Monday, November 8, 2010

TV Police: Sprint Cup Series On ESPN From Texas

This is the second week of honoring radio veteran Pete Pistone with our review and your comments of the TV telecast. This week, the Sprint Cup Series was racing at the Texas Motor Speedway on ESPN. It's time for the TV Police.

The pre-race show was certainly interesting. There were several long recorded features in the one hour program. One reviewed the military service of veteran owner Bud Moore and another used the Sports Science guys to detail horsepower and how an engine works.

Allen Bestwick led Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace through this hour with an emphasis on the three Chase leaders. It was a pumped-up Wallace and Daugherty who responded with high volume and lots of enthusiasm but not much more than that.

The highlight of this program was perhaps when Wallace explained that the monkeys brought in as a publicity stunt by TMS president Eddie Gossage had pulled a piece of paper out of Wallace's pocket and eaten it. "That was my Toyota contract!" he said.

ESPN has stuck with the same style of coverage for the entire Sprint Cup Series season. After Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree previewed the race, the three moved into concentrating on Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. Some may argue that once again the real emphasis was simply on Johnson.

Marty Reid immediately moved to watching the TV monitors in the booth as the endless tight shots from the director again forced fans of teams outside the top ten to simply follow the ticker on the top of the screen for updates. As usual, only a handful of cars would be featured.

The TV team missed several incidents on the track and again the delay between what actually had happened and what was being shown on the screen was substantial. Perhaps the most interesting was the incident between Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton.

Reactions ranged from Andy Petree saying quickly that Burton did it on purpose to Brad Daugherty celebrating the fact that the two drivers had briefly mixed it up after the incident. Burton's later explanation painted Daugherty as a fool.

In the later portion of the race, Hendrick Motorsports swapped pit crews with the #24 team now servicing the #48 car. This threw the TV team for a loop. No one could gather any facts, present any compelling pictures or even put this move into a historical perspective. It took Dr. Jerry Punch stepping out and getting involved to finally present some facts that put the move into context.

Bestwick often was used coming out of commercial to sort things out for the viewers before returning the telecast to Reid. It is very unfortunate that Reid is slaved to following the confusing and often misleading pictures from ESPN. Time after time, cars would appear on screen that had never been seen before.

As the race progressed, the classic situation continued. ESPN had to concentrate on the Chase and exclude the race. Fans of teams not in the Chase and not in the top ten were upset that their teams were never mentioned. This included Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other popular drivers. As we have said before, they simply cease to exist.

The TV pictures were fantastic as was the audio. ESPN has been having a great year in terms of television engineering. Also, thanks to Dr. Jerry Punch, the pit reporters played a key role in this telecast instead of being relegated to the background.

We all know the problems ESPN has been experiencing due to a variety of reasons. It's just frustrating that with declining interest and falling ratings this race was not used as an opportunity to bring some change to the TV telecast format.

There are only a handful of races left, so give us your comments on what you thought of this race telecast. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Roland said...

forget interviewing the top 5, lets put 2 reporters with the 48. I listened to PRN the whole race and only cut the espn sound back on after the checkers to hear the interviews, guess its back to PRN for me. Incredible race that was awesome, dont really know how the broadcast went cause I had it muted.

Anonymous said...

Worst broadcast of the year for ESPN in my opinion. Ten laps, commercial, ten laps, commercial. At one point the commercial break was so long my wife forgot what we were watching.

All Jimmie all the time. My gosh what will ESPN do if Denny or Kevin win the title? Do they have a script lying around just in case?


Anonymous said...

Sophia on another laptop

Was showing my 90 yr old mom how to use gmail instead of other email she used before (slow webmail) Turned on tv to see Jeff & Jeff's wreck.

Then bizarre crew switch..then I did NOT KNOW it was the end of the race due to bizarre chatting as they raced across finish line..unless I was out to lunch.

Bummer I don't have SPEED right now...goodness. Crazy race it would appear..but even my 90 year old mom said when I turned it on "these guys have been yakking 5 minutes but I don't know what is going on or who is where. Do they even TALK about the actual race?"

Wow. Even she realized it thought she thinks most sports commentators today stink..including the ones on golf (sport she watches the most)

She was not in the room for the end of the race of I am sure she would've had a big comment for that.

