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Keeping It Off the Wall
by Ed Donath

MIA: Management's Indifferent Attitude
1/20/08

Cairo, NYóWhile Mrs. Slickwillie and Oprah's bud with the name that rhymes with Yo Mama trade exaggerations on one side and a charging old RINO keeps the Baptist Bill Clinton and Tabernacle Choirboy as honest as possible on the other, the only guy in the race who can and should beat them all -- Hizzonah da Mayah -- has mysteriously quit attending events in the hope that the race will come back to him in the final stint.

That kind of strategy might work for cool-headed hot shoes (Al Unser, Jr. in his winning heyday comes to mind as a guy who often qualified poorly but worked masterfully at correcting his car and keeping out of trouble for most of the day) but presidential hopefuls and racing series owners need to be around at every corner of every race and at every meeting, as well.

They need to show up at the greasy spoon every now and then to kibbitz with the locals over morning coffee. They need to work the crowds regularly to thank the patrons for their support, to get feedback and new ideas, and to make sincere promises.

Think Iím crazy?

Americaís Mayor was way ahead in every Republican poll for months after his co-aspirants announced. He was also ahead of our carpetbagger senator in non-partisan polls, especially in key categories such as likeability and believability, despite her legendary one-name notoriety that surpasses Liberace, Sting, Coolio, Charo, and Yanni. Rudy, as of this writing, is an also-running.

Similarly, the original OWRS troika, affectionately referred to as the Three Amigos by adoring optimistas after they resurrected Champ Car by purchasing what was left of CARTís assets, are now being compared more to the Three Stooges after losing -- or just giving up -- control of their business model. Even their very amigoship has come into question of late.

Automatic pilot might work fine once their private jets are in the air, but this is no way to keep a business model flying. So Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe, and Mayor Rudy have all become precedents in an open-and-shut case for hands-on versus absentee management.

On a personal note, this renegade scribe has invested significantly in the enterprises of all of the aforementioned MIAís. I've written checks for the former Mayorís aborted senatorial bid and for his current presidential campaign and have contributed way more than my fair share to the Champ Car cause over these many years.

Likewise, most of you have been strong supporters of the Champ Car Company and its owners, both as interested parties and as ticket buyers. But when staunch supporters like us start wondering about the shelf life of our beloved speed sport under its current mis-managers, it's no wonder that key people who work for the company have begun searching for more stable employment.

Perhaps itís time for all of us to decide on a Plan B for our post-Champ Car lives.

Iím sure that the owners and candidates wonít have any problem returning to their former endeavors or current alternative passions, but what could possibly satisfy our need for speed and drama after being involved with open-wheel racing when it was at its best?

How many of us can afford to get a $400 haircut to ramp-up a run for president next time around? How many of us can afford frequent trips to Germany to drive our exotics on the Autobahn?

America's Mayor gained a universal reputation as a result of what foreign terrorists did to his buildings. In the Champ Car World Series, however, it appears that the buildings will soon implode as the result of insider indifference.

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Copyright © 2008 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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