Three Completely Unrelated Sports

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Airwolf FlyoverHey internets, remember me? I’m the webmaster for this site and I was writing on Wednesdays for a while. Well, I have been a bit busy. In my real life I switched jobs and that was stealing most of my free time. I am now a “web development engineer” as opposed to my previous job where I was a “software engineer.” For some of you I basically just said I went from being a “computer guy” to being a “computer guy,” but the truth is I went from being a “MS SQL guy” to an “ASP.NET guy.” Don’t worry, I’m not going to switch from WordPress to a C# software package, I still have to, at least, check out version 2.5 before making rash changes.

Enough of the computer/software talk, on to the sports. Since I’ve finally settled into my new routine, I was able to take in a full weekend (Saturday) of sports.

First event of the weekend was a Rolex Sports Car series race: GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead Miami Speedway (say that 3-times fast). There were 2 classes of car racing at the same time. The Daytona Prototype – The Rolex Series top class of race car – They were built to be safe on the track at Daytona. That’s why they have a limit of 500HP and 5.0 L so that they don’t get too much speed near the concrete walls of Daytona. As for speed they can just about reach 200MPH. And the Grand Touring (GT) – a sports car that is built for distance (touring). These cars are based on production model cars that you or I could buy (ok, maybe not me, because I can’t afford it) from dealers, but with a more powerful engine under the hood. Cars in this class include: Nissan 350Z, Pontiac GTO, Pontiac GXP.R, Ford Mustang, Porsche GT3, Mazda RX-8, Corvette, Ferrari 430, and the Infiniti G35. The grill on the mustang really stands out, makes you wonder how aerodynamic it could possibly be.

Some very tight turns, especially turn 1 off the straightaway, and some hot racing conditions made for some rush hour like stop and go traffic. There were 9 yellow flags. I think the longest period without the pace car on the track was 12 laps. So there was a lot of the time that there was no passing – making for a lot of boring parts of the race. Then again to get 9 cautions there was some spectacular spinouts and pieces of cars embedded in other cars. I will say that watching this on the tape delay showed me how attached I am to having stats fed to me on my laptop. I kept wanting to have the leaderboard up on my screen, instead I put a bowl of nachos on the lap and added to my nerdly figure.

The next sporting event of the weekend was the first game of the MLS season. It featured the teams from last year’s MLS cup game: the New England Revolution and the Houston Dynamo. Since I don’t really follow the MLS in the off season I visited to learn about the personnel changes for the Revolution. There I found a link to a great preview document (pdf) put together by MLS. Of course this didn’t tell me why Twellman wasn’t playing or why Steve Nichol always looks pissed off even before the game even starts, but it was a start. The game was broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel, which was pretty terrible. The second revs goal happened while they were showing replays and it took a while for them to get to the replay of the goal. Also they had an ad popup on the screen that said: “Help the economy and spend your government stimulus check at”

I finished off the night by watching the Red Sox and Dodgers exhibition at the Los Angeles Coliseum. You know the game that had over 100,000 people in attendance (Don and Remy mentioned this fact no less than 4,000 times) and no left fielders. This game is part of what Jerry Remy was calling the “Redsox’s Magical Mystery Tour.” I think he just had too much sake while in Japan.  I think they opened with some kind of Airwolf flyover. It was a fun little showing but it was pretty damn late and I went to bed after the 5th inning.