The Other Blues

Having convincingly defeated all the others to win the Premier League in 2016/17, my beloved Chelsea FC had a lackluster season in 2017/18:

However, the Blues did redeem themselves last Saturday by beating the foul Manchester United 1-0 in the F.A. Cup Final (and the match wasn’t even that close; Chelsea could easily have won 3-0).

So bite me, Mancunian scum.

Failing

I see that the promoters of the U.S. F1 Grand Prix are going to have one-time Train Smash Woman Britney Spears and someone named Bruno Mars perform at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) over the race weekend this year. This, to encourage people to come to a place which features, as one canny commenter put it, a 56-lap parade lap.

Here’s why I, a Formula 1 devotee, won’t be going back to the US GP anytime soon.

  • Parking — It’s a nightmare. If you don’t mind paying $150 for a parking spot next to the track, then you’re good to go. However, if you balk at paying that fee on top of a $200-plus ticket price, then you’ll be parking in a muddy field over a mile away and walking along a country road to and from the race. It’s total bullshit. There should be large covered parking garages (which we Murkins do better than anyone else, btw) all around the circuit so that race fans can at least get to their cars quickly, even if they then have to endure the
  • Traffic jams — Access to COTA is along a series of tiny, two-lane back-country roads which cannot handle even half the traffic of the event. If the race starts at 1pm, you need to get to within three miles of the track at least three hours beforehand. Last year, Doc Russia, Trevor and I got there two hours beforehand, parked the Doom Wagon (Doc’s ride — don’t ask) and walked about a mile and a half alongside a road full of cars carrying people who were trying to get closer before themelves parking. Some people had given up and were trying to turn around — making the situation even worse — and the only saving grace of the whole thing was that it wasn’t raining (which it often does in Austin in November, by the way, sometimes in torrents). All this hassle, as I mentioned above, at the most excruciating
  • Cost — It seems ironic that only the F1 team owners and drivers can really afford to go to the US GP. Attending the GP could cost, all in, over $1,000 — way too much for the average fan to afford — and to be perfectly honest, when it would cost me only a few hundred dollars more to attend any of the better-managed F1 races in Europe, I can see why the promoters have an uphill battle, especially when the FIA governing body of Formula 1 charges excessive fees to the track owners so that FIA can pay the large amounts of money to the teams to cover development and playboy millionaire-driver costs. Unlike in Yurp, we Murkins have a lot of choices when it comes to motorsports — Indycar and NASCAR come to mind, both of which are better spectacles than F1 anyway, because they are less
  • Boring — It says a lot that a NASCAR race on an oval track can be more exciting to watch than the F1 Grand Prix. In my opinion there are several ways that F1 could improve the sport and make it more exciting for spectators,  but I’ll talk about that some other time. So I’d rather not watch the F1 races in situ, but instead spend my Saturdays and Sundays
  • Online — The annual cost for the F1 live-streaming TV coverage of all the races is about one-tenth the cost of attending a single Grand Prix: no expensive hotel rooms, no driving three hours just to get to Austin, no traffic jams, no long walks over muddy fields and along congested roads, no exorbitant tickets costs, etc. Rather, I’ll sit in my comfortable recliner with some kind of beverage in hand and a bowl of snacks, and watch the entire race, not just the piece of track I can see from my seat. I hope it rains.

And here’s the real takeaway from my gripe: once there’s no reason for me to attend said event, it really doesn’t matter whether there’s a US Grand Prix at all — on TV, the coverage is pretty much confined to the track anyway. (For that matter, I’d rather watch the Spa or Monza races on TV anyway because the tracks are more interesting than the Scalextric layout of COTA.)

Incidentally, I am fully aware of the irony of COTA hiring Britney Spears to perform after their Grand Prix:

 …while F1 has banned grid girls.

Let it also be said that I wouldn’t attend a Britney concert as a gift. I have enough problems with my hearing without subjecting my ears to her breathy dog-whistle voice. And as I have no idea who or what “Bruno Mars” is, it’s a safe assumption that I won’t be watching that either.

Sayonara, Austin Grand Prix. I’d like to say it was fun while it lasted; but overall, it wasn’t. I’m a huge fan of F1 — just not the way you stage it. Too bad, really.

