Sunday, June 29, 2008
Drunk Monkeys And Technical Problems Headline "RaceDay" On SPEED
There has perhaps never been an edition of RaceDay on SPEED like the one from New Hampshire on Sunday morning.
Among other things, it featured a forty minute satellite failure that knocked the entire program off-the-air. Once things got back on-track, the wackiness included a monkey drinking beer, a front row fan flipping-off Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace talking St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
All that makes one wonder if host John Roberts will soon have his own personal sponsor...Motrin.
The theme of the program was supposed to revolve around Jimmy Spencer being honored for his past success in the NASCAR Modified Series. As this story from the Concord Monitor will attest, Spencer has not learned a lot since his retirement from driving. His view of the NASCAR world continues to be quite often fueled by personal anger.
While the Producer tries to make light of Spencer's brawling past and difficult viewpoints, the rest of the program continues to be a treat for fans. Driver interviews, news from the garage and pre-recorded features fly-by a a rapid clip. Even for a two hour program, the pace of RaceDay never slows.
At the core of this success is Roberts. He has been a steady hand ever since joining the SPEED team and has grown the RaceDay franchise from the start. Sometimes, it seems that Roberts is present on almost every SPEED program coming from the NASCAR tracks. Let's hope he gets paid by the show.
Kenny Wallace returned to RaceDay after a weekend off, and things were very different from the thoughtful comments the previous week of Hermie Sadler. Wallace is going through a period of change where he is deciding whether to continue his NASCAR driving career or focus on the TV world, where he certainly has a future.
Fans have not seen Wallace integrated into other SPEED programs like qualifying and practice sessions. He does not appear on Tradin' Paint as the media guest and does not ever join the Trackside panel. That is certainly curious.
Keep in mind that Wallace was a member of the old Inside Winston Cup Racing show back on SPEED and has also participated in many other TV shows over the years. Sometimes, his interpersonal skills and NASCAR knowledge are clearly on display. This is often the case on Victory Lane, where Wallace asks good questions of the guests and is clearly the most informed member of that panel.
As a regular member of the crew, reporter Wendy Venturini this week interviewed both Richard Petty and the new CEO of Petty Enterprises who is named David Zucker. It was very interesting that she did not interview them together. Something is just not quite right in this Petty deal, and this week the Real Deal missed the bulls eye.
SPEED's technical troubles began at 11AM when the signal ended from New Hampshire in the middle of the Jimmy Spencer modified feature. John Roberts spoke by phone to viewers explaining the problem and SPEED filled forty minutes with stand-by programming. Give the network credit, everyone kept their cool and when the signal was restored SPEED allowed the show to go thirty minutes longer than scheduled.
Roberts tried his best to direct the rest of the show into some kind of order, but when the program was stopped because a NASCAR fan's pet monkey in the audience was drinking a beer, you just knew it was hopeless.
The capper was Jimmy Spencer delicately saying that the Red Sox sucked. As usual, Spencer mis-spoke while trying to make another racing analogy. What he meant was the Red Sox sucked before their new ownership arrived. After the groans and boos rose from the audience, it was Kenny Wallace pointing-out that one fan in the front row had flipped Spencer off after the Red Sox comment.
Wallace went on to point out that it was actually his St. Louis Cardinals that had won more World Series even as Roberts voice was heard in the background pleading with the analysts to return to NASCAR at some point.
We have often said that RaceDay has something for everyone. If your choice of "something" includes drunk monkeys, obscene gestures, satellite failures and major league baseball, then the program for NHMS was right up your alley.
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 for taking the time to stop by.