Formula 1200 Is The Racing League For The Rest Of Us

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Emerson Fittipaldi dominated the 1994 Indianap...

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Race car driving is challenging, fun and expensive. Many people who have the talent to become a competitive driver and appear on television in the Indy 500 or on the streets of Monaco in a Formula One car never get the chance. The sport is simply too expensive for most young talents to give it a try.

Harry O’Neal believes that just isn’t fair and knows an affordable way for boys and girls to test their talent on the track. Harry is the president of the Ontario chapter of the Formula 1200 Driver’s Association. If you aren’t familiar with Formula 1200, perhaps you have heard of Formula Vee. They are the same international racing league.

A decent Formula 1200 car costs between $10,000 and $12,000. Fees and expenses for a race weekend run from $350 to $500. Expenses will be higher if the car gets damaged, but not significantly. O’Neal points out that rebuilding the front end costs about $500 for a Formula 1200 car compared to $2000 for a Formula Ford.

O’Neal is quick to point out that the key to success in Formula 1200 is the driver’s skill. The rules dictate that every car in the field has nearly identical performance. Stock Volkswagen 4 cylinder, 1200 cc, air-cooled engines are in every Formula 1200 car. They cannot weigh less than 464 kilograms and the wheels, brakes and transaxle are all VW stock.

Even though the engines only produce 55 to 60 horsepower, the cars can reach 200 km/h on a long straight. Because these are small cars, with a low center of gravity, it feels much faster to the driver. Formula 1200 is an exciting racing league and a great way for young drivers to experience the sport of open wheel racing. Best of all, this is a league that doesn’t require a huge budget to compete.

Make no mistake, however, if you have the talent in Formula 1200, there is every possibility you could pilot a car in one of the major racing leagues down the road. Nikki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi and Bobby Rahal all proved themselves in Formula 1200. This is a growing sport in Canada and around the world. If you know a youngster with a passion for racing but lacking the budget to compete in Formula Atlantic or Formula Ford, introduce them to Formula 1200. There is no telling how far they might go.

 

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The DOE complains about graduation rates in College Basketball

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DOEX

This week US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan suggested that the NCAA should ban teams from the NCAA Tournament that do not maintain a minimum graduation rate for their players. WHAT?????

Don’t forget that this pinhead is the guy that was so effective as the CEO of the Chicago Public School System he was named to his current post by Obama. Forget the fact that the Chicago public schools are at the very bottom of the heap nationwide in graduation rates and standardized test scores. What it does rank at the top of the nation in is in-school violence, teen age pregnancy and dropouts. I guess he is just another “do as I say not as I do” guy in Washington.

But beyond the fact that the speaker is totally incompetent to say anything about graduation rates, there are other factors over which the NCAA and individual colleges have little or no control.

Prior to the NBA requiring that a player be 1 year out of school before applying for the NBA draft, those players (often between 20 and 40 a year) would go from high school directly into the pros. Now, those players go to college for 1 year and then on to the pros. They have little or no interest in college. It is a means to an end–to get a pro contract. We all know that the vast majority of these players will go to a basketball factory like Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, etc. The result is that the best programs have the worst graduation rates. DAH!!!!

In college football 5 guys that leave early have very little impact. There are 80+ on the team. However, if you have 2 guys that leave early out of a basketball roster, statistically it has much more impact.

I do not believe that players should have to play 1 year in college before getting a chance to go pro. No one would complain about a brilliant chemist that leaves Podunk U for a multimillion dollar contract. Why put legal restraints on basketball players most of whom come from very poor backgrounds and are minority. I hope someone will challenge the rule.

Is a year of college bad for a kid? Not necessarily. In a single year, the far left professors can give a non-political kid enough liberal babble that it should last him for a lifetime. But the people that are looking for intelligent life on other planets should try to find some in Washington DC first. Based on what I have seen coming out of there lately, there is very little intelligence and no common sense.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: US Secretary of Education,Arne Duncan,ncaa basketball,minimum graduation rate,NBA,NBA Draft,NBA Prospect

Professional and college sports teams face tough times ahead.

