Saturday, October 13, 2007

Punch Struggling In NASCAR Booth


Most of the talk about the ABC coverage continues to be about the missed restarts and the infamous "draft lock," but there is something else that just can't be ignored.

On Friday night in the Busch Series race, the leader Clint Bowyer was trying very hard on old tires to hold off the charging Greg Biffle. Suddenly, Bowyer's car broke loose, spun in front of Biffle, and the entire race field was suddenly heading for two spinning cars in a dangerous part of the Lowe's Motor Speedway.

This was the commentary from Dr. Jerry Punch in the ESPN2 announce booth:

"Whoa, the 2 car around...right in front of the 16."

As the field came down on both cars, TV analysts Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree jumped-in and tried to fill-in the details that Punch did not deliver. Cars were in the grass, spinning across the track, and continuing to crash in the back of the pack.

Two or three other cars had also crashed on the track and were now sliding across the start-finish line. The caution was out and the track was a mess. Cars were trying to drive away, others were stopped on the track, and several could not continue.

Jerry Punch is the play-by-play announcer for both ESPN and ABC on their NASCAR coverage. He is the voice of the sport, and adds the excitement and the descriptive narration to one of the fastest and most viewer-friendly sports in the world.

From the time Punch finished saying "in front of the 16" as the crash began, he said absolutely nothing at all for thirty seconds. Let me repeat that. The play-by-play announcer on ESPN said nothing for thirty seconds as a high speed crash unfolded live on national TV in primetime during a NASCAR race.

As the cameras panned around, they found several cars sitting damaged on the track. Viewers had absolutely no idea why they were there, or where they came from. When ESPN replayed the crash, Wallace and Petree again filled-in the details of the incident.

The Busch Series season began with great expectation for ESPN. Jerry Punch was back in NASCAR, and fans were loving it. With Bob Jenkins, John Kernan, and Jack Arute long gone, Punch was the only tie-in for many fans to the old ESPN NASCAR days.

Expectations were higher for Punch than his booth-mates Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree. Wallace had practiced his TV skills on the IndyCar package, but this was his first full season on the NASCAR beat. Petree was a total TV rookie. It was Punch who was the consummate TV pro, and who had decided to remain loyal to ESPN and continue there once the NASCAR TV package moved on.

Now, rewarded for his loyalty, Punch was put in the highest profile position of his career. His previous experience with play-by-play on ESPN's Craftsman Truck Series was not a positive one, but his work as a reporter for college football and other sports continued to show TV viewers his true strength, which is news reporting.

As the Busch Series wore on, the big NEXTEL Cup TV package on ABC was rapidly approaching. ESPN had many long days on the Busch beat, and Punch was often the only voice heard in the booth for hours. When Punch went on vacation, Marty Reid and Allen Bestwick both stepped into the play-by-play role with outstanding reviews. Now, TV viewers had a new level of expectation for Punch upon his return.

When he came back, Punch actually appeared to be weary of his assigned role of adding "the excitement" to the telecast. When fans think of current NASCAR announcers who "get it," the list is a short one. Mike Joy, Allen Bestwick, Barney Hall, Dave Moody, Mark Garrow, and maybe a few others can make fans sit-up and take notice instantly with the inflections in their voice and their choice of words.

These veterans can make things in a race go from boring to totally exciting in the blink of an eye. This is the experience that play-by-play announcers in TV sports bring to the viewer. When something is happening, be it a long touchdown pass, the final strike of a no-hitter, or a jump shot at the buzzer to win the game, it leaves a lasting memory. Sometimes, the call of a just a single moment in sports can be remembered for a lifetime. There have been no such memories this season with Jerry Punch.

As the ESPN on ABC season winds-down, there certainly have to be discussions underway about next year. This first effort from ESPN has been huge, with millions of dollars in manpower, facilities, and logistics. The pictures have been great, the sound has been fantastic, and the technical end of the telecasts has been first-rate from the graphics to the High Definition technology.

