Sunday, February 25, 2007

Daytona & Fontana, Bits & Pieces

Since I'm still so backed up from Daytona that I haven't even seen the last episode of Desperate Housewives that Cecil taped for me, I'm gonna take a very slip-shod, ESPN 2 approach to commenting on the various races and pre-race hoopajoobs that we've seen over the last couple weeks. I'm also aware that my links are not working, and I'm working on that about as hard as ESPN2 is working on how to broadcast a NASCAR event in an entertaining and informed fashion.

Which one of the stations is it - or was it - that used to use some pretty cool segue music and tunes to play behind the little pre-taped bits that they did? I had thought it was FOX - I mean, they were the ones who played Drive-by Truckers's "Daddy's Cup" briefly while they flashed Dale Jr.'s face on the screen. And I'm pretty sure they're the ones who usually play X's "Los Angeles" sometime during the California races.

Well, whoever it was doesn't matter that much, because ALL of the networks need to tighten the fuck up. I bitched about FOX last year until NBC took over and then I was reminded how badly they sucked, but so far this year everybody's sucking.

A lot. Even SPEED, bless their hearts.

SPEED lost audio right before the San Bernadino County 200 Truck Race which prevented us from hearing the invocation, so they just bailed on all the pre-race stuff except the command, which was given by some guy we'd never heard of, but at least he shouted it out. Mikey Waltrip made a point to comment on what a nice job the fella did, and I'm sure that was his subtle way of shitting on Nicholas Cage's dramatic recitation before the Daytona 500 last Sunday.

Highlight of the pre-Truck Race ceremonies was when the camera was focused on Kraig Kinser while somebody was trying to give the invocation sans any amplification. Kinser was clowning around with one of his crew for awhile until somebody noticed his goofy ass on the Jumbotron, at which point he whipped off his hat and looked down piously, hands quickly folded reverently in front of him. Heh heh. BUSTED!!!

Just a note for next year: somebody needs to use the song "San Bernadino Boy", from Johnny Hickman's Palmhenge record during the Fontana weekend.

TODAY'S BUSCH RACE featured some white (?) (ish) guy trying to sing our National Anthem in that style - we need to find a name for this style - what would you call "the way white girls who are trying to sound like black girls while auditioning for American Idol" approach to singing? We need a shorter, more concise way to word that.

Anywhooziedoodles, he was very trilly and melismatic and he sucked. That's all you need to know.

There was a flyover. Four aircraft of some sort. ESPN honored our military by not showing them during the National Anthem, but they did manage to put a brief shot of them onscreen and uncredited as they sequed out to a commercial break.

Sammy fucking Hagar gave THE COMMAND. Mm. Mm. Mm. He got all rock and roll wordy and ad-libby on it. And you know how we despise that here at Willard's. It's four simple words. "Gentlemen, start your engines." That's it. Simple. At least he did it in a kind of rock and roll spirit, rather than thanking his company or saying "hey" to his mama or sumpin', like a lot of folks do. But it was still aggravating. Made worse by the fact that he is Sammy Hagar. Blech.

When he got done yakkin' and screaming THE COMMAND loudly, I turned and said to Cecil,
"Well. At least he was enthusiastic." Cecil said,
"So was Hitler. And you don't use 'please' when you give a command. That would make it a request."

He's right, of course. Why the hell would they pick Sammy Hagar to be the Grand Marshall, fer Chrissakes? They're out there in California with all manner of big stars just dying for some face time on t.v. , and they call upon Sammy fucking Hagar. It ain't right. At the very least, they should have asked Mojo Nixon. He woulda done it right, plus he could have performed his "The Ballad of Wendell Scott" to honor NASCAR and Black History Month all in one fell swoop.

That's really all I care to comment on as far as the sangin' and preachin' and invokin' and commandin' from the last two weeks -- all in all, nothing stood out particularly. Other than the fact that the most knowledgable and cool NASCAR commentator ESPN2 has is a black basketball player.

I'll leave you with a couple of parting thoughts to continue the "As The Wheel Turns" lavender conspiracy theory involving Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton.

Before the race Kenseth attributed a large part of Roush Racing's success and strength to his former team mates, Jeff Burton and Mark Martin, and then added, "Jeff is The Man!!!"

To which Cecil said, "So now we know."

