GPS enabled functionality even further, two independent development teams, one for Marco Andretti and the other for Tomas Schekter, are vying to be the first drivers to feature the “Hotties I’ve Had” feature in their apps.  The HIH functionality will feature two apps, one for the Hotties, that allows the GPS in her phone to act like a beacon, tracking her ever changing location and then the Fan app that will calculate the fan’s distance from the hotties.  When in range, the fan app will offer up commentary from Marco or Tomas about their liaisons with the in range Hottie.
Fortunately, not all driver apps are quite so Big Brother – ish in nature, many are ingeniously functional.  The AJ Foyt app for instance transforms the user’s mobile device into a blunt force object that can be used to pound on objects such as cranky race engines, laptop computers, Luyendyks and Robin Miller’s head.  The Danica app will allow users to access both a semi nude Pictorial collage of Danica and over 1,000 of her favorite cookie recipes.
Even Bloggers have gotten in on the App Development frenzy.  The app allows its users to access an impressive historical racing database.  With it the user can access 35 paragraph summaries of every single lap in every single open wheel championship race ever run.  More eventful laps will have longer summaries of course, but the user merely needs to provide lap#, track and year and the app does the rest.  Using the Phone’s camera  capability the app will allow users to take a picture the race surface of any track and will conduct and asphalt matching scan to identify the track and exact location on the track that the user is standing.
The JPIndyCar app features the JRHildeFan functionality that renders the app user invisible whenever he is within 100 feet of JR Hildebrand, assisting the user in circumventing various restraining orders that may have been issued against them.
“It’s an exciting new time” says Social PR Maven and Visionary Pat Caporali.  “And as always, IndyCar is leading the way.”

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Controversy Builds Over Technologically “Enhanced” IndyLights Driver

Controversy bubbled over today at Homestead Miami a day before practice began for the final Firestone IndyLights race of the year. At the heart of the controversy IndyLights Driver Pippa Mann and her recently surgically repaired left hand.

According to Press releases, Mann broke the hand during a practice incident at Toronto earlier in the season. She raced in the Toronto race and the following weekend at Edmonton before having the hand surgically repaired, forcing her to sit out the race at Mid Ohio. She returned to race at Sonoma and has been on track with the series ever since, winning the most recent race at Kentucky speedway.

Others however dispute the story, suggesting something more sinister might be at work. Pointing to a great disparity in finishing position before the surgery compared to after (avg place before surgery 11th place, after 2.66th place) as an indication that something more substantial than a plate and a few screws were inserted into the wrist.

One driver who refused to named commented “it’s like that wrist is now like a machine…bionic, like the bionic woman, and it allows her to steer the car more quickly and with more authority than before”, referencing the 1970’s Television featuring Lindsey Wagner. The show’s premise is that a young woman is nearly killed in a fashion shopping accident and is then repaired by a team of robotic scientists that replace all her nonfunctional extremities with robotic appendages which help her become a crime fighting superhero.

Others see things differently. “She’s a deep space mutant alien and she is here to devour the male drivers” said JK Vernay working through his interpreter Roy Hobson. “She takes on a pleasing form to distract our attention as she consumes our male vitality. She’s like that monster machine woman Seven of Nine from the Star Trek television show” Hobson continued after Vernay began talking to other reporters. The Seven of Nine character in the Star Trek Voyageur series was played by the buxom dimpled bombshell Jeri Ryan. Seven’s character background was that she was a human girl, 10 years old, when her space colony was assimilated into a Borg commune. 15 years later when the starship Voyageur destroys the Borg commune, unlike all the other Borg drones that short circuit and die, Seven’s remaining Human vestiges reassert themselves over her short circuiting machine elements. The Voyageur Captain decides to rescue Seven and dresses her in skin tight silver spandex in order to raise the morale of the male officers and distract them from the reality that they were sucked into a black hole and were 2 billion light years away from earth.

Driver Charlie Kimball postulated that “Since the alien technology was implanted into her left wrist, it was helping her to do exceedingly well on ovals”. In fact, in her two oval races since the surgery, Pippa has finished second at chicagoland and then first place at kentucky.

One driver apparently isn’t content to stay around and have his male vitality consumed. Sebastian Saavedra recently bolted from the league aqnd sketchy rumors persist that are tracing Saavedra's exit to a paranoid fear about Mann’s robotic appendage.

When asked what he thought about Mann’s robotic enhancement, driver James Hinchcliffe commented “I think it is sort of HOT! Just imagine the action she now gets on her spanking motion!”

When asked about the controversy, Mann responded “I don’t know what all the fuss is about, it was a metal plate and six screws!”. When asked to explain why her results had shown such drastic improvement since the surgery she responded “During some Idle time at Mid Ohio I went shopping and found this smart little store called “Fashion Bug” they had the greatest pair of jeans. I have never had such a great pair of jeans they made me feel so much better about myself. It’s like they have turbo charged my self confidence.”Outside the paddock, the controversy is seen in a positive light. Independent T-Shirt vendor, John Pemberton related “Pippa and her alien technology have really saved my season. I was looking forward to getting stuck with a bunch of Wade Cunningham, JR Hildebrand and Jon Edwards merchandise, but my latest design for Pippa has been selling like hotcakes” referring to a T shirt with Mann’s image and printed saying “Resistance is Futile” on the front and “Prepare to be A-Pippa-lated” on the back.

Mutant technology or smart jeans, the answer to this mystery is still being sorted out. But the final race of the Firestone IndyLights schedule will be run Saturday at Homestead Miami speedway and it will not be televised on Versus, because apparently they don’t care, but yet they can show 10 freaking hours of fishing shows every damn day. BASTARDS.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Championship Contenders Defect from Series on Eve of Season Finale

Izod IndyCar Championship frontrunners Dario Franchitti and Will Power have announced plans to leave the series just days before the season’s final race that was to crown the champion. Heading into the finale, only Power and Franchitti were mathematically still alive for the championship with Power leading Franchitti by 12 points.

Apparently the issue compelling both of them to leave the series relates to the unveiling of a new championship trophy for the series. “It’s a way wrong scary bugger ‘ee is” said Franchitti when asked to describe the new trophy. He added “Ashley won’t want that in the ‘ouse”.

Power seemed to be wavering on the decision, was quoted “It’s a very hard decision for me because It would be my first series championship, something I have fought for all year, but I can’t have that thing in my house, I’ll have nightmares”.

The trophy created by sculptor Ted Gall is meant to symbolic of man, machine and the symbiotic beast they become “We’re not just a human form; we’re what we use all the time,” said Gall. “It used to be if you were a cowboy you’d ride a horse. Now we’re really attached to wheels our whole lives. The arms are imploring; they’re reaching out for that golden ring, for that big win”.

Other drivers were asked their opinion of the new trophy and reactions varied. “I think it is really interesting, reminds me of a time back home when a movie was being filmed and the call went out for extras to take part. I went down and they made me up in layers of brown makeup so thick my cheeks were numb. I think they said we were orcs or something. Not sure if they ever finished the movie or not but it was fun staggering around in the makeup making strange noises” said Scott Dixon.

