Well for us American IndyCar fans the gluttony of Holidays is here. Tomorrow we will load up on dead birds, potatoes, beer, green beans, cranberries, awful NFC teams on national TV, and being annoyed by our nit witted family members we only have to sit near three times a year.
For our non-American fellow fans tomorrow is just Thursday. (Or Friday if you’re in Asia.)
First I would like to list what I am Thankful for as an IZOD IndyCar series follower:
- That Randy Bernard is now the man in charge of the series. It is nice to have a diplomatic leader who works with people to make things happen, and does not take his toys and stomp around having a fit. What a change of pace to no longer have a benevolent, Napoleonic dictator in charge.
Tony George while a man, who loves the sport, was about as good of a communicator as a mute dog. The guy not only could not communicate with the teams and drivers who were once part of CART. He can’t even communicate with his own sisters! When you look up ego-maniac in the dictionary chances are good Tony’s mug shot will accompany it.
Perhaps I’m biased since Randy Bernard went out of his way to wait for me at the Glen’s Media Center to hold the door for me. I’m sure Tony would have slammed the door shut on me and told me to find another way in.
Also unlike Napoleon George, Randy Bernard has no problems answering questions. This guy has shown he is almost as transparent as Rapiscan images. (Heck he even gave us a trophy that looks like a dude’s Rapiscan image!)
- The return of an American make to the series. Sure its Chevrolet a part of GM. And sure GM is still light years behind all other makes, but this entry into the IZOD IndyCar series is a serious step in the right direction!
- Lotus making their entry into the series. Yes it is really Cosworth who is the engine maker. But hey we get to have one if not more of those sexy green with gold striped cars. Now let us all pray they don’t let “First lap wipe out King” Moraes within a 100 miles of any of their liveries.
- The fact that unlike Napoleon, Mr. Bernard has shown a pair when talking about Milka Duno. (Milk & Donuts for Robin Miller’s fans) Clearly 2010 looks to be the last time she has played the role of roving pylon. Too little too late for many I’m sure. I bet poor old Pancho Carter will be happy he no longer has to yell at a driver for 2 hours to “GO FAST!”. Hey I like Milka as a person, in the paddock she is one of the sweetest women to speak to. But I think she would serve the series better holding the winners trophy in Victory lane, or maybe holding the umbrella for Hideki Mutoh.
- Lastly I am thankful for the crew at Open Paddock. They saw me trying to find someone who would let me cover the IZOD IndyCar series for and gave me a shot. I mean I use to talk about it when I hosted Sports Overnight America, but once they hired a full-time host that ended.
Thoughts on NewsCorp’s American version of Top Gear
Well, I do have a few thoughts after the pilot episode on the History Channel. (Including what is so historic about it?) First the material they used was rather lame. But the average cable TV viewer in America finds a European supercar on a test drive exciting. Where a European BBC viewer is so use to seeing Super Cars on their roads it is like an American seeing a Ford Explorer. Maybe the show is only lame because we as a nation are lame.
Or maybe because they have two really lame hosts. They did a great job in hiring Rutledge Wood to play the role of “American Jeremy Clarkson”. Wood like Clarkson is a media pro who enjoys cars but is not much of a driver or mechanic. Wood like Clarkson is naturally witty. And to be honest, the only NASCAR related show I will watch on the NewsCorp sister network to History Channel is “NASCAR Smarts” on Speed. (I know ironic title!) Wood and Kyle Petty do crack me up.
Maybe Top Gear America should try to do some more interesting test drives, like the Delta Wing on their test track. But don’t let just the “Stig” drive it. (I suspect knowing NewsCorps love for NASCAR it is a NASCAR personality under the American helmet.) But let Wood drive it. Although they may need to build a 1991 A.J. Foyt cockpit to fit him in.
Otherwise Top Gear USA is nothing more than another lame NewsCorp rip off of European TV, just like American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen, and Kitchen Nightmares to name a few.
Sad to see go
I would just like to close by saying I am very sad the Silent Pagoda will be no more. I was a BIG fan of the blog. Roy Hobbson was a great wit, and nice change of pace for fans. He was one of the main reasons I wanted to cover the IZOD IndyCar series in an irreverent outside of the box manner. Roy is a treasure and I hope to see him someplace soon doing what he does best, being a total smart ass.