Saturday, January 12, 2008

Darrell Waltrip "Gives Us The Business"

As we began to address the TV issues that the networks will face in the 2008 season, one of the first topics on the agenda was the NASCAR on Fox coverage of the Daytona 500.

The Daly Planet column about Chris Myers having to deal with the frustrated and disenfranchised NASCAR fans next February drew a lot of great comments and generated a lot of email. You can read it by clicking here.

It also apparently resulted in a column on by a gentleman who sits next to Mr. Myers in the Hollywood Hotel. His name is Darrell Waltrip, and he was "giving us the business."

In his Friday column, DW addressed the comments fans had left on The Daly Planet that were sometimes critical of Myers NASCAR knowledge. Fans had also pointed out that Myers seems to be constantly "ill at ease" in a racing surrounding, and really does not "fit-in" with the sport.

DW responded that Myers role on the Fox telecasts was specifically to bring that "different perspective." On Myers Hollywood Hotel conversations, DW said "he asks questions and puts things into perspective that we don't consider because he's covered other sports and we haven't. So when we are talking about rules, rule infractions, officiating or any of those things that other sports have in common with ours, Chris can always ask different questions and always have a different perspective."

The focus of The Daly Planet column was that when critical eyes turn to the stellar line-up of TV personalities involved in the NASCAR on Fox coverage, Myers is the "odd man out" by default. The point was made that after the Fox gang leaves the air, NASCAR programming continues on the Fox-owned cable network SPEED.

On that network, veterans like Steve Byrnes and John Roberts continue to work all the races for the entire season. In fact, both Roberts and Byrnes have already been on the air hosting SPEED's pre-season Daytona testing programs. The bottom line is, fans know and trust Byrnes and Roberts.

When SPEED rolls-out the Craftsman Truck Series, fans see the hard-working Krista Voda, who also handles pit reporting duties for the Sprint Cup races on Fox. She is another solid NASCAR host who will work from February through November on this sport that demands so much from so many.

When things are going well, TV issues don't appear. When things are not going so well, the conversations invariably begin. Waltrip says "some of the things he (Myers) does is part of his act, that's who he is and that's part of his act when he gets ready to do these shows." Waltrip continues that Myers "is very good at what he does and we are lucky to have him." Waltrip's points are well-taken.

Unfortunately, they are also naive. What viewers were treated to after Myers part of the NASCAR season was over were one Turner-employed Major League Baseball announcer and one ESPN-employed Monday Night Football sideline reporter.

That made three-out-of-three for the number of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup "infield TV hosts" who were not involved in the sport regularly.

The fundamental problem with that situation is very simple. NASCAR fans are.

The same fans who watched The SPEED Report in the off-season for NASCAR tidbits, checked every day for news, and watched the first pre-season testing show on SPEED are the very ones the NASCAR TV networks desperately need to please.

As we said in our original column, no matter how funny the jokes and how wacky the antics, one truth persists. There is nothing a network can do when a fan turns-off the TV and walks away from the sport. In 2007, one out of every ten fans did just that.

It might be that those fans were just a little bit tired...of the same old act.

The countdown clock at Jayski shows thirty-six days to the Daytona 500 on Fox Sports.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, and follow the easy instructions. There is nothing to join and we do not want your email address. We just want your opinion. Thanks for stopping by.


IKILGORE said...

JD, a always, great columns. Three networks put three guys who don't know crap about NASCAR. The exception is Chris Myers. He has been around since the start of FOX's NASCAR coverage began. He is the most experienced of the three people that are the infield host of each networks presentations.

Chris is a hard worker and DW was correct in saying that they are lucky to have him. Out of all the people that are stuffed in our faces each race weekend it is nice to see someone who enjoys interacting with the drivers and the fans. All the NASCAR on FOX guys and gals are great and show us why "its the place where America gathers each Sunday for NASCAR on FOX." (sorry, had to put it in there!!!)

Anonymous said...

Great column, again made look at it from a different perspective. However from what little I can remember from way back last February, it did seem that even though Mr. Myers does at least enjoy the sport. Yes he does seem odd man out but to a degree he can hold is own. Having him on air is both welcoming to a new fan and non-insulting to an old fan. Yes the Speed panel work all year, and I love them, but by the chase some of those guys looked like they could use a little break. Some even looked like they would have sold their dog to get some extra bodies to help carry the load.

elena said...

