My story is typical. I was born a poor, Black child. I survived the mean streets of the Buffalo suburbs and four straight losses in the Super Bowl, grew into a mature adult and pillar of the community, and made my parents proud. OK, well, part of that is true. I was indeed raised in the Buffalo 'burbs...North Tonawanda, to be exact. The rest? Well, can't a guy dream?
Here's some highlights. I was a big baby. Like, 20 lbs. Maybe a few less. Mom always reminds me of the pain. The guilt ensures she gets great birthday presents. I have a brother two years older, and he used to make my life a living Hell, like any good brother should. That stopped when I turned 12, and was bigger than him. I spent most of my formative years annoying my elders. That includes parents, teachers, and the police. If I wasn't in after-school detention, I was being questioned for the latest neighborhood "incident". Looking back, it a was all pretty harmless. Well, maybe not the thing we did to our Spanish Teacher. But that's a story for another time. Sports helped keep me out of any serious trouble. Get suspended...and you were kicked off the team. So that only happened once. Maybe twice. With hopes and dreams, and a suitcase filled with Molson Canadian Lager, I headed off to college. Less than a year later, and a plea agreement with a reduced sentence (like I said...never convicted), my college experience wasn't exactly going as planned. But, with threats of bodily harm from Mom solidly in my back pocket, I managed to graduate from Gannon University in Erie, PA, and looked forward to a lucrative career in broadcasting. Soooooooo...I've bounced around from station to station in such vacation hot spots as Clearfield, PA, Joplin, MO, Evansville, IN, and Fayetteville, NC. In February of 1999, I took the job that I have now (more or less).
I never did find that pot of gold, but I've had a lot of fun along the way. And moving here was the best thing that ever happened to me. I met my beautiful wife, Stacy, while watching a Bills game at what used to be Damon's on Tunnel Road, and we were married in September of 2001. I lost my wedding ring in a bizarre chicken wing incident (true story), so I really have no proof. But I think she'll vouch for me. We don't have any children, but we do have cats...lots and lots of cats. I'd love to tell you exactly how many, but I lost track. Seriously, I started counting them the other night, but had to stop after I'd used all my fingers and toes. I was plum out of digits.
So that's my story. Of course, some of the sordid details have been left out due to pending legal action. But, Judge...I swear I had no idea that pig was your pet!
A few short hours after voting closed, the annual NASCAR Media Day opened. The first announcement of the day: Fans have decided the race format for The Sprint Unlimited, Saturday night’s season-opening event.
In voting that closed Wednesday night at 11:59 pm, fans voted on the first component – the length of the race’s three segments – to be set at 30 laps, 25 laps and 20 laps.
For the first time in the sport’s 65-year history, NASCAR and Sprint announced last month that fans would vote to decide several key competition elements in The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, Saturday night. The winning combination for the segment lengths received 55 percent of the votes, while the option for 40 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps finished second. In last place, the format consisting of 35 laps, 30 laps and 10 laps finished with 22 percent of the votes.
“By giving the fans the power to decide the length of the three segments in the Sprint Unlimited, we feel there will be an unprecedented buzz surrounding the event,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “The 30-25-20-lap format the fans voted for will create three distinctly different segments that will keep fans enthralled throughout the race.”
Fans still have an opportunity to vote on two other competition elements during Saturday night’s race.
Fans have until the green flag drops at the start of the race to vote for the type of pit stop each team must make after the 30-lap first segment. The three choices are a required four-tire pit stop, a required two-tire pit stop or no stop at all at the completion of the first segment. Fans also have until the start of the second segment to vote for the number of cars that will be eliminated after the 25-lap second segment. The four choices are none, two, four or six.
NASCAR recently completed a sweep through major media markets, promoting the start of the season and the new Gen-6 car. Click the pic to see more, including their stop at the ESPN studio.