Recent events must not distract from necessary changes

IndyCar commentary — By on November 9, 2011 1:33 pm

Hello. Welcome to INDYCAR group therapy. How are we all coping now that we’ve had a couple of weeks to mourn and let things sink in?

Me? To be honest, I’m not sure everything’s really hit me yet. I’ve been overseas dealing with some fairly life-altering events of a very personal nature, and while I’ve had small pockets of time to absorb what’s happened in INDYCAR, I think I still need quite a bit more. In fact, it might take the whole off-season.

But small-talk aside: let’s look past the sharing circle now and over into the corner.

See that giant elephant over there? The one with the enormous sign around its neck that says SAFETY? Yeah, he’s pretty hard to miss, isn’t he?

Now, look beside him and down a ways. See those smaller elephants down there? The sort of shy-looking ones wearing the signs that say DANICA’S GONE, THE RULEBOOK SUCKS, and THE OFFICIATING IS PERCEIVED AS BEING INCONSISTENT? Aw, they’re so cute, aren’t they! Compared to the bigger one next to them, they look positively toy-like!

And yet if you look more objectively — they’re still pretty big, aren’t they? (They are elephants, after all.) I mean, it’s ridiculously cramped in here with that really huge elephant in the way (apologies to the seven people who had to use his trunk for seating). But even if we managed to get the biggest one out of here, the room would still be pretty uncomfortable with those smaller ones still kicking around, wouldn’t it?

There might be good news, folks: by late March next year, this whole building is due to be razed and rebuilt. That means the landlords have the opportunity to send all of these zoo animals packing and create a more comfortable and enjoyable environment for everyone else.

But getting that gigantic elephant out of the way is going to take a great deal of time and resources. If we don’t all make a conscious effort to remember that the smaller elephants need to be removed, too, we’re going to be stuck with them next year and for who knows how much longer.

Let’s not let recent events allow us to become complacent to the improvements needed in all facets of INDYCAR.  With a little more time and expenditure, INDYCAR can do everything that’s necessary to position itself for strong long-term growth — provided it allows its memory to extend backward past Vegas. 2012 is a rare opportunity to effect a great deal of sweeping and positive change all at once. Let’s hope we see that potential fully realized.