JD, I happen to like Chris Myers. I guess it's because I was a fan of his long before he started to do NASCAR. I like his sense of humor. Kinda quirky.

As I mentioned on the Krista column, I think that Fox has it right in terms of their teams. (I have problems with cameras and not going thru the field or showing all the drivers cross the finish line). But as far as their talent either on the NFL shows or NASCAR, they really make it enjoyable to watch.

Well, one day closer to Daytona.

Anonymous said...

Of course DW defended Myers. DW would defend Jack the Ripper if he were a fellow FOX broadcaster.
What is significant here is that NASCAR notables are listening, and needing to respond, to your columns and the fan response.
Don't get defensive FOX/SPEED...just stay the best at covering NASCAR.


Anonymous said...

Chris Myers is cool with me. It doesn't bother me at all that after FOX's portion of the season is over he is not on SPEED. Not everyone has to be all NASCAR, all the time. He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who, the day FOX coverage ends, immediately puts NASCAR out of his mind and doesn't continue to follow the sport on his own.

Just because I like Byrnes and Roberts in their jobs doesn't mean I don't like Myers in his job. Apples and oranges. It's not like FOX puts Myers in the Hollywood Hotel by himself and expects us to accept him as the fountain of NASCAR knowledge. He's got a team with him.

Based on the comments in the linked column which I just read, the majority seem to be OK with Myers. Seemed like you were harder on Myers than they were.

Anonymous said...

I am another of those that likes Chris Meyers. He has been broadcasting NASCAR enough to have a grasp of what is going on, and shows he is interested as well. Mike Joy he is not, but was not intended to be either. I am comfortable with him in his role.

Anonymous said...

For me, the telling comment DW made was that it is "part of his act'. Meyersisthe man that brings us such 'insight' as those stupid "10 laps with' segments and other errata that would be fine on a program like 'Entertainment Tonight' or some other irrelevat show that deals with entertainment, not sports. The manner that these segments are presented is an embarrassing way to present information that might otherwise be interesting. I'm sorry, but I find him totally irrelevant to the race broadcasts.

Anonymous said...

When did it become a bad thing for a sports broadcaster to spend time with different sports?

I can still recall the great Jim McKay working Wide World of Sports, the olympics, the Indy 500...too many events to recount.

Bob Costas was and is a terrific baseball play by play announcer, and was an excellent studio host on NBA on NBC. (and the Olympics).

James Brown was mentioned in the Krista Voda blog comments. He's terrific with NFL and NCAA.

I'm simply shaking my head that being versatile has become a bad thing in sports announcing. It's not a lack of devotion or "not fitting in", it's called being well-rounded.

Anonymous said...

When did it become a bad thing for a sports broadcaster to spend time with different sports?

It didn't. It became a problem when everyone began to think they were as talented as Jim McKay and could do as well as he did.

They aren't. That's what made him so special. It takes a different level of ability to cover so many sports so well, and not many people have that ability.

When they don't, and we see people like Kolber and Musberger trying to do it anyway, you get what we had last year--admissions that they didn't "get it," totally inapprproiate comparisons between sports that aren't the same, and so on.

Jim McKay treated every sport he covered as a unique kind of competition, no matter what it was. He didn't compare apples and oranges (or footbll and stock car racing). He became an expert on each sports and its participants, so he could tell us what he didn't already know.

Those are the kind of things today's lesser talent doesn't get and isn't doing, and if they don't, then they need to stick with covering the sport they know and enjoy.

And Waltrip? He's trying to do the same thing ESPN does: tell us how to feel about what we see, tell us why we're wrong. But we already know how we feel about Myers, and if we don't like him, he's not going to change that by telling us how much he likes Myers.

Proof that telling us how to feel ain't working: at last look, 82% of the people who voted in DW's own poll say they "hate" the "Boggity, boogity, boogity."

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
"When things are going well, TV issues don't appear. When things are not going so well, the conversations invariably begin."

