There have been a few things that have really set me off about Roger Edmundson's Reign Of Terror in the last couple months. One is minor but important, the other is just inexcusable incompetence.
No I'm not going to go on about the cut in purse and bonus money that was announced last week, that's just an economic reality. Besides, did anyone think that was truly going to happen at those levels?
No what has me hacked off are the reassignment of race numbers from riders to teams, and the broadcast schedule for Daytona.
For as long as anyone can remember in motorcycle racing a number has been associated with a rider throughout many international series, including the US. As you go through the years 21 was Eddie Lawson, 34 was Kevin Schwantz, 7 was Barry Sheene, while he started out as 11, 155 became Ben Bostrom's number 69 is Nicky Hayden, 41 Nori Haga and of course 46 has been burned into out collective conscious as Valentino Rossi.
Now, thanks to the influence of "The Beach Front Mafia" just like NASCAR, the numbers belong to the teams. So, for 2009 #2 won't be Jamie Hacking, it will be Ben Bostrom, except in Daytona Sportbike where he'll be #1 along with Jake Zemke, HUH???? How can you have two number ones for a class that never existed before, The convoluted thinking is that since Daytona Sportbike combines the FX class and the 600SS class that you combine number ones make one red and one black.
Seriously, are you kidding me? If you can't get something so small and basic as this right, how can we expect you to get ANYTHING right. While some of the riders haven't spent years building a personal brand around a number like Valentino, there is still a value attached to it. When you see #16 go buy, will you automatically associate that with Jake Zemke?? Some of the teams have been smart enough to grab the traditional numbers of the riders, Rog Hayden will still be 95, Tommy Hayden will be 22, Miguel will be 17, but many riders will have new numbers for 09. Yes it's small, but it's all the small things that add up to big things down the road.
Item two is the TV schedule for Daytona. Roger was all happy and joyful when he announced that he had a new TV deal with SPEED a few weeks ago. What was not said is that the only coverage of Daytona will be for the 200. No American Superbike, no SuperSport, not a bit of the new hyped SuperPole. On Friday, March 6th at 8:30PM EST you get the 200, and that's it! In years past we got to see ALL the support races, but no more. Thursday the 5th at 2PM while he SuperSport race is running, SPEED is showing a replay of the NASCAR race from Las Vegas. Then, at 3:30 when the American Superbike race is going off, SPEED will be showing Truck U. Finally when SuperPole for the 200 is taking place, under the lights at 6:30, SPEED will be broadcasting Unique Whips!
Talk about your major EPIC FAIL!
Look, I DO understand the economic realities of TV, especially during this current economic unpleasantness, but give me a break, while the motorcycle audience isn't the largest one you have, it's your most loyal and vocal, toss us a bone here, would you mind?