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Uncensored CΛRT Commentary
by Ed Donath

Stop the Music

ATHENS, NY—Is there some entertainment personality or group the NFL could book as its primary halftime act that would insure a sell-out for the next Super Bowl?

Would scalpers have the ability to garner any more than the customary $1000-per-prime box seat at Yankee Stadium for the World Series opener if, say, Aretha Franklin were announced as the singer of the National Anthem?

Henny Youngman, the late King of the One-Liners once quipped: “I went to Madison Square Garden to see a fight last night and a hockey game broke out.” Is that alternative to skillful skating what makes NHL devotees shell out the big bucks for tickets?

During my own lifetime as an open-wheel racing fan I’ve driven far more than twice the distance of the race itself—numerous times—to attend CΛRT events. Deep into many a Sunday night and into the wee hours of Monday morning, even after the race winner’s celebration party had broken up back at those faraway Mid-Western venues, this renegade scribe was still out there on the Interstate catching forty desperate winks at a rest area near some unsung berg like Snowshoe, PA.

Personally, I enjoy music at least as much as the next guy. I’ve been to more than my share of concerts and club dates and, in fact, my knowledge in such disparate genre as classical, reggae, rock, R&B, and pop is fairly impressive.

As I write, CD’s and cassettes by the Ska-tellites, Talking Heads, Otis Redding, Queen, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Cliff, Jethro Tull, and Louis Prima/Keely Smith can be found near the boom boxes in my car and living room.

Professionally, I’ve been involved with programming a couple of music radio stations and have worked as a disc jockey both on and off the air. It’s not easy to stump me with a music trivia question about any tune that has received airplay since Bill Haley and the Comets hit #1 on the charts with Rock Around the Clock in 1955.

Nonetheless, I’ve never driven more than maybe forty-five minutes or an hour to see music shows. And it certainly would had to have been something totally awesome—perhaps an act the magnitude of Bob Marley and the Wailers—to get me to travel over a hundred miles for a concert.

So my entertainment preference is pretty obvious. Racing has always come first.

Interestingly, one of the major differences between rock concerts and motor races is that it’s both medically and politically correct to pop in earplugs for noise protection if you’re in a front-row seat at a superspeedway. If musical and exhaust notes were meant to be played simultaneously—or even seamlessly segued—I’m sure that Jimmy Vasser and Patrick Carpentier would have had CD players installed in their Champ Cars by now.

Are you getting my drift? Or am I being too subtle in expressing my feelings about one of the blueprints for saving our beloved speed sport that’s currently on the drawing board?

Copyright © 2003 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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