This doesn't deal specifically with Myers (for the record, I like him), but it's an FYI: Stacy Compton said he's returning full-time to the Truck Series. He said he won't be an ESPN analyst anymore.

So that's one change. Wonder what's next.

Ritchie said...

Mr. Daly, I guess what you are saying is that if ratings keep falling for NASCAR overall, the format that FOX developed will be revamped. This change, if I am following you correctly, will come in the form of the SPEED set where three racing insiders sit on a platform in front of the fans to comment on the race (similar to ESPN College Gameday). And in the process they will ax the weakest link, aka - Myers. Am I close?

If I am, I have concerns. I have commented before that I believe that the FOX competitive advantage is its on-air chemistry. The other networks have personalities that snipe at each other for the entire race or have personalities that try to dominate the booth. It is tough to watch for four or five hours. I equate it to having to ride in a car with people you don't like during a vacation. It is miserable. The FOX crew seems to respect and enjoy each other. They are pleasant and enhance the race broadcast. It worries me if they are planning to tamper with the chemistry. I believe Coke tried that and it was a disaster.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the need to bust on Chris Myers. Out of all the "outsiders" that should be criticized, he is one that does not make my blood boil, and quite often he is mildly amusing. I haven't seen evidence here that we are so offended by this guy. It even seems that slightly more people support him than not. For all the people I wish WOULD respond to legitimate criticisms here, I am sorry that DW (who I do not like) had to respond to this non-issue. If we could get someone in DW's position to comment on EK, Rusty or Suzie, that would be what we really need. Myers may be "goofy" and an "outsider", but he has been around awhile and is professional. I hardly believe "critical eyes will be turning towards him" when there are truly bad hosts and announcers now out there.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:19, someone has sabotaged that poll. Last night there were a little of 8,000 votes and over 70% were in favor of DW continuing his bbb saying. This morning there are 63,000 votes and 83% are against it. I don't think over 50,000 individual voters cast their vote overnight. Sorry to get off topic John but I think that needed some extra input.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with a person from another sport covering NASCAR. I do have a problem when that person (insert ESPN person's name here) gives off the vibe that they "DREW THE SHORT STRAW."

Anonymous said...

I hardly believe "critical eyes will be turning towards him" when there are truly bad hosts and announcers now out there.

What, is that Myers' new personal slogan?

"You could do worse"?

"Critical eyes" have been turned toward him for several years now. It's nothing new. Sadly, he hasn't improved and Fox clearly doesn't care.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Just so we are on the same page, no one is "busting" on Chris Myers. Everyone who steps in front of a TV camera is used to their performance being discussed.

One key issue from the column is simply the fact that NASCAR TV coverage from both TNT and ESPN included on-air personalities not familiar with the sport.

As the coverage now swings back to Fox, the only person in their group who is not a fulltime racing person is Myers. Even Mike Joy is seen on other programs like the Barrett-Jackson auction and appears on other programs for SPEED like Wind Tunnel.

This is just a TV discussion on a TV website about a TV crew walking back into a very different fan base after six years of being the leader of the pack where NASCAR TV is concerned.

We enjoy diverse opinions. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

How many season's do you have to work at the track to no longer be a rookie? Jeez. Seems like the majority of your readers do not share your sentiments. I have actually heard Chris correct Jeff or DW when their info was not correct and I happen to know that the producer was not whispering in his ear. He DOES pay attention. Maybe the content should be more serious ,but dang it,sometimes racing is boring. And folks, that just isn't the networks fault. Make the races more interesting on the track and I promise that is what the announcers will talk about. What a thought,huh?

Anonymous said...

Do away with the Hollywood Hotel completely. Don't like Myers or Hammond. Their kind of comedy is not funny. DW says what Myers does in an "act". We don't want to see an "act". We want racing.

DW, please no more B-B-B!!!!

elena said...

I agree with anon at 8.15 about DW's poll on bbb. When I voted, there had been almost 12,000 and it was 68% for. Then it changed in a few hours to anti. Like DW says, he does this poll evey year and pro votes win. Something is fishy.

There are some personalities that have sayings that annoy some and others find endering. John Madden and his "Boom!", and Dick Enberg and his "Oh my!" My favorite chef, Emeril and "Bam", which I hate. Their whole body of work should not be clouded by one or two repeated words.

