Wednesday, May 30, 2012

3SN Live - 7:00 PM at the Crane Room

We're back again at the Crane Room Bar and Grille in New Castle, PA, for a LIVE BROADCAST!

Dot and Dellav will be joined by Gello for the sports discussions. What do you want us to talk about? NBA? Officiating? MLB? Stanley Cup? NFL? IndyCar? You name it, you got it!  Be a part of the show by commenting here or sending us a tweet, @3SNetwork, or by tweeting James and Alex directly, @3SNdot and @3SNdellav.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WBBW 5-23-12 Indy 500 Preview

The live discussion that spurred the debate!

Last week, we switched things up a bit by talking IndyCar racing and the upcoming Indy 500. Afterwards, somebody called in trying to say why the better series was undoubtedly NASCAR. So, supposedly, the debate is on! Hear the discussion that started it all!

Let the Players Play...Let the Referees Ref

After the past couple of weeks full of ejections, technical fouls, and the subsequent analysis of the questionable plays and the player/coach/referee reactions, it's time to make a statement:


Just think about what's wrong with sports here:

  • When the analysis on technical fouls takes up more air time on SportsCenter than the highlights of the game itself, then something is wrong with sports.
  • When Jim Leyland's "saw what you saw" bit is heard more than the strikeout in question, then something is wrong with sports.
  • When equal punishment is given on court to a coach saying "c'mon Eddie" as a player throwing a two-armed slam to an opponent's head, then something is wrong with sports.
  • When players feel the need to argue every single ruling an official makes during a game, and thus seven-year-old kids now are seen kicking dirt on umpires while saying a call is wrong, then something is wrong with sports.
So, let me say why sports and the sports publishing powers that be are again making me rather frustrated. EVERYBODY is to blame.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco

         Perhaps more than a sport, Formula 1 is the embodiment of a belief in the impossible. Almost no expense is spared identifying and hiring the greatest driving and engineering talent in the world, developing the most technologically complex racing machines the world has ever seen, and traveling around the globe to compete in some of the most extreme environments known to man. F1 cars are designed to contradict reason, cornering at 5G, accelerating from a standstill to 60MPH in 2.5 seconds, or zero to 100 in 4 – all the while, every component of the car is on the very brink of failure. In the best of circumstances, 15-man pit crews can complete a tire change and release the car in under three seconds. Teams count their budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and they construct new chassis every single season. Everything about Formula 1 is so extreme as to ellicit disbelief. 

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing - What Makes Indy Great

It's called the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. But why? What makes the Indianapolis 500 so amazing? Why do the fans keep coming back year after year? 

The answer is: there is no one specific answer. There are so many things about the Speedway and about the race that make it the best. It is the single-day biggest sporting event in the world, with over 270,000 permanent seats that end up filled by the time the green flag drops, as well as the thousands of others who watch from the infield grass. Nothing else comes close. And we'll tell you why!

So, before Mari Hulman George gives the command, let me start you off myself. We're about six hours from the green flag, but the time is now: Ladies and gentlemen, START YOUR ENGINES!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

3SN Live from Indianapolis 500

James is about to broadcast live from Indianapolis, Indiana, in preparation for the GREATEST SPECTACLE IN RACING tomorrow afternoon! Join in for the discussion by tweeting to @3SNetwork or @3SNdot with your predictions, race day traditions, and your favorite part of the race. Going LIVE shortly after 10:30 pm Eastern!

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Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991)

Is it better to be lucky than good? Maybe, but it’s best to be great and get lucky anyway!

I could spend years talking about the greatness of Rick Mears, in my mind the greatest to ever race at the Brickyard. With how skilled the great Mears was, he needed what every other driver at Indy needs: good timing and a bit of luck on his side.

Johnny Rutherford (1974, 1976, 1980)

Lone Star J.R. is one of the most recognizable faces on the Borg-Warner Trophy. 

And it’s not just because he’s on there three times! 

Johnny Rutherford was always a driver at the front of the pack, in contention for the lead, and usually finding the way to Victory Lane. His three victories at the Brickyard put him as a top five driver for sure at Indianapolis.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Carb Day

Carburetors are long gone, but the name sticks for the final practice before the Indianapolis 500 this weekend.

