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bruceman
bruceman Reader
2/10/20 10:23 a.m.

Anyone else see this?

On Netfliks. I really enjoyed and watched it twice. He overcame so many obstacles and was given a few good opportunities by good people- Jim Trueman, Dan Gurney, Paul Newman, and Derek Walker.

jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
2/10/20 10:25 a.m.

Haven't seen the show yet, but i remember watching Willie drive Trans Am on the streets of St. Petersburg.  The man had car control figured out.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/10/20 10:28 a.m.

I have to watch it. Heard it was good.

 I suspect they mention in the doc what the title actually should be (but would NOT be adviseable today)

nickt93
nickt93 New Reader
2/10/20 11:14 a.m.

Best thing I've watched in quite some time 

06HHR
06HHR Dork
2/10/20 11:19 a.m.

In reply to bruceman :

Thanks for this, I will be watching sometime this week. Willy T. was certainly his own man, i suspect he had a lot of "titles" that are definitely not PC.  Loved to watch him race.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
2/10/20 11:47 a.m.

Watched it this weekend, really good film.  Showed that a lack of funds really impacts your ability to succeed.  Unless you have a great sponsor or come from a rich family it doesn't matter how good you are...

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
2/10/20 12:15 p.m.
aircooled said:

I have to watch it. Heard it was good.

 I suspect they mention in the doc what the title actually should be (but would NOT be adviseable today)

Willie says it in the opening. 

I enjoyed it, and was going to post about it this morning.  I watched him race when Trans Am would show up on TV, but didn't know the rest of the story.  I'm guessing, from some of the stories from team mates and such that he was a bit of a prickly guy.  Of course, at that time, it would take a prickly guy to make a name in auto racing, when he had that much melanin...

I was amused by the Don King part.   Had no idea about the British FF championship, no idea about testing for Bernie. 

Another example of Dan Gurney being one of the coolest guys in the universe, too.

Rodulrich
Rodulrich New Reader
2/10/20 12:19 p.m.

I watched it this weekend too.  Great film!  I had never heard of the guy but that was a good watch and I'm glad to know about him now.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
2/10/20 12:20 p.m.

Wish it was available on other platforms.

Willy, like Paul Tracy was amazing when they were "on" but if they had an off-day, well it was a mess and that makes it hard for car owners/sponsors.

Racing is always about connections and in order to garner those connections you need lots of money to be in those situations where you can make connections.  Its not a great situation.

It isn't like school sports where kids can participate for free/nearly free and those with prowess have a pretty clear path upwards, even if they may not be able to make it to the pros or even college, they can sometimes get their school paid for or even participate in the Olympics.

No such thing exists for sports outside of the usual fare offered by public schools.  Can you imagine if schools funded things like equestrian teams?  or Autoracing teams?  Granted I could see some great crossover potential with the sciences that other sports may not have.  FSAE for example.  However the amount of overhead and liability involved would make that a non-starter for younger people and smaller schools.  The concussion issues for Soccer and Football are huge issues.  the injuries of Cheerleading teams are also a huge issue (even if they aren't classified as sports, but that's another topic).

Looking at how little money is available for the arts and other important programs tells me that even if expanding sports was an option, it shouldn't be as there are other parts of education for children that needs to be adressed.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
2/10/20 1:08 p.m.

If you have not listened to it the Dinner With Racers episode with Willy T is a good one.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle SuperDork
2/10/20 1:26 p.m.
Stefan said:

Wish it was available on other platforms.

Willy, like Paul Tracy was amazing when they were "on" but if they had an off-day, well it was a mess and that makes it hard for car owners/sponsors.

Racing is always about connections and in order to garner those connections you need lots of money to be in those situations where you can make connections.  Its not a great situation.

It isn't like school sports where kids can participate for free/nearly free and those with prowess have a pretty clear path upwards, even if they may not be able to make it to the pros or even college, they can sometimes get their school paid for or even participate in the Olympics.

No such thing exists for sports outside of the usual fare offered by public schools.  Can you imagine if schools funded things like equestrian teams?  or Autoracing teams?  Granted I could see some great crossover potential with the sciences that other sports may not have.  FSAE for example.  However the amount of overhead and liability involved would make that a non-starter for younger people and smaller schools.  The concussion issues for Soccer and Football are huge issues.  the injuries of Cheerleading teams are also a huge issue (even if they aren't classified as sports, but that's another topic).

