Kind of a long read Henrik...but really explains what has/is going on in AMA/DMG

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Kind of a long read Henrik...but really explains what has/is going on in AMA/DMG

Post by H8R on Wed Sep 16 2009, 21:43

Expletive Deleted: Fool Me Once
by dean adams
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The word is that the DMG execs are on their way to the West Coast for meetings with the OEMs and sponsors this week. While the criteria of these meetings isn't known, one can only assume with the way that the 2009 season went that the DMG will enter into the OEM offices, hat in hand, wearing large signs declaring how sorry they are for everything that has transpired.

Sadly, it's probably too late for 'I'm sorry'.

My opinion is that, to DMG, you're not fans, you're cattle.
It's an interesting thing, isn't it, that forgive and forget isn't at the top of the list of reactions at most of the manufacturers when it comes to the DMG. It's also interesting that DMG is now soliciting ways to "fix" things from the manufacturers. Because many of these manufacturers were the very eyeball that DMG chose to stick their index finger directly into the soft center of when this all started. The manufacturers were told, publicly even, that any expectation that they would have any stake in the series, or have even a small portion of influence in, was baseless. "That ship has left the port" DMG's head man said. Okay, then. Honda pulled out at the first opportunity and the rest, except Yamaha, are all left mulling exactly why they do this, race DMG Superbike.

I'm just curious: why on earth would any manufacturer sign up for more DMG abuse after what they have been exposed to, shown, and had their nose rubbed in this year? Why on earth would you actually allocate funds to a series which is essentially run so that DMG's favorite and special manufacturer of choice—Buell—can run rampant? Why would you build bikes and go to the track ready to race, when at any given moment, seriously, Buell throws together a bike not supported by the rule book and DMG will approve it for competition and will actually defiantly stand there and defend doing so, based seemingly in part on the idiotic justification that Mat Mladin's Superbike isn't street legal?

And now, it is known in media circles that the TV package may be danger. Well, isn't this an interesting development? It seems that the core base of fans, who were built over a decade in the 1990s and early 2000s, have found other sporting events to watch on their personal moving picture boxes. This after all the bullshirt plaguing the series last year and followed by the moronic idea of going to a tape-delay broadcast feature show on Saturday night.

The series' TV "partner" stepped up and changed the format back to a timelier broadcast schedule; only, my information is that the fans didn't care, at least those with a television set. Some say that the ratings, unbelievably, actually got worse, which can't be right. But if so, this is the message: it wasn't just the time slot.

Weirdly, the racing was better in the Superbike class this year, but TV ratings were said to be better a few years ago when Mat Mladin was clearing off by four seconds. What does that tell you?

That tells you that you've pissed off a lot of fans.

I once saw a man sit down and state, "Every decision I've made has been wrong." This could be uttered by whoever runs DMG, because they seem at times to make one really bad decision after another. Lets start with rolling starts. These seemingly were implemented because they work well in car racing—ding-ding-ding—and also because Scott Russell's career ended when his bike died on the grid at Daytona and he was rectum-packed into a gruesome hospital stay. Even though clutch starts, statistically, have shown themselves to be very safe, and are exciting. How can we not be of the opinion that this entire decision had more to do with Scott Russell and his unfortunate crash at Daytona than anything else? Dumb.

Next up: let's get a safety car on the track if there's an issue during a race, because the addition of a car to an already tense situation can do nothing but be a calming affect, right? Like at Laguna Seca where sight lines are short. And if that proves too unpopular, let's get the Batcycle—or, AKA, The Buell Safety Bike—on track. Dumb. And un-needed.

To further confuse fans, let's change all the competition numbers on the bikes so that even the riders themselves at times don't know who is riding what, let alone the fans. Seriously: Ben Bostrom walked down to his bike in the pit lane the first time it wore number two and thought for a second that he'd been replaced by Jamie Hacking. Dumb.

And let's put more focus on MOTO-GT, not less. And on and on and on. One dumb game-changing idea after another. Any good decsions DMG made, and there were a few, were quickly blotted out by bad ones or their ever-present bully attitude.

These changes infuriated the very fan who had supported the series for years—the dyed-in-the-wool, fanatical fan. The kind of fan who attended three races a year, bought the shirts, and stood in line for autographs. He was told, incredibly, that he needed to be "re-educated". What better way to illustrate the horribly misguided direction of the series than that example? What better way to support that DMG has a serious lack of understanding of what constitutes the core difference between a motorcycle racing fan and a car racing fan? Suffice to say, motorcycle racers and their fans don't actually like to be told that they need to be re-educated. These are not—dare I say gnats?—that you can attract to your show with contrived classes and bright lights.

Every time we run an e-mail link on the site, as we did with the recent Indy photo contest, multiple readers will ping in wanting contact info for DMG—mail or phone numbers of someone they can contact and let them know how they have destroyed something very close to that fan's heart and how to fix it. I admire the perseverance and enthusiasm of these fans, but isn't it obvious that DMG doesn't care what the fans think? My opinion is that, to DMG, you're not fans, you're cattle. Cattle who need to learn which chute they have decided to send you down.

Meanwhile, the mantra of DMG is that the racing in 2009 was better than ever (especially if you're a Buell fan). In the Superbike class, certainly that was true. It's just so sad and so telling that, to most, that fact was completely over-shadowed by DMG's bonehead ideas, moronic statements, procedural issues, and outright screw-ups, which started at the first race and just seemingly never ended.

Through it all, one thing remained nearly constant, that being the attitude of the DMG. I have, somewhere, an audio file of the riders meeting at Daytona, which I attended. I'd drag it out and listen to it again if it weren't so depressing. How to best describe the attitude and the reaction of DMG to questions raised by the riders? Demeaning, degrading, and humiliating come to mind. I would not talk to my dog like that. It was like how I imagine elitist aristocrats talked to servants in another era. Or, plantation owners, for lack of a better example. There was no respect, and there was much talking down and a near palpable atmosphere of contempt. That you can't try to foster a mutually beneficial relationship while at the same time smacking someone in the nose with a rolled-up newspaper is just another indictment of DMG's ignorance of motorcycle racing.

The relationship between DMG, the manufacturers and also the fans of the series is one rich with a pageant of loose metaphors and vague analogies. The one I favor most is to liken the relationship between the three parties as a marriage, DMG married to the manufactures and also the fans of the series. Before the ink was even dry, before the contract was even written, in fact, the manufacturers were shown, in so many words, that DMG didn't want to be married any longer. DMG wanted to cavort with that kooky girl down the block instead (Buell) and seemed to want to attract a class of zombie fans who would applaud a series that thinks adding a car, or the kooky girl, to any situation makes it better. Shockingly, the manufacturers soon stopped budgeting for many teams and promotions at the tracks. Things dried up quickly, all to a low hum of DMG's attitude and, really, near Biblical-level of bad ideas. Now the fans don't care, some of the tracks are bleeding money and DMG are back on the West Coast to see if they can get the little woman to agree to some marriage counseling after all the cavorting and stupidity.

Good luck, boys. But I don't think she's going ever fully forgive you. Ever.

You want some advice on how to fix this? Here is where you start: with resignations.

ENDS
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H8R
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Join date : 2009-08-02
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