Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 2, 2012

Heart Grabbing Traditions At The Indianapolis 500

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:10 am

One of the greatest traditions in Indianapolis 500 history will not occur in 2012. Jim Nabors will not be available for Back Home Again in Indiana. He will be recovering from a heart valve replacement surgery and we wish him the very best for a speedy recovery.

So what will happen when the time arrives for the famous number? Hopefully not what happened the last time he did not make it. That year (in addition to rain) they had the crowd sing-a-long. Frankly, that was extraordinarily cheesy. The loudest, most off key Nabors wannabees were three sheets to the wind by the time the song rolled around and screwed It up for everyone in their vicinity.

IMS has, over the years, slowly but steadily damaged the continuity of pre-race festivities mostly by bending over for ABC and their spot load, leaving the 300,000+ at the track with only Calabro (RIP Mr. Carnegie), bad music, and extended periods of silence. Given the proclivity of IMS to screw up even simple things (like the entire PA system at critical moments), many of us old timers are cringing as we await whatever they come up with, which will probably be the cheapest alternative they can find.

Side note: Many parts of the track appear headed straight for 1945. Spend a little money on upkeep, Mr. Belskus. It will be way more expensive to fix things the longer you put off the kind of maintenance your predecessors were meticulous about.

Back on topic, the perfect, respectful, cool choice for a Nabors replacement (temporarily) is the singing group Straight No Chaser from IU. There would not even be a need for Purdue’s band (a money saver for those counting beans). Go listen to these guys on youtube and think about it.

Although Aunt Flo evidently cut way back on the pre-race cocktails with her suite mates and didn’t warble God Bless America as badly last year, it would not be a bad idea to update the talent for that patriotic ditty with someone a little more contemporary.

Here’s hoping these traditions evolve smoothly instead of being bludgeoned into existence by non-original thinking.

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7 Comments »

  1. Dear Defender:

    I am finalizing plans to drive up from South Florida for the race…give me an idea about tickets for the race…will sellers have good seats on hand near the facility on the morning of the event? Also, most Indy hotels are requiring a minimum night stay and I only plan to sleep in the Indianapolis vicinity the night prior to the race…which neighboring town is close enough to make the drive into the track area manageable but far enough so that I can avoid sold old hotels and/or the dreaded minimum night stay requirement?
    Editor’s Note: Indianapolis has never had as many hotel rooms as they do now. While some may try to get a minimum stay, most of the reputable chains have no such requirement although the rates may be slightly higher. If it were me I would try to stay downtown and take one of several modes of transportation that will get you to the front gate along special routes. If not you could try the south/southwest (like, Greenwood) or the north/northwest (like, Zionsville). The crappers claim the poor scalpers have been losing their shirts for years so you should have a fairly easy time of it with regard to tix. I would try for E, E Penthouse or B Penthouse. If you already know how to bicker with brutha brokers you have a leg up. I don’t worry about it anymore since I own a house within walking distance.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — May 2, 2012 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  2. Just curious, what parts of the facilities are you saying are in decay? Also, I agree, they seem to be bungling the pre-race as of late. I think, it’s time to start looking for ways to update the pre-race ceremonies while keeping the traditions of the 60’s and 70’s intact. i.e. Let’s do a video hologram deal of Jim Nabors for posterity. However, let’s replace Florence Henderson with someone new each year to sing God Bless America. Make it a big deal and a big name. Someone who can actually sing would be nice. Also, I’m sure, there are those smarter than I that can come up with some new traditions such as maybe IMS coaxing 33 big name celebrtities each year to come out and introduce their driver counterpart for driver introductions, and send them around the track in trucks the drivers with their celebrity counter part or something splashy like that. Who knows. There has to be a way to keep a link to the sacred past and make this a sexier show for 2012 tv and beyond.
    Editor’s Note: Overgrown grass and weeds, rusty scoreboards and video monitors, horribly decaying pavement in the museum parking lot, etc. The sense of pride that existed since 1946 has vanished.

    Comment by Tommy Thompson — May 2, 2012 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

    • IMS likely doesn’t have the money to do all of the upkeep you bitch about. Belskus was brought in because the previous head of the place couldn’t keep from bleeding cash.
      Editor’s Note: Smart adults understand the relative cost effectiveness of basic maintenance on property. Let it go and it will cost more in the long run. It does not take a genius to figure that out.

      Comment by TroyM — May 3, 2012 @ 1:29 am | Reply

  3. I heard they’re going to play a recording of Nabors, which is lame. If Nabors, bless him, is unavailable, then move on. Find a new singer. Move into the new century. Adapt.

    Comment by redcar — May 2, 2012 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  4. The biggest tradition I cherish and wish would come back is the striving for “a new track record”

    That and true open wheel cars.

    Comment by Bob F. — May 3, 2012 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

  5. Flo has got to go.

    Good idea for replacing Nabors this year.

    Comment by indymoon — May 4, 2012 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  6. It seems like the same traditions you lament are the same ones you would like to see replaced. This race has always been about the present as much as its past. While it may be nice to see someone prettier/more handsome or with more talent than either Nabors or Henderson, they are part of the tradition that many, many people look forward to every year. Keep these things intact and, of course, over time age and death will mandate an update of traditions.

    Comment by Greg R — May 4, 2012 @ 8:32 pm | Reply


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