One of the few remaining sports I am passionate about is Formula One Racing. Yeah, there are races (and years) where it’s decided in the first corner and it’s probably a huge waste of resources. My friend Zero turned me on to the sport in the mid-80’s and I have followed it ever since.

Fans have recently found out that Michael Schumacher, the 7 time world champion driver for Ferrari will retire at the end of the season. Love him or hate him, he has accomplished an amazing record in the sport and others will have a hard time breaking most of them. He and the current champion Fernando Alonso are tied for the driver’s championship and it makes for an exciting finish to the season.

Upon waking this morning I flicked the TV on here in Italy (home of Ferrari and a very big F1 country) and the qualifying coverage from Suzuka, Japan was on Rai Due and Rai Sport, the Italian national channels. The pictures were crystal clear and the sound of the engines filled the single speaker on the hotel TV. The reason I am writing is because there was no comments, no color commentary, no inane speculation to what was going on. It was very refreshing. I realized that it would never work in the US though they have tried moments of silence in different sports from time to time. They don’t trust the fans to keep watching; they are afraid they will lose them to a flashing light or a piece of tinsel blowing in the wind. They may be right (or have the research to back it up) but to just have the feed to watch actually made it more immersive for me.

There are times when I love the differences over here.

PS- I just looked at Alonso’s birthday; he was born after I graduated from high school…