22 May 2005

Turning left 24/7

Many years ago, I fired the cable company, forked out my own money (this preceded the era of free hardware) crawled up a ladder, and hung a dish on the south-facing side of Chateau Octane. Why would I do all that? I wanted Speedvision. At the time, it wasn't on the cable system, so I jumped from terrestrial to geosynchronous delivery just to see car racing.

It was the best. I was thrilled. The variety was headspinning: I got to watch the British Touring Car series, V8 Supercars from Australia, the European Le Mans Series, DTM, IMSA, CART, FIA GT, and the holy grail, Formula 1. They carried all 24 hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, all 12 hours at of the 12 Hours of Sebring, and a whole lot of annual endurance campaigns the Nurburgring, Spa-Francourchamps, and Bathurst. I saw the Dakar Rally, the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, the SCCA Runoffs, and the Isle of Man TT. It was high cotton.

Now it's NASCAR and all its plastic offshoots 95% of the time.

I had long given up on the major networks covering motorsports beyond Daytona and Indy. Now this weekend CBS carried the AMLS race from Mid-Ohio, and a couple of weeks ago, they had Spanish Grand Prix. Why would CBS even have the option? Because SpeedTV (as it's called these days) had another all day, all-NASCAR love fest. I don't remember which one. Was it:

  • NASCAR This Morning
  • NASCAR Infield Hot Pass
  • NASCAR Edition Speed News
  • Trackside NASCAR
  • NASCAR Victory Lane
  • NBS 24-7
  • NASCAR Racing Across America
  • NASCAR Live!
  • Inside NEXTEL Cup
  • NASCAR Fast Forward
  • Men Behind the Wrenches
  • NASCAR Behind the Wheel
  • NASCAR Performance
  • Busch Practice
  • Busch Qualifying
  • Busch Series Racing
  • Craftsman Truck Practice
  • Craftsman Truck Qualifying
  • Craftsman Truck Racing
  • NEXTEL Cup Practice
  • NEXTEL Cup Qualifying
  • NEXTEL Cup Racing
Maybe it was the one where NASCAR driver sit around and play Texas Hold-em. I'm not kidding. Or maybe it was the show dedicated to NASCAR technology, you know the one where they showcase the series' leading-edge innovations, like carburetor, pushrod engines and hiding from the rain for lack of grooved tires.

Hey, you can't argue with numbers right? I'm sure the folks at NASCAR HQ are thrilled to have SpeedTV acting as carnival barker, and I'm sure there plenty of groupies hanging on every word of every show.

Just not the groupies (like me) that like seeing a car turn right every now and then, maybe in the rain should that occur, and using functioning headlights when necessary.

See ya at the souvenir stand.

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