Posted on: November 13, 2008 4:04 pm

Kids do the darndest things

So in addition to being the college basketball and auto racing producer here at, I'm also the father of a 4 1/2-year-old boy and 1 1/2-year-old twins -- boy and girl.

Well, last night I leave the eldest at the dining room table coloring a book, with his little brother sitting next to him. I return a few minutes later and can you guess what I find? He's coloring his little brother's face!!!! Thankfully it was just crayons and not markers.

Ahhh, the joys of parenthood

Category: General
Posted on: November 10, 2008 12:24 pm

Funniest Videos trumps end of NASCAR race

Are you kidding me?

I can't remember the exact wording, but just before 7:30 p.m. ET during Sunday's race, the announcers came on saying something along the lines of ABC had to keep its obligations to America's Funniest Home Videos and was moving the race to ESPN2? What the !@?!@!?Really?

What about its obligation to NASCAR and the fans who had invested 3 1/2 hours watching the race? As shocking as it may be, not everybody wants to invest their money in cable or satellite. So those fans got jobbed.

I dare say not even hockey would get treated this way.

There's a good blog I like to read regarding NASCAR TV coverage called the Daly Planet and he has a couple of good posts if you'd like to read more


Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: November 5, 2008 5:04 pm

Benson won't return to Bill Davis Racing in '09

Truck series points leader Johnny Benson was on “Tradin’ Paint” on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio and broke the news that he would not be back at Bill Davis Racing next season.

"About three or four weeks ago I had a conversation with Bill [Davis] and, of course, the people up at Bill Davis [Racing] and I’m opting to try and do something different. 

"I threw around the idea of maybe retiring at the end of the season but when I had said that a bunch of opportunities come up.  It was like, you know what, am I going to retire?  Am I going to try to do a part time deal, go have some fun and spend time with the family and go do just some off races and things of this nature? 

"The truck series is such a great series but you can go run 10 Cup races and make more money than to run the whole season.  But I don’t necessarily know if I want to do that either.

"Now it seems kind of odd to do that, to be in a situation to run for a championship and then want to leave but there’s a couple of other little issues and things of this nature. But the thing I like about this business, whether we win this championship or not, when I came over to Bill’s they were about 25th in points, 25th to 28th or something like that. We were able to build a team and move it up to a championship contender scenario. I like doing those things. But I want to win a championship. I want to finish that off."

What really struck me was that he could make more in 10 Cup races then a full season in the Truck Series. But it's true and really no contest.

Benson has made 23 starts in the Truck Series this season. He has won five time and snagged 17 top 10s. Total winnings: $729,910

Compare that to Dario Franchitti, who flamed out after making 10 starts in the Cup series. His average finish was 34th with a best of 22nd. Total winnings: $1,008,351

I had never really given it much thought before. Personally, I think it's kind of sad that an also-ran Cup driver -- and that's being kind -- can make that much more than a possible Truck champion.

And it's not a whole lot better in the Nationwide Series. Think about this for a second. Kyle Busch has made 28 starts and won a whopping 10 times. Yet he still has made just $282,000 more than Franchitti did in 10 horrible, horrible Cup starts.

C'mon, you're telling me 10 wins in the Nationwide Series alone isn't worth 10 Cup finishes of 34th?

You know, I always assumed it was better to be in a competitive car or truck in the Nationwide or Truck Series than a backmarker in the Cup Series. But clearly that's not the case, if you want to make any money. Now it makes sense that so many drivers take Cup rides with teams they know full well have no chance at success.

But what do you think:

Would you rather stink up the joint in the Cup Series while collecting a nice check or drive a car that you know is competitive and that can win week in/week out in one of the lower tier series?

Posted on: October 31, 2008 2:54 pm

College basketball conference primers

So you may or may not have noticed (and may or may not care) that I haven't blogged in a couple weeks.

That's because I've been diligently preparing conference primers for your perusal. Not a simple task considering there are 31 conferences (excluding independents). Gary Parrish will be providing commentary/predictions on the big six conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC) over the coming days, but you can find the remainder of the conferences and all our college basketball season preview material at the following link:

We've also had several community members give their conference predictions and we've included links to some of those blogs as well. If you've written about a conference that we haven't posted a blog for -- surely we have some WAC fans out there -- just send a reply my way with a link to your blog and we'll see what we can do about hooking your blog up.

Less than two weeks to the first tip of the season. Enjoy.

Posted on: October 15, 2008 4:35 pm

Of nicknames and logos ....