“I am disappointed that they got rid of the old trophy, I promised my son that next year I would win it and he could take a bath in it” said Tony Kanaan. “He’ll take a look at this and he’ll cry”.

Danica Patrick was quoted as saying “and they wonder why I am leaving for nascar?”

IndyCar officials were confident that after initial reactions subside, both Power and Franchitti would return to their cars Saturday night. “We only create the trophies and prizes, it is up to the drivers to decide to accept them or not”. Said Brian Barnhart, President of Competition.

When asked what motivated the league to design such an unorthodox prize, President of Commercial Stuff, Terry Angstadt related “After Kentucky we were hanging out polishing off a case of Fuzzy’s, and we were thinking how hysterical it would be for Ashley to have to display some hideous monstrosity in her house after Dario finished off Power during the oval part of the series and then EJ Viso went by on his unicycle”.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard was quoted “We believe it is important to leave the politics of the split behind. That includes the symbols of that era, like the previous championship cup. Taking things further, we want people to forget that we are even an auto racing series. People said that in rejecting the Delta Wing, we weren’t bold enough, we didn’t take the risks necessary to move this series forward. I would suggest that this trophy represents a commitment to bold, risky thinking that will carry the series into the future”.

Persistent rumors suggest that there were other motives to the retirement of the IRL trophy. Rumors on the internet have sprung up suggesting that since the IRL trophy was made of solid Silver, it was sold to a local cash 4 gold location for an estimated $100,000 which was used to pay the bonuses to the two new discipline champions. The trophy was melted down and made into dental fillings.

Meanwhile, a perplexed Will Power struggled with his decision “I really want to win a championship. Maybe I can just take the hat home with me. They can keep the trophy at the Museum or something”.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amber Alert Issued for Missing Pace Car Team Driver

Speedway, IN – An Amber alert has been issued for missing Izod IndyCar Pace Car Team Driver Pippa Mann. Mann went missing after appearing with fellow pace car team members at a recent Indiana Pacers game. She was last seen throwing throwing t-shirts to the crowd during a fourth quarter time out. Witnesses were quoted as saying that she showed impressive dexterity in tossing the t-shirts while wearing shoes that featured 11” high heels.

Mann, a native of Ipswich, England is known to speak with an odd accent and has not been seen at several subsequent Pace Car Team events including functions at St Petersburg, Birmingham Al and Long Beach California. It was shortly after her no show at Long Beach that friends became concerned, filing a missing person’s report. After confirming her absence, police triggered the Amber Alert that has been issued and broadcast through the early warning system in 5 midwestern states.

An emotional Fellow Pace Car Team Member James Hinchliffe was quoted “We have a buddy system to make sure that we look out for each other when we are out at events and Pippa and I were buddies that evening. I saw a hottie wearing a sweet pair of skinny jeans and I took my eyes off Pippa for just a second and then she was gone. I feel so responsible, I don’t know what to do, I miss Pippa” as tears rolled down Hinchliffe’s cheek.

Police have exhausted all traditional leads have gone to extreme measures in the effort to locate the popular Pace Car Team driver. Recently police have utilized the services of Psychic Allison DuBois to help in the effort to find the missing Mann. DuBois was quoted a feeling that Mann “Was somewhere tight, cramped and warm, there was a lot of loud noise in the background, sort of like a really powerful engine revving up and down”.

Police also said that based on a feed from surveillance cameras at Conseco Fieldhouse they have identified a “person of interest” in the case. They currently do not have the name of a man who was spotted in several different camera shots following Mann around the arena that evening. They have issued a close up image of the man in hopes that someone can identify him.

Fans of Pippa Mann have been holding a candle light vigil at the entrance to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Mann was scheduled to make her next appearance. They sing songs and pray for Mann’s safe return. One of those attending the vigil is Jenny Roush who was quoted as saying “Things just aren’t the same without Pippa. She brought Class, spunk and a wonderful fashion sense to a team of boys who appear to be very Laundry challenged. She is a leader and an inspiration to all of us. We just want to know that she is safe and ok. I so hope to be able to take a Pace Car ride with her when she is found.”

Read More Fake News Here

Read More Humor Here

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eddie Gossage offered $2M to Change Name

Fort Worth, Texas - Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage has a $2 Million dollar decision on his hands. That decision being whether to accept an offer from the Izod IndyCar series to change his name, from his birthright Eddie Fillmore Gossage to the shorter and catchier Nascar Sucks in exchange for $2 million Dollars. While rumors of the offer have been circulating for weeks, official announcement came today during a press Q and A with Randy Bernard, the president of the Izod IndyCar Series. Bernard confirmed that the offer had been made to Gossage three weeks ago simultaneously to an invitation for Gossage to serve on the ICONIC committee formed to steer the league through it’s new car selection process.

When asked what he felt the prospects were for Gossage accepting the deal, taking the money and changing his name, Bernard replied, “Well, we made the offer three weeks ago and at this point Eddie has not turned us down. That has to be a clear indication that he is giving the offer serious consideration.” He added, “Hopefully, we can time this so that we can make the announcement in early June, potentially at the TMS race itself.”

Bernard was asked what the IICS hoped to gain from such an audacious publicity stunt, he replied “Publicity”. Probed further on the subject he added “we feel like the majority of America outside the 317 area code has forgotten that IndyCar exists. Before I became President of the series, I have to come clean, I thought that the Indy 500 was another nascar race. We have to get the word out to those potential race fans who are alienated by Competition yellows, Potholes, Shredded tires, Lucky Dogs and random drivers walking away with victories from green and white Checkered finishes that there is another option available to them.”

When asked why he chose Gossage to be the recipient of the $2M offer, Bernard replied “When we went down to TMS and met with Eddie to discuss his Joining the Iconic Committee, he insisted on doing the whole meeting while wearing one of Johnny Rutherford’s old driving helmets and driving gloves. He insisted that we all call him “Lone Star” and indicated that he was predisposed to the Chaparral chassis design. We knew right then and there we found our man.” When asked if he felt like there needed to be further negotiations with Gossage, Bernard replied “We have that taken care of, we sent AJ Foyt down to talk to him, Texan to Texan. AJ took his hammer with him and I am sure if need be he will make Eddie an offer he can’t refuse.”

Gossage did not return press inquiries on the matter. Earlier this year, on April 1, Gossage announced a similar offer when he reportedly offered a local Dallas DJ $100,000 to change his name to “”. The offer was declined and later revealed to be a publicity stunt.

Texas Motor Speedway is owned by SMI and is a long standing track owning rival to ISC the parent company to Nascar. Tensions between ISC and SMI have always been tense, but in recent months have in recent months since announcement that certain ISC tracks will be gaining third dates to support new Casinos being built at those tracks. Bruton Smith, President of SMI, and Gossage’s boss commented on the situation “Eddie’s been trying real hard to get a third date for TMS for five years now, and they just won’t let him have it. These people are moving more dates to their own properties and telling everyone else to go screw themselves. These people got Potholes at what is supposed to be the showcase of the sport, and meanwhile I spent $5M dollars to fix the weepers at Kentucky and they still won’t let us have a cup date there.” When asked if he thought Gossage should take the IICS up on it’s $2m offer, Smith replied, “We’ll see, Eddie’s naming rights may be part of the New Hampshire deal”.

