Where Is Everybody?
We are not even six weeks into the off-season of the IZOD IndyCar Series and it feels like everyone has gone into hibernation for the winter. Many bloggers have gone on hiatus, but it’s not just bloggers that are missing in action. It seems that the mainstream news outlets are on vacation as well. The thing is, it has been a pretty busy offseason thus far, but things are decidedly quiet amongst fans, bloggers and media. To make things worse, last week we found out at the last minute that Trackside with Cavin & Kevin would not have a show last Thursday.
What’s going on? Last year at this time, there was very little drop-off in the “buzz” going around in the IndyCar world, once the season ended. Granted, it was about this time last year that IZOD was officially named as the series sponsor. We had also gotten word of a radical new chassis being designed by Ben Bowlby with the backing of Chip Ganassi. Speculation ran rampant about what it might look like. That drove the off-season for quite a while.
It’s not like nothing is going on right now. There are several key free-agent drivers in play. Silly season topics are always fun to speculate on, while trying to imagine who might be the best fit for which team. Tony Kanaan and his search for a new ride should still be driving some conversation throughout the IndyCar online community, but it has quickly gone quiet. Keep in mind that things are not yet set at Team Penske as they have yet to confirm whether or not they will continue to run three cars, and if Ryan Briscoe will still be in that third seat.
There is now some buzz about the possibility of GM coming back into the series in some capacity; but on Monday for every person that was excited about the potential for the automaker’s return, there were just as many people saying it was strictly a rumor. It was almost as if they were saying “Please be quiet with all of this GM talk. You’re disturbing our November slumber”. It was the same with the Fiat rumors, yesterday.
I understand sports are seasonal and everyone from fans to drivers, need to re-charge their batteries for next spring when things are getting into full swing. But I’m not sure I remember when things have gone as silent as they are now. Curt Cavin has gone into semi-seclusion and when Kevin Lee appears on Twitter – it’s regarding the Colts or the Pacers.
As soon as the season ended on October 2, I noticed a sharp decline in the number of visitors to this site. At first I was taking it personally, but then I noticed that other IndyCar bloggers had packed it in totally for the winter. Kudos to Tony Johns at Pop Off Valve. He now works three jobs, but still posts at a mid-season pace. Pressdog is still cranking it out, as is Chris Estrada; but many have gone on extended vacation. I won’t name any specific sites in a negative way, but many that I frequent seem to have turned out the lights. I wonder if some of them will return in the spring.
I don’t fault anyone for taking time off. I will take some time off from here myself, around Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as the odd day here and there. After all, it is the off-season. But I am also not simply talking about bloggers. It just seems that a sudden jolt of apathy has taken hold of the entire IZOD IndyCar community. Practically everyone I follow on twitter is related to motorsports, but Twitter is now more about football and driver’s workouts, than racing. I’m guilty of that myself, as I tend to tweet frequently about the Titans, although not so much the Vols – it’s a dismal year in Knoxville.
Am I wrong? Is it usually this dead in November and I just don’t remember it? I’ve been around long enough that I’m prone to have a senior moment now and then, so my memory may be jaded. But it sure seems like things have gone very dormant lately – especially when there is actually a good bit of news out there.
With the one-hundredth anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 just six months away, there should be lots of anticipation as the new season approaches. There are lots of pieces to fall into place before the green flag drops in St. Petersburg – many won’t fall until the few weeks preceding the start of the season. But there could be and should be a lot of discussion about the series going on. Hopefully, everyone is taking a short break before getting cranked up for 2011.
More ideas for Christmas: For those that are lucky enough to live in or near central Indiana, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be having their annual Retail Warehouse Sale this weekend. There will be bargains galore. Tee shirts and caps will go for $5.00. Polo’s will sell for $20 and you can buy hoodies and sweatshirts for $20-30. That’s about two-thirds off of what you can buy these items for in May. There will also be tons of souvenirs and collectables at bargain prices.
The sale will be this Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 4575 W. 16th Street, across the street from the main entrance of IMS. The entrance to the sale is on the west side of the building. Also, anyone that brings in five non-perishable food items to donate to their food drive will receive $5 off every $50 spent. Make a fellow race fan happy this Christmas and save yourself some money in the process.