Saturday, May 17, 2008

SPEED Makes All-Star Night Worth The Wait


What it all comes down to is the racing. Ultimately, the role of the NASCAR TV partners is simply to translate the action on the track to the TV screens at home. Saturday night in Charlotte, the SPEED TV team did exactly that.

It has been a long week for the TV network. All-Star programming on SPEED has included the Pit Crew Challenge, a special version of Wind Tunnel, and original programming like Wendy Venturini's Hometown Heroes.

The network has hosted a preview show every night from the SPEED Studios and worked through technical glitches that come with the live TV business. By the end of the All-Star race, NASCAR fans once again had been well-served by this cable TV network.

It was Brian France last Fall who said very pointedly that SPEED was a vital NASCAR TV partner and he expected that relationship to grow in the future. His words spoke volumes for just how far this relatively young TV network had come since it first stepped into the NASCAR world as SpeedVision.

SPEED set the right tone for the All-Star evening by putting Krista Voda and Jeff Hammond together in the infield SPEED Stage. These two were outstanding, and Voda brings a fresh new on-air dynamic when she is off of pit road and hosting the telecast. Hammond is focused and allowed to shine without interference.

As usual, the NASCAR on Fox gang of Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip provided the commentary for the All-Star evening. Joy earned his money from his appearances on-camera in the pre-race show through his energetic call of the on-track action in the final segment of the All-Star race.

Waltrip and McReynolds reprised their comfortable roles in the booth, with Waltrip continuing to try and balance his personal Toyota relationship with his commentary on Kyle Busch. This is a tough task, and fans are certainly going to find something he said and take him to task for it. In a way, Busch being eliminated from the race helped with the end of the broadcast where Waltrip's commentary was concerned.

SPEED's John Roberts and Steve Byrnes showed once again their versatility and endurance as they were seemingly on every SPEED All-Star show during the week. At the track, they even handled the driver and pit crew introductions from the main stage over the PA system.

Byrnes continues to be a NASCAR on-air presence that brings all three elements of sports announcing to the table. Byrnes hosts multiple studio shows, handles the pit reporting, and then hosts live on-track practice in the play-by-play role. As the season continues, he will add even more TV duties on SPEED as the "Chase for the Championship" begins.

One short video clip from a SPEED promo shows John Roberts unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a Superman T-shirt. Regular viewers of SPEED may have already suspected that Roberts is not really from this planet. On Saturday, Roberts hosted an exhausting three hour RaceDay program, introduced the drivers for the All-Star race and then handled the hosting duties for the post-race Victory Lane Show.

Of all the SPEED on-air personalities, Roberts handles the weekend duties with seemingly very little wear-and-tear. His story of transitioning from a part-time local TV sports anchor to a full-time national broadcaster is amazing. There is a very long way to go in the NASCAR season, so Superman better hang-on tight to that t-shirt.

The RaceDay show is a jewel for SPEED. The TV series has posted double-digit increases in ratings this season. The interesting thing is that no one reason explains why. It is an "ensemble" show in the best sense of the word. There is no star, and everyone pitches-in on a regular basis to keep the sport itself as the priority.

Venturini is having another solid year in her reporter and interviewer roles. Her first hour-long prime-time TV special, Hometown Heroes, was a big hit on Wednesday night. She is now joined by Hermie Sadler in the RaceDay reporter role. Sadler's on-air style is different from Venturini, but what they share is a comfort level in the NASCAR garage that is difficult at best for others to attain.

Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace continue to mix the serious and the ridiculous on a regular basis without warning. Spencer can be talking seriously about topics like changing the COT one hour into RaceDay after appearing in lipstick and a wig in the opening sequence. Unfortunately, that brief moment is now burned into the minds of many SPEED viewers.

Wallace continues to walk the line between driver and commentator. His personality and self-effacing manner will keep him a fan favorite, but his crash in qualifying ended his hopes for driving in this year's All-Star race.

