Sunday, May 29, 2011

Morning at the Indianapolis 500

It's morning at the Indianapolis 500, and I've been here for nearly 3 hours. The media and staff have been showing up since before 5, and we're going to be here for at least another 8 hours. This is my third Indy 500, and I'm sitting on the outside of Row 3. If we were the starting lineup of the 500, I would be Dario Franchitti.

Once again, I'm one of the few bloggers invited to the 500 this year, and I'm surprised that most of them haven't been here. One guy, PressDog, was here for qualifications weekend, but then had to be home this weekend, and will be forced to watch it from home. Still, his live blogging of every IndyCar race is awesome, and I may be reading it as much as I listen to the race on the radio.

I think the Media Center is one of the few places in Indianapolis where you can actually watch the 500 on TV. The archaic and arcane broadcast rules means that the host city is the only place in the world that is not allowed to see the 500 on TV. I understand that the reason for it is because they don't want people staying home to watch it on TV; they want ticket sales instead. But even the NFL airs home games if the stadium sells a certain percentage of tickets. I think most people realize that watching the race on TV is nothing like being there, and so the real fans will buy tickets and show up here.

The marching bands are marching down the home stretch, and the fans are starting to trickle in. The Purdue University World's Largest Bass Drum has driven by on a pickup every time one of the bands marches by. I don't know if this is band geek smack talk — "Our drum is bigger than yours" — or if the driver is just lost, and trying to find his band (keep turning left, dude), but we should see the Purdue band a little later, when there are more people to watch. (One of the high school bands going by is the sorriest set of marchers I've seen in a long time. I was in high school band, and we knew how to march, by God! These kids are out for a stroll, not a march!)

I'll be updating major events from the race again this year, so pay attention to this blog, my Twitter feed, and anywhere else you happen to follow me online.

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