From the weak starter command (Most apathetic one EVER) to the last few laps, sounds like a stranger race.

p.s.Texas might want to change start times. On our little 19 inch tv it was dark as hell in the shady part. Very annoying.


erb224 said...

Bayne finished 17th.... Would you know that from TV or would you have to look it up? THAT is what is wrong with NASCAR TV today.

Anonymous said...

Once again, ESPN, you win the coveted Box of Rocks Award for your efforts today. Week after week your broadcast continues to grow worse. How?

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...
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Vicky D said...

Beautiful sunrise beyond the track, too bad the broadcast couldn't have been better. I think we all wanted Marty & team to do better than JP but it doesn't seem like that's happening. The only thing I can think of is that they are too busy looking at their monitors instead of out the window. It's a real shame that every week we complain about the other 31 drivers not being mentioned or barely being mentioned during the telecast especially fan favorite Dale Jr. When will ESPN improve these things????? How much more complaining can we do?

Anonymous said...

Bet the TV Police has more of a following than Pistone's columns on Racing One / MRN / ISC or whatever it is called this week.

GinaV24 said...

What a disaster. No wonder the NFL is kicking NASCAR's butt. ESPN gives us disjointed coverage, "useless yakking", and no PXP at the end of the race. Geez, for heaven's sakes, throw the last 10 laps over to Allen and let him call the end of the race, then the fans would at least get a decent PXP for the reason we were all watching in the first place.

There might actually have been an interesting race going on at the track, but the fans at home would never know it.

Rusty and Brad are both fools and I'm so disappointed with Marty. It's hard to believe that he did such a nice job with the Nationwide coverage, but he's just lost doing the Sprint Cup series.

CRZ - Pistone's stuff is not worth reading any more. I'm planning to cancel my subscription to Sirius radio since I can no longer listen to any of the Nascar programming without being annoyed.

And of course, ESPN had to run right off to SportsCenter. Oh boy, be still my heart.

I don't watch SportsCenter by choice - not ever - and I'm not changing that for the so-called post-race coverage.

GinaV24 said...

VickyD - sunrise? I know we had a time change, but ...


Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicky D said...

And Sportscenter is making statements to the fact that if JJ wins the Phoenix race, he'll be ahead in the chase, but there are 42 other drivers out on the track, what will happen if any of those others win? What a bunch of nitwits!

Mary said...

OK so here I go again - ALLEN IN THE BOOTH PLEASE. sigh.....

Vicky D said...

Gina, sorry I know the time has changed but it's still sunset here in Texas!

Lisa Hogan said...

Very frustrating afternoon, trying to watch the race on ESPN.

I think I know why Bestwick is not PXP. He would actually call the race and the "director" would have to show the race or it would be more obvious that the "director" doesn't care about the race....just trying to win some award (voted on people who also don't know racing).
As always, thanks JD.

GinaV24 said...

VickyD -- I was hoping maybe this race was all a dream and that Gordon didn't get wrecked out again! (sigh) I was just kidding with you.

Funny isn't it that ESPN never considers that anyone other than one of the 3 chase contenders could win the race. Yes Johnson has been good at Phoenix, but lots can happen in a race -- let's hear it for "if the race ended now" --NOT.

philgoodstory said...

here's my beef with what happened today: this was, without a doubt, one of the most crucial and crazy races of the year. it was chock full of story lines. a fight, a kybu finger, a huge shakeup in the points, a kid who made his debut and finished on the lead lap, carpentier's strong run (until his flat tire), a crew swap and, oh yeah, great racing. this race had absolutely everything!

but how many of those story lines were followed up after the race? between the quick wrap and the sportscenter recap, we heard from hamlin (great), kenseth (great), knaus (great) and johnson (great). there was sound on tape from burton and gordon (solid). hamlin was live again (ok). we even heard from carl edwards (who had nothing to do with anything and shed no insight on what happened). we heard from 2/3 of ESPN's talent, who added little perspective. but there was no bayne, no kybu, no harvick, no hendrick.

so many things were left unsaid that deserve solid airtime. so many things were said (namely from ESPN talent) that had been said numerous times before.

now fans are left to hear from their drivers via twitter or victory lane on speed.

i know they can't cover every story line, but there were TONS of obvious ones that they simply grazed or wholly ignored. after 4 hours of buildup, that was one heck of a letdown.

so how about this: instead of beating dead horses and building drama for an hour in a pre-race show, let's pay off that hype with decent coverage at the end.

