Sunday, July 09, 2006

TORONTO, ER, I MEAN ITALY WINS THE WORLD CUP

You would have thought it was TORONTO that had won the freaking World Cup from all the bleeping TV coverage, and from seeing all these cars going down the street honking horns and waving the Italian flag.

5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 game. What can I say, France threw this game away. Way to go Zidane. Nice head butt. That red card cost your team the Coupe.

Police are now informing Torontonians to stay away from the St. Clair and Dufferin area, the area known as Little Italy, because that place is crowded with celebrants going nuts. Good grief, they might start a riot. Calm down, already, folks. Besides, why the heck should you go crazy over this victory anyway, this is supposed to be Canada. Your country didn't win, it was the country you left that won. Anyway, enough about that.

WHAT? THERE WAS AN AUTO RACE TODAY?

In other news this had to have been the lowest-profile Grand Prix of Toronto in the whole history of the event, and not only because they officially changed the name from "Molson Indy" to "Grand Prix". Way to go, guys, for scheduling this race at the same hour as the finale of the World Cup. Instead, sports fans stayed home in droves today to watch TV, or went to the usual watering holes or to the Rogers Centre to watch the Cup on the big screen. There were something like 40,000 people at the Dome today watching the game. Nobody cared about the Grand Prix today. If they managed to get the same attendance as last year I'd be very surprised. Even I was too busy watching the World Cup game to care that A.J. Allmendinger crossed the finish line first.

Couldn't the folks at ChampCar have raced this race the following week? At the very least, they should have realized this whole town is the only city in all of North America, except for maybe Los Angeles or New York, where people go gaga over the World Cup. But they went ahead and ignored the freaking calendar, and raced this race anyway. All the usual girls showed up at the Grand Prix but there was no excitement over this race AT ALL in this town this year. Someone ought to be fired.

And what the heck happened to Global Television? Usually they produce a big pre-and-post race show for the Toronto race and make a big deal out of ChampCar, but they decided to save their money and just aired the CBS Television feed from the USA. A total lack of effort today from Global. Are they planning to get out of race coverage? Meanwhile, there was saturation coverage of the World Cup. You could watch the World Cup over the air on no less than four channels in this town: CTV, ABC from Buffalo, and the two OMNI stations. TSN is showing a replay of the big game right now. And they all had their pre-and-post-game shows. So that's what Global was up against.

This just shows you how far ChampCar has fallen in just a short period of time, since the days of Sly Stallone being at the race. It sure looked like this race was filled with, well, minor-leaguers and no-names, a real anonymous group of drivers. They were making a big deal out of Katherine Legge being here and all I could say about that is "who's she?" Meanwhile, all the real stars of the sport are in all the other leagues.

What I heard today was that former ChampCar hotshot Juan Pablo Montoya is planning to quit Formula One to join- get this- NASCAR! Not ChampCar, not the IRL, but NASCAR, and from what I hear he's not the only one thinking of doing this. That tells you all you need to know about the state of things in motorsports. NASCAR is the "hot" circuit where all the action is and where the TV ratings are. All the big motorsports celebrities in North America are in NASCAR these days, save for a few notable IRL folks like the Andrettis and Danica Patrick, and people in Toronto are missing out on all the fun. Instead, they're going to have to fill their gas tanks to drive up to Montreal next year to see those folks in NASCAR and F1.

As for the Toronto Grand Prix, all I'll say is: "grand prix?" More like "second prix." Especially on this day.

No comments: