Monday, November 9, 2009

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Texas on ABC

The NASCAR on ESPN team produced the Sunday afternoon TV coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race from the Texas Motor Speedway on ABC.

Allen Bestwick started the day with NASCAR Countdown. This was the pre-race show that also featured Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace. It included a musical number from ZZ Top and a feature that had Daugherty talking about food.

The race coverage was provided by Jerry Punch. He called the play-by-play for the entire event. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree were the two race analysts. Tim Brewer was in the Tech Garage.

The pit reporters for this event were Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Dave Burns and Vince Welch.

This post is an opportunity for you to offer comments about the TV coverage of the race. This is the third season of ESPN covering the Chase.

These fans comments on the Cup races are the most viewed posts on TDP. Lots of NASCAR, media and TV folks will be reviewing your comments, so keep them focused and make them count. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting and thanks for taking the time to stop by.


terri sanislo said...

Yep, first interview is Jimmie.

OSBORNK said...

They can't handle coverage if they get off script. They need to take some classes in improv. The coverage was so poor that you want to turn it off. I didn't but I did doze off a few times and checked several news sites as I sat here bored. I would have left had I not been stuck in this chair recovering from back surgery.

DrTeplisky said...

ESPN--yet another disjointed telecast...thankful for PRN to put perspective with the pictures. Jamie Little doing a lot of gesticulating in Victory Lane when talking with KuBusch--Pat Patterson on radio gets down to business with his Victory Lane PRN interview.

larry said...

sorry...I didn't watch the race, but I did DVR it. I'll review the TDP comments and see if it's worth watching.

I just turned to the post race stuff. Can't say I'll waste too much time on ABC.

Beating A Dead Horse said...

If you are just joining us, this is gonna be good. Better than the broadcast. I am getting popcorn and a Leinie ready for this.

KoHoSo said...

Maybe if I could somehow go back through the whole history of live flag-to-flag NASCAR Cup telecasts I might find something to change my mind. However, at this time, I don't think that I have ever seen a more disjointed and nonsensical presentation of any race from any of the major sanctioning bodies.

Believe me, I am not a Jimmie Johnson hater and, as somebody with some broadcasting experience, understand that the story of the #48 needed to be covered and updated. However, the massive and overdone focus on Jimmie -- at times coming every 90 to 120 seconds and, more usually, every three to five minutes -- totally killed ESPN's chance to cover a race and not a "story."

Poor decisions in the production truck left us no idea what was going on with either on-track action or the various races off of pit road that were completely missed. I specifically chose to stick solely with ESPN coverage to see if they could keep me generally informed and they completely failed. Fields were never reset and I can recall only once when they bothered to go deep into the field to inform us of the progress of other drivers. ESPN even did the previously unthinkable in mostly ignoring Dale Earnhardt, Jr. while running in the top five.

However, things improved slightly in the last 30 minutes or so. For whatever reason, ESPN finally got mostly off of their overdone Jimmie Johnson updates. While this helped some, they still were cutting away too quickly from action out on the tack. Again, there was more improvement at the end as they followed all of the drivers that were running out of fuel, but, in my view, it was not enough.

Folks, I really try every time that I get to sit and watch a race live to find the positive, look for hope, and try not to be one that the detractors of this blog call "one that has has been drinking the TDP Kool-Aid." As both a long-time NASCAR fan and one with some experience in how media should both inform and entertain the public, I cannot come up with any other conclusion than this was the worst ESPN effort for a Cup telecast that I have ever seen. It should be used in college communications classes all over the USA and Canada as a prime example of how not to produce a sports telecast.

On the positive side, as usual, kudos to AB and DJ. If it were not for them, I probably would have pulled an Elvis on my TV.

Sophia said...

Bad Groundhog Day.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

TexasRaceLady said...

Boy, did ESPN get handed a box of rocks when Jimmie wrecked on Lap3.

From then on, we were shown "the wreck", the work one the car in the garage, and, occasionally the race.

We were eternally informed about "the points as of now", ad nauseum.

We were rarely informed about drivers other than Chasers. I suppose they had pulled off the track.

We never saw the "race off pit road".

In other words, same old stuff.

Chris from NY said...

Just a few quick words:

Now we know that ESPN ♥ Jimmie Johnson even if he destroys his car early.

I had a better time watching my Giants getting clipped by one point. I'm sure we all had better times watching today's NFL games.

A Busch Brothers sweep. Kurt > Kyle. Rather have Kurt finish the sweep than Kyle Busch.

ESPN still deserves that long hike off that unfinished bridge.

JD, let's not give them another 1 week, or 2 weeks, because we all know what that's going to be like.

Also, I would like to see a part 3 of "NASCAR Waking Up to TV Issues?". I'd surely post on that.

terri sanislo said...

Don't tell me they're going to have coverage until 7:30 Eastern.

I am speechless.

Vicky D said...

Terrible terrible terrible broadcast.

DrTeplisky said...

Yowza--ESPN/ABC hanging with a BUNCH of post race.

AB asking the right questions of Russell William Wallace, and Big Brad just before it wraps up with almost a full half hour of post race.

Anonymous said...

Those complaining about all the 48 coverage, I agree but it isn't near as bad as when Dale Sr. was alive and every race every network was all the 3 car. It didn't matter where he was on the track or off the track that is what you saw. I think bad racing with bad cars contributes to bad coverage. Very few good races anymore. Yes, some races years ago were boring with drivers winning by laps not seconds but they put their heart and soul in it and weren't ruled to death by Nascar and didn't whine every time another driver looked at them wrong on the track. The coverage could be a lot better but I say that for Fox too. Can't stand the stupid gopher and at least these announcers don't butcher the English language. Bring back Eli Gould.

TexasRaceLady said...

DrT, unbelievable that ABC stayed with the broadcast until 6:30 here in Texas.

That's one mark in their favor.

Anonymous said...

ESPN, can I get the last few hours of my life back? I tuned in to see the race, not just how Jimmy Johnson's day went.

Brad D is just horrible, combined with Rusty it's just as bad a Waltrip. (FYI, that's not good)

I want to see coverage of the race, how it unfolds as it progreses, not updates on your predetermined story lines.

It should be a wake up call to you when a crew chief interupts YOU during an interview because he wants to deal with the crash that just happened on track. One would think you would have broke into the interview to show the fans the crash.

I honestly believe ESPN has decided to turn this into a soap oprea, with Mike R doing the promos it is just obvious. They don't care about covering the race, just making a story.

Vicky D said...

AB saying that the post-race interviews were going to be on ESPNNews but it's not on our channel. Just football updates.

Mïk said...

@AnneMous, 7:32- It was NEVER as bad as this, and they actually showed the race between Dale Sr reports.

@ESPN- The Chase AIN"T the race. Get you head outta the production truck and onto the track. That's where the show is.

JackSack said...

Even if the rest had been good, that ending was inexcusable. Car after car pitted and they never told us what position any of them were in after the stops.

Aim a camera at the finish line and don't be afraid to use it. They could have said Tiny Lund finished second and I'd have no idea if it were true since we were zoomed in on the 29.

If they'd been speaking Russian I'd have been no more confused than I was at the finish. The ticker was the only thing giving any decent information.

My head hurts after that mess.

PammH said...

Good-lots of post-race, altho we still didn't hear from AJ.

Bad-rest of the coverage. Good grief, I thought DW's bromance w/Frick was bad, but the JJ lovefest was unreal. And I didn't even LISTEN to the broadcast-not one minute, just could tell by the pics. To be honest, the radio broadcast isn't the best when it's the B team, but at least they talk about other folks & do field rundowns. Soooo ready for 2010.

Anonymous said...

The race broardcast could be described using any synonym of 'bad'.

It was obvious Jimmie Johnson's spin threw ESPN a curveball. (put it in stick & ball terms for them to understand) The broadcast became a confusing mess with constant garage updates for the #48 in the big box, and the race in the little box. Dr. Jerry Punch kept telling me that this was the story of the race. There is the problem. The story is the race. ESPN has always struggled with the concept of working the coverage around the race. Until Jimmie Johnson returned to the track, ESPN was lost and jumped around from car to car. Jerry Punch would report the drivers name, hometown and a news blurb. There were comers and goers that suddenly appeared or disappeared. It was Jimmie Johnson and The Others.

The viewers watching the race from green to the checkers had to see the Jimmie Johnson wreck at least 20 times. When Jimmie came out of the garage, we got multiple laps of Jimmie by himself - over 100 laps down. Every ten minutes we were reminded about Jimmie Johnson over 100 laps down. Every ten minutes we saw the points as of now. But when did we get a recap of the field? Never. After pit stops everybody was lost.

Triple splits missed every battles off pit road. Tight shots and in-car cameras took away any perspective. Dr. Jerry Punch was monotone, lost and ready to call it a day. The same phrases were repeated, the same car number bingo, the same confusion. I had to use 5 sorces to watch a race. It is the same garbage every week, except it just keeps growing and smelling worse.

I don't think we will get any change in 2009, but a heluva lot needs to change for 2010.

Judie Gail said...