Speaking of versitile, Dick Enberg started announcing 3 sports his first year. He did baseball, NFL, and UCLA basketball. As the years wore on, he added the Olympics, golf, and tennis. I don't think he was ever considered an "outsider" in any of those jobs. I don't think he ever played sports in college and for sure never in the pros.

All this is jsut to say that I don't think Chris or anyone of the on air personalities have to stick to just one sport.

Tripp said...

JD- Regardless of your column's intent, it appears to many of us that you are piling on Myers. If Mike Joy's Q&A column are accurate, and I believe they are, there is a strong bond between the personalities in both the booth and HH. For DW to publicly defend his team member is to be expected. I would do the same for any friend that I believed was being sniped at, fairly or not.

I know that this is your outlet for both news and commentary on our favorite sport, but I would happily move onto other aspects of TV's NASCAR coverage and let Mr. Myers ready himself for Daytona.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Everyone has an ability to participate in a these discussions. I find it interesting in this one to see how many people have completely missed the point.

It makes no difference what the NASCAR on Fox Studio Host's name is for this topic. In this case, it happens to be an on-air talent named Chris Myers who has had the same freelance gig with NASCAR for several years.

Are the memories of the problems with NASCAR on TV gone? Take a moment to go back and read some of the archives, including the ones where fans were outraged at Marc Fein and Suzy Kolber for their lack of NASCAR knowledge.

The entire point of these two articles was to focus on the fact that the NASCAR fan base Myers and the Fox gang is walking into for 2008 is different.

The problems with TNT and ESPN simply bring added presssure for Fox this season, which you all will certainly see once the mainstream press gets around to Daytona 500 previews.

This column has nothing, as I have said many times, to do with Mr. Myers who is an ESPN "grad" just like me. It could be Ms. Zelasko or Tim Brando or Brent Musburger.

Just wait until Daytona, and then I promise to re-visit this topic. Thanks for all the input.


Anonymous said...

I would like to see both Waltrips and Chris Meyers leave the announcer booth. It is not a circus that is on TV it is a race. Quit clowning around.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty fundamental.

Watch an NFL broadcast. Nobody ever says "The team with the ball needs to advance ten yards to get a first down." They don't have a broadcaster not familiar with the sport ask a former player in the booth "Gosh, does it hurt to get knocked over by an opposing player like that?" And they sure don't have too adjunct commentators sitting in the hot tub together in a comdedy piece. The Hollywood Hotel and it's denziens need to be added to the scrap heap right alongside "Drafttracks"

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
I would like to see both Waltrips and Chris Meyers leave the announcer booth. It is not a circus that is on TV it is a race. Quit clowning around.

January 12, 2008 1:11 PM "

I thought I was the only one! I think the poll is probably right. I did my part by voting NO and I have never met anyone who liked it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
I percieve your point being that the NASCAR TV fan base viewers are at a point very similar to what the American colonists were at just before the Boston Massacre: one more incident or spark and we will leave FOX, TNT and ESPN in droves and get our racing input by radio, internet or other means. The ratings will plunge and the networks will experience severe revenue problems in this second year of a multi-year contract with few prospects to improve it in coming years because the hard core fan base is gone for good, except for SPEED pre, post and other days programming on TV.
That the bedrock TV fan base is in pain, outraged and disgusted is nowhere more evident than in your column of January 1st, "Decision Time for Viewers". It's like there's one of those oversized "Looney Tunes" bear traps right in front of FOX as they come down the path into 2008 broadcasting (and it wasn't there last year!).
Chris Myers himself is not the problem. Personally, I find him engaging and interested in the sport. But if its "business as usual" on FOX, the pent-up tidal wave created from discontent of the fan base from 2007 will hit FOX hard despite their having done the best job overall of the three TV partners. By the time TNT shows up and then ESPN, the fan base will have been long gone.
But I leave you with another question: what happens if FOX does a better job in its segment in 2008, but at TNT or ESPN its still "business-as-usual"? What then of the fan base? If they walk in midseason, will they be back at all in '09? Many posters have, in previous columns, expressed the intent to walk away in midseason and get their race info by other means. Will they ever return?
Thanks, JD, for your dedication.
Tom in Dayton, OH.

