Richmond, ESPN, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

September really truly is the New Year. It's as if the instant the humidity lessens just a hair, Southerners gear up for the serious work. I'm still enjoying the heat, but now and then, a cool breeze gives the oaks a run for their money, and I stand there, thinking "fall really is coming. Time to get the bulbs in for next spring."

The Richmond race was a doozy. First, the track moved everything to Sunday, and while their website and phone info line promised updates by six p.m. on Friday, they didn't do so until after 7. So of course, my hubby and I were in line for a parking lot on Friday, when a policewoman told us the race had been cancelled. Wasted a ton of time, which is not amusing at all. When we made it back to the track on Sunday, we had no idea driver intros were at 12:30. All we knew was, track time was 1 p.m. Poor communication from the track, but the good news is, the race was wonderful, even without the lights. We couldn't stay for the whole thing, however. Many people in our section had to depart early as well - planes were leaving, kids had to be back in school Monday, etc. And we totally missed the Nationwide race at 7 p.m. We too had to hit the road, so we didn't get to see the Tony Stewart/Jimmie Johnson showdown. Bummer.

Later, I saw the clip on ESPN of Tony tossing his steering wheel and harping at Zippy when the race was finished. ESPN didn't broadcast Tony's immediate apology. Why? They want controversy. Stirring the pot ups ratings, is the only explanation I can find. All that fuss over Hornaday's steroid use for his Grave's Disease symptoms makes it sound as if Hornaday is a cheater along the lines of baseball players who bulk up to hit home runs. Wrong. As Hornaday's team owner, Kevin Harvick said, if Hornaday doesn't take the synthetic steroids, the man is dead. But no, ESPN doesn't hype Harvick's soundbite. Now ESPN is after Junior. Interesting that Tony and Junior have taken ESPN to task for editing soundbites to make people look bad. I wonder why there has to be an adversarial relationship between the company that broadcasts sports and those who are the stars. Is it a given in our society that we have to hear the down-and-dirty about those who seem to have it all? If there is no muck, well, ESPN will manipulate it so there's some to spread around. Bad move. Very very bad move.

On an uplifting note, I'm reading all of Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches I can find online. What an amazing man. His eloquence, his erudition, his love for all mankind, show forth with every word. A writer can learn a lot from his prose as well as his activism.