In a brief post race interview, winner Matt Kenseth rushed over all of the sponsor and "boys back at the shop" thanking so he could gush on forever about how much he likes Jeff Burton, what a great driver he is, and how much he loves racing Jeff. When asked how he managed to pass Burton, Kenseth replied, "I got under him, but it was hard...."

Mmmm hmm. Bless their hearts, I'm sure they love each other in that "straight men comfortable with loving other straight men way", but whenever either one of them gets a chance they will mention the other one and just gush and gush the way a high school girl does over her latest crush. It's awful sweet, and I hope they never stop doing that, because we are all about the Man Love here at Willard's.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Drive Like Hell

One more shameless schill before Aint Dixie has to lay down until Thursday:

Our writer buddy & author of the best work of fiction we've read in years ( Drive Like Hell ), Dallas Hudgens, will be doing a reading in Richmond, VA, on Thursday, February 22, 2007. Him and a few other edgy authors will be discussing sex. Maybe. I might have just said that so you'd be more inclined to come out. But it could be true.

It's at the Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 West Broad St, just east of Boulevard. The panel will be on the 3rd floor in the Eureka Theatre. Looks like doors open at 6:30.

Dallas and the other writers are doing a signing at The Fountain Book Store around noon, so you might wanna try to skip lunch for that one. I hear there's free beer. But again, my sources are not reliable. Caveat Semper Fi. Or. Whatever.

Via Con Carne!!!

Manifold Destiny: Mojo Nixon Gets a Sirius Satellite Racin' Show

Y'all know who the guy on the left is?

No, Stoopie! It's the real Mr. Excitement, Mojo Nixon .

And guess what, brothers and sisters? Now, on top of his infamous Lyin' Cocksuckers radio show, we have the higher octane NASCAR version of Mr. Nixon's radio endeavors. A new racin' show for Mojo on Sirius Satellite Radio - which I'm signing up for because, and ONLY because, Mojo Nixon has a racin' radio show there.

If the Good Lord is gonna force me to finish all my laps on this mortal coil, I'd just as soon be riding shotgun with Mojo Nixon. 3pm-6pm Eastern, every Saturday on Sirius NASCAR 128.

He's calls it Manifold Destiny .


Hey, Premiere Pussies? Clear Channel Chicken Smokers (not you, Rob) ? Fuck ALL Y'ALL!!! We got our Mojo back, folks! Danville in the house!

For you non-NASCAR fans? Time to join in, Mojo is leading the parade now, and you don't want to miss this shit. Elvis is Everywhere (except in Lisa Marie, apparently, who does not care for the roundy-round. I suspect it's a disease she caught from that lame-command-givin', F-1 lovin' freak Nicholas Cage during their brief stint together...) -and now Mojo is bringing the Joy back to Muddville.

More details from Aint Dixie later. I need to stock up on some white cross and PBR if Mojo is gonna be driving the pace car for this bitch now.

Hal-A-Fucking-Loo-Ya is all.

Or to quote Gomer Pyle, "Yer a fool, Otis. This is gunna be fun!"


The Princess Bride?


"My name is Juan Pablo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

"Stop saying that!!!!!"

Hay Pee finished 19th & still on the lead lap of his first Daytona 500. Nice job. Welcome to NASCAR.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Daytona is Killin' Me....

Holy fuck y'all. This Daytona marathon is tearing me up. I've been a tad on the sick side the last couple weeks, so I may or may not get to all the reviews of sangin' and what all. I did tape them for review when I can deal with it. So if any of y'all want to submit your own Daytona bits for a regular post here at Willard's, knock yourselves out - I'd be happy and proud to throw it up for you.

heh. I said "throw up".

Meantime - no Patty Petty Pity Parties for me, Please. I don't need your sympathy, just your patience.

The Craftsman Truck race last night was a real barn burner. Hated to see my teefie boy Travis lose it the way he did, but nice to see Johnny Benson drive like the maestro he is. And take second to a monkey.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cowboy Crush at The Bud Shoot Out - Daytona

The Cinderella Kid

Welcome back, race fans!!!! I missed y'all. Not enough to write anything, but I did miss you. I s'pose I coulda reviewed "Cars" and "Talladega Nights", which Cecil and I found highly entertaining, particularly the latter. Lord, lord, it's worth a rental if only to watch the outtakes of the two foul mouthed little boys, Walker and Texas Ranger, cursing up a storm. They say plenty of nastily hilarious things in the actual movie, but the outtakes are stupendous, and Cecil and I watched them at least 10 ten times. Every little boy should say "Why doncha shave yer balls, ya ol' zombie?!" to their grandiddy at least once in their childhood.

