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THE ULTIMATE RACE

With wildfires raging and stocks plummeting, the Ultimate Race had some catching up to do. Getty Images

WHICH WILL END THE WORLD FIRST: GLOBAL WARMING OR PEAK OIL?

We thought it might be fun to run the two doomsday scenarios head to head, based on a mostly random reading of current events. What can we say? We like competition.

THIS WEEK: SPECIAL SUMMER DOUBLE ISSUE!

Like many sophisticated, even revered publications—the New Yorker, the New Republic, Juggs—the Ultimate Race likes to take a week every summer to "go dark," which is sophisticated-revered-publication-speak for "goof off." And since the chance to salute our country's birthday will be lost when earthly civilization "goes dark" after running out of oil or ice caps, the Ultimate Race decided to goof off on July 4.

That doesn't apply to the Ultimate Racers, however. Competitors like Peak Oil and Global Warming don't have a word in their vocabularies for "day off." Or two words, like English does.

In appreciation of their tenacious, always-say-die spirit, we're doing two weeks worth of racin'!

We'll take the suspense out of last week. The Heat won it, and with flair. Or actually flares! California wildfires—yeah, you can blame them on "natural" climate all you want, but we know better—put so much smoke in the air it fuzzed the views of the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Oregon. So when competitors choked, they had an excuse! Bonus points: The term "wildfire" always makes us think of a childhood favorite, and tear up, just a little.

GW grabbed a 10-9-1 lead!

But you can't keep the Oilers down for long. They're not as hyped as the familiar Gore-connected Hockey Stick, but Peak Oil just keeps coming, kinda like the Rays! The Peak came roaring back with not just a record price for crude, at $146 a barrel, thank you very much, but by helping push a stock market crash!

And like all good racing fans, we love crashes!

Those spunky Oilers, who like the upstart Rays seem determined to hang around for a while, tie it at 10-10-1!

WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU, THE FAN:
The Ultimate Race is presenting a heckuva conundrum for fans. Like nice weather? Well, it's moving north thanks to Global Warming, which means places like Seattle and Buffalo will soon be better places to watch games.

Like having teams to watch? Oops. Money from oil-rich nation-states like Oklahoma and Canada is making it hard for teams from places like Seattle and Buffalo to sit still.

Our solution? Move north and watch your favorite teams on ESPN!

PREVIOUSLY IN THE ULTIMATE RACE: