Irrelevancy

Let me see if I’ve got this straight:  a team representing a city I hate, playing a sport that I never watch, is changing their name to appease a bunch of woke assholes I hate even more than the city.

Did I miss anything?


Update:  I knew I should have waited to post this thread.  Now a crap sports magazine I never read has announced the names of the women I’ve never heard of, who are going to pose semi-nude in an issue I’ve never bothered to look at, let alone read.

 

Quote Of The Day

From The Coldly Furious One, speaking of NASCAR’s ritual self-abasement over nothing:

For the bigwigs at NOOSCAR, it’s extremely difficult to see a downside: they get to piously denounce all those icky, beer-swilling rednecks and their disgusting Rebel flags, suck up to their anticipated new audience of Nee-grows and the white SJWs who take a knee for them, and establish their PC bona-fides without breaking a real sweat. For that, they’ll gladly throw a nonentity like “Bubba” onto the pyre, strike a match, and send his ass floating off downriver.
Nice try and all, but it’s not going to work. And that serves ’em right, far as I’m concerned.

Ditto for the NFL.  Both organizations, flush with TV money, don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about their actual audience.

Naturally, this whole thing is irrelevant to me, as I don’t follow either sport (being of the Europhile heritage, prefer the actual football, and Formula 1).  So I can look at the situation dispassionately and with quiet amusement, treating the doings of both as a marketing exercise.

Not that football and Formula 1 are paragons of righteousness, of course;  I expect them both to succumb to the blowjobs demanded of them by the various foul organizations such as BLM, feminism and Pantifa and their loathsome offshoots.

The nice thing about supporting a sport, however, is that participation is purely voluntary and money not spent on an NFL Redzone subscription can just be spent on ammunition or a new gun — which will really piss off all the Commies.  And as for NASCAR:

Quote Of The Day

Longtime Friend and Ex-Drummer Knob and I were swapping texts about the resumption of the Formula One season — we’re both keen fans thereof — and amidst all the talk about Vettel staying at Ferrari and what-have-you came this priceless line from Knob:

“If they all kneel at the first race, I switch off.”

This kind of echoes God-Emperor Trump’s attitude:

President Donald Trump criticized American sporting organizations for making steps to allow players to kneel in protest during the national anthem.
“I won’t be watching much anymore!” Trump wrote, sharing an article reporting the United States Soccer Federation repealed a rule banning players from kneeling during the national anthem.

But hey… if the various sports’ controlling bodies want to piss in their own soup, who are we to stop them?

I think they’ve forgotten that sport is actually a non-essential commodity  — i.e. you no likee, you switchee offee — and they’ll pay the penalties for their arrogance.

The Trouble With Cheltenham

As the racing season gets underway in Britishland,  I can announce with some happiness that the first major race at Cheltenham doesn’t feature the usual assortment of Train Smash Women, as the clientele (various Royals and other toffs) are Not Of That Ilk, thank goodness.  Here’s a representative sample of yesterday’s Ladies Day:

And of course avid racegoer Charlotte Hawkins looked lovely, as usual:

Maybe the shivery wet weather kept the ladies in check, who knows?  And speaking checks, here’s Princess Anne’s daughter Zara (who, as a former Olympic equestrienne medallist probably knows more about horses than any other woman at the course):

But for those Readers who like me are impatient to see the Train Smash Brigade, never fear:  Liverpool’s Aintree will be taking place in a couple week’s time…

Losing Your Audience

I see that Formula 1 has lost a boatload of UK viewers ever since they moved from free TV to subscription TV.  Time for Ye Olde Cluebatte:

If you’re going to require people to pay for something that they’re used to getting for free, it has be something they can’t live without, or else something which is “new ‘n improved” — i.e. that justifies the cost.

And Formula 1 has managed to go down ever since they stopped using loud, balls-to-the-wall engines, and pricing Everything F1 into the stratosphere.  In other words, the product has become tamer, less passionate and shittier, ergo not worth paying for.

