I tried really hard to watch the Daytona 500. You see, there was once a time in my life I loved NASCAR. I followed it, and even spent three seasons working for a major sponsor in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series (we even won the championship that year, but I digress). Sure, at times it was a lot of fun traveling from track to track, but let’s be honest… do you really want to spend a July weekend in Daytona, FL, or a spring weekend in Martinsville, VA? The answer of course, is no. Thanks to NASCAR, I got to visit a few NHL arenas during my travels (and on the company dime, even) so that was cool, but overall, I don’t particularly miss the race schedule and seeing the sun rise over a racetrack every weekend.
This was the first time I made a conscious effort to watch the “Great American Race” since 2008, the last time I attended it. I realized quickly that the NASCAR play by play guys are even more annoying than Tripp Tracey at times. I think I’d rather hear about Tripp and apparent man crush on Henry Staal, or how Justin Williams likes to text him random information.
Because somehow I have to tie the race to the Hurricanes organization, during my “NASCAR nap” I drifted in and out of sleep and kept hearing the name Trevor Bayne. Each time I thought I heard Jamie McBain… clearly, I’m delusional and need help, but I guess that’s not as bad of a listening error as my friend who heard on tv, “Throw a porkchop on the grill” and thought they said, “Throw a Boychuck on the grill”… sorry, Zach… you will forever be Porkchop for that!
I’m also glad to see that the on-ice play has not been inundated with sponsorship stuff. Sure, we see the same gimmicks between periods each and every game, the never-ending debate between the Olympia and Zamboni ice-resurfacing contraptions. And of course, there is plenty of advertising in the arenas and even small patches on the jerseys and helmets of our players, but I’m not forced to hear Darrell Waltrip plug his own personal sponsors with every breath as only a Waltrip brother can do. While it’s fine that the drivers do this during interviews drinking their Coke and wearing an Old Spice Towel draped around their neck, shouldn’t the TV announcers be required to at least pretend to be neutral and not interrupt each other just so they can throw in some jingle or whatever?
Anyway. Back to Hockey. Clearly, I understand the importance of sponsorships in sports. All too well, really, I understand that ticket sales alone don’t make a team break even, so I’m grateful of the sponsors who supply us with awesome items such as coffee mugs from the team dentist (there is such irony in a hockey team dentist, right?) and sponsors who’s financial contributions to the teams defray the cost of my season tickets. But if our players ever become skating billboards like the European leagues uniforms are, so help us all!
But really, Hockey is so much better than NASCAR. It might not be quite as deathdefying, but I’d much rather watch a shoot out on the ice than the kind the NASCAR teams had last weekend in Daytona.
So that I can keep this with actual Checkers content, I love listening to this game and hearing our team is up 3-0 over Hershey. I’m even more excited that Murphy got the start, only his third back-to-back start of the season. He deserves it after the way he played in Glen Falls last night! Hopefully, this starting streak continues through Thursday night when our team is back at home!