The traditions of Carb Day go well beyond the name. Today, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be full of festivities both on and off of the track. If you're heading out to the track, here's what you'll see today at the Brickyard.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Indy 500 - Odds to Win

I've been so busy preparing for the heat wave to hit Indianapolis (race day forecast is now for 94 degrees) that I have neglected to get my daily posts on here....okay so that's not the real reason but oh well. Truth is, I wanted to make this post perfect and leave no driver unrepresented or underrepresented. Don't worry, we'll catch up in the next two days before heading out to Indy for some live broadcasts on Saturday.

In my last Month of May post, I gave some preliminary odds for each racer to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Yes, these are MY odds, and probably not the most accurate in some areas. But, from my analysis and personal opinions, these are fair odds for each driver to drink the milk.

So, without further adieu (and I've kept you all waiting long enough), here are each driver's chances to win on Sunday! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

3SN Live at the Crane Room - 7:00 PM

We want the fans to be a part of our live broadcasts! Send us a tweet @3SNetwork, or tweet with James (@3SNdot) and Alex (@3SNdellav) directly! Or stop on by the Crane Room in New Castle, PA, to join the discussions!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why Pitt should pull a "TCU"

College football is a business. Period. I don't blame schools for switching conferences BUT I still hate to see it happen. I remember when Pitt applied to the ACC, I was so pumped. The thought of a schedule with Miami, Florida State, and Clemson coming to ole Heinz was great. The thought of North Carolina and Duke coming to the Pete was even better. Now that it appears FSU wants out, I'm starting to get the feeling that Pitt is going to go through all this conference realignment stuff all over again... If FSU leaves, expect dominoes to fall. It has been reported that Clemson wants out as well. With the Big 12 and SEC making the bowl agreement last week, it is easy to know that the ACC and Big East will be looking from the outside once again. So if FSU and Clemson leave, then the conference will have one decent football school (Va Tech) and the rest dominated by rich basketball programs.

Sound familiar? Yep, basically Pitt will be back where it was in early September before it applied to the ACC. Pitt should try to get into the Big 12. Before everyone starts calling me delusional, let me just remind everyone that the Big 12 has shown interest in Pitt as early as last year. People will accuse Pitt of being "sleazy". You know what, it would be true. It would be absolutely true, it would be a sin, and it would be a wrong. But guess what? In today's world of the business and power driven college football, you either improve, or die. #TCU

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Field of 33

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our field of 33 for the 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race!

And ohhhhhhhhh what a race it should be! (And no, not just because Race Day forecast calls for 91 degrees...I made sure to get a base tan/burn yesterday!)

If race day is anything like the excitement of Pole Day and the craziness of practice all month, then we should expect some fast, action-packed racing from start to finish. I mean, let's look just at the first two positions. The difference between pole position (Ryan Briscoe) and second place (James Hinchcliffe) is .003 mph over a four lap average. That's .0023 seconds over ten miles. Can it truly get any closer?

Let's quickly look at a couple of big stories for Race Day before breaking down each driver individually, analyzing the odds for each driver to drink the milk at the famed Brickyard.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bump Day - Predictions

Bump Day is one of the most exciting and stressful days for a race car driver.

Sadly this year will be much less exciting, and the stress will be more on the fans than the racers.

That's because, with only 33 car/driver combinations taking laps at this point, no cars will be bumped from the 33-car field. The stress exists with the fans who might have to sweat it out as to whether or not the field will be filled.


Will enough cars and drivers be physically able to qualify today? Ed Carpenter, Bryan Clauson, and Oriol Servia each crashed yesterday on Pole Day. Will their cars be good enough? Clauson doesn't have a backup car, but teammate Josef Newgarden at least does (if needed). Will the drivers be alright, or will last minute deals for someone like Jay Howard be made?

What about Lotus? Jean Alesi has said that he feels unsafe going so slowly around the track, nearly 10 mph slower than the rest of the field...will he even attempt to qualify? Will the team?


Row 9: Sebastien Bourdais Mike Conway Wade Cunningham
Row 10: Oriol Servia Bryan Clauson Katherine Legge
Row 11: Ed Carpenter Simons de Silvestro Jean Alesi

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pole Day - Preview and Predictions

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaannddddddd heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee's  ON IT!"

