How Much Money Does It Cost These Days To Watch Sports on Television?

Last weekend I had the desire to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday.

I knew that it was that time in the season for NBC to take over coverage of the races.

Okay.  No problem.  I’ll just check the local NBC channel and . . . . . . . there’s no race coverage.

Strange.  I’ll check it again.  Maybe it’s a race on the west coast and it has a later start time.

Nope.  There’s no mention of any NASCAR race at all on NBC on Sunday.  That’s rather peculiar since the local NBC channel has been covering races in the second half of the season for years now.

Just for fun I decided to do a search for “NASCAR” in the program guide for television.  Sure enough, it was listed.  It was being broadcast live on an NBC channel.  The only problem was that the race was being broadcast on NBCSN, NBC’s premium channel that they use for live sports.  As you can guess, my wife and I don’t receive that channel.  We just have a basic package with Dish Network.

So no NASCAR races for me while they’re being broadcast on NBCSN.  That’s not really a problem as NASCAR has been going downhill for a while now, and it’s actually difficult to sit and watch a race from start to finish.  These days I’ve mainly had the races on television as a background noise while I’ve been working on my computer.

It’s still annoying though that as long as NBCSN is broadcasting the races, then I won’t even have the option of watching them unless I upgrade to Dish Network’s “America’s Top 200” package (or higher).  I’m sorry, Dish Network, but we cannot justify spending the extra money on a vast majority of extra television channels that we will not watch.  It’s not worth it paying the higher monthly fees just for a couple of extra channels. Read more…


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 21, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Categories: racing, sports, Uncategorized   Tags:

Movie Review – 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

In 2001, The Fast and the Furious caught the audiences by surprise.

The movie had fast cars, great racing scenes, a rocking soundtrack, and a good cast of actors.  It was a fun movie, and you knew that Hollywood was going to capitalize on its formula and make additional sequels.

Released in 2003 was 2 Fast 2 Furious, the first sequel to The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 Furious follows along as Brian O’Conner is pressured into helping the FBI and U.S. Customs Service catch a notorious drug smuggler in Miami, Florida.  Brian brings along Roman Pearce, his old friend from childhood, and the two of them go undercover to help catch the drug smuggler.  Of course, this film also features its share of muscle cars, great racing scenes, and plenty of eye candy along the way.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) - movie poster

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) – movie poster

Directed by John Singleton, 2 Fast 2 Furious stars Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner, a former LAPD detective who is now a street racer living in Miami.  Co-starring in the film is Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce, a fellow street racer and Brian’s old friend from childhood.

Supporting them in the film are Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes, a U.S. Customs Service agent, Cole Hauser as Carter Verone, a drug lord, Ludacris as Tej Parker, an ex-racer who organizes races, and Devon Aoki as Suki, a racer and friend of Brian and Tej.  Also in the film is Thom Barry reprising his role as FBI Special Agent Bilkins.

2 Fast 2 Furious begins with a street race in Miami, Florida.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) - (c) Universal Pictures

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) – (c) Universal Pictures

Tej Parker (Ludacris) is organizing a race when he notices that one of the drivers was unable to make the race.  Not wanting to run a race with only three drivers, Tej makes a phone call and gets a fourth driver, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), into the race.  He makes it there in time and the drivers get ready to race.  To make things more interesting, Brian increases the ante to $35,000.

The drivers for the race are:

  • Brian O’Conner driving a Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
  • Suki (Devon Aoki) driving a pink Honda S2000
  • Orange Julius (Amaury Nolasco) driving a red-orange Mazda RX-7
  • Slap Jack (Michael Ealy) driving a bronze Toyota Supra 2JZ

Instead of being a quarter-mile drag like in the first movie, this race is a lap around part of the city.  Roads have been blocked to clear a path for the drivers. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - March 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm

Categories: movie reviews, racing   Tags: ,

Movie Review – The Fast and the Furious (2001)

In anticipation of Furious 7, what *might* be the final Fast & Furious film, we’re going to review the first six films in that series, starting with 2001’s The Fast and the Furious.

