no… it’s Iowa.
“Field of Dreams” One of the most quintessential sports movies and one of my personal faves. You know those ones? The if it’s on tv, you watch it sort of movies. Anyway… It’s on. So I’m watching it.
There is a scene where we are introduced to the “Shoeless Joe” character early in the movie, and he is waxing on wistfully about playing baseball. He’s describing the little nuances of being at the stadium, like the smell of the leather glove and the sound of the bustling of the crowd. “I would have played for food money… *pause*… I would have played for free”
Maybe it’s the red wine taking hold of my brain tonight, but I began thinking about racing. I began picturing drivers and fans, young and old, waxing poetic about the first time they were at the track, or behind the wheel. I began thinking about my own visceral memories of the track. That first time the boys fire up the engine in the paddock on the first day of the race weekend. The smell of the concession stands mixed in with the heady scent of methanol. The hair standing on end on my arms the first time Paul peels out of his pit box past me on Friday morning.
“I would have written about it for food money… *pause*… I would have written about it for free”
Oh wait… I did! I do! And I still will.
“If you build it, they will come”
IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME!!
Build our series goddamn it!!! Please!! Somebody!! But Do it right! If you do that, and with the same passion we all possess in our souls about this ridiculous sport, WE WILL COME!
Ease our pain.
This thing is still salvageable, we are not lost. We the fans are standing in our proverbial corn fields waiting for a sign. We know the potential. We know we have a good product. But Champ Car right now is akin to the 8 baseball playing ghosts on the field of dreams that no one knows about. Only we the Champ Car fans believe in it, so we are the only ones who see it. We look insane to outsiders.
Go the distance
Something has to happen. Something drastic to get the attention of the rest of the world. To make believers out of them.
Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
Red wine epiphany: Change Iowa to Indy or Road America or Milwaukee. Change baseball to auto racing. Read it again. Do you see it??
You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.