Mashups are all the rage in music right now, or so I’m told. Artists like Girl Talk have taught us that all you have to do to become an instant musical millionaire is take two disparate styles of music, speed them up/slow them down, and play them at the same time. Bam! Mashup!
(The eternal struggle between Coyote and Roadrunner goes on)
This formula for instant success and street cred can be extrapolated to other areas of life as well. Sausage + flour + milk = bam! Delicious gravy mashup! Socks + shoes = bam! Comfortable feet mashup! And, of course, the old favorite: NASCAR car running at 190 miles per hour + coyote on track = bam! Motorized meat grinder mashup! Yes, that actually happened, and we’ve got proof. No word on whether either party found fame and fortune.
(*WARNING*: Graphic photos after the jump - not for the faint of heart.)
Not to be too much of a sentimentalist here, but the commercialization of sports sucks. We’ve got no problem with the astronomical salaries or ubiquitous advertisements - those are nothing new- but it seems like nothing can be done in sports anymore without first gauging the impact on corporate sponsors and TV networks. Nothing’s done just because it’s the right thing to do; things are done because there’s more money to be made.
(The future of NASCAR, unless we speak out)
We’ve uncovered some disturbing details that indicate NASCAR has fundamentally changed the outcome of their races to please a new corporate sponsor - the AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons. As the group representing the most vocal and annoying group of Americans (old people), the AARP has tremendous clout as a lobbying organization. And NASCAR caved to their demands. Evidence after
Matlock the jump.
This is just getting silly. Last we heard from suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield, he was contesting his positive drug test with a two-pronged attack of sheer genius: on one flank he claimed NASCAR illegally tested his ‘B’ urine sample, and on the other his fraudulent doctor friend claimed that his testing positive for meth (NOT EVEN ONCE) was the result of a magical heretofore unheard-of interaction between Adderall and allergy medicine Claritin-D.
Needless to say, it hasn’t worked so far. His fake doctor was revealed earlier this month as a fraud, and now NASCAR has rather bluntly refuted his first claim as well by revealing his ‘A’ sample was all methed-up as well. Don’t worry, though - quick thinkin’ Jeremy hasn’t run out of excuses yet.
Rick Hendrick is one of the most powerful men in NASCAR. As the owner of Hendricks Motorsports, his team has won eight Sprint Cup titles and currently includes Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as some of the team’s drivers. Hendrick is also very close friends with former North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, and the friendship between the two could put both of them in some hot water.
(Rick Hendrick (left) with former governor Mike Easley)
It seems that while Easley was in office he did a few favors for Hendrick while Hendrick did a few favors for Easley as well. Easley gave Hendrick some tax breaks on his race team and car dealerships, and then Hendrick would give Easley’s wife a $30,000 car to ride around in for free, or trips to one of Hendrick’s homes on his personal jet.
The hallmark of a really, really bad economy is seeing all the things we thought were recession-proof start to suffer. Professional sports as a whole has been a notable casualty. But seeing NASCAR, which makes more money than God and has unrivaled devotion among its fans, stumble in ticket sales, is a real kick in the teeth.
Next week’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway still hasn’t sold out, and if you’re not a NASCAR fan, you might not realize how big that is. Bristol has sold out the last 53 races, a streak dating back 27 years, the longest of any track. And hell, if you can’t get 160,000 people to trek to the Tennessee-Virginia border in March, you might as well just close up shop.
When I was 15, my driving experience consisting of my dad taking me in empty parking lots and wide-open dirt roads and gripping the arm rest as I attempted to keep the car in one piece. Going straight was a bonus for me back then - not hitting the gas when I meant to hit the brakes was a good day out for me.
Needless to say, I was not ready to drive in NASCAR at 15. Not that I am now - even if my two speeding tickets over Christmas might say otherwise. But then again, I’m not Darrell Wallace Jr. The BIRMINGHAM NEWS reports that Joe Gibbs Racing has signed the teenage driver to its driver development program. As you can see from the picture above it should be obvious, but I’ll spell it out anyway - Wallace Jr. is not related to former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace.
Bless Jay Busbee of FROM THE MARBLES for reminding us that a “reality” series called “NASCAR Wives” will hit the airwaves on TLC on January 24th. (Remember when TLC meant “The Learning Channel” and not “We’ll Do Anything for Quick Cash”? Heck, the most recent name doesn’t even match the acronym. It’s like they’re not even trying.)
(If you can’t even get Jeff Gordon’s wife, what’s the point?)
Participants will include Kevin Harvick’s wife, Jeremy Mayfield’s wife, Mike Skinner’s wife, and Junior’s sister (who might be a wife but, c’mon, that’s a pretty tenuous connection and ruins the entire dramatic tension for us). As Busbee points out, this is totally controlled by NASCAR, so girls will not be going wild. We expect as much action as “Bonds on Bonds”. In fact, what’s Pedro Gomez doing these days?
New proof that the self-entitled daughters of wealthy sports owners shouldn’t be allowed in public with out official escorts: NASCAR owner Bruton Smith’s daughter, Anna Lisa (sounds about right for a NASCAR daughter, doesn’t it), has been charged with driving while impaired and driving with a revoked license, according to the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The charges stem from this horrific accident that occurred last week.
Of course, the immediate question is, “why was the daughter of an opulent NASCAR owner driving drunk in the first place?” Clearly, her father could have paid to have her chauffeured anywhere she wanted. Hell, he could have paid a NASCAR driver to take her anywhere she wanted. After all, this is a man who owns about half the tracks that NASCAR uses. If he gets pissed off and doesn’t want them to use his tracks, guess what? NASCAR isn’t racing.
If you needed more proof that the recession is cutting deep into sports sponsorship, here’s your sign: GM, the struggling car maker that needs any good media it can get, appears likely to end a decades long sponsorship of NASCAR’s greatest race, the Daytona 500. Yup, a car maker may stop sponsoring a car race. Pretty dismal.
(That’s not Jimmie Johnson en fuego … it’s GM rushing from Daytona.)
According to the DETROIT NEWS, the carmaker that has been the official car and truck provider of Daytona Speedway since the early 1970s is in talks about a new sponsorship deal to replace the current agreement that ends Dec. 31st. Yet there isn’t significant optimism about signing a new deal because of cash-strapped GM’s need to adhere to strict regulations in order to qualify for the federal funding they’ve been lobbying for over the past month as part of a financial bailout.
“We don’t comment about our business discussions,” GM spokeswoman Jan Thomas said.
If you thought that sounded ominous, listen to the quote from Daytona speedway spokesman Andrew Booth: “I know we’ve had some talks with them but right now, we are continuing to explore opportunities,” he said. “We don’t comment on our prospects.”
If you thought America was getting used to looking at Danica Patrick, well, you’re wrong. It turns out that not only does the good ol’ U.S.A. find searching for Danica a completely insatiable appetite, it’s also just as captivated with the most popular league in the sport she calls her own.
(Hey, what’s with the suit? Does she drive cars or something?)
At least those are the findings from AOL’s annual report of year-end hot searches for 2008. In fact, the report claims that Danica-mania made Ms. Patrick the most searched athlete in the world. In the meantime, NASCAR beat out another surprising contender, WWE, and the Olympics to be the most searched sports of all. That’s right, rubbin’ n’ racin’ was officially more popular online than a truly historic Olympics.