Proportionality My Ass

Ah yes… so with the Winter Olympics approaching, it’s time once again for some people to indulge in stupid wishful thinking — in this case, setting quotas where none should be set:

The U.S. Olympic Committee says it’s taking its most diverse team ever to a Winter Games, an impressive and deserved boast that requires a caveat of sorts.
Yes, USOC officials are pleased the team includes more African-Americans and Asian-Americans — and even the first two openly gay men — than recent winter squads. But they also realize this year’s U.S. Olympic team, not unlike those of most other nations gathering in PyeongChang this week, is still overwhelmingly white.
“We’re not quite where we want to be,” said Jason Thompson, the USOC’s director of diversity and inclusion. “. . . I think full-on inclusion has always been a priority of Team USA. I think everybody’s always felt it should represent every American.”
Team USA numbers 243 athletes, which is the largest team any nation has ever sent to a Winter Olympics. Of that group, 10 are African-American — 4 percent — and another 10 are Asian-American. The rest, by and large, are white. The Winter Games is typically a much smaller contingent than its summer counterpart, but the demographic differences are striking. The United States took more than 550 athletes to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Of that group, more than 125 were African-American — around 23 percent.

I’ll play along with this little game, as long as we apply it fairly — so come the next Summer Olympics we should make the Team USA Basketball squad of twelve equally representative: it should contain at least six White guys, three Black guys and the other three can be divided among Hispanics and Asians. (If we are going to make this team truly representative of America, one of the Hispanic dudes should be an illegal alien. And if he’s gay, that would be doubleplusgood.) Of course, with this squad we would lose more than win, but who cares about Citius, Altius, Fortius when we’re more about iustitia civitate, right?

Fucking idiots. Twenty years ago there were no Black athletes in Team USA Winter Olympics because Black people didn’t do winter sports. Now the team is one-fifth Black — progress by any other name — except that this isn’t quick enough for the race-conscious quota warriors, oh no: we have to shoehorn in more Black athletes right now, regardless of actual ummm merit because slavery (or some equally-specious bullshit).

And for the few Black athletes who are given a pass onto the team regardless of whether they can compete or not, they’ll be part of Team Loser (just as the White-quota basketball players would be) but that’s okay because the United States wins too many medals anyway and its only “fair” that we redistribute those golds among the lesser teams who deserve it because they work just as hard as we do.

One second thoughts, these tokenist tools aren’t fucking idiots at all. They’re just adhering to Leninist doctrine, the bien-pissants [sic].

And finally: if the USOC has funding for a “director of diversity and inclusion” in their budget then we’re giving them too much damn money.

Every time I think I’m getting a grip on my high blood pressure, some crap like this comes along to push it into the stratosphere.

Getting Cold

Apparently, some courtside models are moaning about wearing skimpy outfits in cold weather. Predictably, the Gummint is right on it:

After complaints that models at the Barcelona Open in April were forced to wear uniforms that were a hazard to their health, multiple fines of more than $38,000 have been handed out by the Catalonia’s regional Work Inspectorate, the Spanish workplace-relations watchdog. Models from the Tote Vignau agency registered an official complaint against the agency and major sponsor Schweppes after they were forced to brave cold temperatures in the skimpy uniforms that did not protect them properly from the elements when the temperatures dropped below 50 degrees.

I don’t want to sound too callous about this, but without the sponsors, the chicas wouldn’t have had this job at all. From my time in the advertising- and promotion business, you do what the sponsor tells you to do, period, end of story.

That said, however, the promotion planners of this event need to get their botties spanked because the nature of planning means that you make contingencies for… oh I don’t know, say, the weather? 

Clearly, the tennis promoters need to take a lesson from Formula One and MotoGP, who always make sure their sponsors’ models are dressed appropriately for the weather. And for educational purposes only, allow me to illustrate what I’m talking about:

…and note the presence of brollies in the next pic, to protect the young ladies from the rain or harsh sunlight:

Now that’s what I call considerate. (Incidentally, I want one of those Alfa Romeo brollies really badly.)

As Seen On My Screen

 

LOL… that’s the whole point of my using AdBlocker, you fucking morons. And a pox on auto-play videos on any website.

As for the article itself: apparently, there’s been bribery and corruption in the college athlete-recruiting business.

In other breaking news, the Russians just put the first man into space.

Selling It Short(s)

Apparently, the LPGA is cracking down on female golfers’ attire, because dignity or something.

Clearly, this is to make professional women’s golf even less attractive to male TV viewers and -spectators.

If we take the lovely Paige Spiranac, for instance (and who wouldn’t?), we’d be going from this:

to this:

All nonsense, of course. As I’ve often said before: if anything, the LPGA should loosen dress codes on their circuit — hell, let them play topless — if they want more men to watch the women play their inferior golf (and thereby get more sponsorship and TV money).

Imagine if we could watch the lovely young Paige playing in this (forbidden) outfit:

Okay, maybe she could lose the heels, just for the tournament. But let me tell you, even without the heels I might be persuaded to watch women’s golf again…