Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Watching NASCAR's Chase Or The NFL's Regular Season?


Well, here we are. Thursday, the gang of 12 will be in New York City doing the media dance to drum-up headlines for the Chase. Sunday, they will be racing at 1PM ET on a flat track in New Hampshire on ABC.

Mike Massaro will host a one hour version of NASCAR Now at 5:30PM on Thursday. Massaro and his ESPN counterparts will do their best to push the Chase on the various ESPN shows and networks over the next several days. Smiling drivers in suits and ties will be a momentary blip on the national TV radar.

Then, Sunday comes. NASCAR fans have to once again make that annual decision. It is a decision that causes NASCAR pain every season. It is a decision that created the Chase for the Championship. It is the decision of whether or not to leave NASCAR and watch the NFL.

There they are, side by side. The same drivers you have been seeing since February are matched-up against the local gridiron heroes. The thrill of racing inches apart goes head to head with the long bomb and the miracle comeback. Tom Brady vs. Jimmie Johnson. The million dollar smile and the model wife.

New Hampshire brings tight racing, little passing and angry drivers. This year, it also brings the new restart rules. FOX and CBS bring nine different regional games at 1PM that cover the nation. The NFL stories are fresh and the sport is on a roll.

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series has used four TV networks to get this far. SPEED stepped in for the Daytona twins and the All-Star weekend. Fox started the regular season and then handed-off to TNT for a short summer run. Now, ESPN is again using their ABC network to bring this ten month season to a close.

At this time of the year, pre-race shows like SPEED's RaceDay and ABC's NASCAR Countdown go up against ESPN's NFL Countdown and Fox NFL Sunday, which bills itself as America's most watched pre-game show. Even on Monday nights, This Week in NASCAR on SPEED finds itself looking over at Monday Night Football on ESPN.

So, what is a sports fan going to do? How about taking a moment and telling us how you are going to handle Sunday at 1PM? NASCAR and the NFL meet again.

Are you taping one and watching the other live? Surfing back and forth for three hours? Picture-in-picture? Many NASCAR fans already multi-task with radio, online scoring and chat. Does the NFL change those plans?

Finally, has the Chase for the Championship helped you to stick with NASCAR? The stories are good, from Mark Martin through Juan Pablo Montoya.

Click here to read our column from last season on this subject. We got some fantastic comments.

To add your opinion on this topic, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

60 comments:

Duane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Duane said...

..not sure why my comment was deleted. I have been following this blog and tweets for some time now, though it appears "honest" answers of not watching "corporate" racing are not welcome here based upon my statement: "..neither, hope to get a nap in after Saturday's College Football" and comment deletion.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jonathan from the SouthSide of Chicago said...

Well im in Chicago and thankfully last week the race was on Sat night and the Bears Sun night. But im sorry nothing does it for me like Nascar. Theres nothing like it, nfl, mlb, nba and so on. Sorry my vote is Nascar. Heck even if it was a no points race i'd still choose racing over football, even my wonderfull Chicago Bears ha! Nascar Nation!

Karen said...

It's NASCAR all the way for me. If Miami or Tampa Bay were worth a diddle, I might change my tune but I doubt it. There's plenty of football after Homestead if I feel the urge.

Go NASCAR!!!!

BToS JD said...

NFL is a waste of time for me. When the NASCAR season's over, I don't even watch NFL.

Anonymous said...

I've been a Giants fan for a long time so when they air their game in the Wash DC area the same time as a race I usually watch the game live and DVR the race. The main reason is because during the game they won't have a ticker showing who is leading the race at any given point but during the race their would be a ticker showing NFL scores.

DL said...

This year the NFL is a wash for me, but even if it wasn't, this is why DVR was invented. Too little time, too many sports... I'm very interested in seeing what happens with this year's Chase. I'm looking for someone to beat Jimmie Johnson to the Cup.

re: Kurt Busch, correction to my comment about his apparent confusion when he remarked about NASCAR in NYC, he wasn't referring to the end Chase banquet, he was referring to this week's NYC media blitz and the official dinner the Chase contenders have there with the brass.

DrewH said...

Football, to me, is the single most boring sport there is. Even golf is more interesting. Golf at last has some beautiful scenery. No, there's no conflict at all for me. It's motorsports or nothing in my house, football doesn't even exist.

Bill said...

