Category Archives: Sports

Too many rules in racing….

Well…if you’ve watched any type of racing in the past 20 years or so, you have seen the explosion of rules that have taken all of the innovation out of the sport. Watch any Indy car race for example…every car is a Dallara that looks exactly the same as all the rest…and all of the engines must meet a rule package that is tested all season to make sure that no one figures out how to make more power or reliability…when I started following this series, there were every kind of car imaginable and they only had to have 4 tires and then anything else went…you had Offenhouser 4 cylinders, Ford V-8′s, Novis, diesels, turbines…front wheel drive, all wheel drive, rear wheel drive cars and any body work they needed to cover the engine and driver….and it was cool to see what people had come up with over the winter to try to get an advantage…now they shave .003 of an inch off a side plate of a wing and the car is disqualified….too many damn rules. This misguided reliance on rules permeates NASCAR, too…with cars being rejected in inspection for being .0002 inches too low or for having a rear fender that is a 16th of an inch too wide and all of this is measured by lasers which is taking all of the creativity out of the sport…I sound like an old guy but, again, when I started following nascar in the early 60′s you had people like Smokey Yunick showing up with a Chevelle that had a foot cut out of the center of the car to lower the drag…and no one would have found out but someone parked a rental Chevelle next to it and then you could easily see the difference…and what about Freddie Lorenzen’s 1966 Ford “banana car” that had the front of the car pushed down by a foot while the rear had been bent up by a foot to give it more downforce…or the special manufacturer cars like the Charger Daytona or Torina Talledaga that gave each manufacturer an advantage for a while. And the engines….like the Chrysler Hemi, the Ford Boss 429, and the Ford SOHC 427 that were built just for this series….and now the engines are basically all the same and in the truck series, they ARE all the same engine built by Ilmor and put in the Fords, Toyotas, and Chevys…no innovation at all other than what is allowed by the series…and this has made all of the series just too damn boring. I think they should have a”run what you brung” series that goes back to 4 wheels and a driver and no other regulations…I mean Bill Elliot lapped Talladega at over 215 mph all the way back in 1985 and the cars have just gotten slower and slower since and how can that be exciting? Okay…that’s enough for now…don’t even get me started about formula 1….it will take one of these just for that….

Is Manchester United for real?

Well…I was going to combine all three of these sports posts into one but the first one went a little long so I decided to break them up into their component parts as I sit here and try to stay busy…I am a little confused about Man U after their start this year in the Premier League….they were mired down the table at about 15th and it appeared they could be headed to relegation which would be one of the biggest shocks in English football…or soccer…but, something happened over the past few weeks and they have climbed up to 7th, only 5 points from the top and with a good shot of making the top four to get back to the champions league in Europe in the spring. But, damn, they are becoming cardiac kids that is a little stressful to watch…like their game yesterday, they went behind 2-0 early and the score stayed that way until well into the 2nd half when I just turned it off with frustration with how they were playing…but then, like someone turned on a switch, they came back to win in the final minutes of the game 3-2 and I missed it until I saw it on the game highlights later in the day….I was shocked to say the least and maybe I’ll have to stay with them in their next match just to see if it’s a fluke or not….it would be nice to have one team that I follow do well since all of the rest of them really, really suck this year….fingers crossed…

Finally, the Lions fire Patricia….

Well…as you know, the Detroit Lions have been one of the worst teams in football since they won their final championship in 1957, only making the playoffs a few times and never winning a playoff game…and the past three years have been one of the worst stretches in that time…with the current regime going something like 13-39 in that time. But, finally, the head coach and GM of this debacle were fired over the weekend and we start another “rebuild” of the team that seems like it has been going on since I started watching them when I was five or so. Matt Patricia came to the Lions from New England along with the GM Quinn and they were supposed geniuses that were going to bring the “Patriot way” to the Lions…after all the Patriots won 3 super bowls while these two were there so they just had to be great….but, not so much….they failed miserably in Detroit and joined the long line of other “saviors” that failed to even put a credible team on the field…so now the rebuild begins and we wait another two years until the Lions can be even a mediocre team….I could be dead by then…I think we need a new team here in Michigan….geez…

A little sports….

