What A Way To Spend A Weekend!

If you’ve been a regular visitor to this site, you know that two of my biggest passions are IndyCar racing and football. To be even more specific; when it comes to IndyCar racing, I am most passionate about the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While I enjoy attending and watching all of the races on the IndyCar schedule, I won’t kid anyone – the Indianapolis 500 is what triggered my interest in this sport when I was six years old.

When it comes to football, I enjoy watching any college and pro football – but the two teams I live and die with are the Tennessee Vols (college) and the Tennessee Titans (NFL). I’ve been a Vols fan since about the same year I attended my first Indianapolis 500 – 1965. When it came time for me to go to college in the fall of 1976, there was only one place I even considered – the University of Tennessee. I loved it there so much, I even stayed for a couple of extra football seasons before I finally graduated.

My love for the Titans didn’t develop until they moved to Tennessee for the 1997 season. They had been the Houston Oilers until then. For the 1997 and 1998 seasons, they played as the Tennessee Oilers before changing their name and color scheme to the Titans in 1999.

This weekend, my two passions come together. For years we’ve threatened to attend a Titans-Colts game in Indianapolis, but it never happened for one reason or another. But when it came time to plan which Titans games to go to, we decided to finally do it this year. We bought our tickets in July, not knowing if either team would be any good or not. A few weeks ago, it was looking like a bust. The Titans lost their third game in a row heading into their bye-week, while the Colts were sitting at 1-5.

Suddenly this game has meaning. The Titans are coming off impressive wins against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football, and then this past Sunday when the Titans dominated the Patriots 34-10 to put them at a more respectable 5-4 on the season, just one game behind the division leading Houston Texans. Meanwhile, the Colts have reeled off three straight wins and are suddenly playing very well. They beat division foe Jacksonville this past Sunday and are now 4-5. We have decent seats in Lucas Oil Stadium and it should be a good game.

But you know that Susan and I could not make the four hour trip to Indianapolis without going to pay homage to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is my favorite piece of land on this earth, even more precious to me than Neyland Stadium in Knoxville – Home of the Vols.

If nothing else, we will go to the gift shop on Saturday afternoon to see what we cannot live without. Better yet, hopefully Susan will be watching out for something to get yours truly for Christmas. But I also plan to just look around and soak in the ambience of The Speedway. We haven’t been on the grounds since the Monday after the race this past May, so I need to do a lot of soaking.

Last year, we made a special trip to Indianapolis in December, just to see the “Lights at the Brickyard”. If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. Not only does it put you in that Christmas spirit, but there is always something to be said for driving your own car down the front straightaway of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

That being said, we probably will not be doing it this year. For the first time ever, we are actually staying in downtown Indianapolis, just across the street from the stadium. There is one Indianapolis tradition that Susan has never experienced – St. Elmo Steak House. I’ve been there three times, but not since the nineties – twice with my first wife and once with my oldest brother. When I casually mentioned that we might eat there, she jumped at the opportunity.

If you live in Indianapolis or have been there, you know it’s not cheap. In fact, a glance at their online menu suggests that we may have to sacrifice Christmas this year. But based on my previous trips, it’s worth it. It’s more than a great meal – it’s an event. So, in order to save just a little bit of what St. Elmo will cost, I’ve elected to pass on the Lights at the Brickyard. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. It is. In fact, we will probably make a special trip up there next December. But Susan should experience St. Elmo at least once. And yes, I’ll insist she have the shrimp cocktail and its sinus clearing sauce.

Win or lose, we will wrap up our weekend in a more traditional fashion. On our way out of town, we will drive by the track just to get one more glimpse and then go through the 16th Street Roundabout to head south on Main Street in Speedway. There we will stop and get an early dinner before heading home – a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich at Dawson’s on Main.

IMS, Titans football, St. Elmo and Dawson’s. Is there a better way to spend a weekend in November? Go Titans!

