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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/10/11 6:24 p.m.

We once again had a great Challenge, and a large part of that is due to the people present. The Shelby-Dodge guys, Nelson family, Fenner family, Bryce, Jonny Pruitt, Gainesville crew, Team OMGWTFBBQ and so many more make this event a true pleasure.

Then there's the 8000-pound elephant in the room: those who don't know how to behave. I'm not saying that this has to be a G-rated event, but every year "that guy" invariable shows up. Not only does he make many of the other attendees uncomfortable, but this kind of behavior can severely limit the future of our event. Losing our host hotel could possibly kill the event--or at least make some of the staff question why we're spending a ton of time and money to host it. It's also hard to invite outside media when there's good a chance that a Challenge competitor will be confused with a freshman who's punk in drublic.

So, Challengers, how do we deal with behaviour that's off the charts? Do we really need more rules dictating what is and what isn't appropriate behavior? Can we legally administer a blanket party?

Here's my idea: Since this is an editorial event, we deal with any problems in the editorial. If a team's members or guests cannot abide by societal norms for an adult gathering, then that team is unceremoniously removed from any and all coverage. It would be as if they never made the trip.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
10/10/11 6:27 p.m.

Is that why I haven't gotten any coverage since $2002?

mndsm
mndsm SuperDork
10/10/11 6:29 p.m.

I like it, personally. Auto racing as it is gets a bad rap. Combine that with the fact that we're not racing million-dollar press machines, and you have a recipe for trouble. I'd say if you can't hold your liquor, please refrain or be asked to pack up and go home. Seems to me everyone can benefit from that.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
10/10/11 6:37 p.m.

If I know which guy you are talking about it, it would be sad to see the whole team punished because the other guys seemed pretty cool.

Edit: I guess I should say it seems like the individual involved should be punished rather then the whole team.

turboswede
turboswede SuperDork
10/10/11 6:46 p.m.

That or public shaming by outing that person/team.

ChumpCar has a rule that any team will be kicked out immediately if any member of their team or friends or family cracks open anything alcoholic while cars are on the track. This also holds true for any physical altercations. Basically, make sure everyone on the team and their friends and family understands this rule and abides by it.

Seems pretty simple and could be modified to work for the Challenge. It would suck to have to essentially provide an RA for each floor of the host hotel, but it may be necessary for the health of the event. Have them work with the Hotel and kick anyone out that is acting a fool. Immediately and of course they would be DQ'd from the Challenge as well. Combined with public shaming, they might get the picture.

Grudge
Grudge New Reader
10/10/11 6:48 p.m.

I must have missed what happened.

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Greg Voth
Greg Voth HalfDork
10/10/11 6:50 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote: If I know which guy you are talking about, half the pool saw his frank and beans.

Fixed that from my perspective.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
10/10/11 6:56 p.m.

I think it should be each team's responsibility to police their own members - it's too bad if the whole team gets kicked out but that's the breaks; they'll probably do a better job picking team members next time around. Putting RA's on each floor shouldn't be GRM's problem either, we're talking about adults here and not a bunch of kids.

JoeyM
JoeyM SuperDork
10/10/11 7:04 p.m.
Greg Voth wrote:
93EXCivic wrote: If I know which guy you are talking about, half the pool saw his frank and beans.
Fixed that from my perspective.

glad I missed out

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/10/11 7:04 p.m.

I know no details- choose not to. I do know it was a bit hard to get to sleep Fri night. Definitely not a one-man problem.

Some kudos are due to a few individuals who stepped up above and beyond the call to preserve the integrity of the event. Of note, I personally appreciated Scott Lear stepping in and verbally chastising someone Fri night who was too drunk to have a clue how to behave in front of my children (or any sensible adult, for that matter). Also noticed VWguyBruce cleaning up the trash strewn around the pool by himself Sunday morning. There were others.

I like the "lack of editorial content" idea. Creative.

I have always told family participants about my personal 10:00 rule. Things were generally safe until 10:00 PM, after which it was wise to retire if you didn't want to be part of the melee. This rule didn't hold up this year.