Welcome to Pole Day at Indianapolis, ladies and gentlemen. Today is the fastest day in motorsports as drivers attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. We will surely be hearing those words of the late Tom Carnegie, While there will be no new track records set today and no milestones hit by the drivers, we can still expect an action-packed, drama-filled day at the Brickyard.

We will break down the long day at the track today for you, give you a little preview of what to expect, and of course give you our predictions for who makes the field, who makes up the "fast nine" spots, and who gets the $100,000 and the distinction of running on pole for the Indy 500.

4 laps, 10 miles, 100,000 dollars, ONE chance at glory.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fantasy Racing - Indianapolis 500

It's time to set your fantasy lineup for the 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race!

Again, we will be using the IndyCar Nation Fantasy Racing format for choosing our fantasy lineups. In this format, you must choose five drivers who you think will perform the best in the race. The catch is, you can only choose a driver six times in the 16-race season. Points are awarded based on finishing position with bonus points given to the driver who leads the most laps, the driver increases the most positions from start to finish, and the driver with the fastest lap. Negative points are given to any driver who gets knocked out of the race.

So, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

Fast Friday - Preview and Predictions

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines for what is sure to be one of the most exciting qualification weekends in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

Fast Friday has been a tradition at the Brickyard as long as there has been pole day qualifications. It is the last day of practice before qualifications for the Indy 500 on Saturday. Today's practice session is nicknamed "Fast Friday" because, with all cars in qualifying setup, speeds are higher than ever.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Louis Meyer (1928, 1933, 1936) / Wilbur Shaw (1937, 1939, 1940)

The first two drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three times were each unbelievably accomplished drivers. Their three Indy 500 victories are enough to  put both Louis Meyer and Wilbur Shaw into legendary status at the Brickyard.

However, it is the secondary things that each driver has done that should make them unforgettable. Their actions have allowed the Indianapolis 500 to be what it is today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't Sweat Cleveland...Its Only Law School... or is it?

I was driving home from my job that pays my bills when I received a phone call from a friend who stated that Cleveland was really, really screwed! I responded, "How bad can it be for our friends in the not so subtle earth tones?"

"... Andrew Sweat chose law school over playing linebacker for the Cleveland Browns!!!" he yelled.

3SN Live - 7:00 PM

Tune in right here!

James and Alex will broadcast live from the Crane Room Bar and Grille in New Castle, PA, TONIGHT AT 7:00 PM. 360 Sports Network is all about the fans, so send us comments, tweet us (@3SNetwork) or tweet James (@3SNdot) or Alex (@3SNdellav) directly to be a part of the show.

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Dan Wheldon (2005, 2011)

Image courtesy of Getty Images
Seven months ago today, the world lost a great racer, a great father, and a great man in Dan Wheldon. After his tragic passing at Las Vegas in the IndyCar World Championship, we stepped back and reflected on the great life of Dan Wheldon, talking about his accomplishments and what he meant to the racing community.

However, we only touched upon his greatest success on his best track. We didn't talk about the six times he started on the front two rows at Indy. We brushed over his six finishes in the top four in nine career Indy 500 starts. We only mentioned his two times winning the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The truth is, Dan Wheldon might be the best to race at Indianapolis in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gordon Johncock (1973, 1982)

A Tale of Two Races.

Gordon Johncock's 24 career starts in the Indy 500 can be broken down into his two biggest races - the two times he crossed the finish line first. One of those races ended in the most exciting finish in 500 history to date. The other was filled and marred with such tragedy that most racers and fans were probably just happy that the race ended before anything more could go wrong.

Ups and downs, that's pretty much what defined the career of Gordon Johncock.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A.J. Foyt (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977)

Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr., is arguably the greatest racer of all time due to his success in all series. He is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 24 Hours of Daytona.

But there is little question that when you think of the Indy 500, you probably think of A.J. Foyt.

That's what happens when you start in 35 straight Indianapolis 500 Miles Races from 1958 and 1992, including four times drinking the milk during that streak. Even after his retirement from racing when he was unable to qualify for the '93 race, his name still floats around the Speedway. He became and continues today as a car owner, winning the 1996 and 1998 Indy Racing League crown with Scott Sharp and Kenny Brack, respectively. He also owned the 1999 Indy 500 winning car driven by Brack.

