Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

March 13, 2014

The Dark Chapters of IndyCar History

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 10:42 am

Dumb ShitsTwenty years ago this week National Speed Sport News reported a plan for IMS and USAC to start a new Indy Car series because Tony George did not like being snubbed and marginalized by cart repeatedly in the early 1990s and was unhappy with the direction cart was steering the sport. History was altered forever. When the IRL eventually came to fruition it was positioned as a complementary series to cart, running ovals and offering opportunities to Americans who would not have otherwise gotten opportunities.

In theory it was a great idea. In practice it got very messy. Those of us who were adults and fans at that time have a viewpoint reflective of actual experience and a low tolerance for aberrant behavior. cart in the early and middle 1990s had lost a lot fans over their direction. Much of the schedule was yawn-worthy and despite the presence of some world class names in the sport the overall direction forced many fans to become essentially Indy-only fans. This trend combined with the ascendancy of NASCAR helped make a strong case for a series like the IRL. Usually the loudest yelpers about the ‘evil’ that is Indy and IMS were either not yet born at that time or were still prepubescent. Emotionally many still are.

I am often chided as a ‘gomer,’ a ‘bootlicker,’ a ‘place fan’ and all sorts of colorful epithets by a small handful of virulent formula racing enthusiasts with a predisposition for hatred of all things Hulman tinged with consistent refusal to acknowledge the overall importance to the sport of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Honestly, however, I did not pay much attention to the first IRL race ever at Walt Disney World, did not watch live and had to rely on my VHS taped copy later. Spoiler alerts also did not matter, and my reaction upon hearing the winner was ‘Buzz WHO?’

My epiphany was not that the IRL was great but that cart stupidly perceived it as a threat, let their arrogance guide their business practices and ultimately sent the entire sport into a malaise that exists today. It is exacerbated in 2014 by a headlong rush into attempting to recreate what they believed they had. By the time the 1996 Indianapolis 500 arrived I, like many others, enjoyed my conflicted allegiance. No one I knew stopped being fans of cart or its events, but most of us felt we could live with the politics and enjoy two distinct series with differing philosophies. If it were only that simple.

IdiotsMany felt pressured to choose a side and take a stand. It has always been difficult to understand why, but when ego overcomes rational thought stupid things can happen. That is about the time the epithets began being hurled. It was still very easy to enjoy both series but after cart intentionally backed IndyCar into the 25/8 corner and scheduled the ill-fated US 500 on the same day as the 500 most were forced to a side. What might have happened had cart participated in and dominated the first three IRL events? More than likely the IRL would have had a three race history. Instead the most confrontational possible acts were executed whenever possible. Forced to choose a side, many of us chose the institution that always made the sport possible.

WinnerIt was fitting on that race weekend in late May of 1996 that the ‘stars and cars’ could not even make the green flag without having half their field crash. As I sat in the stands at Indy watching a compelling race with hungry competitors and a popular winner the realization that karma is real made me smile. History has proven over and over that without Indy in May it is not possible for those who actively work to marginalize it to succeed. One by one they returned on terms they did not dictate. Some who did not continue attempting to subvert the sport, most recently actively working to have IndyCar replaced at Long Beach by Formula One. Sooner or later that herd will be thinned by time or death. A last gasp is taking shape at Indy this year with folks like Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Montoya strapping back in years later.

These fellow racing enthusiasts are not without valid points. Would it not be great had IMS and IndyCar employed competent management in the modern era? Still, Indy makes the stars and not the other way around. I look at this strange anniversary more with sadness than anything else. None of the more tawdry things that happened (and continue to happen) really needed to. It appears based on schedule, direction and decision making that current leadership is still willing to convince themselves that making the same mistakes repeatedly will lead to different outcomes. Those who expect this approach to lead to a dramatic uptick are probably going to have to wait a couple of more decades.



  1. To understand what happened in 1994, people need to understand what happened in 1979. Go back and read “The White Paper.” Dan Gurney’s animus towards IMS comes through loud and clear. His sentence, “It appears that a ‘SHOW DOWN’ with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is or should be the first target” says it all.”
    They had the money.
    Dan Gurney didn’t have the money.
    Dan Gurney wanted their money.

