Friday, March 20, 2009
Disco Shirts And Marty Smith's Beard Make Friday TV Fun
Wow! The fashion consultants at SPEED are at it again. After the 2008 winter white coats and the summertime puffy shirts with the 20-inch sleeves, it was disco time at the Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday and the glare was blinding.
Nothing says Tennessee and NASCAR like shiny metallic light blue long-sleeved shirts on middle-aged men in High Definition.
Even the rough and tumble Jeff Hammond could not pull this one off. Although Hammond added a white t-shirt, he looked ridiculous. What is going on at SPEED and who is in charge of making professionals like Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds look absolutely horrible on national TV?
Perhaps no one came up on the shorter end of the stick than veteran reporter Bob Dillner. At right around six foot six inches tall, Dillner patrolled the garage area in his shiny blue disco shirt with the cuffs tightly buttoned and the collar spread wide. If only Donna Summer had been blaring over the track speakers in the background the scenario would have been complete.
The new shirts actually defeated their own purpose. The sheen from the material squashed the red SPEED logo and made it unreadable, especially outside the announce booth and under the Friday sunshine. After watching this new production element in both SD and HD, one thing is clear. This was a bad idea from the world go.
Moving over to ESPN, emailers were asking if Brian Vickers had gotten a second job reporting for NASCAR Now. Nope. That was simply Marty Smith rocking a new red beard after some time off and having the guts to take it on-camera.
Once again this season, rather than letting Smith and Mike Massaro report from the tracks in NASCAR on ESPN polo shirts, both men were in full suit and tie for the Friday NASCAR Now program. How about giving these guys a break before the summer?
Maybe Smith is going to hold onto that beard in a silent protest over the network's dress code. After all, facial hair may be the only thing he can get away with in ESPN's strange world of formal attire.
Saturday features no NASCAR Now, a big sports car race on SPEED and the afternoon Nationwide Series tilt over on ABC. The new wrinkle is a charity legends race live on ESPN2 at 6PM featuring some big names and lots of fun.
For those who missed the disco shirts, rumor is they will be back at noon and 1PM ET Saturday as SPEED presents Nationwide Series qualifying and then Sprint Cup happy hour. Bring your sunglasses.
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