How Much Is Too Much?

By Susan Phillips

Some will find what I’m going to say as odd as I think it is, while others will wonder why I find this odd at all. As you know, there was no IndyCar race last weekend. While I enjoy watching and following IndyCar races, I don’t build my entire weekends around them like George does. But at this point in the racing season, I relish the few weekends when there is not a race.

You would think George would. We have a very big yard that takes a lot of his time. With the magic of the DVR, we usually watch qualifying on Saturday nights and sometimes start watching a Sunday race about an hour late. By the time the race is actually over, we’ve usually caught up to the live broadcast.

We also have a pool where we like to spend our weekends. Neither of us are big swimmers. We both just like to lounge while floating around in the water, drinking our favorite beverage and listening to tunes blaring out for the neighborhood to hear.

For the past couple of years, we’ve been honored to have Paul Dalbey come visit each August. Last year he brought his girlfriend Kelli. I took this shot of George, Paul and Kelli last year, so that no one would get a picture of me in a swimsuit.


Paul and Kelli are now engaged and they will be visiting again this coming weekend, when we hope the weather cooperates and we can have another day of fun in the sun with beer and music.

I said all of this because of what I encountered last weekend; which was an off-weekend for racing.

While I was busy cleaning up the house for our guests for this coming weekend, George decided it was a better idea to go get in the pool instead of helping me out with the cleaning. While I was working my butt off in the house, I could hear something coming from the pool but it wasn’t music. After a couple of hours, I decided I had done enough for the time being and would go join my husband in the pool.

When I finally got out there, it was obvious he was listening to some race while floating around in the pool. It wasn’t like him to listen to NASCAR over the radio so I asked him what in the world were we listening to. I couldn’t believe his answer. He informed me that it was the 1969 Indy 500.

Somehow, he had gotten hold of a digital download of the full race broadcast of a race he attended as a kid forty-eight years ago. I thought it was incredible enough that he would invest two to three hours listening to an entire broadcast of a race that old. Even more incredible was the fact that he thought something was wrong with me for not seeing how wonderful that was.

He assured me that it was almost over because there were only ten laps to go. I learned that Mario Andretti won that race and then George informed me that it would be the only Indy 500 he would ever win – as if I cared at that point. Of course, he didn’t turn it off when the race was over. We had to listen to every post-race interview of every driver that climbed out of their cars. By the time the broadcast was finally over and he put his phone over to our pool playlist, the best sun was gone for the day.

As we floated around and chatted about various “stuff”, I couldn’t help but wonder if what I had just witnessed was odd or if I was the oddball. It kept running through my head that one of us was crazy. While I thought it was obvious that my husband had a screw loose for floating around and listening to a 48 year-old race; he seemed to think there was obviously something wrong with me for not appreciating what I had just been forced to listen to.

How much is too much? I thought it was great when he wanted to get married at IMS and wouldn’t take anything for that great memory. I love going to Indy all through the month of May and really enjoy going to the other tracks. I also enjoy sharing my viewpoints here. But when does it stop? If it’s not racing, it’s football. On weekends like we’re going through right now when there is no IndyCar race and it’s too early for football, I would think my husband would like to push away and enjoy the other things in life that don’t involve sports.

When I questioned what would prompt him to listen to a broadcast from almost a half-century ago, he looked at me like I had two heads as if to say “Who wouldn’t want to listen to it”?

George is always happy when I volunteer to write something here, so that he doesn’t have to. He doesn’t ask what I’m going to write about and never knows until I finish it and give it to him to load onto the site. To his credit, he never asks me to change anything I write even if he doesn’t agree with it or like it.

I figured this would be my chance to throw the question out to you. Who is the crazy one here; George for floating around for three hours listening to a broadcast of a race that happened in 1969, or me for thinking there is something not right here. If the majority of you think it’s me, I’ll explain it away by assuming you may be rabid fans too. But if you hard-core fans side with me – then I know my husband has a screw loose somewhere. Thanks in advance for responding.

