News and views on motorsports

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Mole And NASCAR

So it seems with coinciding the recent reshuffling at ITV, The Mole is now come to GrandPrix.com. Before going on further about The Mole, I must say that some folks have been quite critical of ITV and its recent changes, particularly in the UK. To the rest of world and here in Malaysia, the quality of the show has hardly changed or diminished.

To those who would like to see James Allen in front of the firing squad, let me assure you there are far worse people than he. Take Steve Slater of Star Sports (Sky Sports) for instance. If you thought James Allen was bad, this man makes the mentally challenged seem like Einstein. Every commentator has their favourites. Both James Allen (allegedly) and Steve Slater (definitely) have a thing for Herr Schumacher the elder. Whilst James is rather controlled about his enthusiasm for Michael, Steve Slater barely conceals it, drowning us with speeches of "Michael Magic." Its disgusting. If Michael were to tell Steve Slater to pull his pants down and bend over, I just bet he'd do it. As usual, both these characters are ably aided by their co-commentators, Martin Brundle and Chris Goodwin, both racing drivers. Thank god for their knowledge and insight.

Was it any different with Murray Walker? Whilst a lot of people have a soft spot for Murray, I always thought he bordered on senile. He too had his favourite which was Nigel Mansell. For him, The Tash could hardly do wrong. Plus they're both British so the biasness was even more apparent. I used to switch over to Eurosport instead. Alright maybe John Watson's a bit dry but at least I didn't have to hear Murray squeal on about the great moaner and drama queen. If it weren't for James Hunt and later Martin Brundle I would have never watched another BBC then ITV broadcast again ever.

So anyway, back to The Mole. Not long with GrandPrix.com, he's already fully immersed in their culture. Which is to say, drivelling on and on about bloody NASCAR. Pretty soon, The Mole will be advocating promoting Formula 1 in some silly Hollywood production about some silly Beetle to gain younger fans. I was 10 when I first watch a Grand Prix on TV. I didn't need some stupid movie to get me hooked on it, although I must say the owner of the said Beetle in that movie is rather delightful.

If GrandPrix.com is so in love with NASCAR, I suggest they focus on NASCAR instead. The commercialism is so rampant, and the sport itself with its constant rule adjustment reeks of World Wrestling Federation. And yet, there are those who would want Formula 1 to follow the same route. All the commercialism and corporatization in the sport to my mind is ruining it. Its rather like if Ferrari were to open up a crass and classless showroom in some casino hotel in Las Vegas. Oh, wait a minute..... they did!!

I know those involved with the sport want to make more and more money through an ever growing fan base. Websites and publications included. But think for a moment. All those new fans will attract a whole load of new sponsors wanting to reach those fans. Good for the teams and Bernie's profit margins. Great for folks like GrandPrix.com who will get more readership. But with ever increasing sponsorship means teams will spend more. How do you think the spending war began? And then we get all sorts like two weekend engines, 4 weekend gearboxes and dumb ass twin wings all in order to "save costs" which are not only complex and silly but also downright artificial. Just like NASCAR.

I guess I'd like a "purist" sport. Simple or at least stable regulations that promote innovation. I'd like a sport where drivers can be human beings and show some character rather than be some corporate drone with an artificial smile and PR sanitized speeches forced on by their corporate sponsors / paymasters to put on "The Show" and keep the "good name" of the corporation.

Just give us straight forward television coverage. The next generation of fans will discover it somehow because the sport has always been good, even during days of Ferrari, Williams and McLaren domination.

1 comment:

patrick said...

The mole is of course Joe Saward (a friend of mine used to work for ITV-F1 so I'm pretty sure of this) who is the man who set up grandprix.com in the first place.

Always liked his columns though - quite inventive.