Unfortunately, the ESPN issues with the NASCAR on-air personnel have been on display for everyone to see. Kolber "in" and Bestwick "out" of the Infield Studio. Daugherty struggling to define for us why is he is on national TV. Dale Jarrett structuring his "retirement" year around the ESPN race package. Wallace struggling under the pressure of "draft trackers" and his son's continuing on-track woes. Jamie Little unable to locate her personal volume button...and turn it down. And, there is one more item being discussed.

The message boards and chat rooms across the Internet reflect the viewer's confusion about Jerry Punch. Most fans, like myself, have fond memories of his hard work and his wonderful personality. Newer fans, however, chide him for often being the last one to spot an incident and seemingly being unable to muster-up any sort of excitement during a race telecast.

As we have discussed before at The Daly Planet, Punch was great as a reporter. He earned our trust whether it was on IndyCars, college sports, or NASCAR. Seeing Jerry Punch with Bob Ley on a high-profile ESPN news program seemed to be natural. Jerry Punch is a reporter at heart, and we like that about him. As they say in the business, it seemed that he had a nose for news.

As ABC and ESPN close out the season, it will be interesting to see if they allow Punch to step-back and look at his struggles with an unbiased eye. Punch could easily step into the shoes of Suzy Kolber on NASCAR Countdown or host the ESPN2 daily series NASCAR Now. No one would begrudge him a change.

One thing is for sure, when Punch looks back at 2007, it will be one of the longest years of his life. Beginning with the January production meetings, Punch has been working on the NASCAR beat for ten months with only a few small breaks. Now, there is light at the end of the tunnel and only one question remains. In what direction will he turn when this season's NASCAR journey is over? Only one person can answer that question.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS page below, and follow the instructions. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and add your opinion.

59 comments:

bevo said...

Great post John.

Dr. Punch has been a great reporter over the years. He's added intelligence and class and he knows racing. That's why it's so painful to hear him struggle every race. I don't know if he has too many voices in his ear during situations like you describe from last night or what but ESPN has to make a change.

He was one of the best pit guys ever because he has a feel for what's happening and has relationships with behind-the-scenes people to get the stories. ESPN should put him there as a kind of pit anchor and go to him on a regular basis to fill us in on strategies and how the race is unfolding in the pits.

Lisa Hogan said...

great column.

I think that Dr. Punch has earned the right to pick his next assignment. Whether that be Nascar Now, Countdown, or pits.

I hope that ESPN will let him make the decision.

Bill H said...

I wonder, is it really Punch (and the other announcers) that are having such a hard time creating "Drama" (new word of the week on Speed), or is it that have constraints they are under from above to do the broadcast in a certain way? It seems that all the TV personalities on ESPN fail in one way or another to provide a hook for the fans to latch onto an get into the race (with the exception of Brad D in the Busch race a few weeks ago).

BillWebz

SophiaZ123 said...

It is a great column. As somebody only watching races since 2004, it continues to bother me the way so many express concern over Punch's on air demeanor.

Is the man pushed beyond his limits? Is it the chemistry in the booth? Or indeed, too many voices in his ear. SOMETHING is dreadfully off.

I hope ESPN can put him in a more comfortable spot as he is still a connection for many older fans with fond memories of him from the 'good days of NASCAR on ESPN' before they glitzed all out.

Andy Pandy said...

Jerry is obviously intelligent, well-liked, and has a high level of Nascar knowledge. However, this just isn't the right role for him. I hope that if he reads or hears about this blog or other critiques of his performance, he doesn't take it personally. Jerry's strength is reporting, which would be very difficult for some others, much the same as news reporters vs. news anchors. Few can do both jobs well, and few enjoy doing both equally.

I hope that he does get moved back to the pits or to a NASCAR related show, and that it is not looked upon as a demotion. He really doesn't seem to be enjoying his role, and maybe he should actively seek to change it for his own good.

Matt said...

The big difference between Jerry and all of the other announcers you mentioned is that they all did radio, where you have to describe the action for the listener. I think Jerry just thinks that since we can "see" what is happening, there is no need to describe it in detail.

