Tag Archives: VERSUS

Dear NBC Sports: It wasn’t broke… so why did ya “fix” it?

It’s a rather daunting task for a female reporter to step into a new spotlight roll, in a male dominated business, while covering a male dominated sport.

Lindy Thackston made the correct choice right out of the gate, making a name for herself as an intelligent, articulate, personable, journalist, covering the sights, sounds and stories of the drivers, the series, and the action, both on and off the track.

Lindy, who is a beautiful girl by the way, was smart not to allow the suits to paint her into the “lets throw to the bimbo with the microphone for a lifestyle segment” role. Why? Because there is nothing more insulting to a female who follows the sport, than to be faced with the token eye candy dumbing down the broadcast, while playing into the stereotypes we’ve all fought way too hard to overcome. It’s disrespectful on far too many levels to go into.

Understandably wary of the “new talent” when she was announced as part of the broadcast team, I was pleasantly surprised and immediately put at ease after the first race.

What I liked about Lindy right off the bat was that this girl knew her shit!
She asked the right questions, followed up with the right answers, and never seemed flustered or flighty. She never apologized for being herself (and had no reason to) She fit in perfectly right away, and never dimmed her light. Confidence personified. Instead of cringing when they threw to her, I looked forward to her contributions, as I felt I finally had a voice representing me at the track.

To then meet up with her at the track, and work along side of her, I got to see her in action up close. She was just one of the team, not overly concerned with image (no bullet proof make up on this girl) and could be seen huffing along pit lane with her crew to get the story, just like the rest of us.

Years ago, as rare as it was to find a women in the cockpit, it was rarer still to find a woman in any other capacity at the track other than grid girl or pit lizard.

Now we are everywhere. And we are working our asses off alongside the boys, on both sides of the pit wall, equally sweaty, equally skilled, but putting in double the effort just to be accepted and prove we deserve to be there.

We are finally to the point where females at the track are no longer an anomaly. Better yet, they are getting recognition for what they do and the skill with which they do it, not because of the underwear beneath their nomex, or what’s stuffed inside of it.

Much like Lindy, Simona de Silvestro made a name for herself right out of the gate last year by scrapping with Tony Kanaan at St. Pete’s for the last step on the podium. There were no swimsuit photos or tacky commercials filled with sexual innuendo to throw to when discussing her career. Instead there were clips of gutsy racing and podium ceremonies that preceded and lead to her turning a wheel in this series. I would like to think this will serve her well in her career as she won’t be trying to fight her way out of a box painted by years stereotyping and misconception. More importantly she will be an inspired role model for the young women working their way up through the ranks now.

Like Simona, Lindy is a superior role model for the smart, confident young women dreaming of a career in our sport. Specifically, in her case, in broadcast journalism. What message is NBC Sports sending by turning the broadcast once again into a sausage fest.

For three years, three crucial rebuilding years for the series, and foundation laying years for Versus, Lindy Thackston has been part of the Versus/IndyCar family.
She helped champion the sport. She helped champion the network. She helped grow the fan base for both. She was an integral part of the team we all welcomed into our livingroom every week. By virtue of who she is, she earned our trust, earned our respect, and in return,  legitimized both IndyCar and Versus.

The very fact that a majority of the people who are the most up in arms over her departure are equally strong, confident and articulate women. should make NBC Sports stop dead in their tracks and rethink their decision.

I can tell you from my own point of view that women do not suffer fools lightly. When we tune into a broadcast, no matter the nature of the programming, we want to see a reflection of ourselves represented. The companies that “get” that, will also get our viewership, our consumership and our word of mouth. The companies that don’t… won’t.

Lindy Thackston is an integral part of the team, a member of the IndyCar family,  and represents an important segment of your audience. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

Consider your ROI when you consider your next move NBC Sports.
It’s not too late to right this wrong.

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t…

I’m going to have to tackle my home race in a couple of posts me thinks, because there is so much to say and talk about, and I don’t want to get overloaded or sidetracked in just one post.

So lets just get this stuff out of the way first.

The armchair critics out there, those that not only bitch about this genre of racing, but many of whom will also openly admit they haven’t and wouldn’t even consider attending one, pan “street courses” as boring, non-challenging parades amongst many other descriptive labels.

Their blind with rage hate of this type of event seemingly clouding their judgment in such a pre-conceived way that they are unable to actually see the positives when the event is actually good! (both on and off track)

There is so much vitriol rolling around on all my stops on the inter-webs today both publicly and privately about how awful the event was, and how damaging to the sport it was,  Blah blah fucking blah. From the raving you would think that 9 cars finished the race, 6 people were in the stands and there were only 12 laps of green flag racing.
It was quite the opposite actually. Continue reading

The Iowa Corn 250! *live blog*

Yes kids, I’m live tonight. I have a dodgy American stream and a dodgy UK stream and will have the dodgy radio stream booted as well as a fail safe.