51 yr. fan said...

I don't know anyone who puts any
time in reading Pistone. It didn't
take me long to realize that he
parrots what other writers have
worked hard to cover. His bylines
are of the National Enquirer variety and the content lacking.

Please remember to fly your flags
on Thursday in honor of our Vets.

tommy1946 said...

Gave up on TV, so I turned on the radio coverage. In my own little pea brain, I feel that I followed the race better from the radio description than I was able to follow from TVs disjointed jumping around , close-ups, in car, bumper cams, etc. It's a crying shame that TV has come to this. I like Andy and Dale, but this combo doesn't work for me. I also felt that too much was made of the pit crew swap between the 24 and 48 cars.

GinaV24 said...

51 year fan -- thanks for the reminder about Veteran's Day.

PammH said...

I think what summed up the race coverage for me today was the fact that BSPN was CLUELESS about the Burton/Gordon wreck under caution!! They had NO idea it had even happened-pretty much says it all. As much as I detest what the Fox coverage has become, DW would have been all over that incident, because HE LOOKS OUT THE WINDOW!!! Guess that's enough displeasure for the coverage for tonite. Oh, and I listened to PRN instead of the TV...:(

Anonymous said...

After this long day, I think I have a terminal case of "Nascar Fatigue." I resisted it as much as I could. I only watched the last 15 minutes of Race Day which is my tolerance level regarding Kenny Wallace. Rusty and Brad weren't much better before the race started. AB, DJ and Andy were ok. I was disappointed in how all the announcers seemed to lose control of themselves as developments not fitting their scripts unfolded. They just seemed to lose their cool instead of cooly taking these issues on one at a time. How many times have we seen a coach bench an excellent quarterback that just threw five interceptions? Yet, when the #48 pit crew was benched,the announcers seemed to not be able to cope with it. I believe Andy mumbled something about shaking their confidence and momentum for the next two races. Come on, if the #24 team is out of the picture and their pit crew can help win the Chase, you go for it!. Marty was just terrible all weekend. Saturday,Kesolowski passed Harvick. Marty said, "Harvick's gotten cleared". Today he said, "Who's going to get the race off pit road?" To us,it's "pit road". With Marty,occaisonally it's "Pit Lane." I'm not making this up. There were other flubs,but these were just a few that I wrote down. I'll give the Saturday crew credit for mostly ignoring Danica's dismal finish. She turned down to avoid getting hit,but stopped dropping down when she got to the white line and got pan caked. At the end of the race, Nascar refused to throw the yellow when a tire exploded. That caused Bowyer to cut a tire down a few laps later. Then Edwards jumped the restart and got away with it.I've watched Jeff Gordon's career and never saw him as mad as when he got wrecked hard under caution by "the Mayor". I'm getting very tired of drivers just wrecking other guys without any penalties whatsoever. I for one will be glad when the season is over.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Kyle Busch two lap penalty - who makes that call? I am under the imnpression that the pit road officials are not really that empowered and are like pawns. Did this call get made from the tower by maybe Darby, Pemberton as it was actually shown on TV? (as opposed to the official assigned to Busch's pit)

Sophia said...


WHAT? The Gordon & Burton wreck happened under caution? I missed that since we turned on the tv after that had I'm totally confused...I thought it happened during GF racing?

That's what I get for having a 2nd glass of wine. :)

Under caution?? The fight maybe but the wreck, too?

Need clarification.

Anonymous said...

Today I was not at home to watch the race with my usual helpers ( this blog, Trackpass & Radio) I must tell you all I was completely lost.
Was Dale jr in this race? Tony Stewart - well I thought I saw the 14 a couple of quick times, he finally got mentioned late in the race. Did anyone get mentioned except the big 3 ( Denny jj & Harvick) ?

What exactly happened during that ambulance ride? Why were the 24 & 48 crews switched ( I learned the answer to it after the race)

This was just awful. Never again will I attempt to "follow" a race with bspn alone, its simply impossible.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

I just got done watching Kyle Busch's spin and penalties, including the flipping the bird incident. Only excitement NASCAR has had all season. Those things were the only bright spots of ESPN's coverage

JD what will the ratings be for todays race. Hopefully they will be in the tank.

NASCAR should be embarrased and it could not have happened to a deserving bunch

Anonymous said...

I' enjoy sitting in my pickup in the cold, having a few drinks...with XM on. Who would have thought there are actually 43 cars on the track. Silly me, I only thought there were 3 cars racing. Could not figure out how the was a car in 1st a car in 10th and a car in 15th.

As for putting Alan in the booth. I would enjoy that but I think Alan would walk out. The producer and Alan would act like Jeff Gordon getting spun by Jeff Burton.

Tim in Independence said...

If anyone is interested here's the radio exchange with Kyle when everything went down. Very salty language so beware

Anonymous said...

I did not watch. I am tired of nascar. Season too long, especially with the poor fox and espn coverage. I know I said the same thing last week, but maybe someone will listen after a while. Thanks JD. MC

GinaV24 said...

Sophia, the Gordon/Burton wreck was under caution - definitely. Although Burton said he was sorry, it couldn't have been anything BUT deliberate since he had to accelerate to hit the 24 that hard. It wasn't a bump, it was a wreck and yes, the booth was completely befuddled by it. They had been watching the car that had gotten into the wall and wait a minute, there's another wreck. Andy P muttered something about it being deliberate and then backpedaled on that.

The 24 pit crew then pitted the 48 for the rest of the race. It's still not clear who made that decision - Chad or Hendrick. There was a lot of worrying about "morale" but not much follow up from ESPN.

The only good thing is that there are only 2 more races befoe the end of the season so I'll only have to suffer for 2 more weeks.

Anonymous said...

I watched the first third of the race, and could not watch anymore. Idiots were broadcasting this race today.

Who will it take to slap ESPN in the face and welcome them to the reality of NASCAR? Pre-selected stories and false drama is not how this sport works. The race unfolds in the moment. Yet ESPN absolutely refuses to just follow the race as it progresses.

Nobody knew what to cover besides Johnson, Harvick and Hamlin. Inbetween watching their every move, we saw a new pass somewhere on the racetrack. The camerashots were so tight, we could only see two cars on the screen! After viewing a random pass, it was back to the pre-selected 3. Sometimes the viewers has the pleasure of watching Richard Childress watch the cars go around the track. We would have had a better view of the race if ESPN used 1 camera attatched to Richard's hat the entire broadcast.

Marty, Dale and Andy just followed what the production truck wanted on the monitor. They could have gotten away with broadcasting this race from their living room sofas, there was that little insight. This group seemed surprised at so many incidents, but if they looked out the window, it wouldn't be a surprise, it would be obvious.

So many drivers were not seen on tv at all. I'm not saying ESPN needs to provide an update on Patrick Carpontier. What I'm saying is I don't remember seeing nearly a dozen drivers on my tv screen, even in the corner of the screen. We were plagued with tight shots all day long.

Honestly, who is expected to watch this garbage? Things need to be changed, but Brian France doesn't even comprehend there is a problem in the first place. The racing will not take care of itself if the fans can't follow the race. Many people don't like NASCAR becuase it is just 'cars going around in circles.' But there is an amazing depth of qualities in every race that sets this sport apart from others. The problem is, we did not see that at all today. All the viewers at home saw were random cars going around in circles.

Sally said...

When I tune in to watch a race on television, I expect to see the full field of cars covered to some extent. It would not surprise me if many more teams lose sponsors because ESPN can't focus their attention on more than 10 drivers. Not much point in sponsoring a car if you name is never shown on TV. The only way I know how most of the field finished was by squinting at that obnoxious crawler all day. Totally frustrating.

Ritchie said...

I will follow this post up with an e-mail to Mr. Daly, but this will be my final post to this blog.

Frankly, whatever the beef is with Mr. Pistone aside, this blog has become too childish. I want race TV coverage, not middle school style oneupmanship.