    Comment by Chris Lukens — March 13, 2014 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

    • You bootlickers only see that part of the white paper. If you actually read it and can comprehend higher than a 4th grader, you will see it was about growing the sport as a whole. USAC had little interest outside of the month of May and USAC also did not give the car owners enough of a voice on the direction of the sport. And before you come back screaming that the car owners had no right to ownership of the series, look at every professional sports league in America, they are run by the owners.
      Editor’s Note: Ahhh, ‘bootlickers.’ Credibility shot out of the gate. Owned by owners? NASCAR? Oh wait, never mind. How about all of the owner owned series that have failed over the years, including cart, twice? Yeah, that’s the model that should be followed. LOL

      Comment by TroyM — March 14, 2014 @ 2:23 am | Reply

      • “USAC also did not give the car owners enough of a voice on the direction of the sport”

        That explains 1979 and 1995. And who was responsible for both. Some of those owners are still involved in the sport and still driving the sport in the wrong direction.

        Comment by Bob F. — March 14, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

      • I think you missed the point, Disciple. NASCAR aside, every other professional sports league in the USA is run by the owners. They may appoint or hire a commissioner to “run” operations, but in the end the owners ( as the parties with the largest financial stake) have control. They always have the power to hire/fire that person at will. And that model has served the NFL, the NBA, MLB and even the NHL very well over the last several decades.
        Even given the erosion of viewing audiences due to the proliferation of entertainment offerings on TV these days, these entities continue to draw ever increasing rights fees and attendance has been stable or growing during that time.
        NASCAR “success” is a bit misleading: while Sprint Cup generates attention that Indycar ( and CART before it) can only dream about, the rest of their motorsports properties are far less successful-Nationwide, Trucks, GrandAm, Motorcycle racing all fail to (mostly) generate any real race day crowds or meaningful TV ratings. The jury’s still out on the new TUDOR iteration of top line sports car racing in the US, but the operational issues at Daytona didn’t give anyone the “warm and fuzzy” feeling all of us sports car fans were looking for.
        In any case, it’s a bit disingenuous for Chris Lukens, or anyone else for that matter, to pull one small item from what was a carefully considered statement on the state of affairs of what was then “Championship Car” racing. Gurney said a lot of things in his paper, and one that continues to be overlooked was his desire to continue under USAC sanctioning.
        Even F1 is really controlled by the teams/owners. Long ago they made their bed with Berne Eccelstone and he made himself, and them wealthy beyond any of their imagination. His is the closest to the “NASCAR” model, but even there Berne has had to adjust and concede on issues from time to time.
        Maybe Indycar has finally turned a corner; I think that’s yet to be seen however.

        Comment by Skeptical1 — March 14, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

      • Nothing disingenuous about it. I am merely reading the true meanings of the words that he wrote.

        Gurney wrote “…support USAC as the sanctioning body for Championship racing. The only improvement will be that USAC will work for us…” And then a few paragraphs later he wrote “… the first step…, get together and form the organization. (Let’s call it CART ).” It’s the idea that he wanted to work with USAC that is disingenuous. It’s obvious that Gurney wanted either a hostile takeover of USAC or to replace USAC.

        Comment by Chris Lukens — March 14, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

    • Now go back and read the rest of his “white paper”.

      Tell us all how he was wrong about what he saw as the issues impacting his, and anyone else’s attempts to at least make a reasonable go of running a “Championship Car” operation.

      We’ll wait.
      Editor’s Note: I have read Gurney’s white paper several times over the years. I always admired his sense for innovation and leadership. I completely understand how he and others felt at the time given the ‘aw shucks’ approach to business espoused by Tony Hulman, his cronies and USAC. Gurney and others aspired for bigger and better as well as a bigger piece of the Indy pie. What he advocated, though, was essentially a coup d’état following the death of Tony Hulman and a plane crash that killed key USAC officials. cart did, in fact, come about…and new revenue streams for owners were created. Simmering, ongoing resentment over not being able to sanction or control IMS and the egos of many cart owners who thought they and their series was bigger than the institution that made the sport possible in the first place led directly to the split. When cart decided to go it alone without Indy after 1996 they failed. Twice. The problem was not the original white paper ideas, it was the approach. Instead of using brickbats through windows they should have utilized quiet seduction techniques. They still have not learned those lessons today. Given the way Miles bends over for owners and has hired some of the owners own to critical positions, and considering most Hulmans and Georges are out of operational positions, Gurney’s original wishes may eventually come to pass. Using hindsight as a guide, is that something for which rational people pine?

