In my 30-plus years following the sport, I just don't really remember the hype and attention surrounding the IndyCar series this past off-season. While we started out with tons of bad news, it's been more than counter-balanced by some great stuff, and the energy as we work towards the opener at St. Pete in 14 days...yes, I said 14 days!...is reaching a fever pitch.
We've had so much to talk about, and that has been great, but with no races or points battles to analyze and no real driver smack to talk it seems we are reaching the the kind of saturation point where stuff is being rehashed to death, and I am beginning to read more and more stories that make me think "where in the hell did THAT come from?".
Of course the controversies surrounding Texas have taken on lives of their own. Classic cases of he said-he said stuff about the fencing and safety and boycotts. It just won't go away.
Sometimes it seems like we are at the point that people are resorting to just making stuff up. A fellow named Norris McDonald, a sports journalist with the Toronto Star, threw together a blog entry where he claims that James Hinchcliffe's ride with Andretti Autosport was in danger before he even ran a single race.
McDonald claimed that since AA gave Ana Beatriz a stint in Hinch's car during the Sebring test that Hinch was on the ropes. Of course he didn't call AA or even Hinch (who verified via Twitter he was blindsided) to try and get to the bottom of it, just used a lot of hearsay and dot-connecting to say that Bia was on her way to being the new GoDaddy girl.
The orignal blog has been cowardly replaced with this version as a sort of "ooops, my bad, I didn't check any of my sources and my story was total BS." Remember a post last week where I talked about "guerrilla journalism"? Here is the example.
Of course, McDonald hasn't had a lot of nice things to say about IndyCar lately, posting here that IndyCar shouldn't even pursue an opportunity to race in Phoenix and here where he said if we thought the attention Danica got was bad, we had better get ready for all Rubens, all the time.
Now from a writing standpoint these last two I don't agree with, but I won't quibble with the content. They are blog posts, and they represent his opinion. That's cool, it's no different than what I do here.
But to just up-and-up write something that is "harder news" in a blog is pretty irresponsible. No calls, no quotes, no nothing. And I'm sure that mistake was realized given that the post was spiked in favor of a shorter, tamer version.
The final two lines of the "new" post looked like this:
I then wrote: "And this could very well be much ado about nothing."
And as it's turned out, it was.
OK, and it was ado about nothing until you decided to take it a couple of steps further! And if you had done your research before taking this crap online it would have stayed that way.
Stuff like this is just a pet peeve of mine. This whole use of "contact" and "sources" that are utilized in the hopes of putting out a story before the other guy is dangerous and unprofessional. Unfortunately, our sport is surrounded with people like this who try to become part of the story instead of just writing about it. A certain person who has a "Mailbag" likes to do the same thing. It's wrong and it isn't fair to the people involved.
Anyway, rant over. All this means is that it's time to start racing. Please! Let's get some fresh stories and ideas and really give people something to talk about.