It’s what you’ve all been waiting for, the 2015 Raceday preview is out and ready for your hungry eyes. Using CMU’s donation tracking list, we have sent out the preview to those people who were ahead of the game. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve been caught in some spam blockers, particularly if you have a cmu email address on file with the Alumni Association. We are working around the issue, so if you know you should be getting one, please be patient.

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66 thoughts on “2015 Raceday Preview is HERE!”

  • buggypusher says:

    Posted this in the reddit, which appears to not go to recent updates on the frontpage here anymore, so:

    Posting this here because the BAA forums don’t seem to allow registration of new members (and this has been the case the past few years, can’t find any members registered since 2011).

    Overall a very exciting Raceday, tight packing of men’s times, emergence of CIA as a contender (and frontrunner for Women’s).

    On the Women’s side it’s pretty simple, CIA has the buggy technology to compete on the freerolls, and has a fast push team, not as fast as any of the SDC A push teams in the past well… 8 years or so by my stopwatch, but clearly lapping the field this year over SDC and Fringe. SigEp didn’t make it to the line for their A team, and their A team pushers on Barracuda didn’t overly impress (and they failed drops later anyways), so I think nothing changes in the top 4 with SigEp rolling a proper A team.

    To be more specific, Fringe and CIA were about even through the front hills, stop sign, and CIA had a bit of a better rollup (but Fringe was almost right there with them on day 2), then their back hill pushers took it away for the win. SDC had pretty slow front hills, especially compared to themselves in past years, okay back hills (incredible hill 4, but not enough). Their chute turn on day 2 also was very messy and scrubbed off at least 4-5 seconds of time. SDC A with a clean chute competes with Fringe A for second, but no chance for first. PikA A had a blazing fast hill 1 but nothing special on any of their other hills.

    On to the exciting (yet disappointing in ways) Men’s races:

    No real standout pushers this year other than Spirit’s A team hill 1 and PikA’s A team hill 1 (according to a chairman’s email I was forwarded, he (PikA A) ran a 15.4 second hill 1 on day 1, I had him at ~15.7-15.8 on my stopwatch). Other than those two, nobody else was even close to a sub-16 hill 1 time, disappointing to see some of the top teams have ~17 second hill 1s, but it is what it is (I’ll get back to this later).

    Hill 2s were unpolished in general. SigEp A hung on to the buggy too long (a little long on day 1, way too long day 2), SDC A shoved too early day 1, still early day 2, PikA A had way too much lateral movement on the shove (day 1). Better hill 2s could shave off 1/2 to 1 second on that stop sign time.

    Chute turns were actually good on day 2, all of SDC, SigEp, and CIA had clean turns with good rollups (good is relative to the condition of the roads of course), nothing close to the 2008-2011 rollups, but that’s to be expected till the Mayor comes through with paving the road.

    The back hills were also overall a little sloppy but mostly just really slow compared to past faster years. CIA A almost DQ’s because their hill 3 pusher didn’t pay attention after shoving off, SigEp A had way too much horizontal movement on their hill 3 to 4 transition too. SDC A showing their attention to detail with good transitions all day on all the hills, arguably made all the difference with their .3 second win over SigEp.

    As mentioned, zero standouts on the back hills (or hill 2 for that matter), but I guess a shoutout to SigEp’s hill 4 and SDC’s hill 5, fastest on their respective hills, but still way slower (~1 second) than any of the fastest in previous years.
    Stop sign times I have (faster of two days):

    CIA: 53 seconds
    Fringe: 52.5 seconds
    PikA: 51 seconds
    SDC: 53 seconds
    SigEp: 54 seconds

    Given that it seems all of these 5 teams have similar speed buggies and wheel tech, this is basically completely a measure of their front hills. PikA leading of course with their king of the hill, Fringe A getting a solid hill 1 and veteran hill 2. CIA had an okay hill 1 too (mid-high 16s), SigEp also with an okay hill 1, but once again hill 2 pusher holding on to the buggy too long on both days killing their time.

    Fun final note about the Men’s teams we saw, PikA A rolled ~2:12.8 on day 2 on their exhibition heat. Their hill 4 was almost a whole second slower than he was on day 1 (hungover?). Compound this with a messier day 2 chute turn (fishtail) and you have to wonder if Pike could have won it all had they qualified for day 2. Even then, no chance for a sub 2:10 time.
    Which is a good segway to Men’s times compared to past year. No team had a chance in hell of getting a sub 2:10 time with the pushers they had and the road conditions this year. At best I could see Pike or SigEp getting into the mid 2:11s unless you magically grant them window 3-4 rollups from 2008-2011. I’d say this is 70% due to slow pushers, and 30% due to the continued deterioration of the roads in the past 2 cold winters.

    But really, it’s all on the pushers this year. Watch both of Pika A’s races this year, and watch their race last year, same hill 1 and 2 pusher, same stop sign time, same flag times. This tells me that the front hills just sucked this year other than Pike and Spirit. Pike therefore with the only respectable stop sign time of 51 seconds.
    As mentioned, the back hills also unimpressive. Fastest back hills on my stopwatch were around 50.8 seconds from SigEp A, a far cry from the 48.2 seconds of SDC A last year (the 2015 Raceday Preview has the entire layout of back hill times of last year).

    Which leads to my last point, where a lot of alums have been commenting that the top push talent has been spread onto multiple teams rather than focusing on one to two teams (i.e. SDC, or SDC+Fringe). I’d say there’s just less top talent pushing, period. I saw a grand total of zero sub 20 second hill 5 times, Bordick kept commenting “if this hill 5 pusher can finish in 19 seconds…” and nobody was even remotely close. Hill 4 was extremely disappointing with SigEp the only one with a decent time (low 16 seconds on my timer), still looked slower than SDC’s hill 4 last year, I don’t have his time because the replay footage is bad, but I was near the 4-5 transition last year and he smoked the field.
    So either there’s no top talent, or all the top talent is going to slower teams (i.e. Spirit and Apex). I know that Apex has a strong recruiting hold on the varsity soccer teams. Still, I think the effect of the ban on track and field pushers from the late 00s is still felt now. There’s no culture of the fastest CMU students going to buggy teams anymore. Fringe can’t seem to get football players like they once did, SDC isn’t allowed to pick off the track sprinters anymore, and Pike not having a house on the quad severely hurts their rush/recruiting prospects.
    Buggy’s in a rut in terms of pusher talent, and it’s clear as day now.

