The past two weeks have been a blessing to those who follow sports that are decidedly outside the American radar. Barcelona dominated the Champions League final, an unknown woman and the returning champion won at Roland Garros, Dartmouth took the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship (on national TV, no less), and although the NHL is considered a major, hockey is still a niche sport. For those who watching the Vancouver-Boston Stanley Cup series, it is exactly what hockey should be: fast, skilled, and nasty. Game 5 is tonight, series tied 2-2.

On Saturday, one motor race I watch every year begins. And on Sunday, it ends. It’s the 24 Hours of , a weekend-long prize fight between and Peugeot. Like the Tour de France and those classic six-day bicycle races Damon Runyon would write about, LeMans has the feeling of an event that’s much bigger than sports; it’s an event out of time, one that doesn’t fit our current fixation for quick conclusions. I’m bored at three-hour baseball games, but I’ll be fixated by the Audi R18 going at top speed for 24 hours. The WSJ has a good preview here.

Should Audi win, it’ll be bigger than a racing win. It’s a marketing landslide. And just another victory in a fabulous year for parent company . Full disclosure: I’m a Volkswagen guy. My first car was a Bug. My second car was a Bug. My day to day car is an A4 and I still own a vintage Bug. So I couldn’t be happier to see VW having this much fun, from the world of racing to the parallel worlds of marketing and design.


Back in February, the VW’s The Force/Darth Vader spot was by far the best of the day; 39 million YouTube views later, it’s still fun to watch. For those who missed it, the newly designed Beetle launched a few months ago with simultaneous unveilings in Singapore, Berlin and New York. The new Beetle is downright manly, a word no one ever used with the late 90’s/early 00’s version of the iconic car. It recalls the earliest Beetles, those from 30’s and 40’s, when Porsche was a designer and not a brand. And starting Saturday, I’ll be rooting for the R18 for as many of the 24 hours I can watch.


Someone told me there’s a good NBA series going on, and the Yanks and Sox recently played? I’m not sure. Off my radar.