Virtual NASCAR, Peloton Racing With PGA Pros, Predicting Fan Behavior, And More
This is only a game. I'M KAREN GIVEN NASCAR took last Sunday off for Easter but two Sundays ago fans tuned into an event that looked and sounded very much. Like the real thing sort of As computer generated fans cheered. The anthem was sung by the very real life actress. Rita Wilson recently recovered from covert nineteen while a computer generated. Us flag fluttered high above. A computer generated Bristol Motor speedway roadster brides. This is the racing pro series where real NASCAR drivers follow the real NASCAR schedule as they race each other on virtual re-creations of real life tracks and while other sports leagues have been struggling to keep fans engaged. Nascar whose ratings for real world events have dipped in recent years has been drawing a million viewers a week to TV broadcasts of these new virtual races. So what's it lake being a real driver in a computer generated world. I called up an expert. And asked I'm Michael McDowell? Nascar driver for Motor Sports in Right now I race virtually but normally I'm on the NASCAR circuit racing every Sunday. So I WANNA take you back a little more than four weeks ago to March thirteenth NASCAR had just cancelled the race at Atlanta Motor speedway. How soon did people start floating the idea of putting together an IRA series? The idea got flooded out pretty quickly. I'd say within that first week people talking about it. We were a little bit behind the ball. I didn't have a simulator rig set up Ready to go at my house. What did you have to do to get one setup? Yes so is a bit complicated. Just because by the time I got a hold of a couple of manufacturers they were already out of stock and then a lot of as everybody knows manufacturing of parts and pieces a lot of that stop so we ended up building one at front row. My my guys together chassis and we're able to get parts in peace shipped in from different areas and and just built it at my house and it's not the big motion triple quadruple screens. But I got a nice monitor Nice Set of pedals wheels. And it's not as fancy as some of the other guys but it does the job and It's worked well on network television. I A NASCAR all star race from the virtual homestead Miami speedway delivered by IRA. So take me to the start of that first race. How will your nerves compared to what they would have been if you were sitting in an actual race car? I think the nerves were about the same My heart rate was about the same. So I kinda shows you just you know the anxiety level that you have You know just like anything you want to do. The best you can and you don't WanNa make mistakes and you still have people watching and yeah so you don't WanNa go out there and spin out on the first lap and have your debut over so without a lot of practice was pretty nervous so I kind of eased into it and but now I think it's I feel fairly confident on there and comfortable and you still get nerves in jitters but not quite like you know strapping into Racecar Jimmy. I guess the best part is it gives everybody a chance to have a little fun on Sunday afternoon. Kind of forget about our troubles in our issues. The only thing looks like a gets hurt here. Our Egos what's it like to be able to make contact with another car and know that there's no risk of injury that's got to be kind of fun. Yeah it's fun. We've seen some excitement for sure Even though we all take it very seriously you know when there's no consequences for running into each other having crashes you could really go for it and hang it. All out Michael McDowell was Victoria. Heard certain he's not coming back to shop of fifty people. Explain why you Destroyed the race car. You just hit the reset button so you take more chances so cool to listen to that throttle just like the real thing you see now. I saw an interview where you said. That racing at Virtual Bristol is somewhat similar to racing at Real Bristol. At least in terms of things like the difficulty in passing and that sort of thing. Have you been surprised? By how similar racing is to the real thing? Bristle is a great Example of just how well they correllated as far as where the line was on the racetrack. How difficult was the past and the mental focus and the concentration to end the preferred lane? This Middle Lane. They kind of run a high lane. Going into the Senator Warner then. Diamond the corner in come off with the momentum still using all the you know the skills and techniques you would use to manipulate an actual NASCAR racetrack. It's how you process. It's a little bit different denny. Hamlin has been making the point that I racing unlike playing I don't know NBA two K. or Madden football. It can actually make you better at real racing. Do you agree with that? Yeah absolutely at something early on in my career that I did a lot of just because I didn't have experienced a lot of the tracks and I didn't even know half the tracks look like so I was able to play them in and get used to them and just get used to the surroundings and the different visual cues at us and look for and just an overall feel I think. Ira Seen actually allows you to focus on very small details. Where in the race car? You have an hour of practice in. You gotTA MAKE CHANGES TO THE CAR. So the