I love Formula 1, love it with a passion, always have — but not  always will.  The plain fact of the matter is that after the first corner of the first lap, F1 races are nothing more than a 66-lap procession, where races can be decided on the time and number of pit stops, where refuelling midrace has been outlawed, tire types are restricted, and so on.  F1 has also become technocentric, and techno is expensive — which limits the number of teams which have the money or desire to participate.  As a result, there are essentially only three teams — Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull — who have any consistent chance of winning a given race.  Here are the teams’ points position at the end of the 2019 season, and note the points disparity between the top three and the rest:

It was more or less the same in 2018, and 2017, and 2016… and there are only four actual engines used (Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda) by all the teams.

I have some suggestions.

  • Ban all team-driver radio communication.  Let the driver figure out what’s going on with the car, and signal to him only from the pit wall.  Right now, the whole thing is just a techno-chess game, where race decisions can be made in Maranello, Woking or Surrey rather than at the track or in the car.  In fact, very few decisions are now made by the driver, which means that at some point, driverless cars are going to be suggested (and upon that  change, all F1 fans will disappear from sight.)
  • Ban remote engine changes from the garage.  Right now, the team can make changes from the pit wall to the amount of power a car can generate.  Screw that nonsense — let the driver use as much or as little as he’s got.
  • Dump the dual-engine (hybrid) formula and stick to fast, powerful (and loud) 3-liter V6 or flat-six gas engines.  Leave all the electronic stuff to Le Mans prototype cars.  Here’s the thing:  not every auto manufacturer can afford to build a modern F1 engine — but all  of them can make a fast, powerful and reliable 3-liter six-cylinder one, which opens up the race for other car manufacturers to participate.  (And the louder, the better:  F1 fans just love  the noise.)
  • Make the races longer — 80 laps (or 150 miles) minimum — so that the cars have  to stop to refuel their (mandatory) 100-liter / 26-gallon (US) tanks.  (Ignore that “safety” bullshit:  if the sports car teams can manage refueling safely, so can F1.)
  • Let the teams choose whatever tires they want, and drop the “two-type per race” mandate.  If a team wants to race the whole thing on one set of hard tires, and another wants to use three soft sets (for higher speed) or two medium sets (compromise), then let them.
  • Ditto engine changes.  Right now, F1 teams can only use three engines per season (without penalty).  What bullshit.  Let them use a new engine for each race, if they want.  The problem is that engines now cost so much that only a couple teams could afford to do that — which is part of F1’s problem.

There’s a reason that I’m suggesting all the above, and it’s not just a hankering for the old days (as is my general tendency).  As racing becomes all the more technical and much less human, people get turned off by the loss of human interaction. 

In gun terms, it would be like watching a rifle-shooting competition between remote-controlled gun platforms made by only Mitsubishi and Honda.   I wouldn’t cross the street to watch that, for free.  And nor would many others.

Now hold a competition, in any format, between humans shooting Remington, Colt, Ruger, SIG Sauer, Blaser, CZ, Mauser, Winchester and HK rifles… oh man, sign me up now.

That’s the problem, and all F1 needs to do is to bring back the human element into racing.  You heard it here first.

And A Nation Yawns

…that nation, of course, being the United States when it comes to the Snooze Fest known as Formula 1, who have just announced the new F1 calendar for the 2020 season.

Twenty-two races (up from twenty), with seven back-to-back weekend races (F1 Grand Prix are usually spaced two weekends apart)… as one comedian noted in the comments:  just more races not to watch.

And Hanoi?  WTF were they thinking?  F1 couldn’t even get the South Korean Grand Prix to break even, and that’s in a Third World country that isn’t  a post-Communist shithole.

I had to laugh when I read another comment which suggested Johannesburg’s Kyalami track.  The main reason that F1 doesn’t go to South Africa anymore is that it would be the only venue where the cars could be carjacked during the race itself.  (That said, Kyalami is a brilliant track — I saw the late Niki Lauda win there, back when the teams were racing Fred Flintstone cars, comparatively speaking.  But the races were still more exciting than today’s.)

That said, I’m starting to lose enthusiasm for my lifelong passion — and if I can lose it, a lot more people aren’t going to take it on.

Sic semper res taedia.