It's safe to say that Foyt is the most well-known and successful person, in all aspects, to take place in Month of May festivities at the Brickyard.

A Field of 33?

The field in their rows of three, probably
the greatest sight in the Indy 500, might
not be complete this year. Image
taken from my NW Vista seats.
One of the greatest traditions of the Indianapolis 500 is the 33 cars that line up in their iconic rows of three to start the race. There is hardly anything more exciting than "Bump Day" at Indianapolis, where cars not fast enough to make the top 33 are bumped from the field. Those fast enough make it into the most prestigious race in the world. Those not fast enough (including Mike Conway last year, who was 4th in the points going to Indianapolis) are forced to watch the Greatest Spectacle in Racing from home.

It deeply saddens me to report that the Indy 500 is in danger of starting with less than 33 cars for the first time since 1947.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bill Vukovich (1953, 1954)

One of the greatest drivers, one of the saddest stories, and one of the scariest "what ifs" in Indy 500 history. And all in one package.

That's what Bill Vukovich, who many considered the greatest ever in American motorsports, was to the world.  Yet an untimely and early death keeps him from being a household name and instead leave "Vuky" as a famous unknown.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DeLlav's Daily Beat - Inside the Life of 3SN

This show is going to feature a little bit of sports, life, and all things DeLlav. Thanks goes to Scott Hall from Last Call with Scott Hall for inspiring me to make this video.

In this first of DeLlav's Daily Beat, we take a look inside the life of a 3SN journalist!

Pirate ship sinking

Poor J-Mac.
The last 20 years of Pirates baseball can be best described with one word: lifeless. Think about it, a franchise like this has to TRY to be as bad as they are. It seemed like the Buccos were at least trying to move forward (for once) this past off-season with the money they spent in the draft, the signing of A.J Burnett, and the re-signings of Nate Mclouth and Andrew McCutchen. Also, they were buyers last year instead of sellers at the trade deadline, so it appeared (and still does) that they are really trying to win and do things the right way. They are sitting at 14-18 right now and although it seems unlikely that this will be "the year", I think the general outlook of this franchise should remain positive. That being said, the offense is so bad to watch that it actually gives me headaches. Now I know the Pirates have always been bad, but the reason It pains me to watch this offense is because the pitching has been good this year. It's been such a long time since the Pirates had good pitching and now that they have it, they can't get any help from the batters. James Macdonald gives up 1 run through  8 innings and they can't even give him a run.

Greatness eh?

I'm really disappointed  in McLouth and I know he really didn't do much in Atlanta, but a .186 avg is ridiculous. The guy won a Gold Glove and made an All-Star game last time he was in the Burgh, so it's very sad to see what is going on with his performance. Pedro Alvarez hasn't done much recently. It was very promising to see him hit the way he did so I am not going to give up on him just yet. I also want to point out that the booing Andrew McCuthen recieved last night was completely ridiculous on behalf of the Pirates fans in attendence last night. The dude is an All-Star, signed a 6 year deal, and WANTS TO STAY IN PITTSBURGH and the fans decide to boo him. Good call there Pirates fans. Some people have said to me that the fans were booing the entire performance of the Pirates hitters, not just McCutchen. I was in attendance last night, and I confirm that there were plenty of Pirates fans booing and name-calling McCutchen. Jagoffs.

It's Hammertime! But for how long?
This brings me to my last topic: Joel Hanrahan. Even though he hasn't been as dominant as he use to be these last few games, I really don't want to see him leave Pittsburgh. He really is a commodity but if the Pirates are 20 or more games under come the trade deadline, don't be surprised if he does in fact get traded. If the Pirates really are 20 games under come the deadline, then most likely they wont have used him  (or need him) that much anyway. I suppose I wont be that upset if they get players with value for the hammer. Some hitters or big time prospects would be nice I guess but if they really want to compete in the next view years, then they really need to find a way to keep him. I would just hate to see him go because if they really can add some batters, keep the solid bitching, and their star closer, then I really do in fact vision this team competing for that oh so coveted .500 record, very soon. 

Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

It's Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is only two weeks away! So as the drivers and cars take the track for the first time today, it's time to analyze some of the legitimate contenders in this year's race who have yet to win the "big one" at Indianapolis in their career.