I disagree with almost everything stated in the original post but I disagree most with his statement "Burton's later explanation painted Daugherty as a fool."

Burton's explanation may or may not be true. I can appreciate being a fan of Jeff Burton, but he is not beyond lying to save face. The replay clearly showed Jeff Burton turning into Gordon under caution and any TV analyst has a right to call a spade a spade. So what if Daugherty got excited by a scuffle on the track. This is NASCAR, a sport derived from outlaws and if you go to any short track in America, Canada, or wherever, if a fight breaks out between drivers the stands go crazy.

I don't want to get too deep into this in this blog, but calling an analyst a fool because he called a spade a spade and then got excited like any fan would (and did) does not warrant you labeling someone a fool.

Other than that incident, ESPN covered several non-chase drivers and explained their race conditions. Yes they covered the 48, but changing pit crews in the middle of the race is a big story.

I thought they covered the situation and the race well. Could they have done better, sure. However, anything they did wrong, suddenly doesn't seem that bad after reading the rant you posted...

Daly Planet Editor said...


The point of adding comments is for you to voice your opinion. It's supposed to be different than mine.

I think Daugherty misses the point on many topics and his glee over finally getting two adults to fight was childish and irresponsible.

Different opinions have allowed this blog to thrive. I hope we continue to get yours.


NorCalFan said...

I'm still laughing myself silly over Buschseries61's suggestion that ESPN install a camera on the hat of RC who is standing on top of a hauler watching the race so we fans at home could have a better view of what's happening on the track. If it's a wide angle camera I'm all for it. The way it stands now, the cameras aren't conveying the race when the split screen shows us JJ behind the wheel and the other box is a close-up of Chad sitting on the pit box while the booth boys are blabbering on about the 48 and 24 switching pit crews. Hey, there's a race out there on the track--please show it to us!!!

If ESPN really cared about it's viewers and wanted to improve ratings, they should use the radio broadcast for their TV audio (an option already being used by viewers at home) until they put AB in the booth where he belongs. At least then the "up to speed" segment from the radio would update more than the first 6 drivers because the 7th & 8th place drivers are not in the Chase.

It's just frustrating beyond words to see the cameras jump from one pair of cars racing each other to another pair just because one or both are in the chase. Often we are subjected to watching just one Chase car race around the track as if it were qualifying. The booth treats the rest of the field as non-existent (insert the #88 here as an example) and the cars are rarely mentioned unless they are the cause of a caution (like the #56), come down pit road for an unscheduled pit stop (like
the #42) or are noticed racing around a "Chaser".

I'm glad the season is almost over because I won't have to hear about the chase for 6 months or be forced to watch the sport I love on ESPN.

OSBORNK said...

I turned on my TV yesterday to see a race. I sure wish I could have seen it. I saw race cars up close with little or not reference as to where they were on the track or what was going on in the race. The blabbering booth had no idea as to what was happening in the race or even who was in the race other than ESPN's chosen few.

Other than about 10 cars, the sponsors were robbed. They are not getting their money's worth and a rational company could get a better a better bang if they moved their sponsorship money elsewhere.

I wonder if there will be any changes to the Nationwide series. I worked for Nationwide Insurance for 32 years and still have many friends there. Many of the aqents I have talked with don't feel that the sponsorship has helped their business and the increase in premiums because of the sponsorship has hurt their sales. Some of my salaried friends feel the money spent on racing has caused them to get a smaller or no pay increase. I haven't talked with any employees that thinks the sponsorship is a good idea.

glenc1 said...

Okay, I didn't blog yesterday & didn't read all your comments--I just watched, no PRN (except for some pre-race because I was in the car.) Actually they did a very entertaining feature with one of them in the pace car with Brett Bodine, but that's another story...)

