Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pigskin Delights...

"Blogmeister Miguel" in Seahawks finery and "Artiste Dave in Cardinals garb flank No Fenders scribe Tomaso at Century Link Field prior to Sunday Night game. (The Tomaso Collection)
A Mum' and her three lads went to a Seahawks Game...

As that sounds like the opening line to a Joke, right? Something 'bout two Flies walk into a Bar - Cymbal Crash please; Thank you, Thank you very much...

As One was replete in Cardinal red, yellow black 'N white finery. The second festooned in Seahawks blue, action grey and wolf, while the third wore NO Football garb at all. Instead simply attired in black, which matched Seattle's weather A-L-L weekend long leading up to thy B-I-G' Game. Comforted in the fact that his team, thou Tennessee Titans had forgotten to rub that lump 'O Kryptonite onto thy Pigskin at Halftime vs. Camouthian' "Superman Newton earlier that day.

Whilst thou National Football League thinks so highly of the Titans, that their Thursday Night game vs. Jacksonville was the 1st game on the NFL Networks which much of Thy country doesn't subscribe to!

As the four Footenballers' set off in Qwest; Uhm in search of 'Der Clink, nee Century Link Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks for the past Sunday Night's game against NFC West Division rivals, thou  feisty Arizona Cardinals who currently led the division 6-2 prior to the Talking Heads Albert Michaels and Christopher Collinsworth calling thee game on Thy "Peacock," nee NBC.

Yet Snowbyrd MJ had one Ace Up her Sleeve, if she could only get to it underneath the four layers of cold weather gear, as I think it was supposed to be in the high 30's at game-time? As we trundled onto the local Metro Transit bus which is the only way to G-O. As chants of GO HAWKS! Resonated everywhere, whilst Artiste Dave who was sporting his Cardinals colours noted the proliferation of 12s' flags hanging everywhere in the city!

Blogmeister Miguel who was rootin' for Seattle and I rode the freight elevator completely packed with Hawks Fans to our 300-level seats, with the lift's operator even telling us a Cardinals Joke!

Yet I was most excited 'bout there being a "Family" bathroom that I could use alone, since this task is always entertaining in crowded confines for somebody who's Blind! As they even had the Pre-game piped in with KIRO's Dorey Montsen announcing there was 72mins left 'til kickoff; CRIKEYS!

Seated ten rows from the very tippy-top 'O Century Link Field, I doubt I can accurately describe the mild sensations of vertigo challenging a legally blind person who's only visual reference of the Gridiron below was the massive white stripe running diagonally below soon bathed in white floodlights, for which was simply the boundary of one side of the football field. Unable to even remotely discern one single Ant sized player upon the pitch, which is what I'd stare at for the next four hours after Dave told me to turn my head, you're staring at that woman!

Thus Seattle apparently was in a sporting mood, deciding to spot Arizona 19-points before deciding to show up and play ball! As  I stood up, sat down, stood-up 'N sat down again; URGH! Telling Dave I felt like I was in Church at Mass, since everybody stood and yelled when the Cardinals had the football. Then Y'all sit down 'N be  polite whilst Seattle's on Offense; Hut-Hut, OOF! Here comes our Punter again.

As I was totally bemused when Dave, Dave's NOT Here; Hooah! As Miguel described to Mwah how Russell Wilson had ran into his own man and gotten stuffed in the End zone, resulting in a Safety and making the score then 5-0 in favour of those dastardly Cardinals!

Yet it was quite L-O-U-D! Really? Do we need to explode fireworks every time Seattle scores? As the Hawks finally got on the board 19-7. Then the game went to 22-10, and 25-10 all the while Seattle behind.

Yet the stadium went Bananas on back-to-back "Pick-6" turnovers, especially the second time when I think somebody said Bobby Wagner returned the Pigskin to give Seattle its first lead of the evening, 29-25! Yet it wasn't to last long. As first Arizona marched down the field and reclaimed the lead 32-29 before Wilson promptly threw an interception and Carson Palmer led the Cards to another touchdown; FRICK!

As the fans from our 300-level section filed out in droves with some three-plus or was it the two minute warning? Before Seattle tacked on its final field goal followed by an unsuccessful Onside Kick attempt, losing to Arizona by a final score of 39-32, as what a Donnybrook of a Football game! Not to mention if only Seattle hadn't decided to spot Arizona 19 FREAKIN' points!

