I have been sitting here trying to shake off the ire that has been bubbling through my circulatory system for a couple of hours, but to no avail… so as they say… run for your lives, she’s about to blow!!!
But first… the happy stuff… (in an attempt to keep several f-bombs from your sidebars)
GO JOHNNY GO!!
That’s my boy!! Kicking ass and taking names!
This man-child is the future of American Open Wheel folks. He is fast. Like “raw unharnessed speed, more talent in his baby finger than most” fast. He is American (which seems to be the number 1 criteria for y’all out there) He is smart, a little cocky at times (a lot cocky actually) and he is but a pup, with many years to grow into the amazingly talented man and race car driver we will be talking and writing about for years to come… assuming of course that the entire ladder system doesn’t just implode on itself via self inflicted wounds and fade into oblivion…
(fasten your seatbelts kids… it’s about to get bumpy)
WHAT THE FUCK?!
Seriously. I’m so spitting mad right now I don’t know where to start.
I was so beside myself with excitement about this weekend. After months of winter, and weeks of suffering through NASCAR races so desperate for anything resembling racing, my friends and colleagues are finally gathered around the country to kick off the start of the 2009 American Open Wheel season, and I am chomping at the bit as a journalist and a fan to take it all in, enjoy it and cover it.
Well I might as well have run full force into a brick wall head first. It would be about as enjoyable. I “watched” two races this afternoon, and instead of the euphoria of the start of the season, all I feel is frustrated and empty and nail spitting mad.
My young friend John Edwards won the opening round of his season, and instead of watching and listening and cheering him on, I got to follow all the “thrilling action” via the shittiest timing and scoring platform.
Then I had to wait over 4 HOURS for any type of official news regarding the event, which came in the form of a series email with a fucking postage stamp sized photo to accompany it. His own team has yet to send anything out. Not even a fucking tweet! Come ON! It takes all of a few seconds to send a tweet via your mobile phone like “yay we won! share in our joy” to make us feel like we’re apart of the action. A quick , shitty , blurry twit pic would have thrilled me to no end! I remember people making fun of me last year in Edmonton for putting my pro camera down to take a pic of the podium with my blackberry to upload to my facebook so my friends at home could share in the moment. Well those at home weren’t making fun. In fact, they were very appreciative of it!
Not only would I like the news from the team about John, but I’d also like to know the status of his teammate Markus, who’s first lap ended with his car overturned on the tire wall. Again I remember back to two separate occasions when someone took a moment to drop a quick note from the track to assure me a driver was alright following an incident. It’s the little things that meant the most in the big picture.
Oh and the series website itself is a placeholder at the moment with nothing but a schedule and a link to buy swag. I mean it’s not like they’ve had like 5 MONTHS to tweak the site during the off season or anything…
Star Mazda also kicked off their season this afternoon.
Again, relegated to shitty t&s.
At least there is a possibility of watching their races tape delayed, (unlike Atlantics who have ZERO tv package), god only knows how many weeks from now though, on Speed. (oh wait, I don’t have Speed, so I can’t see those either… fuck it… I give up)
Again, about 4hrs later (just how far away is the goddamn media center from the winners circle???) I got the series email with the sketchy at best details about the race. To his credit, at least Peter Frey adds a full sized jpeg of the race winning car with his email so we have something to run with our race report.
Oh ya, Formula BMW also kicks off this weekend in Puebla, Mexico. I got a beautifully written qualifying report from Erik Mauk (no surprise there as he is the MASTER of press releases). Here’s the kicker though, this series not only has no tv package, but there isn’t even a t&s option. What is the point of writing about and covering a series that NO ONE CAN FOLLOW????
I repeat… WHAT THE FUCK?!?!
And we wonder why we sit here year after year lamenting about the decline of our beloved sport. We take so many small strides forward only to take a bazillion giant leaps backwards year after year.
The technology is out there folks. UTILIZE IT!!
There are cameras at all of these events. (There has to be at least a few for race control)
The slap in the face insult is desperately trying to glean any information from t&s, then being able to click on a link with full camera and commentary ON THE SAME GODDAMN TRACK for ALMS.
How are these kids and these teams expected to solicit sponsorship when they are the best kept fucking secret in racing?
How come Florida Kart can provide live t&s, chat, commentary, and a webcam for all of their events, and we can’t even get running text commentary for Atlantics and Star Mazda, two supposed major, professional open wheel series?
Why, when the technology is so accessible and available, (see the A1GP site for example) are the junior formulas still mired in the dark ages?
Why, when common sense tells you it should be the most obvious choice, don’t the series’ send out one full sized picture of whatever they’re writing about with their news releases. (or if it’s an issue of potential bouncing provide a link to a gallery of selected shots for use)
IndyCar/Indy Lights get it. For every session on track, I have access online to live visuals and a live voice telling me what’s happening on track. Almost immediately after each event I have access to results & photos to run with my stories. Most of the team/series PR folk are immediately available online to answer any questions or forward info or pics if requested.
Here’s why my frustration is boiling over tonight. It’s not as a blogger, but as the managing editor of an Open Wheel news site. See, over at OpenWheelWorld.net, we do the best we can to provide up-to-date news for all of the series. We WANT to champion and promote the junior formulas. We WANT to give these kids and teams the exposure to grow their fanbase and sell themselves to sponsors to make their way up the ladder to the “big show”.
When we are able to be, we are at the track, where we provide a steady stream of news, gossip, insight and photos. It’s important to us to provide the fans with that “this is what it’s like to be here” feeling, to keep them engaged in the sport and entice them to go to the track themselves. That’s how we all got hooked right?
(fyi, we are an amateur site, run by a bunch of freelancers (fans ourselves) with aspirations to work in the industry so we have to rock on our own dime to get to these events to provide coverage, that is why we aren’t at every event)
When we can’t be at the track ourselves, we absolutely rely on the series/teams themselves to provide us the materials to promote the series to the masses.
STOP MAKING IT SO HARD TO BE A FAN!!! UGH!
ok… going to stop now, cause I am literally on the verge of tears. (it’s been a tough week in general)
Tomorrow I will tackle all of the other stuff I was going to write about…
I just want racing to be my happy place again. Is that too much to ask?