      Comment by Skeptical1 — March 14, 2014 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  2. Sadly but undeniably, Tony George was simply unfit to lead anything of consequence, let alone US open wheel racing. His stewardship brought small crowds, smaller television ratings, a clear degradation of the 500, and a greatly diminished profile of the sport. For those of us who truly loved it, the anniversary is a sad reminder of how a person solely focused on control rather than the welfare of the sport must never be allowed to falsely claim power again. Thankfully, his mother took it away from him. Unfortunately, she was too late.
    Editor’s Note: Within the cavernous, abject stupidity that typifies the Tony George-obsessed any rationally thinking human being might occasionally recognize the alternative. Actual failure. Twice. Neither the 500 nor the series has been diminished for me. But then again I am both an actual adult and an actual fan whose tenure as such predates cart by more than two decades. Realizing that Tony George has not had operational control for years and that actual business people are moving ahead with quality improvements; e.g., 10-12 million per year in cash, technology and marketing from one of the most admired blue chip companies in the world, I would say those who choose to remain bitterly stuck in the past stewing in juices mostly fouled by themselves should attempt to exit mom’s basement once in a while. Try walking upright and employing simultaneous breathing through your nostrils. You would be amazed at the view.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 15, 2014 @ 1:02 am | Reply

  3. I responded to your post with unquestioned, undeniable facts. You may choose to either ignore them or otherwise rationalize your opposition to them, but they’re still facts.
    Editor’s Note: I call bullshit on all counts kid. First, you expressed an opinion about Tony George and his leadership based on your own myopia, ignorance and hostility. Second, his stewardship of the sport had less an effect on smaller crowds, smaller television ratings, perceived degradation of the 500 and perceived diminished profile of the sport than the natural course of evolution and competition. About the time Tony stepped in NASCAR exploded, as did the ways in which humans communicate and entertain themselves. I credit Tony George with saving the sport. When left to their own devices the all powerful series killed itself. Twice. That had more of a detrimental effect on the stature of the sport than anything George ever did. Still no facts yet.

    And you need to understand the Verizon contract better, as you’ve missed the specifics in terms of the cash amount paid to the ICS. An gain, facts are important, even for those who choose to ignore them.
    Editor’s Note: I understand it fine. 5 to 6 million in cash annually for five years with option for another five, and another 5 to 6 million annually for technical advancement and marketing. Considering the stature of that company in the world of adults it is a perfect fit and a spectacular get. To chide it in any way is to expose foolish ignorance.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 15, 2014 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  4. No, you responded with opinion, not fact.
    Editor’s Note: I responded with a firm grasp of actual reality and the maturity to state history correctly.

    The profile, popularity and prestige of the sport plummeted under Tony George’s stewardship. Those are unquestionable facts. Cart imploded without the 500, and the TG led IRL imploded with the 500, yet you consider him successful and “visionary”. Again, the facts aren’t with you on this.
    Editor’s Note: Actual facts: cart killed itself. Twice. IndyCar, evolved from the IRL, is preparing to enter its 18th uninterrupted season. The Indianapolis 500 has not missed a year since WWII. It continues drawing the most fans and the most ratings of any other IndyCar event by a wide margin. Tony George has not been calling the shots for many years. I know that is difficult for your breed of flat-earthed cretins to grasp much less accept but actual reality trumps delinquent floor fits every single time. Is it not time your ilk matriculated into the year 2014?

    And Verizon is not providing $10-12 million a year in cash to the series, as you falsely claimed. So, as you can see, the bullshit was all yours.
    Editor’s Note: Do you ever even bother attempting to read, much less comprehend what is written? I stated ‘5 to 6 million in cash annually for five years with option for another five, and another 5 to 6 million annually for technical advancement and marketing.’ Those are the widely accepted terms. Is there anything about these terms with which you are still having difficulty?

