May 24, 2008
Just heard this on Fox News, related to the upcoming NASCAR and Indy races this weekend, regarding Del Earnhardt:
He was a legend in life, and he was a martyr in death.
I’m reminded of The Princess Bride: “I do not think that means what you think it means.”
Dale Earnhardt’s death, while tragic, was an accident. He wasn’t martyred. To suggest as such would be nearly as bad as comparing a presidential candidate to another who was assassinated in June– to score cheap points.
This is just one more reason why I’m glad I no longer watch Fox News (or any of the cable news channels) on a regular basis any more.
February 4, 2008
Well, I’m not sure that anyone is interested in this, but I got a request from a reader*, and I thought I’d pass this along. If you’re looking for a copy of the movie Faster dubbed into 6 European languages, you can find it here.
So, for the few people who still read this tiny plot on the interweb, you can now order Faster in German. Good for you!
* More accurately, someone who saw that I wrote about Faster through a google search. But she took the time to write me an email about several of my posts, so given that she took the time, I thought I could give her 5 minutes to post this.
July 10, 2007
Let’s see… The below video shows something that’s childish, stupid, pointless, probably more expensive than it’s worth, highly dangerous, and blatantly illegal.
I just might have found a new hobby.
Adult Soap Box Derby!
I particularly like how they’re the SFV Illegal Soap Box Federation. It’s like a personalized invitation
May 19, 2007
You know, there are a lot of things I don’t like about California. But the fact that I can make a statement like that really makes it pretty bearable.
Anyway, on the way back, I saw a guy wearing a vest that said “Lone Wolf Motorcycle Club”… I was reminded of the scene from Gross Pointe Blank, where Dan Aykroyd’s character is trying to get John Cusack’s character to join his assassination “union”. Cusack explains that he’s not interested in joining a club, what with wearing all black; trying to craft the “lone wolf” persona.
Who came up with this name? Were they thinking?! I could see something like “Wolf Pack”, but not “Lone Wolf”… Lone wolves ride alone; joining a club kinda defeats the purpose.
It’s about as wrong as this blog was in the old days, when I had two other bloggers at “The Unrepentant Individual”. No offense to my former co-bloggers, but that was just a bad idea from the start…
dustbury.com linked with The Hermits' Association will come to order...
November 1, 2006
You may remember my earlier disgust with the penultimate round of MotoGP racing. Hayden, leading the championship but quickly getting caught by Rossi, was knocked out of the race by his moronic rookie teammate, giving Rossi a big lead in the championship.
So I figured it was over. With one race left to go (this past Sunday), and me in California at the time, I didn’t even bother to watch it. Well, that was a mistake. Rossi crashed out 5 laps into the race, was able to get back on the bike and make up some ground, but get nowhere near close enough to retain his lead. Hayden finished in 3rd place, enough to secure his first World Championship.
Congrats Nicky, and I hereby apologize for not watching!
October 15, 2006
So, for anyone who watched that MotoGP race, based on my suggestion, I apologize. What was expected to be a hard-fought, desperate battle by Nicky Hayden to retain his lead in the championship all came crashing down, when his own teammate tried to pass heading into a corner and crashed Hayden out of the race. And this was a mere 4 laps in or so.
I got online, checked to make sure Rossi hadn’t also crashed, saw that Rossi finished 2nd, and handed the remote control to my wife, for the daily smattering of MTV and the Food Network. I returned to debating Purdue football on internet message boards. All the remaining drama is now gone from the season.
It was just so anti-climactic. Hayden had already passed his teammate, Dani Pedrosa, about a lap earlier. That pass was pretty close, but given how much Hayden had riding on this race, not too surprising. But then Pedrosa, who I’ll now mention for the third time was his teammate, tried desperately to re-pass Hayden. He crashed his own bike, and his sliding bike took Hayden’s down with it. Pedrosa was all but a mathematic impossibility to win the championship, and apparently has never heard of “team orders”. When you can’t win and your teammate has a shot, you either stay out of his way, or you find a way to help him. Crashing him out of the race is not an option. Even a rookie like Pedrosa should know this. What a bone-head move, Dani.