Rutledge Wood continues to wander through the NASCAR on SPEED landscape as though he is unaware of the very strong feelings about him. While he may serve a certain age group with his antics, he often does not seem to be serving the sport itself very well. There are simply topics and moments that deserve respect. The fun and laughter of Roberts, Wallace and Spencer is very different than the manufactured comedy of Wood. That contrast is not lost on many RaceDay viewers.

By the end of the night, SPEED had once again shown to both the fans and NASCAR that additional NASCAR TV programming has merit. Not just for one week around a special race, but regularly on SPEED to tell the stories not contained in one hour of This Week in NASCAR on Monday.

After a day of rest on Sunday, SPEED returns once again to a TV network dominated by "lifestyle" shows. Monday's lone prime-time NASCAR hour show is surrounded by Supercars Exposed, Car Crazy at the SEMA Show and a highlight show of the Barrett-Jackson summer car auction.

SPEED made the All-Star race fun, worked hard to support the event, and pulled-off a nice finale with the on-track action. The seamless cooperation between the NASCAR on Fox personalities and the SPEED production crew was outstanding.

Perhaps, some of the All-Star programming will be added in video form to the open-wheel dominated SPEEDtv.com website. Other than YouTube, the network's website seems to be the only source for NASCAR content during the week from SPEED.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.

41 comments:

Karen said...

JD said ...

Rutledge Wood continues to wander through the NASCAR on SPEED landscape as though he is unaware of the very strong feelings about him. While he may serve a certain age group with his antics, he often does not seem to be serving the sport itself very well.

JD, what do you expect him to do; quit his job b/c we might think he's goofy? I think it's up to Speed to focus his energies elsewhere. I'm sure he's very aware of the landscape and knows how we speak of him. After all, TPTB have the final say-so on his pieces. He's just trying to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given to have a Speed job. I'm not a fan of his by any means, but I don't know if it's his own fault.

As for the coverage of the race, it was far and above the best I've seen in a long time. Excitement in the booth, fewer commercials, good camera work.

Finally, although Jr. is my driver, I like Kyle Busch a lot. If it wasn't for him, who in NASCAR would we be talking about if not Kyle re: the excitement factor? No wonder DW is such a fan and I think it has nothing to do with Toyota. Probably reminds him of himself and Dale, Sr.

Cypress said...

Two comments:

1) I think Steve Byrnes is the weakest link. I don't know if he gets nervous, or is trying to talk too fast, but he is rapidly becoming king of the mush-mouth and mixed-up words. It seems to happen every week on TWIN that he stumbles over his words or starts the wrong announcement and then has to stop cold and start the right one. This was on display again, especially during driver introductions, when it seems poor Steve couldn't seem to get a single car number, name, order, anything correct. It was painfully embarassing.

2) I don't think Darrell Waltrip's comments on Kyle Busch have anything to do with his relationship with Toyota. I think it 100% has to do with Busch's incredibly aggressive driving style. That was DW's style and Dale Earnhardt's style. Not many drivers have driven as hard as Busch does since these two. It got those two drivers hated by the crowd early in their careers, and it is happening to Kyle Busch now, too. I think DW sees himself in young, untamed, but completely dripping-with-talent Busch, and as a result he's decided that's his boy. I don't think it has anything to do with Toyota... it's not like DW was heaping it on Denny Hamlin's Toyota when he was winning. This is a Busch thing with DW, not a Toyota thing... in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

JD,
While you were heaping all that praise on Speed about their performance last night, you failed to mention the fact that they bailed out of the young man singing "God Bless America" prematurly to go to commericial!Also, now being aware that I can't mention any names, someone on the on-air staff is getting FAT! We both know who that person is.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

short and sweet. Yes, there were some glitches. But I did enjoy the All-Star Night broadcast. Thanks SPEED.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Karen,

I don't expect him to quit. What SPEED is doing is making him the clown on RaceDay and then trying to use him as a reporter and a host in other NASCAR programs from the track. It's not working.

Cypress,

Byrnes has been around NASCAR since the late 1980's and is loaded with knowledge. He took the challenge of TWIN, and it certainly has proved to be a challenge. I didn't quite hear the same thing you did on Saturday, and I never got a sense that there was a problem.