Okay then, down to business. Our long NASCAR drought was ended with the Bud Shoot Out which put a nice, $215,000.00 end to winner Tony Stewart's otherwise really crappy day. Also a nice beginning of the 2007 season for placer, "The Cinderella Kid", David Gilliland. (On the pre-qualifying show on SPEED on Sunday John Roberts stopped everything and MADE Spencer say Gilliland's name correctly, which will probably be the only time we ever hear him say it right.) I'd taken note of Gilliland in the ARCA series in early 2006 and liked the cut of his jib, so it filled me with great glee when he won that Busch race last year, seemingly against all odds, and that fortuitous win catapulted him into the seat left vacant in the #38 by Elliot Sadler where he immediately began to outperform Sadler in that particular ride. Best of luck to David G. and ol' Crazy Yates - who is seeming Crazy Like a Fox right about now, with Gilliland in P-1 and fellow Bengal owner, Ricky Rudd in P-2 for the Daytona 500. I was worried for Gilliland when he signed on with Yates last year, fearing he'd show badly because of bad equipment and be written off before he got a chance to show off his considerable talent, but I was obviously - and thankfully - wrong. Shew! Look for him to have a "Denny Hamlin sort of year".

The Pre-Race Hoop-de-Dew:

Caught a couple of minutes of Grand Marshall Dierks Bentley's pre-race concert and boy, oh boy did he stank. Flat as a board. He clearly couldn't hear himself in the monitors at first and God-dayum was he off pitch at first - but he improved a bit as he went on. Not enough to save the tune, though. And what's up with his name? Pretentious much? It's gotta be his real, given name, because no self-respecting country singer would deliberately pick a faggy handle like that.

THE INVOCATION: By Reverend John Long III of Truman-King Community Church gave a pleasant and heartfelt sermonette asking that everyone keep the victims of those nasty Florida tornadoes in their hearts and prayers as well as praying for the safety of everyone at the track. He seemed like a real nice fella. But say, is it just me, or does it seem like the Powers That Be go way far out of their ways to get black preachers to give the invocations whenever it's remotely possible?

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM : by Asylum/Curb recording artists, Cowboy Crush . I see five girls on their website photo, but only four were onstage singing. Dunno what that's about, I don't know nuttin' about these chickas except they are really good singers and their harmonies were just tight as a tick. Good for them and all that, but me 'n' Cec just didn't care for their rendition. Just not our cup of gin, even though it was very, very well done. It had this kind of Broadway air to it, which I found troubling. Not flagrantly Broadway, just kinda sorta, and upon rewatching the video I realized they kinda reminded me of ABBA, which in and of itself is cool - I actually like ABBA - but these gals harmonies hit me like the t.v. commercials I've seen for Mamma Mia! , sooooo..... I dunno. Dale Jarrett seemed to enjoy it. Do what you will with that.

Cecil gives 'em Three Stars for technical merit, but only One Star for "the 'fitness' of things, as described in the ancient Celt aural tradition."
I hear that. Hell, I'll raise him one and give 'em Four Stars for technical merit, they're real good at what they do. I just don't like my American National Anthem performed by a buncha redneck Lesbians trying to emulate a couple of Swedish chicks.

I'll give them Two Stars , though, just because I can still recall some truly, truly, completely Godawful versions from last year, and Cowboy Crush's rendition didn't out right offend me, it just wasn't "right". Or as Cec inferred, "It didn't fit".

THE COMMAND: given by Grand Marshall, Dierks Bentley. Sigh. It's gonna be another year of men who just don't "feel it", isn't it? Ol' Dierks sorta shouted out the first NASCAR related "Gentlemen, start your engines!" of the year, but all things considered, it was pretty lackluster. Maybe he couldn't hear himself in the monitors again, who knows? But surely he coulda done better than he did. Two Stars from Willard's Garage, cuz we're in a generous & forgiving mood right now.

See y'all after the Duels / Duals later this week - meanwhile try and stay above the yellow line.