Chicago Jon hands out some special awards

It's the dawn of a New Year, and everyone is, and should be, excited about the racing season ahead. Folks are making resolutions and predictions, some looking backward, others forward. Next month, the Hollywood bunch will be handing out a myriad of trophies, but it reminds me of how in the early seventies, the iconic Super Stock & Drag Illustrated had an awards issue in the fall. Show of hands, how many folks out there still have the issue with the great Woody Hatten on the cover, dressed half in a firesuit, the other half a CLOWN suit? I know I do!

So, I'm taking it upon myself, on behalf of DRO, to start my own annual awards deal, and we shall call these trophies (drum roll please) the OLIAS! Don't Ggoogle it, it’s not a's sorta how I came up with the concept for this column, see, I've been at the computer for a couple days, trying to write, but every time I get an idea, I look out the window, and -- ”Oh, look, it's a squirrel!” A heck of a way to grind to a halt repeatedly, but a dang fine name for the high-quality trophy we have at DRO for our qualified winners. [Oh, by the way, Casey, I'll be submitting an expense report for the prototype; it cost roughly (Dr. Evil-like, pinkie-finger-into-teeth) "Several...thousand...dollars..."

So, let’s begin...

Our first OLIAS goes to the people on Facebook who have no idea what "view previous comments" means. (Actually, we'll need a couple dump trucks of trophies on this one.) Recently, the "Sultan Of St. Louis" told a tale on a funny car board, and the same question, ANSWERED in the early going, was re-asked four times! C'mon, folks, we aren't asking you to ride down to the stage-stop to see if Wells Fargo delivered a sack of mail, just click the mouse; it’s not that tough!

Next up, we have an OLIAS for the TV gang at FOX. They started the year with fresh new ideas, cool camera angles, and most importantly, or perhaps BECAUSE of that, a ratings bump. Sadly, by season’s end, cue up the BB King, for the numbers swan-dived, we're back to the same dopey camera mistakes, and the "thrill is gone", for the moment any way. Recent viewer-polls have shown that overall, the feelings are a universal..."meh"! ("so, a 'universal-meh', well, it's a meh, that’s UNIVERSAL!!")

We have an OLIAS for the 2017 Pro Stockers, Big-Show variety. Last year I wrote that the smartest move was to take 'Old Yeller' out behind the corn-crib and shoot it. Well, guess what? "Old FOAMY" is coming around the corner, and he's gonna chew Chuck Conners’ face off! Perhaps it's perfectly ironic that they will all be Chevys, or 'mouse-motors' and the new cars look like mice, COMPUTER-mice. Perhaps "mouse eliminator" could score a series-sponsorship deal from Logitech.

For the PR guy out in Napa Valley, who trumpeted that the race at Sonoma was a sellout, we have an OLIAS, that may need to be delivered by a seeing-eye-dog. Look, I don't care if you can present to us, the viewing public actual, viable ticket receipts SHOWING that every seat was sold, when TV is showing a mostly empty venue, there are things that you just DON’T SAY! Oh, scrub the dog, Frank Bradley is close by, maybe I can get him to present the trophy, and when I say "present", I really mean el-Ka-BONG you upside the head with it.

A pair of OLIAS, one for Clint Thompson and the other for Pat Dakin, for having the grit and fortitude to have their hearts on their sleeves, and their beliefs on their cars. Supporting Donald J. Trump (as did I) was a tough enough task at the water-cooler, to banner it on your hot rod, took well, how do I say this on a family-friendly website?? Did you see Alec Baldwin’s scene in Glen Garry Glen Ross? Yep, it took those, so perhaps these OLIAS trophies should be of a special edition, BRASS ones, kapishe?

Speaking of special edition awards, (can this guy segue or what?) we now have some 'Special OLIAS Awards', and we'll start with the 'AWA Showmanship Award', for Wes Newman, who lashed a mattress to the roof of his Camaro at the Byron wheelie championships this year. Not since the days of The Crusher and The Bruiser has there been such over-the-top (rope!) showmanship doaled out! My main-man, Ron Capps, who already got himself a pretty cool trophy this year (FINALLY) gets the 'Drop-the-Name-Drop' OLIAS, maybe the key to his winning the Funny Car Championship was that he FINALLY stopped talking about Van Halen! (Oh, and this just in: I don't care if Eddie can play, that dude is bat-guano-crazy. Period.) The 'Platinum Paducah' OLIAS goes to Leah Pritchett, who laughed when I suggested to her that a perfect sponsor for her roller-coaster 2016 campaign would be a quilting-organization. Never have I seen such a patchwork-network of mayhem carry a driver through a season like hers.

The "Nelson Muntz Satirical" OLIAS goes to the countdown/election of the top Funny Cars of all time. There is no way, no WAY you can tell me the gang running that deal did not have a great big "Viagra-fueled-implement" to have John Force’s Castrol doorstop win the number one car of all time. So when the people voted with the quality of their memories, as opposed to the quantity of event wins, one has no choice but to point, and laugh 'Haaw-HAAW'!

Our final specialty OLIAS is the "Custer-Donut" award, which we will forward on to the IHRA. Good old George Armstrong refused to listen to anyone, thought he knew better, and, as we all know, got it handed to him, much like the IHRA. In baseball, 'donut' equals 'zero', and that's what good they did themselves by taking the only thing they had going well, the World Series of Drag Racing, and moving it to where "races go to die", aka Memphis. My advice to Mike Dunn is to "pull a Benteen" and get the bleep outta there.

So, there you have it, Rowan and Martin had the 'Flying Fickle-Finger-of-Fate', the Harvard Theater Department has the Hasty Pudding Award, and of course, everyone’s FAVORITE comedy award, that being the Grammys! Remember, it's not about winning, it's the thrill of being among your peers, and being admired for your talents...bwuuu-haaa- HAAA! [Honest, Jeff, I TRIED to say it with a straight face!]

Hopefully for next year’s shindig, we, with the help of some corporate sponsorship, will have a fine banquet to go with this ceremony. This year, well, we TRIED -- what happened was the Burkster and myself, we pushed some ping-pong tables together in the garage, then we tried passing the hat to get some pizzas, (hat got stolen).

So, til next month, Praise the Lord, pass the beer, and...Oh look, a SQUIRREL!