Unknown said...

I can’t put my finger on exactly why but I have never really been a fan of Myers. He just does not seem natural to me in NASCAR. He seems phony and his banter seems forced. I just get the feeling he is there to get a paycheck. And really in my opinion he adds NOTHING to the race coverage. I don’t care to hear a Myers/Waltrip Improv Act. Leave the comedy to the professionals.

In general I don’t see the value the infield booths add to the telecast other then taking away from green flag racing in many cases. I have grown to ignore pre game/race shows in all sports. I think they serve little if any purpose and I generally do not enjoy them. My wish would be start the telecasts about 15 minutes before the green flag. Run through a few quick things before the race starts like is there rain in the area, engine changes, to the back of the field, sick drivers etc. And let it rip.

DW telling us we are lucky we have Myers is comical. Mr. Waltrip you are lucky to have us, the fans. It feels like a broken record. JD has loyal posters that repeat the problems they see with the telecasts. It just feels like the information is never going to circulate through the Bureaucracy and make it to the decision makers that can or will make changes. It gets old having people associated with NASCAR telling us how great the telecasts are so we should like them. Basically telling us we are stupid for not liking the inferior product they are trying to jam down our throats. Not inferior in production efforts but definitely inferior in delivering what race fans want. RACING!!!!!!!

To me the telecasts have become cartoonish. It’s a sporting event and not a music video. Tone down the graphics and extra gadgets. I would be happy if there were no infield booth. Just give me a good team working the booth and a good team working pit road/infield care center. That would be perfect.

And for the millionth time Allen Bestwick needs to be the lead announcer in somebody’s booth. Why he is not is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the world.

Anonymous said...

I like Chris. I see him learning more about NASCAR and enjoying it. To me that is all I need. I hope he continues.

Vince said...

Why do we need a Hollywood Hotel? What is the point? Somebody please tell me. The whole concept was stupid from the start. I personally have nothing against Myers. I'm sure he's a nice guy and all that. But the fact is, he's not needed. Nor is Brad or Suzy on ESPN/ABC. Somebody tell me what other sport has something like the HH? Or has so called hosts who don't know the sport.

What I want to see and hear when I turn on to watch the race, is the race! DUH! How hard is that? I don't want clowns yucking it up in the booth or in the HH. I want the commentators to be experienced racing professionals. I've heard arguements here that because Myers has been around for 7 years, he's basically paid his dues. That's a crock! Jerry Springer's been around for years too, does that make his show good tv? Just because someone has longivity in what they do, doesn't mean they are good at it.

We do not need "hosts". What other sport has them? None! If I was a new fan and turned on the prerace for the first time and saw Myers, DW and Hammond and their circus; I'd turn to something else. Fast.

Of course DW is going to defend Myers. It's his coworker. But DW is another of the many people in the media and in Nascar who think things are all rosy and fans are not leaving the sport in droves and the racing is great. They are not in the real world. Fans are not happy with a multitude of things going on in Nascar and instead of criticizing the fan, they should be looking at solutions.

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Even if ratings slide again this year, I don't see FOX changing the format. FOX has hit on a successful formula since their entrance into the sport, and I certainly don't see the talent taking the hit for sliding ratings. The FOX execs are smarter than that. After all, Murdoch doesn't suffer fools.

The sports landscape is an increasingly fractured, landscape. One only has to look at the other sports ratings to see that NASCAR is not the only sport taking a hit.

Let's be honest here, as far as TV is concerned, it's possible that NASCAR has simply peaked in terms of audience. They've attempted to grow the sport to a mainstream audience while avoiding alienating their core fan base. That's a tough line to walk, and they haven't been particularly successful at either. I believe that this blog is putting an undo amount of focus on the role of the broadcast coverage, rather than the larger problems with the sport and governing body.

Anonymous said...

This has made interesting reading. I understood the point, JD. As for me, I just want to see cars on the track. Any interruption to green-flag racing is not going to make me happy.

