An Evening with Tiger Tom Pistone
This past Monday night on my show, I had planned on having the winner from the previous weekend's race at Boyd’s famed “The Shamrock Race.” I had worked my show line up where he would come on, we would talk about his win, go to break, come back, talk about his day job, and what got him into racing. I figured that would take up a couple 20-minute segments. Then I would have some of the comments I had planned on talking about… the Hall Of Fame and the new class that will be inducted.
When suddenly about 7 minutes before show time, my guest called me and let me know he had a family emergency, and would not be able to make the show. Enter panic mode. I had a 2 hour show starting in less than 10 minutes, and half of my show just canceled. What would I do for the other half of the show now?
I quickly scanned social media for a topic, any topic to grasp, and discuss for an hour to fill my show. When suddenly I seen a post, on Facebook from my dear friend, Tiger Tom Pistone. He was talking about the Hall of Fame! I thought it’s too short a notice to get him on the show, so I asked him on FB if he would come on the following week, his response was “You put me on and I will talk!” With that it was air time! So as I went thru the first 5 minutes of my show I could not stop thinking about Tiger Tom, what a unique man he is, and a true joy to have on the show. In fact, one of my biggest shows ever was with him, talking about why he and Rex White had had bad blood for all those years. He is just full of great stories!
So during break I whipped out my phone, got his number and sent it into my producer through the chat client we use during the show. “Here is a number. Give it a call and ask him if he will come on my show right now even with the short notice. Much to my surprise my producer comes back with “Ok Doc, Tiger Tom is on the line in que, and we are coming back in 4, 3, 2, 1… GO!
I introduced Tiger Tom and next thing you know, my producer is giving me the checkered flag, telling me we are rolling into the last segment! Tiger Saved the day. !!
As we talked about who was already in, who should be in, and how nominees are chosen, Tiger Tom made a very deep comment that has had me thinking all week. We were discussing the selection process and I asked Tom why he thought some of the legends in the sport were not in already and Tiger Tom said “ It’s easy Doc, the people in position to make the calls were not around in 1945! “
What a comment, because it was pure truth. Pure and simple. The powers that be in NASCAR today, have no idea who some of these men were, and that is one of the main reasons these men had been overlooked for so long! Then a listener to the show sent in a message on my messenger. He said “I completely agree with you and Tiger Tom. You’re completely right, but there is another reason why some of these guys are getting in. It’s because they want to attract an audience that will pay money to have people in the Hall, who would still draw fans”. WOW! Nothing like stating the obvious. But he was right as rain as well.
So although we did not end world hunger we did answer the riddle of why things happen at the Hall… and we made it make sense. We may not agree with it but we solved the problem I believe.
We also talked about suggesting that they have two classes each year, one for the ones who are still with us, and one for those who have passed on.
So with this the moral to the story is twofold. #1 open frank discussion is a great way to make something like the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s actions make sense, and #2 Tiger Tom is a riot! He is so full of stories and tells them so well! I love having him on my show.
Next time you want a good laugh, look up why Tiger Tom had diving gear with him when he ran Daytona in 1959! Let’s just say, Tiger can’t swim, and Lake Lloyd is full of water…
a great week!
Cya at the races!