Friday, March 5, 2010

Darrell Waltrip Discovers Twitter

It had to come sooner or later. Darrell Waltrip's younger brother Michael is one of the greatest NASCAR tweeters of all-time. Long before Twitter became the cool thing to do in the sport, there was Mikey!

Pictures of socks, sponsor products, TV shoots and almost anything else that was swirling through his rather unique mind seemed to find its way on Twitter. Waltrip now has over 33 thousand folks following him on his @mw55 social media journey.

Now, big brother has signed-on with the name @AllWaltrip. Darrell got the hang of things rather quickly and noticed that Twitter is kind of catchy.

Certain traits might just run in the family. Before long, Darrell was talking about the final Gordon pitstop in Las Vegas, his sick hound dog and Geoff Bodine's Olympic bobsleds. As Waltrip got the hang of it, things began to mushroom.

Here are some fun DW tweets:

About NASCAR on FOX: TV is 60% mental, the other 50% is delivery.

About his TV viewing: Better get to bed, time for O'Reilly, he's good but I'm starting to dig Glen Beck!

About his endless chatter: People say "you sure do talk a lot." May I remind those people I get paid to talk a lot. A picture AND a thousand words, no pay.

About Junior's nickname: I call him Junebug because when he was a little boy that was what me and Big "E" called him. He told me I was the only one that could do that.

About his Daytona outburst: I just like a good race, an exciting finish. There are times when I just turn into a race fan. Shake and Bake baby that's what DW cheers for.

About today's race schedule: My favorite tracks have always been the short tracks. Big mistake taking them all off the schedule, they are the backbone of the sport!

About Twitter: I've become a Twitter junkie in just a couple of days. I've got to give it a rest, but it sure is fun!!

Last season saw Kyle Petty take his cell phone to the TNT announce booth and use Twitter to interact with fans during the live TNT races. This season, Petty has been tweeting during his various appearances on SPEED shows, including RaceDay and Victory Lane.

That kind of naturally leads to the question of the moment. This Friday, Waltrip will be on the air from Atlanta Motor Speeway. He will call Sprint Cup Series practice, qualifying and appear on Trackside. Now armed with Twitter on his trusty cell phone, will Waltrip interact directly with fans during the time he is on the air?

Thursday on ESPN2's NASCAR Now program, host Nicole Manske had Jimmie Johnson answer Twitter questions that NASCAR fans sent in shortly before the program. They were a lot rougher than many journalists are used to asking the champion. Johnson had a great time with it, that was clear.

One thing Twitter does is open up for people like Waltrip the reality around them that they are sometimes insulated from discovering. Simply by giving fans an opportunity to offer feedback directly, perhaps some priorities might change.

Some female fans on Twitter were not very kind when it came to Waltrip's antics with Danica Patrick on the Trackside show. Had Waltrip read their words, he might keep those comments in the back of his mind for the next time he interacts with Patrick.

Certainly, the viewpoints of those fans are not right or wrong. They are just opinions. The key to Twitter is when something happens on live TV, you get to know how viewers react almost instantly. It's like the NASCAR Fan Council with instant voting.

So while TV personalities from Wendy Venturini to Kenny Wallace tweet from the track this week, it should be interesting to see if Waltrip jumps in the deep end of the pool or puts his instant fan feedback gadget in his pocket. This will be one experiment that anyone can watch. Twitter is easy, free and worthwhile for NASCAR fans.

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Richard in N.C. said...

If they would be honest, I wonder how many people in the media center were cheering for Dale, Jr. at Daytona - imagine the headlines.

Anonymous said...

My computer keeps me busy enough as it is.I understand twitter and the instant messege it provides,IF the person on the other end is on.It should be used sparingly by race announcers during the race,their first duty is to report the race during the broadcast.It should not add another task.As to their off time,I don't really care.

Anonymous said...

I hear Larry McReynolds wants to Twitter, but after he types "I just gotta say something here." he doesn't have enough characters left to finish his thoughts.

Anonymous said...

DW likes FOX News.