    Also, somebody mentioned that SDC has been holding up the average for years now. Well, that’s true for men’s since Fringe lost their mojo, but it’s not as bad as his figures show. Last year if Pike and SDC B make it through the chute that average is going to be sub 2:10. As for the women’s average, well, yeah. Shockingly though, the winning women’s time was closer to the winning women’s time (~4 seconds slower) last year than for men’s (~8 seconds slower), and the women’s winner was CIA, not SDC. Also if you look at the 2013 top 4 finish averages, I’m 99% sure they’d be faster than 2014 or 2015. I would say that in 2014 every team except SDC dropped the ball and sucked ass, and now in 2015 SDC fucked up big time recruiting to replace graduated pushers, and the rest of the teams picked up some slack from 2014 (or a lot in the case of CIA).

    Lastly, I also want to thank the commentators. Will, as always, bringing the exciting commentary, and Bordick and Connor were pretty on point all day. I’m liking the Will+Bordick+more recent buggy alum (Connor, Paccella) combo that we’ve seen lately.

    TL;DR: CIA is awesome this year, roads are awful, top pushers are historically except for Spirit+Pike H1 and SigEp H4, commentators are good.

  • Thanks for all the details.

    I agree that PiKA’s exhibition freeroll was 1.5s faster than anyone else, so if they’d qualified, and their back hills repeated Friday performance, they could’ve have won. Of the men’s freerolls that counted, I have Fringe at 53.5 (finals) followed by CIA at 53.7 (finals) and 53.9 (prelims). That boggles my mind, since CIA’s final heat involved a couple of sizeable detours around Spirit. So either the long way is the fastest way around the course, or they’d have been even faster unimpeded. Getting beaten by Spirit on the front hills didn’t hurt them as much as getting beaten by themselves from the previous day – even that would’ve been enough to hold on to the lead. SDC moved up entirely due to their driver putting together her cleanest chute turn of the weekend when it mattered most. Since there was no elite team that could separate itself from the field by athletics alone, the importance of small things, like driving, transitions, and lane selection were magnified far more than usual.

    For the women, PiKA had a chance to take 3rd, but a much improved chute was was more than cancelled out by 7 added seconds on the back hills. CIA A crushed the freeroll at 55 flat, next are Fringe A & CIA B at 56.7. Both A teams had equal Hill 2’s, both CIAs had better chutes. Interesting (and exciting) choice to race SDC hard with the B team. I don’t think it affected SDC any though.

    SDC’s winning time last year was 2:33.45, but even if that push team had returned, with this year’s road conditions & limited practice time, could they repeat it, especially with a slower freeroll? And with a clear target to chase, could CIA have found a way to beat their 2:35.6? Personally, I’m really happy for their seniors, who joined a bottom-rung team 4 years ago, and after a lot of hard work and a fair fight, get to go out on top. Reminds me of Fringe circa 2001.

  • It seems I mistook SDC A’s women’s time from last year for their time two years ago (i.e. 2:30 instead of 2:33). I still maintain that their pushers were faster than CIA A’s from this year though, they won queen of the hill with a senior varsity basketball player, and it looked like they had varsity basketball players on hills 3 and 4 too.

    CIA A definitely had a much nicer chute turn and rollup though, so yeah, it would definitely be very close, I think though if the SDC A driver could replicate her day 2 men’s chute turn then the 2014 SDC A push team takes it pretty easily.

    As for Men’s CIA A beating themselves, well their front hills definitely lost a step or two, but their hill 4 was also noticeably faster (~0.5 seconds) and hills 3 and 5 were comparable to day 1 according to my stopwatch. I had them about half a second slower to the stop sign on day 2 than day 1. So if we combine the day 2 freeroll and hill 4 with the day 1 front hills then they win.

    Then again, the same could be said easily about Pike and Sigep. Pike with day 1 hill 4 (and no day 1 pushbar DQ ofc) wins, even with the crappy day 2 chute turn and rollup. Sigep could scrub off a few tenths on an earlier hill 2 release and that huge lateral movement hill 3 to 4 transition, also their hill 5 was about half a second slower day 2 as well.

    Only SDC really didn’t have any obvious way to improve if we combine the best of day 1 and day 2, so like you said the far better day 2 chute turn won it for them.

    Also, as a response to a point that Nik made in the forum thread about pusher recruitment and preparation:

    Recruitment is definitely down across the board, less football and track kids out there, partially because the track coach has cracked down on having his fastest runners push buggy for fear of injury right before UAAs. Fringe always had the football connection in the past, so no surprise that there’s fewer football players there now. I still maintain overall that the culture of fast people going to buggy is just not as apparent as before, maybe because of less aggressive recruiting, maybe because there hasn’t been two days of raceday for five years (less visibility and recognition for buggy among current students), could be for a lot of reasons.

    As for pusher preparation… what preparation? I’m closer to campus than many of you, so I get to utilize the athletic facilities (mainly the track actually). I haven’t seen groups of people wearing buggy shirts or lettered shirts out on the track at all in the past two years. I’m wholly convinced that there is now literally zero pusher training regimen outside of just attending rolls and push practice. Some pushers stay fit on their own for their own reasons, but other than that there’s definitely no organized sprinting, lifting, plyometric, etc. training by my eye. But hey, I might be wrong, I come to the track at around the same times every week (i.e. in the evening but after track team is done practicing) so maybe I’m just missing them all. Once again i think the lack of buggy culture is why there’s a clear lack of pusher training. If nobody’s as excited/obsessed about buggy as before, it’s going to be harder to convince pushers to dedicate time regularly to sprinting workouts, especially among independents who have little in the way of leverage to make pushers stay fit. That’s my theory for why the independents have fallen so far once they lost their varsity track/football pushers, the varsity teams keep their athletes in top shape all year round.

    Also to reply to Elmo, SigEp definitely was faster this year than last year on the freeroll and rollup. It’s interesting to track their progress in the last few years actually.

    In 2013 they roll Barracuda on their A team, they have the hot hill 4 (same guy as this year) and hill 5 pusher (19-19.5 seconds), they finish second and are the fastest Greek org for the first time ever with a mid 2:09.

    In 2014 they finally get Kraken out for rolls and qualified for raceday. Their ENTIRE push team returns, literally every pusher is on the same hill as in 2013. Yet they roll a mid 2:14, which doesn’t seem that bad if we look at this year’s times, and we can blame it on the roads right? Well SDC in 2014 finishes with the third or fourth fastest time ever with a mid 2:04, so it’s obviously not all the roads (either that or SDC had an all-time fast push team to overcome the roads, but I’ll go with Occam’s Razor on this one).