It’s no secret that a good action film can earn a lot of money in the theaters, and it can have loyal followers.  That goes double when said action film involves street racers, a soundtrack with heavy metal music, and a great cast of actors.

Welcome to the world of The Fast and the Furious.

Released in 2001, The Fast and the Furious is an action movie centered around street racers and their lifestyle on and off the (improvised) racetracks.  The plot follows along as an undercover cop infiltrates a gang of street racers in order to investigate who is hijacking semi-trucks on the highways.  What the cop discovers is that the street racers are more than what they seem, and he has a lot in common with them.

The Fast and the Furious (2001) - movie poster

The Fast and the Furious (2001) – movie poster

Directed by Rob Cohen, The Fast and the Furious stars Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner, an undercover LAPD detective who goes undercover and into the world of street racing.  Co-starring in the film is Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, the leader of a street gang and a professional street racer.

Supporting them in the movie are Michelle Rodriguez as Letica “Letty” Ortiz, Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto, and Rick Yune as Johnny Tran, Dominic’s main rival in the film.

The Fast and the Furious (2001) - (c) Universal Pictures

The Fast and the Furious (2001) – (c) Universal Pictures

The Fast and the Furious begins with a few street racers carrying out a daring raid against a semi-truck.  It’s a lone stretch of highway at night when the matching black Honda Civics conduct an organized attack.  One of the attackers uses wire and a grappling hook to enter the truck, subdue the driver, and then drive the stolen truck to a secret destination.  All of the truck’s electronic merchandise is later sold on the black market. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - March 15, 2015 at 11:26 pm

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Random Topics – 2013 Daytona 500, Olympus Has Fallen, Yahoo! & More!

Today we’re discussing a few topics that have recently been in the news.

2013 Daytona 500

First is this past Sunday’s running of the annual Daytona 500 race in the NASCAR Cup series.

As a whole, the race was fairly boring until the last 20-30 laps when the drivers began making their moves to go for the win.  This is commonplace with today’s restrictor plate racetracks (Daytona and Talladega) as most of the drivers will simply sit back and “save” their car for the end of the race.  Those tracks also tend to pack the cars together, and when accidents occur, they can damage many cars.  As a result, some drivers will intentionally stay in the very front or rear of the pack and try to keep out of harm’s way for when “the big one” occurs.

Jimmie Johnson won the 2013 running of the Daytona 500, but as far as the media and commentators were concerned, it was rookie Danica Patrick (she did run a partial schedule at the Cup level last year, so she does have some experience at a few of the tracks, including Daytona) who led the headlines and commentary THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE RACE.

Danica won the pole position for the race.  Whoop-de-do.  A) It’s a restrictor place track where ANYTHING could happen.  Look at the 2011 race where a nobody won the race.  Again, ANYTHING could happen at Daytona and Talladega.  Winning the pole just means that at that point in time you had the fastest race car on the course.  It’s normally a different story during the actual race.  B) She has a weight advantage compared to other drivers.  Since her car was lighter her car was able to drive a little bit faster.  On a course like Daytona where top speed is more important than braking and cornering, then she has a clear advantage.  This next race at Phoenix will be a different story.  The same will be true for pretty much every other track on the NASCAR circuit.

It was sickening the amount of coverage that the commentators gave the Queen during the Daytona 500.  Apparently we needed non-stop updates on her position along with where all other drivers were in comparison to her car.  After five laps I hit the mute button and played my own music as background noise.  It stayed that way until the last five laps of the race.

Despite dropping from third to eighth on the last lap (that was impressive watching Dale Junior come out of nowhere and almost win the race), apparently Danica was important enough to have the FIRST INTERVIEW with the reporters after the race.  During most races it’s customary to only interview the top five finishers, but since Danica is a woman (a recently divorced one, too), she gets special privileges and extra attention.  Again, let me know IF she ever wins a race.