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 15, 2014 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

  5. By the way, how far do you think that $5 million in “technology and marketing” will go in a year?
    Editor’s Note: Significantly further than $0. As you know two of IndyCar’s biggest historical issues are equipping the infrastructure with cutting edge technology and marketing that leaves a lot to be desired. Big picture? $12 million over five years will advance both significantly. The business I completely understand is that of using television as a marketing platform and the amount devoted toward marketing can make a strong impact. In the hands of a partner like Verizon there are a myriad of possibilities.

    If you have any understanding of media costs, that amount is quite modest for a company like Verizon.
    Editor’s Note: Of course it is. Is that bad? What matters is how/where the spend will occur, and what the results will be. I would rather have $12 million over five years in the hands of Verizon than IndyCar.

    So, rather than silly statements about posters in basements, try orienting yourself to the realities of both the Split and the series today. Your credibility will improve if you choose this new course. Thanks.
    Editor’s Note: Your first step in personal evolution should be to let 1996 remain in the previous century and join the rest of the planet in 2014. My credibility is rooted in reality. My big picture is that this May will be the 50th 500 I have attended in person. My hat has never been hung on one period, and neither should yours. The split is history, which is where it should remain. The Verizon deal represents a huge business step forward and has nothing to do with either cart, IndyCar, IRL or any other entity from the past. The upper management guiding the IMS ship are removed from both. It is a perfect opportunity to look forward for a change. In other words, climb out of the basement.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 15, 2014 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

    • Since you’re the one who raised the sad events of 20 years ago, clearly it is you who needs to leave 1996 in the previous century. And since you were also just as clearly on the wrong side of history, you should also attempt to engage in fact based posting, rather than a continuance of your familiar retorts. Those of us who are actually adults would appreciate you joining us in the factual world.
      Editor’s Note: Got obsession? Or comprehension? LOL. Look kid, I’m perfectly content with 1996 remaining in 1996, and as I prepare for my 50th Indy 500 here in 2014 I am comforted by the fact that I will have another great May, just as I have 49 other times. I am also set to attend at least five other IndyCar events, and that’s not bad either. And that is really what it is all about.

      As for the Verizon deal, it’s an incredibly modest amount of money that’s likely to have little impact on the sport.
      Editor’s Note: Time will tell. Here are some facts for digestion: Verizon has been involved with the series for four years, and each year their involvement has increased. Obviously they see value and and benefit. I tend to rely on their judgement more so than hysterical chicken littles on the Internet.

      For perspective, it’s less total money annually than the Rahal National Guard deal, and it’s supposed to cover the entire series. In the end, media types realize it’s a pittance.
      Editor’s Note: Curious. Most reputable media types I know have almost unanimously praised both the deal and its possibilities. Sorry the money does not meet the lofty expectations of the Internet chicken little crowd but given the partner and the plans it is, in fact, a large step forward. The next five years will be interesting. I am certain your little group will provide colorful commentary. Thanks for watching.

      Comment by Bob Chinn — March 15, 2014 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  6. Glad that you’re enthused for another year. That, of course, has nothing to do with the points we were discussing, but it was a time honored deflection from the issues at hand.
    Editor’s Note: Your complete lack of any sort of discernible reading comprehension continues to astound me. As a fan and supporter of the sport I am very happy with Verizon’s increased involvement over time. That has much to do with the topic.

    As for Verizon, their involvement to date has occurred during a period of declining attendance, television ratings and races (especially ovals). Do you believe these factual results are due to Verizon’s support or in spite of it?
    Editor’s Note: Largely in spite of it. Obviously they see the glass half full and have have stepped up their involvement for the fifth season in a row.

    And, given their increased participation, do you believe anything will change, or will the downward trend in attendance, ratings and races continue?
    Editor’s Note: Speculation about the future is not my thing. I suspect things have stabilized and I am anxious to see whether their marketing prowess makes a difference. We shall see.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 15, 2014 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

  7. Rearranging chairs on the deck of the titanic. Verizon sponsorship: penske extortion, robbing peter to pay paul, voodoo economics, hocus pocus…you still chug it all down as they spew this nonsense.
    Editor’s Note: Given that framework I’m surprised your little chiming klatch of mentally deficient rodents isn’t jumping for joy. It harkens back to ‘the good old days.’