Well….I have been sitting here pondering whether or not to go out for a ride and have come up with many reasons not to…okay, not reasons but excuses but they look like reasons to me…it’s cold, the wind is blowing, I have coffee to finish, my legs are sore…you get the idea…but, that’s not what I wanted to talk about…if you watched the F1 race yesterday, you saw one of the most horrifying crashes that I have ever seen…Roman Grosjean, driving for the American Haas team cut across the track to avoid a car that was trying to spin out and clipped the front of another car that sent it straight into the guardrail at around 140 mph….when the car hit, it broke in half, puncturing the fuel tank and driving the drivers protective cell straight through the guardrail leaving it stuck in it and engulfed in fire….track marshals arrived quickly but it looked to be a fatal accident…then, you see the driver climbing out of the remains of the car and running away from the scene with the help of the doctor and driver of the medical car…I was shocked that Roman even survived the crash, but to see him walking away was one of the coolest things I have ever seen…and yesterday evening, he posted a video with his burned hands saying he would be okay and he was in good spirits and looking forward to getting back to the track…go out to you tube and watch it…it is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen at a racetrack….

Texans have to be the dumbest people on earth…

Well….sitting here watching the nascar race from Texas and I am just shaking my head at the stupidity of the people they let in to the race today…after a big wreck, the race was red flagged and the cars stopped along the front straight…so, in a state with the second worse coronavirus outbreak that is happening right damn now, these morons all flocked down to the fence in a crowd of a couple of hundred people standing shoulder to shoulder with no a mask on any of them…not one damn mask in any shot that I’ve seen all day…so, you can guess where the next big outbreak is going to be….and the announcers I’m sure have been told to not mention it…just go on and on about how great it is to have fans back at the track…not that there is a pandemic raging through texas that is killing hundreds of people every day…nope, nothing about that…just happy talk about how they can’t wait to have more disease spreaders at the races and it’s a shame that they didn’t let more in today…Governor Whitmer, these morons are coming to Michigan soon, please don’t let them spread the virus more here by letting them have unmasked fans at the track…it just isn’t worth it to put the whole state at risk…or better yet, no fans at the track at all….it’s just not worth it…

RIP Al Kaline

Well…you know when a sports figure that has been there for your entire life dies, it makes a difference…especially one as special as Al Kaline who played his entire career with the Tigers and was part of the team from the time I started to love baseball when I was about 5 years old….Mr. Kaline died yesterday at the age of 85 after a short illness and for once, there is nothing but good to say about one of my heroes…he was one of my role models growing up with his innate goodness that he showed every day of his long life…I actually met him once and got his autograph when I was about 10 when my father took me to see some of the Tigers that were traveling around the state before the season started…I know there were others there but I don’t remember any of them…but I do remember Al….There will never be another one like “Mr. Tiger”….RIP Al….

Kind of a sucky sports day…

Well…I was really looking forward to all of the sports to watch today and it was okay until my teams started to play…both Michigan and Man U are stinking up the place and I really think I like games better where one of my teams is not playing….after all, you can’t be disappointed if you have no stake in it….and this year, it appears that every team that I root for is really bad and that just compounds the problem when you can’t say “at least the Wings are playing good” and have something to look forward to. Oh, well…so I think I’ll look for something else to watch other than those two games until the Rose Bowl starts at 5….and I’ll be back to politics tomorrow…I need to take the rest of the day off and just veg…still not feeling 100% with all of the pain I’ve been having and my lungs are still iffy so I’ll use that for an excuse….