As for Chris Myers, I’m sure that he is a nice guy, hard working, and doesn’t kick his dog. I just don’t enjoy his act. For someone who has earned a paycheck for all these seasons, why is he still the “Gee, what’s this all about?” guy. Sorry Myers fans, I just don’t enjoy fake.

Anonymous said...

I have been a long time watcher of NAscar along with other main stream sports. I agree that a person does not need to be a one sport announcer but the issue to me really seems to be with the silly and inane antics that the prerace shows and during the race that accompany the real action.
What drew people to the sport was the action not the staged theatrics. The focus should be on the racing and the pre race shows need to be giving us info that is pertinent to the race and the season. Finding people that work well in the booth nad trackside is critical but their talents get muddied and obscured by the networks senseless ideas of entertainment. THE RACE IS THE ENTERTAINMENT NOT THE ANNOUNCERS PERSONALITIES.
The best part at times is watching the interactions by those racing and those reporting. Focus on that more with meaningful dialogue.
I have been reading your site for some time and find it engaging and thoughtful. You bring up many good points that need to be discussed. I only wish that the networks and the NASCAR heads would join the discussion so they can truly grow the sport along without losing the core of their fan base. Thanks for having this forum and please do not stop.

Anonymous said...

I am no Chris Meyers fan, but I do prefer him to DW any day.I think Meyers spends more time preparing for broadcasts than DW does.Lack of preparation REALLY SHOWS on DW's part, also give him a monitor so he can see what we see. Plus that REAL DOPEY demeanor that he and his brother Michael put on has gotten SOOO OLD.Hopefully DW will prepare this year, and both of them will stop trying to be funny, AS THEY ARE NOT.

Anonymous said...

Bravo to Amen about the idiotic clowning around. Just broadcast the race, learn your job better, take the lead from Mike Joy who is(Professional) as good as it gets. Drop the idiotic boogity s--t.Poor Mike must cringe at some of the idiotic comments DW says during the broadcasts.Please show us you can get better.

Anonymous said...

Just wait until Daytona, and then I promise to re-visit this topic.
So then you've decided to continue doing this blog, then?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nice try, I am talking to a lot of folks about what to do. Luckily for me, there are a lot of options. It would be great to continue, but the time and labor took a lot of energy and other things.

In the meantime, keep a good thought.


Anonymous said...

Here is my problem with Chris Meyers: When I watch his interviews on the Tennis Channel he is great. The interviews are intelligent, well thought out and highly entertaining. When he does Nascar coverage he seems to be assuming that people are morons and enjoy humor at the level of a six year old kid. Maybe there is a difference in the average education of a tennis fan vs Nascar fan, but I am both, I have a graduate degree and don't like being talked to as if I am functionally retarded. Chris Meyers is capable of intelligent coverage and that is what I want to see from him this year.

Anonymous said...

Meyers is an excellent sports broadcaster who actually seems to like covering Nascar. Imagine that! His knowledge increases as time goes on because the guy actually seems to want to know this stuff. Having seen Meyers covering other sports, I have to say that he seems happiest covering Nascar. Sure, he can get a bit annoying at times, but he isn't annoying all the time. That makes him the best of the bunch for the "odd men out" as you put it. Kolber and Musberger are both clearly so far out of their element that they flail about like a fish out of water. I'd much rather have TNT and ESPN work something out to have Meyers as infield host throughout the entire season rather than to endure another partial season of half hearted coverage by people who neither know the sport nor really wish to be covering it.

Anonymous said...

When I posted on the original blog, my comments were about the TV race coverage on all networks, not an individual announcer. In my mind, DW, Jeff, and that other guy that says, "Boys, tighten those belts one more time" need to go. Michael Waltrip (used car saleman) needs to go too. All of them have big mouths, not professional broadcasting abilities. Being in or having been in the sport does not breed broadcasting ability. I remember when these guys use to sit on the hood of their race cars at the Twin City Motel prior to the Bristol Races, begging for fans to talk to them. Let's get some professional announcers who know the sport, and will cover the entire field, not just JR, Gordon, Jimmy, and Tony.

Anonymous said...

A big problem Nascar (and other motorsports) has is acceptance from the other major sports (stick-and-ball). For years, the national reporters ignored Nascar, usually putting it down as "redneck" etc. So hating on the on air talent that doesn't have a Nascar or motorsports background simply hinders the sport.