Anyways, this time it was nothing but Hamlin, Johnson & Harvick (until the big fight anyways.) I mean, they didn't even pay attention to the other *Chase* drivers. I hardly remember them mentioning Tony Stewart all day. I guess they were forced to mention Biffle since he was up front, and Kyle because of the penalty. But they never mentioned Junior, even. I had to look up online what was going on with some of the other teams. If that were the only problem, I suppose it wouldn't have been that bad. But honestly, I felt like Marty mentioned the crew swap about every other lap. By the end, I was yelling at him, "I *know* Marty, I KNOW!' Just overkill, yes, it's important, but you can't give play by play like a new fan is joining every lap. Likewise, I never noticed before--has he been using the overused 'sailing into the corner' all season? And 'duking it out?' Really. I know there are only so many ways to describe it, but it was aggravating me. And when they mentioned the 48 team 'packing up' I thought, well, that's probably what they were supposed to do, which turned out to be the case. Just made the TV guys look dumb.

And yes, I thought they overlooked what really happened with Burton--he's smart enough not to admit doing something intentionally. And Brad seemed very unprofessional; he's not ten years old. I know they consider him a fan's voice, but I really don't think that added anything positive to the coverage.

I probably shouldn't have listened to the dirt races on SPEED the night before--it just served as a reminder of what actual race coverage looks/sounds like. My mistake!

MRM4 said...

I didn't watch a lot of the race since a couple of my favorite NFL teams were on at the start of the race and through the end. I did flip over from to time. One of my last switches was right after the 48 swapped crews. I heard Reid mention that and talk about how the 48 was struggling. I look up at the scoring crawl to see he's running 6th. I think that's overplaying it a bit.

Anonymous said...

Did you see Kenny Wallace on Victory Lane? He was saying how he loves fighting and everyone loves a fight. He also said it's great for Nascar.

This my friends is a fool.

Mariemont Kiwanis said...

I'm beginning to think everyone on the blog just like's to complain without actually watching the race they're complaining about. I'll give you that there are definitely issues - the quick jump to Sportscenter is one of them. As a Harvick fan, I can say for sure they didn't pay attention to him AT ALL until he was actually in the top ten, same with Hamlin. Sure they gave updates, but that was pretty much it until they were both in the top five. The focus on JJ was warranted considering he spent the first part of the race in the top five! I listen to Harvick's radio each race and there are plenty of exciting moments going on around him that never make TV. I just don't understand how everyone can complain that they only focus on the top three, yet I walk away from the race wondering why they didn't pay enough attention to Harvick? I don't think I watched a different race did I? ESPN has plenty of issues, over focus on the Chase drivers isn't one of them, and if they aren't supposed to focus on them when THEY ARE IN THE TOP TEN, I don't know what to tell you.

Tracy D said...

That was one heck of a race. I had a ton of sit-down work to do, so I wasn't watching every second, but basically, I thought they covered the highlights.

That said, Trevor Bayne is one spectacular story - for himself and for the Wood Brothers. Wish they'd covered him more. Also, Kasey Kahne fighting his way up to 13th. How did that happen? Never saw it.

Was it Dr. Punch who said one of the 48 crew members said Chad didn't want them talking to the media? Wow. That alone says a bundle. A gag order from da judge. Wish there'd been more follow-up from the booth about it.

Get rid of Edwards in the final booth session after the race. Talk about self-serving commentator.

GinaV24 said...

If I had a choice for people in the booth after this season, I'd ditch Brad and Rusty (because they add absolutely NOTHING of value to the broadcast), let Allen call the PXP and put Marty back over doing just the Nationwide series - he wasn't so lost there. DJ's OK along with Andy, but again, there just isn't any "spark" there in the booth. Maybe with Allen doing the PXP, it would work better.

Cut the pre-race show down to a half hour, especially if they are going to just show canned stuff and give us a decent post-race show as part of the race package NOT by going to SportsCenter for it.

JohnP said...

I enjoyed the excitement of what was going on in this race. Burton/Gordon issue. JJ's pit crew issue. It was one of the strangest races I've watched in a while. Gordon slap fighting lol. My driver (Stewart) was in the top 10 a lot according to the ticker. But never mentioned basically by the broadcasters.

This "seemed" to be a very exciting race but was not broadcasted that way.

Here is the bottom line to this fan after 4 years of this stupid Chase.

It's not about the race we are actually watching as we spend 4hrs of our time. It's only about the Chase.

And that's sad.

KoHoSo said...