Ford vs. Ferrari

Well….watched the Ford vs. Ferrari movie last night and I just don’t get all of the hype that surrounded it’s release. I mean, I found it cheesy and grating with race scenes that looks like they were staged by someone who knows nothing about racing…look, I know they needed to add some action from the drivers when they were supposedly passing someone but to downshift to go faster on the Mulsanne straight at LeMans? This was a theme throughout the movie and so damn annoying….as was the repeated shots of a speedometer from inside the car…did they ever look inside a race car? You will never find a speedometer because it is information that is just not relevant to the driver as the engine’s rpm is…now, in some of the modern electronic displays in some race cars you can select MPH but not back in the 60′s when the film is set….the final bit of laziness on the part of the producers is the scene where Ken Miles is killed testing a supposedly new version of the GT-40 that looked exactly like the old version….Miles was killed in what was called the “J car” and it didn’t look anything like the normal Ford GT that won LeMans…and that again points to the ignorance of the details of the story from the producers of the film and their laziness in getting the details right…cripes, I remember the story of Miles’s death from when it really happened in the 60′s and I’m an old guy…couldn’t they have at least looked back at pictures and used CGI to re-create the look of the J car? One last thing where they got it wrong is the brake failures that was a sub theme through the movie…I mean, making them glow red as a sign of failure? Again, anyone who knows anything about racing knows that failure is not that dramatic and discs glowing red was not a thing with the iron discs of the 60′s…especially the red with flames coming out of the wheels…usually, the pedal just goes to the floor after the brake fluid boils or the pads are worn out…no flames unless the fluid leaks out on the hot discs. As with most racing movies done by non racing people, the details will really grate on a race fan…as it did to me….I got through the movie but I am disappointed in how they could take the story of the GT-40 at LeMans and make it boring…but maybe for the non-race fans it would be okay…but I don’t think so.

It’s time to pull the plug, Stevie…

Well….haven’t really talked a lot about sports lately but with the debacle that is my Red Wings, it’s time to wade in with my two cents.  Stevie Y, it’s time to pull the plug on Jeff Blashill and go a different direction…after all, we are nearing a club and league record of losses and the Wings are in last place so what could it hurt? You have a Cup winning assistant on the bench in Dan Bylsma and even if he isn’t your long term solution, this situation shouts that there is change needed…I know that firing Blashill won’t magically give the team more talent, but with the young players on the team, there is a real danger that some of them could be permanently damaged by losing, losing and losing….and the prospects of luring top level coaching talent for next year is going to decrease with every loss so why not now? I wince every time I see the box score from a Wings game now when I used to look forward to every game and I don’t think I’m alone in that….Stevie, think of the fans who have supported you and the Wings for their entire lives…it’s time to try to give them some hope by doing something, anything that starts us on the road back to respectability…it’s too damn hard to watch my Wings the way things are….

No Olympics for you….

Well…hey, I am finally going to get at a topic that is not politics…or, on the surface it’s not about politics but the idiot trump is going to make it about politics. Just Sunday, the world anti doping agency announced that Russia and it’s athletes will be banned from all international competitions including the Wold Cup and the Olympics due to widespread institutional cheating led by the Russian government. The ban is going to be for 4 years pending the obligatory appeal the that the Russians will request, or if the idiot trump gets involved and tries to strong arm WADA into looking the other way…after all it is Russia involved and we all know that trump lives to please Putin. The bottom line is that Russia and it’s supposedly impartial athlete testing lab spent the past few years hiding positive results and were even involved with helping Russian athletes cheat at every competition they were in….just like the East Germans did in the 60′s through the 90′s when that tiny little country won every medal in sight. Look, this crap has been going on forever and Russia needs to pay some price for their blatant cheating…I do feel for the clean Russian athletes…if there are any, but the solution from Rio and Korea where individual Russians were allowed to compete but not under the Russian flag is not acceptable…we know that Russian athletes are under the thumb of Putin and can’t be assured they are not dirty…so while I feel for these athletes, it is time for their entire system to be penalized for their government’s cheating….that continues to this day…