back from the west coast…

finally…
Still decompressing, but allow me to go back through a few posts and comment…

On the Helio gifting the win:
Can I rescind my call again? Seems Helio (by his own admission) let her pass on orders from his team… WTF? Wonder how they will arrange for Marco’s sudden “talent” this weekend in Kansas… (god, I hope they’re not that stupid, or those of us who have been attempting to rally the troops will have been working very hard for nothing)

On the Danican’t/LB broadcast thing:
It could have been way worse. (Of course I haven’t seen the broadcast yet as I just got home)

I was standing there first thing in the morning when they (some IRL dude) told the organizer that they were flying her in wanted to put her in Victory circle and on the podium with the winner. (I won’t even go into the hot rage I felt at that moment)

He (LBGP organizer dude) didn’t want any part of it. He said he understood that it was a “story” (adding that it was an old one at that point, and hadn’t even made the newspapers there) but that he didn’t want anything taking away from this event and the winner of it. Putting her smug mug in the booth and pimping her out during the broadcast that way was actually the compromise. (still a sucky one, but better than the alternative)

On the “why the Danica hate” question:
I would hope y’all don’t think me that shallow as to hold someone’s looks against them. I have no problem with her allowing herself to be objectified by her sponsors if that’s how she wishes to be portrayed. (hey, she’s the one that has to look herself in the mirror and be happy with the image she is throwing out there) A sponsor cheque is a sponsor cheque right? But she can’t have it both ways. (ie: getting pissed off when people call it like they see it where she is concerned)

I do have a problem with the unjustified hype heaped upon her and thus us, just because she’s a she. Accomplishments should warrant hype. Not boobs. Period. Now that DP’s “won” (*), it’ll be even worse. (although theoretically justified) Had she legitimately accomplished something other than being female and driving a car, before she started with the big pimping, I’m sure no one, including myself, would have an issue.

Kat won a major OW event three times, but because she didn’t spread her legs in FHM, she never got the publicity. (until her crash, which got her name out there, but CC never capitalized on it… *mocks surprise* but that’s a rant for another day)
Simona won yesterday, but she will be but a blip on the radar because she doesn’t have a bikini spread or clever add campaign showing her “beaver”.
Of course what they both will have is the respect of those in the know. Sadly respect doesn’t pay for a seat.

For the record, if a male athlete were being hyped & pimped for looks and potential vs actual talent and accomplishment (*cough* Beckham *cough*) I would scrutinize just as heavily.

OK… off to sort through some pictures and gather my thoughts on the weekend.

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13 responses to “back from the west coast…

  1. But seriously, watch the broadcast, if you dare, and tell me that the tradeoff to keep her off the podium was worth it.

    I am still steamed.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Kat Legge ever won a big league race, just Atlantics. That’s great and all, but it’s the same thing if Bia or Cyndie Alleman win in Indy Lights this year. Also, Danica has one thing that Lady Kat never has and never will: She’s from the USA.

  3. Sure DP won and hopefully she’ll bring a lot of female fans to the sport; I know my 7 & 9 yr old girls were stoked. Anything that gives them interest in my passion is a great feeling.

    I personally think Graham’s the real sh*t. Wouldn’t that be great, from an American’s perspective, if McDonald’s ponied up enough scratch to sponsor his car as well? All American boy & sponsor = more U.S. fans.

    I’m with Indy, watch the replay of last 10 or so laps. Could they have made the closing laps of LB any less important? I thought there was some great on-track racing going on for 4th through 6th.

    I’m just sayin.

  4. Fair enough, Meesh.

    I guess what it comes down to is whether you believe Danica achieved anything or not before the bigs. I thought what differentiated her from at least some of her peers is that she could really drive, although I admit that her Atlantics and early IRL career hadn’t set the world on fire. But I made allowances for equipment – your mileage may vary.

    I also have the utmost respect for Kat, and I think that she’s the real deal, too. But, you could make a similar argument (as did PackMan87 above) that, c’mon, it’s Atlantics. On the other hand, she also wasn’t in a Newman/Haas car during her CC stint, and she was inexperienced, too. I wouldn’t put Sarah Fisher in my car, though.

