Sunday, May 25, 2008

If she wasn't adjusting her makeup...

The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend means one thing and one thing only to me, I am going to spend all day watching cars turn left. It's a tradition unlike any other. I just sit down on the couch and watch auto racing all day long. I get upset when events cause me to miss portions of a race. I mean, couldn't my brother have the foresight to graduate from grade school on some other day? I had to miss Arie Lyundeyk winning the Indy 500 because of that.

I wasn't able to live blog the Indy 500 this year but I caught most of the race. Saw the most improtant part, which was Danica Patrick storming off because she got hit from behind. Now I would typically make a joke here that either references a) women drivers or b) the fact that she got rear ended but according to the replay it wasn't really her fault. She wasn't going to win the race but she was at least headed towards a respectable finish.

I did miss all of the pageantry and that is part of the reason you watch Indy. It is one of those events where the opening means asmuch as anything. I don't know why but summer seems to start with Jim Nabors singing Back Home Again in Indiana and Florence Henderson singing God Bless America. There is also the irony of remembering those who died defending our country by having foreigners drive around in circles for several hours. The race itself seemed to be pretty good but it still doesn't match the good old days of Foyt and Andretti and Rutherford and Mears. Those names still show up occasionally but not with the same talent as before.

Auto racing is a strange sport to watch and I've been a fan pretty much my entire life. It really is just watching a bunch of guys turning left over and over again. I understand the strategy and the tactics used and it certainly is a physical struggle to deal with the G forces but it is still a little odd. I'm not sure how to explain my fandom. I don't wear t-shirts of my favorite drivers or go to races and scream "Woo hoo". I use the explanation that I watch racing the same way other people watch golf. It isn't something that glues you to the television set as you wait with baited breath over every possibility. It's something that you have on while you do something else.

But it does mean that summer is here and the living is easy. What shall my summer hold? Your guess is as good as mine.

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