Thursday, January 12, 2012

Feathers Fly as New TV Network Slams Dakar coverage against the boards...

So, I sincerely hope it isn’t a Pre-cursor of what’s to come from the new & improved Versus TV channel... As NBC Sports Network has already garnered a blue line foul & subsequent Faceoff when they ran some 14-plus minutes of “Regulation-time” with excessive blather over the evening’s Hockey game... And hence, your humble scribe, who’s still going ‘Ol School for visual reasons - LOST nearly half of the evening’s video-taped DAKAR Day-2 highlights... Which in my book gives the Hometeam Peacock-lite two minutes in the PENALTY BOX for Hooking!

Having gone back to my standard method of recording, i.e.; add a minimum of 30-extra minutes to the taping - I sat down for lunch and why HE-LL! I’ll just watch Peacock-lite’s afternoon rebroadcast of what I taped the evening prior... NOPE! We’re havin’ NONE of ‘Dat, as after I saw an overly stoic Bob Costas sign off from whatever - they played the WRONG FRILLIN’ DAY’S TAPE! As in Day-2 instead of Day-3; GRRRRRRRUURRRRRR!!!! And we haven’t even gotten to racing season yet! But I digress...

I’ve already very briefly mentioned the first day’s Special Stage tragedy, where Argentine rider Jorge Martinez Boero Died from a Heart attack induced from competition injuries... But just like in Indy Cars, after the NEEDLESS tragedy of Dan Wheldon; THE show MUST GO ON!

January 2nd was Robby “DirtMann Gourdoun” Gordon’s 43rd birthday; HOLY TERMINATORS BATMAN! Gordon’s one day OLDER than Herr Schumacher, as in the famous Ralfanso’s elder brother Michael; Hya! Which I guess makes it somewhat karmic that I was shown Robby Gordon and Michael Schumacher’s autographs together on the same wall in Anderstorp: Yah sure Yuh Betcha!

But back to the Rally, as his Team leader Nasser Al Attiyah decided to give him a B-Day present! After having the lead on Day-1 until one kilometer to go, when the motor cut-out, Al Attiyah lost 10-minutes after his Owner (Gordon) pulled over and towed him across the finish line... As Robby surely would have won the Special Stage...

But DirtMann got quite the enjoyable present from the Qatari, who redeemed himself by winning Stage-2 with Gordon finishing third; the pair being split by St├ęphane Peterhansel, with the “Desert Fox” becoming the Mini filling in the Hummer sandwich...

Cody “Commander” Quinn had the Dakar to forget, as things got off to a rocky start when his ‘Scooter was shipped to Peru instead of Argentina, as apparently somebody got the countries order bass-ackwards! But the bike arrived just in the nick ‘O time, before the foyboils continued. As on Day-2 his rear tyre was mounted incorrectly and blew out during the start. Quinn resourcefully commandeered the rival KTM mechanics into giving him a spare tyre which enabled the ‘Yank to finish out the day’s event.

Unfortunately, Homeboy Jonah Street’s ride wasn’t as fruitful, as the pride of Ellensburg, WA was forced to quit after a never ending case of Lucas ‘Lectrics; Err, Electrical Gremlins that caused the ‘yuama Hopper to continuously die - running scant kilometers at a time before shutting down again, causing Jonah to have to wait for the bike to cool off before restarting. Therefore Street had NO alternative than to withdraw from the event due to mechanical woes after failing to complete the second day’s ride.

Jonah Street
Withdraws from 2012 Dakar and Announces Retirement

Commander Cody’s (Quinn) travails went from bad to worse, ultimately falling hard on Stage-3, completely destroying his Honda, along with separating his shoulder - hence, incurring the worst possible type of sophomore-slump and was forced to withdraw from the event...

Broadcast Notes
The earlier hockey laced snipe above was directed at the fact that NBC is crashing duh Boards mightily with a Full court press right now over NHL Hockey - which I understand is its bread ‘N butter; BUTT! The slashing of other programming just makes me cringe whilst thinking of Indy Car being bumped on ABC for Women’s Golf previously; CRIKEYS!

