Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tony Stewart vs. ESPN: It Could Be A Long TV Season

NOTE: The Daly Planet has received several emails about the specifics of this incident, and they are very different. If you have any information about this issue, or the video, please email us at Until the time where we receive the actual footage, or a complete description, we are deleting this story.

If you could help us with the specific ESPN show that this occurred on, or how this issue was raised, we certainly would appreciate it. What we do know, is that Tony Stewart is upset with something said on national TV about him. We also know the network in question is ESPN. The show appears to be either Pardon The Interruption or Around The Horn, both ESPN's daily afternoon talk shows.

The content is a joking remark Tony made after Chicagoland where he said he would spend the next week after winning "drinking a case of beer." Apparently, that was a joke to many, but not someone at ESPN who has a national platform to condemn Tony for being a "bad role model."

Perhaps, this same person could take a trip to the Victory Junction Gang Camp and ask around about Tony Stewart. That might just help them get a better perspective.

If the look he gave Dave Burns at Indy before he purposefully dropped the "BS bomb" live on ESPN is any indication, it just might be a long season for the network in Tony's world.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from viewers. Simply click on the COMMENTS page or email if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for stopping-by and leaving your opinion of our TV topic.


Matt said...

If I was ESPN, I wouldn't talk to Tony even if he DID win a race. Let him deal with the fallout from his sponsors. If you ask me, this a petty and childish squabble and Tony should know better. I-and Tony better-hope that NASCAR doesn't decide to get involved in this, because it won't end well for Tony. said...

It's plain and simple, the sports writers and producers on Around the Horn and PTI only care about and are knowledgable about 3 sports - football, basketball, and baseball. Instead of not discussing the sports they don't have anything intelligent to say about, they choose to bring those sports up for the purpose of making fun of them instead.

Any time Tim Cowlishaw mentions NASCAR or hockey on Around the Horn the other writers on the show scream "No NASCAR or hockey!" and then the host mutes him mid-sentence and says the same thing. On PTI NASCAR and hockey are only brought up in joking fashions like "Tony (Kornheiser), Tony Stewart won the Nextel Cup race at Chicago yesterday, are you excited? ha ha ha ha" or "Wilbon, the Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup last night, did you have them in your office pool? ha ha ha ha"

Another ESPN program, Mike and Mike in the Morning, treats all sports with respect and does their "humor show" the right way. Since the hosts don't typically pay attention to NASCAR or hockey, they usually don't talk about them because they don't have anything intelligent to say about them. When those two sports are brought up on days when they are the "big sports story of the day" the hosts deal with them appropriately. After the Daytona 500 Mike Golic explained that he did watch a lot of the race, and while the early parts weren't that exciting to him, he found the finish to be very exciting. When the Ducks won the Stanley Cup they mentioned it as the top story of the show and while they said they didn't follow the finals very closely that didn't diminish the accomplishment in their minds and then moved on to talk about how they still respected the Stanley Cup as being the greatest championship trophy in all of sports, despite the drop in popularity hockey has suffered in recent years.

Around the Horn and PTI should take a lesson from Mike and Mike in the Morning. If you don't know anything about NASCAR or hockey then don't talk about those sports unless you absolutely have to, and when you do have to talk about them do your best to say something intelligent and move on. That would be much better than the current method of making fun of any sport that the panelists on the show don't know anything about.

midwest fan said...

I was wondering why tony seemed so jaded towards espn's dave burns, who is a very friendly guy.
it all makes sense now if what you write is true....tony is mad at espn. I'm going to watch closer now.

Anonymous said...

It was definitely PTI that took him to task for his "going home and getting to the back of the cardboard" on a case of Schlitz. I actually found it to be funny. AND, he said it in the media center while in very obvious comfort with his surroundings. Not on live TV or anything!

PTI is just plain 'holier than thou' silliness. They jump all over Tony for drinking beer (even in excess) in the comfort of his own home but tread carefully with 'other' sports types because they tend to get involved in much more serious and delicate issues (to put it lightly).

It's all nonsense. The media (sports and "news") takes this whole role model thing way too far IMHO. They always use the "what about the children??!" horror to push their hype agenda.