Olympus Has Fallen Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - February 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Categories: movies, racing, Uncategorized   Tags:

Danica Patrick and the 2012 NASCAR Budweiser Shootout

If you watched the pre-race and most of the race coverage, this event was better known as The Danica Patrick Show.

Holy crap!


Give it a rest!

It’s bad enough dealing with those incredibly annoying and overplayed TV commercials.  For the excessive pre-race coverage and talk show with the woman, and the constant cutting to her during the first segment of the race, that was INCREDIBLY POOR!  Never before has a ROOKIE been given so much attention in the racing series.

NASCAR’s treatment of Danica Patrick is worse than the NHL and news media bending over to Sidney Crosby.  Apparently it was a big story recently when he skated again with his team.  Not played in a game, but merely skated with his teammates.

STOP giving Danica Patrick so much media attention!!!

It’s time for the media to end these poster boys and girls in the sports world.  Yeah, yeah.  I know.  It’s wishful thinking, but it’s not going to end.

I could see giving Danica some coverage if she was a good driver.  But she’s not.  She had the best equipment and years of experience in the IndyCar Series, and she could only claim one win.  One!  And that single win wasn’t even against the full field of cars.  Had Helio Castroneves known that Danica was passing him for position at the end of that race in Japan, the outcome would have been different.  She’d still have that great big ZERO in the win column. Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - February 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

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R.I.P. — Dan Wheldon

Today in the Las Vegas Indy 300 IndyCar race in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of IndyCar’s best and most talented drivers died after being involved in a massive, fifteen-car wreck early in the race.

Needless to say, I am one of the millions around the world deeply saddened and mourning the loss of Dan Wheldon.

RIP --- Dan Wheldon

The crash today in Las Vegas was nothing but horrific.  The engineers behind the scenes have improved driver, pit crew, and fan safety tremendously over the years, but every once in a whole we’re reminded that the unthinkable can still happen, and it can strike rookies and veterans alike.  Unfortunately, today it struck not only a very talented racing veteran, but also one of the best personalities in the IndyCar circuit.

15-car wreck at the Las Vegas Indy 300, October 16, 2011


The view from Will Power’s on-board camera.

In the driver’s meeting nearly two hours after the crash, Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti announced to the other IndyCar drivers that Dan Wheldon had perished.  The remainder of the Las Vegas Indy 300 race was cancelled.  The drivers voted unanimously to drive a five-lap salute to honor their fallen friend.

Announcement of Dan Wheldon’s death and the five-lap salute.

Wheldon was one of my favorite drivers in the IndyCar series along with Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and Will Power.  His loss is a huge blow to the sport and racing fans worldwide.  This tragedy could not have struck not only a better driver but also a better person in general.

R.I.P. — Dan Wheldon

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - October 16, 2011 at 9:01 pm

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Analysis of Sept. 16, 2011 Reno Air Race Crash

The death toll from last Friday’s tragic crash at the Reno Air Races has officially reach eleven; seven dying at the crash site and four more succumbing to critical injuries and dying in the hospital.

So what happened to the aircraft?

Why did the veteran pilot suddenly pitch up in his modified P-51 Mustang, The Galloping Ghost, roll inverted and slam nose first into part of the spectator viewing area?

Right now the videos of the crash and its horrific aftermath don’t yield a whole lot of clues.  People recording the race were focused on many of the racing aircraft, and it’s hard to find a clear video of The Galloping Ghost.  And from what I’ve seen in the news, personal accounts of the accident match what little we can see in the amateur videos.

Fortunately for the NTSB and anybody else looking for answers, a few photos have surfaced and they actually shed quite a bit of light as to the final moments of The Galloping Ghost and veteran pilot, Jimmy Leeward.

