Last weekend I had the opportunity to watch the 2012 United States Grand Prix in person. It was really an amazing experience and the track and facilities are awesome. I took a lot of photos and videos and some of them turned out well, others didn't because as you now know, any time you go to a major sporting event, everyone is going to have their cameras out and they often get in your way.
Regardless here is a quick video I put together with clips from the start of the race, the first lap flyby as well as some other shots of cars going through the main straightaway. I hope you enjoy and hopefully I'll be posting more often.
That being said it really is something you have to experience first hand. No amount of pictures or videos can truly convey hearing the sound of Formula 1 cars rush by you at 180 mph.
Nothing in sports is more frustrating than spending an entire season following your favorite team and then watching them lose a championship game. It's even worse when you have to watch them lose with a bunch of people who rabidly support the other team for no real reason.
It really sucks to have someone celebrating in your face who you know doesn't follow a team and especially when their sudden, rabid, single game devotion is based on the following set of statements:
"I have / had family member(s) who lived in their city"
"I hate the other team"
"I hate a star player on the other team"
"I'm rooting for the underdog"
"I like a star player on the other team"
"I've got money on the game"
I have / had family member(s) who lived in their city / geographic area or went to that college
Allow me to explain how ridiculous this is by creating a list of every additional sports team I would have to support (aka buy a jersey):
Major League Soccer:
At an average of $60 / jersey, being a one day rabid fan would set me back: $960
Sure you might have a parental / familial attachment to a team but that doesn't make you their number one fan. I honestly don't follow many of these teams but if they win, good for them.
I hate the other team
Here is every team I simply cannot stand but that doesn't mean I support anyone who plays them (in this model Oklahoma vs Texas A&M is essentially the team of Brett Favres vs a team of Brett Favres). I'm not going to go crazy if the Yankees lose a game to the Angels and I won't jizz in my pants if ESPN Scorecenter shows the Canadiens lost a regular season game to the Flyers.
Due to who they might play in division, conference and national championships (especially NCAA Basketball) I can't put together a list of every possible team I would have to rabidly support for 2-3 hours but if you are a fan of any of these teams, you're probably used to being hated on so I imagine you have a thick skin:
- Oklahoma University
- Texas A&M
- New York Yankees
- Montreal Canadiens
- New York Giants
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Miami Heat
I hate the star player on the other team
Here is everyone past and present I hate or hated back in the day:
- Lebron James
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Aaron Boone
- Derek Jeter
- Alex Rodriguez
- Sean Avery
- Scott Stevens
- Mark Messier
Just because I don't like Derek Jeter doesn't mean I'll run into the street yelling "In your face!" if he makes an error or pulls a hamstring. Sure I don't want these guys to win (well the active players) but that doesn't mean I'll make a special trip to the store to buy an Orioles or Padres jersey.
I'm rooting for the underdog
This is by far the dumbest reason to root for a team because if they've managed to make the series or Superbowl, they are actually a pretty good team. The media likes to decide underdogs as a way to boost ratings and create story lines but there are very few true "underdogs" in the modern age because talent in professional sports (except the last decade of the NBA east) is generally pretty well distributed. The New York Giants aren't 3-star high school players or XFL rejects, they are legitimate NFL players.
I like a star player on the other team
Eli is so cute, isn't he? I guess this isn't as bad so long as you have a reason for liking a player that's rooted in their on field performance and not their underwear modeling (female Beckham fans).
I was a big fan of Cal Ripken Jr. and Ozzie Smith when I was a kid but have I been to 0 games featuring the Cardinals or Orioles. I like the backstory of Michael Oher and hey, Matt Birk won the Walter Payton award this year but I could care less about the Ravens.
I've got money on the game
Okay, can't fault you on that one. If you have enough balls to make a bet, you shouldn't have to be modest about it but always make a disclaimer to keep it cool.
I went to see UFC at the Frank Erwin Center and I had a great time. I wanted to share a few things I learned with anyone who has yet to see UFC in person and is wondering what the experience is really like.
1. Show up early for the first fight.
You're paying good money to see the fights so why show up for the main card when the undercard is just as exciting? For the Austin event, two fights stood out as the best of the bunch and both were preliminary bouts. Kyle Kingsbury and Jared Hammann had a three round war that won fight of the night and Rich Attonito vs Rafael Natal was great as well. Of course if you showed up at 7, you missed both fights.