    In 2015, they lose their hill 2, and more importantly their hill 5 is 1-2 seconds slower than before, yet they get a mid 2:12. I have seen that they changed their steering arrangement, but other than that I’m not sure why Kraken is noticeably faster this year, but yet still noticeably slower than Barracuda was a few years ago.

    Lastly, SDC A’s push team this year was very lackluster compared to last year. Lost about 2 seconds on the front hills and 3 seconds on the back hills by my watch. 2014 SDC A with their day 2 chute turn churns out a sub 2:10 time easily.

  • So there is a weird discrepancy in the official timing vs what trophies were given to who. Spirit, if their re-roll was official should have placed behind SDC B. If they didn’t count it, their hill 5 missed the bar which would dq them. Either way SDC B should be 5th.

    • apathy surrounds us says:

      The Spirit A reroll was ruled unwarranted hence the original time. As for the missed bar, no one brought it up at chairmen’s (too tired/apathetic/unaware), but apparently the judge at the finish line made no comment about it (or anything else) and no other org filed a dq form for the missed bar so it wasnt even on the docket for tape review.

      • zukofukowhat says:

        Can anyone confirm that the reroll was deemed unwarranted? Additionally, the video shows the Spirit reroll clocked 2:19.17, so perhaps there was simply a clerical error in recording the times.

      • WTF.
        It’s obvious on tape, and commentated on the broadcast, so I could see that every team would assume that it had been noticed by the judges, so why file a protest form. But you’re seriously telling me that Spirit was completely unaware that they DQ’d themselves in plain sight? I find that hard to believe since they asked for a reroll on a trophy time they had little chance of improving.

        • Not to mention that Spirit will wrongfully benefit from a time recorded but not earned for lane selection, for many years to come.

          This must be fixed.

          • Seeding is based on the first official time a team has on a given raceday (typically a prelim time, or a reroll if no prelim was recorded).

          • buggypusher says:

            I believe he (the cook) is talking about seeding times for heat selection in the next 3 years, where it’s a weighted average of the last 3 years finishing times, and not talking about finals seeding times.

          • incorrect again says:

            Seeding time for heat selection is what i’m talking about too.

            Rule 10.4.4, Seeding, 2.: “The order of seeding shall be based on the weighted average of an entry’s last three years finishing times in the preliminary races”

  • buggypusher, I know for a fact many teams do pusher workouts/training. Just because they aren’t wearing their buggy shirts doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

  • I think SigEp made a big advance in wheels in the 2012-2013 timeframe and have been trying to find the right balance of speed and ability to make it around the course ever since. 2013 Barracuda had some historically impressive freerolls, but also a few “too much speed to handle” moments, crashing hard on the sunday of truck, and a tire-shredding slide in prelims. 2014 Kraken seemed to lack the ability to keep its wheels pointed in a reasonable direction, so I can’t understand the choice to shoot themselves in the foot by running it A team. In 2015 they fix that problem and both buggies have reasonable freerolls on truck weekend and in races, and stayed out of trouble until their wheel bearing lost its balls all over the chute in the B final. If they knew how the field stood this year, dialing back to a “safe” freeroll and having faith in their push team to carry them makes some sense and came up oh-so-short.

    Spirit is also notable this year, in that they had a bigger crowd of pushers at freerolls than in recent years, and they put up a 2:16 with a freeroll that’s 2-3 seconds off the pace. If they get that sorted (and I believe that is something they could do at any moment) then they’re creeping back in the mix too.

    I somewhat agree about the general obsession level in buggy culture. There were always teams that would show up and race with whoever they had, and always teams that recruited heavily for buggy. The independents are free to recruit anybody, but also don’t have much to offer a varsity athlete, except for another chance to win something. The Greeks have to make a much bigger commitment, and how many would take a pledge they otherwise wouldn’t, just for his speed? Looking at “serious but not winning” houses like 90’s PhiKap & SigNu, they put up 2:12-2:16s, which might be the limit of what 5 non-varsity guys can do. Bringing in a top athlete helps you not only because they are faster, but their training ethic pulls up the rest of the team. On the other hand, if your pushers without a buggy can’t keep up with the winner, then no amount of training harder can help you, so why bother trying to win and just focus on competing with the other “Division 2” teams? The D1 competition pushes the limits of absolute speed, but the D2 competition is closer, more unpredictable, and more accessible to new organizations. Buggy needs both to stay relevant on campus.

    I know nothing about pushing, so can someone explain why so many Hill 1’s, clearly running out of steam at the end of their hill, carry the buggy through the whole exchange zone, rather than hand off to the fresher and often faster Hill 2 as soon as they can?

    I don’t understand Spirit’s placement either. Or the decision to start prelims on a clearly wet course. Or to continue after a spin that clearly wasn’t helped by the water. Why bother with any safety rules if we’re going to take extra risks just to meet the schedule?

    • SigEp’s greatly improved wheels of 2011-2013 would also rip open like a rotten squash if you looked at them cross-eyed, so maybe they backed off and went too far.

      There is also the outside possibility that the wheel supplier got damned tired of all the griping and told the ridiculously unprofitable buggy folks to go F themselves, that and the fact that they couldn’t pour two consecutive batches that were even similar, if they tried.

      • “There is also the outside possibility that the wheel supplier got damned tired of all the griping and told the ridiculously unprofitable buggy folks to go F themselves, that and the fact that they couldn’t pour two consecutive batches that were even similar, if they tried.”

        The lack of batch to batch quality from one urethane molder and said molder’s denial of the problem when their turdly batch was called out, led to at least this buyer declining to pay. This may have had an impact on availability in recent years. Another molder uses invisible primer that may or may not be there when you need it, leading some yo pause before ordering. xootrs are not what they used to be. All this makes cia’s recent development all the more impressive.

  • Kudos to all the comments thus far on several threads. Really well thought out analysis and no one telling someone else to eat a bag of…..

    Not much to contribute as most of it has been said, so some crumbs. I am not clear on why the women started while it was still clearly wet. That was flat out stupid, risky and boneheaded. What was the rush? The spirit women’s A had no hope in that mess. Urethane and water do not mix well, this is why car, motorcycle and bike tires are rubber and why riding your xootr scooter in the rain is a poor choice.

    Was there a concurrent track meet that kept the sprinters away this year or was there some other event that made pushing buggy less popular for independents?

    Is the repaved part of the course “softer” than years past or is the slowing in the roll due to all the sliding in the chute caused by the plethora of cracks? I did not walk the course but there seems to be a lot of painted surface that a buggy must cross. Paint can go either way with speed and I suspect this stuff is more like glue than steel.

