On the eve of qualifying for the pole position for the Daytona 500 as the NASCAR 2015 season is about to blot out the sun with the engines’ hallucinogenic roar, I must admit that the start of Speedweeks and the NASCAR 2015 season has crept up on me more suddenly than it would be reasonable to expect. In fact, by now, I would have had all this covered in excruciating detail I’m sure. But for some reason, this year, here I am on the Saturday it all begins, with the Sprint Unlimited teeing off tonight, and instead of writing feverishly about the NASCAR 2015 season, I am covering a brilliant new anime show that debuted this Winter Season: Yuri Kuma Arashi which (most) everyone has dubbed The Lesbian Bear Show. But I am keeping some sort of promise about writing more about anime. *growl*
The Lesbian Bear Show is confoundingly inscrutable at times, but that’s a good thing. It has plenty of WHY the fock, and WHAT the fock is going on moments. It has formulaic tropes that don’t seem at all like formulaic tropes. And all of this is courtesy of the surrealistically brilliant and no doubt troubled mind of Kunuhiko Ikuharu who brought us the brilliant Revolutionary Girl Utena, which remains one of my favourite all-time anime shows. *growl* *growl*
Of course, you won’t get a lot of what I’m talking about here, or in any other post for that matter, if you don’t actually watch anime, if you don’t watch soccer, or basketball, or baseball, or hockey, or NASCAR, F1, & the IRL. If you’re not familiar with the poets, philosophers, novelists, essayists, playwrights, or musicians of last 500-1500 years or more, some of the illusions and allusions contained herein will be just a bunch of words on paper ((see what I did there, Clive?)) and nothing more. So when I say, for example, that unlike Utena, I’m not picking up as much of the obvious, Herman Hesse/Franz Kafka/Soren Kierkegaard vibe, it is quite likely that that vibe is not the logos that defines Yuri Kuma Arashi, or, it’s quite possible that since ,I’m only 4 or 5 episodes in, I’ll need to watch the entire series before all the crazy cuckoo cosmic references become clear. *growl*
Maybe the reference to look to is in John Irving’s first novel, Setting Free The Bears, in which lead character Graff breaks into the Vienna Zoo, and then guess what he does?? ((Read the book to find out!!)) There is a sense of this in the back of the mind here, since Yuri Kuma Arashi doesn’t have (so far) any male characters who are not bears….and if there can be found a way to blame stupid useless men for all of this bear turmoil that would be a funny and ironic twist of some sort of trope in an anti-harem sense, and so? Well…not bloody likely (take a drink) to be the case since the bear’s original planet, or rather a plant of bears, exploded and sent a meteor shower raining down on Earth and turned all the bears violent and vicious so a Wall of Severance was built to keep bears out of the human world. But the Wall of Severance is not stopping the bears, so maybe it’s the men’s fault anyway. *shaba daba doo*
As with Binan Koukyou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!!, this will definitely be on Ron Hornaday’s top 9 Anime list at the end of the year, so you better watch it now before he and I both come pounding on your door to kick your ass. *growl*
The Sprint Unlimited ((which is a stupid sounding name since it was always was the Bud Shootout, but since Bud no longer sponsors the pole position….rave rant gasp wheeze….)) tees off tonight, as I write this, and 112 years ago, as you read this, at 7:00 PM CST on FOX with none other than Wisconsin’s very own Paul Menard on the pole. *growl*
The 2nd practice for the Sprint Unlimited ((*hack spatOOey*)) is going on as I ferociously type these words to keep the bears at bay. Kurt Busch had the highest speed in the 1st practice at 200.749 mph. But Matt Kenseth had the best 10 consecutive lap average, a more important stat in my view, with an average of 195.882. On that list, Kurt dropped down to 12th fastest with an average of 193.560. Danica Patrick was 7th clocking in at 194.637 *growl* *growl*
Menard did not earn the pole on merit I’m sorry to say. The starting line was determined by luck of the draw. Or lucky dip as they would say in England (take a drink). Matt tees off 16th in row 8 next to Danica in 15th. Jeff Gordon tees off for the final time in 11th. Your 2014 Champion Kevin Harvick rolls of 8th. And whoever the fan was that drew Junior’s starting position should be eaten by bears as Junior starts back in 24th ((note: there are only 25 cars in the field)). As for who will win, I’ll take the easy way out say that Junior and Matt will duke it out at the finish with Danica coming in 3rd. *sparkle*
Well, I thought at the outset that I am running behind on my start of the NASCAR 2015 season post, but I checked the date of last year’s post and I’m actually 5 days ahead of last year. And with the first season the new Chase format behind us, I can look ahead to the NASCAR 2015 season with a bit less alacrity, but the same notable lack of clarity. This year, I will consult with a secret panel of European Soccer Players ((rather, soccer players that play in Europe, since some members of this panel might not actually be from Europe)) to make my predictions. We are now assembled in a secret location….okay okay fock it….we are assembled in the Broomfield Tavern in Coventry tucked into pints of cask ale and cider. I will not reveal the members of my panel (clues might or might not be contained within the predictions) for if I did I would have to kill you. *growl*
- #1 Jamie McMary — He missed the Chase last season. He didn’t get the win he needed. Pretty much the same story this year. If he wins, he’s in. I think he will get that elusive win this season. After all he started the 2015 racing season out right with a win at the Rolex 2 Hours of Daytona in Ganassi’s DP car. So maybe.