There are ten* Indy 500 veterans (CLICK HERE to see the rookies and veterans who participated in the Rookie Orientation Program) who have a great chance to win the 2012 Indy 500. Let's count them down and find out who will kiss the bricks and drink the milk!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fantasy Racing - Catalunya

After a three week hiatus, the F1 series heads over to Europe and to the Circuit de Catalunya for the 2012 Gran Premio de Espana.

What have we learned so far this year? Nothing is predictable. Four winners, four different teams, and four different championship points leaders. So why should we try to predict? Because it's what we do!

Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010)

The day before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway officially opens for practice for the 96th Running of the Indy 500 seems like the perfect day to chronicle the success of the greatest IndyCar and Indy 500 racer of the last five years: Dario Franchitti.

Dario Franchitti is a four-time defending champion of the IZOD IndyCar Series (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) when taking into account his year in NASCAR in 2008. Since returning to open-wheel racing with Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009, the Scot has been at or near the front of each race in the IndyCar Series.

His dominance is most evident at Indianapolis, leading laps and challenging for the race win in each of his last five Indy 500s. This makes him the favorite again heading into this year's race, and the perfect racer to analyze heading into the beginning of the 2012 Month of May festivities.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rookie Orientation Program

Today begins the first on-track activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2012 Month of May leading up to the 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500!

There is a lot to dissect for a rookie making his/her first trip to the Brickyard. All rookies must go through a Rookie Orientation Program today under the tutelage of two-time champion Arie Luyendyk. Luyendyk also holds single-lap and four-lap average qualifying records at Indy. Throughout the session today (9:00 am to 2:30 pm), each of the nine rookies must meet certain speeds for a set number of laps. There are three phases to this program:

Phase I - 10 consecutive laps with speeds ranging from 200-205 mph.
Phase II - 15 consecutive laps with speeds ranging from 205-210 mph.
Phase III - 15 consecutive laps with speeds at 210+ mph.

Phases I and II must be completed either today or in a future "rookies only" practice session. Phase III can be completed at any time. This program stresses quality of consistent racing, not just one random fast lap.

Now that we know the process behind the rookie orientation program, let's meet the rookies!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3SN Live

WE GO LIVE AT 7:00 pm.
Comment on this page, send us a tweet @3SNetwork, or send James (@3SNdot) or Alex (@3SNdellav) a tweet directly to be a part of the show! We want to hear your opinions!

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Bobby Unser (1968, 1975, 1981)

The unsung hero of the Unser family, Bobby Unser (brother of Al Unser, uncle of Al Unser, Jr.), had his own great success in the Indianapolis 500. He made 19 career starts, winning three times, including in his last race in 1981. He started on the front row an amazing 9 times, and finished in the top ten 9 times as well. Such a great competitor, it was sad to see his career end with such controversy.

But that's sometimes just what Indy is.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tommy Milton (1921, 1923) / Rodger Ward (1959, 1962)

Two-time winners Tommy Milton and Rodger Ward each did their part to change the course of Indy 500 history.

Tommy Milton provided many firsts in his eight Indianapolis 500 starts. He had four top-five finishes in his eight career starts at the Brickyard, including his two victories in 1921 and 1923.

He started from 20th place in 1921, and found himself three laps down of leader and polesitter Ralph DePalma. However, DePalma's car throws a connecting rod on lap 112, and Milton inherits the lead which he would not relinquish. His 20th place starting position is the worst to go to victory since the first Indy 500 in 1911, when Ray Harroun won in his Marmon Wasp from 28th position (back then, starting position came from a random draw, not from qualifying speed. So, Milton's car became the "slowest" to come through the field to win the race).

In 1923, Milton was a little more conventional in his victory. He started from the pole position with a record-shattering qualifying speed of 108.17 mph (the previous pole speed was over 7 mph slower). He cruised to victory, winning by over three minutes over Harry Hartz. He became the first ever to win two Indianapolis 500-Mile Races. He also became the first since Harroun to win "riding solo" without an on-board mechanic.

Fast forward 46 years to the Rodger Ward era of dominance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In a six year period from 1959 to 1964, Ward started no worse than 6th and finished no worse than 4th, including drinking the milk in 1959 and 1962.