And I’m surprised that Nobody’s corrected me yet, as Juan ‘O my favourite Versus; Err IndyCar Announcers is doing the Dakar solo, as in Professor ‘B, aka Jon Bekhuis, who’s doing his usual steady Yeoman’s-like reporting job during the daily half hour vignette’s... As I thoroughly enjoy Jon, just don’t know if this means Robby “Purple” Floyd’s gone from the Network? Or perhaps just doing his Indy Car Pit-crew relief duties this summer when Marty & Wally run off to Fenderzland for the TNT summer portion of ‘RASSCAR...

In a stark contrast to the First Four-days of record temperatures being set in Argentina, with a BLISTERING HEAT of 100-110 degrees! (Fahrenheit) I’m sure that the competitors were somewhat relieved to not have to be trying to crawl their ways over a suddenly SNOW laden mountain pass... As Day-6’s Stage competition over the 15,000+ foot Andes Mountain pass was cancelled due to SNOW! Which I believe is a first in Dakar history...

Perils of Dakar
And although Quinn “Commander” Cody’s accident and subsequent withdrawal from this year’s event was painful; I feel that American rider James Embro’s near miss accident was even more frightening! As the ‘Yank rider aboard the No. 106 - riding another Yamaha was struck by an errant rock from a passing competitor’s truck - flinging said rock towards the unsuspecting rider - WHUMP! As Embro was hit by the rock whilst traveling at 115kph and as he told the Camera eye later when he turned his head back round his goggles immediately filled-up with blood!

And although he didn’t suffer any major damage, James was forced to withdraw from the event due to the fact that his helmet was too painful to wear. 

Thus, we’re left with just ‘Juan lone ‘Yank left to attempt soldiering onto the finish, as No. 81 ridden by Ned “Doctor” Suesse of Colorado hopes to complete his Debutant Dakar rally on a Privateer KTM…

And previously on Day-2, another Motorcycle rider sustained an insect (bug) bite just above his eye. Yet he contested the entire Stage with a swollen eye - musing how he’d really needed both eyes to finish the ride...

With the previous day’s Stage cancelled, the competitors were itchin’ to get back to business, as Nasser Al Attiyah laid down a ‘Humdinger of a Stage en route to victory, with his ‘Domesteek ‘N Wingman covering his Six... As Robby Gordon gave Team Hummer an unprecedented 1-2 Stage sweep...

‘DomestTeek’s R U.S.?
Yet Gordon’s bravado seemed to be slipping a ‘Wee Bit? As I heard Somme-wheres perhaps it was the altitude making Gordon speak unflatteringly towards the Qatari? As Robby seemed quite peeved ‘Dat Nasser had been making so many mistakes whilst pushing to make up lost time, claiming how he’d had a talking-to; Err, chat with Nasser and explained how he wouldn’t tolerate anymore mistakes... Hmm? Must be a hard pill for Robby to swallow - having a teammate faster then him, eh?

Although in Gordon’s defense - he is clearly in better position Overall vs. Al Attiyah, and thus his not stopping for Nasser on Day-9 seemed warranted as the Californian lopped off some seven-minutes time on BMW-Mini rival Peterhansel, the leader of the Rally, now only some six-plus minutes ahead.

And Nasser Al Attiyah who’s en route to Citroen for the upcoming World Rally Championship noted his ambitions to do the Dakar with the French company in the future, so he seems like a man on the way out as there seems to be steadily growing friction between him and Gordon...


So, who’ll win this year’s Dakar? Better tune-in to Peacock-lite to find out - provided they can actually show the remaining Day’s coverage at the specified Air-times! I mean its bad enough that it AIN’T on ‘til 10:30PM/1:30AM PACIFIC/NY/Indy/ET; BUTT!

I knew I was in trouble Tuesday night when the BLEEPIN’ Hockey game went into Shoot-out mode... As, yep; they delayed the broadcast by 30-minutes... Hmm? Why am I startin’ to feel like its Dazes of Duh Douche - that fine ‘Seester channel of ESPN’s that’s treated like the Red-haired Step-child of the Dizney Shoppin’ Networks;

Oh Never Mind! 

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