It’s Out of the Question: We’re all ears at the drag races

i-b7a9206bd5bd5462ea0f5d534ae2b488-ear-plugs.jpg

Listen up: Did you know that the NHRA has never conducted a formal study to measure the effects of the most ear-piercing by-product of drag racing?

From a story called “Say What? Underestimate Drag Racing’s Decibel Mightiness at Your Auditory Peril” in the recent issue of ESPN Magazine, it says the lack of documented numbers on ear numbness is “no accident” and that “requests have been politely turned down” because the lack of hard evidence “adds to the mystery that surrounds the sport’s biggest drawing card.”

Don’t ask, but do tell . . .

There’s a chart from the American Academy of Audiology that lists decibel numbers. If the rustling of leaves is a 20, a normal conversation is 60, and a rock concert is 110, a top fuel dragster is pegged at 150 – well above your pain threshold (120) and actually closer to the number of an ear drum rupture (165) and the limit of hearing (194).

i-aded604ca6c477aaadd2fd590fb8dd97-ss_di_may_05_0011.jpg

Don “The Snake” Prudhomme adds a quote to the piece: “Loud isn’t a strong enough word. It’s so overwhelming your brain can hardly compute what it’s hearing and seeing. It’s damn near a religious experience.”

Hear the problem here?

Fear the serpent, praise the Lord and pass the industrial-sized ear plugs.

Anyone plodding out to Pomona this weekend for the first time to witness the season-ending Winternationals must be warned: Tympanic membranes are a terrible thing to waste.

Safety issues aside surrounding stuff like, oh, dragsters cartwheeling down the down the track, the real deal with around-sound doesn’t seem to be taken very seriously.

And why is that?

This “air of mystery” excuse can’t replace ignorance.

So maybe most of your teeth are gone, making it more difficult to finish off a McRib entre at the finish line. Your cholesterol levels are higher than the octane levels polluting the air you breathe out there. But the feeling in our gut (the one hanging over our oversized belt-buckle) is that you can’t be stupid here.

Beat the drum for ear-drum protection. You get that loud and clear?

Huh?

== If Newton’s Law eventually comes into play, when does the gravity of what’s swirling around Auburn’s football program finally weigh the rest of the Tigers down?

== How much can scalpers be worrying about the prospects of Texas Christian or Boise State playing in the Rose Bowl?

== If them Cowboys never win another game this season, would the locals be just as satisfied if the other football club from Dallas knocked off the star-studded Galaxy this weekend to qualify for the MLS Super Bowl?

== If X Games expert Travis Pastrana makes the leap to NASCAR next season, does it mean the infield of the Coliseum could replace Fontana as a place to watch him do his power left turns in ’11?

i-131abe6e9aaf81e116dc5dbbed907dea-claymatthews.jpg

== Clay Matthews Jr., your front-running NFL MVP?

== Where have you gone, Adam Morrison?

== The Lakers finally acquired their first loss. The Heat have racked up four of ‘em. Uh, is it June yet?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email