First of all, should I suspect this to be a plug for another paycheck writer?

Second, do I as a fan really need to know what DW is watching on TV tonight?

Third, does Twitter show any ability to grow and expand, or are short little missives about what DW is eating for dinner, or where his plane is landing the end-all-be-all of Twitter? It looks to me like this is about as good as Twitter gets, which begs the question: is it really any good at all?

Sorry to be a pessimist, but I have yet to see the content of Twitter match the hype.

Dannyboy said...

I for one am very happy to see ol' DW Tweeting. He's like a kid in a candy stor right now and it's cool to watch.

His "Junebug" explanation and his reason for cheering at the end of the Daytona 500 were also in the category of "Duh" for anyone who's followed DW for a long time.

The fact that he had to explain himself is to the discredit of the detractors who can't see the forest for the trees, and to Waltrip's credit for having the grace to do so.

Ron in NC said...

To be honest, I look forward to someone, anyone taking DW's place. He thinks it is about him. He should leave his big ego in the backwoods of TN. He and Larry are one reason the TV ratings have plummeted. I can't stomach the sound of these 2. Thank God for the mute button on my remote. They "think" they are NASCAR. It would be so nice to tune in Fox without these ego-centric driven people on there. And as for Speed, where were the brains when the put Rutledge Wood and Ponytail Petty on there. OMG. Where is Alan Bestwick the greatest on air guy other than Ken Squier when we need him??

mrclause said...

If you have the desire to shut DW up, just don't allow him to use "I", "ME", "MY"! He may be paid a lot to talk a lot but, maybe not so much to talk about himself or to promote a certain few whose bandwagon he's jumped on. The legacy he's building now like "bogity, bogity,bogity, and promoting his special interests is erasing the legacy he built as a driver and champion.

Vicky D said...

JD, don't remind us of the antics on Trackside last week. Ugh! I like twitter too I'm even getting tweets from Carl's Foot! How special is that??? LOL DW could be dangerous with this capability though. It should prove interesting.

RacingNews said...

Nice post. I'm sure Everyone was cheering for Jr.

Aven said...

I'm all for Waltrip using twitter. Anything that might distract him and keep his mouth shut can't be bad.

JohnP said...

I've got enought to do without listening to minute by minute tweets from anyone.

DW can bairly call the race anymore. His facts are usually border line wrong. Like no fans leaving the track when the brake lights were clearly visible. Or full stands, when they were not.

No, DW hopefully will not waste his time tweeting during the actual broadcast further distracting his calling of the race.

If Fox wants the fans to know something, put it on tv, that's why we are sitting there watching. I'm not running to my cell phone for what is no more then a over marketed glorified text message.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't pulling for Juneyer at the end of the 500 and couldn't care less if washed up Ole DW tweets or not.

West Coast Diane said...

I read Twitter posts, following about 15, all racing, for inside info and amusement.

I do not post. Don't understand why people want to share some of the stuff they do. Definitely posts that let folks know political leanings. Some folks give up info that doesn't exactly put them in a positive light. Changes your perception of them. Neither good nor bad. Just the more you know sometimes it takes the bloom off the rose :-).

I have to hand it to Kyle P. He responds to lot of people. How long can he continue to do that? Seems time consuming, especially since some of it, IMHO, is pretty foolish. I like is racing related posts. To each his own.

Right now, it is interesting reading DW...will see after a couple of days, especially during a race weekend.

One thing, all this social media does create an interesting phenomena. In an instant something said on TV can be challenged or corrected. Can't believe they haven't figured all this out. Going to get harder and harder to BS folks or give incorrect info. See Daytona 500, Fontana, Las Vegas.

Hotaru1787 said...

Just someone else I can avoid. Not gonna follow anyone I dislike, and DW qualifies.

Why would I want his irritance in my Twitter feed.

Donna DeBoer said...

Knew DW getting it on was only a matter of time. How long til Rusty can't resist getting beat in something? Isn't Twitter a race also? :)
Haven't noticed DW responding directly to anyone yet so we'll see. I won't follow him but I'll peek every now and again, like I do with MW and KP.

