“The Indy 500 is different.”
This, we can presume, was the message written on the whiteboard when ABC Sports began brainstorming promotional ideas for Sunday’s race.
Their job was to portray Indy drivers as a rare, passionate breed of adrenaline junkies, and they could’ve gone any number of ways in making this distinction, but they chose the obvious: patent leather and milk-play.
Racing fans tuning in for the Indy 500 this weekend were greeted with a three-minute promotional video showing a gimp playing in a bath of milk and Indy car driver Josef Newgarden losing his mind.
The general message? Indy drivers are diseased shells of humanity possessed by glory and fueled by milk.
As weird as the imagery gets, the commentary is so much worse.
“The best [drivers] are broken inside…consumed by something like a disease…a fiery crash cannot stop the disease, but a drink of champion’s milk can slow it down.”
This is all spoken over shots of cudgel dragging and milk-spitting. Newgarden also gives us his best Dawn of the Dead impression.
Last, but not least, there’s the gimp transformation, with the feminine form transforming into a muscle-bound man and breaking out of the black BDSM gear. Nothing says race day like hairy, milk-slathered haunches coming out of the tub.
Unsurprisingly, the promo spot led to some awkward moments at home for viewers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was among the many who had some explaining to do when his girlfriend walked in on him watching milky, gimp footage.
Awkward moment when @Amy_Reimann walks into the living room and there's a gimp playing in a bathtub of milk on the tube. Thanks ABC Sports.— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 25, 2014
The general consensus among viewers was “And you were doing so well, ABC.”
Well the gimp and the bathtub of milk was weird. Thanks a lot ABC.— Cody Clement (@djOTPHJ) May 25, 2014
General rule: Any amount of gimp is too much gimp for a nationally televised sporting event.
As for Newgarden, the vein-popping promotion didn’t stir up any positive cosmic juju in his favor. The driver from Tennessee finished 30th after stalling in the pits and wrecking with 44 laps to go.
“Yeah, it was just tough for us,” Newgarden told The Tennessean. “We had complications to work through. We were doing a great job at it and it turned into a really tough day.... I ended up having some bad luck around lap 130.”
Perhaps grabbing that glass of milk off the bricks before the race had a hand in dooming Newgarden’s race. Lord knows consorting with people covered in full body leather never helped anyone.
Shake it off, Newgarden, and remember what we learned today: A little gimp goes a long, awkward way.
And thanks for ruining milk.