Read More Fake News Here...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The JR Hildebrand Powerball Ridebuy Lottery

As I noted in my last blog, I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore. JR Hildebrand has no ride and I simply must do something. I am not poverty stricken but neither am I Richard Branson. If JR was looking for some help getting into Go-Karts I could probably help him out. IndyCar – um well I can buy him an extra ticket for the races I am going to.

SO In order to help, I need to figure out a way to raise massive amounts of capital, fast. Many legal repercussions exist for drug dealing, money laundering and roughing up little old ladies. Prospects for both My and Mrs JP’s potential porn careers ended about 40 pounds ago. I doubt that if I asked for a $5M dollar raise that I would get it. So what’s left? The Lottery…

Being a professional statistician by trade, I understand the concept of “the expected value of a random variable” and know that the lottery generally returns about 50 cents on the dollar, and hence is a sucker bet in casino terms. BUT where I currently stand at a zero probability chance of finding enough money to back JR, the lottery would give me a positive (but small) probability of actually raising the funds. SO that is the clear solution.

It is a not a solution without problems. The first has to do with the size of the jackpot. Just because there is a $5M jackpot, doesn’t mean I can get JR hooked up. You have to remember that the pot size values are distributed over a 30 year window and I would need the cash now, SO if you take the all at once cash option, you only get $2.5M. Then after Uncle Sam get’s paid you’re down to $1.4M. Enough to get JR and a buddy back into lights for another year, but not into and actual IndyCar seat.

On top of that if I were to win the lottery, in addition to my original plan to use the money to get JR into a ride, other people might have expectations on the money. MrJP seems to have the idea that we should pay down some bills, perhaps take in a bunch of broadway shows and buy a new 6 cylinder Outback. Obscure distant relatives are sure to show up and take a renewed interest in family bonding, random cub scout troops and Dale Coyne will show up with boy scout popcorn to sell, Nigerian ambassadors will ask for humanitarian aid to assist their country recover from devastating blizzards etc. And honestly I may want to spend a little money on myself, perhaps getting the better part of Jennifer Jason Leigh’s early body of work on Blue Ray disc or perhaps expanding my growing collection of rubber ducks.

So after taking all these sorts of thing into consideration, It makes no sense to play any lottery, Hoosier, Powerball or Mega Millions until the payout is over $100M. Otherwise, the winnings are enough to screw up my life without allowing me to accomplish the original goal. For $100M the take home after doing the cash option and Uncle Sam would be about $25M, Set up some annuities to guarantee income for the remainder of Mrs JP and my remaining years whacks off another $8M. College funds for nephews, nieces and other inane requests from other groveling relatives – another $5M. $2M for silly frivolity in the immediate short term and then I am down to $10M enough to get JR hooked up for the next two years. After that, he’s on his own. I gotta draw the line somewhere.

Wednesday was the first day that Powerball was over the threshold, coming in at $120M. The extra $20M is great because the additional net of $5M could be used to do something good for humanity other than sponsoring an IndyCar team. Once it gets over $200M I can entertain the Idea of actually purchasing an IndyCar team for JR to drive for.

SO on Wednesday I bought my first ever $1 lottery ticket. I did the Quick Pick. JP and JR’s numbers were as follows:
9 43 45 49 54 PB 20
The Drawing yielded the following numbers:
4 36 40 44 52 PB 33

Since we did not win, the Jackpot rolled over and there is $150M available for us to win on Saturday. Also in the mix for next week could be the Mega Millions drawing. This Friday it was a $95M jackpot, again - enough to screw up my life, so I am holding off until potentially next Tuesday when it will pass the $100M mark. Perhaps, I am being a little closed minded here, suppose Powerball was $75M and Mega Millions was $25M, if we won both, it would reach that $100M mark and we would be good to go…There has to be some logical flaw with that plan some how – I will have to think about it…

I will be sure to keep everyone posted on our progress so be sure to check back every so often to see how we are doing…

PS - See my last post for some insight on how the FIL championship is a mixed blessing as far as helping a young driver advance their career...

Monday, February 8, 2010

This, That and the Other Thing

Dark again – hate when I miss out on a week or two, had plenty of ideas for content and humor just not enough time. I will share some thoughts on news from past week below. I also had a few ideas for Fake Press Releases that will simply have to go unrealized, but I will share some previews if you want to let your own mental creativity wander a bit.

Fake Press Release Concept 1: Danica Quits Racing to Focus on Acting Career. On way out the door rips nascar drivers for “being smelly”, calls Tony Stewart a “Pudgy Creepy Letch”, describes IICS as sweet people who need to get a clue and get it together. Announces new role in latest Bond flick where she plays a race car driving spy for USF1 which turns out to be a CIA cover organization for an investigation into the fixing of races by a French team in order to collect massive gambling winnings which are then siphoned off to a terrorist organization in So Paolo Brazil where a scheme is underway to attack an upcoming IICS race. To break the case she hooks up with Bond, who is also secretly driving undercover for McLaren and MI6. The Male lead was yet to be determined though rumors are persistent that Dario Franchitti was being targeted for the role. Dan Wheldon was quoted as saying “I could be Bond, look at these teeth! I could be Bond”. The role of Moneypenney was to be played by Pippa Mann.

Fake Press Release Concept 2: Well known Blogger Creates Split in AOWR by Forming New Racing League. Our buddy Pressdog, disgusted and disappointed that Leilanni Munter has been left rideless in the IICS and Simona Desilvestra was getting politicked by Iron Hand of Justice, decides to start a new all female racing league. Initially called “Women of Pressdog”, he soon finds sponsor and it is renamed “The Victoria’s Secret All Hottie Racing League” TO help teams get started financially a TEAM program is created that is partially funded by the publication of a calendar of scantily clad VSAHRL drivers. Insert several zingers about “Fast Women”.

Fake Press Release Concept 3: IICS Creates New Program to Promote Safe Driving with Local High Schools. Based on an idea from the Trackside Radio show, drivers are sent to local high schools to promote safe teenage driving and connect with future fans of the sport. Plan goes awry when an after hours custodian walks in on Tomas Schechter and 12 male students sporting black eyes, bloody noses and missing teeth. During questioning afterwards all twelve students were quoted as saying “What happens in Fight Club stays in Fight Club”. In a separate incident, after a school wide convocation Paul Tracy is spotted in the school parking lot passing out cans of Monster, packs of cigs and teaching kids how to do donuts in a hand me down minivan.

OK enough of silliness, a few comments concerning the news of the week.