I enjoy Twitter for what it is. I think how you organize the accounts you follow make a huge difference in your experience. It would be impossible for me to make sense of it without Twitter Lists. I also think careful selection of who you follow makes or breaks experience, as some people are better than others in their updates, IMO. For example, I fave drivers who do their own updates. I get info; I get amusement; I can find someone on 24/7 if I want. I don't get into hissy matches, that IS a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

So instead of less DW this year, we get more. Fox really is trying to run us off, aren't they.

Darcie said...

I'm becoming very bored with Twitter. I've had to remove Kenny Wallace because his endless, trite and self promoting tweets take up the entire page. Certain things are interesting, but why anyone needs to tweet more than 5 times a day is overdoing it. Real news and information is one thing, but tweeting that you're going to dinner or that your wife is sewing is way beyond silly.

GinaV24 said...

hmmm,well, DW can sure spin a yarn can't he? So now he can tweet at the fans -- as long as we can tweet back to him and maybe point out how his broadcasting skills or lack thereof are affecting when I'm watching the race - it might be a good thing.

Like WestCoastDiane - I don't tweet a lot - I don't mind reading the tweets on some topics (like The Daly Planet for example), but the people who tweet about what they had for breakfast and their daily activities, ad nauseum, well, I don't see the point.

Considering that DW never responds to any e-mail sent to him - at least none of the ones that I've sent comments on at Fox - I'm betting that twitter will be a one-way street for him, too. After all, old DW doesn't like criticism.

Anonymous said...

Has Darrell Waltrip tried to sell us any Digger stuff on Twitter yet?

Anonymous said...

"About his TV viewing: Better get to bed, time for O'Reilly, he's good but I'm starting to dig Glen Beck!"

Bill O'Reilly comes on at 7pm in Darrell's time zone (Central).

How long before he starts going to bed at 4pm to watch Glenn Beck?

Anonymous said...

DW is all about dw again, and again and again......jeese, I am so tired of him and his mouth that I barely watch racing on Fox anymore.

Doesn't anyone lead a real life any more?

Sophia said...

I am following DW as I enjoy him. Steve B is on now as well. WELCOME BOYS!

I LOVE TWITTER. I only follow a few for NASCAR but many local peeps for food, news, music,weather,charities, interaction and fostering relationships with people in my community.

I have only met two face to face but both nice people and one a fabulous restaurant/wine/beer specialist. I'd tweeted for MONTHS with him...and we shared pics of our cats. When I stepped into his place last week, I was greeted warmly with a hug and he stopped by to tell me what to get for dinner (i COULD not DECIDE!) and to ask how things were going, many times on packed house.

THEN I got some news from him that was not for Twitter fodder but he felt he could share with me. Meeting a stranger for the first time? Never woulda happened. No sense of trust.

DW will learn what to write and not write. As far as responding invidually, it's over whelming for those wtih many followers.

I've gotten responses from a few faves but don't want to say who so they don't get BOMBARDED! But if you are at the right place at the right time, you can exchange fun comments. Some races/writer types hit and run. Others answer ya back.

How good twitter is, is how SAVVY you are at it, too.

Not for everybody..I detest and hate Facebook (hate games but know many love them!!) Quality folks I follow and only met 2, but some local high profilers tell me I will enjoy meeting most in my stream. If I got out of the house more freely, I would be meeting many more.

DW's tweets did not make sense to me at first but he'll either learn it to suit him, or will do the best he can. My first year on twitter was VERY Frustrating. Hardly used it. Was lost. Hard to believe I've been there two years!

I am LEARNING more about SW OH than I ever knew from local TV/mags/newspapers.

So twitter has value for me personally and to help promote local music.

Should be interesting to see how DW does.

Sophia said...

Donna in FL

I've yet learned to make lists. Don't really need to. But that UNFOLLOW button is great for grumpy people or those interested in drama. Not my thing.