- #2 Bad Brad — He’s mad! He’s bad!! He’ll make the Chase, but only if he doesn’t get into a fistfight with Denny Hamlin. Or, this year could be a year of no wins. Consistency, except for oftimes being a jackass, sometimes eludes him.
- #3 Austin Dillon — Saddle up, cowboy, if you want to make the Chase. Finished 20th last year. Unless he wins, there won’t be much room at the top.
- #4 Kevin Harvick — I would not have a major problem with Harvick pulling off a repeat of last year, only a minor one. He did it the right way last year. If he does it again, we’ll know forever who finally wears the firesuit in that family. *growl*
- #5 Kasey Kahne — If he was from Oldham, Lancashire instead of from Enumclaw, Washington he might be more popular with the ladies. *sparkle*
- #6 Trevor Bayne — No to the Chase, unless he flukes into a win somewhere. And no to Rookie of The Year since he’s run too many Sprint Cup races.
- #7 Alex Bowman — Who the fock?? Anyway, the somewhat venerable #7 car is back without Robbie Gordon. In any case, Alex Bowman, whoever the fock he is has about as much chance of making the Chase as Charlie Austin or Danny Ings does of winning the Ballon D’Or.
- #9 Sam Hornish Jr. — He’s back at it, with a multi-year deal at RPM. Matt’s ol’ crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer is running the war wagon. But chances are that he’ll be a dependable mid-table plugger like Stoke City (except for The Potters ‘orrible 4-1 hiding by Blackburn in the FA Cup today). Close but no Chase.
- #10 Danica Patrick — THIS is the year she will win and make the Chase. You heard it hear first. Yeh yeh I know…..I’m so drunk I think I’m me…but it WILL happen….Another round of cider, mates!! On ME!! Here’s to winning one for The King!!
- #11 Denny Hamlin — He went to finals at Homestead last year, but finished third. I see no reason why he won’t make it back, do you?? Unless he breaks his hands punching fock all out of Bad Brad.
- #13 Casey Mears — Really now?? He has as much of a chance, or less, than Bradford City winning the FA Cup. Wait…what??
- #14 Smoke — He’s healed physically (so he says). Emotionally? Well we’re never sure of that. But Smoke is tough minded and will race like hell to make the Chase after last season’s 25th place finish. Never count him out.
- #15 Clint Bowyer — Like Southampton in the Premier League and Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, there is always a shot of making the Champions League. He was winless last year, and finished 3 places out of the running. This year? Well…as long as no tries again to cheat his way in…. *growl*
- #16 The Biff — Yes. And no. Pretty much like last year.
- #17 Danica Patrick’s Boyfriend — I’ll give you odds of a rook that little Ricky ate all the chocolate that he was going to give Danica for Valentine’s Day again, the scamp! How’s THAT for odds of making the Chase?
- #18 Kyle Busch — He has to marshal his talent and master his own personality without losing any of it’s inherent roguish charm. After all, his crazy and less talented older brother has won a championship. Kyle should have done so by now. Not too many reasons why he can’t that aren’t named Kyle Busch.
