Friday, February 13, 2009

Ahhh, Springtime

Clyde Haberman, Timesman, writes of baseball:
You don't have to be a wallower in nostalgia to miss the days when players resorted to performance-hindering drugs, usually liquid. One can only guess at how many of Mantle's 536 career home runs cane while he nursed an epic hangover.
All this while lamenting the state of the Yankees (About whom, really, who gives a shit? I'm a Mets guy.) specifically and baseball in general while cautiously (given the state of baseball today) celebrating the start of spring training. Pitchers and catchers reporting, and all that business.

But for me, spring starts with the Daytona 500. The loudest thing I've ever heard was a Formula 1 car wailing down the straight at Watkins Glen. More specifically, Jackie Stewart, with that red and green tartan stripe ringing the temple of his white helmet, wailing down the straight at Watkins Glen.



I was a slip of a boy, perhaps 18, and I remember it like it was yesterday. The ground shook. And this was back when racing Formula 1 was really dangerous. In fact, Stewart's teammate, Francois Cevert died in qualifying that very day. Stewart, having already won the championship on points, chose not to start the race. This clip opens with Stewart mentoring the younger Cevert (of whom he was extremely fond) on some gear selection questions. It gets unpleasant after that.



Times in F1 have changed. The modern F1 car is designed to absorb unbelievable physical abuse while protecting the driver. Check out Robert Kubica's epic shunt driving a Beemer at Montreal in 2007.



He was racing again five weeks later.

But, since the Formula 1 season doesn't begin for another couple of months, Daytona will have to do. This is Clint Boyer finishing unhurt, upside down:



Same thing from a different angle, just so you know he finished...



Let the spectacle begin. By this I refer to my trip to the studio to continue painting Tim Geithner. Because, hey, this blog is about painting, not race cars.

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