As I'd be pleasantly surprised upon arriving home Monday morning to discover that the Brazilian GP would be rebroadcasted at 8PM that night, for which I must say was a much duller affair then the football game was! Especially since Mercedes was determined to have Nico Rosberg secure runner-up status in the championship with or without Lewis Hamilton's support...

For those of Y'all in search of some Non-Football related words, although I must warn Thee its NOT racing related either. Then check out my bursting at the seams, stuffed to thoust Gills triple layered story 'O Travel lore to thee Other Florence posted last Thanksgiving whilst Y'all have a merry day wherever Art thou may be...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Speedy Vintners' - 2015 Vintage

Tuscany Hillside Vineyard. (Image source:
Still don't know what thee HELL a Shiraz is; Hya! But keep making 'em 'Scooter, nee Scott Pruett...

During a recent Autosport Radio Show, one of Don Kay's guests was Anthony Joseph Foyt IV, Grandson of the legendary SuperTex and better known here at No Fenders simply as Quattro. Who reminded me of an 'Ol Post I'd scribbled regarding racing personalities dabbling in wine making, which was titled Speedy Vintner's.

A.J. IV is the 2002 Infiniti Pro Series champion and contested six Indy 500's with a best finish of P14 in 2007 when driving for Tony George's Vision Racing before effectively hanging up his helmet.

Married to Casey Irsay, daughter of somebody named Jim who owns the Indianapolis Colts, Quattro now splits his time between Scouting Assistant duties for the Colts and Family life as the father of A.J. Foyt V, including taking the youngster to Hockey practice, a sport totally foreign to Quattro.

Foyt IV is now spending considerable time at the new A.J. Foyt building purchased in Speedway, Indiana, on Main Street, where the Foyt's have set up shop for tasting and purchasing of their Vino at their wine vault along with racing memorabilia on display - including A.J. Foyt's final Indy 500 car raced in 1992. As Foyt has renovated the 45,000 square foot building as the team's summer facility.

Quattro mentioned how he thought it'd be kOOL! To have a variety of racer's brands on hand for comparison, including the likes of Mario Andretti's wine, The Mayor 'O Hinchtown's beer and CFH Racing's Fuzzys' premium vodka, naturally as long as Foyt's Vino was preferred over Andretti's; Hooah!

The following racing personas names have surfaced upon revisiting the original Speedy Vintner's story, albeit 'Juan isn't Vino related but  how can Y'all pass over Thy Mayor, eh?

James Hinchcliffe
What can I say 'bout thee Mayor 'O Hinchtown, other than he's one kOOL Cat and very happy he's successfully recovered from his frighteningly nasty accident at Mother Speedway last May! Along with hoping to see a resurgence to his winning ways at thou Minnowesqe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2016.

As a beer drinker I'd enjoy trying some 'O Hinches' brew but really don't know where its available, so I'll most likely have to wait 'til next May's intended visit to Speedway to sample some hopefully...

Jeff Gordon
Really don't have to say much 'bout this driver's accomplishments, as the four time NASCAR champion was the first Chase Driver to punch his ticket to the B-I-G' DANCE at Homestead. Becoming the first of four championship eligible drivers upon winning for the umpteenth time at Martinsville.

Vince Neil
Yeah, this 'Juan's a stretch, but the band leader of Motley Crue did indeed try his hand both at single seater racing and wine making briefly, since it appears his Vince Vineyards which produced two 2003 vintages in '05 along with a limited run of some  spicy wine from EOS Estates Winery in '06 have gone by the wayside? Having previously scribbled 'bout Vincent Neil's motorsports activities in;

Benny Parsons
Whenever I conjure up the name Benny Parsons, I immediately Flashback to those vintage Dazes 'O ESPN's trio Announcers Extraordinaire, Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett, as BP's driving career was before my day.

As I've prattled on previously 'bout how fine of a person Bob Jenkins is and I still enjoy hearing his voice over the Public Address system at Mother Speedway each May...

Yet Parsons was the 1973 NASCAR Champion along with the victor of the '75 Daytona 500 along with a total of 21 career victories in the Roundy-round's elite series.

Benny died relatively early, age 65 in January of 2007 due to complications of lung cancer, having founded the Rendezvous Ridge Winery just prior to his death.

Alas, unfortunately, cannot find any pertinent information on Rendezvous Ridge in North Carolina. Since when I gOOgle' said Rendezvous Ridge, the site's Homepage has a whole slew 'O Muscle Building tips for 'Lucy, Thy ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader to read instead; URGH! so Y'all are on your own to figure out if Parsons Vino is still available or not?