Dallara Concepts –

Burgundy Car – Wouldn’t it be great if that burgundy car was the current car design having been adopted at the end of the 2008 season? AND we were still discussing the consideration of either of the two other designs for 2012? NOTE To IICS: Every four years, Every four years.

Red Car - If you took that after thought of a wing off the red car then told me that was the delta wing, I would believe you. If I were the Delta Wing people, I would be concerned about the reaction to that design. Marshall Pruett has some interesting rants about the release of the Dallara concepts. On top of his main points, something no one seems to be talking about is why this Image has such different production value and image quality than the other two. It strikes me that it was rushed together and thrown into the stack to have some ill affect on the unveiling of the Delta Wing. Not sure what the intended effect is but something is up here.

Yellow car - that’s the one I like the most. It looks like a respectable step forward in the design of Indycar.

Overall though, whether the new car is successful probably has little to do with what it looks like and has more to do with what it does under the hood. Will it go 225 with 400 hp, can it make 40 MPG?? Does it do something interesting and cutting edge enough to regain the respect of the wider automobile and racing community, getting manufacturers interested in and spending money on the league again? That is the real question and should be the first criteria in evaluating the ultimate success of the new car.

As for the impending war that reporters are rumbling about, one thing I would say is that there are more than two sides to this issue. The most important side has yet to be heard from. That’s you. Once the designs, strategies and plans are on the table, take it in think hard and then weigh in. Follow the Vision lead, write a letter and address it to 16th and Georgetown. If Mr Bernard wants to hear from you then take the opportunity, it seems expected. I’m sure Pressdog will tell me “Silly JP, car designs and the discussions about the future of the league are no business for fans”, but at the end of the day we are the ultimate arbiter, the supreme court that trumps the executive and legislative branches. Don’t be afraid to let your feelings be known.

Danica and the Ride of a Lifetime

I have had a couple posts over the life of this blog about Danica’s leaving for nascar. But after spending most of Saturday out and about with the Mrs, late Saturday night I settled in to watch the replay of Danica’s premier in the ARCA race. I knew basically what a fiasco it was over the first 2/3rds of the race – following tweets and texting nascar loving nephews killing time until the shootout. As I watched the race I realized some things. First, she will be gone to nascar when her current contract is up. For the first time and for positive reasons, I hope she goes and I hope she succeeds.

If she does, she will be doing something for all the competitors that she leaves behind. Sam, Dario, Juan Pablo and AJ all have struggled early on with their nascar careers, and with that has come this arrogance from the others that the quality of our drivers is low and we have inferior heroes. Truth is until TCGR merged with DEI (I think that is who it was) and Montoya got a Chevrolet to drive, none of those drivers had better than middling rides in which to display their talents. But with Danica it will be different – as she was charging from 23rd up to 5th before finishing 6th, I realized that no matter which level of tintop she races, she will always have one of the top 10 rides, she will have the opportunity to shine that her peers have never had. If she succeeds then our series does also because her relative lack of success against our best will validate their talent and ability. SO on the days you she is driving a chevy, I will be a fan. Of course on the days she is driving a Honda, I’ll be wearing my soon to be acquired Simona DeSilvestra t - shirt. Some habits die hard, but there’s no reason that reason can’t prevail.

The Izod Hex

There’s the SI curse, the Heisman Jinx and the Madden Curse and now Izod Hex – Film an Izod commercial spot and poof!! Funding for the upcoming season disappears. Happened to Ryan Hunter Reay and after shooting a new spot in Panama, Graham Rahal is searching. The full scramble in on to find him a home, tweets about clandestine trips to Minneapolis, a charity speaking event for Felix Sabates and rumors of a third TCGR car abound. This certainly would be a great outcome for Graham, and a decent one for the league. With the strides they made last year, It would be nice to see Graham also stay with NHL.

There’s always a disaster plan and it strikes me that there are two in play here. The first could be Coyne. Dale is lobbying and would love to land Graham. Coyne is running a business and clearly, Graham trumps nearly everyone else available from a business perspective. But a lot of fans have some high hopes for that #19 car. Hildebrand, Summerton or Edwards it doesn’t matter. To me that car represents an opportunity for a new young American. A young driver that otherwise might not get the chance. A young driver with common roots and sensibilities. A young driver who’s parents have already spent family savings and college funds, hoping to make their child’s dream possible. Perhaps I should write a letter.

The other possibility would be that Bobby unlocks the garage and he and Graham go racing together. Graham has learned a lot being out on his own, I think a partnership with dad now makes sense. I am a sentimental dreamer sometimes, but for all the parents with lesser means who took what was for them extraordinary measures to keep their promising young child’s dreams alive, Go Racing Bobby, Go Racing.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

JR and JP Team up in Ad Campaign for Potbelly Sandwich Works

Potbelly Sandwich Works Restaurant ( announced the launch of a new nationwide television ad campaign featuring Izod IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand and semi prominent race blogger JP.

The commercial which will begin airing during the Superbowl will begin by showing Hildebrand at the conclusion of the 2009 season winning the Firestone Indy Lights title. The commercial will then show JR wandering into a Potbelly Sandwich Works location and then discovering the warm tasty delight of a Potbelly sandwich. The Commercial will flash forward 4 months to the beginning of the 2010 season. JP (appearing as JR) wearing an undersized driver suit and helmet will then try to hopelessly squeeze himself into JR’s Potbelly Sandwich Express Racecar. The commercial will end with a voiced over tagline “Potbelly Sandwich Works, Good….Maybe a Little TOO Good”.

When asked what she thought of the new advertising and promotional campaign Melinda Ludack, Potbelly Franchisee from Ashland, Wisconsin was quoted as saying, “Ya hey we’rrre excited to have the promoootion and all don’t cha kno”. In addition to the additional advertising support, Potbelly franchisees will have the opportunity to win a ride with JR in the Izod IndyCar Series two seater before one of the series events. “Oooooo That’d be fast” offered Ludack. The winning Franchisee would also win a visit to their franchise by JP. “Chching!!” exclaimed Ludack.

When asked to comment on the likelihood of success for the new campaign, Adam Distassio of the marketing research company InsideExpress commented “Man that ad tested well, it blew all of our norms away”

Kevin Shill of Magic Marker, the advertising agency involved with the campaign, was quoted as saying “this is a great campaign that we could not have done without JR or the Izod IndyCar Series. We thought about using nascar and one of their drivers, but then we realized that no matter how many Whoppers Tony Stewart eats, he’d still fit inside one of those tanks, err, race cars. It just wouldn’t be nearly as funny”

Hildebrand, who was bestowed with the nickname "Captain America" by his AFS team, was quoted as saying “I am really excited to have this relationship with Potbelly I think we have some great promotional opportunities and activities set up to reward their franchisees. Whenever I fly home I make sure to have a connection at Midway airport so I can score my Potbelly fix. I wish they had locations in Indianapolis.”