drivers not working on himself as much as he is working on the race car and trying to get the feel that he needs. I racing has been a huge success setting records for TV viewership. Creating a lot of social media. Buzz some teams including yours have signed new actual sponsors during their virtual drive time really excited to announce the Celsius partnership Celsius is going to be on board thirty four car this weekend at Bristol. I think for a lot of fans I racing has been a really nice distraction. But it's almost also this sort of sense of normalcy in a world. That's anything but normal. What has it meant to you to be able to keep at some semblance of your job during this time for me personally. It's just giving me a goal. Ace given me something that I need to do and I want to be successful at it just like anything. So you've got to put the time in during the week and and so just having something to look forward to and Also having something to fix your mind on that will you allow you to continue to improve. You know it's not ideal obviously we all Wanna be back to normal life and doing our normal jobs but For the meantime it's Help passed some time. And it's been a lot of fun and It's given us something the race. Yeah Yeah I have just one last question. And that's now that my recording studio is here in my closet. I've been having a really hard time like separating myself from my work. Are you having trouble with that to do you find yourself wanting to hop onto your sim? At all times of the day. Yes and no you know I have four kids. So virtual learning has been harder than virtual racing. I can tell you that much or on spring break this week which were really happy about I feel like a fulltime. It guy just trying to get ipads and conferences up and figuring out. How do you turn schoolwork in virtually and making sure everything gets done with the kids? So that part is kept me busy in the afternoon. I'll hop on and deal practice and maybe even get a couple of races and I think that there are a lot of people at home probably being like yes. Like athletes have never been more relatable than they are right now. Yeah I think some of that is just the misperception right. Like I've always been a data for and I've always taught my kids with their schoolwork and homework and I think he's just getting to see more of what life's like at home but we're all pretty normal guys and girls and just hoping that we get to go to the racetrack. Soon Michael McDowell. Thank you so much. This has really been fun. Thank you Michael McDowell races for front row motorsports. We spoke with him ahead of Sunday's race at Virtual Richmond. We'll have a link to all the virtual NASCAR action at only a game dot org not every sport has the option to just go. Virtual the xfl filed for bankruptcy this week after the covert nineteen pandemic forced the suspension of play. Just five games into the league's much anticipated return and the idea that fans will come back to their seats quickly and without reservation when sports do start up again took a hit last week when Seton Hall University released the results of a survey in which seventy two percent of respondents say. They won't return to live sporting events until there's a vaccine experts. Say That Day is likely twelve to eighteen months away. I'm joined by Dan. Rascher professor and director of Academic Programs for the Sport Management Program at the University of San Francisco. Dan welcomed only a game. They give her having me. And Kenneth Shropshire CEO of Arizona State University's Global Sport Institute. Hi Ken this really good to be here. Okay let's first talk about the study itself. It was a relatively small sample. Just seven hundred sixty two respondents. They were asked ten questions. Ken was this a well. Designed well executed survey. Ooh You're not going to get me to hate on. An academic colleague is done many surveys. Are you know how big can you get if you could ask three hundred thirty million people in the country that would be a much better path than than asking seven hundred and fifty or twelve fifty or whatever the number might be and really I think more than anything else away the press put it out? There might be. What's most confusing to folks? If you're not a sports fan you were saying that. I'm not going back but you were never there in the first place so the real number the pressure to have had out there I think is sixty one percent or something like that in terms of sports fans said they would not come back totally fair so should we actually take people at their word when they say they won't return to sports venues until there's vaccine. I've looked at these sorts of situations in the past. If you think about the baseball strike A number of decades ago fans were essentially saying the same thing that they wouldn't come back now. That wasn't because of a health issue. That was because they were mad they were and they were going to take it out on the baseball teams and the players and the owners and then in the end of course the research shows that they did comeback. And we've seen that many situations where these surveys show that fans feel a certain way when they have to put their money where their mouth is. They actually tend to show up at these sporting events. So can if it turns