Truth be told, I don't really like to complain about anything as there is generally too much bellyaching of all sorts on the Internet thanks to its general immediacy and anonymity. It is also amazing to me that some people have forgotten that Mr. Daly did not set up this site to be NASCAR's television complaint department. However, that is what it became -- not because JD guided us in that direction but because we as intelligent human beings can plainly see that we are now receiving a shoddy product. The ire of fans such as the Planeteers is only further aggravated by people such as Pete Pistone and Michael Waltrip who say that those that feel the way we do are not "true" fans and that our complaints hurt the sport.

I know that I'm not the only person here that has something resembling a 40-year love of NASCAR so the "true" fan argument is pure horse manure. As for hurting the sport, I have a very hard time believing that this one site is causing all of those empty seats and 25% drops in race TV ratings from one year to the next.

As for the Texas coverage always, Bestwick in the infield studio and Punch on pit road were wonderful bright spots. As for every single other element of the telecast (most of which has already been well documented above by my fellow Planeteers), all I can add is that, about 1/4 of the way through, it occurred to me that the presentation reminded me of the title of that classic Led Zeppelin song...

Dazed and Confused.

Anonymous said...

this is slightly off topic, but...about that 'true fan' business. A few months ago I saw an irate person on a message board harangue someone for being a 'bandwagon' fan. This guy had been a fan since 1998, so Mr. Irate decides he must be a Junior fan. I'm thinking, heck, if that's the only reason he's a fan for 12 years I think he'd have jumped off the wagon LONG ago, lol.

But my argument about that is, the broadcaster needs to take both older fans who understand history and newer fans who are just sampling the product--you've got to find ways to appeal to both. If you don't do that, you lose completely.

A few times I thought to myself, if Logano or Reutimann wins this thing they're going to throw themselves out of the booth in despair....I hope it happens next week. The non-chaser winning, I mean, not the throwing themselves from the booth.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the telecast yet, but I went to the race and it was an AWESOME RACE. I wonder if they played the audio of the booing of Kyle Busch when he was penalized, and the cheer when he spun out? When Gordon went at Burton, the crowd went C-R-A-Z-Y. TMS is such a great venue. Very few empty seats. Did that come through on TV?

GinaV24 said...

Anon 2:12 -- LOL, although I don't want anyone to be hurt, I wouldn't mind seeing both your scenarios for the next 2 races -- that would be a non-chaser winning the race AND the guys throwing themselves out of the booth in despair.

Actually, I can see myself "helping" some of the booth personalities out the window since I'm one of those "irate fans" who according to some of these people aren't "true" to the sport anymore -- what a bunch of hogwash!

If I got really lucky, perhaps the booth personalities would land on Kenny Wallace and Pete Pistone -- bonus!

I wonder what the ratings from Texas are? Considering how good the football games were yesterday and how many were OT and ESPN got their "late" start yesterday, too.

Zetona said...

Anon 2:15

You could hear the crowd going wild during the Burton-Gordon incident, but not the Kyle Busch bit. Which reminds me that ESPN never let us hear the crowd when Junior was leading at Talladega last weekend. It used to be that every Talladega broadcast showed the crowd while Junior was leading! ESPN is shooting itself in the foot by not mentioning the guy.

If ESPN insists on making the cars so loud that they drown out the announcers, why not make the crowd louder too?

Unknown said...

Mr Editor -
ESPN has money in hand and no consideration for fan interest, so why expect any now ...sadly, Marty Reid has become buried by incompetent production staff and his lack of stock car background ...DJ and Andy add little of significance with no one to draw out their knowledge ...PRN is only tolerable because TV presentation is sub-par ...AB's comments out of breaks better info that PXP from up-top ...Dr Punch at top of his game fills in w/pertinent info ...thankfully, only two more broadcasts to put up with ...I'm looking forward to the 2011 Chili Bowl

Jonathan said...

A race Nascar needed plain and simple! Now the broadcast itself I didnt like much so I give this a weak D+ and the + is for staying with the fight and following through w interviews and such but the broadcast just stunk as always! I hope something happens and very soon we NEED..... let me say that again WE NEED AB in the booth and if we dont get that I say things will keep staying the same! AB will make sure things change trust me on that!!!