    Is the lack of speed out the AEND/ZE crowd a reflection on the wheel failures that happened over the past few years ( ex fringe women’s chute debacle in 2013)? Did tire to rim bonding issues cause a change in wheel prep ( less/ no juice) or is there a difference in recent batches of wheels/tires? This would not be the first time a goodly source of tires has gone south or become scarce. Kudos to CIA for finding some goodly wheels after many many tries.

    While the front half may not have slowed down overall, there was clearly a lack of depth. A 2:26 was outside of the top 23 men’s times in years past yet made the top 10 this year. Or, another way to look at it, the record holding women’s team from 2009 (SDC) would have made the mens finals this year. That makes me scratch my head.

    I am concerned about how the field keeps shrinking and how spring break and staying warm have become more important than getting rolls in. Buggy is always changing but this seems like buggy going away.

    • The “painted” surface is more accurately tape. I too suspect it is mushy, and is far thicker than paint at ~1-2mm. The repetitive hammering noise of a buggy rolling over the stripes sounds just as bad as a chunked wheel, so I can’t imagine that it is much better. Teams seem to be trying different routes to avoid as much of it as possible, and I don’t think there’s a clear best route yet. Similarly, the chute is not only full of cracks but also inconveniently placed ones. A number of teams appear to have changed their lines from the past (more so than just random variation), but presumably that will change again when Frew St. gets repaved.

      The AEND/ZE crowd may find the general issues affecting their push teams also extends to their mechanics, or they have other distractions. Fringe at least seemed to pull it out when needed.

      If interest in buggy drops steadily, the teams that care can adapt to perform well enough with reduced practice, though we may never see the same speeds again. 50/50 that buggy makes it to 100 I think.

    • Elmo Zoneball says:

      >I am concerned about how the field keeps shrinking and how spring break and staying warm have become more important than getting rolls in. Buggy is always changing but this seems like buggy going away.<

      I'll repeat a suggestion I made in an earlier discussion: to help generate more interest and enthusiasm for the races, which is a prerequisite for their long term health an survival, I suggested going to a NASCAR style starting grid competition on Truck Weekend. Make the performance on Truck weekend count for something — heat and lane selection — instead of using the previous year's results.

      This will compel teams to get their shit together EARLIER so they are competitive on Truck Weekend (which should be renamed "Sweepstakes Qualifying Weekend." This should be played up across campus just as NASCAR qualifying is on a race weekend at a NASCAR track.

      Teams that want to hold back, can hold back until race day, but they will pay a price in terms of heat and lane selection if they do so. On balance, it means more teams will be going faster, and doing full course competitive runs, which should make coming out to watch the last weekend before Carnival much more rewarding to spectators. It also provides "buzz" to gossip about all week, and help generate interest in the Sweepstakes a week later.

      Another goofy idea: schedule a buggy "Parade" around the cut (I assume it still called "the cut"?) in the late afternoon during the week before Sweepstakes — buggies w/ driver are paraded around the sidewalks for everyone to see, spaced out a short distance between each buggy, and each one stops briefly for a photo op w/all the pushers (dressing their race day uniforms) at designated location (in front of Hunt Library? Light-hearted taunting between teams is encouraged, for crowd amusement. Do it every day the week before Carnival, if you can. Exposure, exposure, exposure.

      Also, set up an area where strangers to buggy can "push a buggy" for a short distance up hill (on one of the side walks?) Have timers time them, get friendly competitions going between people pushing for the first time. Turn brake tests into a spectator event. Get the old SAE "Limo" out, and let people drive a buggy while being pushed around a set of cones set up on the sidewalk……

      Exposure, exposure, exposure.

      I'd also recommend doing these same thing in the FALL, to get interest ramped up before push practice starts, to aid in recruiting drivers, pushers, and buggy nerds.

      Outreach, outreach, outreach.

      Grow, evolve, or die.

      • buggypusher says:

        I agree completely with everything you said.

        Another thing that would be nice, at least for the independents (because the fraternities are still rushing early in the year), is earlier rolls in the fall. I see independents tabling the first week and a half (up until fall activities fair on the 2nd week of classes), and there’s interest in joining teams, but then most of those names just get added to a d-list and sit there until 3 weeks later when rolls actually start (3rd or 4th week of September).

        You’ve clearly caught their attention if you get them to sign up, now if you could deliver on showing them what buggy is in 3 days instead of 3 weeks later people would actually come out.

        Of course independents might just need to more aggressively keep the attention of those tabling sign-ups, but for the greater good of buggy as a whole making it easier to retain interest is never a bad thing.

        I really hope that buggy can revitalize itself (at least in terms of pusher recruiting) because as it looks right now buggy is limping into it’s 100th anniversary 5 years from now.

      • I think most of these ideas would benefit buggy as far as exposure to the lay-person, which is always good, but that has been already mostly solved by having the jumbotrons, decent live video production, and good commentating. Of course there are sometimes issues with the implementation (ie. not having audio in the chute until second day, and even then, not having sync’d audio till halfway through second day).

        The real problem that needs to be solved is keeping current teams from disappearing/diminishing and involving more of the student population in buggy.

        There’s a lot of great discussion here… why is it not in a forum?

    • Actually, yes, there was track meet at slippery rock on Saturday, so there were no track athletes in buggy this year (probably).

      • The rumor I have heard, from multiple buggy teams to boot, is that the track coach is very strict on restricting his best athletes (the ones who will compete at UAAs) push buggy, and kind of discourages but “turns the other cheek” to the track athletes who will not be competing at the UAAs.

        And yeah, he often schedules an away track meet during carnival just to make sure they don’t do buggy at all.

        The track team’s crackdown on letting athletes do buggy has been hurting buggy as a whole for quite a while now.

  • Most of the reason there are fewer buggy teams is that frats have died. But new ones are cropping up. For example, Phi Delt.

    Furthermore there would have been more teams out this year if we’d had enough rolls. We can’t control the weather. I think SDC would have had another two push teams out if they’d had enough time to get their drivers the practice they needed.