    Sure would like to do an exit interview with the IZOD brass responsible for their IRL sponsorship. LOL.
    Editor’s Note: It’s as easy as looking up Mike Kelly. Go for it.

    Comment by Youowemeabeerasshole — March 16, 2014 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

  8. My reading comprehension is perfectly fine. I’m easily able to detect your efforts at deflection.
    Editor’s Note: I guess that’s normal for mischief-minded malcontents that keep talking in circles.

    As for Verizon, their commitment is minimal and, on the heels of the loss of the three previous series sponsors, one must wonder why this effort will produce a result different than the declining attendance, television ratings, sponsorship and number of events that has typified the series. Again, those are simply facts, regardless of whether one chooses to accept them.
    Editor’s Note: The entire history of the sport is rife with examples of title sponsors that come and go, even in NASCAR. I get your quaint little condemnation of all things IndyCar but most real fans have a tendency to look forward. The Verizon deal, as crappy as your little group stupidly believes it is, looks ahead. And here are some digestible facts: Verizon has increased its involvement each of the four years it has been involved. Obviously they see potential you have blocked from your vision. I’ll trust the marketing savvy of Verizon over the ‘I hate Indy’ comment crowd any day.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 16, 2014 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  9. Bob Chinn is correct, you refuse to deal with reality. That alone renders this dream of yours invalid. Toss this in your hat, dummy.
    Editor’s Note: He, like you, offers very little of anything substantive. Commenting within blog comment sections does not require much intelligence, as evidenced by the litany of stupidity polluting this page.

    Comment by Goron Liddy — March 16, 2014 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  10. Bob Chinn has schooled you Disciple. You look like a spoiled brat tossing his toys in responding to his well thought out posts. You need to join the rest of us and face facts that your hero Tony is just a bumbling idiot. Good job Bob!
    Editor’s Note: Topic reminder: Verizon sponsorship. Not cyber-fellatio of other comment crappers and anti-Tony nonsense. Try to stick with that in the future. Thanks.

    Comment by Willy Pheistergache — March 16, 2014 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  11. You admonish me for not looking forward while conveniently ignoring that the subject of your post was a look backward to the events of 20 years ago.
    Editor’s Note: The topic of this blog thread is a nostalgic look back to something that happened 20 years ago last week. The point of the piece that you remain unable to grasp is the importance of using history to avoid making the same mistakes over and over and hoping for different results. Whenever anything even remotely related to the topic of ‘the split’ is written your kind inevitably slithers out of the woodwork with all sorts of obtuse Tony George hate, sky is falling nonsense bullet points, usually in some defense of some concocted utopia they believed once existed. Since nothing can be done about the past why not look forward?

    Further, you decry non-substantive posts while simultaneously ignoring the factual posts I’ve offered and countering with nothing factual in response.
    Editor’s Note: You have offered very little that factual. What you offer is doom tinged, glass half empty spin and a creepy obsession with calling me out instead of focusing on the words in the blog.

    As Verizon’s support has increased, the key metrics (attendance, television ratings, sponsorship and number of races) have all decreased, yet you somehow believe that the trend will now reverse (though you offer nothing to support your view).
    Editor’s Note: Again, you have resorted to concoction of what you believe are my beliefs. Amazing. And also creepy. As previously stated, no one knows how attendance, ratings, sponsorship and number of races are going to trend. My opinion, based on reality, is that sponsorship is increasing, Verizon is right there at the top of blue chip partners that can make a difference and has shown commitment by increasing their participation in each of the past four years. Mark Miles wants more races, and so far he seems good at getting things he wants, albeit slowly. In the current entertainment environment of 500+ channels and a seemingly endless way to get content delivered any time, anywhere it seems foolish to use historic ratings as a barometer for future success. With the right marketing attendance will increase. No one knows yet, and to predict higher numbers would also be foolish. In other words, stop making things up and just try to comprehend the written word, then respond to them.