Parents of this country need to be confident enough in their parenting skills to combat outside influences in their child's life with proper guidance and quit blaming others.

Most of ESPN's shows such as PTI could be on CNN or MSNBC at this point since it's less about sports and more about politics.

All that aside, I think Tony needs to get over himself a bit on this and realize that the ESPN race day crew has nothing to do with PTI et al. I'm a big Tony fan and I love when he speaks out but the 'take my ball and heading home' attitude is childish.

I bet ya he's already prejudiced against ESPN cuz they didn't hire Yocum ;-)

Which by the way I think is a mistake. Yocum is top notch in my book!

Steve from MD said...

Tony is the last genuine personality left in NASCAR that is not plastic and is not afraid to speak his mind. He is not an +++ kisser and a driver I think all fans can relate to. He needs to tone it sown sometimes (on the airwaves) but he is the only driver who will speak his mind. NASCAR needs more drivers like Tony.

Anonymous said...

I heard Tony drop the "BS" after the race, and understood later why he did it.

Maybe, just maybe, he did it because he is mad at the Four Lettr for their overall disrespect of NASCAR, and not just him. It was his way of getting at the network.

If he made the beer comment when he did, obviously he is not concerned about that, but about his way of life being the butt of jokes at the Four Letter. Clearly he planned it, so he had given it some thought ahead of time.

This comment was made before: "The media (sports and "news") takes this whole role model thing way too far IMHO. They always use the "what about the children??!" horror to push their hype agenda."

You have also nailed it-this is so true in news, and less so in sports.

And Stricklinfan (Hut?!) is right about ATH and PTI...NASCAR always the subject of a joke.

Anonymous said...

You know, I was originally from the Washington DC area and heard the Tony Kornheiser radio show daily... T.K. Stack money he was called and the man had NO CLUE about sports and to him, NASCAR was a dumb redneck sport.. so, because Tony is beyond intelligent, although impulsive, he found out and basically called them out without giving them the publicity of saying theuir names. Smart man... The most dominant driver of our generation... Jeff Gordon is fantastic as much as that pains me to say, but he is a finesse driver... Tony is an "intimidator".

Anonymous said...

I agree that the whole "controversy" is BS. Why did ESPN feel the need to even bring up a remark that was off-the-cuff and only half-serious? Is it such riveting news that Tony likes beer? Is it so wrong that a man of legal drinking age perhaps wants to have some to celebrate his first victory of the season -- while on vacation? I don't see other professional athletes with numerous illegitimate children or drug problems getting this muck flak. Why not do some actual reporting on the sport and leave personal opinions/vendettas out of it.

Anonymous said...

FYI here is a link to the Sirius site for Tony's radio show. Listen to his rant of the week and you will hear Tony's take on the ESPN thing.

Anonymous said...

While I like Tony Stewart, it's plainly obvious that he creates his own problems. After he won his first race this year, he refused to talk to ESPN because "ESPN blew the Denny Hamlin thing out of proportion." Really? Last time I checked, Tony made pretty disparaging remarks about his teammate after a race. And then, instead of letting it go because it was in the heat of the moment, Tony brought it up again and again. Finally, on Wednesday of that week, Hamlin fired back with his comments. As much as I like Tony, he can't keep a story alive and then expect a NASCAR show not to cover it.

As far as PTI goes, as with anything on a talk show, anything can be turned into a controversy. If Tony said he was going to drink an entire case of beer, it immediately becomes about binge drinking and setting examples, instead of it being an off the cuff remark just to be funny, just like Tony challenging David Poole to climb the fence, when it's perfectly obvious that David could probably never do it. The fence thanks him for that.

That being said, Tony did a pretty funny interview with Bill Simmons for Simmons's podcast, the "BS Report" this week. I'm sure Tony was informed before hand that it would be a comedic interview and I thought Tony played it off well. If you get a chance, listen to it.

Anonymous said...