In the '59 race, Ward was part of a great battle with Jim Rathmann, Johnny Thomson, and '56 winner Pat Flaherty throughout the entire race. A Flaherty crash and Thomson handling problems left Ward vs. Rathmann down the stretch, with Ward leading 130 laps and winning by 23 seconds. Surprising, though, that if it was the Indy 505, it was likely that his car would not have survived. A piston pin plug had loosened and gone through the oil ring and one of compression rings. It was a matter of a few miles before the other ring would have let go as well. Instead, the car held on just long enough, and Ward got the biggest payday in history.

Rathmann and Ward would battle again the next year in the 1960 race, with Ward leading the race ten different times, but loses the lead on lap 197 to Rathmann, who goes on to win by 13 seconds. Leading the race ten times is a record for not winning the race.

The 1962 race is most well-known for polesitter Parnelli Jones losing his breaks around lap 125, yet somehow continuing throughout the rest of the race (including the help of a makeshift tire barrier for when he needed to pit). However, it was Rodger Ward to would take control of the second half of the race with Jones's troubles, and winning by 11.5 seconds to win his second Indy 500, again in record-setting time.

Both of these racers did their best to rewrite Indianapolis history books year in and year out. Their accomplishments are among the best of all time, yet are lost in history among some of the more recent two- and three-time winners. They are still undoubtedly among the best to ever race at Indy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Emerson Fittipaldi (1989, 1993)

Emerson Fittipaldi was a two-time Formula1 World Champion before making his way over to American open-wheel racing in the early 1980s. So, of course, expectations were high for the seasoned veteran from Brazil.

He didn't disappoint.

In 11 career starts in the Indianapolis 500, "Emo" led in seven different races, led a total of 505 laps, finished in the top three a total of four times, drank the milk once, and entered victory lane twice. ...yes, we'll get to the milk controversy in a bit.

Al Unser, Jr. (1992, 1994)

Your uncle has won the Indianapolis 500 three times. Your father and name-sake is a record-holding four-time winner. You think there might be a bit of pressure on you.

Apparently not, at least not for "Little Al."

That being said, Al Unser, Jr., a two-time winner himself, never hid how much Indianapolis means.

I have no hometown NBA who do I root for?

Since I am from the Pittsburgh area, I cheer for the Steelers, Pens, and Pirates. Obviously, there is no NBA team in the steel city so I really do not have a team that I call my own. That being said, I am a fan of a few teams in the NBA. No, not a true fan or diehard fan or anything like that, but I do pull for the Grizzlies, Cavs, and Lakers. I like the Lakers because of Kobe Bryant, I like the Cavs because I like Dan Gilbert (and by default I guess they are the hometown team), and I'm really pulling for the Grizz because they are the smallest market in the NBA (or at least one of the smallest - sorry I do not feel like Google sources or citing stuff because I just graduated from college and I've had enough of that for a while).

My point is that I would love to see a small market team win an NBA championship. The Titans and Predators really don't do much for Tennesse so if the Grizz can pull together and get a ring for themselves, then the small city of Memphis can have something to feel proud about. I've also been fond of the Grizzlies because some of my favorite players have played for them. Sam Young and Jason Williams (Randy Moss' good friend) are just a couple. The Grizz were a laughing stock in Vancouver and are finally coming around now in Memphis. I am growing tired of glamor big market cities always winning championships. The first team to come to mind when you think of big market with glamor is the Miami Heat.

That being said, if the Grizz can't win a title then I am all for the Heat winning. I really want Lebron to win a ring so haters will shut up. I'm talking to you Skip Bayless (and any bitter Cleveland fan). The Heat remind me of the nWo, and when LeBron took his talents to South Beach two years, it made the NBA interesting. So in a way, people should be thankful for LeBron. We don't know if the Heatles will stay together for much longer, but if the "evil" and "villainous" LeBron James wins a title, it sure as hell will make things even MORE interesting in the NBA. When was the last time you could say that?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Arie Luyendyk (1990, 1997)

The Indianapolis 500 is all about speed. It is the fastest race in the fastest series with the fastest cars in the world. When talking about some of the greatest racers in IndyCar and Indy 500 history, you must look at the driver who was always at or near the top of the speed charts.