Two tvs.... The main tv (with sound turned up) will be tuned to NASCAR. The secondary tv will have an NFL game on. The NFL season doesn't really heat up until NASCAR ends and there are plenty of opportunities for an NFL fix that doesn't conflict with NASCAR in the meantime.
I will add thought that with some of the changes NASCAR has made in the last few years (we all know the list) there may be a day in the future that the NFL may go back to the main screen.

GinaV24 said...

I'll be at NH this weekend for the race, so obviously it will be live and in color, no TV for me! Yay. But I have to say that after that I will probably be channel flipping back and forth mainly because of ESPN's awful coverage. I just can't sit and watch an entire race on TV anymore with the way it is covered by ESPN, Chase or not. Personally I like Fox's coverage of the NFL, but it also depends on what teams are playing as to how much of my attention it gets and a big factor is the weather. The nice fall days call my name to come outside and play before the weather gets bad. As @DL pointed out, that's what DVRs are for!

MRM4 said...

I usually flip back and forth until the race is getting closer to the end, then I'll stick with it. But if Stewart is doing well early, I tend to mostly stick to the race.

Here in Knoxville, we get the Titans every week. I refuse to watch their games unless they're playing another good team or it's the only game on. If the Fox game is also a dud, I stick with the race. If the Fox game is a good one, I flip back and forth.

Nine of the next 10 weeks are tough for me because I like both NASCAR and the NFL.

glenc1 said...

this is why I bought a TV with PIP. I watch both. Used to do the two TV thing. When the Giants play, they get priority.

TexasRaceLady said...

NASCAR is the priority in this house.

Depending on what teams/games are being shown, I may flip to football to see how it's going.

Anonymous said...

Last Sunday, went back and forth between Vikings NFL and Tiger Woods in golf. Missed a lot of action in both events doing it this way. I'll watch the pre-race ceremonies and the start of the race to get a feel of the action. If there isn't much, will watch more of the NFL. However, here in the Midwest the trees are turning and leaves beginning to drop. So, soon, there will be three things wanting my attention - raking leaves, Nascar and NFL. I find it easier to listen to Nascar (than the NFL) when raking leaves. If something spectular happens, I can always go inside and watch the replay. I've never DVR'd a race or football game. They are better live to me in the time I have to spend on TV.

Anonymous said...

Now that Nascar is on network TV rather than cable, I can take a TV outside (with a digital TV converter) and enjoy both the wonderful fall weather and Nascar. And the dog gets her exercise. When races on ESPN or TNT, this option is not available.

There are so many opportunities to watch the NFL which don't conflict with Nascar, that I normally watch the race unless there is a particularly intriguing NFL game. Fall is always busy - college football, golf, all three series of Nascar, and the NFL - then comes college basketball. Great times!

Smiff_99 said...

I'd choose any race of the year over any football game of the year....even the Super Bowl.

Dave said...

Well, up here in the soon to be frozen tundra it's struggle to figure out whether to watch the Packers or NASCAR live.

I still have Beta and VHS tapes of football and Races in a box in the basement because I've been doing the two step for many years.

I go between the two. depending on who the Pack is playing.

This week we're playing the Queen City Bungles, I'll probably watch the race and then the game after dinner.

On a side note, I forgot I had a google account so now it's just Dave but still in Milwaukee.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Duane,

Your comment was deleted because we asked you about the NFL or NASCAR. College football is on Saturday and is not a part of this topic.

Taking a nap make absolutely no sense at all. If you are not watching NASCAR or the NFL, then simply tell us that is your choice.

If you ever have a problem with a deletion, use the email on the main page to drop me a line anytime.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:46AM,

We run this column every season on the week when NASCAR bumps up against the NFL.

You may remember that last weekend was the Saturday night race in Richmond. This Sunday afternoon is the first time in 2009 that NASCAR and the NFL regular season will meet.

If you would like to offer your opinion on this topic, please feel free to do so.

JD

Duane said...

JD

NP. I'd watch more NASCAR if they would make the Chase like the "Winston at Charlotte" (the non-points race) and have a qualifying race before the main event; with the main event consisting of only the Chase contenders.

Jim said...

NASCAR trumps NFL any time, any channel. The chase is not a factor. NFL is our second choice.
We never miss a game unless the game conflicts with NASCAR programming.
No other sports are likely to be seen on our tv screen.