You could be absolutely right about DW and Toyota. The problem that he has is perception. If you read my column again I did not say he was prejudiced, only that fans have a tough time sorting things out when DW is so clearly and deeply connected to Toyota in his non-TV life.

Anon 8:16AM,

I am trying to get an answer on that one. SPEED has never had a problem in a NCTS race with the pre-race, so I wonder who made the call to go to commercial? As for someone gaining weight, I think you should leave poor Kenny Wallace alone!

JD

Anonymous said...

Coverage of the race was way better than the race itself. All the hype for weeks of the All-Star was let down, again, by the COT. The energy in the booth was overshadowed by the follow-the-leader aspects of the new car.
It seemed no matter which driver was leading the race took off 3-4 seconds ahead of the second place car. The rest of the field was strung out just about the entire length of the track.
NASCAR must address this COT for better racing and quit relying on the Busch-Dale Jr. fights to help with ratings and ticket sales. It's not only gas prices keeping fans out of the stands, it's the poor racing from a poorly designed race car.
Like I said, coverage of the race was as best I've seen all year and it was really nice to watch a race without all the tickers all over my TV screen.

Steve L
TN

Daly Planet Editor said...

Steve,

Now that Dale Jarrett is officially off the track, I think we will be hearing a lot of opinions from him very soon about the COT and the issues associated with that project.

Keep your eye on "NASCAR Now" this week.

JD

Anonymous said...

SPEED really ought to re-think the Rutledge Wood issue.

He has very limited appeal, if any.

His sideshow act distracts and detracts from the topic at hand, which is stock car racing.

Anonymous said...

As someone who already pays the cable company enough, I am not paying more for a channel that has essentially one event a year. This niche channel is not a way to promote the sport.

I missed all the commentary and race.

As a under 50 NASCAR fan since the 60s when I lived in Charlotte...I found, like last year, I did not miss it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:41AM,

What are you talking about?
SPEED has the Craftsman Trucks, tons of NASCAR stuff every weekend, and the All-Star race.

Are you mad SPEED costs more from your cable company?

Newracefan said...

Enjoyed the night of Nascar (the racing not so much, perhaps when everyone's car looks like a crab something will change). I thought that was one of the best RaceDays yet and I loved Krista working with Hammond. It's just the clown act from Myers that I don't like otherwise he is fine. I also don't think it's a Toyota thing, there are a ton of other Toyota drivers DW could be all over (Tony, Denny, Vickers, even Reutimann) and he's not, I think he is just amazed with Kyle's driving ability. I saw the lane change last night and I was amazed, I actually replayed it. Rutledge, we've seen him not be so goofy on an occasion with decent results. Maybe someday Speed will figure out we don't need to keep those school kids entertained. Overall a great night for Speed.

kang said...

It was good to see lap after lap of uninterrupted race coverage.Even as bad as the racing was.However Fox had a time interval that was worthless.It was just as bad as the time interval used in the truck race the night before.Fox could have "brought over" the new time interval,instead they chose to bring "digger".Good to see their priorities are still with three year old kids.I just wish they would offer more to race fans old enough to read.

ttc said...

anon (10:am): Your first paragraph was spot on!

No announcing hype can hide the fact that it basically it was boring night.

COT racing is fast resembling F1, where the best action on the track is often a pass for ninth place!

batchief said...

Great and appreciated comments JD. My wife and I totally enjoyed the broadcast from beginning to end. Krista and Jeff were outstanding together, again. I don't think Speed was the only one who thought that the man, who did a very good job, singing God Bless America had finished when he didn't as it sounded like a lot of people at the track thought he was finished also. I so many applauding and sitting when Speed broke for commercial.

Anonymous said...

With the exception of DW, who I'm tired of hearing drone on and on about his Golden Boy el Shrubbo, I thought everyone did a great job. (It probably pained DW greatly to have to talk about other drivers who were running well once his Golden Boy was forced to drop out of the race.)

