What comes to mind when you think of Brazil? Carnival? Samba? Nude beaches? Crime? I assume your answer is “yes” to all of those. Another answer is auto racing. Brazilians love fast cars. It’s quicker to get to the nude beaches that way. Or away from kidnappers. But I jest. I have formulated some totally worthless opinions about this week’s race in Brazil.
1. How can you not love Bitchin’ Bob Jenkins. For all of his mistakes ( confusing Brazil with Canada TWICE, starting the broadcast by misstating how long until the start, miscounting the number of Brazilians in the race, and his usual assortment of using the wrong name for people), he is totally self-aware. He knows he makes the mistakes and takes the ribbing of his booth cohorts with grace and good humor. I had the opportunity to do TV color commentary for the Indiana state high school softball championships, and I can tell you it is the hardest, most humbling thing I have ever done. Bob is the guy in the booth that must keep the focus on the race while watching a foreign broadcast from a studio in America. I liked that he disclaimed the fact a number of times. Even as I criticize, I realize we are lucky to have a guy like Bob Jenkins in the booth. He’s sincere and honest, and that goes a long way with me.
2. Does anyone else have a love-hate relationship with IndyCar 36? I love that fact that NBC Sports is publicizing the drivers, but find myself being put to sleep by the narrative. In my WO (worthless opinion), I would like to see more controversy and conflict. The drivers are so politically aware. We need some A.J. injected into the story. Still, the meaning of Long Beach to Ryan Hunter-Reay and his wife was touching. Maybe I’m not the demographic they are looking to entertain.
3. Does anyone else find double file restarts exciting when they are done correctly? True, the tight first turn in Brazil led to some, as Twitter aptly suggested, monkey/football romance. But aside from that, I find myself leaning forward on restarts. That’s good, right? This has been a positive change.
4. Speaking of positive changes, Beaux Barfield has been one. After each accident, we were informed of an investigation and were informed (as well as TV, Brazil, Bob Jenkins, and technology allowed) of the outcome. The rules seem clear to the drivers and the penalties seem fair and impartially enforced. Unless you’re Sarah Fisher at Long Beach. Speaking of which, the prerace had a moment of racing comedy as Kevin Lee questioned Dario Franchitti and referenced his contact with Josef Newgarden in Long Beach. Tricky, Kevin, tricky. Dario did not bite on the bait and continued to be blissfully unaware of “feeling” contact, Sarah Fisher’s sidepod evidence to the contrary. I can only imagine Dario watching every video of the wreck and having a big grin spread over his face as he realized that no evidence existed that proved he punted Newgarden. Plausible deniability, baby.
5. Robin Miller was a ghost in the broadcast, which seemed to please some on Twitter. I missed seeing what new way he could come up with to totally screw up the grid run. I was hoping NBC Sports would do a hologram like they had of Tupac at the Coachella Festival. A digital Robin Miller might not be so out of breath during his interviews. If you can’t do a digital Miller, then at least give him a Segway.
6. NBC sports, here’s my WO on your broadcast: just because you have a great segment in the can doesn’t mean you cut away from the race to show it. How the cam locks on the nose and tail assemblies work is cool information. I like it. But how about a side-by-side?
7. Turbo wars! You can expect the following press release from Roger Penske:
Since the turbo change resulted in an equalizing of the Chevy and Honda motors, it is COMPLETELY UNFAIR. Fairness only exists when the equipment used by Penske Racing is superior. HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE NOT SEE THAT?
8. Will Power is an absolute beast. In all seriousness, he is in a class of one. Same car, same aero, same motor, different result.
9. And how about the other racing? Takuma Sato showed that he really can drive. What a dive bomb in turn 1 at the end of the race. How about Ed Carpenter’s day? His late spin, assisted by Ana Beatriz, kept him out of a possible top ten finish. His improvement on road/street courses is vital to the success of his program. It should be noted that this very fast circuit is probably better suited to his emerging road/street course skills than slower venues. In any case, a nice day for Ed and Fuzzy’s Premium Vodka. As much as I rag on Dario Franchitti for his it’s-not-my-fault responses to contact initiated by him, he really can drive a race car. After spinning and being airborne, he steers it back to fifth place.
10. Twitter responses were interesting today. It seems that people are made uncomfortable by commercials showing people who have lost limbs, required surgery, or have become incapacitated because of smoking. I think that’s the idea. And since they pay for the commercial time no one else wants to buy, I think we will see more of them. People also seem slightly entertained by the Honda commercial featuring the “Hoodie Ninja” song by MC Chris. People, have you ever listened to the lyrics of this song? I’m surprised that Honda uses a song that refers to…well, refers to so many things that probably don’t need to be in a commercial for Honda. You REALLY need to check out the footnote to listen to the song and read the lyrics.
Another set of worthless opinions offered for your perusal. Don’t forget to check out the “Indy Tenderloin Tour” post coming up later this week. A good breaded tenderloin is never worthless.
1. Entertain yourself with this link that has the music and lyrics to “Hoodie Ninja” bu MC Chris. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8aMumvh9eI