Looking at how little money is available for the arts and other important programs tells me that even if expanding sports was an option, it shouldn't be as there are other parts of education for children that needs to be adressed.

Those days are long gone. Band. Sports. Many Hundreds out of pocket each season. 

06HHR
06HHR Dork
2/10/20 1:54 p.m.
OHSCrifle said:
Stefan said:

Wish it was available on other platforms.

Willy, like Paul Tracy was amazing when they were "on" but if they had an off-day, well it was a mess and that makes it hard for car owners/sponsors.

Racing is always about connections and in order to garner those connections you need lots of money to be in those situations where you can make connections.  Its not a great situation.

It isn't like school sports where kids can participate for free/nearly free and those with prowess have a pretty clear path upwards, even if they may not be able to make it to the pros or even college, they can sometimes get their school paid for or even participate in the Olympics.

No such thing exists for sports outside of the usual fare offered by public schools.  Can you imagine if schools funded things like equestrian teams?  or Autoracing teams?  Granted I could see some great crossover potential with the sciences that other sports may not have.  FSAE for example.  However the amount of overhead and liability involved would make that a non-starter for younger people and smaller schools.  The concussion issues for Soccer and Football are huge issues.  the injuries of Cheerleading teams are also a huge issue (even if they aren't classified as sports, but that's another topic).

Looking at how little money is available for the arts and other important programs tells me that even if expanding sports was an option, it shouldn't be as there are other parts of education for children that needs to be adressed.

Those days are long gone. Band. Sports. Many Hundreds out of pocket each season. 

Truth - nowdays if your city doesn't have a good sponsored league your kid ain't playing a sport for free, unless there's a nearby sandlot.  And now the weeding-out process starts in those pee-wee leagues, so if you aren't obviously gifted/talented in a sport by middle school, your chances of even getting to play for a team are slim-to-none.  In today's climate chances are Michael Jordan would never have gotten to play for UNC after being cut in high school, just because the "good" kids would get all the available slots, he would have had to walk-on and maybe earn a scholarship that way. 

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
2/10/20 3:03 p.m.

Looks interesting, i'm gonna watch it. Thanks!

chrispy
chrispy HalfDork
2/10/20 3:51 p.m.

I really enjoyed the film.  I knew a bit about Willy - mostly about his NASCAR experience, but had no idea just how talented he was.  I'm not a young guy, but I was a bit shocked that he was the first African American to compete at Indy - in 1991!

I also enjoyed Shelby American and think Adam Carolla is on a roll.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/10/20 4:32 p.m.

Willy had some really heartfelt comments in the Paul Newman documentary (also on Netflix).  Thanks for mentioning this one, I'll add it to my queue.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
2/10/20 4:41 p.m.

My wife and I enjoyed it.  We were surprised with the setbacks and problems he endured.  

She kept asking me what year it was in the movie as she couldn't believe these situations weren't that long ago.  

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
2/10/20 6:12 p.m.

I'm married to a woman of color, we've been married for almost 30 years. When we started dating in 1987 we'd occasionally get looks from people, happily I think it's been since the mid to early 90s since anyone noticed. So yeah I'm not surprised Ribbs encountered some issues, especially given his fiery nature.

Mostly I think Ribbs' career was a 50/50 mix of bad equipment and bad temper slowing him down. Make no mistake though, the guy was/is hugely talented.  

I also seem to recall he was in an episode of Happy Days.

Thanks for the heads up, we'll definitely watch it.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
2/10/20 10:10 p.m.

I watched it, and I have to say Adam Corolla is killing it with his racing documentaries.  Willy T made Trans Am fun to watch.  I so badly wanted to do my challenge car for last year (94 GT) in a Roush Trans Am scheme, but it wasn't meant to be.  Willy T was one of my favorite racers because he was all in all the time.  He never rode it out for a high finish.  It was all or nothing, and I really loved to watch it when it went great and even when it wasn't.  All or nothing is always entertaining.  Knowing Willy had to overcome a lot of setbacks and people against him all along the way just made it that much better.  I was a poor white kid that spent most of his life on the wrong side of town, so any time I got to see anyone from the wrong side of town do good I was always happy for them. 

NVHEngr
NVHEngr Reader
2/11/20 2:52 a.m.