It was nice to see Krista and Jeff having fun and joking around. It was nice to just see/hear all of the reporters and drivers having fun. That's the way it should be. Why should reporters be uptight, stuffed shirts all the time? Why be so serious all the time? It's the All-Star race for Pete's sake. It's SUPPOSED to be fun! For everyone.

I happen to be a fan of Rutledge and look forward to his funny bits. Same thing with Jimmy Spencer and the RaceDay guys. These guys and their ability to mix jokes in with their reporting is what makes me watch them. If they were serious and boring all of the time, chances are I wouldn't even bother to tune in.

The burnout competition was great. I absolutely loved that Jimmie Johnson threw the 'rules' out the window and put on a good show for the fans. The driver interviews were a blast, too.

If only the other networks would loosen up some and have more fun.

Vicky D said...

I was already tired of the All Star race just from watching all the promos for it for weeks and weeks. It was funny that each segment had a different car dominate but all in all the broadcast was fairly entertaining. I am tired of Kenny & Jimmy on Raceday & Victory Lane, Speed needs some new faces.

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more with Vicki D opinion.

I find myself unable to watch all of the "Humpy Hype" pre race intros etc. Drum line banging away, staging, and who cares about the Davidson basketball coaches????
Speed and the event lost me as a viewer last night. Very frustrating

Anonymous said...

Jeff Hammond and Krista Voda worked well together and Jeff got some relief from having to work with the smarmy Chris Meyers.

Chris helps me find out what else is on TV, as soon as he appears on the FOX broadcast its time to surf.

Krista is getting more air time and deservedly so, she is pleasant, knowledgeable, and professional. She did a nice job on Speed Report recently.

Every network, including Speed, seems to devote so much time to over-hyping "major" sports events. It gets tiresome and dilutes the content.

GinaV24 said...

I enjoyed the speed channel coverage of the All Star event. Its fun to see the different highlights shown beforehand. As for the coverage of the race itself, I enjoyed Jeff Hammond and Krista Voda very much. I love Mike Joy and Larry Mac, but just cannot stand DW's unprofessional cheerleading from the booth. He lost his credibility with me several years ago when he was waxing poetic over Jr every lap and with the Toyota connection and Kyle Busch, well, its too much for me to take. I thought the actual race was boring. The COT car still has the same problem as the old car -- clean air is everything and NASCAR got its parity, so if all cars are equal, how do you pass? All that equality simply produces boring follow the leader racing and no amount of TV hype will change that. They still had a lot of commercials, but it was good that we the fans did see the racing when it was on (obviously because it is a "short" race) and they had time to put their commercials in the cautiion segments. I thought the choice of shots of the field from the blimp for the start and then dropping onto the ground kind of missed for me. I thought at first they were going to show the start from the blimp and then it just turned into a really bad angle.

Anonymous said...

"I am tired of Kenny & Jimmy on Raceday & Victory Lane, Speed needs some new faces."

This is exactly what I was coming to post. I had gotten to the point last season where I just couldn't listen to Jimmy and Kenny anymore and started fast forwarding through them on RaceDay. Last night, we watched more than half of Victory Lane live and so had no choice but to listen to them.

I was really suprised at how much Jimmy STILL stumbles over his words, makes multiple mistakes (he called Dale Jarrett "Kyle Busch" and JR had to correct him) and takes forever to "push out" a thought or question - and even then it's still often unclear. Awful.

Kenny is much more suited for television in that he can put a sentence together, but he talks too much. It was also insulting that twice during VL he referred to himself in the fan vote which Kasey Kahne won, saying that people like "me and Kasey" could win the race if they got in, so it was important to keep the fan vote.

Please, Kenny! The All Star race fan vote had become a joke with all of the politicking, including Kenny using his SPEED platform to win his spot last year and Dale Jr using his position to "endorse" a candidate (Truex, who won the vote a couple years back, and Sadler, who came in third this year).

Thank goodness the fans voted in the one top-five finalist who didn't campaign at all (Kahne, who said Friday he didn't deserve to be in the All-Star race this year) and who has actually won seven races since 2005 - unlike Kenny Wallace.

I'm sure Wallace and Spencer are nice people, but their TV expiration dates are just about up, IMO.