OSBORNK said...

The sport I watch depends on what teams are playing football and how competative both the race and games are. I usually only need to watch the last 20 laps of a race because I know NA$CAR is going to manipulate the race with "debris" or premature cautions to make sure there is a close finish.

There is hope on my part that this year the Chase will be more interesting. Maybe Kyle Busch not making the chase will liven up the Chase this year. He can let it all hang out because he will not be points racing like the chase drivers.

Daniel said...

I'm watching or attending NFL games. Sorry, but Nascar has become way too boring with the same teams/drivers winning each week. Unless I hear that there's great wheel to wheel racing going on, see that these guys are racing to win and not just to add points to their totals, I'm sticking with the NFL. At least there I know that any team can win on any given Sunday, unlike Nascar where it seems you need to have a Hendrick engine to win.

peggyann said...

I haven't watched the NFL with any regularity since my father died 25 years ago; we used to watch together. If the Bears are doing well or if I'm visiting family, I'll watch if it's the only option. I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials but have decided they are better at the Daytona 500.

I rarely miss a NASCAR race of any series. Other pro sports just don't do it for me anymore.

Jeremy said...

Got that covered easily. I have three TVs in the mancave. One tuned to the race/Hotpass, the 2nd tuned to the Gamemix channel on NFL Sunday Ticket, the 3rd to the RedZone channel on the Ticket.

I also fire up the laptop and hit up Trackpass on Nascar.com to be tabs on my fantasy team because once the chase starts the network has a way of only scrolling the top ten or just the chase drivers which is aggravating to fantasy owners.

David said...

Fortunately as a Detroit Lions fan living in Arizona, I can find a stream online and leave the tv devoted to the race. I will be doing some flipping between the race and local games, but mostly focused on the race. Now with Trackpass going, that complicates things a bit but I'll get the audio mix down right and be set.

Nothing I haven't done before.

Love racing, love football. I make it work.

JD, I saw the 1998 Michigan race ESPN covered online yesterday, man have things changed! 2 cars battling all day long, sometimes up to 6 guys battling for the lead, well into a run! ESPN calling a race and using minimal graphics!

If they provide a dud broadcast JD, my eyes may very well stay glued to football and I'll keep tracking the race via TP.

Daly Planet Editor said...

David,

That is kind of the theme behind this post and our continuing conversation on Twitter.com about NASCAR vs. the NFL.

We know that this is a flat track with little passing from the COT's and that the race is often won on pit road.

IMHO, this may be the toughest race of the season for ESPN. There will have to be a lot of work done to keep viewers from flipping over to the various NFL games.

Should be interesting.

JD

Anonymous said...

Luckily the Giants are the 8 pm game this week...
The Giants would trump NASCAR, but these days I would be more likely to switch over more frequently because the last ten races mean something now.
Used to be Jeffy had it all wrapped up and there was no drama at the end of the season.

Steve L. said...

I am a faithful NASCAR fan. I was a fan before NASCAR was shown on TV as a regular sport. I not only watch NASCAR as a fan but also am a member of the media at select races covering 10-15 races per year.

When at home not covering a race, I watch every NASCAR related telecast, reguardless of the network it is being shwon on. The only show I do not faithfully watch is NASCAR Now. I watch when I find it but will not chase it all over the different times they want to change it to. If it was on at the same time everyday then I would probably watch it as well. And, I don't always watch Victory Lane because I think it should be on directly AFTER the race.

I do NOT watch any other sport. No football, baseball, tennis, none. I don't watch NHRA, F1, but will watch IRL when it does not interfere with NASCAR.

And yes, I watch all three touring NASCAR Series, Trucks, N-wide, and Cup. I have watched EVERY race for years, even if I'm at the track I record it and watch when I get home just in case I missed something at the track.

No NFL for me.

West Coast Diane said...

Used to be major MLB, NFL (National Felon League as my son calls it) & NBA fan along with racing. No more.

No conflict here. Although, I am finding that once again, when ESPN takes over, my enthusiasm for racing declines. ESPN has ruined the experience for me. Find myself watching less of the few other race shows that are on and reading fewer if any articles.

So disappointing from fans who drive 3000 miles every February for Speed Weeks at Daytona.

PammH said...

