Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Disappointing End to a Disappointing Season

On Saturday, I attended my final home football game as a student (in the pressbox thanks to Scott and Peggy Ksander!), and was dismayed when Purdue lost to IU in overtime. I could deal with the loss itself. Purdue's all-time record against IU in football is 70-37-6 (62% winning), and the record is 56-27-3 (65% winning) since the Old Oaken Bucket was introduced in 1925, so IU has to get its wins in sometime. It was the lack of class that IU brought to MY stadium that really made me mad.

I can't find any footage or photos or any additional information about it, but at one point, our quarterback Rob Henry was tackled after making a pass. I looked back down to find the defender mercilessly beating Henry for absolutely no reason. Needless to say, the player was ejected (for the life of me, I can't remember his name).

Then, once overtime was complete, IU charged to OUR sideline and took the bucket from its case rather than waiting for the official presentation. This was quite possibly the most classless act in college football I have ever seen.

Sure, IU may have all the parties, hot girls, and a prettier campus, but I'll take my class, cradle of astronauts, cradle of quarterbacks, and enjoy finding a job after graduation with a degree that is fifth-most recruited in the nation. (That's a general Purdue degree. A Purdue aero degree fluctuates between being first and second-most recruited.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BREAKING: Lotus to Supply IndyCar Engines in 2012

On Facebook, I saw an announcement from IndyCar's page that said that there would be an announcement regarding a THIRD engine manufacturer for 2012. I was completely shocked and excited by this. After perusing TrackSide Online and SpeedTV, I learned that Lotus would be coming along in addition to Honda and Chevrolet with the backing of Cosworth, and an official announcement is being made tomorrow at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Group Lotus is making a return to auto racing, perhaps prompted by their name being used in Formula One this year, though they aren't actually affiliated with the F1 team. They had an IndyCar run by KV Racing Technology branded, and had recently announced that they were looking to expand that partnership to two or three cars for 2011, and would develop aero kits in 2012. It's great to see such manufacturer involvement after having no competition (Honda engines, Dallara chassis) since 2006.

The deadline for entering competition in 2012 has passed (certainly for engine competitors, not sure about aero kits), so Honda, Chevrolet, and Lotus will be the three engine manufacturers for 2012. There are also rumors that Fiat wants to join IndyCar as well with their Alfa-Romeo brand, but they'd have to come in 2013 at the earliest. There was also a recent quote from IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard that he was hopeful for another competitor for 2013. Was he referring to Alfa-Romeo? Or Lotus? Or another manufacturer all together?

Whatever the case may be, we have Honda, Chevy, and Lotus committed to making engines for 2012. In addition, Dallara will be designing an aero kit to go with their Safety Cell (all cars will be using the Dallara Safety Cell), Lotus was already committed to designing an aero kit, and GM hinted that they may be doing so as well during their press conference last week announcing the Chevrolet commitment. With Lotus and GM making aero kits, I wouldn't be surprised to see Honda make one as well. I've also heard rumors that Lockheed Martin is potentially interested in supplying an aero kit. Long story short, there will be three engines and at least two, probably three, maybe four or more aero kits in 2012, with the potential for more engine and aero kit manufacturers in later seasons. That gives at least six different configurations possible for 2012, which is way more than the one we will have had for six seasons prior.

Is it bad that I am looking way more forward to the 2012 season, and don't really care what happens in 2011?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chevy Returns!

Today, it was announced that Chevrolet would return to competition in the IZOD IndyCar Series starting in the 2012 season with a V6 turbocharged direct-injection engine. They will be partnering with Ilmor Engineering in Plymouth, MI, a racing engine supplier, to design their engine.

This is great news for IndyCar racing. Competition generally attracts more sponsors, which is something IndyCar is desperate for. It also attracts more fans, because, let's face is, most Americans are going to be more impressed to hear that Chevrolet won the Indianapolis 500 rather than Honda (or any other foreign manufacturer, for that matter).

It was also announced that Team Penske would be running Chevrolet engines beginning with the 2012 season. Penske and Chevrolet was already a great pairing, as the pair had won 31 races, including 4 Indy 500s before Chevrolet left the sport in the middle of the decade.

The one downside is that this will bring costs up slightly. If Honda were to remain the sole supplier, an engine lease was expected to come in at less than $600k for the season, but with competition, the series has an engine lease capped at $690k. However, costs will still be around half of what they presently are, and there will be far more benefits with the addition of engine competition.

There are also rumors floating around that GM may want to supply aero kits as well, and Lotus may also supply aero kits. I look forward to the 2012 season more and more each day when the new spec is debuted? Have a likely lackluster 2011 season to get through first, though.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Most Metal Thing EVER

I already knew The Dillinger Escape Plan were awesome. I saw them live in April at Reggie's Rock House in Chicago, and it was the most insane concert I had ever been to. A small club that held maybe 500 people had their singer Greg in your face screaming, their guitarists stagediving with guitars in hand not missing a note, one of which had it down to such an art he could walk on top of the crowd. Ben, their lead guitarist, capped the set by climbing into the rafters and falling onto the crowd.

At some point in their set, Greg sometimes enjoys spitting fire into the crowd, but he made it the most metal thing ever at a show in New York a couple years ago, as an interview with Ben recently uncovered. Fights in the pit happen, it's unavoidable. Sometimes they spiral out of control, though. Greg's solution? He jumped down into the pit and spat fire at the combatants to split up the fight. He then had to do it AGAIN as it still didn't break up the fight the first time.

This story is so metal, it could sink to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. I just HAD to share.

Story on Metal Injection

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Giants Win the World Series?!?

Baseball season has come to an end, and the Giants have won the World Series. When the season started, the Giants were the last team I saw seeing the World Series. I knew they were good, I just didn't think they had the swagger to win a World Series, but they proved me wrong.

Baseball season is over, racing season is over (because NASCAR isn't racing), and football is pretty much already dead to me, as both Purdue and the Bears totally suck. Purdue's basketball team will be disappointing after Robbie Hummel tore his ACL AGAIN, and NBA basketball is too flashy to feel too strongly for the Bulls. The Blackhawks will have another decent season, but I don't see them winning the Stanley Cup again.

145 more days until IndyCar opens the season on March 27 in St. Petersburg, FL, and 150 days until the Cubs open their season at home on April 1 against the Pirates!