    I guess I am a little conflicted about Danica’s hype: as you might have guessed, I am a research scientist whose work is usually largely ignored by the world (like 99.9% of research scientists). That’s fine by me, for the most part. Recently, we published a paper that got gobs of hype, none of which we controlled. It was interesting. I was interviewed by the media, but in the end, they write the story they want to write. So, even if you try to limit the hype yourself, they’ll clip that part out since they want to hype it. You are cut out of the hype loop.

    Of course, Danica doesn’t exactly try to cut herself out of the hype loop, so perhaps she is to blame there and I certainly identify on a personal level more with Kat. But for the purposes of building fans and sponsor awareness, I don’t know that I can (totally) fault her for the hype. And I still think she can drive…

    Meeshbeer, thanks for giving me your perspective! I was just curious…

  5. re: Graham and McDonalds, the McDonalds and Hole in the Wall “sponsorships” are basically B2B deals between Newman and McDs and a charity write-off, respectively. McDs would have to pony up money for Justin’s car first before ponying up some for Graham. I’d love to see an American company throw some real sponsorship Graham’s way, though. He’s a bright, articulate kid and a good driver with a pedigree.

    re: Danica, she’s a relentless self promoter, sure. And she’s mortgaged a lot of her credibility to buy herself some publicity. But it was a gamble that worked, eh? Because without having done that do you really think she’d have gotten the SI cover for a fourth-place finish? Katherine Legge is a classy, talented driver, but her career dead-ended in the States because she (allegedly) didn’t have anything else to sell to sponsors and teams. Want to blame something for Danica’s visibility… blame our society today, which is so fixated on the Paris Hiltons and Lindsey Lohans of our generation. Everyone who is famous prostitutes themselves to get that fame, but it’s only the women who are allowed to be called “whores.”

  6. yaumb, I am with you on both. Graham is a little inconsistent right now but he’s a kid! He is the real deal and it’d be great to have someone step on board.

    And, you’ve hit the nail on the head with Danica. Would she get the call from AGR without her self promotion?

    I am totally with you, man!

  7. BTW, Meesh: does that make it Danican* now? : )

    I can’t wait to hear about more from LB…

  8. Yaumb, thanks for the clarification on the sponsorship. Would love to see a Lowes or Home Depot type of sponsor step up for him.

  9. yaumb :

    Was it some free salad dressing for your name on the side of my racecar type of a deal? Also, is there any word of Haas looking to become the Dallara parts distributor?

    Which teams in ChampCar were fully sponsor funded?

  10. i think the reason helio’s team told him not to race her was because he didn’t have enough fuel to run with her… she beat him fair and square… notice Helio is sitting pretty in the points race
    i doubt the race was faked if it was well it was one of the best set up fakes of all time.
    and if your going claim foul you could point that conveniently kk’s team one the last cc race ever and as kk pointed out himself GF’s team took second, kind of a nice send off. And when all the engines are owned by those two a lot easier to fake. You can say the same thing about rahal’s win and so on and so on.
    However when you look at all of the conspiracy stories, and look at all the facts, I doubt any were faked… if they are faked then TG, KK and Co. are both highly talented and very very lucky.
    Its one thing to throw a phantom yellow and hope for the best, but to rig 3 races in a row with rain in two of them thats impressive.

  11. BBH: That’s a good question. The answer as far as I know is, “One” – the Red Bull team. The rest of the teams apparently managed by securing everything from major associate sponsors to B2B and in-kind trades to stay afloat. However, as far as I know Red Bull was the only full-season, full ride budgeted sponsorship – and that in itself was essentially a glorified ride-buy.

    The interesting thing is that even NASCAR is starting to head down that road. Even the biggest teams are having to subdivide their yearly budget between different primary sponsorships. It’s a bad market for racing sponsors to be sure. But I can see a situation now that there’s one series where IndyCars might be seen as a more affordable and viable alternative to throwing money at NASCAR. Not necessarily in the short term but perhaps 5 years from now.

  12. Thought Gentilozzi said Sangari wasn’t interested in racing ovals? HMMM! Looks like their supporting two drivers on ovals now.

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