Friday, June 25, 2010

May be Indy Car should stay away from the Northwest After all...


So I was absolutely blown away upon the outpouring of support for Team USA during Wednesday’s:”Do-or-Die” final first round intra-group match against Algeria... Having arisen at 5 BLOODY AM in order to arrive at the sleepy little Town’s Sportsbar by 6AM in order to obtain a seat; you’ve gotta be Joking, right? Oh no Sir, it’ll be filled-up by then as the ‘Regular’s come in for breakfast at 4:45AM; SHEISA!

Thus we entered the Sportsbar promptly at 6-BLEEPIN’ O’clock on the Dot to a completely empty establishment except for three elderly Gentlemen chewin’ the fat over cups ‘O coffee... Yet I have to give them credit as the one man said to us Deadpan; Oh, didn’t Y’all here? The games been cancelled due to Rain! And he said it so eloquently that you were hard pressed NOT to believe him... Before he pronounced; Just Kidding! Good one – Dude... As we sat there laughing to ourselves and pondering now just why in the HELL did we need to be here at 6AM? Although there was a reserved table for eight behind us and by 6:30AM the crowd of Football (Soccer) Fans began filtering in, as by Kickoff at 7AM it was standing room only and later on there would be even more people sitting on the floor everywhere around us... As we were simply locked into our seats!

The Fans were quite attentive, good natured and very vocal about what was occurring on every attack to ward’s our opponent’s goal... Even encouraging OLD Slick Willie to have a chat with FIFA’s President after our second disallowed goal due to questionable officiating...

And then in the 91st minute of the match, as we’d gone into the extra 4-minutes of stoppage time, Landon Donovan scored a zinger from six yards out and the Sportsbar simply ERUPTED! As the Big Screen TV we were directly situated in front of that had been blaring at me for 120+ minutes was completely drowned out by the Oblivious Fans for several minutes as everybody was simply DELIRIOUS with Joy; Jumping, Hooting ‘N Hollering over the improvable win once again by the “Cardiac Kids” of Team USA, who would advance to the second round of Sixteen in South Africa’s 2010 World Cup Tournament.

Meanwhile during the TV Pre-game build-up they showed crazed Soccer Fans at Seattle’s Atlantic City Pub whilst what I like to call “George and The Dragon,” a.k.a. George and Dragon, a British Pub also in Seattle was hosting another Mega viewing, showing the “Simulcast” matches of England vs. Slovenia and USA vs. Algeria, while our sleepy ‘lil Island Sportsbar also had a single “Tellie” tuned into England, which a lone voice yelled out in glee upon “His” Team’s score, as both England and USA won their decisive final Group C matches “One-Nil.” (1-0)

Couple this with the fact that the Seattle Sounders FC, co-owned by Drew “The Prices Right” Carry are leading the Major League Soccer (MLS) in Attendance for the second year in-a-row, regularly selling-out with 36,000+ Spectators, while the three Exhibition matches see crowds swelling towards 65,000+ at Qwest Field where the Seattle Seahawks are in quest of a winning season; YOUCH!

Then factor in that two ‘Cat’s named Steve ‘N Steve, as in Steve Nash and Steve Luczo of some entity now known as De Ferran Dragon Racing are co-owners of the 2011 MLS expansion Vancouver Whitecaps, with Drew Carry’s “Triangle ‘O Death” being completed by the MLS expansion Franchise Portland Timbers and Holy FOOTE-BALLS Batman! You’ve got quite the Sports base of Hungry Spectators to draw upon, or in Promoter lingo “Butts-in-Seats!”

So why all of the Hubbub over Soccer, eh? Whale as Y’all may be aware of by now, I’m simply Cornfuzed over why Indy Car continues to ignore the Pacific Northwest market, and more importantly why they seemingly refuse to return to Portland International Raceway... to which I recently asked Kevin Lee ‘bout on Trackside with Kevin ‘N Cavin, to which I was pleasantly surprised to hear Kevin read my email On Air...

And I admit I’m hard pressed to not become emotional over this quandary and perhaps don’t present my “Argument” correctly, as I find myself continuously trying to take-away the most over abused “Talking Point” of Low Attendance... To which I tried pointing out that Iowa is all snap-happy over drawing 40,000 Spectators... Of which Milwaukee sees a similar number I believe, while I’ll leave Homestead outta the mix...

As I’ve tried pointing out to Mr. Randy Bernard, the state’s of Washington and Oregon reportedly contain nearly 11 million bodies, as Washington alone reputedly ranks two places higher then Indiana in population numbers...

Obviously I cannot predict the regions buying habits, Demographics, etc, but I’d hazard a guess that being the home of Starbuck’s would seemingly fall into the target audience IZOD’s looking for? And if Mr. Bernard is true to his word about Tradition; AHEM! Portland’s certainly got that as you’ve seen my story title Portland’s Centennial several times now...

Yeah, I get-it, that there’s something called the Economy going on right now and Portland Int’l Raceway potentially doesn’t have a Promoter... Although I’d assume that the past Joes 200 presented by Budweiser race event Promoter Global Events Group is still situated in Oregon? And even if I can’t say they did a fantastic job, they weren’t horrible either...

As for loyal Fans, I can only relate to my “Groups” experience, as we had a yearly gathering of 8-12 people who went almost every year; most of us in the 20+ consecutive years category with our “Cub” attendee Randal joining us for somewhere between 12-15 events, as the CART race was traditionally Portland’s largest Single Day event for many years!

So I’ll say it again, if Indy Car can put on a good event, have more then a ‘Quiltwork patch group ‘O 17 competitors running in the ‘Big Show, decent support races or even better yet an American Le Mans Series – Indy Car Double Header! Along with giving the event sometime to grow, you could have another potential winner on your hands... Then again, Nah; may be the Indy Racing League is just holding a grudge against the Pacific Northwest for being ultimately loyal to CART and Champ Car for nearly 25yrs and Fans being upset over the IRL possibly taking away our event when bidding for another three year contract was under way during the Tony George era; which I seriously vowed to NOT renew my yearly 3-Day ticket for!

Now I’ve gotta go catch a bus to George ‘N The Dragon to see those amazing “Cardiac Kids” BEAT Ghana!

El Soundero!

Portland’s Centennial

Dragonslayers?

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