Tuesday, January 29, 2008

24 Hours of Superbowl

Sometime like 7-8 years ago I developed a way to not make myself absolutely hate football, and although its half-way late this season you still have time...

The moment the NFC and AFC Championship games are over, turn off EVERYTHING that deals with the NFL. You've already got way more information coming in than is necessary, the last thing you need is two weeks of absolutely no news happening but 52 news outlets and reporters "dedicating" themselves to this no news. For 2 weeks you'll hear about absolutely everything that anyone can fathom and yet, they will all be wrong about what actually happens anyway (most superbowls, most notable Patriots over Rams) ... OR worse, they predict exactly what happens (last year).

Instead take those 13 days off, it can only serve to make you not only hate the reporters, but the sport itself.

What you may have missed was the great 24 Hours of Daytona on Saturday/Sunday.
For the first time ever, a team (Ganassi Racing) has managed to win the race for 3 years in a row, which is an astounding feat if you think of a couple of factors; the race averages 60 entries (yes only 25 DPs) but with 24 hours numerous things can happen; drivers can move around, conditions can be all over.

This year I think it went, rain, dry, rain, dry, cloudy windy, rainy, downpour, dry, windy, dry.

Its bad enough that you have to simply try and coordinate schedules and pit strategy for 24 hours, but add in all the conditions constantly changing and the larger than normal cautions (record this year) and its a heck-of-a feat. Many records went down this year, most lead changes, most cautions, most different leaders. I was most impressed by 2 teams in particular, Vision and Penske. Penske most understand, first time in forever and they pull off 3rd place after serious car contusions... Vision however made 23 of the hours but more importantly ran competitively when the car actually ran, now if they put a little more time in it I'm sure they could contend.

5 teams were still on the lead lap with about 4-5 hours to go and then the endurance part of the race kicked in as stuff started breaking on all kinds of cars, so the finish itself may have been undramatic, but the first 18 hours were spectacular. I personally wish for more coverage because ending at 9pm (central) and having to go to radio updates till 5am is a killer...

In the meantime, no Indy Car merger has happened, but we're about to get in the thick of team/driver announcements and testing while NASCAR has already started testing... we're not far away from the various season's and count the 24 Hours of Daytona as a true start to the year, it had everything from wacky problems and fixes to crazy strategy (teams starting a lap down for slick tires) and wacky behavior and interviews from loopy drivers...

Quote of the weekend from my wife: "We could drive to Daytona and catch the last quarter of the race..."

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Race You Can't Miss

Its simple to explain and easy to enjoy, and there is no series, just one race so there no excuse to not give it a shot.

at 1:30pm Saturday, the race starts, at 1:30 pm Sunday it ends, whoever goes the farthest wins.

The 24 Hours of Daytona is an event anyone can love. IT has Indy Car, NASCAR, Le Mans, Champ Car drivers and drivers from many other series as well.

Let me give you a rough rundown of the event and you should be able to make up your mind:

-There are roughly 65 cars entered this year.

-They race for 24 hours, whoever goes the most (distance) wins

-They run on the Daytona road course, not the big oval that the Daytona 500 is on

- Because it is 24 hours straight most cars have 3-5 drivers (sleep, bathroom breaks etc) so they literally all rely on each other and have to switch drivers throughout the race.

-All but 6 hours are covered live: (Central Time)
Saturday -- Noon to 1:30pm on FOX
Saturday -- 1:30pm to 9:00pm on SPEED
Sunday -- 5:00am to 1:00pm on SPEED

You don't have to watch the whole thing, just watch whatever parts you want, flip it on for a while then turn it off, catch just the end, I'm sure they'll give you many updates on anything you may have missed.

-Because seeing all these guys, and the multitudes of things that can go good or bad are endless, especially when true fatigue is involved...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Apparently it's "Official News Week" for Indy Cars

A lot has happened in Indy-Cars over the last week (and a half):

2 more girls - American Spirit Racing has signed a Swiss karting champion (Cyndie Allemann) ... while Sam Schmidt Motorsports has hired Ana Beatriz who shares their name with a swimsuit model (seriously try searching the name). Obviously the first thing the majority of fans and non alike notice is that both are female; and with Panther Racing already expected to sign Lelani Munter that would make 3 women in the Indy Pro Series and possibly 3 in the IRL... The most important thing to note: The 3 women in the IPS have more experience now than Milka Duno had (and probably even has even now) and they were smart enough to realize that the IPS is the place for them to go so they can get acclimated to the circuit and the new style of cars.

