Two events, almost zero interest

The last Sunday of February.

It has meant two things, at least in recent years: the Daytona 500 and the Academy Awards.

I really don’t care much about NASCAR. Yes, I will look on the Internet to see who won the race, but don’t expect me to tune in for lap after lap after lap of driving around in an oval (or whatever the shape of the track is). The only races I feel that are worth tuning in for extended periods are the two on road courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen), and the two at Pocono, since that track is so oddly shaped.

Growing up in Louisiana, there just wasn’t much interest in NASCAR. First, the Bayou State does not have a track, unlike most southern states.Alabama and the Carolinas are nuts about NASCAR. So are large swaths of Tennessee and Virginia.

Mississippi doesn’t have a track, but once you get east of Interstate 55, there isn’t much difference between Mississippi and Alabama, and if people in Alabama aren’t watching football, they’re probably watching NASCAR.

I’m surprised there is only one track in Texas, and that’s at Fort Worth. I would think a track at Houston or another metropolitan area–El Paso excluded–would do well.

When I do follow NASCAR, I want Chevrolet drivers to win, because I have driven only General Motors cars all my life. I’m also a fan of Joe Gibbs Racing, because I admire Gibbs’ coaching acumen with the Washington Redskins. Imagine if Gibbs had Tom Brady or another star quarterback throughout his tenure with the Redskins. Oh well, that’s another blog post for another day.

NASCAR isn’t high on my list, but it’s way, way above tennis and the Olympics, and probably above the NBA too.

I may not be too interested in NASCAR, but I’m a die-hard compared to my interest in the Academy Awards.

I have never watched a single minute of the Academy Awards. The only way I’m starting now is if I’m with a significant other on the couch. But since I’m not, NO.

I absolutely hate Buzztime trivia questions which focus on Academy Award winners. I don’t know. I could care less! I could name a very few Best Picture winners, but that’s it.

From 1972 through 1998, the Academy Awards were always presented on a Monday night, save for 1981, when President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, and out of deference to the former president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, the ceremony was postponed one night.

Some of those Academy Award ceremonies clashed with the NCAA basketball championship. The first was in 1976, when Indiana completed its 32-0 season by defeating Michigan 86-68 in the final. When on stage to present an award, Elliott Gould quipped the winner was, “Indiana, 86-68”.

Bobby Knight’s Hoosiers won the 1987 championship over Syracuse at the same time the Academy Awards were being presented. The 1981 NCAA final between Indiana and North Carolina was originally scheduled to go head-to-head with the Oscars, but the game went on as scheduled and the Oscars did not when it was confirmed Reagan would survive.

In 2000, the Academy Awards were shifted to Sunday, where they’ve been ever since. And in 2004, the ceremonies were moved to the Sunday following the last Friday of February.

I have only one hope for this year’s Academy Awards.

Emma Stone had better be Best Actress!!!!!!!! If it’s Meryl Streep, I’m calling it a huge fix. Streep may have had great roles in the past, but if she wins this time, it will be because the Academy voters will want to hear her slander Donald Trump.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association state wrestling championships were this weekend.

I watched exactly zero seconds of coverage of the 3-2-1A tournament on Smoky Hills Public Television. I do not miss that event one bit. I have nothing against the wrestlers, the coaches, or the fans who attend, but I could care less. I’m better off not going.

Kansas is the ONLY STATE in the United States which holds its wrestling state championships at THREE different sites. I repeat, the ONLY STATE.

Missouri? Columbia. Nebraska? Omaha. Arkansas? Little Rock. Alabama? Huntsville. Louisiana? Shreveport (used to be New Orleans). Yet Kansas cannot get its act together.

It’s very sad. I’m sure Nathan Broeckelman, a two-time state champion wrestler at Norton who now coaches at Great Bend, would have loved to be able to see his alma mater win its fifth consecutive 3-2-1A championship. And I’m sure Nathan’s wife, Hannah (Mills), who went to Norton with Nathan, would have loved to see it to. But nope. the KSHSAA insists its silly format is the best.

Well, it’s basketball sub-state week. Another convoluted format.

I’m going to Beloit tomorrow night to watch Cailtyn and the Norton Lady Bluejays play the Trojans. I hope it is not Caitlyn’s last basketball game, but I know it will end sooner or later. I would just prefer it end in my hometown, or in Hutchinson at the state tournament.

Tuesday is Mardi Gras. I have to go to Kansas City. I don’t have to, but I need to. I haven’t seen Robb and Dawn in three weeks, and that’s the same with the crews at Buffalo Wild Wings and Minsky’s.

I stayed up until 4 a.m. today working on things to get ahead. I took a shower before getting a few hours of sleep. Worked out okay. Surprised I didn’t need a nap today. Maybe it’s the energy of knowing I see Caitlyn and Peggy tomorrow.

Now where do I end tomorrow? Back in Russell? Salina? Kansas City? There are pros and cons to each option. Russell I wouldn’t have to spend money on a hotel, but there’s the four-hour drive. Kansas City puts me there for Tuesday, but I’m looking at 11:30 to midnight before arriving. Salina gets me off the road sooner, but I still have to drive three hours.

If that’s the biggest decision I have to make for tomorrow, it can’t be bad.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on February 26, 2017, in Current Events, NASCAR and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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