I truly hope that the ABC producers will review the Texas race and realize just how many good stories were missed because they constantly followed the 48 team. ABC has followed the 48 (and no other drivers) for 8 races. Look at all of the drivers who had GREAT finishes and were never shown today. Unbelieveable! Where would Nascar be without the fans? They have lost so many fans because of the chase and the POOR ABC coverage. FANS make racing.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard in N.C. said...

I have come to suspect that EESPN's target audience is someone with a Play Station on the coffee table & the remote in his/her hand - so EESPN is constantly trying to fling something up on the screen (like JJ has wrecked) to capture that person's interest before he/she can switch to another station. Capture the surfer before they move on. I suspect EESPN figures that real fans will just watch regardless of the quality of the broadcast.

Anonymous said...

ABC/ESPN cannot seem to hide their Jimmie Johnson obsession long enough to cover the race. Green Flag pit stops were a nightmare and half the time people could not figure out where anyone other than Johnson and the leader were at.
How many times did they show Jimmie's wreck? How many times did they set up how Jimmie could win the Chase?
Talking about the whole field wrecking and Johnson winning? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

I e-mailed ESPN complaining that they didn't spend enough time on JJ, that they occasionally let the race get in the way of the "JJ Show". I expressed sympathy for the announcers/truck staff who were lost without a script.(except Punch who is lost all the time.)
I told them they should have shown more of the 48 repairs, more shots of JJ/Knaus, more views of JJ limping around the track.
I assured them no one cares about the race, we only care about ESPN's script.
Oh, I also mentioned that when I didn't think ESPN coverage of NASCAR could get any worse, they proved me wrong.


Laurie Chambers said...

Okay asked for comments but I really don't know where to start...if I had a friend who was wanting to learn more about NASCAR I would be embarassed to have them watch a race right do you explain the serious lack of good is total disgrace that this one person (JJ) monopolizes the coverage so is so disrespectful to the other 42 drivers, crew members, sponsors, etc. JJ gets in his car the SAME WAY as the other is sooo seriously not good for our sport and I really don't know what the answer is...if Bill France JR doesn't care enough to watch a race then what do we do? Right after JJ wrecked, J Gluck tweeted that they were all standing around 'dumbfounded' and that someone could trash the 'media center' because they were all down around the 48 car...he then went on to comment that JJ stuck around to answer questions well whoopie do! There were other drivers to talk to that were sticking around too...never saw AJ, Tony, or there really anything we could do? Would each of us sending an e-mail to ESPN help? I am an eternal optimist so I am looking for something to do here...

Sophia said...


let us not forget those of us ready to barf from JJ bromance, just wait until DANICA ARRIVES.

re: ESPN

Look up Personality Disorders, mainly NARCISSISTIC PD. They have a pic of BSPN suits next to the definition. Google it.

Frick needs to learn to be graceful when life stinks for him. Good grief.

PammH said...

Sophia-don't remind me. I think that may actually drive me out of Nascar, if it's as bad as I think it mite be!

Anonymous said...

looking forward to 2010

majorshouse said...

Fortunately I was out of the house and was forced to listen to PRN on the radio and man what excitement, such a shame that ESPN cannot give us this kind of coverage, it makes me want to shove the idea of carrying the races on the Speed Channel and let's fact it, the truck race was fun to watch.

Dot said...

The only good thing about today's race is that Fan McGee won a million dollars. At least BSPN couldn't screw that up.

In a word about the rest of it: BAD.

Glad Happy overcame the curse. I think the secret was not talking to him during the race.

GinaV24 said...

What a mess. I wasn't going to watch the race today because I honestly figured Johnson would win and essentially put the trophy out of reach for anyone but his team. I followed my usual practice of watching the start of the race and lo and behold, the 48 actually had a wreck - in the chase - and so I thought wow, maybe it will be worth watching. But no, it was still all JJ all the time. I was trying to follow what was going on without resorting to the radio since it was PRN and I don't like their announcing all that much, but well, no, I couldn't. ESPN didn't offer me much. Where's the full field rundown, how about resetting the field, they did green flag stops several times inthe race. Thank goodness for trackpass so I could tell what was going on with MY favorite driver instead of the total and complete lack of information from the booth.

When ESPN threw the "if the race ended now" deal up there right after the 48 went to the garage, I just threw my hands up in disgust.

How about if ESPN actually calls the race, not their script?

I can't wait for the season to be over. Fox sure has its issues, especially DW being unable to be professional in the booth, but at least that group is excited and interested in the racing.

NASCAR should demand its money back. So should the fans who have subjected to this mess on TV ever since Indy.

red said...

here's all i can say:
i just don't care anymore.

not about espn, not about the 48 team, not about the chase or the points or raceday or nascar now or this week in nascar or pit reporters or helmet cams or triple screens or full screen or tech center or hollywood hotel or any of it.

it's been beaten out of me by the horrific broadcasts, fawning on-air talent, unimaginative pre-and post-race shows, "nascar for dummies" mindset.

i'm not an idiot. i know our sport and i understand what's happening on track, in the pits, on the box and in the garage. i go to the tracks, i watch the trucks, i read the history, i seek old old film because i do love our sport.

but today was the very first time i actually turned off a race in-progress and didn't even care what happened until long after the checkered flag flew. i checked three online sites, found out where my driver finished and why and then shrugged and thought "ok, so, that's that."

i'm not certain what will fill the void created by my not caring for the few weeks remaining in the season: no other sport excites me like nascar. i don't see an alternative on the horizon.

so, it's finally come to this:
i just don't care anymore.

Beating A Dead Horse said...

OK, Red lighten up. Only a few weeks left until DiggerBashing Season. Time to brush up on the one-liners. And the recipes. There is racing on that hasn't been Disneyfied.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a NASCAR race! It was the Jimmie & Kyle Show!

And the best part of the show today? That was when my phone rang and I muted the sound. Of course, I only saw two cars at any one time anyway - except during pit stops. Then there were 3 cars, but the announcer was invariably talking about a fourth that wasn't even in the picture.

Am I disappointed in the coverage? No, I've come to expect this poor performance from ESPN. They make FOX look soooo good! Only two more races to go, then we can ditch all ESPN programming. Works for me!


Sophia said...


I feel you..and many others do. Sure we try to keep our sense of humor about it in the grand scheme of things, but that does not take away what has been robbed from true race fans.

I think somebody needs to write a column "NASCAR Apathy"

Reading Dustin's article with the clueless "living in in his own universe" (as Sally or somebody said earlier) Brian France today DID IT for me.

Part of me wanted to cry but like you, I just don't care anymore. The only part that made me truly ache was reading Brian France ONCE again BLAMING the state of NASCAR on Dale Jr..then BF admits he did not watch any of the Talladega broadcast.

If NASCAR doesn't care, why should we knock ourselves out to stay loyal.

It's like a terminal illness with a loved one. That may sound dramatic but for some of us not into other sports it is not.

But in all seriousness, NASCAR is dying imo.

JD has tried his best to give a voice to the fans, to make us feel we had power. But alas, only TNT REALLY came to bat and gave us WHAT WE WANTED!

ESPN is supposed to be a NASCAR broadcaster? Or friend to the sport? Well, not to get overly dramatic, folks, but NASCAR is no friend of the fans and neither is ESPN. I leave you with this quote by MLK.

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

The SILENCE from ESPN & Brian France is deafening.

Anonymous said...

Lordy, I was so happy when DJ was picked as one of the announcers. Mea culpa, he has turned out to be as boring and bored as the rest. I only saw him in the twilight of his career so don't know if there was ever a spirited person there. This race coverage was horrible! These folks simply can't keep up. They are going to turn this NASCAR fan into a non show. Do they feed them tranqualizers before the show?

Glenn said...

Typical ESPN. Follow the script, beat it in the ground.

I hate say it like this but, Bill France JR. has to watch the races just like Elvis, may they both rest in peace.

Beating A Dead Horse said...


Do you like the young slender NASCAR or the older, overweight NASCAR?

Glenn said...

Still trying to figure that out, still somewhat of a new-be, (2005)(roflmao)

glenc1 said...

JD, I hope you're going to have a piece on Brian France's comments. I'm just chomping at the bit....


I didn't see all the coverage today because of football (which my team lost, I commiserate, Chris from NY).

But all I saw was bad. Bad with a capital B. I never could figure out where everyone was at, that was the most annoying thing.

Anonymous said...

How does anybody know if it was a good race?

Nobody saw it.

All I know is the 48 car spent 1hr 8mins in the garage and he lost 109 points.

Nuff said

Dave in Milwaukee

Anonymous said...

Oh wait,

I forgot I also learned he was 122 laps down.

That's important y'know.

Dave in Milwaukee

Beating A Dead Horse said...

How does anybody know if it was a "good race?

Nobody saw it.

All I know is the 48 car spent 1hr 8mins in the garage and he lost 109 points.

Nuff said"

Dave in Milwaukee

Dear Dave In Milwaukee,

Every ESPN telecast raises this issue. In all the time the telecast is underway, the actual competition on the speedway is not a priority...So based on an ESPN telecast, how could one deduce he had watched the race ESPN is alleged to have covered?

terri sanislo said...