And Krista Voda was an excellent pre-race host.

Karen said...

Cypress said...

I think Steve Byrnes . . . is rapidly becoming king of the mush-mouth and mixed-up words. . . This was on display again, especially during driver introductions, when it seems poor Steve couldn't seem to get a single car number, name, order, anything correct. It was painfully embarassing.

JD said. . .

I didn't quite hear the same thing you did on Saturday, and I never got a sense that there was a problem.


I certainly noticed it. In fact, the very last flub was DJ's intro. Can't quite remember what he said, but definitely a fumble.

Anonymous said...

No mention of Carl Edwards' work during the Open? He did a great job, plus he went out and raced right after! He was personable and really appeared to do his research over in the David Ragan pit.

It's almost too bad Carl has such a long career in Cup ahead of him. I'd rather he be a SPEED reporter/commentator than either of the Sadler brothers (it's clear that Elliott Sadler is already preparing for the transition to TV, which might not be too long off now.)

Anonymous said...

As someone who already pays the cable company enough, I am not paying more for a channel that has essentially one event a year. This niche channel is not a way to promote the sport.
I don't get this.
SPEED runs NASCAR material all the time, from practices to qualifying to NCTS races, to live shows.

How can you say it's for one event a year?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:12PM,

Carl has become a good role player for SPEED. He will be doing the Chase show with Steve Byrnes once again later this season.

It is hard for me to deal with an active racer reporting from an event he is about to join. I understand the novelty, and Carl is certainly well-spoken.

In the same way that several of our posters mentioned the conflicts with Kenny Wallace and the All-Star race, I just have a hard time with someone who is about to compete offering commentary on those he is going to compete with. Maybe that is just old school.

JD

Anonymous said...

I happen to be a fan of Rutledge and look forward to his funny bits.

I do, too.

When will there be one?

Daly Planet Editor said...

karen,

Wasn't Steve at that time reading the introduction cards given to him by JHE over the PA system?

Overall, I did not feel his work was "painful" as our poster indicated. Steve and John Roberts are the backbone of SPEED's NASCAR coverage. They both do a whole lot of TV and present an open and honest personality on-the-air.

I like the whole "what you see is what you get" thing with announcers.

JD

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Last night, we watched more than half of Victory Lane live and so had no choice but to listen to them.
May 18, 2008 4:46 PM

I only watch Victory Lane when one of my three drivers wins. That hasn't happened since last year. One of them won last night, so this was the first time I'd seen the program in a while.

In a word: horrible. Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer are terrible commentators. Terrible. John Roberts deserves a medal for being on the show with them. I know they're not going anywhere, but trust me - I won't be watching and contributing to the ratings by watching.

The emperor has no clothes...

Gymmie said...

@anon 10:41--I'm also perplexed by your comments.

@anon 1:16--I like Rutledge too. He seems really nice and he had a party for his birthday a few weeks ago (everyone was invited) with all funds going to the VJGC. I'll definitely be on the lookout for next year and hope to make it :).

I don't understand the negativity for Steve and JR "tripping" over their words. I've worked in jobs the last several years where I've had scripts or could "ad lib" but at various times had either legal jargon to read word for word and I've tripped over my words. I've had my mouth dry up when the calls have come in B2B and didn't have a second to pause and get some water. I've had to start over when the tongue and mouth weren't behaving and Lord only knows what I was attempting to say. Should I be fired?

Regardless of how long one has been doing a job they all have moments where they trip over their words, get mixed up in thought or the thought they want to say isn't coming out.

Heck, even actors who are paid zillions of dollars "mess up" and they have to re-film all the time. Otherwise we wouldn't have the Blooper shows and "outtakes"

Anonymous said...

"After a day of rest on Sunday, SPEED returns once again to a TV network dominated by "lifestyle" shows. Monday's lone prime-time NASCAR hour show is surrounded by Supercars Exposed, Car Crazy at the SEMA Show and a highlight show of the Barrett-Jackson summer car auction."