out that fans are saying one thing in a survey and another thing if there buddy says hey. I've got front row seats for the NBA. Finals WanNA come. What do we make of the fact that what they say in the survey and what they do might not be the same people that are being surveyed answered the question honestly in the moment I think for the most part? I think people just don't know at the moment of truth. What the answer to many of these types of questions are going to be an advance so right you see this all the time. I'm so mad at the NFL players for striking eighty-two. I'll never go back and then you know it's now you know trying to twenty five Billion Dollars Sport. I do the this is a different situation. I think there's a lot more unknown here. I mean there's a fear of for people's health and so that maybe different and I think you know answering honestly as I sit in my room. I going to go back a magazine. The first guy in the gate probably not but of course I will end up going back to sporting events and I think that timelag I think is really what's going to be interesting is. How long will it take for people to to fill those arenas one of my colleagues got an email this week from something called the ticketmaster research team asking what safety precautions? She's like to see at events. Once events have started up again and from the questions she was asked it. Sounds like the ticketing industry and therefore probably the sports industry is taking the study pretty seriously. Ken should they be worried over? Sure I think the timing is is the big issue in how rapidly people will come back. And you know I. I heard people down here in Phoenix Some of the people of the diamondbacks elsewhere talking about you know hand sanitizers and in this bleed wiping seats down the sorts of things that they are anticipating that they'll need to do to provide comfort and for gene wine security for the fan so none. I think the industry is very wise to be mapping this out and not just for the marketing PR standpoint but also for for real health. Yeah I think of a place like Fenway Park which is a place I absolutely love but man how seats are small. Social distancing at fenway at. I mean. None of us know what's GonNa Happen here. It's possible that the CDC will recommend that there be no fans at sporting events. Until there's a vaccine in which this whole conversation will likely have been kind of mood but in the event that medical professionals tell us it's safe to go back. What does this tell you about? What's actually going to happen next? You know. I wouldn't be surprised if it's if it is gradual in the sense that in order to make people feel safe a league decides to limit the capacity to half or a third of the number of seats. And maybe that would make people feel comfortable and then a few weeks doing that and those folks are not getting sake. Hopefully we have more testing by then. Then maybe they can start to open up more. I'm there with Dan. And if you focus on the field of play that's the other issue may be the dominant issue so we've got ourselves a bit of a journey but but in the end it will come back you know with the nineteen eighteen pandemic and all these other times. We've come back with much less technology and and much less medical wherewithal and to you know I'm the sixty five year old guy. I am the last Guy. Back in the stadium. I mean I'm going to wait and see. I think demographic based as well I can see kids getting back out there pretty rapidly. Let's talk just for a second about what's at stake here because you know if there is a long layoff before fans get back in the stands the NFL would probably be okay but what about other leagues. You mean like the xfl. Yeah yeah well. That's the problem that we could see the surprise there. Was You know we thought there were three years worth of funding but you gotta look to the funding source which is the WWE which wants to survive too and if you can offload in expense and expensive happens to be an entire league. That's the kind of thing that can happen. So so we'll see it's all going to be a chain reaction kind of thing to the media enterprises will they continue support sponsors? Will they support so the fans are one segment there? A lot of dollars that come from a lot of different locations. Yeah exactly and the the major sports leagues have other sources of revenue. Maybe they'll come back if they can get the players and just earned media revenues for a bit and sponsor revenues before they fully earn ticket and concessions revenues and so forth. I mean I'm working the minors you know I mean. They don't really have much media revenue at all and so they need fans in the stands the hundreds of minor league teams out there. I wouldn't be surprised if many of them ended up going under or at least kind of mothballing everything until every fan can come back in the gate are they can at least draw a minimum number of fans. Dan Rascher is the director of academic programs for the Sport Management Program at the University of San Francisco and Ken Shropshire is the CEO of Arizona. State University's Global Sport Institute. Thanks to both of you. Thank you very much. Thank you care and take care. You're listening to only a game from an need to escape the news for a moment checkout endless