JD, not many comments. I think because after today's debacle, along with the admission (nuanced) that BZF really doesn't care, the fans are just tired of it and over it. No energy to even complain any more.

PatSalois said...

Been following TDP tweets for the last few weeks and although I agree with him since the first time I read his tweets, I was starting to think he has something against ESPN/ABC but the coverage at TMS was by far the worst in a very long while... BOOOOORING and yes... I many times do they have to say Jimmie crashed and Kyle chasing history...a freaking broken record... And what about Vince Welch laughing when intervewing Jimmie Johnson ? The only one I like is AB - all the others especially the directon and/or producer is ruining my favorite sport.... PLEASE SOMEONE ... HAVE NASCAR READ THESE....hope they know how lousy ABC is...

Anonymous said...

Smothering the viewers with 90% of the coverage being centered around following around a beat-up car running 100+ laps down (and reminding us 10 times an hour how his car got in that state) was the dumbest thing I've seen on NASCAR TV since the creation of Digger. Can't wait to hear ESPN to defend yet another "strong telecast" when NASCAR publicly undresses them again this week.

Anonymous said...

I listened to PRN and used the feed for pictures until I fell asleep.

Woke up last few laps and switched to TV after hearing who won man what a confusing finish!

I swear each time I was looking at the feed there was the wreck and/or Jimmie! He's A story not the ONLY story! There are 42 other guys out there who also have stories but would take too much energy to even think about giving them 30 seconds of air time.

Daly Planet Editor said...

terri, no one around. Low count on website, in chat and on Twitter.

Think this is maybe the lowest point for the sport in a long time.

Remember, 99% of NASCAR fans view the races on TV. What happens on the track is one thing, but how it is presented and who does it is quite another.

Pat, I assure you I have no ill will toward any of the NASCAR TV partners. I left ESPN long ago and have no complaints, regrets or problems.

No one has been more shocked at the implosion of the coverage than I have. I expected this sport to rise up and take over the US scene and instead we are forced to endure animated rodents, endless full screen commercials and the biggest sports TV disaster in decades.

Monday should be interesting in many ways.


Anonymous said...

I love the NFL. I don't think I've ever fallen asleep during an NFL game, even a stinker.

I also like baseball. I don't love baseball, but still, I've never fallen asleep watching a game on TV.

I LOVE NASCAR. It is my #1 favorite sport. I have fallen asleep during four of the Chase races. I really don't think it was the on-track racing that made me fall asleep. It was the sleepy presentation from three unexcited, clinical, observers in the booth calling the race like it was the Masters Golf tournament instead of a 200-mile per hour race.

I am a Jimmie Johnson 48 fan, so I am not being put to sleep by the JJ story line. I am being put to sleep by the announcers and disjointed director who doesn't know what camera to take or when.

ABC is ruining NASCAR, and during The Chase, no less. What a travesty.

TexasRaceLady said...

JD, I well remember how excited I was when I learned ESPN was going to be televising 1/2 the season.

Could not wait. I remembered the outstanding work they'd done previously, and just knew it was going to blow my mind.

The implosion has been devastating.

BTW, wonder how many times NASCAR Now is going to show "the wreck." I've counted at least 3 already.

Anonymous said...

i hear jimmie johnson wrecked

Beating A Dead Horse said...

"Anonymous said...

i hear jimmie johnson wrecked"

He got 'The Call' from Daytona!

Unknown said...

By the way, in case no one heard. Jimmie Johnson was involved in a crash during the opening laps of the race today.

That is the line my friends and I have been e-mailing, twittering, and posting to each other for the past 6 hours. I'm sure it will go on into tomorrow. That's what I got out of today's telecast of the race.

I know who won, I think. Beyond that I have no clue.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Jimmie Johnson fan and I have to tell you, I was pretty upset that all they showed and talked about was Jimmie. Hey...I have other drivers and teams out there that I root for and I'd like to know what's going on with them. ESPN needs to realize that racing doesn't go by a bloody script, a crappy one at that. They need to know that things can change in a matter of seconds and there are other stories out there then just Jimmie Johnson, or Kyle Busch. And talking about the points as they run. I mean what's the point? It doesn't matter where they run right now, because the points only matter at the END of the race, when the checkered flag drops. Maybe do that at Richmond and then at Homestead in the closing laps, or just shut up about it until its a done deal. Though they were talking about the points in the Nationwide series back in July. Talk about the points before and after the race. Shut up about it during the race. Points don't matter during the race. Stop it with the overkill on one thing and that only. And yes, even if its my main driver, enough. I'd like to know what's going on with the rest of the race thank you very much. Thank goodness for Trackpass, and Twitter. I wished I got MRN or PRN here. Sadly, I don't.

They have always interviewed the points leader. I remembered when Tony was leading and didn't have a good day, they always interviewed him too back when ESPN/ABC took over. And Johnson just happens to be the points leader, so they're always gonna talk to the points leader in post race interviewers no matter who it is.

The lack of emotions in the booth and exactly what the heck are they watching in that booth? Something else, the sky? What? Maybe they are given tranquilizers before the race, like someone said.

The coverage is just sad. I used to hate TNT, but man this year they ROCKED IT! Fox...well that gopher cartoon got on my nerves and DW going off topic, but even though he did that, he did pay attention to the race, and would make a comment about someone losing it and then the guys in the Fox truck would go back and find what the heck DW was talking about. ESPN.....doesn't do that. TNT....does it. ESPN is a bunch of suits who thinks that they doing a tv show, when its not, its a race, things happen and change, NO SCRIPT IS NEEDED! Look through the plate glass window in front of you, the monitors, the scoreboard and go with it. Its not that hard to do.

Dave in California said...

First I've got to say,THANKS JD for all your time a effort that you spend on this site!Glad you brought it back.As to the broadcast,I turned it on,and went out to chop fire wood.Everytime I took a break,I saw that JJ was wrecked on lap 3.About 1/2 hour till the end I was done chopping wood.Again I was informed that JJ wrecked on lap 3.I GET IT ALREADY!Walked to local market to get Sunday newspaper,when I got back race was over.Did I miss anything except JJ's wreck on lap 3?

Haus14 said...

@PPistone posted this on twitter, "The story Sunday was Jimmie Johnson and the Chase standings - television covered it right."

I lose more and more respect for him all of the time. Evidently, the more he hangs around Mike Bagley, the more he has become a NASCAR/media apologist.

I would be interested to know how many times the actual JJ wreck was shown during the race broadcast. I think it would be an astounding number.

RobsanX said...

They kept showing JJ like he had a chance to race his way back to the lead lap. He was over 100 laps down! The only spots he was going to make up were on start-and-parks and others who wrecked, etc. There was no need to continuously focus on him throughout the race!

Richard in N.C. said...

I believe it is fair to say that the mainstream media is far more likely to criticize NASCAR than ESPN in all cases.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? What is wrong with updating the struggles of the 3 time defending champ in the series?

Last week, many of the faithful TDP'ers were giving the Cup to JJ. Most of the print and internet sports writers were quietly conceding the Cup to JJ considering his previous 3 years performance in the Chase.

I, like many of us, flipped in and out of the race between football commercials to see what was going on. I was glad to be able to see the JJ wreck when I came back around lap 60 or so. I had not seen it (amazing what a crew can do in 30 minutes, isn't it?). According to the race post, you who didn't surf had seen it a few times already. Sorry for your inconvenience. Made me come back to the race more often than normal to keep up with the Chase standings.

I went back and watched the last laps and thought they did a good job of documenting the guys coasting out of gas. They even said that 2nd place hadn't crossed the line yet while they showed the crew reacting. Then they showed Harvick, who was 2nd run out of gas and finish 5th. They even talked to a bunch of drivers and crew chiefs. Hooray!

@PPistone was right in my opinion. With 3 races to go, the story is the Chase and the 2 or 3 guys with a remote shot getting to JJ. They didn't just talk about it, they showed it. TV=pictures. When you do something on the radio, how do you know what your missing since you can't see it?

It seems to me that the ever present TDP family should plan a picnic and skip the last 2 broadcasts of the year. I can only imagine lower blood pressures and a greater sense of worth. ESPN has beaten you this season. Watch football, or CSI marathons on Sunday, or spent it with your loved ones. Pick your battles. This one this season is over.

But Red, stop caring and you lose the war.....

Indytina said...

One thing you all need to remember is that ESPN paid NASCAR a TON of money to get this. I'm sure NASCAR has gotten all of this, so they might not be thinking about why they should care that ESPN is stinking up the place Every Freaking Weekend. Why they should care is that if ESPN drives ratings down because of the horrid coverage, and if the sponsors are upset because their drivers aren't getting any camera time, they won't get as much $$$ for the next contract they negotiate. Somehow I think they are missing that point.

I just wish the races were carried on an FM station here instead of AM - can't pick up MRN on the tuner in my house. Tempted to start using the iheartradio app on my iPhone to listen to the coverage. It's so much more interesting and lively than the drivel on TV.

Laurie Chambers said...