JD, You seem to have access to the Speed schedule. Up until February this year I would go to their site once a week, go to 'schedule', go to 'week of', could put it to 'print format' and easily print out on one page their schedule for the week. I can't do that anymore. Do you have access that I could use...?
Thanks, Marybeth Wallick

Anonymous said...

Actors are often filming 12-16 hours per day, five to seven days per week - especially on television. They're often given scripts which have been changed at the last minute. In that case bloopers are allowed and expected. When you're on the air live only a few hours a week, perhaps bloopers are not as allowable.

Though I have no problem at all with Steve Byrnes or John Roberts, I have noticed, like the comments above, Byrnes appears to be slightly more prone to "bloopers" than Roberts. I'll never forget when Jessica Alba, the actress, corrected him - as she should have - as he ignored three of her costars who were standing inches away from Byrnes on camera in the shot with Alba. Steve said "Jessica Alba and costars" when introducing the interview, and Jessica didn't take kindly to that and pointed out each of them by name. That wasn't really a blooper, it just came across as Byrnes being a little rude. (If you're doing FOX promotion in the first place, do it properly.) But overall they are both very good.

In Jimmy Spencer's case, the bloopers have gone on for years. He *should* be fired, though he won't be.

If your job heavily involves public speaking or broadcasting, the margin for error is - and should be - much less for that person than for someone whose job rarely involves scripts or public or recorded speaking. If you choose live broadcasting as a profession, that margin of error is even smaller. No excuses.

Karen said...

Daly Planet Editor said...

karen,

Wasn't Steve at that time reading the introduction cards given to him by JHE over the PA system?


Yes, which is my point exactly. He had done it throughout the introductions and when the biggest one came, he did it again.

I like him just fine and maybe he was tired, but for me to make a mental note of it at all is what I'm getting at. I doubt seriously that it was nerves b/c as you said, he's been doing it for so long.

Anonymous said...

I won't be watching and contributing to the ratings by watching. Do you have a Neilsen diary or a ratings meter? If not, what you watch doesn't affect ratings one way or he other.

haus20 said...

I am amazed that anyone could expect an emcee to be perfect all of the time. As someone who speaks publicly 5-6 times per week, I can tell you it is unrealistic. Even though he is reading from a script, there are many other variables that can cause him to lose his place.

SallyB said...

I think part of the problem with Kenny and Jimmy is the excessive amount of time they have to 'vamp' with the extended pre race show. It now seems that 2 or 3 hours have to be filled, and it's easy to get very tired of them. Having the same faces concentrated on the race events can make them become...redundant. Too much of a (sometimes) good thing? Maybe that's why it was so refreshing to have Krista and Jeff Hammond together. New chemistry and a face that isn't overexposed because she's not used on virtually ever other piece of NASCAR programming that Speed/Fox does.

haus20 said...

I am curious about something...I wonder if there are "bigger" plans for the Fox / Speed Pit Box for next year. It doesn't make sense that they would invest such money into that piece of equipment if they were only planning on using it a few times per year.

Anonymous said...

I won't be watching and contributing to the ratings by watching.

Do you have a Neilsen diary or a ratings meter? If not, what you watch doesn't affect ratings one way or he other.



The networks now have internet and viewer panels, which they use along with ratings. Ratings are a little harder to gauge now with DVR use and with people watching programming online. So a person without a Nielsen meter who is on a viewer panel can still affect what we are seeing. Not saying the poster is on a viewer panel, just saying networks use other feedback to make changes and evaluate their programming.

A few networks send me online surveys on programming at least once a month and have for a couple of years. I'm on email list for Fox (which recently sent me an extremely extensive survey about what I like and dislike about American Idol, which I hated this year, so look out Fox); ESPN, and NBC (and its subsidiary channels).

The surveys for some networks are often very targeted i.e. if you answer the first questions and you don't watch the specific show/type of show/sport, they say "thanks but no thanks" and then you wait until they send you another survey.

