Monday, May 26, 2008

At The Track

Would you believe I've lived in Indianapolis for my entire life, and yesterday was the first time I've been to the Indy 500? First, many thanks to Jason and Cathy for the tickets -- you guys rock! Laura and I are glad we went; it's definitely something you need to experience.

That said, I doubt I'll go again. It combines lots of my least favorite things in one place: crowds, drunks, and extremely loud noise. If there were some way to add cleaning out drain lines to the experience, it'd be my worst imaginable time. And I was pretty amused by the fact that we watched all the really interesting parts on television. The Jumbotron showed us the interesting parts happening on other parts of the track, and it also showed us the instant replays of the parts happening right in front of us. Other than the teevee parts, the real thrill consisted of watching a bunch of cars drive past us going really fast, over and over and over and over and over again. I think for the real race fans, the real wild part was that sometimes, the cars would pass us in slightly diffferent order than they did the time before. Can you imagine the excitement?

Statistics interest me, and auto races generate an enormous number of statistics. You can pretty easily find out the percentage of races won by the guy who was leading on lap 50, the average number of laps a winner led the race, the number of races a rookie driver can expect to drive before he finishes in the top three. But I can't find any of the statistics that I'm really curious about: what's the total volume of beer consumed by spectators in the stands? What's the total length of time that people stand in line for the bathrooms? How many spectators leave the track in an ambulance every year? What percentage of race fans wear earplugs to the race? Nobody seems to know the answers to the truly obscure questions....

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