Author Topic: Once upon a spreadsheet...  (Read 3372 times)

Texas16

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Once upon a spreadsheet...
« on: April 23, 2007, 02:41:16 AM »
By way of introduction, I'll tell you how I came to be a NASCAR fan.
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It's all Signholder's fault.
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First he hooked my friend then they jointly worked on me. I used to spend weekends with them, and I always made sure to be gone on Sunday before the race.  While Signholder is relatively quiet, Signspotter#19 can be pretty loud when cheering on her favorite drivers.  Over time I learned to go shopping while the race was on and finally I learned to sit quietly and laugh at her as she shouted at the TV.  After all, NASCAR was stupid.  We've all heard the reason--watching guys in cars going 'round and 'round is boring.  All of the cars looked alike, although I was able to pick out the National Guard car each time it blew past the camera.  Even the orange cars weren't distinguishable from each other.
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"If information can't be put in a spreadsheet, it isn't worth knowing."  That's my mantra.  All of those names and numbers and sponsors--I realized that until I could get a handle on who was who, who drove what car number and who sponsored which car, NASCAR would always be nonsensical to me.  My spreadsheet was born.  Three columns:  driver name, car number, primary sponsor.  But the next race I watched, I learnd that owners sometimes owned more than one car.  Another column on the spreadsheet:  car owner.  Then there was the car manufacturer column to add.  Then there was the associate sponsors columns to add.  Each time I'd add a new column, I'd have to resort and reprint the spreadsheet so I'd have all of the Dodge drivers grouped, and have another page with the drivers in car number order or alphabetically by primary sponsor.  Eventually this masterpiece spreadsheet grew to include drivers' best tracks, number of wins in that seasons, etc.  My next point of confusion came over which tracks were intermediate, which were short, etc.  Voila! another spreadsheet and several more pages in what was now my NASCAR Notebook.
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Finally I was equipped to watch a race all on my own.  Spring Richmond 2005.  The only problem was that I didn't know who I was supposed to cheer for and against.   I'm pretty sure I spent the entire race on the phone with Signspotter#19 asking, "Do we like Waltrip?"  "Do we like Stewart?"  (I already had my answer to that question when I was invited to "never darken our doorstep again if you're going to cheer for Stewart"...it was an innocent mistake--I'd gotten the impression that they cheered for all of the drivers whose names began with "S".)  Three more columns in the spreadsheet--personal like or dislike of drivers on a scale from 1 (least liked) to 5 (most liked).  I think Sadler got something like a 100 on that scale.  My column was pretty empty except for that negative 100 I gave Junior based on something he'd said about the women he'd dated.
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With my updated spreadsheet, I ventured forth to watch yet another race on my own.   Still, the only car I recognized was that National Guard car.  I consulted my lists and learnd that Greg Biffle drove the #16 National Guard Ford Taurus for Jack Roush.  I recalled from my reading the Press and Preview guide from the previous season that Mr Biffle was from Washington state, and I remember thinking "Is that guy's name really Biffle???"  With a name like Biffle and a hometown in Washington state--I challenge you to name 3 other drivers who've come from the Pacific northwest--surely this Biffle character must be an underdog who probably needed a cheering section.  So I appointed myself  a full member of the Greg Biffle Cheering Section.  It wasn't 'til a bit later in the season that I learned that Ole Biffle shouldn't really be counted among the Underdogs of the World.
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Within a couple of weeks, I'd memorized every aspect of my spreadsheet and discarded it as unnecessary.  As soon as I shelved the spreadsheet, I knew I was hooked.  And I've been hooked ever since.  I do, however, go through two weeks every year during which I declare to anybody who'll listen that I hate NASCAR--the week prior to each race at Texas.  Things are just hectic enough that I don't get a chance to stop and enjoy the weekend or even see any of the race, and by the time I take a breath and look up, everything's packed up and on the way to Phoenix, Burton's at the house polishing his trophy and the only evidence that there was a race is a sea of blue porta-Johns in the campground waiting to be picked up.
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And that is how I gained my citizenship in The NASCAR Nation.
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At times, my alter-egos--TMS17 and TMS31--may emerge,
but I'll always be first and foremost,
Yours Truly, TMS16
Bug-Eyed Dummy can drive.

CodeBlueEMT

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Re: Once upon a spreadsheet...
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2007, 10:54:42 AM »
 Great post. Amazing how some folks get here.

 Shayne

Quack

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Re: Once upon a spreadsheet...
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2007, 03:39:59 PM »
Awesome.  Proof that all one has to do is find what motivates a person, and they're hooked.  Check your email for new spreadsheets.   ;D

WSF

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Re: Once upon a spreadsheet...
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2007, 10:09:07 PM »
I can name 4.
 Greg Biffle, Vancouver, Wa
 Kasey Kahne Enumclaw, Wa
 Derrike Cope Spanaway, Wa
 Chad Little Spokane, Wa

Good story, thanks
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Texas16

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Re: Once upon a spreadsheet...
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2007, 10:19:31 AM »
I can name 4.
 Greg Biffle, Vancouver, Wa
 Kasey Kahne Enumclaw, Wa
 Derrike Cope Spanaway, Wa
 Chad Little Spokane, Wa

Good story, thanks

Good job Wash.st fan.  Don't forget Mike Bliss is from somewhere in Oregon, and that's kinda Pacific Northwest.  I knew someone would take up my challenge.  Thanks!
Bug-Eyed Dummy can drive.

WSF

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Re: Once upon a spreadsheet...
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2007, 08:40:29 PM »
I forgot about Mike Bliss, he grewup in Milwaukie, Oregon thanks. I guess since I live in Washington State it helped alot.
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ELJay

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Re: Once upon a spreadsheet...
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2007, 02:09:37 AM »
I have a pretty weird story on how I became a NASCAR fan. 

I'd been having a difficult time in my life, so as most women are wont, I ran to my best friend for moral support.  She had an extra ticket to the 2005 Pepsi 400 race and decided this would be a GREAT place to take her best friend to cheer her up.

Just picture it...a glass of wine, few laughs and some commiserating to the soothing soundtrack of high perfomance engines revving at 9000 rpm.....

Raceday comes, I about a nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  She and I are getting the "stares" from a few here and there at Daytona (obviously no one at Daytona has seen an African American woman attend a race before that day  ;)  *rolls eyes at how silly people can be*) , but for the most part the people were cordial.  We find our seats the race starts and Stewart wins and climbs the fence for the first time. I'm hooked...end of story.

Did I do good for my first time?   :D

PS I got tickets to the Pepsi 400 and running bet that JPM will pi$$ someone off yet AGAIN.....
I believe when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade...but when the vodka shows up you should have a party.

Jr8up20

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Re: Once upon a spreadsheet...
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2007, 04:18:27 PM »
There are 2 more,
Kevin Hamlin - Snohomish WA
and a new one, just starting  Ian Henderson - Seattle WA