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Welcome to the first season of the Los Angeles Jaguars. What about Jacksonville? The city and state cried poverty and neither government would pony up any money for a new facility or even a decent makeover. The people of the city also didn’t come to the games so the Jags left.

Thank heavens that has not happened yet but it could happen soon.

Teams in every professional sport are struggling financially. Part of that is their own fault. They spent too much on players when things were good. Now that the economy has turned down, they are still spending more than they can afford.

They are also notoriously bad marketers. Some teams got a bump in attendance by building a new facility with state and or city help. Those that did got only a temporary bump no matter how nice the new digs were. Within a year or 2 they were back to seeing a lot of empty seats at every game. But in addition to the same old attendance they had a boat load of debt. With the government borrowing so much money, eventually interest rates will have to go up. The debt load teams are carrying will sink them and for the first time even the NFL could find no takers with enough cash to bail out the teams that will go belly up.

The Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL are a perfect example. They signed a contract when they were created to play in a privately owned arena because public money couldn’t be approved by either the city or state. Now they are facing empty seats and financial hardship because they say their rent is too high. The problem was while the CBJ was building its arena down town, the Ohio State University was also building a new multi-purpose arena on campus just a few miles away. The old OSU arena is also still in use but is empty most of time. The CBJ is asking the government to take over the building so that they can stay in Columbus and get a lower lease. Both the city and state are in much worse financial shape then they were when the building was proposed and are in no position to buy anything more costly than a box of paper clips. The owners of the building are not going to be able to sell the structure because no one is going to buy an arena where the only lessee is threatening to leave.

If things weren’t bad enough both the NFL and NBA face possible strikes/lockouts soon. The NFL will likely survive but the NBA could be devastated by a lockout. The NBA is riding a down wave of popularity and could suffer like the NHL did with a significant lockout. The NHL lost its major TV deals and is now stuck with games on the Verses Network.

Both leagues are trying to reduce the percentage of revenue dedicated to the players. The NBA is also struggling with guaranteed contracts. The NFL is trying to avoid the mistakes of the other leagues like guaranteed deals. The US financial situation is so bad that the NFLPA has come out in favor of a salary cap which just over a year ago they said they would never allow to be part of any new Collective Bargaining Agreement. They don’t like the idea of capping the amount a team can spend but desperately want to establish a minimum that a team must spend on players.

College teams are struggling as well. At Ohio State the basketball team was in a position to insure a share of the Big 10 title. And yet there were more than 1,500 empty seats hours before the tip off. Schools that have had no problem increasing the tuition 5 times the rate of inflation will drop any sports program that is not self supporting like it was a stolen knockoff Prada purse.

So what will happen?

Professional teams will go out of business. Players on those rosters will be distributed to the teams that survive. Several NBA teams will wither on the vine if they lose the key player upon which the attendance is based. The Cavs for example will be in serious trouble financially should LeBron James leave.

Even the NFL has teams that are in serious danger of disappearing. Teams like the Bills, Jaguars, Panthers, and Rams regularly fail to fill their stadiums. When the TV money goes down, as it will have to if the US economy continues to struggle, those teams will find it hard to make payroll.

There is also a down side for any business that depends on attendance at games for revenue. They will be hurt in cities that keep their teams. Where teams are gone the businesses that depend on them will be gone as well.

So what can fans do? Perhaps a better question is what should fans do? There is not much fans can do. However, I have some suggestions.

For Pro or college teams that are doing their best to compete:

If you can afford to go to games and your team is providing quality entertainment, do it. That is great. Even if you can’t afford the tickets you can call their radio and TV sponsors to thank them and tell them how much you appreciate their support of your team. Let them know that you will use their products or services because they support your team. Then call the team and the radio and TV stations that carry their games. Let them know that you called the sponsors to thank them. Thank the team for doing the right thing and the station for carrying the games. Call your sports call in programs and suggest the other fans do the same thing. It will help insure that the stations will continue to carry the games and the stations and team will continue to enjoy success.

