You can take your stats and shove up them up your tailpipe.
As a lifelong baseball fan, statistics are interesting to me, have been ever since I was a kid. I loved reading baseball articles that painted a fantastical picture of my favorite players doing seemingly otherworldly things and I loved how they weaved in just enough numbers to make comparisons to other players without making the article seem like a lecture. Today, those writers are mostly gone, replaced with talentless writers who spew nothing but complex statistics in order to one-up other hack writers with even more complex statistics. Stay with me now – this will make sense in a minute.
“ADVANCED METRICS YOU LUDDITES!!!” they scream in ever smugger written diarrhea. “RBIs and batting average are stupid, #pitcherwins” they chant as often as possible. If these jerks care about baseball, you wouldn’t know it throughout their deep-dive statistical ejaculations. Every article they write seems aimed solely at impressing a team’s front office rather than impressing readers who just want to catch up a little on the season. My point is they have sucked a massive amount of fun out of the game and it’s no wonder that baseball is quietly panicking about losing the young generation as a fan base when the vast majority of current baseball writers can’t shut the hell up about wOBA+ and launch trajectories. If I don’t give a shit that Mike Trout averages whatever degrees of launch angle and exit velocities on his batted balls, I guarantee you nobody under the age of eighteen does either. Just let us enjoy the game.
(Side note: Shout out to Grant Brisbee of SB Nation who seems to be the only baseball writer still writing about the game and not calculations. Also, he’s hilarious. I highly recommend reading his stuff.)
So, imagine my reaction to Cars 3 when a stats guru on a talking head sports show appears and starts yammering about ideal tire inflation, turn radii, and advanced simulation training for a new generation of cars. Now, imagine what a bunch of elementary school kids are thinking. They just wanted to watch a bunch of talking cars race and make jokes, do you really think they’re happy about math showing up in their movie?
Here’s the worst thing – when Lightning McQueen tries to make his comeback (in case you didn’t know, the entire movie is about a new generation of cars winning all the races and Lightning trying to stay in the game), neither Lightning, his trainer, or his sponsor try to use any of the advanced metrics to squeeze a few more miles per hour out of Lightning. His trainer literally has him doing calisthenics and taking naps. Why bother bringing them up at all if you are not going to use them? And that would be partially why my kid kept asking if we could leave during the second act of this film. In other words, just let us enjoy the race.
That’s enough out of me, here is what the target audience (my five-year old) had to say.
Did you like Cars 3?
What did you like?
I liked Cruz.
Who is Cruz and why did you like her?
The yellow car. I liked her because she was funny.
Worst. Trainer. Ever.
What did you not like about the movie?
Was there too much talking?
What was the funniest part of the movie?
I don’t know.
Was the movie very funny?
What part would you want to take out of the movie?
The talking parts.
What would you have them do instead of talking?
I would have them race.
Did they not race very much?
Who was the bad guy car?
The gray and black one. Storm. He was cool. Lightning tried to get faster than him by getting his tired dirty.
Not gonna lie – was kind of rooting for Storm. He looks awesome.
When did Lightning get his tires dirty?
On the beach when Cruz said “the beach ate me.”
Did Lightning get any faster?
No. He got slower. He was still slower than Storm.
Do you think cars can get faster by exercising?
Yeah. I think so.
You don’t think that’s ridiculous?
*Giggles* I don’t think so.
What was the best part of the movie?
Which race was your favorite?
The demolition race.
This is how you get a kid’s attention.
Because I like demolitions and school buses.
If you could be a car in Cars 3, what car would you be?
I’d be Lightning, but faster than Storm.
What else do you want to tell me about the movie?
Would you tell other people that they should go see Cars 3?
Because I do.
How many stars would you give the movie?
How many times do you want to watch the movie?
Rating: They should pay ten dollars just because.