  • First of all, I want to commend WRCT and cmuTV for generally excellent coverage once again this year. Having Will back as the main commentator, plus Bordick and Connor, was terrific. It’s amazing that it wasn’t that long ago that the buggy commentators would constantly talk about “floating the taco”, and how far we’ve come from that. And cmuTV’s coverage has, for the 3rd or 4th year in a row, been great. Although it wasn’t perfect (missing the whole front hills of Men’s Heat 1 on Friday and CIA A’s hill 5 on Saturday to name 2 of the more significant things), most of the issues I think can be chalked up to lack of manpower, miscommunication or just simple mistakes/accidents in switching between cameras, all of which I think are excusable. Unlike years past, I don’t find myself saying “if only they showed X…” or “why were they showing Y when Z was way more interesting?!” I think the only thing, which I’ve mentioned in years past, is showing drops, since there were a couple of major drops failures this year. But again, that might be due to a lack of manpower more than anything else (I know if the past cmuTV had been debating between showing drops and showing buggy packages, but this year there weren’t many packages that they aired). One other thing from years past that might be good to bring back is a correspondent down in the chute. Connor (I think it was Connor, anyway) seemed to have some knowledge about what was going on in the chute, so maybe he was communicating with someone down there, but there were a few times when Will was talking about waiting for a buggy to come through the chute, or not knowing where a certain buggy was, so having someone down there to comment may have been a little helpful.

    Also, it would be nice to not have technical problems, like the lack of sound in the chute. I ended up having the live stream playing on my phone on Friday, but since that was about a minute behind what was actually going on, it didn’t help all that much. But overall, another great performance by cmuTV and WRCT. I am incredibly impressed with how far they’ve come in such a short period of time.

    Now for my thoughts about raceday and the views above that buggy has a 50/50 chance of making it to Raceday #100:

    First of all, I completely disagree. If you look at Sam’s presentation from Thursday, you’ll see that the number of teams competing (there were 46 this year), though well below the early 1990s heyday, has been pretty consistent for the last 20 years. We’re well above where we were in the early 80s and before. So I’m not too worried about the existing of buggy in 5 years. I do, however, agree that we need to increase participation. But I’m not sure that increased awareness is the key. From talking to AEPi brothers (as both an alum, and because I find them to really be a barometer, since I have never been convinced that their continued participation every year is a given), the two main barriers are money and willingness to wake up at 5am on weekends. The main barrier being the latter. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that we can do about that one. Having more weekends to roll throughout the year may help, because it means that an org that can’t get people out every day (or every weekend) can take certain days off here and there if need be. Of course, they would still need to do their chores if there are rolls, so I’m not sure how much that actually helps. Is it somehow possible to get permits for later in the day every once in a while? I assume not. But I would argue that the hour is the greatest barrier (money, as I mentioned, is another barrier, but I think the BAA has offered assistance in that area in the past, or at least discussed it, so I’m not sure if it’s worth discussing again).

    Regarding race times, SDC’s win this year in men’s is the slowest winning race time since 1980. All the posts I’ve seen above have complained about how bad this is. I feel the exact opposite way. In fact, I think a slower winning time this year is EXACTLY what buggy needs. Why?

    1) The fastest orgs (let’s say SDC, circa 2008-2014, and PiKA, circa 2008-2009) are on a mission to set the course record. They believe that they have the technology and the pushers to do it. So what does the slower winning time mean for them? Nothing – They’ll continue to fight for that course record, which is independent of the winning time.

    2) The top orgs (SDC, PiKA, SigEp, CIA, Fringe, and Spirit if they can improve their freerolls) are fighting for the 1st place trophy. When the winning team is a second off the course record, it makes it extremely unlikely that they’d get to take home that first place trophy (no offense to CIA, who did exceptionally well this year and has clearly found a wheel compound that may be the future of buggy, but I just can’t see them putting up a 2:04). When the winner regresses to a 2:12, suddenly raceday isn’t a “let’s crown SDC and have everyone battle for 2nd” day, but rather it’s a “we have a real chance to win” day. Which means more training, more desire, more excitement, and most importantly, more interest.

    3) The second division orgs (we’ll say Apex, SAE, and SigNu) see slower times and can say “We actually have a chance at making second raceday!” On top of that, it means that one or two DQs or DNFs, and they’re in trophy territory. SAE’s 2:24 this year wouldn’t have made most second racedays. I know, because in 2009 we rolled a 2:21.49 and finished 11th. The excitement at the house had we made second raceday that year would have been enormous. Once again, the chance at making second raceday and possibly earning a trophy increases excitement and interest.

    4) The newer orgs (PhiDelt, any other org that wants to start up, and I’m including AEPi here since the state of the buggy program is essentially that of a new program) are probably the most helped by this. The reason for that is because, as I said before, one of the biggest barriers to entry is getting up at 5am every weekend. It’s INCREDIBLY tough to convince someone to do that when they’re not fighting for anything. Most of the alumni on this board may not realize this, because they were either in orgs that are good now, were good when they were involved, or at least have a history of making a second raceday. But as someone who ran an organization that had no shot at second raceday, and trying to get that organization to wake up, and be willing to spend money to build a buggy, it was hell trying to convince them to do it, mainly because the brothers would say “what’s the point?” My response was always “well, we want to have fun” (I would also say that for us, it was a recruitment tool, but really that was a lie). The rebuttal is that if you’re not a buggy person, waking up at 5am is NOT fun. Spending money to build something that 1/5 of the people in the organization will enjoy just doesn’t seem worth it. But if, instead, you can tell those people “the reason we’re doing this is that we can be competitive and actually have a chance at making second raceday”, suddenly everyone is more interested. People like winning. People like having a chance. When you need to put up a sub-2:15 time to make second raceday and you’re a newer org, you’re basically starting your buggy program because you think that some time, in the future, you will have the interest and the ability to be competitive. When suddenly all you need to do is put up a 2:25, you can be competitive now. Even if you don’t end up winning, making second raceday in and of itself is an accomplishment for a newer team. It gets people excited. It opens up other possibilities, like winning design comp. It works as a recruiting tool (“Last year, we made second raceday…With you pushing, we can move into trophy position!”). And most importantly, it INCREASES INTEREST. Especially from organizations that don’t have a buggy program. So this may actually be the key point. The lifeblood of buggy may be the C and D teams from the independents. But the key to making buggy more competitive and fun for everyone is to get more orgs (particularly fraternities and sororities) involved. And if you can show them that they have a chance at making second raceday in Year 1, suddenly they’re a lot more interested.

    As far as increasing awareness, I’m all for that. I’m not sure that awareness is actually an issue (on Sunday, Friday rolls had been viewed on cmUTV’s website about 7500 times, and Saturday rolls had been viewed about 5000 times – Yes, many of these were probably alumni), but there’s certainly no harm in increasing awareness. One positive thing to note beginning next year, though, is that midway is moving to the CFA Parking Lot. So now booth will be right next to buggy. And since booth is clearly visible and a draw to people, it may very well attract people to buggy as well (especially if they do the smart thing and open Midway at 9am on Friday and Saturday to coincide with raceday, rather than the current time, which I think is either 10 or 11am). I love the idea of including video of recent rolls the week of carnival and live video of raceday in places like the UC for people just walking past (when I was a freshman, cmuTV would replay the previous year’s 2nd raceday for roughly the first couple of weeks of classes…I can’t tell you how many times I watched the 2004 raceday during orientation week…and I had no idea what buggy was at the time). I’m less sold on making changes to truck weekend for awareness purposes, as I wouldn’t expect any non-buggy person to come out for truck weekend, no matter what you do with it.

    Anyway, that’s my long-winded take on the state of buggy. My personal recommendation would be to have recent alums from some of the teams that have only recently become competitive (CIA, Apex and SigEp) reach out to some fraternities/sororities/other orgs that don’t have buggy teams, explain that if they wanted to start a buggy program, those specific alums and the BAA would be willing to help them get it off the ground, and that this year a 2:24 was good enough to make second raceday, which is a time that a team could actually put up in their first or second year (for reference, KKG-ZBT put up a 2:24.75 in its only year, 2010, Deltaforce put up a 2:28 in its only year, 2012, and hell, even AEPi has put up a 2:21 before), so you could have a chance to make the finals early on, while still learning ways to improve your team to eventually take home the 1st place trophy. And if you’re an org that doesn’t care about winning, it’s a ton of fun, you meet a lot of great people, get some real world experience (if you’re planning on being an engineer), and can use being a part of buggy as a recruiting tool for your organization.

    Congrats to SDC A Men and CIA A Women, and CIA as a whole for a great raceday. That was one of the most fun racedays I’ve witnessed, and the fact that a successful faceplant resulted in a 1st place trophy makes it even better. Since getting home from Carnival, I’ve already re-watched both racedays twice.

    • buggypusher says:

      I agree that people saying that buggy has a 50/50 chance of making it to 100 years is absurd if they’re talking about buggy as a whole folding before 2020.

      However the real question is whether it will revitalize itself and come in on the upswing, or continue to limp and decline as it has in the past 3 years or so.


      I totally agree with you that a close Men’s race is good for buggy, it’s really good for buggy, I just wish that the time the teams converged on was at least below 2:10. Right now the teams are even only because all the top tier teams have mediocre push team squads by older standards. It is true that it opens the door for any of SDC, Pike, SigEp, CIA, Fringe, and even Spirit to win next year if they can shave off 2-4 seconds with better pusher recruitment/training, but at the same time we all know that this year was an all-time low in top tier pusher talent. I hope the “close finishes” effect can win out over the general trend of declining top talent since 2012 or so when SDC and Fringe duked it out for first with Sigep and Pike still finishing under or near 2:10.

      It’s funny because I remember thinking last year after the final men’s (non-reroll) heat the following thoughts in very quick succession: 1) Wow SDC just obliterated everyone this year, probably would have the men’s record with a chute repave, and 2) this is awful for buggy, seeing one team so far ahead of the others (the time gap from 1st to 2nd was larger than the gap from 2nd to 7th) that it literally seems futile for any other team to even bother to compete for first.

      So yeah, I agree, close races make the teams that much hungrier which should help pusher preparation and recruitment, it also is a good recruitment tactic “you could be the one that pushes us over the edge!”. Also, fresh blood winning the women’s races is good. SDC, Fringe, and Pike clearly have the buggies to compete for the women’s title, and frankly at least SDC and Fringe aren’t that far off with pusher talent either.

  • This year, the push talent among CIA A, Pika A, SDC A, Apex A, Spirit A, SAE A were all incredibly close. Spirit, SAE and Apex need to build buggies that match up with this talent. If they had 53 second free rolls like we saw from Fringe CIA and SDC all 3 of those teams would have been well in line for the top 6 as well. While the times are down, there are a lot of teams pulling push talent that haven’t built up the buggy tech to really compete for a top time. Give it 2 more years and I bet we will see some very very competitive times (multiple teams under 2:10).
    Road conditions are hurting free rolls a bunch. In 2011 we had Bonsai, Borealis, Raptor, Malice and Bane all under 53 seconds in the free roll, and Raptor, Bonsai and Malice all were under 51.5 This year not a single team came close with the fastest clocked roll at 53.5. I chock that up to the poor quality of the chute, the potholes at the top of hill 2 and teams having to get used to the painted lines (speed bumps) in the course.
    My favorite point from this year is that 8/10 teams that made finals were A teams on the mens side and technically 6/8 on women’s. In 2009 Fringe SDC and Pike took up 9 of the top 10 spots in the men’s races giving no other teams a chance in hell at competing. Now 5 different teams went home with men’s trophies. The sheer diversity of teams that competed this year shows me that buggy is just as strong as ever regardless of the times posted by the top teams.

    • Raptor did get under 52s in its exhibition race, so give it the hill 2 from 2011’s 2:08 team and a little better turn, and it might get to 51. I say the bad pavement is only adding .5s to the times on its own. But the extra degree of difficulty it is giving the drivers is adding 0-3 seconds. It might average out to 1-1.5s, but you don’t know which you’re going to get on any given roll. With another week of practice, I can see PiKA & SDC getting the spread down to 0-1s. I don’t have last year’s times at hand to know whether Fringe dropped off between 2013-14 (logical, given the change in overall time) or 2014-15 (strange, if they had the same front hills). I don’t see that CIA gains much from another week, so the order remains the same in women, but 1-4 more tightly grouped, and in mens maybe one of SDC/PiKA/SigEp gets into the high 2:10, or even under if it gives them the confidence to juice harder. In 2009-2011, the top freerolls had top pusher/buggy/wheel/driver combos. This year, everybody is missing a piece or two. Similarly, SDC B had a full team of pushers who’d have made anybody else’s A. This year, no B team looked to have more than 2 or 3 pushers who could contend for an A spot.

      • Just some small corrections, Pike was rolling Banshee for all of its heats on day 2 (exhibition with A team pushers, grudge match, and women’s A team) AFAIK.

        Also, Fringe did not have the same front hills as last year, same hill 1 (although I think he was a tad faster this year), but their hill 2 took last year off but pushed A team hill 2 in 2013. So his hill 2 may account for at least some part of why Fringe had a solid freeroll compared to the other top teams.

        My only issue with blaming the bad pavement and/or new “speed bump” painted lines for the crappy freerolls is that Pika A rolled a freeroll this year compared to last year, and they had the exact same hill 1 and hill 2 combination, which suggests to me either many of the teams weren’t juicing as hard as normal, or there’s just been a drop off in the quality of hill 2 pushers outside of Pike and Fringe (and yes, they were the two best hill 2s I saw this weekend).