Daly Planet Editor said...

matt,

I think that is a great point. There really is no training ground for NASCAR announcers, unlike baseball and other sports.

Just like Bill Weber, I think its tough to be a reporter and then transition to a true play-by-play role.

Personally, I would rather have the enthusiasm of an Allen Bestwick, Marty Reid, or even a guy like Steve Byrnes in the booth and then let the color analysts fill-in the details.

I worked with Jerry and he is a great guy, its tough to see him put in this unfamiliar role.

bevo said...

matt-

Punch worked at MRN before he started at ESPN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Right, that is also a good point. I was trying to talk about play-by-play vs. reporting. Two very different skills on both radio and TV.

Anonymous said...

I used to love the "old" ESPN coverage. Loved Dr. Jerry Punch in the pits, Bob Jenkins in the booth...Ned...BP....it still conjures up warm, fuzzy feelings for me. That's why it is so hard to see Punch in this role. I hope he finds his way into the right place for him by next season.

I have a question though....how did Musberger get this gig? Is it just because he's in the twilight of his career and ESPN doesn't know what else to do with him? He's been like trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. It isn't working. I remember a few years ago when Keith Jackson did a Gatorade ad that was shown a lot during NASCAR broadcasts and I thought...wow, he'd be great even in NASCAR....I could have and would have "bought" him in that role....but Musberger just leaves me cold.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You guys understand that ESPN doing sports on ABC brought with it some increased pressure to satisfy the affiliates.

Musburger is in a role that somehow ESPN believes makes their ABC coverage different and special.

It hasn't really been well defined this season, or served a purpose. Expect some changes for next season.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is for the most part the Fox/TNT folks live and breathe racing. This is especially true of Mike Joy, Dr. Dick, Matt Yocum. Those three speak shorthand to one another during rain delays when they talk about drivers and races in Nascar and other forms of racing. They all know the most obscure facts and stories about drivers, races, tracks, promoters, owners, etc., going back decades and decades in time.

The drivers, crews, etc., recognize those traits in Joy,Bergren, and Yocum. We can see it and feel it coming through the screen.

The espn people don't share the live, breathe, in the blood, passionate love or knowledge of the sport, and first and foremost that includes Jerry Punch. It just isn't there.

People will tolerate a mistake here and there when they know the person talking to them has as much fire for the sport as they do.

Espn's challenge is to find the next Mike Joy who has that obvious passion for the sport and is able to communicate that fire and knowledge to the viewers. Unfortunately for espn, I think Fox already has that person in their back pocket.

Anonymous said...

anon:8:10
excellent post

Andy Pandy said...

I'd completely forgotten about Dr. Dick. I don't think I've ever seen anyone on TV who comes across as sincere and genuine as Berggren. It seems like everyone likes to be interviewed by him and he always finds something nice to say about a driver. You just don't see drivers wanting to talk to any of the World Wide Leader's folks (except Bestwick, who should be upstairs).

Richard in N.C. said...

JOHN, Do you know (I do not) whether Dr. Jerry Punch is still practicising medicine when not at ESPN as he used to do? Maybe he just has too much on his plate if he does. Also, I do not recall Dr. Punch ever being a play-by-play announcer for MRN, as opposed to being a turn or pit road reporter.

Sandie said...

@anonymous 8:10

*standing O*

You're spot on! The FOX guys know things about the guys/teams/etc. that they've forgotten themselves! Don't forget Steve Byrnes in that! He has stories too! Many that make us jealous and others that shows that this is more than a "job" it's truly their lives!

And they tell stories and chat as if they were in our living rooms with their feet up on the table with a nice cold drink!

Yes DW does the "back in my day" that drives some people batty, but PTL we have folks who CAN say that! For those of us who weren't following the sport 20 years ago can see how things have changed through their eyes. We can hear those stories!

And the guys LOVE the Pit Reporters for FOX (now that Jeanne is gone!). They joke around, they play tricks on them, etc. I look forward to rain delays just to see the action! I wish I kept the 2002 April Texas Rain Delay that was the BEST! It was like 4 hours and the best 4 hours ever!