Thank you bad at referring to Bill France JR (no disrespect)...meant Brian France...gosh I was pretty aggravated with the day, huh??!!

The Loose Wheel said...

Thanks Terri. Called it.

PRN at least interviewed Mark Martin before JJ.

For starters thank goodness it went green to the end since I barely caught the end on the radio. May have to seriously consider doing the Cup race too here at PIR.

Now ESPN, up until 35 to go (since that is all I saw) had moments of improvement, and moments of horror. The production truck is STILL the disaster it has been all season. Not much I can say on that though it was nice to hear Andy be ontop of that JPM/Carl wreck before the camera ever showed Carl going around. That was a MAJOR plus!

The Jimmie Johnson show is getting old though. I won't call it a script since it seems the "haters" want something to nitpick about. Jimmie is the points leader, its a big story, I get it. But updating the progress in the garage and showing the wreck over and over and over again was overkill. I am not sure if ESPN just lacks common sense or if they really think this is what we WANT to see but for myself, it sure is NOT. Granted, you didn't have the best show up front, there was still good stories throughout the field from Dale Jr having a VERY solid run most the day to John Andretti putting in a heck of an effort on a 3rd engine for the weekend to teams like Bill Elliott and Regan Smith looking towards 2010 trying to get their 1.5 mile programs together. Guys trying to have great runs before seasons end. There were guys that ran top 10 all day who seemingly got ignored.

Oh well though, can't count my ratings next week Disney folk! Better off at the track listening to MRN!

Todd said...

OMG BSPN LOVES JJ. The worst race i've EVER seen on tv. You know, after a couple of years you would think Jerry Punch would learn the drivers names. Did anybody catch the shot of the home depot car driving down pit road with the roof-top camera while Punch says here's Carl Edwards heading for pit road? Jerry come on man!

Todd said...

oooops sorry that the OFFICE depot bad

Ken said...

Can you imagine trying to watch the race on TV if you were new to the sport? If the long time fans can't follow what is going on, how is a newer fan going to have any idea what is going on? If someone has never been to a race in person, the TV coverage would not make you want to do so. The worse the TV coverage gets, the smaller the crowd will be at the track. Pitifully poor coverage.

Tgro said...

You would think that since they don't talk about other drivers they could at least keep the scoring ticker at the top of the screen relevant.

I don't know how many times I was watching the ticker only to see it change around 15th - 20th into "Chase Points as of Now". Or having to wait through 10 ordinary tickers to get to a ticker showing intervals so I could tell who was where and how far down. Or the ticker would be going and they would go to commercial about the time the ticker hit 15.

I mean for god sakes. I spent more time watching the ticker than the race and even that wasn't telling me anything! The ticker manager needs to be fired!

As for the race....Plain and simple and more than ever....

ESPN = Boring!

red said...

anon@1:06am: not giving up fighting the war. i just need some R and R for the next 2 weeks from nascar cup broadcasts.

i'll still enjoy the truck races, might try a n'wide race or 2 and may spend some time at the race shop of an acquaintance who races modifies at the local dirt track. it's "rebuilding the car" time, doncha know!

still love racing -- just don't care about what tv shows or does for these last 2 weeks.

@beating: you misunderstand. i'm no longer stressed or frustrated so there's no need to "lighten up." i've been moved beyond those feelings. they imply that one cares enough have emotions about it. this season has finished for me so there's none of that.

i'll spend the off-season doing what i do and will look forward to 2010 daytona. i'll still do the 2 dover races and we're planning a richmond trip as well this year.

but there's nothing more i can add to espn broadcast comments and that's because i just don't care anymore about this season and this broadcast partner.

Cooter said...

Absolutely, positively the worst race broadcast ever inflicted on us!
If you're "just joining our coverage" the reference is to the Jimmie Johnson documentary on making roadside car repairs.
I hate that I missed the Texas race. I watched ESPN on ABC all afternoon, but never saw a race.

sue said...

I wish someone with a dvr would tell us how many times we were shown the picture of the wreck of Johnson "just in case you missed it". The focus on Johnson was definately overkill.

Anonymous said...

Ken -- you're dead-on about new viewers. I've only started watching NASCAR in the last few years. If it weren't for SPEED's broadcasts of practice and qualifying, I really couldn't make heads or tails of a lot of ESPN's Sunday coverage.

My complaints about the Texas race are 1) the whole Jimmie thing, 2) the last laps were high-drama yet I couldn't understand who was racing in what order and who crossed the finish line in what order, and 3) Jamie Little's Victory Lane interview when she seemed incapable of actually asking a question/forming a sentence. "It's like, hey" is now permanently burned into my brain.

The audience I really worry about is the sponsors. Unless you're Lowe's, your brand hardly gets camera-time. Even if you're in the top 10. What's the use of special paint schemes if they're never shown and never explained on the Sunday race broadcast? What's the use of buying a :30 TV spot if everyone's listening to the radio?

Anonymous said...
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red said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Damon said...

Far be it for me to agree with Pete Pistone, but Jimmie Johnson's first real mishap in the Chase (a race too late, IMO) with two races to go when he could've all but clinched the title WAS the story yesterday.

I have no problems with ABC going to him first after the race was over to get his thoughts on his day.

Tom said...

I think I am with Red on this, I Just Don't Care. After 25 years of watching or listening to pretty much every race, I missed it-missed it completely...No, I didn't have to rake leaves or attend a funeral. I was having fun playing a game online and I completely forgot about it! Sorry!. I am not an MTV-addled teen, I am just a fan who has no interest in the racing or broadcasts anymore! Lets hope next year is better!

Inverness, FL

Vicky D said...

and this morning I open up the Houston Chronicle and there, big as life, is a picture of JJ's crashed car. A little bitty picture of Kurt Busch with the write up about him winning the race was there. No picture of Kurt's car or anything. And of course, since my fav driver is not in the chase although he finished 3rd, never a mention in the paper either. I'm almost to the point of giving up!

Colorado said...

Folks, if your'e just joining us....For those of you that missed it, here are the top stories....They must have said that over 100 times. The straw(s) that broke the camel's back was a replay of Carl Edwards fuel gamble last year, in the waning laps of this race. OMG! Are they serious to cut away for about ten total minutes between the replay of last year and then go to commercial? Disjointed to say the least. Oh, and if you're just joining this post, for those that missed it, here is the top story: ESPN has JJ as a full time employee. Folks, for those that are just joining us...Ad nauseum.I said it the other day in my post aboput how they script stories mid-week: They put this "telecast" together on Wednesday, a full day before the shootings at Fort Hood. Hardly a mention, and I mean HARDLY a mention, even when Jamie Little is interviewing Ryan Newman about the "big story" of his crash last week, she gives a mention about a special decal on his car honoring those affected by the tragedy, yet ESPN NEVER showed the decal. And when she sent it back to Allen, he stumbled with the subject, because it wasn't on the script! Now, God forbid something else happens this week AFTER their production meeting Wednesday, because we will NEVER see or hear of it! Can you imagine if they broadcast the race after 9/11, and their meeting was before the tragedy? Same as last week. They would be upset because it interfered with the scripted story lines. Clowns.

rich said...

Anon 7:36, you are wrong. This is one of the few sites where you can post your opinion about Nascar TV, no matter how you feel. You simply need to be civil.
The worst thing for me about this whole ESPN debacle is that I dvr every race in case my fav driver wins and then I download to dvd. So my Directv ratings show that I am still watching ESPN/ABC and I am not. I starting watching Hotpass on Directv several races ago. It is not as complete as it was last year but it is free now. I personally think that a pay per view in this vein would fly if the economic conditions get better.
Every dog has its day and I fear that Nascar has had theirs. I am an old time fan who used to have to search to find which channel had the race. No internet for info and all the races were not even covered. Then the boom and now the bust.
When this settles out I hope that I don't have to hunt all over for the race again.

MRM4 said...

I can't add anything that's already been mentioned. The regular replays of Johnson's wreck was sickening. I wish I had kept my recording so I could go back and recount the number of times theu replayed his wreck after that first caution. Simply, it was overkill.

Greg said...

It must be the Northwest Airline pilots that are directing the telecast because THEY MISS EVERYTHING!! Every week it's the same thing... something happens on the track and I am sitting on the bumper of some 14th place car because "it looks cool how close they are at 150 MPH" while real racing is going on.

Also, who gives a rat about Robby Gordon changing tires? They throw a camera on some guys helmet and then feel compelled to show you the EVERY pit stop of a 27th place team, while racing is going on the track. And why doesn't someone say something about why his brakes are on fire? Because even the guys in the booth aren't watching.

Racing on the track? I am watching Chad and the team fix the car. Crashing on the track? I am watching the rear bumper of a car. Racing on the track? I am watching a torn up 38th place car tick off laps. Racing on the track? I am looking at the "points as they run" (as if that means something). Would someone tell the producer that they only award points AT THE END OF THE RACE.

I really tried to cut Jerry Punch some slack this season, but I have to admit, you are all right. He sucks. He is bored and doesn't have a clue what is going on. He really needs to be back on pit row where he shined for so many years. Maybe it's his medical background, but the man cannot understand big picture. His focus in the pits has been on the small story, but he is clueless abouthow to paint a picture. PLEASE MOVE AB to the booth!