So that puts Valentino Rossi 8 points into the championship lead, over Hayden. The only chance left for Hayden is if Rossi were to crash out of a race, or have another mechanical failure. Knowing Rossi, he’s going to play it safe, get the points he needs, and claim his 6th consecutive title in the premier class.
UPDATE: I originally wrote that Rossi had an 18-point lead. My math failed me, it is only 8. I have since changed this on the original post.
The Unrepentant Individual linked with Wait… Hayden Actually Won?!
Hey, for those few of you who are reading between now and then, the penultimate round of MotoGP racing will be shown on SpeedTV at 12:30 EST today. I’ve hyped it quite a bit this year, as Nicky Hayden is 12 points ahead of Valentino Rossi, the multi-year champion of the sport who may hold the title “Best Ever”.
12 points over two races. If Rossi wins both races, and Hayden finishes below 2nd place in either won, Rossi takes the championship. It all comes down to this. Even if you’re an NFL fan, this race will only last until 1:30 EST, so at most you’ll miss a half-hour of NFL action.
September 24, 2006
Well, it was raining today, so I couldn’t do any yardwork (oh, darn!)… So I managed to watch the MotoGP round in Japan. The race itself wasn’t very exciting. Capirossi ran away at the front, Rossi gave chase but never got close enough to challenge, and the top 8 mostly stayed in place the whole race. There was so little excitement that I thought I was watching Formula 1!!!
But while the race wasn’t hot, the championship standing is getting there. Nicky Hayden finished down in 5th, allowing Valentino Rossi to come within 12 points with a mere 2 races remaining. Hayden hasn’t been the most electrifying rider this year, but he hasn’t fallen off or had mechanical issues. He’s certainly been a bit underwhelming here at the end of the season, and it will only take two finishes behind Rossi for him to lose the championship.
Hayden understands this, and I’m thinking he’s getting to the point where he’s desperate. He could start pushing too hard and cause some fireworks over the next few races. They’re off until Oct 14th, so he’ll have some time to contemplate it…
September 12, 2006
I couldn’t watch the race this weekend, since I was in Vegas. Between swimming in the pool, fishing, and watching football, it just didn’t work out. But I managed to catch the last 8-9 laps today when I was home for lunch, and WOW! was that a good race!
I caught up with it watching Loris Capirossi closely following Valentino Rossi at the front. Dani Pedrosa in 3rd and Nicky Hayden in 4th were close enough that they were in some of the video frames, but far enough back to be a non-factor. Capirossi was clearly able to keep up with Rossi, but not having a lot of luck trying to pass. He eventually, with about 6 laps to go, found some spots where he could pass Rossi on the brakes. Unfortunately for him, each of those passes he found himself running wide, with Rossi retaking first place. They jockeyed back and forth for a while (something you won’t see in Formula 1), and Rossi retook the lead. For the next couple laps, you can clearly see that Rossi is better through the tight sections of the track, and in the straighter sections, Capirossi stronger on the horsepower of the Ducati. With just over a lap to go, Capirossi took the lead. Rossi left a corner out, leaving him about 12 bike lengths behind Capirossi at the start-finish line. He fought valiantly to catch Capirossi, and on the last few corners, passed him for the lead.
Capirossi had a great race, and yet Rossi showed why he’s won so many world championships. Rossi just has that extra level in him. They put on a great race, passing each other with mere inches to spare at times. They showed why they’re both world-class racers, and how there can be a certain measure of trust when you’re on a 300-lb motorcycle a foot away from another racer traveling 150 mph. A great race, one of the more exciting I’ve seen this year, and while it didn’t have much in the way of championship implications, it certainly thrilled.