Nascar is my only sport. I used to be a big U of M football fan, but haven't been since the late 80's. Kinda lost it's fire when Bo & Woody didn't knock heads anymore...:( But I have to say, the last 10 mins that pre-empted the race last Sat were spectacular!!

Chris Allen said...

NFL live, then NASCAR on DVR later.

If you're interested in both, that's the only order that works. If you watch the NASCAR race live with the intent of watching a recorded NFL game later, you have to turn away from the screen every time the pesky ABC/ESPN BottomLine pops up on the screen and displays live NFL scores (which will invariably happen multiple times during the race on Sunday). I've learned to avoid ABC/ESPN altogether when I'm DVRing a live sporting event.

Anonymous said...

NFL all the way. I'll record the NASCAR event and watch the entire race in about an hour.

Anonymous said...

I will DVR both the Jets/Pats game and race to watch Sunday evening. Good weather is winding down up here in NH and can't spend time inside on the weekend. Can usually zip through both in about 4 hours. From mid-80s through mid-90s I would not miss a race to watch football. That changed over the years to the point I would not bother with the race if there was a good game on. Two things got me back into caring about racing in the fall, the chase and the DVR.

Anonymous said...

While I've not been enjoying NASCAR as much for the last few years as I used to, racing of any form will always win out for me over any "stick and ball" sport.

The ongoing erosion of ethics in the NBA/MLB/NFL as role models does nothing to tempt me to change that either.

Charlie said...

I always watch the NFL Green Bay Packers live because I listen to the radio and listen to the Packer Announcers while watching it on Tv. Been doing this for over 25 years.
If the Nascar race is on at the same time I record the Nascar race. If the Packer game is not on at the same time as the Nascar race, I watch both.

Marcus said...

I'm of the same mind as a few of the other commenters... I typically would choose to watch the NFL live and catch the race via DVR, but only if it were one of my favorite teams playing at the same time... In the case of this Sunday, I'll probably be watching my Atl Falcons live and then the race will pre-empt any late afternoon football games or Sunday Night Football...

Anonymous said...

I only watch the NFL when my Fav team the Dallas cowboys are playing. other that I don't watch that much. I will definately be watching Nascar this weekened despite the kind of coverage ESPN gives.

The J said...

NASCAR.... no question about it. i just dont get why football is so popular, dont get me wrong i think its an interesting game, but cmon, the amount of coverage it gets is just plain stupid. my tv wont even touch cbs/fox/nbc/espn on sunday at all

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

With so much focus on the Twelve of One (the chase drivers), ever since the system was changed I've not watched those races.

I protest my dislike for the chase by watching the NFL.

Word veri- doodi :)

glenc1 said...

David...the Lions have fans? Wow.
:)

I think the comments about the character of NFL players are misleading. There are 50 some odd Cup drivers and 1700 players in the NFL, the greatest percentage of whom are respected law abiding citizens...you just don't hear about them because they're going about their business, unlike the guys getting arrested. And as we now know, the Cup drivers and team members aren't all perfect either. It certainly doesn't effect my decision to watch or not watch a sport.

bullitthead said...

I usually flip back & forth between NASCAR & NFL. DVR for NFL is no good for me since ABC/ESPN runs the constant ticker at the bottom of the screen which spoils the outcomes of any games I might record. I'm a TrackPass subscriber, so if the NFL gets exciting (or the race gets boring) PitCommand works for me to keep up with NASCAR. I've also done the reverse - when the race gets good, I log on to the NFL web site and keep up with all the games in progress.

missouriracefan said...

We live in the St. Louis Rams area. 'Nuff said. I like football but breath NASCAR, so it is always racing for me. My husband and I start out watching the races together then he gets to channel surfing between football and the race. After 5-10 totally irritating minutes, I leave him with his precious 52" television and go to the smaller (and muted)television to watch the race in peace. Just me, Sirius radio, 3-4 websites and my faithful shih tzu. Peace reigns throughout the household.

David said...

glen, i knew you were going to have something to say about that lol.

Yes, they do. I really don't think they are as bad of a team as the record shows the last 2 years but they do underachieve.

Back on topic though, regardless if ESPN had a tremendous broadcast or not, I will do game flipping. Its a fact of life for me. The only race my eyes get completely glued to the action is Talladega anymore.