        I’m not sure if anybody is able to quantify just how important the hill 2 pusher is to the freeroll time and speed, but if anybody knows more I’d be interested to know if it’s the hill 2 pusher or if it’s slower wheels that’s resulted in the disappointing freerolls this year.

        • hard to quantify exactly, but the normal of push-offs I got timing hundreds of men’s rolls in the 80’s was about a 2.5 second spread between a very good shove and someone who just more or less sucks at it. Miss it completely or impede the buggy’s progress, as I saw several times this weekend, and it should get worse from there. There were even a few “GI Joe with the Kung Fu Grip” hill 2’s this weekend. Open hand folks please.

          A truly excellent shove also must be built upon a speedy pusher to begin with.

        • In 2015, PiKA gets to the stop sign in 25.2, Fringe in 25.7, Fringe goes on to lose more in the chute, making the total freeroll 52.3 vs 53.5. Curiously, the Spirit/CIA pair does it in 25.9, both significantly better than in prelims, so perhaps trying to outdo the guy in the next lane really works.

          In 2013, Fringe gets to the stop sign in 24.6, SDC and PiKA in 25.7. Total freerolls are 51.4, 51.7, and 53.1.

          In 2013 SDC got through the chute in 12.0s, Fringe in 12.7, and PiKA in 14.2.
          In 2015, they took 13.9, 14.1, and 14.1 respectively. Top was CIA at 13.3.

          So PiKA remains PiKA and actually improved.
          A big chunk of SDC & Fringe’s disimprovement is coming from the chute, but those turns all looked decent, so either they’re coming in slower, or the chute is sucking more speed than it used to. With a decent push, speed going into the chute should be entirely drag dependent, but I was too lazy to actually measure it this year. But if the Fringe pusher is as good as he was, then I can only believe the buggy has gotten slower. But the Fringe women matched their 2013 freeroll with the same buggy.

      • Oops, sorry, I did mean Banshee, which obviously didn’t exist in 2011.

        I think the best way to quantify the hill 2 pusher is to measure the speed of the buggy early in the freeroll. Usually the video is useless for this because everyone takes a different path off the push, but maybe this year, with all the top teams using the same lane, maybe it is possible. The other obvious metric for the hill 2 pusher is how fast they cover the distance, and a “fast but weak” pusher’s speed sometimes more than makes up for the weaker push.

        As you said, crosswalk-stop sign times are a decent proxy, since the top teams (except PiKA & maybe SigEp) are closely matched in wheels & buggy. Especially when comparing the same buggy across heats, if the mechanics haven’t screwed up. PiKA’s clearly ahead here, dunno how much is pusher and how much wheels. I need to dig up the data from 2013, but I suspect you’re right and most Hill 2s have declined.

        SDC’s winning men’s freeroll was mid 54s, only ~.5s ahead of CIA’s women. PiKA’s exhibition on the other hand, is 3s ahead, which seems a more reasonable distance between top men & women. CIA’s men are 1.3s ahead of their women (different buggy but close enough), which also seems reasonable given how far behind PiKA’s front hills they are.

        Looking at stop sign-hill 3 times, I think we see mainly technology & driver. Comparing the same buggy between men & women, there’s not a big difference, which says the hill 2 doesn’t matter much at this point. And yet there’s big changes here between prelims & finals, which correlate clearly to chute badness.

    • “This year, the push talent among CIA A, Pika A, SDC A, Apex A, Spirit A, SAE A were all incredibly close.”

      Nope. Check your times. Also, Sigep A not in that list?

      • buggypusher says:

        Agreed, SigEp A should be on that list. No, SigEp A should be headlining that list, decent front hills (albeit with hill 2 shenanigans) and fastest back hills on my watch.

        For overall push teams of the 5 fastest teams I had in approximate order from best to worst:

        SigEp A: Decent front hills, fastest back hills
        SDC A: Decent (maybe slightly below average) front hills, above average back hills
        Pika A: Easily best front hills, below average back hills
        CIA A: Above average front hills, below average back hills
        Fringe A: Second best (not of these 5, behind Spirit A still) front hills, slow back hills

        I guess if you count clean transitions and the real nitty gritty details about pushing then SDC A is probably about tied with SigEp A. Other than Pike A there’s not huge separation on the front hills (read: hill 1), maybe 0.5-0.7 seconds at most. All but Pike showed up at the start of hill 3 at 1:20-1:21 (Pike at ~1:18, even with a crap chute turn), so it was almost purely back hill push team strength which decided the races after that point.

          • buggypusher says:

            Yeah I’m with Bruner on this one, fastest I think I’ve ever seen is 1:14-1:15 on Fringe 2011, but their back hills weren’t quite 2008 PikA or 2008-2014 SDC speed.

            But yeah, 1:18 with a king of the hill on hill 1, while the rest of the field, including the winner, rolls a 1:20-1:21 is pretty eye opening, it’s a whole new world out there.

          • The interesting thing in 2011 is Fringe put their fastest pusher on Hill 2 and he gives a deeper than normal shove. I’m seeing 1:14.75 in the video here.

  • Followup to the Spirit A pushbar miss – they have been DQ’ed after the fact. Keep on keeping on, Sweepstakes.

    “Hi Chairmen,

    Regrettably I must inform you that there is an error in the final rankings as they were announced at chairmen’s and the awards ceremony.

    At the end of day 2, Spirit A Men’s was granted a conditional reroll pending tape review. After reviewing the tapes, Sweepstakes determined that the reroll was not merited and the original time should be used for Spirit’s A team. This is what was reflected in the final standings as presented at the chairmen’s meeting and awards ceremony.

    However, on their initial roll Spirit A Men’s missed the pushbar at the finish line. This fact was unfortunately forgotten by Sweepstakes in the chaos of day 2, and not written down by the line judge. Only upon reviewing the entire day were we reminded of it.

    The result is that Spirit A Men’s is disqualified from the final races, shifting SDC B into 5th place and Apex A into 6th place. The amended final rankings are attached.

    We are extremely sorry for the confusion this has caused.

