Sunday, June 8, 2014

On F1, California Chrome, Bob Cole and Charlie Manson



                       "There's your problem, right there."                                                   (Photoshop by Josie Gold @thatgoldgirl)

Now that was a Canadian Grand Prix with something for everyone.  Fans of the actual sport were treated to a refreshingly competitive race full of intrigue and drama that broke the mold of a heretofore predictable season.  The crash-happy crowd who prefer wrecks to racing got their fix in the form of a spectacular accident on the last lap, which resulted in Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo taking the checkered flag under caution.  The only thing missing for Formula One purists was the signature scream of the old V-8 engines, which were replaced this season by quieter and more fuel-efficient V6s.  That's a nice sop to the tree huggers, but for seasoned race-goers, the ear-splitting howl that you heard when you first emerged from the Ile Ste. Helene Metro (or that woke you from a dead sleep if you live in St. Lambert) was as essential to the F1 experience as good-looking women and borderline sunstroke.  For the sake of the sport's appeal, it behooves F1 to find a way to deliver a more traditional-sounding exhaust note for 2015.

I can understand the frustration of California Chrome owner Steve Coburn in the immediate aftermath of losing the Belmont Stakes, and I agree it would be a more level playing field if every horse were required to run all three Triple Crown races or none at all.  However, Coburn went to the races knowing the rules, and complaining about them afterwards came across as sour grapes.  Also, if he were an advanced stats nerd, Coburn would realize that Wins Over Replacement is way more important than the Triple Crown.

As is customary on unregulated media with unlimited access, the internet was churning out the usual number of hoaxes this weekend.  I fell briefly for a couple of them - the reported trade of Joe Thornton from San Jose to Toronto, and multiple posts claiming Charles Manson had been granted parole.  While neither story turned out to be true, I have confirmed through my sources that the Leafs have acquired Manson for Nazim Kadri and Dion Phaneuf.

Rogers Sportsnet has retained Bob Cole for play-by-play duties on Hockey Night in Canada in 2014-15. The terrorists win.

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