I love my food tweets in my stream as I follow folks in culinary school/profession food critics/food bloggers :-)

Even got biscuit lessons once @ dinner time rather than junk u get in a can!!

who you follow IS KEY. If they tweet 100 times a day, I UNFOLLOW.

majorshouse said...

More DW, I can hardly wait and will make sure that I do not try and follow him.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty obvious by how the posts are written that ole DW has worn out his welcome with a large number of fans. Ron in NC and JohnP, I couldn't have said it better. NASCAR needs to get FOX to become more professional if they want to be like the NFL. Kyle Petty uses twitter well, but I already know DW has a plan to use it to his advantage. I see a dimwit, someone else sees the greatest tweeter ever. What am I missing? I think the Waltrips started out as somewhat likeable but now have become disliked a lot.

Chris from NY said...

LMAO, O'Reilly? As in "The O'Reilly Factor"? Does FOX pay him to say that? (I never watch FOX News)

I do agree with him on how today's schedule sucks compared to the old one. Intermediate tracks may seem fun to drive, but there is little competition and they aren't fun to watch either. I would like to see Iowa, Kentucky, the short track at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and a few new facilities be added to the schedule.

But he does have to grow up a bit on his race coverage. Not every announcer can hype up and bias race coverage. But then again, he works for David Hill, and we know how childish his decisions are.

FloridaMatt said...

Until DW learns how to talk and tweet at the same time, I say tweet, DW, tweet.

And by the way, it wasn't just female fans disgusted by his treatment of Danica.

Richard in N.C. said...

Don't underestimate ol DW. Like Terry Bradshaw, he's a lot smarter than he sometimes acts - and he definitely has far, far better sources around NASCAR than the vast majority of the media.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Twitter but it seems people either love it or hate it. Most that hate it have never really tried it for any length of time. It's not just when someone goes to the bathroom that gets Tweeted. It's all in whom you follow.

I follow the media types and on race day, I learn more from these folks at the track than what's being shown on TV. It's that instant info that makes it good for me.

DW and Twitter are kind of the same, you either love'em or hate'em!

Twitter lover....

Anonymous said...

DW and twitter are not the same anymore than DW is like Terry Bradshaw. I like twitter but am tired of DW. Bradshaw is nothing like DW. Terry is actually funny, self deprecating, knowledgeable about his sport,and on and on. DW is arrogant, his attempts at humor fail miserably and he turns out to be wrong with his comments more often than he is right.I'm sure DW will use twitter to promote his many agendas and his huge ego.

Sam said...

Well another knock on Ole DW is again his facts are wrong. During the qualifying session he said Geoff Bodine set the all time speed record at Atlanta in 1997 on Hoosiers. That is false. Hoosier was out of the Cup and Busch divisions after 1994.

If he wants to play in the virtual world he better get his facts straight. Or leave. That would work better.

The Mad Man said...

I wish DW and Larry Mac would Tweet the entire broadcast instead of flapping their gums. that wouldleave Mike Joy to do the commentary and maybe we might have fewer fans complaining about it.

JohnP said...

Ok, is there ANYTHING that DW says that we can beleive at this point?

He talks all the time, but never has the facts correct.

Anonymous said...

Who would have thought The Daly Planet would let us know Darrell Waltrip watches Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck?

May have to cut DW a little slack now.... Smart Man!

Let's get fired up DW!

GinaV24 said...

Against my better judgment, I decided to add DW to my "follow" list. I will probably hate myself tomorrow.

tracij said...

I was hoping that DW wouldn't come back to twitter. I can only stand one Waltrip on here. I really am not interested in what he has to say as I DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT want to hear what he has to say. I know that JD retweets his comments, I ignore those posts.

The one thing though I do hope he takes the criticisims to heart and changes his behaviour onscreen. He needs to hear from the "real audiance" than just the producer in his ear telling him that he is great.

Tom Steele said...

Lot of haters here - DW does a great job in the booth and I really enjoy him. I'm glad he is on twitter now, I can hear what he thinks of a race when Fox ISN'T broadcasting it...