thread a podcast from WB. You are and read it from mysteries to history. These two stories that will remind you of our shared humanity. Subscribe to endless thread on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen. I'm Karen Given the Nineteen eighty-seven movie the Princess. Bride begins with a situation. That may feel familiar right now. Actor Fred Character. The grandson is stuck at home. You feel in any better then. Peter Falk's character. The grandfather shows up with a gift along right when I was your age. Television was called Books Sports. No kidding fame Shane fighting torture revenge. Giants monsters chases and I thought we stretched the definition of sports. Our next story have any fencing fighting or torture but it is about the hot hand the movie the Princess Bride and a night that changed basketball. Here's only a Games Martin Kessler. There was little reason to suspect that February twenty seventh. Two thousand thirteen would go down as a turning point in basketball history. It was the middle of the dog days of the NBA season. That's the Wall Street. Journal's Ben Cohen who recently wrote a book called the hot hand the New York Knicks were hosting the Golden State Warriors that Madison Square Garden. And this is before the warriors are who we think of them as now and so. This was just a regular old boring regular season basketball game involving the New York Knicks. Which for those who may be unaware the past two decades have not been kind to the New York Knicks? But there is something a bit unusual about this game for the warriors. Golden State's all star forward David Lee be playing the previous night against the Pacers. He'd gotten into a fight and he'd been suspended by the NBA. The warriors would be missing leased nineteen points per game against the Knicks. Basically they're only offense was to unleash steph curry and hope that he got hot steph. Curry is now a global superstar famous for taking and making bunches of three pointers from all over the court but back in February two thousand thirteen. He wasn't even an all star and there was little reason to suspect that he was about to change the sport of basketball. Since his rookie season Steph had been an absurdly accurate three point shooter but in other ways his three point shooting wasn't particularly remarkable. He wasn't taking all that many three pointers and most of the threes. He did take or pretty standard. They weren't from far beyond the three point line and he was usually being setup off a pass from teammate. Rather than creating a shot firm self off his dribble he was basically playing basketball. The way that everybody had always imagined you should play basketball. He was boxed in by that. Imagination of Basketball Steph. Curry missed his first. Three Point Attempt on February twenty seven two thousand thirteen against the Knicks. He doesn't make a three for the whole first quarter. It just looks like a normal game for him and then what happens is that he makes one shot with a quick three ball. He makes another shot. Quick three light down main street on starting to feel good in this is where our story starts to become less about basketball and more about human psychology and fierce academic debate because Steph Curry. He begins to get a little bit crazier with the types of shots that he takes midway through the second quarter. The warriors gotta steal and curry had the ball in transition. He takes the ball on a fast break on a two on one and for the entire history of basketball. What almost everybody in his situation would have done was continued to the basket for a layup or to create another three pointer for his team. What he does is he stops behind the three point. Line steph curry was going to shoot under ordinary circumstances. Curry's teammates might have considered this a bad shot but curry and everyone else in the warriors uniform didn't believe these were ordinary circumstances. They know that he is catching fire. And they want to get him the ball because they think that he is hot. Now we're going to pause here nerd out for a bit curry and his teammates and basically every athlete believe something called the hot hand. The idea that after making a couple shots in a row curry actually becomes more likely to make his next one over decades though. Some academics have argued that. There's actually no such thing as the hot hand that the odds of curry making a jump shot are fixed like flipping a coin. Sometimes we might get lucky and get two heads in a row. But that doesn't mean the third flip is any more likely to come up. Heads Scholars have looked for the hot hand or this idea of being on a roll beyond basketball so there was a paper published not too long ago by a statistical physicist named Dash and Wang. He looked at what he called the hot hand periods of your careers so not just basketball in fact not basketball at all but he looked at Hollywood directors and he looked at artists and he looked at scientists and what he wanted to know was is creativity clustered do we have hits in our career that come before or after other hits he looked at. Imdb ratings for movies and he looked at Google scholar citations for scientists and auction prices for artists and what he found was that in all three industries if he knew what your best