How To Survive The Offseason
For the past week, we’ve all basked in the glow of the exciting season-ending race at Fontana that not only settled a dramatic championship battle, but also saw Ed Carpenter score his second win in less than a year. The race and the subsequent championship won by Ryan Hunter-Reay had everyone buzzing for the past week. But now that that glow is beginning to subside, it’s now dawning on me that the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season has ended. Uh-oh. Now, what are we going to do?
Yesterday, I went to what may have been the most exciting NFL game I’ve ever witnessed in person. The Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans played in a crazy game that saw trick plays, big plays, improbable plays and controversial plays – on both sides. Ultimately, the Titans prevailed 44-41 or else I would have been using terms like gut-wrenching.
But you know what? As exciting and exhilarating as that game was; for me – it doesn’t match the drama that IndyCar racing provides. I’m a big college and pro football fan, but football doesn’t hold my focus like racing does. The best way to describe it is that during football season, my mind will always wander to racing. During racing season, and the month of May in particular – football never enters my mind.
I started attending the Indianapolis 500 at age six, I was twelve when I attended my first NFL game (Jets-Patriots) and fifteen when I went to my first college game (Tennessee-Ole Miss). Maybe going to a race at such a young age is the reason I’m partial to IndyCar over football.
Whatever the case, it’s going to be a long, cold offseason before the drop of the green flag next spring. It might help once we know the full schedule. The most recent date I’ve heard is October 1 for the new schedule to be announced. Knowing when the first race will be will ease the pain of the offseason. Still, we are looking at around six months of no racing. I’ve been an advocate of ending the season around Labor Day weekend, in order to not compete with the NFL. I still believe that is the best course for the series to take, but it does make for a long offseason. Hopefully in the next few years, the series can find a way to start the season earlier than the last week in March.
Many of us have old recordings of races we can turn to, in order to get our racing fix. I’ve still got this year’s Indianapolis 500 and the season finale on my DVR. Both of those should provide a little entertainment on a snowy weekend. I’ve also got plenty of racing books and my collection of of Indianapolis 500 programs to occupy my attention for a little bit. Others, especially those in Indiana will immerse themselves into following various college basketball programs through March Madness. By then, the season will be starting anyway. Others will just have to count down the days to the start of the season as they begin their spring thaw.
For us bloggers, the offseason is a double-edged sword. Sometimes it’s tough to find things to write about in November and December. The flip-side to that is that I can take more liberty during the offseason and write about whatever is on my mind – even if it is only very loosely related to racing. Readers don’t care for such posts during the season, but put up with rambling rants more in the offseason.
Although I usually take off a few days around Thanksgiving and even up to two weeks off around Christmas – I purposely don’t take off too many days from here. I’m afraid if I took a month or two away, I’d get completely out of the writing groove and what few readers I have would forget to stop by here – so expect me to be here throughout all of the offseason.
Last year’s offseason was interesting to say the least. It began with the death of Dan Wheldon and all of the controversy surrounding the Las Vegas race. Then there was the excitement and anticipation of new engines and chassis. Then there was the engines shortage situation that saw one team left out in the cold for the season and very few available rides for the month of May.
Except for what promises to be a very active silly season, there is not as much offseason anticipation this offseason compared to last. Still, with the certain exit of Lotus and driver movement – there shouldn’t be a lack of things to discuss as the temperature outside begins to drop.
So, let’s stay warm and keep some buzz going throughout this offseason. Next spring will be here before you know it.
Please note – One item that will not help make the offseason seems any shorter, is the random appearance of One Take Only – the video blog of Oilpressure.com. It is uncut, unscripted and unrehearsed – just two old blokes blathering on about racing. Another edition hits the blogosphere here tomorrow as John McLallen and I sit and discuss the championship among other racing topics. Please come back here Tuesday and join us.