ESPN even with their "veterans" just doesn't have that, with the exception of Allen but his knowledge isn't used as well as it could be.

It's beyond embarrassing when Rusty makes comments that make him sound like he heard about NA$CAR 5 minutes before! It's one thing if you're trying to ask/speak from a brand spanking new fans perspective. But please don't sound like an idiot when you do it! I swear you could pull darn near any fan out of the stands and they'd do a 100% better job!

And PLEASE stop watching the stinking monitor! Watch the actual race! Then you might see things that started to happen 2 laps before!

Billy Delyon said...

No offense, but Dr. Jerry has plenty of NASCAR knowledge. To say otherwise is not knowing the history of NASCAR TV/Radio...

I also think a lot of the problem in the booth at ESPN can be wrapped up in one name, Crusty.

When he's not been in the booth, like when DJ sat in for the busch race's earlier this season, the broadcasts went MUCH smoother, those 3 guys (Dr. Jerry, Andy & DJ) growing up together in the same town and sharing many years in the sport together in their different rolls, made them a GREAT team, I thought it shined through in their broadcasts also. As well as when Brad sat in for rusty. Great broadcast days.

After all this is Dr. Punchs first year in the play by play roll.. Get rusty out of there replace him with DJ, and I bet a lot of you would feel different about the good Doc.....

Anonymous said...

Punch choosing to stay with espn, using the loyalty line... refusing to accept a pit position when he wasn't offered a booth position by Fox or NBC, was the turning point.

The sport has passed him by. Look at the changes since Fox, NBC and TNT bought the broadcasting rights. Everything has changed.. the rules, the cars, the format and the participants.

Punch was never even close to being the legend the new fans have built him in their minds. Jack Arute who brought Punch into the job was more knowledgeable and better liked. Arute had a great sense of humor and never was obsessed and consumed with self promotion.

Steve said...

For your info, this is NOT Jerry Punch's first year doing play by play. (And why does he insist everyone call him Doc? He hasn't practiced medicine in any form in over fifteen years)

For the final six or seven years of the old ESPN contract, he did play by play for all the Busch races and he had to fill in for Bob Jenkin's from time to time on a few Cup races.

So this isn't his firt time at the rodeo. He had great people around him then, and he was mediocre.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, I ran into Dr. Punch after the IRL race at the Glen last summer, and told him we can't wait until ESPN takes over NASCAR.
You could see last night were his real interest lies....pounding away at college football scores.

Anonymous said...

With regard to Jerry Punch and whether the "sport has passed him by" etc, etc, the bottom line is this. Simply being 'placed' in the booth does not make you a 'play by play' announcer. It is a completely different skill set from pit reporting and one that, sadly, Punch does not have. Its also sad that Jerry thinks that the play by play role is the best role to have. He's drinking the Kool Aid, as are the execs responsible for the NASCAR coverage. The MAN for the job is right there every week- Bestwick. And the MAN for the infield is sitting idle in Indianapolis, Bob Jenkins. My gosh, this is SUCH AN EASY FIX!!!! and ESPN cannot or will not see it.

Todd said...

I have been a NASCAR fan since the early 60's, even done the PA at Daytona in '68 and '69. Punch was a great pit reporter, Wallace whines too much, Petree is a pleasant suprise. But Fri. after quallifing when they did the making of the Areosmith gig ( a total afront to NASCAR fans), well ESPN and ABC lost me for the rest of the season. As I have done, I watched Speed with their 2 hour GREAT lead in show, and then switched to baseball last night. Sorry ESPN/ABC you've lost me...come on next Feb.

Garry said...

