2008 Daytona 500 LiveBlog

No liveblog after all – sorry. WordPress.com does NOT allow IFrames. Shame.

BTW, if any of you reading this are non-wordpress.com blogs and want to host my Daytona liveblog, I’ll send you the embed code. Otherwise, I’ll just be watching like everyone else.

UPDATE: I’m hosting it on my old blogger site. If you’d like to be part of the liveblog, go here: Old SHoot The Moose

Drinking The Junior KoolAide

Y’all indulge me in a little NASCAR talk.

 All of “my” drivers are getting old and ready for retirement.  Marlin, Martin, Jarrett – the end is near, and it’s no fun following drivers who are either part time or always finish 25th.  I knew going into this year, I’d have to pick a new driver to follow.

I knew I just can’t choose Jimmy Johnson – every time I see him, the word that pops into my head is “snotty”.  For that matter, that goes for Matt Kenseth too.

Jeff Gordon is too business-like for my tastes.  Watching him race, even when he wins, is like watching an assembly line.  An accountant assembly line.

Some fit into the jackass category: Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya.   I’m not talking about jackassery in the heat of battle – all drivers are guilty of that.  I’m talking about a general, proud of it jackassery.

Kyle Busch is fun to watch, but he drives like he’s insane.  He’s going to get somebody killed out there.  I like him, though.

I would cheer for open-wheel-turncoat, local favorite Dario Franchitti, but 1) He’s going to have some growing pains, and 2) he’s driving a Dodge.  Not a recipe for early success if you ask me.

I’ve decided that Kasey Kahne is the Danica Patrick of the NASCAR world.  Except he’s actually won a race or two. But, let’s face it, he’s more known for being pretty than winning races.

And I didn’t want to buy into the Earnhardt hype.  I don’t like being a joiner, or being considered ignorant of NASCAR intricacies and just choosing the most famous driver. 

But, today, I’m coming out.  I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fan .  It actually started last season.  I follow the races on TrackPass Raceview (I highly recommend it to any fan; you “see” the race from a whole new point of view, literally).  Last year, after Marlin lost his ride, I had this really cool app, and no driver from whose POV I could watch.

Y’all, one week I switched to Junior’s view, and it was hard not to become a fan.  At the time, he was practically out of the Chase (NASCAR’s playoffs), but he was driving the wheels off his car.  He was doing things I had never seen from a driver before, and he would curse out his crew chief one minute, and apologize the next.  He wanted to win so bad, you could feel it through the computer screen.

Knowing he didn’t have to do this – he’s rich beyond measure, he had already announced he was switching teams, and the 07 season was all but mathematically out of reach – but he drove harder than any modern driver I’ve seen.  I’m told, this is what it was like to watch his father (with a bit of meanness thrown in).  Junior is a rock star, but at the same time, he’s human.

So, laugh at me if you will, but I’ll be following 88 this year.

Torn, Virtually

Is this weird or what?  I’m seriously considering getting in a flame war with myself.  Mostly because of my weird, dual personality.  I can’t decide if I like football or Ugly Betty more.

An example of this weird duality: on September 16th, I will be getting up and tailgating with Warrior, then watching the Titans shock the world (again) by beating the Indianapolis Colts.  There will be much yelling, grunting, beer and bravado.  If we lose, there will probably be cursing.  But, we won’t lose.

During this whole time, I will attempt to get any news I can from the NASCAR race at Dover, to see how my favorite drivers who are in “the Chase” did”.

Once I get out of traffic and get home, I will switch gears and live blog the red carpet arrivals at the Emmys At UBN (complete with commentary about the fashion sense of the various celebrities), along with the awards themselves.  It will be catty and celebrity/fashion oriented. 

6 hours of nothing but testosterone.  6 hours of full-blown estrogen.  Ater that, I’m all out of hormones for the week.

Anyway, I am considering writing a post over there, that half of me would disagree with.  Vehemently.  It’s the kind of thing that could come to blows, if I didn’t know me as well as I do.  Nevertheless, I would really let myself have it, if I were ever so brazen as to tick myself off about such a passionate subject.  But then, again, I’d get pretty mad at me, too.  So, it’d be even.

Now, why hasn’t my wife had me committed, yet?

Let’s Get Random

I’m kind of ticked that Food Network is shuffling their lineup around moving Emeril back to Alton Brown’s spot at 6pm CST.  Yes, I know that’s why they invented DVRs, but we had actually fallen into this dynamic in our family where we made sure to get everything done before Alton came on; we’d gather round the TV just like my when I was a kid.  Back to reality.

There’s a new ice cream shop in Bellevue: 32 Scoops, in the Kroger Shopping Center on Hwy 70.  I give it two scoops up!  I had  something called “Gold Mine”, and it was a creamy, caramel-ly, heavenly concoction.  Everyone else in the family loved theirs as well.  As an aside, some of you long-time Bellevue folks might remember that it is sitting at the site that was Persnickety’s Ice Cream in the 80’s (boy, do I miss THAT place!)

Photos of the show last Saturday at TBG are up at my Flikr page.  All of them were taken by Trillian, and most of them are at a strange angle.  But, we had a great time, and hopefully the photos convey that.