I have a belly full of Pad Thai, and am halfway thru a giant can of Sir Perry’s traditional English style Pear cider. (I have another can chillin in the fridge, but I’m already a little tipsy, so this could be fun…) Continue reading

IndyCar: Long Beach Grand Prix *live blog

Yes… pick yourselves up off the floor, I’m here and I’m live! I’m not on writing duty today for http://www.openwheelworld.net, so I get to just watch and play today

As TSN has dumped the race to the deuce and time delayed it, I am comfortably ensconced in my office, using THREE monitors. Yes, you heard me… THREE!

Despite IndyCar, Versus and NBC doing everything in their power ruin the experience of IndyCar fandom for us out here on the interweb, I have a lovely super secret not legal stream so I can watch the coverage and know what is going on. (as we all saw earlier, if I were to count on the T&S from IndyCar, I would have thought Newgarden was out instead of Dempsey, and that Daly hadn’t even started… :facepalm: )

Here’s my set up:

Ok… running to have a quick pee before the start! (tmi sorry) BRB Continue reading

Pole Day 09…

or how VERSUS learned to fill 6hrs of tv time with only 2hrs of on track action.

Good morning peeps. Eating some breakfast, preparing for my day, and realized I never wrote about Pole Day. So… here goes…

Good lord! What was the point of all of that yesterday? Why draw a list of drivers and publish said list, when 2/3 of that list isn’t going to even suit up?? Perfectly qualified drivers spent the day in their motorhomes watching on TV. Why set the month up in such a financially precarious way that drivers who might of had a legitimate shot to challenge for the front rows can’t risk it for fear of running out of tires on race day or running too many miles on their engine lease? If you want this to be the “greatest spectacle in racing” you gotta fix this, cause right now, not so much spectacular. It’s a battle of the haves and have nots. What if all of those drivers who will fill those grid positions up to 33 decided it’s just a big waste of time and effort? what then? Indy becomes just another race on the circuit.

That said, Kudos to VERSUS for their coverage! and for the kind souls who streamed the broadcast for us poor souls not privy to coverage. That is until the VERSUS peeps sent their watchdogs around the internet to shut down said streams. Hey VERSUS… here’s a suggestion, take it or leave it.

This is your first year doing this. You should WANT as many eyes on what you’re providing. If people care enough to A) watch & B) stream it so others can watch it , LET THEM!! Most of the people watching the stream I was watching yesterday were from Europe or Canada, of which neither market have any other recourse but streams to watch your coverage. If you’re not going to allow us to watch via your own website, then let others do you the favour!

If we can’t see it, we can’t talk about, if we can’t talk about it, then we can’t promote it. Viewers watching and talking about it is FREE PROMOTION for your network. Maybe some of those watching the streams (which are mostly of shitty quality truthfully) are on the fence about ponying up the cash for the extra channel on their provider? Maybe watching will prompt them to ante up for a clear tv stream of their own, or contact their provider and request the channel be added.

Once again, biting the hand that feeds you, not smart.

Anyway, until the stream was shut down, I was thoroughly enjoying the coverage being provided. Great interviews at the track. Great technical features by Jan Beekus as usual. And of course the two part interview with PT.

Take away the over the top production (it looked like a scene from Casablanca, I kept waiting for one of them to light up a smoke) and the rattlesnake soundtrack (really? rattlesnakes?), and that was a pretty awesome interview.

Some people are of the opinion that it perpetuates the continued bitterness over the split. I don’t agree. I think if they don’t talk about it (2002), it’s ignoring the Gorilla in the room. Not to mention there would be no story for this year’s race other than “which former winner in a red driver suit on which over funded super team will drink the milk this year?”

I think Paul himself basically told everyone to “get the fuck over it and move on!”

There were two poignant moments during the segment which made this tough as nails “brassy” Canuckdian tear up a little.

When he said “I just want to finish my career the way I feel I deserve” I felt little catch in my gut. That has always been my point of contention. He’s not looking for a multi-year uber contract. He wants a good, steady ride, with a good, steady team, where he can have one more legit kick at the can while he is still fully capable and willing to leave it all out there on the track.

Then when Arute set up the question: “Winning the Indy 500 would mean…”
and he answered “redemption”

I don’t think it’s necessarily redemption for 2002. I think it’s redemption for the shitty way his career was derailed in 2008.

Anyway… He is one of the fully capable but underfunded one’s who will have to settle for qualifying today and and race his way to the front 2 weeks from now.

oh ya, Pole Day results? Red suit, red suit, red suit, *thinks about it* ha! red suit ironically (not surprising though as they were one of the “big three” in CC) and… red suit.

It continues today. I am working this afternoon, but will be following the “action” via twitter and mobile timing. 0