The networks are not going to target long time Nascar fans -- they wouldn't survive. They need new fans, fans that might recognize a Meyers or Zelasko on a football or baseball telecast and maybe watch a bit of the racing coverage.

Anonymous said...

Would love to see Buddy Baker on FOX!!!

Anonymous said...

I remember about 8 Years ago Mike Joy covered play by play for a College Football game for CBS. As did Eli Gould.

Anonymous said...

You have a terrific column JD, I have enjoyed reading it and have never before posted. I agree with the folks that the entire pre-race silliness is so dumb to watch. I no longer watch the pre-race shows as they are rediculously long, and redundant. We have learned that if the race schedule says it will start at 1 p.m., they really mean the comedy clowns will be on for at least 90 minutes. We get to know what color underwear Kasey Kane has on this week and we wonder what psychotic event Tony Stewart will have. We will have an explanation for the one millionth time of how the lug nuts are glued on the wheels..wowie zowie...really? We then start checking the TV after about 90 minutes to hear Doofus Waltrip go boogity-boogity...actually, anymore, we turn on PRN and turn off the TV sound. The last two years, we bought the Nascar raceview so that we could try to enjoy the race, but even it bored us as much as restrictor plate racing...yes, I said it...boring. We no longer go to Daytona as we did for many years and this year we have planned a trip away and will not bother with Daytona cause the real racing starts after that. Also, how freakin dumb is it to take the week AFTER Daytona OFF after having been off for three months? It is as if Daytona really is not a part of the real season, its just a crapshoot of who will manage to finish the race with most of their car intact. If I were an owner and had all this money poured into a race car that is likely to be destroyed, I would sit this one out. Frankly, I blame restrictor plate racing for the death of Dale Earnhardt. These drivers are the best in the world but it is unthinkable that Nascar does not WANT "the big one" to happen. Everyone knows it is going to happen. How can it not happen, even several times usually. What possible explanation could there be for making the cars so exactly alike that they MUST run like this? The "room of doom" inspection seems like an appropriate name to me. Is this really Nascar racing? THESE are STOCK cars? Okay, tell you what, make the Fords, and Chevys, and Toyotas run the same engines they sell us and we will see how they build OUR cars. I know it would take all day to go 500 miles, make them 200 mile races with bodies like the stuff they sell the public, with those engines....Stock cars? Gimmee a break...hey, does anyone know when the Pro Bowling season begins? Nothing against Myers, but can someone tell him to lose the suit for goodness sakes? And that dumb Hollywood Hotel...I never thought I would say it, but the fun races are now the short tracks and the road racing tracks. Okay, I feel better now...God Bless all the fans that keep waiting for our beloved sport to come back to us. Zenrider

elena said...

I have been very interested in reading all the comments on this thread. I come away realizing that like DW says, you cannot please everyone all the time.

Many write and complain that drivers cannot be themselves, and yet those same people want everyone to be like Benny or JD or whoever.

Many write that the old fans are not being conisdered. Well, many of the old fans just want to live in the past. That is not what the industry wants. It's obvious why if we read some of the comments. Advertizers want younger fans because they are NOT SET IN THEIR WAYS.

I'm glad to hear from JD that there are going to be some improvements in NASCAR TV this season. That's a good thing, but fans cannot run an industry. I hear all these sugestions on how to run the NFL, NASCAR, MLB, etc. These are billion dollar industries. Of course they want to succeed, but they cannot consider every suggestion--and some suggestions are just plain crazy.

I hope some fans can overlook some of the distractions they don't like, and enjoy the races.

Unknown said...

Rick said...
Also, how freakin dumb is it to take the week AFTER Daytona OFF after having been off for three months? It is as if Daytona really is not a part of the real season, its just a crapshoot of who will manage to finish the race with most of their car intact.

Ummm...Rick. Have you checked out the 2008 schedule? First off weekend isn't until Easter.

Anonymous said...

Tabula Rasa wrote at 3:17 pm:
--I believe that this blog is putting an undo amount of focus on the role of the broadcast coverage, rather than the larger problems with the sport and governing body.