I watched this doc about a month ago on a flight back to the states. I was really surprised to see it as one of the choices. I know I will be in the minority here but do you think Willy T might have went further if he wasn't always an a-hole? I get that having a chip on your shoulder will motivate you but there were a few times where I thought he started friction that derailed his chances. Sometimes you need to walk away and live to fight another day. He overcame many hardships to accomplish all of this but I felt there was more on the table. All of that being said, I think Willy T was a little ahead of his time. I am guessing he would be dominating in a Penske car if was coming up through the ranks today.

 

06HHR
06HHR Dork
2/11/20 8:00 a.m.

I watched this yesterday, man it brought back a lot of memories.  When you watched Willy race, i don't care who you were or if you loved him or hated him, you knew there was absolutely nothing he couldn't do behind the wheel of a racecar.  If he had winning equipment, he would win, and if he had a hunk o' junk he would drag it across the finish line in a much higher position than it was supposed to finish.  Willy was no Jackie Robinson, he wasn't raised to turn the other cheek, or be humble about his accomplishments.  Yeah, he could be an a-hole, but Willy T. Ribbs was his own man, and he wasn't content to just be a part of the show.  He was going to be the best, and he was going to let everybody within earshot know just how good he was, and just as many people loved him for it as hated him for it.  It was amazing what he was able to accomplish, IMHO it would have been even more amazing if his talent was better nurtured here in the states rather than exploited, since I don't wan't to flounder this thread that's all i'll say about that.  I just thank the FSM for folks like Dan Gurney and Jim Toleman and Paul Newman, without those guys we never would have got to see as much of Willy T as we did. 

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
2/11/20 8:13 a.m.
NVHEngr said:

I watched this doc about a month ago on a flight back to the states. I was really surprised to see it as one of the choices. I know I will be in the minority here but do you think Willy T might have went further if he wasn't always an a-hole? I get that having a chip on your shoulder will motivate you but there were a few times where I thought he started friction that derailed his chances. Sometimes you need to walk away and live to fight another day. He overcame many hardships to accomplish all of this but I felt there was more on the table. All of that being said, I think Willy T was a little ahead of his time. I am guessing he would be dominating in a Penske car if was coming up through the ranks today.

I've felt this way about Willy for many years. I wanted to root for him because of the barriers he's overcome, and because I love racers who will race anything. But his personality always made it tough to do so. 

bluebarchetta
bluebarchetta Reader
2/11/20 9:11 a.m.

I look forward to watching the Willy T movie, but I wish they'd make a movie about Joie Ray.  He should have been the first black driver to qualify at Indy...he had the talent but he never had the money.  RIP, Joie.

And then there was George Mack - the second black driver to qualify and race in the 500.  I wonder what he's up to these days?

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
2/11/20 9:45 a.m.

I will be watching this. Already put it in my watchlist.

I met him once when he came to visit a driver that was part of a Dodge racing test. We only greeted each other as he was there to talk business with the test driver. He seemed pleasant and frank. 

Man that was long ago...

Strike_Zero
Strike_Zero UltraDork
2/11/20 12:02 p.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
NVHEngr said:

I watched this doc about a month ago on a flight back to the states. I was really surprised to see it as one of the choices. I know I will be in the minority here but do you think Willy T might have went further if he wasn't always an a-hole? I get that having a chip on your shoulder will motivate you but there were a few times where I thought he started friction that derailed his chances. Sometimes you need to walk away and live to fight another day. He overcame many hardships to accomplish all of this but I felt there was more on the table. All of that being said, I think Willy T was a little ahead of his time. I am guessing he would be dominating in a Penske car if was coming up through the ranks today.

I've felt this way about Willy for many years. I wanted to root for him because of the barriers he's overcome, and because I love racers who will race anything. But his personality always made it tough to do so. 

Back then . . . And even today . . . You are damned if you do or damned if you don't.

People before and after Willy T. had the skills/talent and were much less than an shiny happy person, but didn't make it. When everyone in the world is against you, throwing up obstacles, saying you aren't good enough, relegating your performance to #2, etc etc etc etc . . . Being nice, polite, or even the "same" does not take POC far.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
2/11/20 12:14 p.m.

I'll have to check it out. For those without Netflix, another (legal) option is the Chassy channel which is free on the (region-locked) Pluto.tv service.

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