    If being a disciple means you must defend the indefensible, it’s little wonder you’re unable to engage in fact based exchanges, resorting instead to a constant barrage of childish name calling, a tactic never employed by those on the right side of an argument.
    Editor’s Note: IndyCar is neither indefensible nor invincible, and those who can actually comprehend what they read know that I am as likely to point out warts as I am to heap praise. I cannot speak for your thin skin, but when one of the handful of you squats here with the same repetitive line of dung in thread after thread it will continue being amusing for me to continue pointing out the mentally and emotionally deficient nature of your obsession. You may have noticed that there are several regulars here who also take contrary views. The difference between them and your kind is that they are always literate, to the point and are able to express themselves as adults without idiot-level obfuscation that makes it logical to question whether or not they are even human. Perhaps you should try that approach once.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 16, 2014 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  12. In respect of history, I very clearly said several posts ago that allowing someone wholly unqualified to lead the sport to ascend to the top spot was a critical error, and one not rectified until his mother removed him. We can all learn great lessons from the abject failure that was his leadership.
    Editor’s Note: We got it. You dislike Tony George. Point taken. Over and over and over again. As a 50+ year hands-on fan of the sport I am gratified it did not end up in the hands of people who actually did bankrupt themselves and go out of business. Twice.

    Further, I’ve offered fact after fact, to which you respond with childish name calling and untruths. Those are never, ever the tactics of someone who is knowledgeable.
    Edditor’s Note: Quit whining like a four year old, actually contribute on topic content, and leave it all at that pal. Just a suggestion before your obsessive, repetitive nonsense starts getting moved to the thread where it belongs again.

    Attendance, television ratings, sponsorship, and the number of events are all down, perhaps coincidentally even as Verizon has increased their series involvement. It is quite reasonable to wonder whether this clear, fact based and undeniable trend will be reversed during Verizon’s stint as title sponsor. If you weren’t able to offer a reasoned view, simply say so. But suggesting that it’s “foolish” to use past performance as an indicator of future results simply isn’t correct.
    Editor’s Note: You keep trying to argue a point that is unworthy of an argument. Verizon obviously knows more about marketing than anyone commenting here. Their actions speak louder than your words. Their involvement has increased even, as you have repetitively pointed out, metrics have ‘declined.’ Why would Verizon do that? Perhaps they are mining potential on the cheap. I am certain they expect all the metrics about which you shriek to rise. Perhaps it is logical to believe that. My belief is that any uptick in any number will be slow and gradual over a long period of time, impeded primarily by series management that is convinced making the exact same mistakes of the past will lead to better results. As a racing fan, I am excited to see what happens off the track as well with a company of Verizon quality.

    Once again, I offer facts and reason, and you respond with invective, name calling and little (if any) substance. Each of these characteristics do not present an effective or credible defense of anything, including the series you purport to support.
    Editor’s Note: Words of advice: I got your point about 16 posts ago. Climb down off the cross there, JC. We could use the firewood after this winter. When you comment in the future, please confine your commentary to the actual topic. Nothing else. Try it. Last warning.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 16, 2014 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  13. (Off topic content moved to the comment section of ‘IndyCar Idiot Repository’ dated 12/19/13)

    Comment by Youowemeabeerasshole — March 16, 2014 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

    • (Off topic delinquency relocated to ‘IndyCar Idiot Repository thread dated 12/19/13)

      Comment by Youowemeabeerasshole — March 18, 2014 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  14. I highly doubt Verizon’s money will do anything to raise the Indy Car Series. This stinks more of a Penske gets all deal. I see this as a take all at best. I would like to think you too can see through this. Rahal’s National Guard deal is for more. I can’t see other than the occasional commercial that this will help . Penske probably gets a cut every time Verizon gets mentioned in relationship to the series. Just my opinion of course.
    Editor’s Note: Thanks, Einstein. Your barely literate pessimism is duly noted.

    Comment by Willy Pheistergache — March 17, 2014 @ 3:14 am | Reply

  15. (Off topic commentary relocated to comment thread of 12/19/13)

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 19, 2014 @ 3:10 am | Reply

    • (Off topic commentary relocated to comment thread of 12/19/13)

      Comment by Bob Chinn — March 19, 2014 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  16. (Off topic commentary and factual Editor reply relocated to comment thread of 12/19/13)

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 19, 2014 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  17. (Off topic commentary + reply relocated to comment thread dated 12/19/13)

    Comment by Bob Chinn — March 19, 2014 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

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