Jason Priestly
This Kuhnaidiun' actor's name is most prominently associated with his fictional character from that 'Mega Beverly Hills, 90210 TV Show during the 1990's, where he starred as teenage heartthrob Brandon Walsh for nearly 250 episodes.

As I tend to forget he briefly raced cars, mostly campaigning Saloon Tintops before trying his hand in single seaters before a nasty accident in an Indy Pro Series chassis at Kentucky Speedway circa '02 effectively ended his career!

Jason has since dabbled in team ownership, reportedly most notably with the Rubicon Race Team, who backed Mad Max Papis's Twenty-oh-Eight attempt to qualify for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 in a chassis prepared by Sam Schmidt's fledgling IndyCar operation to NO avail, failing to make the B-I-G' Show.

Thus, Jason now spends his time mostly producing various TV Shows, having recently been thrown from a horse and suffering a concussion during filming of his latest project The Code, along with numerous film and television roles, most notably 48 episodes of the show Call Me Fitz.

Priestly also dabbles in the wine making business Up North Eh! In collaboration with Blackhills Estate whilst  allegedly being a serious Vino collector.

As mentioned before, after a cursory perusal of my previous Speedy Vintner's post, it appears that A-L-L of the original Vintners: Mario Andretti, Franck Arciero, Kevin Buckler, Richard Childress, Tom Hedges, Randy Lewis, Scott Pruett and Jarno Trulli are still in business, which I previously chronicled in;

Monday, November 23, 2015

USGP: Mother Nature can't stop Elton John from putting a Smile on our Faces at Circuit Of The Americas

Sir Elton John. (Source: Bing Images)
After two straight days of heavy rain, the weather finally cooperated for the Formula 1 Circuses biggest show with Sir Elton John dazzling the remaining throng with Hit after Hit...

Following Sir Elton waxing eloquently with thy Young Louise 'JAGUAR Hamilton during the Post-race Podium Winners interview, naturally being smitten with his fellow Brit Hamilton's victory. We began extracting ourselves from thy sodden grass vantage point prior to beginning our Madcap adventure of getting to the concert!

The winning race time reported was One Hour and 53-minutes, giving Sir Elton and us nearly two hours before the Post-race concert began at 6PM, which surely would be way too Mucho time, right? (Afterwards learning that it was estimated 40,000+ spectators stayed for the concert!)


, NOPE! It was simply Chaos everywhere, as I've never seen so many people staying for the Post-race concert ever before!

And having waited a half hour, we managed to obtain a ride in one of the very limited ADA Carts, albeit our courteous male driver told us he had NO idea where the ADA entrance to the concert was? thus he dropped us off and we ended up hopping aboard a second  Cart.

My only complaint with COTA the entire weekend, (Besides the Mud, Obviously!) was when sitting in front with the very friendly female Cart Driver was hearing her radio announce we're NOT taking any more ADA requests! And tell them to walk to a Pick-up spot! As one person replied back on the radio I've got a double amputee here!

Finally after driving 'N driving, stopping and starting for busses, a police motorcycle escort, throngs 'O people, etc. Our driver said this is as far as I can take Yuhs without getting Stuck in the Mud!

Then we joined the throng of bodies being slowed appreciatively by the Mud-bog chicane, where Claudio told me to take a really B-I-G' step, now another! As I almost hooked myself on the adjoining fence post? As NO idea why COTA couldn't have put down the plywood some track volunteer had pleaded for over the radio whilst riding in said Cart...

Then we walked 'N walked some more and started asking several volunteers at various checkpoints if they knew where the ADA seating was? As we got three separate, indifferent replies of ask the next "Checkpoint Charlie!" So we finally gave up and walked up a sodden hillside and set up thy lawn chairs on this grassy knoll.

And in less than five minutes after sitting down Elton John's band went BOOM-BOOM-BOOM! As a virtual sea 'O people came rushing down the hillside to get a closer peak at Sir Elton, which reminded me of the time at the Gorge in George (Washington) when the crowd went flying downhill over the cliff to get up close 'N personal with Eddie Vetter and Pearl Jam; Aye Karumba!

As Claudio told me I'd better put my (folding) White Cane back up in order to use as a beacon to show the never ceasing crowd pushing their way forward as Elton belted out The Bitch, The Bitch is Back! Whilst being the only two persons seated in this sea of adoring concert goers.

Blocked from seeing the video screen in front of us by the wall 'O bodies, it was funny how a stray note would escape every now and then when a hole opened up in the wall 'O Humans in front of us momentarily as the crowd shifted, giving me a slightly different pitch or tone blasting out from the excellent sound system.