One year I was asked to help "police" things. I'll confess, my contribution along this line has dwindled over time. But I am willing to help be part of the effort again.

I'm assuming we have again pushed the limits of what is acceptable to the hotel. If so, perhaps some further guidelines would help, or a suggested alternative location for late night adult activities.

I note that free beer is served, and no real guidelines are offered. I appreciate the beer, but it does send a certain message. While I'm no fan of a bunch of rules to tell grown ups how to act like grownups, some expectations may need to be defined.

If the expectations are defined, I see no reason why individuals who act inappropriately shouldn't be called out directly. We generally seem to be able to self-police on the board pretty well- could you build on that??

David (and staff), thanks for your valiant and continued efforts to find the balance in making this a fun event for all.

DrBoost
DrBoost SuperDork
10/10/11 7:06 p.m.

I agree with being strict and stern on this matter. When I competed before (I will compete again) it was a family thing. I would actually be pretty peeved if my vacation (essentially) was ruined by one immature moron. I can't shield my kids from society, but in an event like this I would not participate if I can't include my kids. After all, my 4-year old is on my build team.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/10/11 7:09 p.m.

If my former post was unclear, there was definitely more than one immature moron. If there were such guidelines, I suspect 4 or more teams may have been DQed.

But I'll also accept some of the responsibility. I was less pro-active in helping it to be a good environment than I could have been.

The RA thing sounds silly, but if that's what it takes...

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
10/10/11 7:22 p.m.

There is certainly more than one individual we are considering banning from our events, both from new situations this year and habitual problems--and frankly don't care if it keeps their whole teams from attending. We don't need that.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
10/10/11 7:26 p.m.

I must have missed a lot. I am kinda glad we are cheap asses and stayed at a camp ground.

PhilStubbs
PhilStubbs New Reader
10/10/11 7:38 p.m.

I would also hate to see the whole team banned from the one member that is a problem. I am personally friends with this whole team and have let them stay at my house while drinking and didn't regret it one bit. Luckily nothing happened like that Friday night though, and luckily I wasn't at the hotel Friday to be roped into that. Hopefully if there is banning, it's only the one who was the real problem. I know the others will be perfectly acceptable without him.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/10/11 7:52 p.m.
SVreX wrote: But I'll also accept some of the responsibility. I was less pro-active in helping it to be a good environment than I could have been.

Paul, I don't place one iota of blame with you. You're an adult and a perfect guest. It's our pleasure to host you and your family.

While I'd hate to see a team banned due to one person's behavior, I'd also hate to see that one person's behavior torpedo the entire event. That's how we have to look at things.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/10/11 8:03 p.m.
PhilStubbs wrote: I would also hate to see the whole team banned from the one member that is a problem.

I COMPLETELY disagree with this.

If a team can't control one of their members, why should GRM have to? (or the hotel, or the track official, or the other competitors, or the police)

The only influence GRM has over the event is over the team. If GRM feels the need to levy a penalty, the ENTIRE team should be penalized.

The problem will fix itself VERY quickly.

I'll accept the same criteria. If anyone finds the behavior of one of my children unbecoming to the event or the magazine, BAN ME.

I have no problem accepting responsibility for the behavior of my team.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
10/10/11 8:07 p.m.

In reply to SVreX:

I don't know Paul, you are already on thin ice here, your boy did ride right through the photo shoots at least 3 times.

Pat
Pat Reader
10/10/11 8:08 p.m.
SVreX wrote:
PhilStubbs wrote: I would also hate to see the whole team banned from the one member that is a problem.
I COMPLETELY disagree with this. If a team can't control one of their members, why should GRM have to? (or the hotel, or the track official, or the other competitors, or the police) The only influence GRM has over the event is over the team. If GRM feels the need to levy a penalty, the ENTIRE team should be penalized. The problem will fix itself VERY quickly. I'll accept the same criteria. If anyone finds the behavior of one of my children unbecoming to the event or the magazine, BAN ME. I have no problem accepting responsibility for the behavior of my team.