If I acted at my job the way Tony Stewart does at his - I'D HAVE BEEN FIRED LONG AGO. Let's see - there was the camera incident, running Matt Kenseth off the track at Daytona, Tony's ongoing complaints about NASCAR, running in to Denny Hamlin - then blaming him for it, hitting Harvick at Indy, and I sure there's more. For the amount of money Tony "Joke" Stewart makes, he should be able to put up with NASCAR's rules.

Anonymous said...

If Tony has so many problems with NASCAR and its TV coverage, he could always quite and go back to the IRL. There at least he'll race half the amount of time and in front of half-filled stands.

Anonymous said...

The media that complains about Tony is the same media that believes Paris Hilton was wrongly sent to jail. If the reporters can't take a joke for what it is, then they should consider reporting from Iraq, where all interviews are serious.
And tony is right, if the reporters want to comment about the fence climbing, they should haul their a$$ up it once

Colin Baird said...

What Tony does is, he keeps it interesting. Doesn't make any difference if you love Tony or if you hate him, he keeps everyone interested in what he has to say. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and most of the other drivers are about as exciting as watching concrete set up. Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Dale Jr. are the ones that keep people interested in NASCAR.

Janet said...

I don't care how much money Tony Stewart gives to VJGC or any charity - he's still a giant a$$ - literally and figuratively! Why is he the only NASCAR driver who has issues with the media? Maybe it's because he's a big fat baby who can't stand to lose and hates when the media throws his dumba$$ comments back into his face.

Desmond said...

The show is question is Pardon the Interruption on July 16, 2007. So if you have video or a transcript from that day's show, send it to John and help him out.

Personally, I hate to see this apparent vendetta between Tony and ESPN play out in this manner. Then again, Tony is a very complex individual, so therefore the media doesn't know what to do with him. They insist that everything be in black and white and that's not how it works in the real world.

SophiaZ123 said...

I did not see the show in question but have heard lots about it.

I like Tony but frankly think this issue is much ado about nothing. That said, Tony has annoyed me to no end with his hypocritical statements and actions ("somebody is gonna get killed with bump drafting" and then Tony punts Matt k at daytona among other things)

I appreciate Tony is one of the best drivers today but honestly, I think the issue with ESPN should be their PATHETIC RACING/NASCAR coverage.

I was trying to watch qualifying before the rain hit on Jr's car. They never tell you how somebody does (when Waltrip finished, they never said whether he made the race, they went to commercial and it was 10 minutes or so before they said Mikey MADE the race)

They said Jr was coming up NEXT and it was several minutes...they never replay qualifying during commercials so I went and watered the flowers in between putting foil on my head ( to touch up high lights)

They yap about showing duct tape demonstrations on a car model (WHILE JEFF BURTON IS QUALIFYING! HELLO) then go to the yapping idiot skirt du jour, Jamie, (AGAIN while Burton is qualifying) There is so much graphics and CRAP on my screen I need search warrant, binoculars and a compass to find the car. ..ok slight exaggeration...but they tiny text is useless since our tv's are not the size of a side of a bus.

I can tell you I WOULD NEVER do other things when SPEED had qualifying on.

It's just all sad..and unless you live in a city with good access to radio stations that carry PRN or MRN, or have DIRECT TV or some other premium sports package to view and watch NASCAR, you are screwed.

Good Lord, I NEVER thought I would be wishing to be hearing the blathering of DW who I can take in small doses and the butchering of the English language of McReynolds. But after last weeks race, I would take the stooges on FOX over this pathetic bunch on ESPN.

NOT TO MENTION they cut off the commentators in MID SENTENCE most every time they go do commercial

I could go on and on about how much I HATE ESPN but it's getting pointless at this time since TPTB care not one whit WHAT we the fans think.

Course, that doesn't mean I will stop adding my two pennies when I feel like it.


Christy said...

I have no issue with Tony drinking beer... apparently he is not the only one who drinks since all I ever hear is how JR is going to enjoy a cold one so why is it they picked on Tony about it? Enjoy your beer boys, you deserve it! If NASCAR was worried about beer drinking, they wouldn't let you bring it in to the races.

SO... Give me a break ESPN! Who cares if he drinks beer. How about focusing on some of the other sports where the participants actually are bad role models!

jfs-va said...

