After the big Randy Bernard announcement last night, I received a tweet that went a little something like this: “Thoughts on today’s events?”
So for the tens of people who care to hear what I have to say, thanks for being here. From the beginning of this website, I’ve played it safe. Despite the numerous innuendos and a plethora of charmingly-inappropriate comments, I think I’ve done more asking for opinions than giving them.
It was all about the entertainment. But this… THIS… is serious.
Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers… okay, our fathers… got their IndyCar news from the newspaper. They sat quietly in their houses and when a story broke from 16th & Georgetown, they read it. Then they set down their paper and pondered quietly to themselves. Perhaps they called a friend to discuss.
Today is a whole ‘nother ball game. Where did YOU get the RB news last night? Twitter? Facebook? The IndyCar website? No matter what channel it reached you through, it was most likely surrounded by the opinions of hundreds of other fans. The “presented without comment” method is no longer an option.
Such is the age of social media, where it only takes one person to scream “THE SKY IS FALLING” as they share the story, and everyone else just covers their head and waits for the inevitable disaster.
It’s quite obvious that I’m a fan of social media, however the mob mentality is a ridiculously vicious downside.
If you’ve gotten this far into the post, you’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned how I feel about Randy Bernard leaving IndyCar. And if you keep reading, you won’t find that opinion here either. It doesn’t matter what I think about the situation because this is bigger than that. It’s about the sport and its future.
I know why the fans love Randy. He listened to new ideas and he gave people a direct line of communication. For that and several other reasons, I can see why there’s so much fan support.
With that said, is it possible to be optimistic that an even bigger fan favorite might be next in line? Is it possible that other parts of the IndyCar community (drivers, teams and even the fans) can be part of leading a positive charge into a new era? Is it possible that the success of this sport might not rest solely on the shoulders of the IndyCar PR department?
Here’s a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.”
It was entertaining to watch the abundance of ‘screw this, I’m done being a fan’ responses last night. It’s equally as entertaining to see all those people still posting on twitter today. Now I’ve been known to push the #TeamPositivity charge pretty hard, and don’t get me wrong, I completely understand everyone’s frustration. It’s confusing, it’s unexplained and it don’t seem to make no damn sense.
But for those of you who say you’re done, mark my words: I call your bluff.
You’re not done. You’re not leaving the sport. And here’s why: You love it and you want to see what happens. Whether Randy’s replacement is amazeballs or whether it’s a Milka-esque disaster, you want to see it. You might pretend to look away, but you’ll still have one eye on the web and one finger scrolling through twitter.
It’s drama. And it’s the same stuff that fuels the rivalries (on and off the track) that you like to read about. Yes, the racing is the best in the world. But the “show” that surrounds the racing is just as interesting in its own right. Think about it: There’s no racing in the off-season, but you tune in to the silly season stories, don’t you? Do you completely tune out IndyCar from Sunday night to the following Sunday morning? Nope. It’s the stories and the drama that feed your desire to know, ‘What’s going on?!’
Why do I know this? Because I am a die-hard fan. Just like you, like your father, and our forefathers too. I love this sport and want to see it return to the forefront of motorsports. Am I sitting here, just like you, wondering WHY all this is happening? Absolutely. But I know one more thing:
People know stuff. They’re not saying it right now and there are probably very few of them who are completely in the know, but every minute we spend on negative speculation is a minute of happiness we’ll never get back.