Paul...your son almost ran me over on his bike. Ban him! Kidding of course, must have been pay back for the "orange one!" I got him with.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/10/11 8:21 p.m.

David:

If you are feeling the need to develop some additional guidelines, maybe you should save the staff a little effort and get together a "committee" (wow, I hate that word) of competitors to help put together a draft of some guidelines.

May I suggest you recruit 6-10 past Challengers who represent different groups to get together ideas?

Some individuals could include people who are:

  • 1 man efforts
  • Extended time participants
  • Family friendly focused
  • College team reps (at least 2- there are a lot of them)
  • A local Gainesville person
  • A member of a large team (Hongs or other)
  • A staff person
  • Other??

This little group might help you see the event through the eyes of others, and identify some additional needs that could improve the event.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/10/11 8:23 p.m.
Pat wrote: Paul...your son almost ran me over on his bike. Ban him! Kidding of course, must have been pay back for the "orange one!" I got him with.

Hmm... would I be in trouble for the fact that I almost killed one of the pro drivers driving a tandem bicycle on the dragstrip?

What about if it was TPDKOAA? (The Pro Driver Known Only As Alan)?!

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
10/10/11 8:32 p.m.
SVreX wrote: - Other??

Blackout drinking rabble-rousers should be represented on the Council of Elders.

Were any of you people ever at an F1 race at Watkins Glen in the early 70s? It was the very heydey of motorsport - the one we all recall fondly and oogle over today. Those memories... the 70 foot flames and jacked up trucks stuck windshield deep in the mud... topless biker chicks, fat guys so drunk on whiskey that they are sleeping in their own excrement... or fist fighting - those things don't happen without blackout drinkers.

Nobody remembers or writes articles about how they went to the 24hrs at the Nurburgring and saw the guy with the well behaved children. Nobody.

JThw8
JThw8 SuperDork
10/10/11 8:36 p.m.

While I wasn't there this year I saw some similar behavior last year and god knows its almost a nightly occurance on the BABE rally as well.

Anyone who knows me knows Im kinda a biiiiig fan of the drink. And I've been known to over-indulge with regularity. But even with that regularity I manage to keep quiet when necessary, maintain a PG-13 conversation in the presence of those requiring it and keep the image of my naughty bits something that only SWMBO and my doctor have personal knowledge of.

My point is, responsible adults are responsible adults no matter how much alcohol you add. And those that aren't responsible adults are not a huge loss if not invited back. I've had to play police, and sadly deal with police, more than once on the rally and it's not fun. Folks need to understand that maintaining a certain level of noise and decorum allows the fun to continue, pushing the envelope shuts everything down.

So as the old saying goes, dont let a few bad apples spoil the bunch, send them packing, and if their teams don't feel embarrassed by them and some obligation to do something about it then they are part of the problem not part of the solution. Many other people have joined me in Misfit Toys Racing, and its grown to a point where they are doing events without me. But as long as they run under my team name I feel a responsibility, I feel its my reputation on the line. Luckily noone has done anything to tarnish that reputation but I would not feel hesitant in any way to tell folks running on my "team" that they were excused if they were acting the fool and causing problems for others.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/10/11 8:46 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote:
SVreX wrote: - Other??
Blackout drinking rabble-rousers should be represented on the Council of Elders. Were any of you people ever at an F1 race at Watkins Glen in the early 70s? It was the very heydey of motorsport - the one we all recall fondly and oogle over today. Those memories... the 70 foot flames and jacked up trucks stuck windshield deep in the mud... topless biker chicks, fat guys so drunk on whiskey that they are sleeping in their own excrement... or fist fighting - those things don't happen without blackout drinkers. Nobody remembers or writes articles about how they went to the 24hrs at the Nurburgring and saw the guy with the well behaved children. Nobody.

I think the staff has already made it clear that this is not what they are looking for at the Challenge.

admc58
admc58 Reader
10/10/11 8:49 p.m.

I want a rematch on the tandem...we just bought a 5-speed...

Alan

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