- #19 The Carl — I just asked myself, “Is there a 19 car this year?” And yes, there is. Carl Edwards is at Joe Gibbs this season. He’s traded off being junior to The Biff to being second fiddle to Matt Kenseth, again. He’s also junior to Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, so he’d best fall in line and stay in his lane ((see what I did there, Clive?)). He’ll make the Chase, as will the rest of his Joe Gibbs teammates. But wouldn’t it be funny and haha if the pole qualifying was rained out tomorrow and the Budweiser Duels were rained out on Thursday, as The Carl would not qualify for the Daytona 500 since his car has no owner points to fall back on. *shaba daba doo*
- #20 Matt Kenseth — Matt will back on the winning track this season. ((There’s a pun intended there, but I quite cant figure what it is….)). Final 4, yes. 2nd Championship. HELL Yes!! I might as well call the shot now. *growl*
- #22 Joey Logano — Middletown Connecticut’s little smiling demon comedian will be back in the Chase, but I’m not figuring on him making it as far as he did last year. I guess Harvick showed HIM who REALLY wears the firesuit in the Harvick family, so he’ll have to dig deeper for a little bit of comedy this season. “It’s just Kevin being Kevin,” wont really cut it this season. Maybe instead he should punch his teammate Bad Brad in the moosh while smiling, smiling, smiling. *sparkle*
- #23 J.J. Yeley — My word! Another old boy who’s back from oblivion to pilot the Burger King/Dr. Pepper sled into oblivion. Sort of like a scrawny white Emile Heskey who had no part whatsoever in today’s 3-4 home defeat to Watford. It will just like that for Yeley this year, only with a little more smiling for no apparent reason.
- #24 Jeff Gordon — This 2015 NASCAR season will be Jeff Gordon’s last. He is retiring when the checkered flag drops at Homestead in November. And as much as I’d like Matt Kenseth to win the Championship this season as I always do, I wouldn’t mind one bit if Jeff Gordon won it this year. It would be a fitting capstone to a great career. So if Matt falters, I’ll be CHEERING for Jeff Gordon to win his 5th Championship in his final season. *growl* *growl*
- #26 Jeb Burton — Jeb Burton is Ward Burton’s son, and if he is as eloquently spoken as his father, all will be fine for this lad. As it stands, all he has to do is show up every week and drive around and he will be Rookie of The Year. I don’t expect more than that from him just yet, and neither should you. There seems to be a bit of uncertainty hovering over this team regarding sponsorships. I hope that gets sorted by the time he finshes 37the at Daytona or the Folds of Honour QuikTrip 500 tees off in Atlanta, whichever comes first.
- #27 Paul Menard — His father’s money keeps him in his ride. But it won’t get him in the Chase unless he crosses the finish first sometime between Daytona and Richmond. He repaid his Dad many times over when he won the Brickyard 400 back in 2011. He certainly has the talent to win one this year. But will he step his game up andget one?
- #31 Ryan Newman — Newman did not win a race last season, but he made the Chase…..not only that, he finished in fackin 2nd place in the both the Championship and at the final race at Homestead. He will not have that same good fortune this season, but he will make the Chase.
- #34 Dave Ragan — How will Ragan KFC this season. Better than he’ll do in the Chase even if he does squeak out an improbable giant-killing somewhere.
- #38 David Gillillillilllliland — He willlllllllll notttttttttt maaaakkkkkke the Chase. *growl*
- #40 Landon Cassill — Volkswagen has Sign, then Drive. This team which was sort of fulltime last season will be Start, then Park. I’m making a big, but fairly safe assumption here of course.
- #41 Kurt Busch — Well…since no Jeremy Mayfield madness reared it’s ugly head this time around, Kurt Busch and his ongoing girl problems up the ass have seen fit to take it’s place. Allegedly, his ex-girlfiend is a hired assassin for the federal government, or the secret regional government, or something to that affect. Just like in the MOVIES!! Anyway, if Kurt wants to make the Chase this season, he’ll need to be keenly aware of any shadowy figures lurking as he roars out of turn 3 at 197.476 miles per hour. Perhaps he should drive the Penismobile from Ikuharu’s Utena Movie: Adolescence Apocolypse….it would be as if he was standing in a garage, pretending he’s a car, muttering, “I smell like gasoline and adventure!!” Only better! *growl* *growl*
- #42 Kyle Larson — Last season’s Rookie of The Year did not make the Chase, but he finished 17th. A good kid and a very talented driver. He will be in the Chase this season and he might even trump his teammate Mc Mary in the final standings.
