Letters from my Johns

Posted by Iannucci | 5/19/2009 | 0 comments »
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It's probably because it's The Month of May, but for whatever reason I've been getting a lot more messages sent to the Inbox lately. I'm sincerely grateful that anyone would not only read this site, but also take the time to put together a cogent message for your humble host to read. The fact is, if you bother sending me a message that doesn't have a subject like MY DEAREST ASSOCIATE or YOU HAVE WON EUROMILLIONS I'm already indebted to you.

But as noted, the email is starting to pile up, and since pros like Curt Cavin and Robin Miller regularly make a Q&A deal out of what arrives in their Inboxes (although honestly, most of Robin's questions come straight from the ChampCarFanatics message boards), I figured it was time for this here word butcher to take a stab at publicly answering a few questions.

(Please note the title of this post reflects my observation that the vast majority of the My Name Is IRL readership is named "John". For real. I had no idea IndyCar was so popular among those seeking refuge in the witness protection program.)

Q: Did you see this article that Graham Rahal is a huge fan of Ohio State? Says he has his basement decorated in the Buckeye colors. (John in Columbus)

A: It doesn't surprise me to hear he's a huge football fan. Not only was the young man raised in Columbus, Ohio, but if you happen to catch him walking around in something other than a firesuit you can tell he's been hitting the weights and looks ready to step in at Quarterback for OSU.

However, despite the fact that Graham is an improving driver and should be an asset for the IndyCar series for many years to come, I must now view him as my mortal enemy. As an Arizona State Sun Devil I will never forget the horrific acts of the last two minutes of the 1997 Rose Bowl, denying me a shot at a National Championship and cementing my hatred of Buckeye football for eternity. Sorry Graham - as crushing as this must be to you, you're off my Christmas Card List.

Q: I heard you and pressdog are roomies for race weekend. Should we expect you two to get drunk, have the police chase you around, and finally be tasered to the ground like a couple of wild monkeys? (John in West Lafayette)

A: It's true bloggers are always looking for extra publicity, but that's so 2005.

Q: I noticed the banner at the top of your page is now for Marco Andretti merchandise. What's up with that, fanboy? (John in Denver)

Here's the deal: without going into too much detail about the advertising or the eCPM on this site, suffice it to say I was getting annoyed that the previous advertising agreement was prominently featuring some teenage stock car driver on the header. You wanna know why we don't say the auto racing "N-word" in print? There's your answer.

Buy some Marco stuff and spit in the fictitious 0-73 Andretti family curse at Indy, and if an Andretti isn't your cup of tea you might soon see an ad from everyone's favorite Buckeye fan as well.

Q: Shaquille O'Neal has joined the Luczo Dragon Racing Team of Champions as it heads into the Indianapolis 500 to help raise money and awareness for charity. That's big news, right? (John in Indianapolis)

A: It's always great news when celebrities - athletes or otherwise - donate their time and/or money to charitable causes, and for this Shaq and LDR deserve to be commended.

However, as a Suns fan I've had the honor of watch the Big H.M.O. help bring this once proud franchise to it's knees ever since he was traded for and told Steve Nash "I will not let you down". I'd consider it a charitable contribution if Luczo Dragon or any other organization would take his $30M annual salary off the books and allow the team to sign someone who can actually play in 80 or so games a year.

Q: Hey Jeff, on behalf of Ken Ungar and myself, I'm sending over the information about the Ahead of the Game seminars. I am working with Ken Ungar of U/S Sports Advisors in presenting this new seminar aimed at young drivers who are seeking a professional career. The cool thing about these seminars it that we are actually giving the drivers written proposals complete with all the templates - plus a real background in branding and promotions. We both have a history at the Speedway, so with their blessing the first one is at the Brickyard Crossing on Community Day, May 20th. The second will be at the Autobahn Country Club on Wednesday, July 22nd a.k.a. move-in day for the Star Mazda/Atlantic-Championship event weekend. I would appreciate any assistance from you, in helping us reach any drivers - perhaps a mention in your blog or post on your news column. (LeeAnne in Carmel)

A: Look LeeAnne (are you sure you aren't named "John"?), I don't care if this is about giving back, that drivers/parents will leave with a full proposal on disk and the templates, that drivers under the age of 16 can bring a parent for free, that your are having a full hour of Q&A just to answer their questions, or that you say you've worked with the likes of Sam Schmidt, Jaques Lazier, Eliseo Salazar, and Tony Kanaan. If I put a post like that up I'll look like a total shill, and if there's one thing my bank account proves it's that I am no shill.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to get to get back to work on those Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal ad banners.