Who runs the show now? - Tony Cotman is resigning from the Champ Car World Series, for those who don't know he is the VP of Operations as well as the Race Director. He hasn't (nor has anyone) really made any kind of clarification as to why outside of the general "wanted to move on" statement. Coming at this time in the year, it looks more like either a bail-out or a switch to something else. I'd expect him to show up somewhere from IRL, ALMS or even back to Andretti-Green Racing sooner than later.

Yet another defection from CCWS - Raphael Matos is turning down the $2 mil. starting cash bonus for a ride in Champ Car World Series he receives as winner of the Atlantics series, to drive for the Andretti Green/AFS (Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc.) Indy pro Series Car. Why is this news/big news in the word of Indy-Car? Simply because Matos essentially turned down a deal to race in the top level of one series to drive in the 2nd tier of the IRL. Obviously with the way AGR snagged up Hideki Mutoh
and not much history of graduating the IPS drivers, some would speculate whether or not this will lead to an AGR-IRL ride for Matos; and you'd be foolish to not think Matos doesn't know that; so with that said, what does it saw for the CCWS right now; Robin Miller seems to think this is the end; but its not the first time we've heard that the IRL or CCWS was done; however I have to say that I DO think this is the beginning of some kind of final change, be it the end of CCWS or some kind of buyout or merge; I honestly don't see a way out for CCWS to survive at this moment, too much flowing in the wrong direction now.

Oreo interviewed - In one great step for motorsports bloggers, and in a great move by ESPN's John Oreovicz, My Name is IRL has got a great Q and A with Oreo in response to the internet stirring article "Open-wheel held hostage: Year 13" and response (and I'm sure also stirring outside the internet as well, as he mentions being contacted by Tony George).

66 drivers? - well 66 passed physicals for the IRL. Does that mean we'll have 66 cars, obviously not, thats split between both IRL and IPS PLUS all the guys who think they have a ride and those who are planning Indy 500 one-offs and even guys who think that some crazy outside shot may happen and they can get a ride. This happens every year, so thats not the biggest story from it, for me its that Thomas Sheckter did not show up. Does it mean he's not racing, not entirely because you can get a physical anytime, but it surely doesn't look good.

Car #90210 - And finally there has finally been significant movement (I was waiting for movement of any kind) for a proposed/press released idea for a Indy-Car team. The well thoughtfully named Rubicon race team is owned/run by Jim Freudenberg, the former general manager of Kelley Racing & Jason Priestly (mostly known for Beverly Hills 90210 but also know as a former driver of the Indy Pro Series who stopped racing when he got in a big accident during a practice). The team idea was released a while back but what makes this more cemented is that this announcement included the names of team members, money supporters (Including the Colts Dallas Clark), and the information that the car is set to be setup by Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Great for the 500, IRL and hopefully motivation for D.B. Mann, Kingdom, Racing Professionals, Sarah fisher Racing, Curb/Beck Motorsports to try and get whatever details and money in line so they can follow suit.

Future - Next two weeks, looking for an official announcement from Panther Racing naming Vitor/Chesson as IRL drivers and Munter/Sherman as IPS drivers unless something big changes; The fun that is introducing my wife to the 24 Hours of Daytona race which includes basically the entire IRL line-up minus a few; and then hopefully official announcements from all the current/potential IRL and CCWS teams about who is driving their cars, and who isn't fielding cars we thought they would... because lets face it, testing is right around the corner...

Friday, January 18, 2008


I'm going to try to get these posts done in a more timely manner. Although it doesn't matter this week, because I am out of bold predictions for the NFL. It just better be Patriots/Packers or we're all getting ripped off.

So the Green Bay station is taking Seinfeld off of the air because it will upset Eli Manning? That doesn't make any sense. If it is his favorite show and you take it off, then he'll be bored and he'll put in video of your team and actually prepare for the game. Hey geniuses, how about a Seinfeld marathon?? All Seinfeld for 48 hours straight. Have him up all night laughing at Kramer's antics. Dammit, why am I the only smart one sometimes?