I really am at a loss. I just cannot understand how ABC feels they are doing a good job. The problems are apparent in front of the camera, but to me, the real problem is behind the camera in the truck. They need to get rid of everyone from director on up to the executive producer and bring in people that understand leadership and how to tell a story. I will be so happy when this debacle called ESPN is behind us.

GinaV24 said...

Just for the record -- the JJ crash was replayed 16 times during the broadcast.

Sure, it was a big story that the points leader crashed out so early in the race, but it wasn't the ONLY story in the race. Pistone is another NASCAR shill - I try to never read his stuff. I'm not giving him "hits" on his site.

Anonymous said...

According to Cawsnjaws

Number of replays of the JJ Wreck, 13

Number of times the 48 was shown in garage, 17

Number of times Chad Knaus was shown working on the car, 5

Oh, and the 48 was in the garage for 1hr 8 mins.

he lost 109 points

Just in case you missed it.

Dave in Milwaukee

JohnP said...

The coverage was horrible... After watching my Redskins loose as predicted I went to the race.. ESPN'a darling Jimmy Johnson had already wrecked and was in the shop.. YET all I heard coming from Jerry Punch and the crew was "Jimmy", "Johnson" and "Jimmy Johnson". It's there EVERY other sentence. How about the rest of the race. Again, my driver is Tony Stewart and I could not follow what was going on.. There was so much coverage of a car that was "out" of contention for the win of THIS race.. ESPN just does not get it..

Cover THE RACE and let the championship fall where it may..

Anonymous said...

Lets see, Jimmy wrecks, it is replayed over and over and over and over and over, poor DR is blamed over and over and over, to their credit the ABC guys finally stopped blaming David, but Rusty Wallace, every chance he got, DR wrecked Jimmy, DR wrecked Jimmy, the bias some of these announcers have is very obvious. Yes the chase leader wrecked, but it was sooooooooooo overdone, heck once he wrecked they should have just said the race is over, the star is out why continue the broadcast?

Ziggy said...

It just dawned on me that I have no life on Sunday afternoons if I'm watching an ESPN NASCAR telecast.

Barry said...

Please!!! Put Allen Bestwick back in the play-byplay booth and Jerry Punch back in the pits! Get rid of Brad Dougherty; he doesn't know ANYTHING about racing. Let's get back to the days of covering a race, not just the Jimmy Johnson story. ESPN, if you read any of these blogs, you'll know that the viewers aren't happy and are changing the channel. Do the right thing, right now! Give us a race broadcast like you did in the beginning. Every driver is someone's favorite, so cover them all. don't try to force us to like someone. It just doesn't work. You do the same thing with drag racing. you try to make us all fall in love with Ashley Force. Most of us already have favorite drivers and don't need you to force one on us. ESPN, get back to race coverage, not story-making.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Rusty Wallace, and the stupid things they have Dave Burns do. Also the one female pit reporter, tall blonde with pony tail, she's over the top on trying to make everything SO dramatic. Luckily I finished installing my outdoor Sirius Radio Antenna right before the race. So, watched it on TV but muted the TV announcers, listened to it on Sirius. MUCH BETTER!!

Donna DeBoer said...

I dare anyone to say this race was boring! But you can say all you want, THE TV COVERAGE WAS BORING! My son's fave is the 48 and he liked all the TV coverage they got, I like the Busch bros and liked seeing them a lot, but I'm pretty sure ESPN/ABC didn't do that just for us.
First time in awhile that I couldn't match the TV picture to the actual race action, which I enjoyed via internet and radio coverage. I also gotta hand it to Twitter, when I signed up I thought it a novelty, didn't think it would be all that useful, but thanks to my few handpicked accounts that I monitor according to my preferences (a couple reporters, a couple driver crews, a couple teams) their updates were as timely and on mark as anything the apps or radio reported, and sometimes ahead because of their on the spot immediacy.
The only positive I'll give TV was the post race coverage, in the sense that it's better to have some than none.

Anonymous said...

and the interesting part about that is, while watching the split screen on TV that had Johnson's garage and later him slowly circling the track, the other side had the leader zoomed in. On Sirius radio, there was actually a RACE going on!!! Wow, what do you know??? You mean there were other cars in the race besides the 2 and 48??!! No wonder TV ratings are dropping..........

Zieke said...

Looks like JJ is getting all the coverage no matter where he finishes. What a fit. He is out there running around, probably driving with one finger and sipping Coca-Cola in a car that is pure JUNK, while TV covers him like a blanket. I cannot describe coverage like that without getting bleeped. And I like JJ alot, and respect his abilities, altho I also think that many drivers could flourish with Chad's set-up under their cars. As for ESPN, they need to get rid of their #1 cheerleader and suck-up artist (Brad) before before sugar begins pouring out of his mouth. He adds nothing to a broadcast, except maybe filling in for the Waltrips. SAD!

MRM4 said...

I normally don't watch any of the pre-race shows unless there's nothing else on at the time and I happen to be in front of the TV when it's on. But I did catch the piece they did on the physics of some of these crashes. Very well done and very interesting. Too bad the race coverage doesn't match the pre-race show.

Kyng said...

didn't even watch the race. the coverage has been SO bad that it held zero interest for me. and I am a fan who used to go to 2-3 races per year and watch every telecast.
the track is also a problem - part of the "add-ons" that took races away from legitemate NASCAR tracks.

NASCAR & the TV contractors have gotten what they deserve.

Anonymous said...

In 1978 I was in Boarding School in NW mass. The rule was who ever got to the TV first picked the show. On Sunday mornings I would run to the lone TV room in a dorm of 600 kids to make sure I got to the TV first so I could watch racing.

I am thankful that now a days we have more TV coverage available than ever before. I am amazed how nostalgic I am for those far away Sundays of my youth. It might have been less coverage but it did cover the race, not what we have now which is NO coverage of the race.

I have never actually turned off a race in progress (except for once last year when I watched a 2 hr movie while reading TDP and listening to scanner) but I did yesterday.

I am with Red. I am done for the year. I can't take it anymore. I am so tired at the end of the race from all the multi-tasking to keep up with where all the drivers I follow are at it feels like a job you really hate.

I want to enjoy my sport. It is the only one I have ever followed. Since 1969 and the snippets from Wide World of Sports I have dedicated February through November to nascar. Seeking out every little bit of info I could from the newspaper, or the weekly inside winston cup which was supscription. I have followed the sport through all three regular networks and on to cable. I have payed several hundreds of dollars to see incar on cable until they stopped doing it. I am not able to devote that kind of money any more and can't afford Direct TV so I am stuck with ESPN and because I choose to spend what little money I can spare on racing, I have second tier cable that covers SPEED. I am I think a dedicated, loyal and knowlageable fan.

I am also a tired fan. Not of the chase, not of the problems with the CoT not of JJ or any other driver trying to make history, just the constent single car shots, lack of resets after pit stops, lousy questions by pit reporters and anylists who are looking at a monitor instead of out the window.

I have complained and vented on TDP for three years. I didn't hate ESPN before and I don't now. I hate an inferior production they give me. Especially when with a few simple changes that have been detailed here ad nuseum they could make this all go away.

Even when I don't have TDP or the scanner I am STILL yelling at the tv about the lousy coverage. I will put the scanner up for the last two races because it isn't Dale Jr's fault that I can't keep up with the race. I'm not going to desert my drivers, just the TV coverage. I will follow leaderboard and listen to TJ on scanner and still know more than those watching on TV, just without the headache.

The only ones that will loose in this scinario are the sponsors. I am afraid that between the coverage and the economy Nascar my find itself with no decals on the cars (that are left) and no folks in the stands or on the couch at home next year. There IS a tipping point for everything and unfortunatly this confluence of events plus the inept leadership from Brian France is Nascars.

Someone put on twitter that it's 97days to Daytona. See y'all then.

saltsburg trojanfan said...

Here's a solution to all of your TV problems: BOYCOTT E$PN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think a lot of NASCAR fans already are doing just that.

Ratings should be huge with fans home and not traveling as much with the economy. Look at the NFL.

Instead, they are just gone. It sure is a shame.

BWBarefoot said...

I followed the race live on HotPass/PRN, then watched a tape of the ESPN telecast.

I wish I could disagree with the posts I have seen so far, but I can't. Even though Jimmie Johnson is one of my favorite drivers, the coverage of his struggles was overkill. Let's just say the second choice of their favored storyline (Kyle Busch) didn't work out well either.

Without the ticker I would be absolutely lost - and even that was dedicated to points on several occasions.

The PRN coverage was much better. And it had no booth guests either.

Finally, shame on ESPN for not showing the decal for the Fort Hood victims. And I might add that it didn't even show the infield tribute that Texas Motor Speedway made early Friday on such short notice. It had been on the trucks and Nationwide telecasts earlier in the week.

Anonymous said...

