HEY, WILLIE!

When Tyler Skaggs first passed away, I watched the Angels’ first home game and actually cried, even though I had never heard of him.

Based on what I saw in the faces of the players and the crowd, man I was touched. Now we find out he was a human being with problems like a lot of people. Does that change the story? Should he have been put up on a pedestal so fast?

Now the family wants to blame someone. But no one forced him to take the drugs. Lots of money, or no money, drugs can always be found.

MIKE

HEY, MIKE!

Skaggs’ cause of death was obviously horrible but did nothing to lessen the sadness felt by his teammates and others. However, now that lawyers are involved, there will be long-term consequences for teams in all sports and those responsible for prescribing and providing painkillers to athletes.

COLUMN: Skaggs tragedy will likely turn ugly

In years to come, it’ll likely be just a footnote in our current tragedy of misused pharmaceuticals. But still, for baseball, I strongly suspect it could get ugly as the legalities go through their motions.

 

HEY, WILLIE!

Did the Week Zero game (Florida-Miami) count in the stats or was it like a preseason game? You have to know both teams will get better, hopefully fast! I have high hopes for the Gators this season.

NANCY IN PALM COAST

HEY, NANCY!

It didn’t take long for any Gator disappointment to evaporate. Last Saturday’s losses by Florida State, South Carolina and Tennessee (especially Tennessee!) made Florida’s inartistic win over Miami look like a Belichickian masterpiece.

Teams almost always get better than their Week 1 (or Week Zero) performance, a fact that will do nothing to help the current vibes in Tallahassee in Knoxville.

 

HEY, WILLIE!

I have a suggestion for NASCAR’s future body changes. Since they are using carbon fiber, why not have every model meet the template of the street model it represents? Of course, the fenders would need to be flared to accommodate the tires.

That may give an advantage to certain makes and models, but so be it. That’s one of the things we liked about the old NASCAR.

NORM

HEY, NORM!

Realistic body templates may or may not help the cause. It certainly wouldn’t hurt. But it wouldn’t help if one of the manufacturers was allowed to lap the field — NASCAR has fought that possibility ever since they were emptying the ash trays at the Streamline.

But here’s something, I strongly feel, that WILL help the cause: Consistent car colors! I’ll keep beating this drum until common sense prevails. When your Aunt Mae can’t immediately pick out Chase Elliott’s car upon turning on her color TV, there’s a problem, and over time that wears on the audience.

 

HEY, WILLIE!

I seem to recall in one of your columns, regarding race-day traffic signage, you had an unintended trip to DeLand on I-4.

To me, the new I-95 “feeder” setup at the ISB/I-4 area is nicely done! When I saw the original artist rendering, it seemed very squirrelly and I thought there’d still be a struggle in traffic flow between the ISB, I-4 and SR400 folks. But in practice, there isn’t.

I think once the lanes are finished and signage complete (say, 2026), it will be very clear.

JOEL

HEY, JOEL!

Heading north on I-95 and veering onto that ISB exit, I’m reminded of the lengthy blend lane from Indy’s pit road to the backstretch. Except the surrounding cockpit talent seems a tad less talented.

 

HEY, WILLIE!

I’m a yearly subscriber to the Mooresville-Decatur Times in Indiana, and I truly enjoy your “NASCAR This Week” on our back page every week.

Thank you for such great coverage and interesting topics, and I wanted you to know what a great addition it is to our paper.

By the way, I attend the Brickyard 400 each year to root for Kyle Busch.

ANDREA FROM INDIANA

HEY, ANDREA!

That’s what we call a testimonial. Thanks for the plug. Lumping us in with your allegiance to Kyle Busch is a tad unsettling, but we’ll take what we can get.

Reach Ken Willis at ken.willis@news-jrnl.com