- #43 Aric Almirola — Almirola made the Chase last season by virtue of a win at Daytona last July. He’ll need a similar twist of fate to be back again this year.
- #47 A.J Allmendinger — The Dinger made the Chase last year. And I hope he’s back in it this year. But if he doesn’t get a win, he’ll post a respectable finish. I like the Dinger. And so should you.
- #48 Jimmie Johnson — Why this good for nothing driver who will never amount to much keeps trying year after year, I will never know. *growl*
- #51 Justin Allgaier — Like Accrington Stanley, and Dagenham & Redbridge, worthy to root for, but just no hope at all, really.
- #62 Brendan Gaughan — Did you know that Brendan Gaughan played college basketball at Georgetown University for legendary coach John Thompson alongside his friend and NBA legend Alan Iverson? Did you also know that Gaughan is making a return to the big time with Tommy Baldwin Racing/Premium Motorsports this season. I knew the former, but not the latter. Slam dunk and run…..but other than that, I think probably not.
- #78 Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 24th last season….Needs a win to get in. But if he runs this season like he did in the Sprint Unlimited tonight, he might have a shot.
- #88 Junior — If neither Matt Kenseth or Jeff Gordon have a shot of winning the Chase, then I’ll be all for Junior to take the Championship this season. He is due for the one accolade that’s eluded him his entire career. He’s kind of like of Arsene Wegner at Arsenal these days, always the bridesmaid and never the bride ((yes yes I know all about the Invincibles, but hey….no metaphor/simile is perfect)). *growl*
- #98 Josh Wise — Theoretically, this team will back at it this season. But it is no theory at all the he will be anywhere near the Chase. That, mates, is home truth.
So there you have a bit of a take on the NASCAR 2015 season, live from the Broomfield Tavern in Coventry. All hopped up on Real Ale ((see what I did there, Clive?)) and Cider. I’ve called my shot, and most of the lads agree with me that Kenseth is the one to beat this season. And not just because I spotted them a couple of rounds…. *growl*
Joey Logano might still fancy himself as the NASCAR’s King of Comedy, but he will soon find out how funny he really is(n’t) if he crosses paths with Danica this season in any way that is detrimental to Stock Car Auto Racing. Her performance in tonight’s Sprint Unlimited was very interesting indeed. She wanted to win, obviously….but more obvious to me was that she used the race as a means to try different tactics that she can use in Daytona 500. She tested different moves…different drafting strategies…and to my view it was more valuable to her than actually winning the race. She threaded the needle through two Big Ones. I’m quite certain it increased her comfort level immensely. *growl*
Matt won tonight. But Danica did well. *growl*
Remember that Wall of Severance I mentioned almost 2000 words ago? Well there are male bears ((I mentioned that there are male bears, yes?)) who make up the Court of Severance, The Judgemens as they called, and preside over Yuri trials and they rule on what bears can cross the Wall of Severance and take up human female form. It amuses me at the moment to think that Life Sexy, Life Cool and Life Beauty as they are called are the Bear equivalent of Mike Helton and Robin Pemberton and JohnDarby. That’s the best metaphor I can come up with at the moment. Also, it’s an easy and convenient way to blame everything in Yuri Kuma Arashi on men. *growl*
Obviously, I’ll get off that kick as more episodes explode in my brain and soul and all that dross. But it allows me to take the easy way out this time. After all, me and the lads have been on piss all afternoon in Coventry sorting out the NASCAR 2015 season. So I’ll just leave it up to the lads from The Lesbian Bear Show to predict the winner of the Daytona 500. *sparkle*
So Life Cool (the District Attorney), and Life Beauty (the Defense Attorney) present their case. And then Life Sexy (the Judge) throws down his ruling. And his ruling is: Danica Patrick wins! *shaba daba doo*