Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 26, 2015

Gordon Kirby Has a New Competitor In The Racing Nutjob Department

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

TabloidNorris McDonald is a writer for a Canadian Newspaper, the Star, that has experienced a precipitous decline in readership over the past seven years. This McDonald character decided to use the Rolex 24-hour event at Daytona to take yet another gratuitous potshot at IndyCar for no apparent reason.

Will there ever come a time when malcontents who have created a utopia for themselves based on twenty-plus years in the past simply grow up? And if someone is supposed to be a professional writer and not a hack why would the basis of bitching be something as stupid as ‘…A friend send me an email Sunday afternoon that contained this information: “I recently read that at least one major IndyCar sponsor isn’t with the series this year and two are on their last year and won’t renew because of the short season. If that isn’t a wake-up call, then what the hell is Miles waiting for?”

NorrisHelpful hints for reporting with integrity:

-Who is the sponsor that is not with the series, and where are the comments from both IndyCar and the departing sponsor?

-Who are the two in their last year, and where are the comments from both IndyCar and last-year sponsors about a short season being the reason for their departure?

-Where are the on the record comments about your ‘points’ from Mark Miles?

You know what is easy Norris? Rumor mongering. You know what takes actual work, integrity and professionalism Norris? Going on the record with sponsors, IndyCar and series leadership. If you believe Mark Miles leads a group that does not care about the series would it not make sense to ask him why not?

When passing judgment about ‘abysmal’ ratings do you ever look around outside your little cocoon? The ratings IndyCar gets are, in fact, pretty average for sports programming on cable and OTA channels. IndyCar’s ratings are higher than the majority of programming on such sports cable channels. You work in print. You, Norris, more than anyone, should know all about previous customers leaving in droves.

In the United States we refer to the late summer holiday as ‘Labor Day.’ And it has been only one season that IndyCar has ended its season then. I do not know of one fan who likes it, but whether minds change remains to be seen.

Meantime why not do some actual reporting? Credibility might rise.

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10 Comments »

  1. While certainly an opinion piece (rather than an effort at basic reporting), his views obviously have merit. Sponsorship of both the series and participants has been unsteady at best, with a high amount of turnover / departures (the National Guard, as a recent example, and Andretti’s struggles which necessitated Hinchcliff’s leaving). Sponsorship problems are a direct result of the minuscule television ratings, which lag behind the vast majority of sports on television, and race attendance, which is down pretty much everywhere (the large gaps in spectators at Indy last year was sad). In fairness, the schedule seems written in lemon juice, so it’s difficult to build a loyal following, but bare aluminum and no tv eyeballs are indisputable.

    Whether the series goes away after 2016 is obviously unknown, but this guy’s concern that it could is obviously genuine, given the decline in all measurable factors. Hopefully, things begin to turn with some degree of schedule stability and an improving economy, but that’s no sure thing. And the jury is obviously out as to whether the current leader will able to do what his predecessors could not: Restore the prestige, profile and popularity of the sport.

    I’m just glad excellent motorsports journalists like McDonald take the time to be both knowledgable and caring so that these issues get aired in public (before it’s too late). Well done, Norris.

    Comment by Sonny Steele — January 27, 2015 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  2. I’m going to have to come down with a foot in both camps ( how’s that for a waffle ). D is right, there is not a single fact in this rant. A lot of supposition and rumor mongering.

    Sonny is right that IndyCar has serious problems and Miles doesn’t seem to have any sense of urgency to fix them.

    I found it interesting that McDonald thought there were only 20,000 fans at the Toronto race.

    Comment by Chris Lukens — January 27, 2015 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  3. Low attendance and television ratings are facts, as are vanishing sponsors (I suspect he’s talking about the departure of the National Guard deal, which was beyond the control of the Rahals or the series). The notion that the series is essentially on life support and will cease to exist following the 2016 season is the writer’s opinion based on those facts.
    Editor’s Note: And the writer comes across as a complete whack job with no integrity. I’ve heard such tin foil hat wearing nutjobs spout such nonsense for over twenty years, and with each passing year they look more insane than they did the previous one. I just wish such obsessed chicken littles would simply grow the hell up and write something constructive for a change.

    Comment by Sonny Steele — January 28, 2015 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  4. The National Guard also left NASCAR. It’s funny how he left that detail out.

