So, I’ve been sitting here, drinking my lonely little mimosa, trying to figure out what to do that won’t require working (because right now I feel really guilty that I’m not). My plan was to take the kids to church, out for breakfast, and then home to watch the Daytona 500 before I had to take one of the kids to a birthday party. Then get back to watch the Academy Awards.
I had a very jam-packed day planned.
But church let out late and that 15 minute delay meant a huge wait for breakfast (we usually beat the post-church-going bunch). So I took the kids to the grocery store to buy a smorgasbord of food that I then had to cook, while they whined because I make a sub-par funny face pancake. In the middle of all of that, I ran over to switch on my TV so that I could watch the beginning of the race. And that’s when I saw it.
Now, for those of us waiting at home for our significant others who work these races, this is not unusual. I don’t know why, but NASCAR is still working on negotiations with Mother Nature about becoming a full sponsor. Apparently there’s some sticking point where she’s willing to give up making it rain on race days if NASCAR will let her make it more humid in the summer.
What stinks about this race is that they’ve been gone for 10 days and the longer they’re gone…the longer their to-do list gets. So for us, it’s a minor inconvenience. Yes, we miss them, but they’ll have to come home at some point.
Since I’m somewhat new to the world of professional motorsports (okay, okay…I’m new to any kind of world of motorsports), I didn’t realize that the Daytona 500 has never been postponed before. It’s been cut short, but never completely postponed. And until today, I’d never really thought about what a pain in the ass delaying or postponing an event like this would be. For example:
1. This year, the Daytona 500 takes place, unfortunately, on the same day as the Academy Awards. Originally, this seemed like a great idea, and I had no plans to get off my ass for about 10 hours while I watched TV. But a delay would mean that I might have to make a choice and that the divorce rate in this country might spike tomorrow as couples fight over the remote and then just decide the whole damn thing isn’t worth it.
2. On a small scale…postponing it would be pretty annoying. I mean, thousands of people look forward to this event for months, buying their tickets way in advance. So what happens if they postpone it? Well, flights would have to be changed, accommodations would have to be changed, and work would have to be missed. In other words, this trip that someone could have spent a while saving for has probably doubled or tripled in cost.
3. It's a domino effect. Sure, Jimmie Johnson is saying that he’ll stay all week if he has to in order to get this race done (it’s expected to rain a lot more tomorrow, by the way). But how does that affect next weekend? That means all of the transportation for the cars and the team members would have to be reconfigured in order to get them all to Phoenix by the end of the week. And I know at least one little pregnant woman who could be reading this and shaking her head, wondering how in the hell she’s going to get all of that done this week.
4. As a former event planner, I can tell you this would be a mess of epic proportions. It’s hard enough to extend the stay of Joe the Plumber so that he can watch the race, but what about all of the big wigs??
I’ll never forget one huge meeting I did in Chicago with ALL top executives of a very large company. The weather turned (as it always does in Chicago…and it always surprises them. Haven’t they figured out yet that the weather sucks out there?) and suddenly ALL of the executives showed back up at the Hyatt, expecting to have their old rooms. And guess what? Those rooms were already taken for the week. That evening of whiny adults ended at about 2 AM with all of their little executive behinds tucked into their little beds…and my coworkers and myself drinking buckets of beer in our hotel rooms.
So if this bad-boy gets postponed…I feel for every admin of every team, every hotel employee, and pretty much everyone in the service industry in Daytona.
I know I’ve just painted a pretty bleak picture: The Apocalypse of Motorsports. But if you’re sitting out in the rain on the stands, huddled under your little poncho…you haven’t read this yet so you’re not completely aware of how bad it’s going to get. And if you’re sitting at home, this has just made you grateful that you decided to skip going to see the race in person this year.
And to Mother Nature: Just cut it out okay? I have a snowblower that’s jammed, a dead battery in my car, and I’m tired of hearing, “When’s Mr. Mike coming back?” like he’s been lost at sea for a year.
I’m OVER IT, bitch.