It's hard then to overlook Dutch driver Arie Luyendyk, three-time polesitter and two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. The original "Flying Dutchman" is a living legend in open-wheel racing, starting with road racing in Europe and moving to CART and IRL success in the States. He still works with the IndyCar Series today, most notably for giving two-seater rides around some of the tracks he used to race.

In Need of a Triple Crown

This is just a quick post in anticipation of today's Kentucky Derby. Today begins the five week quest to disappointment, as this will be the 34th straight year without a Triple Crown winner.

Now, I know what you're all saying right about now: How can I possibly know that there will not be a Triple Crown winner this year?

The answer is quite simple, however: Consistency.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mauri Rose (1941, 1947, 1948)

Mauri Rose made it to Victory Lane three times at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, becoming the third racer to accomplish that feat in 1947. He is one of the greatest to run at the Brickyard.

His three wins in four races (no races were held from 1942-1945 due to WWII) is an accomplishment no other Indy 500 driver can say they hold.

However, it didn't come easily for Rose, and surely not traditionally either.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009)

One of the most popular and recognizable drivers in the IndyCar Series. One of the most successful and talented drivers in the IndyCar Series. One of the most emotional drivers in the IndyCar Series.

All of these would be perfect descriptions of the "spider-man" of open-wheel racing: Helio Castroneves.

The Brazilian has been a consistent force at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since his rookie year in 2001. Driving for Team Penske in the team's first return to the Brickyard since the CART/IRL split, Castroneves showed the typical dominance of the Penske team at Indianapolis. He became the second straight rookie (Juan Montoya in 2000) to drink the milk at Indianapolis. After seeing the twin checkered flags, Castroneves stopped the car on the yard of bricks and climbed the fence in his trademark celebration.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987)

In our first driver profile of the month of May, we analyze the extraordinary career of Al Unser, arguably the greatest racer in the history of the Indianapolis 500. 

Al Unser, or more commonly known as "Al, Sr." since his son started racing in IndyCar with him, holds numerous records at the Indy 500. The two most prolific of those records were both achieved in his 4th and final victory at the Brickyard. In that race, he joined A.J. Foyt as the only four time winners at Indianapolis (Rick Mears would join that club four years later). In the process, he became the oldest driver (47 years old) to win the 500. Also, on the last lap of the race, he set the record for most career laps led in the Indy 500. That record still stands today, now at 644 career laps led.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's the Month of May!

Will Power, shown here, has dominated the road course
races over the last three years. He has won three straight
races, and now has all of the momentum heading to
Indianapolis. Can his success spread to the ovals, too?
(Image courtesy of
For the first time since road and street courses returned to the IZOD IndyCar Series, I can honestly say that I've LOVED each and every grand prix leading up to the ovals. Since the Dallara chassis took over in 2003 (a season which was 100% ovals), the IndyCar Series has been all about the ovals. The road course racing during that time has been, in a word, ugly. With a car designed to go at top speeds and make four counterclockwise turns, racing on road courses just did not provide a quality product. Yes, races still were alright, but nothing special. The circuits (especially Sao Paulo) were designed with an old chassis in mind. The only place these cars could pass was on a long straight heading into tight turns (usually hairpins). They still tried racing on natural terrain circuits like Barber Motorsports Park. The result: 60 laps of single file parading. But then it'd be time for the ovals, the "real racing" of the series. Cars could actually demonstrate their speed now, what the Dallara chassis was designed to produce. Road races were essentially just a filler around the ovals.

Great side by side racing through all of the 2011 Indy
Grand Prix of Alabama. Great racing going unnoticed.
(Image courtesy of
However, with the introduction of the DW12 chassis, all of a sudden the tables have turned. The first four races this year, all on road/street circuits, have been astounding! Cars can actually maneuver around the circuits, not just make passes by using an extraordinarily long straight to gather speed and then outbreak into a corner.  The Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber went from a boring parade to 15 turns of pure excitement!  All four tracks now have new lap records after such great performances by the drivers and the new car. And now we head to the ovals, specifically the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pole speeds at Indy have been 225-229 mph over the past three years. During the last practice, only three cars were able to eclipse the 218 mph mark at the Speedway.  So from how it's looked so far this year, the ovals (only four on the schedule) are setting up to be fillers around the road races!

That being said, it's still May. It's still the Indy 500. It's still the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. It always has been, and always will be.