March 26, 2009
By Brian Watkins
Two of my sons and I took a road trip this past weekend, so I wasn’t able to watch the Sprint Cup race at Bristol. I was however able to listen to it -- but it was a challenge.
Driving across several states can be an enjoyable experience -- especially when it provides quality time with father and sons. Trying to enjoy the radio though, can prove to be a battle of patience.
Back when I was commuting between Kentucky and Northern Ohio, I subscribed to satellite radio. It allowed me to listen to the music or news or sports that I wanted without having to keep scanning for a clear station that was carrying the programming I wanted. Before getting satellite radio in some cases I had to settle for the one or two stations that would come in, regardless of their format. Satellite radio fixed that -- but that was then. Now I have a 12 mile commute and no need to spend the extra money a month, so the “special” radio is gone. 99% of the time, this isn’t a problem, however this past Sunday trying to find a station that was covering the race was an example of the 1% of the time when regular radio can drive you insane.
As we rolled down the highway I keep hitting seek, would listen for the race and then hit seek again. This pattern went on for what seemed like a hundred miles. By the time I finally got the race on the radio, it was lap 110. By lap 160, the station was starting to fade and by lap 200, I was playing seek-listen-seek again.
I eventually found a solid station and listened to the race the rest of the way home.
On a few occasions during the race, the PRN announcers were talking about Bobby Labonte. This in and of itself is nothing out of the ordinary. It gets interesting though when you hear the announcer with mix a bit of southern drawl and excitement start talking about Labonte’s sponsor, Ask.com.
Ask.com; they said quickly and repeatedly during one caution as they talked about Labonte’s career and current performance standings.
Ask.com of course is a search engine similar to Google or Yahoo!. The biggest difference though, is that no matter how you say Google or Yahoo!, neither of them can be mistaken for anything else. Ask.com on the other hand, when said quickly, sounds a lot like ass.com, which I’m sure is a completely different website altogether.
About the second time I heard ass when they said ask, I figured it out and didn’t think much of it. My 8 and 10 year olds in the back of the car however, got quite the giggle out of it. I heard them chuckling every once in a while, and when I asked why they explained that the race announcer kept saying “ass”. I explained what he was really saying, but they continued to find humor in it for quite a few more miles.
The folks at Ask.com might want to consider forking over a few more advertising dollars to encourage the proper annunciation of their name during breaks. In the meantime, I’m guessing the folks at ass.com are enjoying the free publicity.
The thoughts and ideas expressed by this writer or any other writer on Insider Racing News, are not necessarily the views of the staff and/or management of IRN.