V8 Supercars helps to deal with league withdrawals
My oval-shaped pigskin heart almost flat-lined on the weekend thanks to a Sabbath sans rugby league, but with the aid of an unheralded sliver of light that poked through the vile post-season darkness, I was able to survive and tell my tale today.
The saviour smelt like oil and bourbon and aggressively attacked my ear holes, but it filled my need for something.
It was the V8 Supercars and its apex event at Bathurst, with its throttle-pumping brassiness, brutishness and ballsiness that provided the CPR to take me one step closer to the cricketing summer.
I am forever indebted to these swift metal contraptions and their maniac drivers for saving me from a dire afternoon of rom-coms and human interaction.
Yes, I acknowledge that as a footy follower – thrown mercilessly to the awaiting cold turkey at about 7.30pm on grand final day – that I could be speaking through a blended haze of separation anxiety and hunger hallucinations facilitated by fuel fumes, but it’s true.
I’ve discovered after a 6.5-hour Sunday of vroom vroom that Aussie car racing brings many attributes to the sporting round table that our relied-upon winter staples shovel up to us each week.
Don’t believe me? Then check out this pile of parallels that build like a pyramid of empty rum cans:
We have some cracking feuds across Australian football that pumps healthy blood through the code’s veins, with rusted-on classics like Canterbury vs Parramatta, Roosters vs Rabbitohs and Ray Hadley vs silence keeping us all in a rigid state of hate.
In the fast car series of Australia, you can experience ancestral-splitting and tattoo-inspiring contention each and every round between jalopy powerhouses Ford and Holden.
Its bitumen biffing on tap in the form of Blue vs Red, good vs evil and the insignia mismatch of Lion vs Oval logo, all which inspire ill-thought paint jobs on cars and timeless slogans on t-shirts forever.
Our international cousins are rife in the code of league, and who would want it any other way? It gives the NRL an international vibe cherried with extras like shivering road trips to Auckland, pasty outlaw English forwards, biased commentary and most importantly, superbly awesome accents for mimicking.
Going toe-to-toe with the long white cloudsters and the Europeans is also a feature of the V8s with names like Shane van Gisbergen, Greg Murphy, Fabian Coulthard and the bloke from the SuperCheap ads (or it could be Lowndes – don’t quote me, though) ensuring that there is always the possibility of us whingeing about our silverware going off-shore.
Grown men with painted faces furiously screaming at slightly-built officials and declaring their undying love for athletes up to 25 years their junior is downright nuts, but that’s the perception-altering power the depths of the winter can inflict on league fans.
Supercar fans have their equivalent lunacy; those who camp in filth and ice for months before the race starts and who remain constantly bothered about Mt Panorama’s generous restriction of one carton of beer per person per day.
Both sports have the ability to doctor gentle earthlings into bloodthirsty hard-boiled injury enthusiasts thanks to the plethora of memorable and mangling pitfalls, collisions, stinks and stuff-ups on offer.
The thorough enjoyment that a simple man is given when he eyes two fleshy fridges hurtling full-pelt into each other with a very real possibility of bone becoming chalk is easily transferable to the track.
The V8s produce similar meetings of muscle with road-kissing between two or more oblongs of heated iron, all containing a living creature within, a lay down misere most weekends.
State of the art coverage
Technology has become far advanced in Australian league broadcasts, so much so that you can nearly see the criss-cross pattern of tape on the groin muscle of Sika Manu as he runs out for kick-off, provided the picture isn’t blocked by a cross promotion for The Voice or the latest head-to-head prices on the TAB.
The coverage of the V8 Supercars are much the same, with the diarrhoea-inducing RaceCam and TrackCam getting your nose right under the clutch, and the broadcast of frustrated communication between drivers and their pitlanes getting your grandma’s sensitive ears out of joint.
There is even a classy FYI session where the specifics of car clangers are pointed out on an in-studio engine for the punters at home. If I knew anything about cars when I saw this excellent explanation of a flogged-out steaming piston, I reckon I would be mightily impressed.