Brad Daugherty adds nothing to the program. Let me repeat: NOTHING! Honestly, they could pick a fan of the week to sit in the final chair and get more perspective and analysis than Brad. Aside from really loving the races, I don't know what qualities he brings to the telecast. I get the feeling that if Brad was on a basketball pre-show, he would be full of insightful analysis, seeing things others miss, and providing an expertise that only a few man have. But in NASCAR? All he does is hoot and holler and yell "C'mon boys!" It is a lame act and I don't for the life of me know why he is there. Then again, they have a college football sidelines reporter calling the race, so an NBA all-star as analyst makes sense in their crazy world.

PS - Did I hear correctly that Jimmie Johnson got into a wreck? Somehow I missed that on Sunday, was it bad?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:23 -

Are you kidding? JJ wrecked at least 10 times that I saw. They were all bad wrecks, but Chad kept fixing the car and sending JJ back out, only to wreck again.

ABC/ESPN drove me away weeks ago from watching a whole race. Now I plan other activities and check in every 20 minutes or so just to get an update. It was amazing. Every time I tuned in, ESPN/ABC would tell me which Busch was leading, and then JJ would crash again.

Does anybody know if anything else happened at the Texas race?

Vince said...

I didn't watch any of the prerace shows. I didn't watch the race. I didn't even waste my DVR space recording it. I watched my Lions get beat again and then watched NYG get beat (that one I liked). From what I have read here I didn't miss anything. If Brian France can't take the time to watch the putrid product that ESPN/ABC gives us, why should I?

I've been posting here since JD started this blog. TDP'ers have given plenty of constructive input to ESPN/ABC and Fox as to how they can improve their race broadcasts. And they for the most part have ignored us. So why should I continue to watch an inferior product? NASCAR and ESPN you've sucked the life out of the races. My girlfriend came in to the room yesterday afternoon and asked me why I wasn't watching the race. I told her because ESPN had forgotten how to broadcast it.

Sign me a long time fan (44yrs) that has lost interest and has better things to do on my weekends.

RobFromToronto said...

JJ here JJ there..JJ everywhere..i think there may have been a race going on behind the JJ show..but am not sure..guy crashes on lap 3..O.K..cover bout how it impacts the chase..etc etc..thats fine..but every 5 minutes for the remainder of the race to continue to talk about him?..ESPN/ABC might be latin for moronic broadcasting..JJ is 121 laps down..if the race were to be red flagged now...ARRRRRGGGHHH...i'm having mini anuerisms thanks to jerry punchs ability to totally bore up anything he goes near.
The whole broadcast team is an utter failure keeping to an inane script that often has nothing to do with whats actually happening..espn/abc has taken away my desire to watch racing..i should go back to my solitary boycott...i did it for one race and world didnt end..i should make it permanent..blah

The Loose Wheel said... You pre-date me by alot lol.

Im just old enough to remember the back end of ESPN's first go around (97-2000) and even now I can say that was probably the best coverage the sport EVER received. I was super excited when I heard ESPN was getting NASCAR back....if I had known then what I know now though I would have been ripping my hair out. This coverage makes NBC's NASCAR coverage look exciting.

West Coast Diane said...

I started watching on ESPN because I had a conflict with DVR'ing 3 things (Grand Prix Skating :-)). Had to wait 45 minutes to switch to HotPass with Montoya. Then I switched back to ESPN when Montoya crashed, didn't want to watch Harvick.

It was very painful watching ESPN. I feel so bad for AP & DJ, because I am starting to hate listening to them as much as JP. I want to believe it is because JP is so terrible at PxP and not them.

While watching HotPass, it seemed as though the ESPN window was a constant Jimmy show. After reading TDP live blogging I guess I wasn't imagining it!

I will give ESPN a teeny weeny break on the Jimmy coverage. He is leading the points, he is going for 4th championship. I didn't mind some of the garage stuff (small split window, pls) because I am always fascinated, no matter who it is, how what takes hours, days, weeks in our auto world...can be done so quickly. In JJ's case basically rebuilding the whole car.

However, the replays were overkill and the "updates" were ill timed and over the top. On the half hour they could have given updates "for those just joining us". After JJ returned to the track, it was only necessary to update his situation if he gained a spot.

I normally am not a fan of "points as of now". But in this instance it was ok once in a while to give a perspective on where Mark or Jeff would have to finish to really make up enough points to make last two races somewhat interesting.

Bottom line, ESPN has just lost or never had the recipe for doing a great telecast.

We can hope for change next year. But I am so tired of all this and the fact that the sport that I love is too painful to watch...I may just stop watching and spare myself the agony.

I would still try to listen on radio and follow TDP, but that would be about it.

I said previously that maybe ESPN was trying to get out of the contract. But, if Brian France isn't watching and thinks we are just a bunch of misfits, guess that approach won't work.

Truly believe if it wasn't for TDP I may have stopped watching by now.

Anonymous said...

If the President of NASCAR, Brian France, cannot take the time to watch his marque product, at a track his family owns, why should I even care to turn on the TV?

rich said...

David, you are making me feel old.
I just finished fast forwarding thru the race on dvr. Unbelievable but even in fast forward the 48 was all that was on the screen.
It still amazes me how much ESPN/ABC depends on replay. How can they miss that much live action. I guess the answer is that the truck is so busy inserting the scripted items that they can't spare somebody to watch the monitors and switch to the right camera.
I mean their whole production is overkill. Do they need 11 guys in the booths? NO. Do they need a live tech center? NO. Do they need a new producer? YES YES YES

JohnP said...

Oh, did anyone notice yesterday? Chad Knaus had to TELL ESPN that there was a caution out!! Now, if that does not make BSPN look bad then I don't know what does..

The people working the pits don't know the sport.. All they look for is personal stories.. "how do you feel" kind of stuff.. Well, this is not politics and I don't care how they "feel"..

Show me the race and not constant side shows!!!

ems74 said...

QUOTING:Fox...well that gopher cartoon got on my nerves and DW going off topic, but even though he did that, he did pay attention to the race, and would make a comment about someone losing it and then the guys in the Fox truck would go back and find what the heck DW was talking about.

++++ you are going to have to trust me on this --- I am very good friends with the Director of the FOX NASCAR races. And yes - they do an excellent job. There is a balance. They need to try to appeal to the widest market. There is a reason it is called BROADcasting and not Narrowcasting ;-). He actually fought for earlier starting times. He has suggested that some races do the "no commercial" bit. But there are always higher ups that think they know better! LOL

Todd said...

Same awful broadcasting, all around, week after week. I always wonder why I get less excited about the racing when FOX's coverage ends. It's not like ESPN will even listen to anyone anyway about how to cover a race. Their total disregard of actual racing has taken a back seat to drama since day one. Get Bestwick in the booth!!!

ems74 said...

And one more thing --- well NOW ABC/ESPN can, with the "tightened" up points --- go with: "The Shootout in the West" all bloody week long ... guys --- it has been since like 1992 that the driver leading with 2 races to go has NOT won the championship. (please correct me if I am wrong!)

Tom said...

You are 100 percent correct, my friend. In 1992, the lead actually changed hands in each of the final three weeks.

Bill Elliott was in front after Phoenix, the late Davey Allison led after they raced at Rockingham, and Alan Kulwicki won the title by a measly 10 points over Elliott.

Imagine that...a season without the Chase that had drama all the way to the end.


Delenn said...

I am not sure ESPN deserve me spending another second talking about their race telecast, but JD and TDPers deserve more, so we keep going.

Terrible broadcast. I hope JJ is ok after all those crashes. Terrible direction. Poor use of picture-in-picture. Same old same old.

Here's what ESPN need to do:
1. Get a director who knows how to direct a motor race. (race, not pre-agreed storyboard).
2. Get a producer who knows how to produce a motor race. (race, not pre-agreed storyboard).
3. Get Bestwick into the booth, and show them where the window is.
4. Get Punch onto the pit lane, and show the other pit reporters how to do the job.
5. Get Brad a seat in the grandstand for each and every race, and don't have anything more to do with him.
6. Get rid of the Tech Center (and Brewer), the eye candy (replace with Voda), the In-Car Reporter, Full Throttle.
7. Get rid of a gopher, or any other furry animal (oh sorry, that's Fox isn't it?)

That's it. That's your list.

Now, to quote some of ESPN's other talent. "GROW SOME ONIONS AND MAKE THE CHANGES."

Anonymous said...

I was not able to turn on the race until lap 100, and was fortunate to see the first JJ update. Little did I know that I would have to witness the same update many more times. The coverage was so bad, that my wife, who was not watching the race,, but coming into and out of the room asked "Are they showing anything other than JJ crash? That is the third time I saw it." After yet another JJ update, I finally did something that I have not done this season. In disgust, I turned off the TV, deleted the race on the DVR, and turned on the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, I was also among those who DVR'ed the race, which I am so happy I did.

As others have said, the way ESPN showed it, it seemed that JJ's crash was the only event of the day.

Also enjoyed JP calling the Office Depot rooftop cam "Here's the 99 on pit road" - Uh, it is November, and Tony's had that sponsor all year.

Disappointing, simply disappointing, much like a lot of ESPN's motorsports coverage these days.

Anonymous said...

