Thursday, August 02, 2007

Monthly Miscellanea from the Marbles

Actions Have Consequences:

The internet has been rife with commentary about Tony Stewart and his various altercations with other drivers. So many times, we hear from Tony that 'it was someone else's fault', or that 'someone does not know how to give and take', or that 'it was not intentional.' One wonders how often he told his buddy Kevin Harvick that it was indeed intentional. Kevin is still not happy with Tony, and as of this writing, had not answered Tony's phone calls. One can only claim innocence for so long, before even the best of friends start questioning the motives.

In fact, this is the second 'friend' Tony has had an issue with. Denny Hamlin was not running to fall back into Tony's good graces, and indeed Coach Gibbs had to be called in to break up the battle.

Tony should understand that espousing the philosophy of 'give and take' requires some giving before the taking. When one is handing out the BS, one should expect that the people who know you the best to recognize the BS when it is directed at them.

Tony Stewart, the day after:

A few fan boards have reported that Tony Stewart, on the Monday after his Indy/Brickyard win, was trying to prepare for his Sirius show. There were some technical difficulties, and he and Matt Yokum supposedly were talking while assuming they were having a private conversation. The microphones were 'hot', and Tony was said to have commented on how 'effing' hungover he was, and that he was peeved he had to attend his fan picnic that day. Since I quit listening to him several weeks ago, I cannot verify this. I did try to tune in to the beginning of the replay on Tuesday, but they were replaying a "Best of..." show. That in itself is unusual, as I was told that "Best of..." Show was specifically for the off week. I will say, there was some hysterical stuff going on with a Carl Edwards interview and the happenings at a bowling alley in South Carolina! (THAT was Tony at his best!)

Merger Mania

The DEI/Ginn deal is still having far reaching repercussions. Marty Snider interviewed Dale Earnhardt JR, and replayed a portion of that interview on Sirius this week. Dale Jr commented that 300 employees in Mooresville would be out of jobs. Some boards are reporting that Claire B. Lang's XM show claims the layoffs have started. There are some serious issues reported about Ginn's level of debt. One hopes that DEI used Due Diligence to research the debt load.

Ironically, some of the 'net flak has been targeted at 'leader' of TEI as being the person who is the evil boss screwing the workers. And yet, if TEI...oops..DEI had not had the merger, there would be a whole race shop shut down. This way, some of the workers do get to keep their jobs.

Yates/Newman/and whoever else....
Newman! *sigh* Hey, has Robert Redford ever wanted to be a sponsor? I am heading to a race this fall just to hopefully stalk Paul Newman! Stalking Redford would make it a perfect day for me!

Other than a gorgeous Senior Citizen, what other benefit does the Y/H/N/L deal create? I can see that Yates can use the engineering. And now, they may need the sponsor support. But what does the N/H/L part of the deal get? One hears that a certain grandson of a certain 'first name of IRL' may be the biggest beneficiary!

Sponsor Merry-Go-Round!

M&M/Mars is receiving almost as much buzz as Budweiser. Ironically, both of these icons are swarming around Ray Evernham! Go figure! Evernham is having the crappiest of seasons, and yet the sponsors are knocking on his doors!

There are many, many Sadler fans that may have to eat their words, as well as some M&Ms. They were so quick to holler "I will never eat M&Ms again! " Wow, enjoy some Crow with those candy covered chocolates? Does Crow melt in the hand? Hmmmmm!

One has to wonder what in the world is going on with the Powers That Be at Mars. Their former driver has broken not one but two contracts. This same driver received many complaints in the last year as not being known to treat his fans especially well. (Expired Tylenol was the only noteworthy item in an expensive Fan Club Pack.) The other driver under consideration has been noticed by me in a previous blog, and now members of the media, as having little grace under pressure. His negative comments about other drivers have soured some of his fans, even if he can move his butt enticingly in commecials.

Other message boards wonder why a family owned company would even pursue a team whose owner 1) admitted to having a personal relationship with an employee and 2) verbally and publicly threw one of his employees under the bus for job performance. One wonders about potentially far-reaching splatter from impending lawsuits from the Wronged Girlfriend or the Jilted Engineer. It would not be the first law-suit experienced by Ray. Any publicity from such a lawsuit could splatter right back onto the sponsor.

There are many that would take great joy in seeing the current bearer of the M to end up ahead of the previous bearer. If Ray does not get his group of drivers together, it could happen. In the meantime, David Gilliland is slowly but surely building a fan base. He is also still in inferior equipment, and yet slowly but surely gaining on his scores. He is even being noticed by some 'Hot Sheet' and other gambling odds sites as a prospect!

Can he ever...?

Can Kyle Busch ever get through a race without controversy? He plays the "I am a bigger man and can apologize" card, and then he peeved Jeff Burton. The good thing is, Jeff is a behind-the-scenes type of guy, when it comes to driver relationships. Kyle's saving grace is that he can driver the wheels, and the decals, off of his cars.

NASCAR broadcasts:

TV: So far, after one Cup race, and a half season of Busch races, I am not impressed with ESPN. The 'draft track' was silly. Tim Brewer had some great tools at his disposal, but was thrown under the bus over the placement of Jimmie Johnson's fuel pump. There were a lot of commercials, but then, when the $$ are thrown out there, you have to expect that. I am not yet ready to go Pay Per View.

Trackpass gives me the 'fill-in coverage' I need. Radio scanners and Race view give me at least 85% of the picture, even when my driver is up front for a bit, and ESPN forgets to talk about him. Uh oh! I just realized, that I am paying, in essence, a pay-per-view to get the coverage I need!!!! Hmmm!

Best Broadcast Bang for the Buck: Sirius Radio channel 128

  • The day starts off with the Misfits, aka The Morning Drive...Marty Snider and David Poole. Their discussions quite often jump into the argument stage, but always make you think!
  • The Driver's Seat, with John Kernan as host, is fabulous! John is so knowledgeable and comforting to listen to, and has such good rapport with Buddy Baker (love love LOVE Buddy's stories!)and also Ricky Craven, John Andretti, and a cast of thousands!
  • Sirius Speedway has the most longevity of the group, and has the most fun! Regular reports from Juan Pablo Montoya, Ray Evernham, and Brendan Gaughan give me targets of tuning. I will listen to each of them each week! Dave Moody and team have me giggling hysterically at least 5 times in each broadcast! This group has a knack of bringing out the real driver in their interviews!
Congrats to Brendan Gaughan, our Las VegasNCTS driver who is going to be walking down the aisle this month. It is a special woman who can tolerate his zaniness, but those of us that have met him know that he is a special person. Best wishes for a happy happy life, Brendan! And Mrs. Brendan!

Speaking of gambling....what is going on with the drivers enticing fans into gambling or poker sites? How long can the fans really expect the drivers to really show up! What kind of profit do the drivers receive? Hmmmmmm!

We will wait with anticipation to see what the next month brings! In the meantime....Happy Racing!