work is chances are it's surrounded by your second and third best work which is to say that there is this time in our career when we actually do elevate when we have these hot hand periods and so once. I found out that movie makers had their own hot hands. I was sort of intrigued. I went looking for some in. This is where we returned the Princess Bride Sports. Is this kissing book in Nineteen? Seventy-three William Goldman's fantasy novel featuring fencing fighting torture revenge giants monsters and yes. A bit of kissing was published over the next decade and a half. There were several attempts to turn the book into a movie. Golden like to tell this story that studio heads would buy the rights of the princess bride and then get fired. The next weekend there was something haunted about the princess bride yet and so. Why do you think people didn't want to make it right away? Why did have so much trouble? I think people have a hard time with things that push boundaries that tried to pack a lot of things into a little space. It's almost like a deep three point shot or something like that. People thought that you shouldn't do it and so people didn't do it and yet we now know that it probably makes a lot of sense to do it who would be empowered to take an unconventional shot like that someone with a lot of talent shore but that apparently wasn't enough cinema all stars. Robert REDFORD NON Jewison Francois. Truffaut had all tried and failed to make the movie. Ben Cohen thinks it had to be someone who also had the hot hand someone who is really on a roll which brings us to director. Rob Reiner if you can see the numbers. Go to Eleven A. In one thousand nine hundred. Eighty four reiner his big screen. Directorial debut with this is spinal. Tap A mockumentary about a heavy metal band. What we do is if we need that. Push OVER THE CLIFF. You know we do. Put it up to exactly one now. Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder these guys who now? It wasn't a commercial success until many years later but it was a critical hit. People liked it and not let him make another movie. Reiner next made the sure thing and then stand by me. Anything that if we find him we'll get our pictures in the paper. It is a huge commercial hit at the box office. It's once again at Critical Smash Rob Reiner was on a roll. And he knew what he wanted to make next. Rob Reiner puts all ships on the table. And he makes the princess bride. Buttercup Bush raised on some farm in the country floor favorite pastimes while riding a horse and tormenting the farm boy. That work is the use the hot hand to make something that nobody else would have wanted him to make national numbers. Follow us as I told you. It would be absolutely totally all other ways inconceivable basketball. We sort of have a word for this. It's called a heat check right. A heat check is when you've made a few shots in a row and you kind of throw up a crazy shot. A risky shot conceivable. I think what you're thinking miss. The Princess Bride was rob. Reiner's heat check in. If the Princess Bride was Rob Reiner's check. It was a switch. The movie became a cult classic. That's now in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry and maybe just maybe a belief in the hot hand or that any person can be on a roll helped Rob Reiner family. Get the unconventional film. Made now getting back to February twenty seventh. Two Thousand Thirteen Steph. Curry has hit two three pointers in a row. And now he's got the ball on the fast break he stops at the three point line in prepares to shoot this Ben. Cohen says was Steph. Curry's heat check. You could almost see this look of confusion on the face of the Knicks defender. Because what Steph curry was doing in that moment was so audacious. The shot of course went in. He kept going for the lead. Cut It hurry. Of course we got it. What a night for Steph Curry steph curry finished with fifty four points not Ben Cohen says most. Nba Superstars have a game where everything seems to click. But for steph curry the difference between before and after February twenty seventh two thousand thirteen is especially striking before that game steph. Curry in his career averaged eighteen points on five three point attempts per game after that game. He's averaged twenty six points per game on ten three-point attempts per game. This is when things changed. When he was allowed to shoot the types of three pointers that nobody had ever been allowed to shoot before regardless of whether or not the hot hand Israel and regardless of how significant the hot hand effect may really be. And you'll have to check out Ben Cohen's book to delve into all of that at the very least the fact that people believed in the hot hand. Help empower steph curry to take the sorts of shots. He'd always been capable of making since that night. Steph curry has one to MVP awards and NBA players are taking more three pointers than ever before. But there's actually one more reason. Why the Night Steph? Curry scored fifty four points on. The Knicks is noteworthy. The most amazing part of this game is that the Knicks actually did win. Steph had the greatest scoring game of his career and the warriors lost the New York Knicks. I just have one thing to say to that inconceivable. That's only a Games-martin