Editor's note - YES This is a Humor spot, but Potbelly is good stuff and is JP and JR approved.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Manning Out as Colts QB for Upcoming 2010 Season

Editor's Note: If you are a Colts fan looking for information about your team and have very little experience watching IndyCar Racing, this is not the site for you. You are encouraged to seek NFL related information from your usual information sources. If you would like to learn more about the Izod IndyCar series, the new Season begins in March and will be televised on Versus and ABC. It promises to be a great season, feel free to join us.

Peyton Manning is out as Colts starting QB for 2010 season, as announced in a press conference at Colts headquarters on 56th street. He will be replaced by Curtis Painter for the upcoming 2010 season. “The situation came down to funding” said Colts president Bill Polian. “We really like Peyton as a QB and he has done a fine job for us in the past, but Curtis has the ability to put together a more favorable funding package for the team.”

Manning’s on the field problems stem from issues with his off the field sponsor endorsements. Recently Mastercard announced that it is pulling the plug on its “priceless” campaign. Company spokesmen indicated that the new advertising campaign rolling out in 2010 was not a good fit for Peyton’s persona and Image.

Painter is supported by a financial commitment from the PEZ candy company. Boyle R Maker, the creator of the PEZ dispenser and owner of the company was quoted as saying “We really believe in Curtis and wanted to see another Purdue guy starting in the NFL.”

Commenting on the change at QB Colts Owner Jim Irsay was quoted as saying “I think this is a great day for the team and the league. PEZ is going to do some exciting cross merchandising featuring the Colts and their players. Right now at a factory in China PEZ has already started to create 376 million dispensers featuring Curtis wearing a Colts Helmet. That sort of sponsor activation is priceless and is a real boost for our league”

Colts fans rioting outside the 56th street team practice facility were visibly shaken, many vowing to never support or watch the Colts or the League again. “This sucks, we’ll never win again” screamed an angry Kevin Lee who brought with him a Bill Pollian effigy that he planned to douse with gasoline and burn.

Though controversial, the “Pay to Play” business model is nothing new in sport. It began in Auto racing decades ago and has since spread into all major league team sports. Proponents say it keeps teams and leagues on firmer financial footing, helping to increase the number of teams and games that each league can field or stage. Critics suggest that it distorts competitive balance ultimately creating weaker leagues that lack connection, buy in or support from their fans. They site lazy owners who simply want to push the responsibility of financing their ventures onto the athletes themselves.

Indianapolis’ other professional franchise completed their transition to a Pay to Play business model back in 2005 when their last merit player, Reggie Miller, retired. Larry Bird, team general manager for the Pacers acknowledged that the transition was a difficult one, but pointed out that today he believes his team is an outstanding study in sustainability and stability, pointing to a half filled arena and a sub 500 team record and as a model of success. “While it is true that we won more games and had more fans back in the nineties before we switched to a pay to play model, the truth is that we are more profitable now than we ever have been.

When asked what he thought of the team, fan in the stands, Robin Miller, was quoted as saying “I probably had more fun back in the 90’s when the team was good, but the tickets these days are really cheap. I really like the new outfits the Pacemeats are wearing” referring to the one piece thong bottomed costumes the dance team adopted this year at the request of fans.

Two NFL organizations that seem to buck the P2P trend and cling to their throw back “merit based” approach to team staffing are the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. Between them they have won 12 out of the last 10 Super Bowls. This season they have won their games by an average of 97 points per game. Dan Rooney, Steelers Owner pointed out “That we really have no problems finding sponsors or fans to support the team. A winner is an easy thing for these stakeholders to get behind and support.”

When asked if he thought that he would have as much success and such an easy time finding this support if the league had 32 merit based teams instead of two, Rooney stated “That’s not anything I have to worry about, the other teams are broke and will never have the funds to catch back up” Asked if he was concerned that while fan and sponsor support was strong for his team, support and ratings seemed to be dropping for league, Rooney was quoted as saying “As long as we beat those Damned Patriots I don’t care”

One owner not happy about the current situation is Dolphins owner George Antonson. The Dolphin franchise hosts the Super Bowl and has lamented the loss of prestige the game commanded as the P2P system has crept into the league. “It really bothered me last year watching the Superbowl when the Steelers beat the Bears 127 – 3. Look at the Bears Line up, a 97 pound nose tackle named Wi So Wee. Their Quarterback, Dunna Milko had never even played football until a week before the first game of the season”. Antonson has admitted the thought of taking action and creating a new league comprised of merit based teams, but acknowledged that a split in the sport would be “Suicidal”.

“There’s no easy fix to the situation” said George Phillips, Senior Professor of Football History at Nashville College of Sports Administration. “The owners took it pretty bad during the NFL/AFL split. They spent so much money keeping both leagues afloat, that they have to make the sport pay now. It’s no longer just an expensive hobby”

When asked what could improve the situation, Phillips offered, “Changes to the cost structure as mandated by the league would certainly help. Are $25K carbon fibre helmets really necessary? Perhaps, because safety should be valued, but things like Teflon uniforms that teams like the Steelers and Patriots use to gain an advantage could be mandated away. The League has postponed changes to shoulder pad specs so that the less well funded teams can delay having to purchase new ones. But this is all meaningless if the owners simply pocket the savings for themselves. These changes have to allow talented but marginally funded players into the league.”

Recently the P2P system has created strange migrations of players across leagues and sports. Based on demands from agents and sponsors, Colts Defensive End Dwight Freeney has recently begun playing Hockey part time during the football offseason. Freeney who will play the Defenseman position with the Toledo Storm of the ECHL was quoted as saying “It really is no different, I just have to hit people hard. The shoes are a little different, cleats vs skates but I am sure I will adapt quickly”.

Another example of sponsor based player migration occurred when Wrangler became the Official casual wear supplier to the League. In signing the deal, Wrangler planned to build its marketing campaign around fan favorite Brett Favre, only to have Favre’s Packers team pull the plug on him when Aaron Rogers offered a better financial package to the team. The league was left in the situation of finding an owner willing to play Favre at QB for the 2008 season or elicit the ire from their new sponsor. Wrangler has since become the official league sponsor and has supported Farve financially to find a home with the Vikings for the 2009 season.

Perhaps the players affected by the P2P system the most, are young, up and coming players such as MIT All American Quarterback RJ Brandehild. Brandehild, who many league scouts acknowledge as the best QB prospect since Manning came out 12 years ago, is having a hard time finding a home in the NFL. He has not been able to put together a financial package to obtain a starting QB position in the NFL.

Brandehild’s struggles have not gone unnoticed by the NFL fanbase. Season Ticket holder and DirectTV League Pass purchaser Jeff Iannicci commented, “What’s the point of even having a college game expecting the fans to support it if a player so superior to his rivals can’t make the jump to the big leagues. It makes me question my support for the league in general.”

People everywhere have pitched in to help Brandehild out, John Pemberton, a third grader at Robert Moorehead elementary on the Indianapolis east side has given up drinking milk with his lunches and now saves his milk token money for the RJ4QB fund he has started. So far he and his classmates have saved $87.36 to support RJ. Pemberton was quoted as saying “We think RJ is cool!”