    • “after reviewing the tapes” means “after it was pointed out Monday afternoon on”. Seriously, that is when the team was notified, and that was the stated source. I wish I had the power as a fan with no authority to get the results of my favorite sporting event changed two days after they were announced as final. Oh, wait, I guess I do. Yes, the team missed the pushbar, marginal on whether they deserved a reroll. (I being a wee bit biased, say yes) However, this is a terrifying precedent. When is final really final? Can I go back to 1990 and show that the 100th of a second loss was incorrect and get a 1st place trophy? Okay, that is fallacious, but do we all really have a few more days to all sit at home, review things and change the outcome? What BS.
      The rules are unclear. It SEEMS to indicate things are final “that day” of racing, but really, there needs to be sentence saying: “Results of the event are final once announced to the organizational chairmen at the afternoon meeting after the races are completed”. There have been past years when what was announced at this meeting differed from what hardware was handed down at Awards, which is bad enough. But this is 2 DAYS after. Spirit will take its lumps, but this needs to be clarified, or your team may be the next to suffer from Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

      • Unfortunately even if the re-roll was granted, the team failed due to a safety violation on the re-roll. My understanding is the finish line judge never said anything to the sweepstakes committee about Spirit missing the push bar. It apparently wasn’t clear that Spirit was not granted a re roll because they did roll the buggy around the course a second time. That not a single team spoke up including Spirit is a bit of a crying shame. I understand the adage of get away with what you can but this decision will hopefully keep teams from thinking that they can get away with things, and speak up when mistakes are made, even if it hurts their team. Integrity is one of the few things preached in every sport and should be held in high regard

      • I have no problem with this precedent, because in the end, Sweepstakes got it right. No one at Spirit should be saying “but you didn’t say we DQed before, so this shouldn’t count!” They knew they DQed (otherwise, why take the reroll to begin with?). It’s as clear as day that they missed the pushbar (whereas most other types of DQs can be unclear from the cmuTV video). And in the end, Sweepstakes was correct. If this had happened a couple of weeks later, maybe I’d be a little more perturbed by it, but the Monday after raceday, to me, isn’t a problem, since everyone is exhausted/drunk by the end of Carnival anyway.

        Also, having been in this same situation for both Booth (earning a trophy after the fact) and Greek Sing (losing a trophy after the fact), it doesn’t bother me at all that Buggy does this as well. Again, if you’re just plain wrong (for both Booth and Greek Sing, the judge’s points were miscounted for the respective award presentations), and you get it right, how is that a bad thing?

        • Also, I should add… AEPi missed the pushbar in 2014, but again, this was never raised and technically AEPi was never DQed for it. I, and at least one brother, both only found out that we weren’t DQed for it during this carnival, when another brother explained that no one ever brought it up at Chairmen’s, so we weren’t DQed. It’s more than a year later, and I still wouldn’t object if Sweepstakes retroactively DQed us for a pushbar violation (though I can see why people would be more upset about that, especially if you were in a trophy placing, rather than putting up a 2:41).

          I think the takeaway is that we need a better finish line judge, because that’s 2 missed pushbar DQs in 2 years (or, if it’s not the same judge, better pushbar training). Of all the DQs to have on the course, the pushbar is one of the easiest ones to alert to (and easily verifiable on video). So how these are missed is beyond me.

          • Elmo Zoneball says:

            re: finish line judging…..

            If I understand the current technology, in order to get an accurate time for each buggy, they resort to examining the special finish line camera film to get the exact timing of the moment the buggy’s nose touches the finish line.


            The picture completely eliminates “judgement calls,” as well as finish line judges who nod off after having one too many donuts and not enough coffee.

            Or am I missing something?

          • The finish line camera is a strange thing. It takes a series of rapid pictures, but only of the exact finish line, so it won’t see the pusher’s appendage until it breaks the plane of the finish line. So you could tell whether the pusher was in contact with the buggy when the _pusher_ crossed the line, but not the other way around. Check out the finish line images in the gallery for strangely distorted examples. CMUTV has an overhead camera to catch both the line & pusher, but someone has to actually look at the tape. Though I suppose you could fool it if you had your hand around the bar but not actually touching it.

          • I’m with you 100%. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it was a dumb mistake. But you know what, ‘winning’ over another team because of some silly technicality would suck too – this is sweepstakes committee trying to fix a bad situation (admittedly of their own design), and I’ll at least give them credit for owning up to it and being transparent instead of sweeping it under the rug of technicalities and it being teams’ fault for not piping up.

          • The DQ’s Spirit received were fully deserved. I in no way dispute this. It’s the timing of the DQ. WHY Monday? WHEN are results final? What kind of sporting event allows video review and DQ of a non-cheating, just stupid, rule violation TWO days after the awards? Why not just wait until this weekend for awards? I know that the Spirit chair asked about the pushbar DQ time being the official time during the meeting. He was told times and places were final and official as of that meeting. He left surprised, bemused but felt he did all but scream DQ us! But, No. Times/places are NOT final or official. Which is true? Something either is or it isn’t. Not even Pika should have to go home with their trophy and wonder if some troll is going to pounce on Monday (or Sunday night) (or one year later??!!). At some point, we have to declare an end to the nitpicker’s paradise. Do we full-review every heat? I hope not, because then what happens to “no harm, no foul” aspect of teams reporting incidents (or choosing not to report, to avoid losing a good time). But even so, awards should STILL be Saturday evening, after all paperwork is filed (Monday being a wee bit late…) all meetings conducted. This is not the first time, and Spirit is definitely not the first or the last team, to be affected by this. All the students from all the teams work REALLY hard to make this happen; why crush them so far after the fact? Races Are Final Saturday at 6. Cool, let’s go drink. OR let’s spend the evening locked in our rooms, hunched over the screen, trying to scry out another DQ? To me, this is the difference between Valhalla and an accounting department. And I’d rather lose in Valhalla than win in Accounting.
            “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood. At best, he knows the triumph of high achievement; if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
            — Theodore Roosevelt

      • in real truth it’s the shit I gave him outside DeLuca’s on sunday morning that shamed him into action

  • I need to catch up on all this great stuff, but first wanted to recognize how well I think Connor did on the broadcast. He was smart, funny, patient and witty. Great job.

    • Hey Bordick, thanks I really appreciate this. It means a lot coming from probably the most consistently on point and enjoyable announcer in buggy history.
      Really hope we can do it again next year!

      • I am glad to see a return to form in the broadcast. When I was on the team. we did a fair job. Andy and Will carried most of the burden and I did not screw them up too much. I think we were at our best when I was perched up in the camera tower in the chute. From there, I felt we had a dimension that is now lacking. In any event, we offered a significant improvement over the days of the taco floaters. I am happy to see that Mr Hayes has been added to the team. With him on board, it works really well. This years broadcast was an the best to date. Clearly an upgrade over some of the recent years (oh wow, oh wow….) and a step up from when I was involved. Nice work guys. Hopefully this team sticks together for a few years.

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