For Pro teams that are just going through the motions or are incapable of competing due to bad management or ownership:

If you find that the team is not showing any interest in becoming competitive, call the team and let them know why you aren’t buying their tickets. Call the stations that broadcast the games and let them know that the community needs the station to put pressure on the team to get it’s act together. Call the key sponsors to ask them to ask the stations to put pressure on the team to do better. Tell sports radio call in programs what you are doing and ask the other fans to do the same.

For college teams that are not trying to compete:

Colleges react to just one thing–money. Again the stations carrying the games are a pressure point just as the pro teams above. But there is one other thing that can have an effect–Donors. Call your sports radio programs and suggest that donors contact the presidents of the college to tell them to give their sports more emphasis. That will not work often but when a donor calls a president, he or she gets attention. A few big dollar donors calling will change the attitudes of the coaching staff and the culture of the team.

Those fans that become proactive will find that things in sports can change based on public opinion. Too bad things don’t seem to work the same way in Washington D.C.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: nfl,nhl,mlb,nba,money in sports,Cavilers,LeBron James,DeMaurice Smith,nflpa,CBA,Collective Barganing Agreement,Spors talk radio,College football,Ohio State,Colubmus Blue Jackets

Will the NHL build on the US interest in Olympic Hockey? No.

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A great salesman can sell ice to an Eskimo. A bad one couldn’t give 20 dollar bills away. Which one is the NHL–the second unfortunately.

The NHL has a perfect opportunity to build on the fan interest in hockey generated by the US vs. Canada gold metal game. It could but it won’t.

The league has the worst record for marketing of any major sport. The NHL marketing guys make those that work for MLB look bright and that isn’t easy. So what will these pinheads do to build on the Olympics? Probably nothing. They will go back to the Verses network and go back to sleep without one thought about what could be done. So what can they do?

First, focus promotion on the individual heroes of the Olympics. The league has some nice young stars but needs to take a lesson from the NBA on how to take advantage of them. They need their stars like Nash and Crosby to become the face of the league. The league needs to get these guys on TV talk shows and that would involve time off which the league did not plan into the schedule.

The coverage of the final game got huge numbers which were double or triple most NHL playoff games. The league should give the game of the week to one of the major broadcast TV networks at no charge. The numbers of most shows on network TV particularly NBC are lousy so the network would have nothing to lose and something to gain. The deal must include a deal for a contract for next season if the numbers reach an agreed upon level. That game should be between top teams and highlight the Olympic players.

The league should work with the agents of the players to develop spokesman deals for them. The more the stars of the league get face time on TV the more likely it is that the league will catch the attention of the US.

The league should spend money on ESPN and broadcast networks promoting their game. They don’t have much advertising now. They need to let non-hockey fans know when teams are playing and where they can see the games.

The individual teams that are not filling their areas need to get help promoting their local team. Having been a marketing consultant for 40 years I volunteered to help our local team and was told they are doing fine. Less than 3 months later the team was talking about moving because they are losing money and can’t sell all their tickets. The league needs to provide more marketing help and should get seasoned professionals to do it.

But as we know from experience, the NHL will do nothing and let the opportunity go to waste. That is what they do best.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: US vs. Canada gold metal game,Olympic Hockey,Winter Oympics,NHL,marketing,NBC,Crosby,Miller,Nash

The Winter Olympics in the Frying Pan

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In general, I am not an Olympic guy. I usually don’t watch the Winter Olympics because I get cold looking at all that snow even on TV. The only thing that is white and should be on the ground is nice warm sand.

Given the severity of the winter in Ohio this year, I WANT MY GLOBAL WARMING AND I WANT IT NOW!

I am also a believer that the Olympics should be all amateurs and not professionals across the board. In the 1980 games, the gaggle of US college hockey players beat the best professional team in the world–the USSR Army team. The fact that the USSR team was allowed in the games was a joke. Would the Olympic committee have allowed World Heavy Weight Champion Mike Tyson to enter the boxing tournament? I don’t think so. Then why did they allow the USSR to bring in a professional team?

Now we have the NHL and NBA players involved along with the professionals in some sports but not others. I would prefer all amateurs. The problem is that in basketball and some other team sports, most nations do not have amateur organizations.