Reno Air Race 2011 - The Galloping Ghost - before final raceReno Air Race 2011 – The Galloping Ghost – before final race

Taken some point before its final race, here we can see The Galloping Ghost on the taxiway at Reno.  Inside the red circle you can clearly see pilot Jimmy Leeward sitting in his seat.  As a whole, cockpits for fighter aircraft are usually cramped with just enough room for the pilot to effectively move the controls and safely maneuver and navigate the aircraft. Read more…

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - September 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Categories: aviation, racing   Tags:

IndyCar race at Chicagoland Speedway

Last night’s IndyCar race at the Chicagoland Speedway was nothing but spectacular for fans of racing.  That was a real treat to see the lead pack of ten cars staying together for most of the race, giving the fans many hair raising moments and a spectacular finish.

Franchitti’s win was his third win of the season, and Wheldon had a strong second place finish.  Wheldon continues to give the best TV interviews.  It’s always a pleasure having him speak to the interviewers before and after races.

And speaking of good finishes, how about three out of four Andretti cars going third, fourth and fifth?

Kudos go out to Sarah Fisher for getting up front and leading a total of ten laps.  True, she went to the front by skipping a pit stop and only led the pack during the yellow flag laps, but she held second place until she came in to pit.  She was gambling for another yellow flag during which she would pit with everybody else and hopefully maintain her position.  It didn’t work out that way for her in the end, but she did a good job staying up front with the leaders. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - August 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm

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2010 Indianapolis 500

Yesterday we had the annual running of the world famous Indy 500 race, also known as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

For the most part, it was an entertaining race full of crashes and excitement throughout the race.  Despite the incredibly lame fuel-efficiency ending, I was glad to see Dario Franchitti put his car in Victory Lane.  Perhaps one of these years he’ll win it without help of rain or a yellow flag at the end of the race.

Of course, the big questions are, would Dan Wheldon have had enough time to catch up to Franchitti on that final lap?  Did Franchitti’s car have enough fuel to go around one more time, even if he was averaging over 20 miles-per-hour slower than at full speed?

It’s too bad that this wasn’t a case where all the cars needed fuel to make it to the end, forcing everybody in for a splash of ethanol and letting them go full speed to the finish line.

The Mike Conway / Ryan Hunter-Reay crash at the end of the race was nothing short of spectacular.  Apparently Conway had a fractured lower left leg and will have to wear a back brace for a few weeks, putting him out of action in IndyCar for the next few weeks.  It’s amazing that he wasn’t injured more seriously and no fans were hurt in that accident.

And then there was Danica Patrick, megastar of IndyCar Racing and star of numerous GoDaddy and Peak antifreeze TV commercials.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 31, 2010 at 4:51 pm

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Did You Hear The News?

Did you hear about this?

I mean, this is like, huge!  It’s incredible!  Amazing!

No, this isn’t about the “Who Dat?” nation and the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl.  Sorry Saints fans, but you’ve already been bumped from the front page.  It was only the biggest win of the biggest game in the long history of the NFL team.  You’ll get over it.  Just win the Super Bowl again next year.  Isn’t it the season of Mardi Gras anyway?

Anyway, this other news is much, much bigger and far more important.

I don’t know if it should even be mentioned here.  This is just simply too astonishing to even mention.

Well, I guess we can take a look at it now.

Brace yourselves for this news.  You better be sitting down.

Ready? Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - February 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

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Overhyping Danica Patrick

Let’s just accept the fact that the media and many ignorant people online are going to be hyping and shoving Danica Patrick into our faces for quite some time.  The process has already begun and this year in particular is going to be very overwhelming, especially with tomorrow’s ARCA race at Daytona, Florida.

I mean, it would be one thing if Danica could actually win races (note – races, and not a single win that was unknowingly given to her by Castroneves in the Japan race back in 2008) or even consistently compete with the leaders during any given race.