Brandehild admitted his frustration “Sure it sucks, but what can I do? I complain too loudly and I will be blackballed by the team owners”. For now, “Unless the stars align” Brandehild plans to keep sharp by playing in a semi pro league organized at the local YMCA.

As for Manning, what does his future hold? “I’m not sure. I can take my Sony endorsement and get the back up position with the Lions. We are working on something a little better, we are waiting on a final decision from a sponsor that might get us the starting position at the Bills”.

Monday, December 14, 2009

IZOD IndyCar Series Announces New Chassis and Engine Packages for 2011

December 14, Indianapolis – The IZOD IndyCar Series unveiled new chassis and engine packages for the 2011 series. The long awaited announcement was met with fanfare and hoopla at a 2 hour press conference at the IICS headquarters. The announcement puts to rest months of rampant speculation and wild rumors concerning the specifics of the new spec for the league that features the Indianapolis 500 as its signature event. The new car and engine specs replace the existing formula that had existed since the 1936 season.

The new chassis is comprised of a large tub or block of organically produced, carbon containing fibre from near a forested region of Brazil. Teams will be able to use this block as the starting point for car development. Participants will be able to sculpt a vehicle to exact specifications required at any one of the diverse circuits the series races on. The hard rubber compound Firestone Firehawk tires will be independently attached and suspended from the tub via four polished suspension pieces that penetrate the side of the chassis tub.

President of Competition for the IICS Brian Barnhart hailed the new chassis spec as a turning point for the series. “This new chassis package delivers on everything that our constituencies were looking for in a new car design. Spectators were looking for creativity, innovation and variety in car design, while at the same time keeping costs low was important for all teams and participants. We feel that this new spec allows for just that. Within a few regulations concerning dimensions, teams will have a completely free hand in creating the car that they feel will bring them the best opportunity for success. We believe spectators will derive a great amount of pleasure in seeing the variety of designs that will be on the track from race to race.”

Barnhart also mentioned other benefits to the new spec. “We believe we have figured out a way to bring real affordability to the highest form of motor sport. This new car will allow all teams the opportunity to compete regardless of budget. We also are hopeful that the spec will attract new teams and participants to the series.”

In addition to the new cars, new engine specs and manufacturers were announced. The new engine specs allow for single cylinder engines that utilize state of the art dry cell powder based propellant propulsion. Representatives from Honda, Audi, Mazda and Toyota were all on hand to announce their participation in creating engines for the series. Toyota representative Yukio Wasamata was quoted as saying”私達は今回悪い状態をそう吸わない” His accompanying translator related that “We really like the affordability of the current engine spec program and that the level of technology allowed Toyota a real opportunity for success”

Barnhart commented on the new engine specs saying “I think our drivers will be really excited with the engines next year. We think that they will be driving cars that are real rocket ships compared to what other prominent series race on a given weekend.”

When asked how he expects the new chassis and engine combinations to translate to on track performance and safety, Barnhart was quoted as saying. “I think the cars seem pretty well put together. Since they have fewer parts, there seems to be fewer things to break and go wrong.” He added, “During our crash testing program we discovered a tendency for the chassis to catch fire near the end of a run. We experimented a bit and discovered that wrapping the front end of the engine with a thin layer of flexible aluminum material cut down on that tremendously.”

When asked how he expected the competition to play out given the huge window for innovation and customization, Barnhart conceded “That is a real concern for us as a league. Our fans really want to see innovation brought back to the league, but on the other hand they have grown accustomed to close, wheel to wheel photo finishes. Our response to this seeming dichotomy is to create the Fairness and Competitive Equality committee. Each year the committee will review the relative performance of the teams and manufacturers from the previous season and will aim to pair teams and manufacturers in such a way as to encourage competitive balance.” When asked if there was any precedence for such a committee, Barnhart replied. “It worked pretty well in 2004 and 2005.”

When asked how he felt about the new car and engine combination, Tony Cottman who served on the development team was quoted as saying “It was a real cluster…um...challenge trying to balance the demands of all constituents to the process. In trying to heed the importance of all opinions and while … Ah hell, it was the best we could do.”

The process to create a new car for the IICS series was a 15 year process that involved input from many diverse sources, many of which are not typically employed in the creation and engineering of professional racing cars. Les McTaggert, lead development engineer on the team was quoted as saying “The involvement of the art students was particularly helpful. The art students from Mrs Barnharts third grade class did a wonderful job of creating images that provided our bloggers opportunity for pointless speculation while at the same time offered our teams the opportunity to by inspired by some really creative color and paint schemes.”

At the press conference, Terry Angstadt, the President of the Commercial division at the Indy Racing League was quoted as saying “We are really happy with the expanded coverage we are receiving at Versus. I think these new cars will keep people watching the entire 18 hours of air time each race currently receives. This engaged involvement of our viewers on Versus will insure that our audience will have a numerous opportunities to see our sponsors’ ads during a broadcast creating a synergistic burn in effect for the messages these ads convey.”

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fanta to Sponsor Foursome of Female IndyCar Drivers

More great news for the IndyCar series was released Monday. As always, feel free to use the Hyperlinks to enhance your blog consumption enjoyment….

Fanta Soft Drinks Inks Major Sponsorship with IndyCar Series Drivers

November 2, 2009 – Atlanta, Georgia

The Fanta brand of soft drinks announced a new advertising campaign and sponsorship program that will feature a quartet of IndyCar drivers. The campaign will revive and feature the popular Fantanas dance team. In the current campaign, the Racing Fantanas will be portrayed by current IndyCar drivers Sarah Fisher, Milka Dunno, Ana Beatriz and Simona De Silvestro.

In addition to an aggressive domestic media plan that targets a Latino audience the deal also includes sponsorship for the drivers involved. Beatriz and De Silvestro will receive primary sponsorship for the 2010 – 2012 seasons driving for Rahal Letterman Racing. Fisher and Dunno will receive associate sponsorships from the deal.

Vice President for North American Fanta Brand Strategy, Bill Zahren, was quoted as saying “We have really wanted to feature a scantily clad team of B level celebrities as the Fantanas for quite some time now. Unfortunately since the deal with the Pussycat Dolls fell through, the project has been at a stand still.” When asked what made the quartet of IndyCar drivers a good fit for Fanta, Zahren replied “We here at Fanta really like fast women, so working with women that go fast seemed like the next best thing”.

The television spot will feature the high energy dance routines that made the Fantanas a mainstay in pop culture. It will end with a bit of humor, where Beatriz, De Silvestro and Dunno will break from dance formation heading towards the camera and excitedly scream something in their native languages (Portuguese, Italian and Spanish) into the camera, then exiting to leave a startled Fisher to stop dancing and inquire in a loud puzzled tone “What???”

When asked how she liked filming the commercial with her co-stars, Fisher replied, “Wow, did I ever feel like a Caucasian Midwesterner with no rhythm!! These girls can really wiggle and boogie – It was hard to keep up. Fortunately, Milka was great, she taught me all sorts of new dance moves. I plan to pay her back next week. She is going to visit our shop and I am going to teach her how to change gears in the race car.” When asked if there was anything disappointing in the filming, Fisher replied “I sort of wish I had a little more costume to work with”.