The reason you need to show up early is that's the prime time to meet "mma celebrities." Before the first fight I met Herb Dean, Eddie Bravo, and Stitch and was able to talk a little bit with them because at that point nothing is really going on. After the first few bouts you're chances of even a handshake with anyone involved in the fights is zero because they have to do their jobs.
2. Bite the bullet and pay for good seats
I paid $300 for my seats and I was 5 rows back from the action and next to the entry way for all of the fighters. After sitting in that section and being able to see fighters walk in, meet Dana White and see Chael Sonnen pretending to fall asleep during the first minute of Nate Marquardt's fight, I can't see any other way to experience UFC. Its expensive but worth it. Seriously how often is UFC coming to your town? (unless you're in Las Vegas).
3. Hang around the concourses between fights
I met MC Hammer and a number of fighters from the card just hanging out by the concourse.
4. Research the fighters
If you get the chance to meet a fighter, try something other than "Great Fight" or "Oh man what a knockout." A lot of the fighters on the preliminary card (who you'll have the highest chance of meeting) have fought a number of great fighters in their career. For instance the first fight of the night featured Forrest Petz who has beaten Dan Hardy. Imagine seeing him after the fight and saying "Hey man, what was it like to fight Dan Hardy?"
Earlier this afternoon, Team USA and Team Canada played one of the best games in the history of Olympic hockey. It didn't look good for the Americans early on but when Zach Parise tied the game with only seconds remaining in regulation, suddenly the game went from good to epic. Even though America lost, there are some important lessons we can learn.
1. Every sports bar will have a 'that guy' who knows nothing about the sport and only watches because its the championship and the bar has beer specials.
Today was no different than watching the BCS National Championship with people that don't know much about football. Today's 'that guy' was a man in his mid-30s who apparently got bored with the one TV showing Nascar and decided to interject his Madden-esque wisdom onto the sport of hockey yelling such insightful comments like "Skate faster" "Hit that guy" "Shoot the damn puck already" "Come on Fight! Fight! Fight! This is hockey where's the fighting?" "Push the Goalie out of the Way" and so on ... Also I want to note that as soon as Crosby scored he was the first and certainly not the last person to attempt a Canada sucks chant and interjected equally unintelligent insults including my favorite "You guys can have your stupid Hockey game but we have Football and Baseball" (forgetting the Blue Jays world series teams of the early 90s and the Canadian Football League)
Look its cool to cheer and talk about how a team is performing and even if you don't know much about the sport, you can still make educated commentary based on basic facts (example: "There isn't much time left, they really need to push in the offensive zone"). However don't make it so obvious that you don't know what's going on because it really annoys people trying to follow the game.
2. Sidney Crosby has a gold medal, Wayne Gretzky doesn't
For those of you who don't remember, NHL players weren't eligible to play in the Olympics until 1998. That year Gretzky made his olympic debut but failed to medal as Canada lost to Finland in the bronze medal game. Peter Forsberg scored his memorable shootout goal in 1994 and subsequently signed his first NHL contract after having played for Swedish club Modo.
3. Hot Canadian women don't watch sports at bars.
I'm not going to go into detail because I realize that I'm not the world's best looking guy but I just want to make that known. I've actually met some beautiful Canadian girls downtown (note to guys who took French in high school, drunk Canadian girls go crazy when you parlez vous francais).
4. When people chant U-S-A, U-S-A
Its fun to interject "Party in the" because we all need more Miley Cyrus in our lives. Wait did I just say that?
5. I will fly to Russia just to go see team USA in 2014.
Some people have accused me in the past of making jokes in poor taste. Well don't blame me for this one (blame Paul Steigerwald).
A few days ago I wrote a post where I prayed for Hakeem Nicks to win my fantasy matchup for me.
Well Hakeem Nicks finished with 6 points and I lost 70 to 67 ... or so I thought. Two days later, the NFL made an official scoring change that won the game for me. My opponent started Kurt Warner and one of his touchdown passes was ruled a rushing touchdown by the receiver so I ended up winning 67 to 64.
So my theory is that God just got behind with the holiday prayers and then got to my request and thought "Oh man, if I don't grant this young man's wish, their faith in me will never be the same. Time for me to influence the NFL scoring committee."
Thanks God. Oh and for all you suckas praying for world peace or something dumb like that ... keep on praying. Like I said, God likes originality not lame prayers for world peace or an end to hunger or a cure for homosexuality.
Sammy Sosa's apparent plastic surgery binge was posted at Big League Stew, I simply am posting a shorter re-edit.
Exhibit A 1989
Exhibit B 2009