But as we’ve seen time and time and time again, Ms. Patrick is unable to compete based on skills and raw horsepower.  The only way she will ever work her way to the front of the pack and win another race is by fuel economy and skipping a pit stop.  That’s it.  When it comes to real racing, Danica Patrick is just another Anna Kournikova — all looks and a lack of major victories or even a single championship.  Throw in Ms. Patrick’s lack of a charming personality and often spiteful post-race interviews, and it’s a wonder that she gets any TV time at all.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - February 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm

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Go to NASCAR or Stay in IndyCar?

A sports article published today leaked information that Danica Patrick, the Queen of IndyCar Racing, has supposedly agreed to a three-year extension to her current Andretti Green Racing contract which was set to expire at the end of this year’s racing season.

So far Ms. Patrick has been staying silent about the details and not answering any questions as to whether or not this is true.  About a month ago it was widely reported that Ms. Patrick had been speaking with and seeking guidance from NASCAR driver Tony Stewart about making the long rumored jump to the stock cars.

If this rumor about the contract extension is true, then what does that mean for Danica Patrick and her interest in making the switch to NASCAR?

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - September 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm

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Alarming Rumours!

No, this isn’t the start of the classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, nor is this post about giant sea monsters taking down ships in the Pacific Ocean.

This is about the rumored transition of Danica Patrick, the queen of IndyCar racing, to the NASCAR circuits.

An article published yesterday indicates that this rumored transition may start taking place as early as next year’s 2010 racing season.

This is looking like a perfect setup for Danica Patrick to be the third car on Stewart-Haas Racing starting in the 2011 season.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - September 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm

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A Third Indy 500 Win for Castroneves!

Yesterday’s running of the Indianapolis 500 was an interesting race.

Apart from the first wreck when Mario Moreas slid into Marco Andretti on the first lap, the race didn’t seem to have anything controversial.  And to top it off, the weather held out and didn’t seem to play a factor into the race.

And Helio “Spider-Man” Castroneves had the perfect month from being acquitted of the tax charges to winning the pole to the Indianapolis 500 to winning the pit crew competition to winning the race.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 25, 2009 at 11:02 am

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Changes Needed in NASCAR

In about forty-five minutes from now, the Indianapolis 500 will officially be underway and those drivers will be pushing between 225 and 230 mph on the straightaways.

Later this afternoon / early evening will be the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte, North Carolina.

In one day we will have 1,100 miles of racing between the two top racing series.

But by having the IndyCar race and NASCAR race in the same day, you can really compare the two of them and see how NASCAR has been falling behind and basically shooting itself in the foot.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm

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The Media’s Fascination Continues

The month of May in the sports world isn’t only about the NHL and NBA playoffs.

No, it also means coverage of the big build up to this year’s running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend.

And naturally, it means nearly nonstop coverage of the media’s favorite driver, Danica Patrick.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 23, 2009 at 12:44 am

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Big Saturday Racing

Yesterday was a good day in the racing world.

Most of the daytime hours were dedicated to Pole Day for this year’s Indy 500, and the NASCAR drivers got to have another Saturday night race at one of the oldest tracks on the circuit.

It was a very big day for both Helio Castroneves and Mark Martin.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm

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Weekend Racing at Phoenix and Long Beach

This weekend’s racing schedule was one of the better ones for both NASCAR and IndyCar.

The NASCAR race was a Saturday night race at Phoenix, AZ, while the IndyCar series had their race at Long Beach, CA on Sunday afternoon.

First of all, that was a good win for Mark Martin at Phoenix.  He’s had several good races at the past few races this year, and it was good to see him finally put another car into victory lane.  So far this year he’s had three pole positions and a win.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - April 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm

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Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

So last Sunday was the first race of the 2009 IndyCar racing season.

It was so nice and such a relief to finally watch open-wheel racing again here in the U.S.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a huge fan of NASCAR and stock car racing, but I was raised as an open-wheel fan first and a stock car fan much later.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - April 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm

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Start of the Danica Patrick season

In just about half an hour the green flag will wave and the start of the 2009 IndyCar racing season will have started.

And unfortunately, that means nearly non-stop coverage of Danica Patrick.  Yikes!

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - April 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

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