I want to thank Rusty Wallace for making me believe in Gosh. Without Gosh in my life, I would be lost. I pray to Gosh every night, and hope that he keeps me safe and warm. Gosh is good- Gosh is great. Thank Gosh! Also, I sure am glad that ESPN is so professional that they inform me of things regarding the Cup race. Without their expert analysis, I would never know that Bobby qualified third, and ran in the top ten all night. Apparantly, Bobby never qualified for the race. I also never would have known about David Gilliland pitting second,after running in the top five, and then fading to 25th, two laps down.I sure am glad ESPN tells me about him and the other 31 drivers out on the track. Thank Gosh for ESPN!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for the good comments. This article is about Jerry Punch, so I would appreciate readers staying focused on that topic. I am certain that you have feelings on this issue, and this is a good time to express them. Thanks.

JD

Anonymous said...

The very thing that makes Punch such a good pit reporter - always cool - works against him as an annoucer. I, personally, don't care for wreck annoucing as it occurs where they try to name the cars involved before they show you what happens.

Bestwick is better than anyone except Mike Joy (Why NBC swapped him with Weber, I'll never know.). Bestwick occasionally does Track and Field and he is good there also.

And to the person who said Keith Jackson would be good - unless I am mistaken, he did announce races years ago (Wide World of Sports) and he was VERY good.

Musberger and the females who don't know what they are doing drive me crazy.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Dr. Jerry Punch on pit road. He would probably ask the drivers really intelligent questions (unlike those two dingbats they have down there now) and I bet the drivers and crews would love having him on pit road, too.

Brent Musberger I'm still not sure about. It's like he hasn't quite found his 'groove' yet with NASCAR. Love him when he's doing other sports but there's something missing when it comes to NASCAR.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree with the post, BUT, the real idiot in the trio is Rusty. You should start a tally of his mistakes, as they are frequent (somebody should tell him its Gilliland, not Gillian), and how long it takes him to mention how many wins he has at whatever track he is at, or some other comment that makes him look good. Granted he was a great driver, but he is not there to pump up his ego. He often comments on an on track battle, but, gets who is catching who backwards. Andy P., on the other hand, is right on target every time, and gives the best info.

Anonymous said...

DR. JERRY PUNCH was an excellent PIT REPORTER for ESPN back in the old days. He would also maked a very good interviewer on a DAILY or Weekly show. Nice GIG for a EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR. \JMHO,
DOUGIE

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your great story on Dr. Punch. And we should stay on track, but I have to agree with Garry and his comment about Rusty and his "thank gosh" remarks. Rusty goes on and on,someone hits the wall and Rusty thanks gosh for the soft walls. TV may not want him to say thank God. But God is the one that should be thanked for giving someone the knowledge to do this. And Rusty still has bad feelings toward the #24 and it shows. Rusty need to go help Stephen and get out of the booth..

Anonymous said...

Well sadly I have to agree with your comments about The good Dr. I was thrilled to see that ESPN had gotten the NASCAR coverage back.after what I feel was the France's Dumping of the people whom took NASCAR to the heights it is at now for the sake of the almighty $$$$.. But I have to say that the commentators, ALL the commentators are horrid. Rusty is horrible at best. Thank God for radio coverage so we can all listen to good commentating.But sorry to say everyone can't be Mike Joy

greg8370 said...
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pogeyboat said...

someone said that there might be a team in the making with dj,andy,and doc,that just might work,think about it for a minute. i like that idea for a trial effort anyway.

rusty just isn't up for this role.he and brad just haven't made the cut. with rusty's gosh and driving his brains out and brads ,i talked to him and he said, i've had enough. poor tim brewer hasn't had a decent shot either.

ESPN, you paid a lot of money to get nascar back,why aren't you putting more into it? if nascar fans weren't as loyal as they are, no one would be watching your programing or nascar either with their stupid decisions recently. you sure wouldn't do this with the nfl!

Newracefan said...

