It’s Talladega Baby!! And y’all know what that means….after all, the first 2 letters in Talladega aren’t T & A for nuthin’ ya know. And the added bonus is that Talladega is on Halloween, and how scary will THAT be?! Yes? Break out your Jimmy Spencer masks NOW!!
But as the fall edition of Talladega approaches, in the midst of the beating heart of the Chase, I can’t help but feel a certain lack of enthusiasm for the race, and The Chase, and even NASCAR in general. On my part certainly, but I think for a lot of fans in general, there is a lapse of spiritedness that I think can be attributed to the Chase itself and what it has evolved into. The pundits, of course, harp on the Three-Man Batle for the Championship between Johnson, Hamlin, and Harvick. The other 40 drivers, and change if you count the quixotic start & parkers who attempt a go at the windmill of MASCAR, are forgotten, after being noted the with a bit of post-race alacrity, of course.
It used to matter who won races, even the race for the Championship wasn’t all that close. Before the Chase, every race mattered and every driver mattered, especially in a mad steaming cauldron of alcohol, gasoline and tits that Talladega always was, and despite my diminished enthusiasm still is. What I think has happened to NASCAR, and the Sprint Cup series is that the Chase has cast an aura of hopelessness over everything and almost everyone. For me, it’s taken a good bit of the fun out of watching the races.
This hasn’t happen in the Nationwide series where Brad Kesolowski has the Championship locked up. Every week is a bright new race and it’s fun to see who win….fun the see if NASCAR’s terrifying true vampire, Kyle Busch can win another one. Fun to see if one of the up and comers like Justin Algaier can grab a win. Fun to see where Danica Patrick wind up in HER quixotic quest to save NASCAR. The focus is on every driver, and on the Race…and not some concocted artificial Chase for a Championship that has become increasing soul-less.
It’s almost enough to make me say to hell with it all. No tits this time. Just sweet and cute magical girls. Perky and off-time cynical mascots. Villains that are not really evil. Sparkles and flowers and magic amulets and glittering transformation scenes. Pajama parties. NO BOYS ALLOWED!!! On the eve of Talladega, NASCAR has driven me to this!! Now don’t get me wrong, I like all that as you well know…I’m a sucker for magical girl shows. And right now if I could turn Talladega into a magical girl show, I would. That how deep the slough of despond has become. The enthusiasm is just not there.
But….fuck it all. I’ll grab another HAMM’S and see what I can do.
Gentlemen, START YOUR ENGINES!!
If I hear one more word from the pundits about title contenders, I swear I will personally unleash the terrifying true vampire that is Kyle Busch upon them. Kyle Busch is not one of The Contenders. He’s merely in 4th place, 172 points out, and like everyone else not named Harvick, Hamlin or Johnson, a mere afterthought. It’s a pity that this Halloween edition of Talladega was not being raced at night, under a full moon. I would guarantee that Kyle Busch will win. I would guarantee that there will be blood! After all, if we want to inject some juice into the lifeless corpse of NASCAR, a little vampire blood would do the trick.
Sunlight notwithstanding, it might happen anyway, and I hope in a metaphorical sense that blood will flow…vampire blood, the blood of zombies, the blood of demons and homunculi and witches. Not that many in NASCAR can fall into those categories, with exception of the zombie category ofcourse….I’m calling on YOU Zombie David Gillillliland, I’m calling on YOU Zombie Jeff Fuller, I’m call on YOU Zombie Chad McCumbee…..there are CONTENDERS for you to FEAST on!! I’m calling on all you Zombies to to FEAST on their flesh!
Kyle Busch, please don’t leave it up to the zombies. There are necks for you bite, and I vant you to BITE them!! And BITE THEM HARD!!!
As for the rest of the field for tomorrow’s Amp Energy Juice 500 at Talladega, they are all Dark Horses pretty much. Dark Horses, like Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, and other people you couldn’t pick out of a lineup like Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya ((who has the pole btw…)) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. I don’t know where these guys came from at all, but something about them seems vaguely familiar. But I can’t quite place where I’ve heard of them. Ryan Newman…rings a bell somehow. Jeff Burton…isn’t he the guy that has the brother that talked funny? Or am I thinking about that Waltrip guy….what’s his name…Marcus…Michael??
Anyway, it’s as I said. The real race and the real field is a mere afterthought. It’s no wonder that I get more chuffed these days over my Norwich City Canaries (who lost at Cardiff City today 3-1…*flail*) and my Chelsea Blues (who pulled one out of their zombie asses today at Ewood Park against Blackburn 1-2) then I do about Sprint Cup. I really blame the Chase for draining the enthusiasm out of it for me. NASCAR’s numbers are way down on TV this year, and I know the economy has wreaked havoc on attendance at the track. But the Chase is no longer the boon that Todd Helton Mike Helton and Brian France imagine it to be.
Even If Brighton & Hove Albion and Peterbourough United were being televised at the same time as a Sprint Cup race. You’d find me tuned in to the League One football match, kicked back in my recliner with a can of GENESEE Cream Ale and rooting for The Posh! And even the The Posh were losing 0-3 like they, I would not change the channel until the match was final.
Trick or Treat!! I want my NASCAR back!!
I really wish NASCAR would go back to the days when no one was a contender ((in the Chase sense of the term)) because EVERYONE was a contender to win the race. And it was only race day that truly mattered more than anything else. The excitement is gone. When Tony Stewart is of no consequence, as much of an afterthought in the grand scheme of things as Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Mark Martin, then something is badly amiss.
Yes I know, I over state it a bit when I said that ONLY race day mattered…but back then, before the Chase evolved into what it is, it mattered MORE than it does now. It’s a subtle thing…and I’m sensitive to subtleties. But I know what I’m feeling is true, at least for me….and I’d be willing to wager most of my mother-in-law’s money that it carries a ring of truth for every NASCAR fan out there on some level, however imperceptible that level might be.
This is not to say that I wont have an eye on the race tomorrow. I will be rooting for the drivers that nobody knows or cares about anymore. But the National Football League will take precedence. I don’t write much about the NFL since it is pretty much writes itself. It’s the top sport in the USA because it’s done more to market itself in the right way than any other sport. It’s compelling in it’s own right, and while Fantasy Football has changed the way some people watch it, in American sports it tops everything out there. And tomorrow, it will take precedence to NASCAR, except at Norine’s in Oak Creek WI.
I thought it would be funny since it’s Halloween that every driver should dress up in the costume of another driver. ((Or…just make Jimmie Johnson wear a gorilla suit.)) David Ragan could wear a Kasey Kahne mask. And Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano could fight over who doesn’t get to wear the David Gillillilland mask, until, ofcourse DeLana steps in since SHE wears the firesuit and so on. Mass confusion!! Nobody knows who’s dressed as who…even the CARS are disguised. The winner is revealed in victory lane when he takes his mask off!
So, tomorrow there will be the hallucinogenic roar of the engines and the psychotropic vapours of alcohol and gasoline. It’s Talladega, Baby!! And all that dross. But there will be no tits. Not this time. None here. None to be seen. My decision is final.
And once again, the final score today was Blackburn 1, Chelsea 2.