George Phillips

25 Responses to “What A Way To Spend A Weekend!”

  1. You’re in luck, George. Saturday is the Speedway annual merchandise clearance sale. Really good deals on things.

  2. BrandonWright77 Says:

    Also, Ganassi is having an open house on Saturday. You picked a good weekend to come to Indy George!


    I’m planning on going to the IMS sale and probably the Ganassi open house on Saturday so hopefully I bump into you there.

  3. James T Suel Says:

    George I share your love for the speedway and the 500. Not so much for football. I am a founding member of the Brog Warner society, go to the events at the museum. IF your not you should check into it. Yes I am waiting with the same excitement I had 59 years ago for the month of may.

  4. Paul Fitzgerald Says:

    Go Colts! 🙂

  5. BrandonWright77 Says:

    Check your email George. 🙂

  6. billytheskink Says:

    Texans fans are rooting for a tie, I’m told.

  7. Live in Fort Wayne all my 65 . 2 hours away and never experienced any of what you will do this weekend. Sounds like a good time. Enjoy

  8. George, even though we will be on opposite rooting sides this Sunday I hope you thoroughly enjoy your trip to Indy (and that St.Elmo trip is WORTH going to Indy all by itself.)

    A few years back, I had the very same thought for my wife: Even though I grew up near Indy and my wife, as an Army Brat had grown up everywhere, she had never experienced the absolute charm and culinary fabulousness of St. Elmo.

    I know of few other restaurants where waitstaff remain in their positions until they RETIRE; That is a symbol of the high regard they have for the service they render and the quality that pervades everything they do.

    (And, by the way, you can order some of that signature cocktail sauce online to use on your shrimp cocktail at home.)

    Hope you and Susan enjoy the trip (right up until Sunday afternoon, that is….) GO COLTS!

  9. Chris Lukens Says:

    I’m somewhat disappointed by all of you that voted “Who Cares.” Obviously George cares. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than combining two passions.

    And this true Blue ( & Orange ) Bronco fan voted for the Titans.

  10. Bruce Waine Says:

    George – Just might want to ask Susan if she has already bought you Indy related Christmas gift.

    2019 INDIANAPOLIS 500

    The cost for sole sponsorship of a lap is $750.00 and the cost for shared sponsorship of a lap is $500.00. There may be up to two sponsors for all shared laps. All sponsorship fees will be divided equally among the drivers starting the 2019 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

    Both Sole and Shared Sponsors will receive the following:

     Listings in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 Official Speedway Program.

     Bronze Badges: For each lap sponsored, you will receive two coupon vouchers, redeemable for non-transferable Bronze Badges from the IMS Credentials Office. Each Bronze Badge is good for gate and garage area admission on practice days, qualifying days and Carburetion Day. A special Race Day credential will be issued with each Bronze Badge. This credential will provide access to the pit lane for the pre-race ceremonies. The individual designated for the Bronze Badge must present the coupon in person and complete the release of liability form to receive the credential.

     New for the 2019 event, all Sole Sponsors will receive two Silver Badges in place of the two Bronze Badges.

     You will receive two tickets for each of the following days:
    Bump Day
    Saturday, May 18th
    Pole Day
    Sunday, May 19th
    Carb Day
    Friday, May 24th
    Public Drivers’ Meeting
    Saturday, May 25th

     The opportunity to purchase two Race Day reserved seat tickets per lap sponsored in one of the following stands: Paddock, Stand C, Tower Terrace, Southwest Vista or Pit Road Terrace. If interested, please contact Allie McLaughlin at amclaughlin@brickyard.com

     Benefits are not changed or effected based on sole or shared sponsorship

    • That’s funny, I contacted IMS last year about Lap Sponsorship with a racing group I’m with here in Indianapolis and I was told the waiting list is three years long! What gives?

      Phil Kaiser

  11. I voted for the Tartans even though I am from up nort der.

  12. Have a wonderful time in Indy, George and Susan. Go Titans! I hope Marcus has an excellent game.

  13. Enjoy your upcoming trip to Indy.

    On another note, are there any more episodes of One Take Only forthcoming? I sure hope so.

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