Ok, I just have to say to the Daly Planet that you might have some competition from sophiaz and her posts. I love the Daly Planet blogs but sophiaz had me cracking up at her comments here. Anyways, I'm a Tony fan that does get a bit annoyed at times with his behavior. Then again, I have a tendency to go from fun guy to jerk the next second, so I'm a hypocrite too.

Anonymous said...

I saw the PTI show in question. If I remember correctly, Tony Stewart said something about drinking a case of beer and referenced not being able to stand up or something along those lines. Tony K. and Mike W. were not questioning Tony S. drinking beer, but rather him insinuating he was going to be falling down drunk.

Anonymous said...

Typical stick and ball proponents bull. We've got a pro football player under federal indictment, a pro baseball player about to break a record in a storm of controversy because of chemical assistance, and a pro basketball referee on the carpet for betting on games he officiated, and they worry about a race driver having a beer on a week off.


Anonymous said...

If these guys are just "stick and ball" guys then why the hell is Tony Stewart so darn upset? Soemtimes you just gotta take comments from the people they come from. From what I just read in an AP article, Tony Stewart told David Amber of ESPN to leave before he answers anymore questions from the media. How long is this going to continue? How long can NASCAR allow this to continue?

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the microscope...Tony has a long history and its documented on tape. This is part of the territoy when you step into the unforgiving light. In the old days, writers/reporters would party with the winners & losers...
Have you watched Back in the Day and seen the lovely "Beauty" Queens who gave the winner a kiss in victory lane? No more kiss, no more beauty queen....Just watch The Last American Hero...The Last American Hero (1973) and check out Junior Johnson and his life story.. -
We live in a different world and their is no slack cut for anyone on anything.....This is what happens when it cost $20mil to fund a Cup team... said...


I think you should cut ESPN a break for their qualifying coverage. At least they didn't do something ridiculous like hype their Friday night coverage of the X-Games by conducting a live interview via satellite with X-Games star Jeremy McGrath while Bobby Labonte and Kenny Wallace were qualifying :)

SophiaZ123 said...


Funny!! Wise guy :-)
Hell, I did not even know what Xtreme sports was or were..or is.

Course the real question about ESPN tomorrow will be "Will we ever find out why Jr's car was hit by a John Deere Gator?" I read only NASCAR officials drive them. Never heard of a car being accidentally hit by one of these but I am digressing.

Some wise guy on another board posted we would never find out who did it as they are on their way to the Witness Protection Program!! LOL.

But back to Tony, I know he can be a brat but he does have a point. ESPN LOVES to ask questions that are overly dramatic or to make people look back. Erik Kooties ring a bell?

The next time they/ESPN ask him about his behavior he should simply say

"Michael Vick" and walk away.

I swear I am not into conspiracy theories but it truly seems ESPN is trying to make a LAUGHING stock of NASCAR and are giggling all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Tony needs to grow up. Nascar and the media need to quit babying him. Everytime he doesn't get his way he pitches his little hissy fit. And goes into a rant about how other drivers won't move over to let him pass. I for one am sick of this brat. Reminds me of screaming young'uns in a restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Tony Stewart is a bad role model?

I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry after reading that comment.

Look at all of the MLB, NFL, NBA players that have actually been busted performing "illegal" acts, and given a second, third, fourth, etc., chance. In this case, it was a grown man making a statement about how excited he was about winning a race. I believe there's a big difference.

Tony is just a true competitor that lets it all hang out. In a sport where Corporate America and the media are trying to "standardize" the players (in this case, drivers), there are a few that are still holding out.

Competition is what drives people. The pursuit to be the best is what it's all about.

When you get to the professional lever, sports aren't just games, they're a way of life. The participants aren't worried about what 10 year Timmy is going to think about their comments. They want to win, and if they don't, expect them to be upset. It's the job of Timmy's parents to explain what is really going on.

Sorry for the anonymous identity on this message. I don't want to sign up. But for anyone that hates anonymous comments as much as I do, here's my name: L.D. Tunink