Casler Ben. Cohen's new book is the hot hand the mystery and SCI of streaks. We'll have a link at only a game dot org never well. At least not in recent history has the ability to step into the back yard to play a game of catch and more appreciated by more people. All you need is a ball and glove and someone to play with Marshall. Gallinsky has owned his baseball glove since he was eleven. That's four decades. But he didn't appreciate how well his lifelong met was constructed or all that it represented until recently. Here's Marshall the finest in the field it says so right there on the glove just below the part. That's protecting my pinky from hard. Hit Line drives and ill-advised outfield dives since about nineteen eighty one. I'm not sure what role Andre Dawson had in. Its design but practically every ball. I've ever caught has come to rest. Just above his signature branded into the leather then my father long ago slathered with linseed oil wrapped in string and stuffed under a to break it in. So I've been using it more lately. My son is Levin now and he wants to play. Catch a lot that together with Sunday's playing Shouli softball for the past. Few Summers has kept the Mitt and me young and pliable enough when a piece of the lacing in the pocket tour this year I tried to fix it with some dental floss. It ripped apart on the. I catch my efforts repair or in a front to the MIT somewhere in America or Canada. Andre Dawson grimaced then. I happened upon the Doctor Glove. Lacing repair kit at a local sporting goods store for ninety nine. What could go wrong? Dr Glove was plainspoken. His directions on the back of the package. Be Sure to look carefully at the pattern of the lacing before taking it apart. Maybe it was the beers I'd consumed earlier but after I pulled the lacing apart I feared I would never get it back together. Dr Gloves Admonition was spot on for all the time. I'd spent pounding my fist and staring into that love for the past four decades. I hadn't appreciated the leather lacing labyrinth around my fingers for all those years the mid was so stable so reliable so dependable. And now it was a floppy eared rabbit puppet. It was Jello in leather. What I done pulling the repair kits leather laces through the Mitt had released the smells of a thousand literally gamed into my kitchen. The MIT must be saved. Its USEFUL LIFE. Our aging cells preserved an hour or so later the deed was done the. Mit is whole. All is right in the universe once again and it's still the finest in the field. Marshall Dolinsky is a Boston area attorney. Who plays catch with his son in all seasons whenever asked? We'll be right back with Charlie Pierce. Don't forget to follow us on facebook and twitter at only a game and WANNA add more positively to your podcast feed checkout kind world stories of extraordinary kindness and compassion. That's kind world. Subscribe now on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen. I'm Karen Given next week on only a game. What do you do when you're writing a book about training for the Boston Marathon and the Boston marathon is postponed? Run Your Own Marathon. Of course but now it's time for Charlie Pierce and the week's news. Hi Charlie Hi Sharon the XFL has filed for bankruptcy citing the uncertainty of knowing when the pandemic will quote sufficiently abate. As the cause of the League's demise. Are you sad to see a go again? I'm not surprised I mean because it was going to struggle in the first years anywhere and then it gets hit with this out of nowhere. Lightning bolt actually produced a product. That people were willing to watch so yeah I feel Kinda bad about this. The XFL is owned by. Vince McMahon and his other enterprise the and the wwe has been declared an essential business in Florida. Because Florida Governor Raimondo. Santa's in Florida. If it wasn't for the president he would be reckoned to be. The most recklessness irresponsible executive in all of American politics but he knows which side of the bread is blurred and Vince McMahon. His pack and his wife who used to work for the trump administration are all very influential. Well just a few days after being declared an essential business in Florida. The wwe released a number of veteran performers and furloughed a portion of its workforce again citing the cove in nineteen pandemic as the reason for the cost saving measures meanwhile according to Forbes. Vince McMahon's net worth heading into the weekend was one point nine billion dollars. You think he would keep on a couple of secretaries anyway. Don't you yeah Yeah I mean this is an excellent opportunity for profiteering at a lot of different levels and people who are inclined that way or taking advantage of it live. Baseball is back Charlie. As long as you don't mind watching the racketed monkeys live on twitter. Play Games that start very very early in the morning. Right-center Don makes the grab. Will YOU BE TUNING? I think the very very early in the morning part is what's GonNa keep me from turning to be perfectly honest with you. I mean if you're a baseball fan that's what you've got right now so the racket monkeys are your ball club and by the way the racket in monkeys they are going to sell a lot of gear in the United States. Boy Are they. The League is called the Chinese