I’m interested in seeing the new TNT show “Saving Grace“.  It could be a very sobering view of fall and redemption, or it could be fluff, it could be affirming, or it could be blasphemous.  It’s going to be worth taking the chance, I think.

I have Nascar RaceView.  You could only have this type of technology with NASCAR, and it has got to be the most fun way to watch a race.  Listening to the driver talk to his crew chief, and watching the entire race from the point of view of a single driver teaches you more about the sport than you could ever learn any other way.  I can tell you one thing I learned from the New Hampshire race last week: Sterling Marlin doesn’t care too much for Juan Pablo Montoya. He also knows a few choice words. That was fun to listen to.

NASCAR News / Notes 1

I have a feeling many of you will read the title of this post and decide to move on; it’s understandable, but IMHO you’ll be missing something. I have many passions in life, and the most surprising to people who know me is NASCAR.

It’s not THAT surprising when you take a closer look. Many do not know this, but NASCAR is not a “redneck” sport, it hasn’t been for a long time. One look at the NASCAR Glossary Page will tell you that NASCAR is, in fact, a sport for engineers and tech geeks. Besides Dale Earnhardt, Jr, can you name anouther high-profile driver who has a defined southern accent? All the big stars sound like Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. The most redneck part of the sport these days is in the stands:

(sorry about that)

Anyway, here’s what’s happening:

First and foremost, I’d like to offer my condolences to the family of Bobby Hamilton. Not only was he a hometown boy, he was the epitome of class and humility. The way he built his teams, from the ground up, mainly for his son, should be an example to us all. RIP, Bobby.

Benny Parsons, one of my favorite announcers, is currently in the battle of his life against lung cancer. He was recently checked into intensive care. He is worthy of the prayers of us all.

Now, the lighter stuff:

NASCAR’s governing body is apparently going to change the field of the “Chase” to 12. For those of you who don’t know, the “Chase for the Cup” is the Nextel Cup’s version of the playoffs. With 10 races to go in the season, the top 10 (soon to be 12) are locked into “the Chase” and their points are bunched much closer together to make the chase more exciting. First is still first, and 10th is still 10th, but everyone in The Chase has a chance with 10 races to go. Anyway, some of the drivers don’t like this change. Pretty Boy Kasey Kahne:

“There was as much pressure for me going into the final five races as I’ve ever had,” said Kahne, who was on the bubble going to Richmond despite having a series-high five wins. “It was exciting. I think 10 guys is pretty good. From sixth to probably 13th was pretty close. If you put more in, there won’t be quite so much on the line.”

I remember hearing the same things said when the NCAA tourney field was expanded to 64, the baseball playoffs were expanded, as well as the NFL. Having more teams “on the bubble” makes things more exciting for everybody, IMHO.

Now, dear readers, if you’ve made it this far, you get rewarded. I’ll let you in on a full bore soap opera going on right now, worthy of a Lifetime Movie of the Week. It involves Dale Earnhardt, Jr – from now on refered to a “Junior” – and his stepmother Teresa. A little background: Junior is the son of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, from his first marriage. Teresa married the Sr Earnhardt in 1982. To say that Jr’s relationship with Teresa has always been rocky would be an understatement. I have no doubt at one point in his life, he called her “stepmonster”.

Here’s the deal: Teresa, upon the death of Earnhardt Sr, got the “empire”. She is president and CEO of DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc). Jr, in effect works for Teresa. I’ve always said: NEVER work with family! Junior’s contract with his late father’s company is up next year. Negotiations are ongoing. It ain’t going so good. Here are some of the things Teresa and Jr have said publicly about the matter:

Teresa: “Right now the ball’s in [Earnhardt’s] court to decide on whether he wants to be a NASCAR driver or whether he wants to be a public personality.”

Earnhardt takes the high road: “I don’t know, she might have just been having a bad day or something when she said that. I really don’t know where that was coming from. I didn’t want to comment to the press. I really didn’t appreciate it whether she was taken out of context or not.”

But then he adds this:

“I don’t want to get too personal. Teresa is my stepmother. I have a mother at home I have a very good relationship with. Mine and Teresa’s relationship has always been very black and white, very strict and in your face. It’s gotten no worse the last couple of years or last couple of months. The way I felt about her then is the way I feel about her now.”

Yowee! Teresa has left the negotiating up to others, in order to get them moving along. Something tells me Jr won’t talk if she’s in the room. Anyway, to get an idea of what a big deal this is, you have to know how BIG Junior is. He’s Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Darek Jeter COMBINED, as far as popularity within the sport is concerned. In about half the races, over half the fans are there to Dale Jr. Talledega is a sea of red (his color). He is HUGE.

On the other hand, so is DEI. That means all the licensing for the “3” and “8” stuff you see everywhere. And Junior wants a piece, and that’s where the biggest sticking point is in the negotiations. Besides, of course, his relationship with his step-mom.

Anyway, I’ll fill you in as this develops (certainly they’ll work it out – can you imagine Dale Earnhardt NOT driving for the company with his own name on it?)

One final thing: NASCAR is the only sport that STARTS the year with its Super Bowl. The Daytona 500 is only 40 days away!

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