I find that by following on incar and radio I get more information anyways and at least much more timely which has been an issue for all the networks at one time or another all season. TNT has done the best job I've felt reporting information accurately and timely but both FOX and ESPN have had holes for awhile. Besides, with the commercials every 4 minutes I'll have plenty of time to catch the games without missing a single car on camera =)

Tom said...

Speak of watching...just got word on the DirecTV Hot Pass lineup for New Hampshire.
Not a single Chaser in the mix!
It'll be Harvick, Logano, Ambrose and Dale Jr.

Very interesting choices.

darbar said...

Living in Wisconsin, I'll be watching the Vikings and hoping someone will be knocking Favre around the field. Also watching my beloved Steelers in the late game. Since my favorite drivers (Kenseth, Jr) are not in the Chase, and knowing that both of them will be totally ignored by ESPN even if one of them is in the top 5, why bother? NFL all the way for me.

Haus14 said...

@ David - A Lions fan? How about the wolverines? I knew there was something about you that I liked.

Anyway, in response to JD's question, my answer is yes.

I will be starting out with the the football games since they are starting an hour and fifteen minutes before the race does. I will then tune in for the green flag and see how things are going. I will probably break out the second tv to use as a monitor of which ever event is dragging.

All I can say is that based on the track record ESPN/ABC has of providing poor coverage of the races, they have a daunting task ahead of them this Sunday.

Mary said...

What is NFL ;-)

Richard in N.C. said...

To me the overlap of NASCAR and NFL is like having both chocolate pie and pecan pie at dinner - have to have some of both, and often record part of one. Can't have too much racing and pro football.

Depending on the time overlap, if the again world's champion Steelers are playing they will get the majority of my attention, at least until the last 20% or so of the race.

It is amazing that I never see anyone write about whether NASCAR might be attracting viewers away from the NFL - but presumably that is part of why EESPN bought the end of season NASCAR rights.

EESPN's NFL Countdown was so bad last year the 2 times I watched a little of it that I don't believe it is competion for anything on opposite it, which I presume is why it comes on an hour before the FOX and CBS pre-game shows start.

Anonymous said...

For sports, we watch anything that involves a motor and racing.....nothing else is worth our time.

Richard in N.C. said...

Wasn't it Ernest Hemingway who said there are only 2 sports - auto racing and bullfighting - all the rest are games?

patrick said...

I'll be watching NASCAR though I do channel-surf at the commercial breaks, which often works out to being all the NFL I watch in the year. By the time NASCAR is over my team (the Vikings) has usually managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and then I stop watching.

David said...

Haus, Not really up on college football....I mean if I had to go with a CF team its probably AZ State since most everyone I went to HS with went there and I'll probably wind up going there to get my final 2 years.

Deft. NFL over pre-race though!

Vince said...

I'll be watching football and DVR'n the race. For me New Hampshire is one of the most boring tracks to watch on TV. No passing until the last 20 laps. Just follow the leader racing. Add ESPN's crappy coverage to the mix and it's NFL all the way. I'd fall asleep if I had to watch this race from start to finish without the benefit of a DVR.

RobFromToronto said...

This years chase has peaked my interest more than the couple previous..due mainly to the fact we have MM and JPM who are wild cards..adds spice..having vickers in is good too..because he can when he wants be a bull inna china shop..i'm looking forward to the chase..finally :)
As for NFL..dont watch it..sorry..3 minutes of huddling around talking bout stuff followed by 3 seconds of action..ultimate snoozer..Nascar has my attention this fall :)

Kevin said...

In fairness to New Hampshire, I think the racing there has gotten much better since they added the extra bottom lane a few years ago. I am too much of a purist to ever truly like the chase, but I do admit that I will be watching Mark Martin closely and hoping he can finally pull it off. I have no interest in football, so there's no conflict for me!

Farfel said...

NASCAR only gets DVR'd if the Giants game conflicts with the race. I wish ESPN would drop the ticker at the bottom of the screen... who cares what's going on elsewhere???

Farfel said...

Hemingway supposedly said that there were THREE sports: racing, bullfighting, and MOUNTAINEERING. For some reason, tho, you don't see any mountaineering on TV here, although in Russia there is a lot of interest in speed climbing... which is nothing like X-Games or American Gladiator stuff, but real free climbing on real alpine faces.

Anonymous said...

DVR the race (so I can scan through all the commercials) and watch NFL games live.

Depending on the track I end up scanning through some of the race too.