baseball. Professional League. Games are being played in empty stadiums and officials in Taiwan. Say they've been able to resume play because they were very good early. On at slowing the spread of the virus. I am no medical expert but I do wonder if it's a good idea to tempt fate like this considering we don't know a lot about the virus yet but You know it's interesting to watch the Empty Stadium experiment get a public test. Although you know some baseball stadiums are so regularly emptied that it doesn't seem as odd as maybe a football game. Would well no. That's not a kind thing to say about the Florida. Marlins difficult time here in the US. The only pro baseball is virtual pro baseball. Where major leaguers play each other on the video game version of the sport called? Mlb The show and so far. The Star of the show has been Texas Rangers. Slugger Joey Gallo who won his first nine games any chance. This performance will help Joey. The next time is real. Life contract is up. Don't think management is likely to apply your virtual skills to actual baseball. If that happens then we're all doomed. I mean once. Virtual sports in real sports are declared equal in our minds. We're all trouble once again. Virtual NASCAR has had real world consequences. Driver Kyle Larson was suspended for using a racial slur during an unofficial virtual race. Larson has also lost sponsorships. Ironically Larson came up through NASCAR's drive for diversity program. He's the only driver of Japanese descent to win a major NASCAR race. What do you make of all this? I think this unfortunate I think Nascar did the right thing but if you want an embarrassing way to get suspended this is it. Yeah Patrick Mora. Tog Lou. Better known as Serena Williams coach is calling on the governing bodies of tennis to help lower level players are people who earn a living solely on tournament winnings who are struggling financially due to the corona virus pandemic. It really should be noted that lower level players struggled financially. Even when there's not a global shutdown so maybe they can work on fixing that at the same time yeah. These are the players who struggled to pay for their own travel to pay their own coaches and what passes for their salary depends on how many matches they win. It's a razor's edge kind of life and I think you know while everyone's trying to fix everything you know under the umbrella of the CORONA VIRUS. This is you know this is something that certainly deserves to be looked at and finally Charlie in this world without sports. I've found the sports hero. We all need. Take a listen. That's really the official mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers Bouncing Ping Pong Ball off various household items and into a cup and. I don't think I've ever been more entertained. First of all courteous national hero except we accept that as a truism and who cares if it took him like a whole week to get those shots in you know that you don't think it was one time one time only. Charlie is the guest editor of the best American sports writing two thousand nineteen and he joins US each week at this time on only game. Thanks Charlie thank you Karen I can't guarantee that it will be quite as entertaining as watching a giant orange mascot bounce ping pong balls off of pots and pans but we it only a game are doing our best to bring you great stories even during this pandemic subscribe to the only game podcast on Apple Stitcher spotify or wherever. They're keeping the podcast these days. While you're there leave us a review that would be swell and thanks. The Tour de France has been rescheduled for August. But that doesn't mean athletes aren't snapping into their pedals to compete though they may not be the athletes. You're expecting guys Watson here a bit in the house for a while in we all know is not fun. It's stressful but I got on the Peleton Bite and release some stress with golf courses kind of being deemed non essential to a pros or having to find ways to stay active and competitive. That's Jonathan Wall. He's the managing editor for equipment at Golf magazine and Golf. Dot Com you hop on a spin bike and you can race against fellow to were pros you know. This is kind of a way for the players especially to kind of scratch that competitive each recently. Jonathan got a chance to scratch a competitive edge of his own and by doing so he learned something about his own athletic ability it all started on March twenty fourth twelve days after PGA pros were sent home in the middle of the Players Championship. Justin Thomas Edison with me Friday morning. Nine o'clock central so. I'm not sure let's all ride together get fit together. Police stress together. Let's do it. Come on here we go. We do a daily zoom call like a lot of other companies one of our social media editors she she said Hey. Does anybody happen to have a Peleton. And there was this silence and I thought I guess I'm the only new hassle and so I kinda just said Yeah. Yeah I've got a penalty on. She says Justin Thomas in Bubba Watson her two of the bigger names on the PGA tour are going to be doing a Peleton ride do. Do you want to hop on chronicle it and so I said sure why not? I've always been inactive guy. Love love being outdoors. Love Playing Golf Basketball Skiing. I'm not an athlete but