JD, I think Doc has a couple of problems. One Doc prob. has too many voices in his ear or voices that are slow to feed him the needed information which results in a lag. Rusty's play by play needs alot of work. He still had too many loyalties or lack there of to the racers on the track and this does not belong in the booth. Doc has to try and make Rustys bias flow which takes work and is probably distracting. Andy Petrie gets better every week and this helps. I would be interested to see how things would flow with Rusty out and DJ in he seems to keep any bias he has to himself. I also agree with the posters that while too much can be annoying some of the historical referances give viewers a perspective and some idea what could happen or what to look for. Could this possibly be why we feel like ESPN missed too many incidents. They don't have someone who knows which drivers in what circumstances have potential for something to happen. Also is it possible that ESPN tells the booth before the race some issues they belive will occur and Doc tries to guide thing in that direction even then it doesn't flow because the issue never really ocurred.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments. Earlier this season, Dale Jarrett worked with Andy Petree and it was fantastic.

While this duo would help any play-by-play man, I miss Jerry's knowledge and insight. If he could assume a role where he could be used for his experience, it would be for the good of both the sport and the network.

DB1 said...

Actually, I think ESPN must frown on any emotion coming from the booth. I consistently see it in their coverage of other sports (like baseball). So could it be that Dr. Punch is simply following ESPN mandate? Might explain also why Mr Bestwick is not in the booth....too much emotion?

Jeff said...

That was a great article about Dr.Jerry Punch and ESPN, I have wondered myself about what will happen next year. Sorry to say that the good Doctor is in over his head and Rusty is no help.

Allan Bestwick got screwed out of the chair at TNT/NBC by Bill Weber and he must be waiting in the wings to take over for Jerry Punch if needed.

I like the idea if Punch doing the studio portion with Daugherty and why Brad is in the studio I will never know. Musberger and Kolber know nothing about racing and it shows.

The ESPN booth team of Bestwick, Jarrett and Petree really sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

Why are we so hard on Punch leaving the booth? He is so much better than Bill Weber. You guys make Punch sound worse than Weber.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed Dr. Punch's commentary over the years, but he's lost his edge. During the Cup race on Saturday he used the "Cinderella story" phrase three times.

Rick said...

To Anon @ 9:43:

Punch and Weber are the two sides of the coin. Weber overdramatizes everything, Punch is never excited.

A happy medium would be nice.

Joe from Philly said...

great post John and some excellent comments above.

A change is certainly needed. I really like Dr. Punch and hate that I've grown tired of hearing him for even a minute now. He's just lost. And he has no support up there.

I really do think they could solve this problem and most of their other problems with the simple switch of Bestwick to the booth and Punch to the infield.

Since I truly hate the whole "Hollyweird Hotel" format, I'm a bit jaded here but I would love to see a format closer to what NBC used to do with Weber. Punch could be the Pre-race host and a "Team Leader" of sorts of the pit reporters during the race. Maybe give them a little more direction?

Garry said...

I want to follow up my comments about Jerry Punch, as I have been notified by Mr. Daly as to keep my posts about The good Doctor. Sorry for straying away from the topic. Jerry was very good in the pits as a lead pit reporter in the past. One can conjure up the 1992 Hooters 500 and clearly see his passion for the sport. It almost seems as if there is a gun to his head now, and rather than get shot, he keeps himself in the monotone, funeral eulogy,reading from the phone book delivery.Also a quick comment about Keith Jackson in the past-His voice can be heard on the "pass in the grass" coverage with Dale Earnhardt.But back to Mr. Punch, it clearly seems that he no longer carries the weight that he once did. I remember his comment this past year that he called one of his good friends that he works with at ESPN, and he said he cried when he got "the" job as play by play. I read that and thought how great it will be when ESPN takes over the coverage. In fact, my wife became a NASCAR fan two years ago, and when she seen the train wreck coverage from NBC, I reminded her that all will be right with the world when ESPN takes over coverage. Boy, do I feel stupid now.

Rusty said...

Dr. Punch has his place....as a pit reporter, or pre-race show, but it is NOT doing play-by-play. Joy and Bestwick are the two best in the NASCAR lead announcer role. Since one already works for Fox, that leave Bestwick, who just happens to work for ESPN.

SO MAKE THE CHANGE ALREADY!!!!!!

Richard in N.C. said...