@ Delenn

You are 100% correct, but JD (and please correct me if I'm wrong) assures us that the Director and Producer are both veterans of motorsports broadcasting which is why it is so astonishing and mystifying as to why the product comes over as it does.

As I said in my fist post. With a few SIMPLE changes, let AB do PXP and let the director and producer do their job, ESPN could make this all go away.

It is mind boggeling that they won't at least TRY it for a few races to see what kind of feedback they get.

Anonymous said...

You know, I do wonder...obviously the Office Depot thing was a mistake but I wonder if the number thing is a habit from the pit days. Spotters usually use the numbers, not the names (even when it's a teammate or relative.) Sometimes on the radio the drivers will ask 'who's in the 71?' if it's a part time or field filler. So they don't always know who's in the cars either. Not trying to defend Jerry here, just wondering. He's had plenty of time to *learn* the names & use them, but I can cut him some slack on the sponsors...I still think 'Tony Stewart' when I see the HD car. Just habit. Usually someone whispers in their ear and they correct themselves. At the local tracks I've been to, they usually use a mix of both. That is not a habit that bothers me as much as it does some of you others. But certainly 'If you just joined us' and 'sailing into the corner' has become really, really old. But honestly, the worst thing about this one was that no one seemed to be able to tell us where anyone was but the leaders. And as several others have mentioned, as soon as they'd get to my driver on the ticker, it'd go to points or go off to show another update of Jimmie in the garage.

MRM4 said...

It's a shame the pit studio people offer more insight and excitement than the guys covering the race in the booth.

Initially, I had no problems with Brad Daughtery on the broadcast. But after 3 years, it's time to get someone in there that offers something other than general talk and cliches.

I've never had problems with Fox except for Digger and their self-promotion. But I am so looking forward to February.

Delenn said...

@ ri88girl
Thanks for the info. I am astonished. I assumed they were stick and ball regulars who drew the short straw.

Something is very clearly wrong. If the producer and director are veterans of the business, and they allegedly know what they should be doing, why are they doing this? Why are they doing such a poor job? Who put them up to it?

kbaskins said...

from anon @ 12:51

Are you kidding? JJ wrecked at least 10 times that I saw. They were all bad wrecks, but Chad kept fixing the car and sending JJ back out, only to wreck again.

Funniest. Post. Ever.

I have nothing to say about the broadcast that I haven't said before, or hasn't been expressed in this thread. ESPN blows chunks, pure and simple.


Anonymous said...
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Darcie said...

Seeing how Johnson's team rebuilt that car was great---ONE TIME. But seeing it over and over again was pure overkill. Yes, his team did an amazing job, but I don't think we needed the reruns. Maybe it was, according to Jerry Punch's favorite line "for those of you just joining us". Perhaps ESPN realizes that most of their viewers tune in and out, so they felt their reruns of Chad and Co was what they needed to do. NOT !!!!!

Chris from NY said...

Unfortunately, I'm not going to catch Homestead. I'm going to a Giants game which was originally scheduled for 1:00, but moved for 4:15 for whatever (unexplained) reason.

But I wonder what kind of a show Homestead will be if Mark Martin steals the championship from Johnson....

Probably asking if Jimmie can do it next year.

Who knows now?

I can't wait for FOX so we could get back to putting Digger down the toilet drain rather than his hole. Rather rant on a bad mascot than bad all-rounder coverage.

The Loose Wheel said...

Chris, Flex-sched game

LOL, word ver: morin

Richard in N.C. said...

I only got to watch the first 100 or so laps and had to listen to the rest on PRN. I found the race exciting and full of drama. Shame it wasn't on ABooC.

Trident said...

The 1950s "Jalopy Racing from Hollywood" (black/white tv) hosted by Bill Welch was better than the NASCAR krap EEK!SPN presented on the Disney Channel yesterday.

Too bad the 'race' exhaled vigorously.

The 1950s show was directed using ONE camera, and the producer never made us feel like we missed a thing.

Word veri: 'disses.'
Quite appropriate, methinks.

New monicker.

Trident said...


Got quite the expected response, re: King Brian of France stating that he doesn't watch the telecast.

His kingdom for a horse's arse... Done!

Word veri: 'primete' - hehe, swap an 'a' for an 'e' and you get the description of those in charge, both the event and the coverage.

Anonymous said...

Barry--he knows about racing someone to the front of the line for food. I swear that segment was so embarrassing and No more Brad and food segments! We know he's hungry all the time but it's SAD!

@ri88--yes you tune in for racing (or whatever your sport is) to RELAX not work to find out what TV *should* be telling you.

Dannyboy7293 said...

FYI Brian France didn't say he "didn't watch the race" broadcast.

He said he "didn't watch the WHOLE" thing. Whatever you may think of Brian France, we need to avoid misquoting people in a forum about media.

At our house in San Diego we were watching the Chargers-Giants game and switching to the race between plays. What I saw mostly was either in-cars or split-screens with a closeup on the leader in one box and Jimmie's crew repairing the car in the other.

Now, I'm a fan of in-car from way back when there wasn't any such technology and it was introduced. Finally I was able to see what the driver sees. But today I can crank up my computer sim and actually drive the tracks, so the novelty is much less compelling. TV has ruined some of the drama of racing by their obsession with closeups.

Watching yesterday in snips it became apparent that the story was ONLY a)the leader, and b) Jimmie Johnson's wreck. Enough already! And we say that as his "homeys"!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Q: Were you disappointed with the ABC broadcasters last weekend, their description of the race?

BRIAN FRANCE: I didn’t see it.

Trident said...

From @PPistone: 'The story Sunday was Jimmie Johnson and the Chase standings - television covered it right.'

This flow-down and controlled corporate shilling rivals the mass-media's underachieving "reporting" of current events.

Both are disgusting dismissions of the viewer's intelligence.

Too bad that for four hours 'television' missed covering the RACE. Oh wait - there wasn't one!

As one wag suggested, did JJ crash once and his crew rebuilt his car sixteen times? Too funny.

[Could anyone picture JP asking anyone within earshot who the heck was second at the finish? The whole busful of bozos was clueless.]

Word Veri, a good one: 'lefurgy'
You decide; alternates requested.

Anonymous said...

But JD do we know he wasn't at the track? Haven't gotten a clear answer. Still possible he was at the track and looking out the window and wasn't monetoring the broadcast.

This doesn't mean he shouldn't have reviewed it after, but do we know he wasn't there?

larry said...

Trident said...
"The 1950s "Jalopy Racing from Hollywood" (black/white tv) hosted by Bill Welch was better than the NASCAR krap EEK!SPN presented on the Disney Channel yesterday."

Geez...I raced jalopies in the 1950s at Gardena Stadium. Bill Welch was the only celebrity there. We drivers were not considered special...the race was the show.


Daly Planet Editor said...

You guys are making me work today!

Bob Miller said...

First, they need to send Punch back to the pits. He rambles when he has to talk too much.
Second, Have the producer in the truck keep the camera on the monitor that the announcers are talking about. DJ seems to watch the tv feed and is timely with the comments and thoughts.
Third, get rid of the rest of the announcers and all of the "what were your emotions" pit reporters that just talk for camera time.
Fourth, call a spade a spade. The Talladega race was a single file protest and ESPN should call them out for it.
And finally, lets not forget that FOX started this poor excuse for race coverage by blurring the sponsors that wouldn't pay up to be shown and it has been spinning out of control ever since. This is not and will never be the NFL and they cannot cover it that way as there simply is not enough people in this sport to occupy that much BS coverage and this sport is not a game!

Trident said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...


The reporter I checked with did not see France at the track. France spoke with Dustin Long the following week in TX. for the article.


Trident said...

@Larry said,
"Geez...I raced jalopies in the 1950s at Gardena Stadium. Bill Welch was the only celebrity there. We drivers were not considered special...the race was the show.

Holy cow, Larry - you're older than me - you RACED there back then! Good fortunes to you!

Wasn't it great how a simple tv presentation made for a great show that we all ENJOYED.

Word veri: 'suparrr' - I pick Larry and JD.

Anonymous said...

@ JD

yah I knew Dustin interviewed him in TX but thought the other poster had a good point. Do we know how many if any he DOES attend. The answer might suggest why he is so out of touch. It's always been my impression that Bill JR was always there.

word veri weerie - does that thing read minds or something?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Mike Helton runs the show ri88. Brian is the Chairman and not the day-to-day guy. Mike is the President.

Anonymous said...

Ok but Bill Sr and Jr were at the races wern't they...just saying

word veri recker

Trident said...

@ri88girl -
Two good word veri's -
weerie and recker;

Descriptive of the viewers and what EEK!SPN has hooked themselves on to.

Haha, word veri here, colyt: A 21st century disease spread by flaccid color commentators.

Anonymous said...