I definitely train in exercise just to stay healthy. I thought you know it's just fun. I'm GonNa ride with these guys. Then I found out that rory mcilroy was in the group and that really. Kinda up the motivation for me. So why? What's the big deal. Why has rory the guy everyone wants to be? Yeah so it kind of goes back back to the players championship which is the PGA tour flagship event. Glad to be back. Obviously it was a you know this this week. Last year was was huge for me. In terms of there have been rumors going around that rory was the Peleton King on the PGA tour and he was just cranking out. Numbers output numbers that that professional rider cyclists would would probably be proud of Shane Ryan. Who writes for for Golf Digest? He happened just ask Roy. Other numbers real and rory kind of just admitted yeah by. I am pretty good at the Peleton Billy. Jt Charlie again. He goes on social media and he'll poke fun at some of his other point competitors. I mean they openly try to beat rory on the PALATINE. It's a big deal when you're the number one. He's the number one golfer in the world. When you're number one everybody's chasing you in so even in the Peleton arena pro. Golfers are trying to dethrone the bell. Talking Okay so set the scene for me. It's the morning of this ride. Yep So my Peleton is located in the House we have. We have a workout room. It's one of those things where I'm actually a little bit nervy which is crazy because I hop on the Peleton on a very regular basis lapped on the road and I hop on the Peleton and I opened up the class in. It was like okay. I'M GONNA go out. I'm going to try and be rory snapping and go. It's pretty quick once you once you click start on a class. You have probably about a minute to warm your legs up and then they do about a forty five minute warm up where you really start to ramp up the speed and the resistance. If you want thirty minute ride go with we go. Is there a soundtrack? Is there an instructor screaming at you? How does it go? There has definitely instructor screaming at you. Although I will admit that it's usually me screaming I it's usually about midway through the ride where I will really angry and question why I'm on this. This darn bike car starting to the darker than they were going as. You're on this bike looking at digital screen. It has a whole bunch of output number so it has a digital leader board which shows you where you stand based on your output and the output is a combination of your resistance. And then you also have your cadence which is how fast you're going so I usually swipe the leaderboard away and I just look at the cadence. The resistance total output. That's it as I was writing against Justin Thomas and Bubba and rory the Peleton King. I had no idea where I stood the entire race until the end. All Right. So when did you finally give into temptation to look so? I will admit it was very difficult. I really wanted to peak and it wasn't until probably within the last minute of the ride where I took a look at the leaderboard and I had PR. Which is personal record? And I figured like wow. I'm Racing Roy and I'm putting out numbers that I've never put up as you tell them hitting reading. That's a wrap thirty minutes a lot of fun then. C. J. D. Rob you here. You're riding with Justin Thomas and bubba Watson and Roy Mack Roy. People think well do you get to see them. Are the videos thankfully? There's not because nobody wants to see me dripping and sweat screaming at an instructor so I had to go in and check on where rory was actually scrolled up and down the leaderboard. I and I figured even though I had a great ride I'm like worries Gada. Beat me scroll all the way the top and I didn't see him. I thought I must have missed him. Sprawled down and then it was. Oh my goodness I beat Rory Sherman finished up for fifty eight of ten thousand bad golf writer. Even if he beats me again I can tell I still beat you that one time and I actually beat them pretty handily now. I don't WanNa diminish what you've done but is there any chance rory was just having a bad day. It's it's definitely possible. I don't know any other area. In sports were a average person can compete against the best in the world. You're never going to get a chance to play rory on the golf course in a competitive setting. This is the closest thing you're going to get. I actually saw Roger. Federer is on Pelivan in. He's putting up insane. Numbers people always say. He's kind of in the twilight of his tennis career. Not all the Peleton. Can you beat Roger Federer? I'd no chance to Peleton tournament in see them like one through sixty four pro athletes and let them go head to head and Crown Peleton King. Throughout all sports. I think it's a great idea. I would love it do for charity. Maybe maybe they can put a bug in somebody's ear INN and they'll get a going. That's Jonathan well managing editor for equipment at Golf Magazine. And Golf Dot Com. We'll have a link to his original story at only a game DOT ORG and Roy mcelroy. If you're listening Jonathan's up for rematch whenever you'd like only a game is produced by Jonathan. Chang Martin Kessler Gary Wallich our technical directors marquees meals. Our executive producer is me. I'm Karen Given only a game returns next week. Thanks for listening.