Funnier yet was when Claudio would sporadically fall upon me whilst dozing off during the concert as his lawn chair was leaning towards Mwah; WUMP!

Elton was an absolute master of thy keyboard and tickled thou ivory amazingly, giving us multiple long AWESOME piano solos during various songs, including Benny and The Jets! which I think was his second song?

"Elton jammed at length on the piano during different points in the song. (Levon) Elton showed he could still bring the improvisational skill and passion that has always made him a mad man on the piano. Unlike his contemporary, Billy Joel, Elton plays extended riffs and jams on the piano."

Whilst I groaned my displeasure as Sir Elton publicly thanked Uncle Bernaughty, nee Messer Charles Bernard Ecclestone for his Hospitality; YUCK! Actually hearing one loud vociferous BOO!

Then Elton's third song played was the Hit Song All the Girls love Alice, just one of the many off of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. As apparently his current concert tour is known as All the Hits in deference to celebrating his smash double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road from some forty years ago.

As Elton later mused when taking a break between songs. I first came to America 46yrs ago and NEVER thought I'd be playing a Grand Prix! Thus, there's still even things that surprise me in life...

Although I didn't try keeping a mental tally of Elton's set-list, just Head-bobbing along totally enjoying the AWESOME show! Nonetheless, I was really impressed by how strong and beautiful his voice was when singing another crowd favourite 'bout Norma Jean; Err Marilyn Monroe.

Know I've belabored the point ceaselessly but. Really appreciated Elton just singing in his normal vocal range and NOT trying to sing upper octave falsetto from 40yrs ago! Unlike Geddy Lee who still thinks he can sing the High Notes...

Then in the midst of his countless classic Hit songs, he played what was his lone "New Song," albeit having been released in 2003. Noting it was from an album he recorded with the legendary Leon Russell who he'd always wanted to collaborate with. As the song was titled Hey Ahab!

The song made me instantly smile - having just read that classic novel Moby Dick! As Elton crooned: You've got to Hoist that Sail, and Ride that Whale, Hey Ahab!

VIDEO: Hey Ahab!

Sir Elton and his band Mates, which included his Drummer Nigel Olson from Bloody England, (Age: 66)  who joined the band in 1969! And Davey Johnstone of Scotland (Age: 64) on Guitar who's ROCKED with Elton for 42yrs; CRIKEYS! Also featured excellent Bass, Keyboard and Percussion accompaniment by Matt Bissonette, Kim Bullard and John Mahon respectively. As A-L-L were simply FANTASTIC!

Towards the end, when the wall of bodies ahead of us thinned out, I marveled over the fact that not only could I see the video screen, I could actually S-E-E Sir Elton's face during the numerous close-ups!

Afterwards, Claudio informed me that he was wearing a black suit with the words Rock 'N Roll on its back along with a pair 'O small black glasses.

As I still recall first being enamored by Elton's eyewear during the 1970's when one picture on an album showed him sporting eyeglasses with miniature windshield wipers on them!

I found the Band being completely "Tight" throughout the entire concert, playing for a solid two hours before one final encore song, which Me Thinks was Crocodile Rock? In apparently what was their final North American concert for the year. As reputedly Elton wishes to reduce his touring in order to spend more time with his five year old sons...

Assorted Songs
The Bitch is Back, Bennie and The Jets, All the Girls love Alice, Candle in the Wind, Your Song, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Rocketman, Daniel, (Song) Saturday Nite's Alright for Fighting, Hey Ahab, Levon, Honkey Cat, Funeral for a Friend, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Burn Down the Mission, Tiny Dancer, Sad Songs Say So Much, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word and Crocodile Rock.

And although my sentiments towards this year's Grand Prix was simply summed up by saying I survived Austin; Yeehaw! For Mwah, Sir Elton John's Post-race concert was thee highlight of the USGP! And was a total Coup by COTA!

Elton's mix of Sad, Happy, Upbeat, Medium and Slow Songs not only were the perfect tonic towards an interesting weekend at the racetrack, but an excellent portrayal of Mother Nature's constant manipulation of the weather during said event while COTA tried their best to cope with the adverse weather conditions caused by Hurricane Patricia...

As I tried choosing a few select videos portraying Sir Elton's current vocal sounds, for which at age 69 sounded Damn good!

(Quote from Back of Crowd Concert Reviews - Barclays Center Jan 2, 2015)