I assume Speed must have something very similar, though I'm not a part of it. But those panels can be used for change and to register displeasure with shows. For instance the Idol survey had an entire section of questions about one major theoretical change in Idol show presentation, i.e "How would you feel if ____ instead of ____ next season?" So I believe networks do use viewer feedback (including from sites like this one). Not just the numerical ratings from Nielsen families' viewing habits.

Anonymous said...

Steve said "Jessica Alba and costars" when introducing the interview, and Jessica didn't take kindly to that and pointed out each of them by name.
-------

He actually said "Jessica Alba and others" which is why I remember it, it was such a strange thing to say! (plus we were going to see that movie when it came out). It was very, very rude to refer to the rest of the cast as "and others" while they were standing right there! I thought Jessica Alba was really classy about it. She answered his first question, and then transitioned into an introduction of the rest of the cast. If you're not going to introduce all the people on camera, don't put them on the air and only put Jessica on the air. that should be a no brainer!

Desmond said...

The all-star race was very good. We were not over-exposed with Digger the gopher cam, so that was the best part.

Responding to some of the other posts:
*I did not pay too much attention to the introductions, so I will have to look at my tape again and spot the errors.
*Rutledge Wood is not funny! He is a symbol of the untalented people who somehow end up with a lot of the jobs in entertainment.
*As for the cutoff of "God Bless America": the singer chose to repeat at least part of the song and I'm sure no one expected that. Still, SPEED should have notified the commercial playback room to delay the break.

Kevin in SoCal said...

Speaking of DW and his cheerleading, I'm glad to see he's focused on someone who can actually win races this year. Last year was horrible with his constant focus on a certain driver who has remained winless in a regular points race.

glenc1 said...

The song thing wasn't a big deal to me, it's not the national anthem (though I've often heard it done with the repeated last verse--apparently the director hasn't...) Just kinda made me say 'oops'. But for those criticizing the stage stuff--um, there are actually *people* in the stands, it's not just for the benefit of TV. The Charlotte audience knows who the Davidson coaches are, many of the teams/personnel/fans live in and around the Davidson area, so they are local 'Cinderella' heroes.

Sometimes Rutledge is funny, sometimes not, but I agree, they haven't figured out just how to use him properly. People are sounding like they think Jimmy in drag is new; that isn't the first time they've done that, though it was a year or two back. Once in a a great while Jimmy is good--but not so often that they shouldn't replace him...it's time. Kenny brings enthusiasm, sometimes too much, but...I would miss him if he weren't there. As for the vote 'campaigning'...I thought that was all supposed to be funny; I don't have an issue with it, but I found it amusing that the 'other' fan nation quietly put their guy in there. I particularly enjoyed AJ and his dog, even if I thought he had no business in there (as he proved.)

I've already heard DJ talk about the COTs...heaven only knows what's in store for next Sunday, but I look forward to his take on it. As for DW and Kyle--I don't think it's because of Toyota, I think it's just because he thinks Kyle's good, even if I can't stand him. Last year they were all over Hamlin, and he was driving a Chevy at the time. They all just jump on whatever bandwagon. Personally, I think so much of it is luck and the stars aligning...and sooner or later, it will turn. And then they'll move on to 'the next big thing' in the words of Vince Gill.

It occurs to me that a boring race (which even I would admit it kinda was...) is where the commentators earn their money. I thought they did okay.

And I never have an issue with Steve Byrnes...like Joy, he's forgotten more about this stuff than the rest of us will ever know. If there was an occasional slip of the tongue, I never even noticed; even 'broadcast professionals' do it once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I enjoyed that 'A-Team' skit before the Race Day program. I think that it took a creative imagination to come up with it, and then guts to perform. These guys are not trained actors. Not everyone would be 'game' to try some of these things. They keep it 'clean'.
For jokes there is usally a straight guy and then the butt of the jokes. Rutledge seems to be comfortable with the role. I do not doubt the intelligence underneath the facade. He won my admiration when he said that he brought his pick-up to the Chicago race because his wife wanted to go antiquing. : )
Last week someone said that they did not care for Chris Myers because he was being funny when the race was intense. For that very reason, I think that he belongs and that he is good at what he does. He and Jeff Hammond make a good match.
Marybeth