It was a fascinating little soap opera of a race...the kind of race I love to see...lots of twists, but man, I hate to hear the booth talk. They don't describe the race or talk about what the cars/drivers are doing, they just give facts from the past. Oh, and they make sure you know how many points might result from the current running order. Imagine a football game done like that: Folks, if you're just joining us you'll see the Minnesota Vikings in purple and the Steelers in home white. If the Vikings win they will have scored more points than the Steelers. That's about as deep of coverage as we get with these guys. So, in the end, the fascinating little soap opera of a race - that anyone could enjoy - turned into the longest slog of the season. Stop it! I know you can do better. Why don't you try? I sure dread Homestead.

Anonymous said...
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E-Ticket said...


You are correct and it is probably closer to 100% of the fans watch on TV. The folks in the media, print and TV keep forgetting that is how we see the product and can't understand the negativity or why we aren't happy about what is going on. @PETEPISTONE even had some boy ESPN did a great job today tweet Sunday after the race and I asked him what he liked the best what where the high points... No reply... Can't reply towing the company line..

Dot said...

OK, I'm going to say it and probably be banned from TDP for life.

I would much rather watch Digger than watch the races brought to us by the WWL in sports.

Veri word: pepto. Yes, we all need some.

Trident said...

@Anon 9:49 -
"It was a fascinating little soap opera of a race..."

Yep. Soap Opera = script.
"Tune in next week as (blah blah blah...)"

When the script is lame, and the storyline races seconds apart, ever fewer tune in next week.

Speaking of lame, the word veri made me think of NNS Conway - 'vagilita' - but I won't go there.

Edit, after preview - the new veri is 'vaggeo.'

Has ExTen sponsored the word veri?

Anonymous said...

A bsolutely
B oring
C hase Races

E pecially
S ince
P roduction
N umbing

The Loose Wheel said...

Dot, I agree with you.

The media members that sit there and question our complaints need to realize we watch this product every week. MRN was off this week and unless Pete was at the track (which he was not due to illness) he probably saw it on TV and maybe he did feel it was good. But if any one of these folks actually watched a race and had the radio on along side, hell even pit command and a scanner could tell that things are much much different than the images ESPN is showing.

I will give credit again where they tried to show speeds at the line, but I felt it was too little too often. I liked the graphic that the old ESPN and even FOX would use that shows intervals over the last several laps. That is a tool that would be useful, while the live interval can be nice, it does not tell the same tale a lap over lap summary could. There were many times Reutimann, Ambrose, and Earnhardt Jr were the fastest cars on the track, yet even though they were top 5-10 cars, they were for the most part tuned out of since Jimmie was the story.

Again, YES he is the points leader, YES it is a big story, but it does NOT overshadow the race. Sorry. It's not Homestead yet guys no matter how much you want it to be.

Dot said...

@ David, thank you.

JD, allow me OT for a second.

@ Larry, Gardena Stadium? Pre Ascot? Wasn't a race fan back then.

If BF and BSPN think the race broadcasts are good, is there any hope for us?

Trident said...

@Anon 10:12 PM:

Can you picture Bill France Sr and Walt Disney shaking their heads in heaven right now?

They would have NEVER alienated the 'common' people to whom they brought pleasure and built respect.

A ngry
B oard members
C alling for

E xtraordinary
S tuffing
P ockets
N ow

Word veri: hoystink.
'Nuff said.

Trident said...

@Dot, 10:09 -
"OK, I'm going to say it and probably be banned from TDP for life.

I would much rather watch Digger than watch the races brought to us by the WWL in sports.

Veri word: pepto. Yes, we all need some."

I'm with you, especially with the pepto!

And if I may, that's because Digger targets the veryYOUNGsters, in a way to suggest they share viewing a race with their Mom and Dad. I really have no problem with Digger.

What I DO have a problem with is targeting an 'intermediate-age', "Entitled" viewer who bounces -sometimes aimlessly- from place to place. Fluff, not substance.

Marketing - or Targeting - these 'fans' lacks any sort of long-term connection with NASCAR. They'll fade quicker than the sharkskin suits grabbed them.

So an 'oldster' as I - who has been a race fan for Fifty (yes, fifty) Years - finds this lack of discipline in presenting an honest and factual broadcast abhorrent.

You would have thought that by now they would have learned.

As an aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Speed's presentation of the NASCAR Modifieds broadcast at Bristol, and view it as a crowning achievement in old-school journalism and race coverage in a sea of the utter swamp-mud posed as race coverage in the 'Elite' NASCAR series.

Kudos to Mike Joy, Dick Berggren, Bob Dillner, and the Speed crew who used minimal assets to maximum enjoyment.

Word veri, strimpho:
The watered-down, directionless, inattentive, incongruate and viewer-inconsiderate broadcasts of the late 2000 Cup races by EEK!SPN.

Too bad we viewers can't take that strimpho to the bank.

Sophia said...


Imagine what we could do with those acronyms if this were NOT a family friendly site.

I know a couple of potty mouths that could come up with somethin'. One's on Twitter. Meow... ;-) Actually two but I digress...

Digger was like putting up with chiggers. The more you saw/felt the more annoyed you became.

But I will choose better camera work over cartoons/gizmos.

That said, I liked the FOX guys but their camera direction also STANK. I distinctly remember them ruining Talladega and other larger tracks. In car, roof cam, bumercam bonanza! :(

How long until TNT?

word veri: Amstah

As in Amstadam :)

Anonymous said...

After reading all the comments again this week, I am so glad that I quit watching ABC/ESPN for what they call "live race coverage". My nerves are calmer, my blood pressure is normal and my TV is intact. I have been listening to the radio broadcast and if not doing other things following on Trackpass.

Racing is the only sport I care about or follow. I, like everyone else feel totally cheated.

I understand that we have to endure a certain amount of commercials to pay for our viewing pleasure. Yes this interrupts the flow of the race because there are no interruptions or timeouts to speak of except for yellow or red flag situations. What I don't understand is the race being treated as an interruption to all the pre-recorded segments, incessant replays, storylines etc. that they give us instead of live race coverage. Don't they have enough pre-race time and additional weekly programs to cover all of these things that don't apply to the action happening on the track during the race.

If I were a new fan and just tuned in to a race telecast and it kept my interest, I would seek out the other programs to learn more about the excitement that I witnessed. Gee that's a novel idea. I'm not a new fan. I've been a race fan all my life and only a Nascar fan since the mid 90's.

I have been to 6 Cup races and several of the Nationwide and Trucks this year alone. I know how to find some type of action on the track even when it is boring as can be at the lead. And yes with the COT the action on the track is suffering too, but this is about the TV coverage.

Thank you JD for giving us, the fans a place to be heard. We will see if I bother to watch any of the races on TV next year or not. It sure doens't seem like they are interested in presenting just live racing.

Trident said...


"Imagine what we could do with those acronyms if this were NOT a family friendly site."

It's pretty sad when the word veri's become more entertaining than the racing or coverage thereof!

For example,

Word veri: diarth
"The racing and tv coverage became a diarth to my sensibilities."

Perhaps JD can start a new topic where we can wing a definition and use the word veri in a sentence, as it might pertain to the tv coverage.

Now THAT would be entertaining!

Trident said...

@Anon 11:53
"...My nerves are calmer, my blood pressure is normal and my TV is intact. ..."

You're lucky.

My nerves buzz at 800Hz, my BP soars to 160/95, and bright sparks fly incessantly out of my TV every weekend I tune it to NASCAR on ESPN.

To top it off, my son asks incessantly, "where is the field summary?"
It's madness, I tell you.

Word veri - contse
"Much as I try to tune in to enjoy NASCAR on ESPN, I am left with conthear and contse syndrome."

Ann_Ominous said...

I went to the dog show on Sunday. I got home and tuned in just in time to see Carl crash. Or rather to hear "caution out" and have to wait for the replay to see the crash!

While they were getting the replay que'ed up, the ticker went all the way to the end, where I saw the 48. I thought "oooo... what happened??" They soon showed me a replay of the crash. And another and another and another - so many that I began to believe that I had seen it when it happened!

I settled down on the couch to watch the rest of the race. At one point I found myself falling asleep!

There is another dog show in town next weekend. I think I will go. It can get rather disgusting watching dog shows as a fair number of judges aren't that good and/or are political, but ESPN's coverage is just so bad.

It's probably a good thing that for Homestead weekend the closest dog shows are a 3 hour plus drive away!

larry said...


Yeah, Pre Ascot. I watched telecasts in mid 50s on Channel 5, raced in 59 and 60 or so. 1936 Chevy coupe (pronounced coup-pay) with '53 Ford flat-head engine.

geez, I can remember the channel I watched in 1955, but can't remember what I did yesterday...I hate getting old.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I see that a lot of you got tired of the Jimmie Johnson's crash replayed over and over again but if you ask ESPN's Ryan Macgee he will tell you that, that was the story and nothing else mattered. Well I don't want none of that ESPN cool aid.

The Loose Wheel said...

And Ryan McGee would disagree with his employer why again?

Again, big story, huge for shaking up the points, but not worthy of a mention every 10 minutes.

If it were Homestead it would be much more compelling, but all it would take is a JJ win at Phoenix and the story shifts back to an inevitable 4-peat...

Dot said...

@ Larry,
Thanks. Funny about what we oldies remember, or not.

Thanks to you too, JD for a little OT. Again, education at TDP.