As for the championship, Hayden’s lead has dropped to 22 points over Pedrosa, and 26 points over Rossi. With 4 races to go, it’s tightening up, and a few 1st place finishes by Rossi can put an end to Hayden’s championship if he can’t finish right behind Rossi. And a mechanical issue or a crash now pretty much means Hayden is done for. This year isn’t over, and even Rossi can pull out another championship if the breaks fall right. We got another race coming up this Sunday, the Australian GP at 4:00 Eastern on Speed TV. I’ll guarantee some fireworks, so give it your attention if you dare get yourself hooked on this sport…
August 22, 2006
11 points. Hayden, with a truly underacheiving 9th place finish, gave back 11 points of his championship lead to Dani Pedrosa on Sunday at the Brno race. He was lucky it was only that much. Had Dani won the race, rather than finishing 3rd, he would have taken back an additional 9 points.
At this point, with 5 races left, we have the following totals:
1. Hayden — 201 pts
2. Pedrosa — 176 pts
3. Rossi — 163 pts
4. Melandri — 161 pts
Below that is Capirossi with 151, but he’s effectively far enough back to be out of the title hunt. He does deserve an honorable mention, though, as he absolutely crushed the field in the race Sunday, winning by an absurd margin. The Bridgestone-shod Ducati was working brilliantly, and Capirossi jumped out to an early lead, which he quickly extended to break away from the field. In fact, it was a poor showing for his TV time, as he was so far out in front that the cameras were trained on the people actually racing.
And boy, the race for second was pretty exciting. Pedrosa and Rossi were in an absoluted dogfight, racing mere inches from each other. Considering how hard Pedrosa was riding, I was shocked he finished the race upright, rather than in a cloud of gravel dust. There were several times I was worried he would crash himself and Rossi out of the race together. A few laps from the finish, Rossi was finally able to rid himself of Pedrosa, and cruised to a 2nd-place finish. Pedrosa being a rookie in the premier class, though, I can only think we’re seeing some flashes of things to come.
So where does that leave the championship? Hayden can still win, but he can’t have any more 9th-place finishes. While he’s a great rider, both Rossi and Pedrosa appear to be capable of riding at a higher level. His consistency has put him at the top of the standings, but if he opens the door, those two will happily ride right through it. I expect this championship to tighten over the next few weeks, and we’re in for a very exciting finish.
July 25, 2006
11 races completed. 6 to go.
Nicky Hayden sits 34 points ahead of his nearest competitor (and teammate), Dani Pedrosa. Marco Melandri 10 points further back.
If Nicky rides consistently from here on out, he’s got this championship locked up. Pedrosa and Melandri are a season away from the level of riding to consistently beat Nicky to the point they can take the championship from him. Of course, since each race is worth a maximum of 25 points, Nicky crashing or having a mechanical failure can make it very close. But if Nicky rides well— and doesn’t have any horrible luck— he’s got enough of a lead to finish it out.
As for Laguna? Nicky, as expected, finished at the top of the box. He’s a fast rider on the premier Honda team, and he’s got more seat time at Laguna than probably anyone else in MotoGP. 2nd place fell to Dani Pedrosa, which is truly amazing, considering this may have been the first time he has ever seen Laguna. He’s going to be a serious force next season. 3rd place went to Marco Melandri, so our top three championship riders finished 1-2-3 this weekend.
As for Valentino Rossi? His streak of bad luck continued. Due to a mechanical failure, he didn’t finish the race, scoring 0 points. He’s now 51 points behind Hayden, in 4th place.
Below is the last few laps, where you see Rossi having problems, and Nicky’s win.
July 5, 2006
One more round before they come back to the US. I said Hayden needed to put in consistent performances to stay in a commanding points lead. I don’t think he can win the championship without a decent lead, and he responded by putting in a fairly mediocre 7th-place finish at Donington on Sunday.
It was a wild race though. Not for the win, mind you, because once Dani Pedrosa got out in front, he was long gone. But second place was a very hard-fought battle. It started as a three-man race, between Marco Melandri, Kenny Roberts, and Casey Stoner. But in the middle, the injured Valentino Rossi joined the group. As yet another testament to exactly how incredible Rossi is, he started back in about 11th place, and was nowhere near the battle for the podium. But as he’s known to do, he always just has another gear, and managed to catch up. Astounding.
He and Melandri broke from Roberts & Stoner with about 3-4 laps to go, and the battle for second was between the two of them. And as they approached the last lap:
Experience wins out. Pedrosa wins, Rossi takes second, and Melandri rounds out the podium.