Just for the record, Mike Joy and Allen Bestwick are the best race announcers - EXCEPT for Barney Hall, with whom I believe both Mike J. and Allen B. learned their craft.

Dot said...

I like Dr Punch, however not in the booth. I think JPM wrecked and all Dr Punch said was that he made contact. Contact with what? The wall? another car? someone in the infield? Aliens? Good grief.
JD, since we can't talk about Rusty, when are you going to write a column about him? I can't wait to read the hundreds of comments.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Just to wrap things up, no one is saying that Jerry Punch has little NASCAR knowledge.

I had the pleasure of working with Jerry, and he is a great person with a wonderful background in racing.

This column was discussing his assignment this season as a play-by-play announcer on the ESPN and ABC NASCAR TV package.

Since February, Punch has traveled nationwide and worked harder than almost anyone to bring this sport back to ESPN and ABC.

Now, as the TV executives turn an eye toward 2008, many of us would like Jerry to continue with NASCAR coverage in a new role.

He would be a wonderful host for NASCAR Now, a TV series that has struggled for credibility since it started in February.

Should he want to continue on the road, certainly the role of Brent Musburger and Suzy Kolber could be consolidated into using Jerry Punch as the NASCAR Countdown pre-race anchor and the Infield Studio host during and after the telecast.

Hopefully, ESPN will address the on-going issue of no post-race coverage during the Chase until Victory Lane comes on SPEED.

As we can see from all of the comments added to this column, everyone has great respect for Jerry and would just like to see his skills and knowledge put to better use. Thanks for all your great posts.

JD

Garry said...

John, since you used to work with Jerry, do you have any way of contacting him and talking to him about the troubles that everyone is talking about? Do you think he might know about blogs not only here, but elsewhere across the internet that criticize his announcing? It would be interesting to know what he truly thinks (if you could talk to him), then maybe we the fans could have a timeline of impending changes, both negative and positive. Thank you, John

greg8370 said...
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Cire said...

"Musburger is in a role that somehow ESPN believes makes their ABC coverage different and special."
Hate to say it but Musburger when I first saw him at ABC's first Cup race this year looked like he just came from the morgue with his makeup on and his drawn facial features. He literally looked like a dead man walking.

greg8370 said...
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Anonymous said...

A great post!

Why can't we have ole ' DW for the whole season?

greg8370 said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Greg,

Can you give it a break? If you would like to post your comments about another ESPN announcer, there certainly is a place for that on future posts.

If you would not like to express your comments about Jerry Punch, please give some courtesy to the rest of the posters.

JD

greg8370 said...

JD--

What's the problem with my post? It's certainly consistent with other comments in this thread that have offered their views on some of the other announcers in the ABC/ESPN booth. And it's certainly within the bounds of the posted rules re: posting and pretty mild actually considering some of the other comments/nicknames tossed Rusty's way by other posters.

Greg

Anonymous said...

Like many others, I had high hopes for ESPN's return to Cup racing, especially with Jerry Punch taking the lead role. However, it is now very clear that Punch is not the right man for the play-by-play job. I would love to see him in the pits again, with Bob Jenkins, DJ and Petree in the booth. I would even be willing to give Punch another chance in the booth if ESPN exiled Rusty back to IRL.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does Dr. Punch seem to be out of breath most of the time? After uttering one of his catch phrases like "sailing by", you can almost always hear him taking a deep breath. I don't think he's cutout for a booth role that requires him to speak for long periods of time.

Daly Planet Editor said...

greg,

I don't know if you are new here, but the one liners are not what we do. Since you took the time to find this site, and then to comment, I know you have more to offer on the topic of Jerry Punch.

If you could take a step back and give us your perspective on what you think the issues are with the dynamics of that group, we would like to read it. Thanks.

JD

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Eli Gold? He was awesome!

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Good Mornng JD,
Good post, I am reviewing this post from the link on your 4Jul08 post. Although I did not pay much attention to Dr.Punch on this. It still does seem to be an issue. Yes, Rusty did change from last season. But I still wonder if he did it on his own, or was he coached by professionals?