Sunday, February 22, 2009
I Surrender Just Don't Hurt Me!
Just to be very clear to those of you who emailed with angry words about last Sunday. I get it totally and understand your frustration. The events of Daytona have left a bad taste in your mouth and the Fox Television Network is somehow supposed to be in this angry mix.
So, I surrender and will post some columns for your comments about those issues.
I had no clue what it was like to be overwhelmed with email until now. My apologies to those who did not get a response, but I have pages and pages of messages from NASCAR fans who are not feeling especially good about the sport this week.
In terms of the Daytona 500 fiasco, some old school fans want start times to go back to 1PM across the board and blame the NASCAR TV partners for the change. Well, that is kind of true.
Click here and then scroll down for Fox executive David Hill's views on the later start times in an interview with reporter Dustin Long. The TV networks essentially encouraged NASCAR to move times back so Sunday races did not start at 10AM on the West Coast.
Lots of other folks emailed to address the quick ending of the race. Fans wanted the race coverage to resume on Fox or migrate over to SPEED after NASCAR gave the rain a chance to clear.
For those of us who have sat in the Daytona stands watching the July race running well after midnight, the decision to leave shortly after 7PM was curious even after the official NASCAR explanation.
Click here to read CNBC's Darren Rovell (Sport Business columnist) as he asks NASCAR's PR executive Ramsey Poston the questions fans also wanted to ask. Poston explains why the sanctioning body called the race and addresses the issue of a Monday completion of the event.
Unfortunately, Rovell never asked if Fox had a hand in "suggesting" that the timely ending of the event would work well for them. That might clear-up some fan perception that the decision was driven in part by TV.
Remember, over the last several years, Fox has certainly hung-in there where NASCAR and rain were concerned. The network has paid its dues in this sport over the last nineteen seasons. Like it or not, Fox has been a long-term strategic partner of NASCAR with outstanding results.
Finally, click here for USA Today's Michael Hiestand talking about Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Hiestand credits both of them with spontaneous and outspoken comments about Dale Earnhart Jr. after the incident with Brian Vickers. To have Hiestand notice anything about NASCAR is almost as amazing.
So, there you have three topics that have dominated the email box. Start times, calling the race so quickly and the reactions of Waltrip and McReynolds during the big accident.
I will try to get a column about the Monday TV shows organized sooner or later. If I had a nickel for every email that mentioned the words "bad make-up" where TWIN was concerned, I would never have to work again.
Please feel free to add your comments on these topics to this post.
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Thank you and happy posting.