Asked if she was looking forward to the increased exposure from the campaign Dunno replied “La luna es de color púrpura y que sabe a pescado” which translates into “The commercials will let people see what a talented driver I really am”.

Rahal Letterman Racing Team owner Bobby Rahal was asked if he was looking forward to working with the two young drivers moving up from developmental series “I am really excited to work with such great young talents as Ana and Simona. It reminds me of when we signed Danica, times two. Since they have already won multiple races it feels like we are ahead of the curve”. Rahal was also asked how it felt to be back on track for 2010, he replied “I am really looking forward to getting back into the pit box next year. I really have missed being there since Karl Haas got the restraining order.”

When asked what the future might bring for the racing Fantanas, Zahren stated “We hope to expand the franchise and feature cameo appearances for some of the other drivers in the series. We have a creative in storyboard testing right now that will feature the Fantanas bringing a little Fanta and some joy to Will Power. We also hope to tie into some of the other great things going on in the IndyCar series, we plan to create a commercial spot featuring Hideki Mutoh and his newly chosen Gridgirl .”

At the press conference, Terry Angstadt, the President of the Commercial division at the Indy Racing League was quoted as saying “We are really happy with the expanded coverage we are receiving at Versus. I think over time a sizeable audience will eventually have the chance to enjoy this really great example of sponsor activation” He also added that he hoped to extend this sponsorship to a racing event, citing the hope to run a Fantana 400 at the Fontana Speedway. To date however he stated that “The receptionist at ISC hasn’t returned my call” adding that he “plans to send her some flowers next week”.

Ok - So this really isn't, well, real... Yet! But admit it - you can't get enough of the Fantanas... Here's one more to tide you over...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

IndyCar Drivers to Star in Upcoming Reality Shows.

In case you missed Jay Howard in his driving teacher cameo on MTV this evening you will have other possibilities to see some of your favorite IndyCar drivers on TV with their helmets off…

October 20, 1009

Stamford, CT – Versus Announces New Reality TV Show Featuring IndyCar Driver

The Versus television network is happy to announce its first foray into sports related reality television programming. Wanna Be My Grid Girl? will feature IndyCar series driver Hideki Mutoh in a series that is part “The Bachelor” and part “Average Joe”. The show will present Hideki as the dapper young bachelor looking for love and will co star with 15 beautiful women all vying for his affections.

Before the show began filming, the female co-stars were informed that the show would star a world famous race car driver. The women were not informed which driver exactly they would have the chance to meet and romance. Episodes of the show will feature Hideki and his grid girls doing hot laps in both the IndyCar two seater and in Tony Kanaan’s hot tub. Tony will serve as part spy, part dating coach as he plays the alias of fitness coach for the girls.

President of Versus, Jamie Davis was quoted as saying “With the recent economic down turn, the market for Male enhancement informercials has gone soft. Needless to say we have some empty air time on our hands.” He went on to add that “during the season, we heard and were touched by the story of Tony trying to find his friend and teammate a date. We wanted to find a way to help.” Davis was optimistic about the show’s potential for success “This seems like a better Idea than Fanarchy did when my nephew first came up with it – and hey we get a .89 rating for that.”

Through an interpreter, Hideki was quoted as saying that “during the recent races at Kentucky and Milwaukee he found the American women in the stands to be ‘Exotic’ and unlike the women of his native Japan”. When asked what specifically he found attractive in the American women that captured his attention, through his interpreter he replied “I am really interested in the facial and oral jewelry that many American women are adorned with. The strange bluish body markings are also very attractive and distinctive”

In describing his alias role as Fitness coach, Tony Kanaan said “I plan to work these girls hard, really make them sweat. I want to figure out which ones would be right for Hideki and which ones would be better off with someone else”.

At the press conference, Terry Angstadt, the President of the Commercial division at the Indy Racing League was quoted as saying “We are really happy with the expanded coverage we are receiving at Versus. I think this show is another great indication and message to our sponsors that the expanded coverage we receive on Versus will insure that a sizeable audience will eventually see their ads during a broadcast” He also added “We also hope to be able to make an announcement soon that at the end of the show Hideki and the Grid Girl he selects will be presented a two week trip to a beautiful beach locale somewhere in Brazil.” Also adding “We also have a nice press release written to announce an official clothier for Hideki during the show” Formal press releases for these details are expected in seven to ten days.

October 27, 2009

New York, NY – Sixteenth season of Amazing Race to feature IndyCar Drivers Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti

The sixteenth season of CBSs’ Emmy award winning Reality show The Amazing Race will feature up and coming stars of the IndyCar Series Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti. The Amazing Race features pairs of contestants as they travel racing around the world making several stops in various countries along the way. While in each country teams compete in various challenges that test their dexterity, courage and common sense. The show is hosted by New Zealander Phil Keoghan.

Graham was asked what interested him in appearing in the show and competing in the race. “Whenever we have sponsor meetings at McDonald’s I am amazed at how many places in the world Have McDonald’s restaurants. My dad said he knew someone at CBS and thought he could pull a string or two.” Andretti added “It always seems that the Race has at least one or two smokin’ hot all girl teams”.

When asked how they expected to work together as teammates during the show Rahal said “I fully expect that we will tackle tasks according to our talents and abilities. I look forward to doing much of the driving and taking on the intellectual, decision making responsibilities during the show” To which Andretti replied “Driving, yeah maybe if it rains” Rahal commenting back “We might let Marco drive if we get word that another team might spin out”

When asked if they looked forward to some of the more challenging tasks that the series is know for, such as Bungee jumping off the walkway between the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, eating deep fried beetle larvae in China or carrying 200 lbs of Swiss cheese up the Matterhorn, Rahal answered “I’m not eating any worms – I’m sure I will be able to find a McDonald’s wherever we wind up” Andretti responded “Dude, I’m an Andretti, You’re eating the worms” To which Rahal retorted “Ok then you can drive after you finish the worms” Which prompted Andretti to comment “Well I guess some of us just better understand what it means to be a teammate and some don’t. I need to talk to my agent”.

Phil Keoghan, the host of the show was quoted as saying “It’s really too bad that the plan to feature fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon and his wife Emma fell through. I understand that with a child involved it makes it difficult to be away from home for an extended period.”

After the press conference was over, Rahal and Andretti were overheard in a conversation. Rahal started "Maybe your dad could pull some some strings and get Hildebrand to show up for that worm eating episode?" To which Andretti replied "Yeah, but we can't let him drive, people will figure stuff out."

The Amazing Race #16 will start filming in November and will be broadcast beginning in February 2010.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Motegi and the Puple Ottoman in JP's Family Room

So I started getting these tweets last week about the logistical nightmare of packing up an IRL team and prepping it to ship to Japan for this week’s race. If I were to believe these tweets, posts and releases it would have me believe that this was an organizational task of herculean proportions.

