Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ryan Burr Goes To Overtime

The Tuesday edition of NASCAR Now had wrapped-up at 6PM when host Ryan Burr simply told viewers he was not done. Without explanation, Burr extended the program by fifteen minutes.

While the first thirty minutes of this show consisted of mediocre scripted content, the best part of the show happened when Burr was released to talk live with Andy Petree and Boris Said. Burr is an ESPNEWS veteran and one of his strengths is working live in an interview setting.

Boris Said was on the phone and proved to be a big asset to the extended telecast with his road racing perspective. Said provided a good critique of the Montreal rain race and helped fans to understand the real circumstances with some of the problems the teams experienced. This time, Said really came through in the crunch.

Andy Petree has been working hard this season and has a very good perspective on the inner-workings of the sport as things begin to get serious. As ESPN has learned from the very successful Monday edition of this program, conversation with informed NASCAR veterans is a big hit with the fans. This was a great example.

Tuesday is not a very good day for the NASCAR Now gang and interviews with Ron Fellows and Scott Riggs did not serve to spice-up the program. Unfortunately, Fellows has never been a good TV interview despite being an outstanding individual. A couple of questions to Fellows about his sports car wins might have helped this interview along.

David Newton returned to report that Robbie Loomis and the Petty bunch might run two cars full-time and one car for Kyle part-time next season. Burr tried to hype the tension between Carl Edwards and his crew chief at Pocono, but Newton didn't bite and said it happens all the time. "Good stuff," said Burr. Not really. Burr did not ask Newton about either Ryan Newman or Martin Truex Jr. That would have been good stuff.

After Monday's show with the four ESPN pit reporters, the information in this single-anchor show was lacking. Tim Brewer's Tech Tip was no help since it was information fans had seen before. The opportunity to provide a more topical feature on someone or something going-on in the NASCAR community usually exists on slow Tuesdays like this one.

With little manpower in the Mooresville, NC area ESPN has stepped away from the pre-produced features of last season and instead substituted interviews from the various shops. While this might speak to the news of the day, it does very little to expose NASCAR fans to what the teams are actually doing as they gear-up to travel to Watkins Glen. The lack of "ground troops" in the Mooresville area is hurting ESPN.

Three more shows before qualifying gets underway on Friday should leave a lot of time for NASCAR Now to offer previews of the Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup races. This is a very long weekend of racing with a lot of it live on the ESPN and ABC family of TV networks.

If the information comes along about why this show ran long and messed-up the DVR's and TiVo's of NASCAR fans nationwide, we will certainly pass it along.

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Anonymous said...

I enjoyed seeing both Fellows and Riggs interviewed today. They don't get interviewed often and I thought they did fine.

Not every driver is going to be a Carl Edwards level personality on TV. Doesn't mean they should be ignored by TV either, so I'm glad NASCAR Now didn't ignore them and chose to interview some not-that-famous drivers instead of manufacturing a bunch of "breaking news".

speedangel said...

I just happened to turn the channel to ESPN as they were going to Around the Horn. They were showing a special report of some kind. I didn't catch the report myself, but considering that "breaking news" that the Packers were considering a trade possibility for Brett Favre had just broke I assumed it was that.

Anonymous said...

Fellows & Riggs were ok interviews, nice to see them get some exposure.

The last 15 mins was really interesting, Boris actually had on point comments & Andy is well just good to listen to.

Nice touch.

Newracefan said...

Hopefully they will repeat the extra 15 minutes since I haveset the DVR for the next show that is scheduled after the re-air since the DVR didn't know to keep recording after the first one.

Where was Ron Fellows during the interview I didn't recognize the backround? I thought Ryan's interview with Scott was a little tough mainly because he kept asking him the same question 4 different ways.

Dot said...

Thanks for the heads up about NN running over. Will have to catch the rerun to see what the DVR missed. Is ESPN going to make this a habit? If so, make sure y'all change your end times.

This is why I love JD and his column. Always looking out for us.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I think that was TSN, the Canadian Sports TV Network HQ.


Tracy said...

The Riggs interview was tough, but fair. Like other other viewers, I was pleased to see someone else in the spotlight, and I've been wondering what Riggs has heard from Tony S. Not much, clearly. Petree assessed Riggs's chances of getting another job - get a pole and run in the top five - rather harshly, but I don't think he said anything he wouldn't say to Riggs's face. I thought it was a good segment.

At least it wasn't another Carl Edwards Q&A - "do you and your crew chief always fight?" session.

My DVR isn't set up to handle an extra fifteen minutes, so I missed the extended time.

glenc1 said...

Unfortunately, I missed the first few minutes. I acknowledge Ron's not particularly animated, but a class guy. Riggs segment also good. Both are underestimated. Ron can be a very good interview when the right questions are asked.

Burr seemed a little silly trying to drum up controversy--Newton told the truth--it *does* happen all the time...Dale Junior & Tony are a perfect example. I don't think 'no comment' would have been good stuff. If we complain that they shouldn't gossip, they shouldn't comment when there's nothing new to say.

Richard in N.C. said...

Ron Fellows was on MRN live from Toronto with Eli Gold between 7:00 and 8:00.

Kenn Fong said...

J. D.,

The 9 PM Pacific repeat cut the extra 15 mins.

Pacific Coast Time Zone Kenny - Alameda, California

Karen said...

Same here in Orlando. Dang it.

Dot said...

Ditto from Las Vegas about the last 15 mins. WTH!!!! That tape delay of poker just had to be seen on time? NN is on @12:30am. I wonder which version will air.

I don't care that I missed Boris. This is a principle thing. If ESPN is going to do this, and JD gives us a heads up, show the whole thing on the rerun.

I guess our work is not done.

Anonymous said...

Definitely agree...they've done the "extra" before I don't understand why they didn't do it this time around as well.

Anonymous said...

TIVO missed it.

Kenn Fong said...

I just altered the setting on my DVR to add an extra 30 mins. I know it was only 15 mins, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

Pacific Time Zone Kenny - Alameda, California

SonicAD said...

The difference here is that they extra 15 minutes were unplanned. Usually, they actually change the schedule in advance, in this case, it looks like a last-minute thing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

NASCAR Now ran over because the content of the Around The Horn show taped earlier was now dated in terms of the Brett Farve story.

Burr and company filled the time until the show could be joined because that topic was no longer being discussed.

Nice job by Burr, Petree and Said at the last moment.


Vicky D said...

I missed this show as it didn't seem to show up on our list of shows on ESPN (according to hubby!) and missed recording the replay. And yesterday I couldn't post on this blog so I really had a bad day. Hopefully, things will improve during the week.