Btw whats up with AB today on Nascar Now he keeps laughing its so funny! A HAAAAAAAAAAAAA lol

JS said...

I knew I'd say this again by the end of the year...

Why didn't ESPN put Allen Bestwick in the booth? Why? The blogger said it best in the last post...Bestwick's "endless enthusiasm for the sport". I listened to him on the scanner at Daytona for the Nationwide race and he was excellent.

I know they had to do something with Marty Reid since they lost the IRL for most of their season. To be fair, it's not that Marty is bad, it's just that AB is so much better.

I'm also fighting off a bit of the Danicamania stigma that I associate with ESPN's Danica cheerleading led by Marty Reid & Scott Goodyear on the IRL side, but I try not to let that blur the lines.

Anonymous said...

I was pretty frustrated by the ESPN cup coverage Sunday. So much so that I switched over to one of the NFL games that was playing on another network.

After watching the NFL coverage for awhile it occurred to me that the problem with NASCAR coverage is that nobody has figured out how to do it.

I realize that we're talking apples and oranges here but, no matter what network, the NFL coverage just clicked. Cameras caught the action from every conceivable angle and the announcing was spot on.

The ESPN Nascar coverage, on the other hand was spotty at best. More than three quarters of the field might not have even existed because they were never mentioned.

Camera shots were so tight that only one or two cars, at most, could be seen, even when cars were coming out of the pits during caution flag pit stops.

If your driver isn't named Jimmie, Denny or Kevin then you probably have no idea where they ran or how they finished.

I was constantly frustrated by the commercials and the fact that when they returned from commercials they often spent the first couple of minutes doing on camera endorsements or pre-taped lead in footage rather than going back to the actual race.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a sports fan and don't watch ESPN for anything but these races, so I'm not a typical viewer. My driver is rarely shown on TV, and even when I stand in front of my small TV to read the ticker, they constantly cut it off. I appreciate how Dale Jarrett DOES mention other drivers, but he's rarely allowed to elaborate. So I listen to my driver on the Trackpass scanner with the volume higher than the TV. I follow races by reading here, on twitter, and on my driver's message board. If something entertaining happens, I can turn to the DVR and see if ESPN managed to catch it.

ESPN's reporters all look and sound the same to me. It's like they have one personality in the same suit and read from scripts, and they sure aren't following the same race I am. I've always wondered if it's just me not understanding typical sports reporting or if they really are clueless. If ESPN is aware of this blog and others, how can they ignore their viewers pleas and suggestions week after week? The way they treat the sport, I assume they do not respect it, but I don't watch other sports so perhaps this the way it's always done. Or maybe their ties are just too tight.

Every time I watch a truck race I wonder why the rest of the races can't be that good. That series has struggled with sponsorship so surely SPEED is covering it on a limited budget, yet the talent of their people clearly exceeds ESPN. I gladly pay extra to get SPEED. I'll take them over ESPN any day.

Sometimes post-race coverage mentions fan comments about boring races. They truly seem baffled at the fan reaction because to them the race was exciting. There have been times where they've said "what race are they watching?" EXACTLY. We may be watching TV, but we're not seeing the race. We're missing most of the action, and not by choice. Also, by action I mean actual racing activity, not replays of fights and crashes.

To ESPN and NASCAR regarding all the tight shots to keep us from seeing empty seats: I DO NOT CARE. Let us actually see a great race with all the drivers so we'll tune in again, and maybe even justify buying a ticket. Personally, when I see the availability of good seats, it gives me more reason to consider attending. But please, show me the whole race and respect my ability to understand that empty seats don't mean there are no fans.

I appreciate all the activity online, helping to fill in the pieces during the race. But afterward, I sure miss TWIN.

Donna DeBoer said...

The kids are still talking about how great this race was & everything that happened in it. TV? Shmee-Vee!

The Mad Man said...

The first step towards improving the races is to eliminate having NA$CAR furnish the script as to who and what will be covered. Then get some competent directors and cameramen to give us some decent shots of the race. Then get some competent commentators in the booth. And give us the side by side coverage for the commercials. This actually applies to both Fox and BSPN. Until that happens, we're stuck with the same old same old each and every year and having the same complaints race after race.