The die is cast, the palace guard has been changed. Indy Car is dead. Indy Car is reborn. Indy Car dies yet again. What is killing Indy Car, one day at a time and yet, allows it to limp along on life support? That, my friend, is a four letter word that begins with the letter “F”. In fact, this blog post is completely brought to you by the letter “F”.
With the posting on Speedtv.com by the incomparable Marshall Pruett, the mammoth, two part investigative journalistic piece lays out the how and part of the why things have changed at 16th and Georgetown road. Sadly, it does not educate the members of the paddock as to the ins and outs of the “F” word. For seemingly being adults, these folks inside the chain link fence at all racing venues treat the “F” word as some snickering induced preteen activity. A direct quote or two from Marshall’s tome for your edification:
- [As one driver told me, a public uproar over losing a CEO, rather than an equal or greater uproar to solve IndyCar’s problems or promote its drivers, has been troubling.
- “Can you imagine NASCAR fans getting pissed because [NASCAR president] Mike Helton was fired? They wouldn’t give a damn as long as Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson and the rest are out racing on Sunday.
- “Maybe the drivers need Randy’s PR machine because I don’t remember this much backlash when even a top IndyCar driver lost his job.”]
Wait a minute here. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. Ummmm; a PR machine, for a chief executive? Yeah, almost every large corporation has a communications department that functions as the mouth piece for the office in addition to officially dispensing the corporate kool aide. I do not recall whom was the communicator in chief that headed said PR machine for Mr. Bernard and am going to go out on a limb here and say he did not have one. That little oversight did NOT prevent the affect, real or imagined, resulting from engaging said PR machine.
The magic is not too difficult to figure out here, folks. With even just a childish understanding of what makes people happy, connected and engaged, one could even develop something as benign as bull riding into a box office smash, filling arenas all over the country. When such a captivating sport can fill a 16,000 seat arena in Indianapolis, of all places, one has to take a look at what lead to that type of outcome.
As a public service, I am going to reveal the “F” word that seems to elude these busy, frantic paced lives of people that comprise owners in the IndyCar series. That nasty, four letter word is……..wait for it……
Every sport needs them. Every sport craves them. Every sport lives and dies by either choosing to engage them or dying slowly on the vine should they be ignored or marginalized. Granted, Randy Bernard stumbled, made some poor or unpopular decisions and alienated his owner base. However, it galls me when paddock members cannot pronounce the word fan, let alone spell it. Engaging them may have been Randy’s most egregious sin in their eyes…………
It has been said many times over that the most sincere form of flattery is to mimic or emulate another. I intend to do just that by quoting the highly esteemed blogger, Bill Zahren who wrote in his post that is dated November 03, 2012:
“Fans (who share my attitude) are sick of this crap, frankly, and we want you to SHOW us the love (you figure out how to do that), not just tell us you love us, because we are pissed off and tired of being taken for granted. There are lots of competitors out there that want our money”.
Get the good stuff from Bill here:
With that mini rant, I guess I will talk to my dwindling constituency next time!