Unfortunately I am not up in Sonoma watching the Sprint Cup cars. Last year on Father’s Day I was on the edge of a very hard stone seat in the Coca-Cola Bottle Neck rooting with all my heart for Tony to overtake Kasey Kahne at Infineon. It didn’t happen but a second place finish wasn’t bad. It was the closest Tony had come to winning a race that I was in attendance of so I was pretty excited (unfortunately this is still the case). One of the things that really SUCKED about Infineon was leaving after the race. Traffic was a freaking nightmare compared to the other three tracks I had been to (those being Las Vegas, Fontana and Phoenix). Part of it could have been my unfamiliarity with the area- perhaps if I had gone up through Petaluma and down another way I would have been better off…but I sat there stopped on whatever highway that is up there in front of the track for HOURS. And folks…for those keeping track? Infineon is about 4 hours north of me on a good traffic day. I didn’t get home until after midnight and that was driving like a bat out of…well you know where…when I finally DID clear race traffic. This year I am not up there and I am sad…and really itching to see the Cup boys run. The sound and feel of 43 800-hp cars taking a green flag is awesome. Or heck the sound of 1 car revving in the garage is awesome. But I am digressing…and making myself homesick for a race.
That being said I am down here on the Monterey Peninsula where I live, which is in the height of U.S. Open fever right now. Every night on the news for the past two weeks or so has been golf this, U.S. Open that, Pebble this, Tiger Woods that. Now I know very little about golf- especially professional golf. I am going to admit that to you right up front. I get the idea that you are suppose to hit the little white ball as few times as possible to get it into the hole and that my friends is where my knowledge of golf ends. Sand wedge, wood, iron, putter? Huh? Whot? Even though we have a yearly celebrity pro/am hosted on the peninsula- I still don’t really pay attention. Golf has never been on my radar because it always seemed to me that watching paint dry would be more fun than watching golf because then at least- I would have the fumes to entertain my brain cells. But lately- golf has been in my face…and I can’t help but share some totally sweeping generalizations about golf vs. NASCAR:
- Traffic? Just as crazy. I know because I have been getting stuck in golf traffic all week on my way to and from work. Much like a race weekend- golf traffic gets worse as the week progresses. They are parking the spectators just blocks from where I work because around the perimeter of campus there are lots of open space/parking lots that were here back when this place use to be an Army Base.
- Those guys hawking tickets outside the track? They do that for golf too!!! I figure they pretty much do it for every sporting event though.
- There are also all these WELCOME GOLF FANS signs at all the businesses around here.
- Golf fans? They are so limited as to what they can take to the course! No signs, cell phones, NO CAMERAS (that seems insanely dumb to me), no bags bigger than 8x8x8, no containers, no food, no drink. Nothing. Just a jacket (needed here- it’s really foggy today), comfy shoes, and loads of money because you have to buy all your food/beverages there. If you find yourself by a golfer? You can’t ask him for an autograph.
- Golf fans do not tailgate. No tents, no coolers or tables, no cornhole or barbecues in the parking lot. No congregating with others who are not part of your direct party. Makes the parking lot pretty damn boring if you ask me.
- Golf fans do not show their loyalty outwardly- that I could see. They do not have flags flying from their cars that say TIGER or TOM! They don’t have bumper stickers supporting their favorite golfer. And from what I tell they don’t wear shirts for their favorite golfer either. The most fan advertisement for golfing I have seen– a TITLIST license plate frame. Again pretty damn boring to me. Half the fun of going to a race is people watching.
- Not to mention the fact that I can’t imagine being at a sporting event where if you get a cough or a sneeze you might get yelled out or asked to leave. Seriously – those quiet paddles are intangible to me- if I wanted to be quiet I would go to a library (or apparently a golf tournament). Of course I love a sport that is so noisy if I want to communicate with my friend I either have to YELL a centimeter from her ear at the top of my lungs or text her- even though she is sitting two inches from me. I like to be able to HEAR and FEEL and TASTE my sports!
- Tiger Woods is to golf media/fandom, what Dale Junior is to NASCAR media/fandom kinda sorta….only less witty.
Ok that’s it…that is my thoughts on GOLF. Now where are my cup car boys? Oh yeah…four hours north of me. Dammit. Go TONY Go!!!!