Hogwash. You want a difficult logistical and technical challenge? This week JP is bridging the technological chasm that created itself two weeks ago when Directv dropped Versus. I figured that this would eventually compel the league to arrange for a video stream of the race which was fortunately announced this week.

SO the plan – stream on the computer and watch on the 42” plasma. We’d get the logistics done over the weekend and be ready to go Friday night. Sounds pretty simple, but the problems start early. The internet service for the house is not actually in the house. Since I work remotely out of a home office, the internet is located with the office, which is in a finished part of a barn on the back of the property. Being surrounded by cornfields, there’s no cable or DSL which leads me back into the evil clutches of satellite based media providers. SO given the limits of satelite based internet providers, I have just barely enough bandwidth to stream. I also have a wireless modem, in the office, which is again in the barn whose signal I can pick up in the back half of the house. Unfortunately the 42" plasma is in the front half of the house.

The first unplanned purchase, an $89 wireless AP, to sit in the back of the house getting the signal from the barn and amplifying it so that internet service is now available in the front of the house and for about 150 feet out into the cornfield across the street. Mrs JP works in IT so I leave setting up this sort of thing up to her. Apparently, we didn’t purchase the most user friendly of $89 AP units. After an hour on hold and another hour of Mrs JP speaking very loudly and slowly into the phone with a slight Bengali accent the $89 AP unit was working. Mrs JP was grouchy and MR JP, yours truly, spent the night sleeping on the couch. On to day 2.

On day two we went to hook the laptop up to the plasma and yet another problem presented itself. Our home laptop didn’t have a svideo or hdmi jack, only a vga jack. The 42" plasma has a multitude of electronic orifices, including all three of the previously mentioned ones. All my prior computers were macs so I had no vga cables handy to pull out of a box and use. Mrs JP, Being a PC, said she had hundreds of various cables that plug into any number of electronic orifices, but of course, they are all in storage. When Mrs JP became Mrs JP she moved in but most of her stuff moved to a storage facility.

So off to the storage facility we drove. Once at the storage facility, not only did we find a vga cable but we found a bunch of other vestiges of Mrs JP’s bachelorette pad that now became the solutions to missing links in our current home furnishing portfolio. Which is where JP made the mistake of opening his mouth using the forbidden words “Garage Sale”. Another night on the couch for yours truly. This time JP had the extra benefit of pondering the day's follies while staring at a newly relocated purple ottoman.

On day three we hook up the vga cable to the 42" plasma and begin to stream through the new $89 AP that relayed the internet signal from the office in the barn that has internet from the evil satellite media provider. We flip the screen from the laptop monitor to the 42" plasma and success!! Video!! Yes Video pulsating through 42 stunning inches of visual electronic nectar enclosed in a high grade translucent material. Yes stunning video in Millions of shades and tones of color. Yes Video, Video, WOW, Video.

Note I did not mention sound. Primarily because there was no sound, just the sound of slience. Where the people stared confused by the plasma god on mute.

Unlike the other electronic orifices, vga only relays video. SO we try turning up the sound on the laptop speakers, which worked as long as you were within the 3 ft of the orifice challenged computer and 42" plasma. Go sit on the couch next to the newly rescued purple ottoman and it was like listening to that guy. You know the guy, wearing a KORN goth outfit jamming to Cyndi Lauper on his iPod three seats away on the NYC subway. That wasn’t going to do. This time Mrs JP was eager to come to rescue. “I have a set of headphone jack speakers we can plug into the laptop and listen to those”. She said. I asked “Great, where are they?” A devious smile bloomed over Mrs JP’s face as she said. “At the storage Facility”, now otherwise known as the land of previously forgotten home furnishings.

So on Friday night, as those of you with actual cable television that still carries Versus sit down to watch the race live in peace and quiet. Remember JP, his 42” plasma TV, the vga cable, the orifice challenged laptop, the $89 AP device, the people at the suport call center who best understand English when spoken with a slight Bengali accent, the wireless router in the office in the barn where the evil satellite connection is and of course the newly relocated purple ottoman. And as you are remembering JP, please say a prayer. A prayer for clear skies on that particular evening. Because did I mention that the evil satellite internet service loses contact with the satellite when there is so much as a sprinkle falling from the sky…

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dear Danica, Just Go.

Dear Danica, I hear you have met someone new, someone with more money, someone more trendy to be seen with. I hear you will be the belle of the ball and as much as I have appreciated our time together, Just Go.

Dear Danica, I am not mad, I am not angry or Jealous. You’ve shown that your heart is elsewhere and I don’t want to be strung along. Just Go.

Dear Danica, I know you haven’t accomplished everything you have wanted to, but if you can’t focus all your attention on those goals, they won’t happen anyway. Just Go.

Dear Danica, I’m sorry that Chip wouldn’t let you date around, Sometimes you have to pick a team and be dedicated. Just Go.

Dear Danica, I am worried about how some of my friends will treat you. You remember Mid Ohio, some cheered but others boo’ed, loudly. I hear the rumblings, you’ve become a villain. They will all boo you next year. Just Go.

Dear Danica, I remember when you were first in the spotlight and people talked about you simply for what you might mean one day. As so much of that has not happened, to keep yourself in the spotlight, you have had to shed more clothes with each successive photo shoot. I fear that if you stay here, two years from now results won’t be any different and you’ll have to film a soft porn video to keep the public’s fleeting attention. If the spotlight is so important, Just Go.

Dear Danica, The years ahead will have more twists and turns, I know you like to keep focused on what’s around the next left hand turn. I fear you will struggle and fall behind. Just Go.

Dear Danica, There’s some one new for me also. Her name is Simona. She isn’t from around here. She’s not as pretty as you and not as famous, but wow can she turn right. She’s young but she’s done things now that you never did when you were her age. I am just worried what people will think about you when she hops into Dale's extra car and they see her hit the road and take to the streets. Just Go.

Dear Danica, There’s always the class reunion in May. Just Go.

Dear Danica, about those man boob commercials, they left me feeling cheap and tacky. Just Go.

Dear Danica, You will struggle where you are going. Other’s that have gone before have had their troubles. Even though things are apples and oranges, if you linger and find modest success here, your struggles there will only cheapen what others think of me. Just Go.

Dear Danica, I worry about the people you have been listening to these days. I know they don’t think much of me, but I worry they are thinking as much about themselves and their pocketbook as much as you. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Just Go.

Dear Danica, I enjoyed those times I got to bask in your glow and meet new sexy people, but when I see Sarah, She takes me back to my roots, the people I can’t forget and the people that will pick me up and see me through. Just Go.

Dear Danica, You are not my savior. I was a mess five years ago and I am a mess now. I don’t know what I have gotten out of our relationship, but I know you've benefitted more. I now know that some one else isn’t going to make me better – I have to do that myself. Just Go.

Dear Danica, I know people are worried about me, But I will be ok. I have indomitable spirit and belief in my purpose. I will find my way. Just Go.

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