Hockey

The hockey has been outstanding. US vs. Canada was a great game. Some wonder why the Peacock put it on MSNBC. The answer is simple. They wanted the American public to have at least 1 reason to try to find it on the cable menu. From the prospective of the NHL, it should have been on the broadcast channel. The NHL needs all the exposure it can get and should have put pressure on NBC to get it a better channel.

Curling

With apologies to Harry Potter, I am sorry but anything that involves the use of a broom is not a sport. It is a cleaning activity.

X games sports

I will be first to admit I am an old fart when it comes to the X games stuff. The only advantage I have found to being over 60 is that I get discounts at the buffet restaurants. If I had any idea how painful old age would be I never would have signed up for it. But the X games should be on ESPN 7 and not in the Olympics. How do you include those things and eliminate baseball from the summer games?

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday mornings at 11 EST. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: Olympiics,Winter Olympics,NBC,MSNBC,NHL,NBA,Curling,X games,ESPN,Canada,Hocky,Global Warming

As usual, the drive bye media misses the point about the FSU scandal.

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There is no question that a number of wins by the Florida State football team under Coach Bowden will disappear due to the educational assistance scandal being investigated by the NCAA. But there is a much bigger and more significant issue here than FSU, Bowden wins, for college football. The situation is a indictment of the US educational system in all grades and those that we pay with our tax dollars to run it.

The public schools in general, particularly those in the inner cities of our nation, are a joke and represent the greatest single challenge to our nations future we face. The cry we here from our politicians in both parties is “we need more money for schools.” That is also a joke. Year after year we give them more and more money without any significant  improvement. The popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Private schools around the country educate our children far better at a fraction of the expense. How? Because they are not unionized and can terminate a bad teacher instantly rather than letting them stay because they have union protection. The private schools also do not have large bureaucracies, multiple levels of management, automatic salary increases based on longevity rather than ability, and indirect overheads like costly health care programs that come with a negotiated contract.

In the inner cities, our politicians have promised for the 62 years I have been around that if we vote for them they will fix what is wrong with our schools. But at best they just throw more money at the problem and claim they have done what they could. But when the parents ask for school vouchers to use their tax money to send their children to private school, the elected officials refuse—that would hurt the teachers unions which are providing re-election funds to those very politicians.

Slow learners far too often are either passed on to the next grade or ignored because it takes too much time to bring them up to the level of the rest of the class. Great athletes in this category like those that were admitted to FSU and many other universities around the country were passed on because the high school wanted to give them a chance to take advantage of their unique abilities. Then colleges want to help themselves and the players by allowing them to participate in their sport. But colleges are not equipped to take a player from a 2nd or 3rd grade educational level to a point where they can do college work.

The biggest frauds in the system are those at the NCAA that are “shocked” that such things are going on. Who are they kidding? Have they talked to recent graduates of big city schools? Have they spent any time watching what happens on a daily basis there? I have taught at the high school and college levels. I have seen the problem from both sides of that fence. It isn’t pretty.

So what do we do about this mess? First, throw the bums out. If the politicians are not part of a real solution, they are part of the problem. Second, support those candidates that call for educational vouchers. Vouchers create real competition which will force bad schools to improve or close. Either alternative is fine with me. Third, the NCAA has to recognize the problem and make special categories for those players that have the talent to play college sports but are not educationally advanced enough to do the work. Last, the colleges must be limited as to how many of these athletes they can accept and must provide them the special help they need. The schools must be held accountable for helping these players get the basics they need to be able to do college work within a reasonable time frame.

Football is the largest single area where this problem is the most obvious. There is no effective “developmental” league that is not educationally based where a player that either is not able to or is not at all interested in doing college work. If the NFLPA really wants to help future players, let both the league and the union put money into a football school. Several young men mentioned in the ESPN “Outside the Lines” program have become successful NFL players. Give them the football, social and financial education they need and forget forcing them to go to college. The NBA established the developmental league but then showed an unbelievable level of hypocrisy by requiring players to be out of high school 1 year before being eligible for the draft. That has caused the “one and done” fiasco putting more youngsters that only want a professional athletic career to pretend they are college students.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,Florida State,NCAA,NBA,Development League,NFLPA,NFL,College football,ESPN,Outside the Lines

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