And finally, if you missed it, the Chicago Cubs have made the following statement to the world: In 2008, the arm of Jon Lieber is more valuable than the arm of Mark Prior. For $3.5 million, the Cubs brought back its ace from about 1999-2002. Prior would've cost just as much. Even if Lieber doesn't get a starting spot out of camp, it's still an excellent signing and a great insurance policy. Worst case scenario, he uses his experience to lead a squad of young pitchers by sharing the expertise that led him to a 20 win season and a very good career average at Wrigley, even if he's only throwing out of the bullpen. Best case, he becomes the #4 pitcher and earns double-digit wins.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hope Oregon State never matches up with Penn State

What would Fox do if they made it to a BCS bowl game???

Apparently they would announce "Welcome to the Sugar Bowl where we will see the match up of the Oregon State hmmhmmhmhs and the Penn state Nittany Lions who come in with a substantial undefeated record at home at MmmmMmmm stadium"

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, lets have Bob Parson from godaddy inform you:

"Last week, FOX network rejected Go Daddy's Super Bowl ad because an actor referred to a beaver – a replica beaver that was, in fact, being portrayed – as a “beaver.” We were told that under no circumstance could we use that word, and if we didn’t say the word “beaver,” the ad would be approved.

I withdrew the rejected ad and will instead show it on Super Bowl Sunday on the Go Daddy Web site. I've shown that "beaver ad," which stars Danica Patrick and is formally titled “Exposure," to perhaps 30 people. Without exception, everyone thought it was the best and funniest ad we’ve ever done. They all remarked: "what a shame Fox won’t let you show it."

Now I'm sure godaddy pushes the envelope a little more than he alludes to, but seriously, if in reality they refer to the animal itself as a beaver, and that is all that needed to be changed; people at the FCC need to be shot. Seriously, what do you call that animal now? We're not allowed to say beaver yet every night of the week I have like 3-4 options on which homicide detective show I can watch where their will either show or show the aftermath of brutal killing or violence, or just show a bunch of violence, (Sopranos & Prison Break) just to name two off the top of my head...

So remember kids; its ok to depict the brutal slaying of many people and the gory thoughts of psycho killers, but don't you dare utter the name of an animal that might be associated with pubic hair by very mature people; because that is the beginning of the end of the world!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

late post

I was waiting for Friday, then got busy. So I'm a bit late here. But forget what I said last week. Washington ruined the whole thing. New prediction:

There will be no upsets in the NFL playoffs this weekend.

I know everyone loves Jacksonville and New York. But look at Wedge's post, first of all. Then here are my reasons:

1. New York did not threaten Dallas during the season.

2. In a game that will come down to QB vs. defense, who do you like better? Jacsonville's QB or New England's QB?

3. Seattle has played good defense against bad or average QBs. Brett Favre is not bad or average and can beat their defense.

4. The Colts are the defending champs and the Chargers have a sissy cry baby at QB.

I'll probably be 2-2 again. Hooray! The Furious Wedge = guaranteed mediocrity.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Stat of the Day

"Since the current playoff format was adopted in 1990, home teams in the divisional round are 53-15, a .779 winning figure. Usually, the reason the home teams are at home is that they are better than the wild-card teams. Equally important, in the divisional round, the home teams have spent a bye week relaxing in hot tubs while their opponents were out in the cold being pounded. Home teams dominate the NFL divisional round, so checkmark them in your office pool." - Gregg Easterbrook

Friday, January 4, 2008

Bold Predictions from Furious Ron

Hello everyone. I have been absent, but the new year means new projects for me. I now hope to be a regular contributor here. My name is in the title, after all.

This is the first installment of my predictions. Expect to see the future revealed often on this website.

"Wait a minute, aren't you the person who predicted the Dolphins would win the Super Bowl this year on this very blog?"

No, idiot. This blog didn't even exist yet. Plus I just said this was my first post. You're thinking of something else.

Now, you must understand that my predicitons will never be wrong. If they were ever wrong, I would just ignore them, pretend I never said them, and continue to say my predictions are never wrong. But they're never wrong.

So get your gambling money ready...

In the NFL playoffs, the AFC will not have one upset and the NFC will have ALL upsets.

That's right. The Redskins will defeat the Giants to make it to the Super Bowl. In the AFC it will be the Patriots over the Colts, of course.

For this weekend, that gives us the following winners: Redskins, Giants, Chargers, Steelers.

See you next week!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

AFC 32 - NFC 32

The sad thing is if you look beyond the crappy NFC South and AFC East its pretty split wins here and there with the majority of the NFC winning and just being held down by the entire NFC South while the AFC East still had the Patriots to make it not totally lopsided...