Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

December 30, 2012

HOPKINS: Haven't missed the 'worldwide leader'

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

Now that you have the background, here’s what led to my undoing.

The night my resolution came screeching to a halt was a brilliant moment of programming more than it was giving in to my own failings. I was flipping through the channels late one night and as I passed through channels 26 and 27, where ESPN and ESPN2 reside on cable, I caught a glimpse of what looked like a Formula One auto race.

I grew up watching Formula One races with my father and brother, and was fortunate enough to see the last two F-1 races held at Watkins Glen, in 1980 and 1981. I still watch when I can, which isn’t that often, but these vehicles with their precision engines still fascinate me more than any other form of racing on wheels.

Curious, I turned back to ESPN2 where, sure enough these fabulous international racing machines were screaming by the camera. But they weren’t today’s cars. It looked like a race from the late 1980s when I watched every race.

At first I thought it was a season in review type show, but I soon recognized it as a documentary on Ayrton Senna, a fantastic Brazilian driver who died in a wreck in San Marino, Italy in 1994.

I wasn’t a fan of Senna when he was alive; he was a rival of one of my favorite drivers, the fantastic Frenchman Alain Prost. However, during the documentary I learned about his lobbying for driver safety, his highly Catholic faith and how he lifted the spirits of an entire nation not only by his driving but through his philanthropic efforts and patriotism.

It was a very satisfying program. When it was over, I realized I had broken my resolution. “Those sneaky &*@$#,” I said to myself. How dare this network that usually favors dreck over substance lure me back with quality programming?

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