While TV is and should be the focus of this blog, since no one else covers it this closely, I agree that that NASCAR itself is coming up against some big trouble this season.

Think of how many big team Sprint Cup cars have no sponsor announced for the 2008 season or, at minimum, Daytona: #s 01,40, 27, 28, 38,00, 70. The #4 shop closed down last Friday. The #6 sponsor, AAA already announced they aren't coming back next year, so the #6 and #31 sponsors (because of AT&T) won't be back in 2009. And that's just so far in 2008. Frankly I find this extremely disturbing and a bad omen to start the season.

Craftsman Trucks and Nationwide Series. Are they going to be able to have full fields at most races this year? I'm not sure.

So there may be factors beyond the TV coverage which affect how fans feel about watching - supporting NASCAR this season.

Anonymous said...

Wow JD, what goes around comes around. Again thank you for this.
Yes I did read DW's post and voted on the BBB.(its tired, i voted no more of it) and don't you know, they have a tech problem with it right now. We(the silent majority) love what you do. And are so happy that you and those of us who express ourselves here just may have a chance at letting NASCAR get with the program.

Kingston, NY

Anonymous said...

I am just a bit excited that we appear to be getting responses. We have a voice!!!

I believe this year, we will be saying one of two things.
1. Hey, Fox does a pretty fine job. I want them so much more than TNT or ESPN.
or 2. Hey, Fox really isn't that much better than TNT or ESPN.
None of us has had such a focus on the TV coverage in previous years, and this time, we may be more critical than previously.

I wish Myers would not play the fool so much. He is a decent broadcaster, and is better than that.
I wish Hammond was better used, and I hope Fox think it out.
We need more Joy. Mike Joy that is. He is by far the best of the Fox bunch, and needs to be more involved in the other parts of the Telecast. (Like Bestwick should be for ESPN)

Fox need to pull out all the stops, and make this years Nascar on Fox the best ever. That would really put TNT and ESPN under pressure.

Newracefan said...

First of all thanks DW for reading this blog, now I know you are hearing what Nascar fans want and I respect your need to defend Chris Myers just like Steve Byrnes defended Carl Edwards. I would expect nothing less.  I do not have a problem with Chris Myers or any of the Fox crew and I voted to keep BBB.  I also think because of such awful coverage by TNT and ESPN we are remembering Fox as being better than they were and will be very critial when they start.  The first thing many of us did when Speed's coverage started this week was to complain about logos, picture quality etc.  Fox has got their work cut out for them, living up our ever increasing expectations,  We'll will need to be careful not to be so critical that those that can affect change will no longer listen.

Anonymous said...

The first thing many of us did when Speed's coverage started this week was to complain about logos, picture quality etc.


And the next day, SPEED fixed those problems.

Talk about great customer service!

Of course, not every TV network is that responsive to complaints....

GinaV24 said...

It figures that DW would jump in and jump on the fans about a fellow broadcaster. Instead of taking that point of view, he would have been better to read what was written and understand where the fans are coming from on these issues. I was watching the Fox broadcast of the football game over the weekend and Chris Myers was on the sideline there and guess what? He didn't try to be "funny" there, he just did his job. That's what I want in a NASCAR broadcast too. Do your job. It can be informative and entertaining without trying to be a clown -- that goes for DW, too because he can get on my last nerve with his cheerleading during a race, too. Be professional. As one other poster said -- it's not a circus, we don't need clowns. I like the analogy of the cartoon beartrap in front of the upcoming season. From my perspective that is very accurate because, in my opinion, Fox and TNT have had since 2001 to get it right so they should be improving the broadcasts, not dumbing them down. Personally, I don't mind Chris Myers, but I would like to see him lose the "I don't know anything about NASCAR". After 7 years around the sport, if he doesn't, well, that's his own fault.

Anonymous said...

but I would like to see him lose the "I don't know anything about NASCAR". After 7 years around the sport, if he doesn't, well, that's his own fault.

Who told these guys that there has to be a idiot on the broadcst to represent the "fans"?

Does someone play this role on NFL broadcasts? ("I don't know much about football, so...")

How about baseball?


So stop insulting NASCAR fans. Myers should be an expert by now, and if he isn't, then he should go.