So that leaves us with Hayden out front with a 26-point championship lead over Pedrosa. He lost 16 points out of his previous advantage. In two weeks, they head to Germany, and if Hayden is going to prove his worth, another 7th-place finish just won’t cut it.
June 26, 2006
Last week, I brought you video of the opening crash at the Mugello GP. As I mentioned, it blew open the whole championship, with a looming battle between Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
I mentioned that if anyone could catch Nicky, it’s Valentino. And that Nicky would have to prove he can win a race to prove to the world he’s worthy of the title. Unfortunately, this week was a bit anticlimactic. Valentino Rossi had a high-speed crash in practice, fracturing his right wrist, left ankle, and bruising himself up pretty bad. As a testament to just how tough these guys are, Rossi raced on Saturday, just two days after his injuries. But since your right hand controls the front brake, and your left foot controls the gear shifter, he was not riding 100%. Again, as a testament to his talent, he was able to turn an 18th-place grid position into a valiant 9th-place finish. But he’s found himself a lot farther away from winning this thing.
That’s not to say it wasn’t a heck of a race, though. Colin Edwards had been showing speed all weekend, and managed to jump out to an early lead. Nicky Hayden worked his way into second place, but had a couple of second deficit to make up. He managed to do so, and took the lead from Edwards on the second-to-last lap.
Edwards didn’t give up, though, and managed to catch back up with Nicky by the final section of the final lap. A battle was in the making. Below is what transpired, Nicky riding the black #69 Honda, and Edwards riding the yellow #5 Yamaha:
In the immortal words of Homer Simpson… D’OH!!!
So Nicky brings one home. He’s now got a 42-point championship lead on his nearest competitor (Dani Pedrosa), and 2nd through 5th place all within 4 points of each other.
It’s going to be a tough time for the rest of the season. Nicky has enough insulation now that he can win with consistent strong performances. One crash, one mechanical problem, though, and he’ll be back in the thick of it. I don’t know if I believe that Nicky can keep this up, so it’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks. Where he stands after the July race at Laguna Seca in California will tell the tale, and we’ll see how he handles the top spot in the two races between now and then.
June 21, 2006
…or you might end up like Ben Roethlisberger!
June 19, 2006
Heading into the opening corner of the Catalunya Grand Prix, Sete Gibernau collided with teammate Loris Capirossi. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. But Gibernau’s front brake lever got caught up in the process, and below is the result.
About 5 or 6 riders crashed out. Including Loris Capirossi (tied in points with Nicky Hayden for the championship lead), Marco Melandri (3rd in Championship) and Dani Pedrosa (4th in Championship). The race was stopped and had to be re-started. Capirossi and Melandri went to the hospital, and information is still sketchy on when they’ll return. Pedrosa did continue, but was on his back-up bike, and ended up crashing out of the race later. Rossi won, with Hayden taking second place.
So now the championship has been blown open. Hayden— without having won a single race— now has a 20-point lead on Capirossi, although it’s unclear whether Capirossi will return quickly from his injuries to be a factor. Rossi has moved up into 3rd place, 29 points behind Hayden, and put in a dominant performance. He’s starting to look like the Rossi of old times again.
Mathematically, Rossi would overtake Hayden in points if he finishes first to Hayden’s second in 5 races. With 10 races remaining in the year, Rossi certainly can do it. But the championship rests in Nicky Hayden’s hands. If he starts winning, he’s got a large enough point lead to withstand a few 2nd or 3rd place finishes. But if he can’t find his way to the top of the podium (his only career MotoGP win being Laguna Seca last year), he’ll be caught by The Doctor.
You want to know how excited I am for the Laguna Seca race on July 23 this year? You want to start feeling the goosebumps?
Well, check out this trailer, for a documentary that’s going to be released about last year’s race at Laguna. The Doctor, The Tornado, and The Kentucky Kid. (Hopefully they’ll change the title).
(Yes, they did say “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Maximum Speed”…)
UPDATE: I replaced the photo of the Catalunya crash with video I was able to find…
The Unrepentant Individual linked with MotoGP Update
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