13 Responses to “How Much Is Too Much?”

  1. SkipinSC Says:

    I often go to sleep at night watching YouTube videos of old 500’s. My wife thinks I’m nuts too, but I’ll put in my ear buds and watch the old condensed ABC telecast, usually falling asleep somewhere in the middle.

  2. Bob Butler Says:

    What a great idea!!

  3. BruceinIpswich Says:

    Susan, Always enjoy your guest appearances here. And yes George is nuts…as am I. Currently have the 1960 Indy broadcast in my car cd player. And I to have been known to fall asleep to a YouTube video of the 500. You and George keep up the good work with the blog. I am off to listen to the latest episode of TrackSide.

  4. Radio station 1070 in Indy replayed the 1969 Indy 500 radio broadcast a few days before the race this year. I enjoyed listening to every minute of it. To hear the old names.

    Love You-Tube as its given me the opportunity to watch a few old races as well as old World Series and Super bowl games.

    Yes, my wife thinks I’m nuts too.

  5. I go through periods of time, mostly in the winter or when April-May comes around where I will listen to old races at work. I can pull them up on Youtube, not so much to watch but to listen to the broadcast. But I must say being at the pool I want something else in my life, haha!

  6. billytheskink Says:

    George is the crazy one here, yes, but not in a bad way I think. “Fan” is short for “fanatic”, right?

    It should be said, too, that modern times give fans more opportunities to be crazy than ever before. It was not too long ago that engaging in racing fandom when there was not a race happening was pretty difficult. Periodicals covering racing came once a week at best and revisiting old races was almost unheard of. Now you have Youtube, podcasts, DVR, and instantaneous news and discussion online.

    With only a few old races on videotape and ICR magazine coming only once a month when I was a kid, I created racing series for my Hot Wheels/Matchbox/Micro Machines/Lego race cars to feed my interest in between races. I would stage races on my bedroom floor and turn sheet after sheet of paper into entry lists, qualifying and race results, points tables, prize money tables… Crazy? Absolutely, but that’s what fans are.

  7. DZ-groundedeffects Says:

    I’d like to vote for ‘neither of you’ is crazy. You are two different people with commonalities and differences. It’s good to be conscious and open to each other’s passions. I’m sure George wouldn’t mind joining you in the pool if you were listening to a podcast of your choice next time, right?

  8. I have a music playlist that runs for hours that in addition to Canned Heat and such, also includes such “music” as the sound of IndyCars downshifting before a St. Pete curve and then roaring down the long straight, so I have no comment. As Red Green might say: “We’re men and it’s what we do.

    With apologies to Warren Zevon and perhaps Helio, I did notice that in Susan’s pool photo George’s hair remains “perrrrrfect”.

    • Ron Ford Says:

      My aforementioned “music” playlist also includes the sound of the crowd erupting in cheers when Danica took the lead at Indy, possibly the loudest crowd noise I have ever heard. I never get tired of hearing that. It is available on YouTube.

  9. Dale Christenson Says:

    NOW you are starting to get it !! What better way to spend an afternoon listening to Sid Collins call the race. My first race was 1966 and every year after, while driving to the Speedway, I would start to get sad because in a few hours my race would be over and I had to wait another year for it to happen again. Susan, please find an old broadcast and listen to the words that Sid had for the winner, it was true poetry. Remember, Good morning, good afternoon and good evening from wherever you are in the world, WE are at the World’s Greatest racecourse.

  10. Gurney Eagle Says:

    Don’t ever change, George.

  11. I would have voted “other”. I re-watched the rest of this year’s Carb Day yesterday, including NASCAR America. Will work my way through the race day soon. Should be packing as we are moving houses, but I make “best of ” DVDs of each race weekend. Now that is crazy, especially when you have to pack them.

  12. Susan, next time YOU get in the pool first and put in a Harlequin Romance Novel audio book and play it while you are floating there, whether you actually like them or not!

    Fair is fair! 😝

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