Passion Lost

 
I just finished watching the Indy 500 on television.  I have to say that there was a time in my life when that was really important.  There was a time when I looked forward to it all week.  There was a time when I planned my snacks for the big event, like I do for the Grey Cup.  That time seems like a long time ago.  I guess it just doesn’t capture my imagination like it used to.

I still like motorsports.  I dedicatedly watch the British Touring Car Championships.  I love the speed and the technology.  When I write like that, it is hard to understand why the 500 just doesn’t do it for me.  I can hardly understand myself.

I am not going to repeat those oft cited 200 laps of left turns.  Those never made sense to me before, and they aren’t going to start now.  I also am not one of those people who watch for crashes.  Thankfully safety technology has cut down on the fatalities in auto racing.  Sadly, they have not been eliminated entirely.

Maybe it is the commentary.  Despite the in car views, telemetry and abundant stats, I find some of those racing comments like nails on a chalkboard.  I don’t blame the commentators entirely.  I blame them (and all commentators) for relying on cliche and hackneyed expressions, but I know that some of those are directed at less than knowledgeable and casual fans.  In this great high tech, high bandwidth TV universe, couldn’t we have a secondary channel where they didn’t state the obvious, didn’t speak to me like I was five years old?  Let me choose, I might surprise you.

The Thrill of Victory, the Boredom of Viewership

 

I love motorsports.  I am a big fan of auto racing.  I love the cars, the speed, the technology, the spectacle, the carnage (though I do not want to see anyone get hurt) and the sound.  Generally I prefer touring cars to the open wheel racers that come in the form of Formula One and Indy Cars.  I still like open wheel cars, I just have a preference for touring cars.

This weekend I watched the Izod Indy Car race.  It was the first of the season and a Canadian was the winner.  It took place on a sunny afternoon on an unusually circuit with lots of driving variety.  I should be happy.  I should have enjoyed the whole experience.  Sadly, I did not.  I watched with a lot of disinterest and I am not sure why.
Cogratulations James Hinchcliffe!

I am forced to conclude that the coverage was not good.   I hate to say it, but I think it’s true.  It wasn’t my definition of horrible.   My definition of horrible is the English broadcast of Japanese Touring Car races.  They are horrible because they are out of sync and I know that they are sitting in a studio just trying to keep up with what the editor has done.  They are horrible because they have lost the immediacy of a sporting event.

Today’s broadcast was just lacklustre.  Indy Cars always produce lots of yellow flag situations, and all that brought was more commercials.  NASCAR, which also has its fair share of yellow laps, seems to fill these gaps with some inspired programming.  In today’s race, I didn’t learn anything during these lulls.

I would really like to hear from some people who saw the race and could comment on it as well.  I really wanted to enjoy the race, but something was definitely missing.  Could someone tell me what it was.  Could someone tell me it’s going to get better.  I don’t want to write off an entire season just as it has begun.