    Comment by Tin Foil — January 28, 2015 @ 9:55 pm | Reply

  5. His opinions, while his own, clearly have merit, even if others disagree. Responses such as “grow the hell up” simply aren’t credible in any legitimate discussion.
    Editor’s Note: I disagree on merit. He is, in fact, factually incorrect in some of his statements. If he is attempting journalistic integrity he also failed miserably.

    Comment by Sonny Steele — January 29, 2015 @ 3:28 am | Reply

    • If you have disagreements “on merit”, why not refute his assertions with facts of your own, rather offering ad hominem attacks that do nothing to advance the discussion? As I mentioned previously, the facts regarding minuscule television ratings, sparse crowds and declining sponsorships aren’t debateable. Each of those points are obvious to all. Beyond those points, what disagreements do you have with him factually? I hope his opinion regarding the demise of the series is wrong, and I would quarrel with his conclusion that it will occur after 2016. But he’s not wrong on the facts that he presented.
      Editor’s Note: If one were to want a legitimate debate about facts with ‘ol Norris there would first need to be facts. In this column the one thing that is missing is factual content. Some Canadian guy’s pessimism is pretty distant from facts, something even the mildly thinking-capable can easily discern.

      You have employed a brand of abject stupidity in your interpretations that defies logic. When you refer to ‘minuscule television ratings’ are you even aware that IndyCar’s cable ratings are better than the vast majority of all programming on cable sports channels, most of which is actually unrated? Or that OTA IndyCar numbers hold the same relative place in the pecking order as any other time in history? If you are going to subjectively pronounce something ‘miniscule’ perhaps you should back up your claim with something even remotely intelligent. At what point are crowds not ‘sparse?’ When a series can regularly draw over a million paying customers per season over less than twenty events that is what adults refer to as ‘legitimate.’ When blue chip Verizon signs a long term deal worth millions every year, does than not fly in the face of ‘declining sponsorships’ taunting? And is it your belief that IndyCar is alone on that island, particularly after NASCAR lost its title sponsor again? As a student of history it is not hard to notice that sponsorship and motor racing has not been the same since tobacco marketing was legislated out.

      Factually incorrect:
      -‘The series has stopped racing as of Labour Day weekend for two years now.’

      Idiotic statements:
      -‘I don’t know how much longer the Verizon IndyCar Series is going to exist.’ Idiots have been spouting this kind of nonsense for over twenty years, and every year they look more insane than the previous year.

      Unprofessional, lack of integrity statements:
      -‘A friend send me an email Sunday afternoon that contained this information: I recently read that at least one major IndyCar sponsor isn’t with the series this year and two are on their last year and won’t renew because of the short season. If that isn’t a wake-up call, then what the hell is Miles waiting for?’ LOL. If he was professional and had integrity we would know the identity of the friend, the name of the sponsor(s), and have on the record comments from Miles, the teams and the sponsors. Of course that would require more effort than typing out a childish hissy fit.

      Use your brain.

      Comment by Sonny Steele — January 29, 2015 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  6. Indy Car ratings are minuscule and they are not greater than the vast majority of sports broadcast on cable. That’s simply not true.

    Indy saw perhaps it’s lowest crowd last year in the last two decades, and crowds at St. Pete, Texas, Toronto, Mid Ohio, Milwaukee and Fontana were all substantially down, and the million attendee threshold was not achieved.

    Again, please refute McDonald’s facts with verifiable ones of your own.
    Editor’s Note: Already have. Many times.

    Comment by Sonny Steele — January 30, 2015 @ 3:29 am | Reply

    • I’ll look forward to the specific data, rather than generalities.
      Editor’s Note: Look, Sybil. The olderfan, bobchinn, et al act is getting boring. Come back when you have something constructive to contribute to the discussion.

      Comment by Sonny Steele — January 30, 2015 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

      • (Nine repetitive, pointless and/or off topic commentary/cries for help due to severe mental illness relocated to comment section of 12/19/13 blog)

        Comment by Sonny Steele — January 30, 2015 @ 7:42 pm

  7. It seems also fair to point out that the opening race of the season (in Brazil), which Indy Car had been vigorously touting, has been canceled. Not saying McDonald’s prediction will come true, but a short season just got a little shorter.

    Comment by Sonny Steele — January 30, 2015 @ 3:35 am | Reply


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