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.


Anonymous rankin' rob said...

This whole 'let's race in California and start everything three hours later than anywhere else is totally fucking up my NASCAR viewing time. Time was, we went to Rockingham after Daytona, raced at 1pm Saturday and the same on Sunday. No problem. It was a predictable routine, and I saw some racing. This West Coast time has me all messed up. This is the first I've heard about any of it. Glad I missed Sammy Hagar in any event. They should also play Hickman's "Lonesome Johnny Blues" before every short track event, as far as I'm concerned.

Stock cars race in the Carolinas and Virginia, below the Mason-Dixon. Let them race dune buggies or F-1 cars in California. I bet when Jeff and Matt have a baby it will have mad car control skills, tho.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...

I miss the good old days of forcing yourself out of bed at noon, cracking open that first beer for breakfast, and settling in on the couch for an afternoon of racing.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Butcher your racin blog kicks ass! I about pee my pants from laughter every time I read a new entry. You should give shit to that no talent idiot Michael Waltrip every chance you get, he's stealing money from his sponsors and Toyota(at least it's Toyota). Keep up the awesome job and I'll catch you over in the Holler sometime soon.

10:22 AM  

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