OK, so I'm doing my due diligence and checking the site to see whether we have updated logos for all the D-I teams in preparation for the upcoming college basketball season and I come across the interesting tail, er, tale of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

Well, at least interesting to me. I have a bit of a fascination with team logos, especially those that fall outside the norm. Bears, Tigers and Bulldogs and the like are a dime a dozen, but you don't see many Jackrabbits out there.

The minor leagues of baseball and hockey are lush with interesting names and logos. We had an IHL team in Orlando back in the day dubbed the Orlando Solar Bears. Get it? Solar Bears?

I bought a Bradford Fighting Squirrels hat back in the day for the sole reason that I liked their logo (check it out:

That was a while ago, so while it was on my mind, I figured I'd scurry the web to see if the logo had changed at all. And you know what I discovered? The school doesn't even exist anymore!

RIP Fighting Squirrels

Anyhoo, back to the Jackrabbits. Cool nickname. In fact, they may very well be the only Jackrabbits in all of the NCAA. So they get an A+ for nickname originality.

As for the logo, in the one they've replaced seen to the right here, the rabbit had a passing similarity to Bugs Bunny. So in 2005, with the school transitioning to D-I athletics, officials began to toss around the idea of replacing the logo.

Eventually they decided to hire a design firm for $6,000 to create a new logo. The firm began early renderings in Oct. 2006 with plans to unveil a new official design in Feb. 2007.

And that's where the story takes its twist. Come Feb. 2007 there was no logo to unveil. A commitee put together to approve the new logo, did not like the logos the firm was coming up with and eventually became so frustrated it staged a $1,000 contest for someone to come up with the new logo.

And sure enough it was a contest winner that designed the schools new logo. In fact there were two winners, the logo with the actual Jackrabbit image was designed by two brothers from a graphic firm in Denver, while the Jacks logo with the ears and tail was designed by somebody else. So the school actually has two different styles of logos.

If you really want a thorough timeline of the evolution of the Jacks logo, I recommend this story --
  -- while taking in all the various offshoots to The Collegian, which detailed the trials and tribulations. And if you scroll down toward the bottom of the comments section of the aforementioned story, you'll see the logos the design firm had come up with. I can see why the logo committee was frustrated.

I'd definitely rate the new logo an improvement over the old logo, and give it a solid B. Ideally, they would have found a way to combine the typographical Jacks with the Rabbit logo.

New Jackrabbits logo

Posted on: October 14, 2008 10:22 am
Edited on: October 14, 2008 10:23 am

The pink schemes

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Susan G. Komen Foundation -- to learn more or make a donation, visit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website -- three cars sported pink schemes during Saturday night's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway -- Kyle Busch, Bobby Labonte and Elliott Sadler.

I thought Busch's scheme looked sharp (though it came across as more purple than pink) and Labonte's wasn't too bad either. Here are photos of the three cars courtesty Getty Images


Posted on: October 9, 2008 6:00 pm

Ryan Newman's 2009 Army car

Army will serve as the primary sponsor for Ryan Newman's new 39 ride at Stewart-Haas for 22 races next season plus the All-Star race. No word yet on who will sponsor the the car for remainder of the schedule.

Here are a couple pictures courtesy Getty Images.

Ryan Newman's Army car side view 

Ryan Newman's Army car

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: October 8, 2008 11:03 am

One final thought on Talladega

In a nutshell, NASCAR leaves too many "rules" open to interpretation.

After Sunday's race, officials made it sound like the yellow line rule was written in concrete. "Pass below the yellow line," they said, "and a driver will be penalized."

Of course, there are plenty of examples where it wasn't concrete. So what gives?

I'm on board with those who think that if the roles were reversed and it was Regan Smith in the lead and Tony Stewart ducking low, officials would have then said Stewart was forced down and given him the victory.

It's an easy rule to fix to make it so that are no future controversies.

Either ...

A. Eliminate the yellow line rule. It's a bogus rule anyway. At every other track there is no such thing as out of bounds. Why do it at Talladega and Daytona? It has done nothing to curb the accident rates at the two tracks


B. Make it so there is no passing below the yellow line PERIOD. It doesn't matter whether you're forced down or not. You cannot pass. Consider it a second wall. Forget saying a driver could be penalized for forcing another below the yellow line if you never really intend to make that call.

I'd prefer A over B.

NASCAR is a sport where judgement calls really shouldn't have to be made. I see one driver cross the finish line ahead of the other, the first guy should be the winner. It should be as simple as that.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: NASCAR, Talladega
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