Monday, March 7, 2011

The TV Lightning Rod: Darrell Waltrip (Reposted)

Update: Darrell Waltrip just received a two year extension from FOX. That puts Waltrip as the Lead Analyst on the FOX package of Sprint Cup Series races until 2014, the final year of the current NASCAR TV contract. This is a repost of a column post-Daytona that discussed Waltrip and his on-air presence in the sport. The comments section is open.

There were plenty of reminders last weekend of the original race for Darrell Waltrip as the lead analyst for NASCAR on FOX . Highlights, review shows and news features recapped Waltrip's debut on a race that mixed triumph with tragedy.

During a week that featured younger brother Michael authoring a book about that day, older brother Darrell had to speak often about mixing family pride with the untimely passing of Dale Earnhardt Sr. at the very same moment.

There has been a lot of water under the bridge since that day ten years ago. The NASCAR profile of FOX Sports is now a familiar one. The network builds the excitement for the Daytona 500 and then runs out the remaining string of races before shifting to baseball and NFL football.

Waltrip's transition into the TV booth came at a time when NASCAR was at the height of its popularity. Today, things are different. The sport is different. The faces are different. The cars are different. Younger fans know Waltrip only from TV. Younger drivers as well.

Waltrip is 64 years old. Other network TV analysts like Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace and Kyle Petty are a decade or more younger. Marketing folks still marvel at Waltrip, who can walk the fine line between analyzing the sport on national TV and being simultaneously involved with specific brands and sponsors behind the scenes.

It's hard for some of us to forget the on-air hawking of Digger by Waltrip when the animated character was introduced by FOX. After replays, on restarts and seemingly after every commercial Waltrip reminded viewers that Digger merchandise was available at his own personal website.

Over time, Waltrip has become caught-up in the same issue that currently surrounds his boothmate, Larry McReynolds. Being on so many TV shows ultimately creates a problem. Sooner or later real NASCAR issues that are not particularly fun, not particularly nice and may be very politically incorrect need to be addressed. Neither man can do it anymore.

There was a time when Waltrip would stand his ground and defend his opinions if he thought anyone, including NASCAR itself, was wrong. That time has long since passed. Now, the message being delivered by Waltrip from the NASCAR on FOX TV booth is lacking in opinion and instead dripping in emotion.

We dealt with this topic one year ago when Waltrip openly and emotionally rooted for Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Here is an excerpt from a TDP column after the 2010 race:

When David Reutimann bumped Dale Earnhardt Jr. toward the front in the endless game of bumper cars that is plate racing at Daytona, the world changed for Waltrip. As Earnhardt was pushed between two cars, Waltrip lost it. At a time when Mike Joy should have been calling the race and indicating when Waltrip could step in, there was going to be no stopping the NASCAR on Fox analyst.

Luckily, Joy got just enough time to call out Jamie McMurray's name as he crossed the line. It was clear, however, that once again Waltrip had allowed an emotional outburst to get in the way of the telecast. Where Waltrip used to wait for his moment and make it count, he now simply cannot step back and let Joy have the spotlight.

This year, Waltrip made it a doubleheader. Rick Allen was the first victim as Waltrip screamed "Mikkkkkeeeeeey" over top of Allen's commentary as Michael Waltrip crossed the finish line to win the Camping World Truck Series race.

Allen has worked for years on this series and adding color and excitement to the final lap of truck races on SPEED has become his trademark. Without any hesitation, Waltrip robbed Allen of one thing every play-by-play announcer wants to achieve. That is the memorable call of the end of a race that will live on once the race is done.

Two days later, Waltrip's second victim was TV veteran Mike Joy on the biggest race of the year. At some point on the final lap, the role of the analyst ends. Memorable final lap calls from Bob Jenkins, Allen Bestwick, Eli Gold and others over the years are what creates the television history of the sport. Waltrip took that opportunity away from Joy.

In response to fans addressing this point on Twitter, Waltrip offered the following:

Waltrip: Come on man, the 3 of us got excited, watching history being made, can't sit on your hands at that point! In my world the last lap and coming to the line is a 911 not 411.

By the end of a Sprint Cup Series race the TV analysts in the booth, the reporters on pit road and the team in the infield studio have been on the air for hours. Pit stops have been called, incidents have been replayed and opinions have been shared.

On the final lap the spotlight should be on the one person in the TV booth who has worked hard to earn the right to call the winner crossing the line. Ultimately, it comes down to respect and the ability to let someone else take centerstage.

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


Anonymous said...

The best way to listen to DW is with TV sound Muted. He needs to go.
Its very simple DW has gotten to big for his britches,and the TV booth. He no longer sees himself as an analyst or color commentator. He inserts himself constantly, from the inane B,B,B that is the most unprofessional start to any sporting event, to not letting poor Mike Joy get a word in edgewise. He is like the house guest who never leaves and doesn't know it.

Anonymous said...

DW roots for everyone.....who cares...he loves the sport and it pours into his calling of the race.....ill take that over a guy like bill webber with his manufactured excitement anytime or the boring as sin espn the fox guys

Slick said...

Darrell Waltrip was a Driver, first.

I won't blame him for his passion and emotion.

Emotion, is the propensity to feel.

Emotion is the capacity for fire.

Passion, is the Fire.

Jimbacca said...

All waltrip all the time. It's old it needs to go away. It's just like someone talking on a cellphone. Talking loud so everyone knows they are talking. They shill whatever the nascar line is. Use broadcasts as infomercials for themselves. Just time to go away. Winning a truck race is not the same as the 500. Shouldn't even be considered the same. Using the incident to shill a book and other crap is wrong. The ambulance chasers of nascar.

Ben Florance said...

I could not agree more...DW needs to go

Shayne Flaherty said...

The Digger folks should turn DW into a cartoon character. Poor guy couldn't remember who the truck series sponsor was last Friday night. He called it Craftsman and then settled on the Nationwide truck series. I guess Camping World isn't in DW's portfolio.

Fireman17 said...

Great blog post John about time someone call DW out on taking away other people calls.. I thin its really time for DW to hang up calling races and stay with doing the nascar shows or even QVC for that matter.. Last weekend done it for me i seen both of the calls and it is not cool he steps over people in the booth.. DW needs to realize there is more then just him in that booth!!

racingfool said...

I had my ex GF and her 2 grandchildren as my guests for the races a few times.
The two girls were 4 and 5 years old.
There were two people at they track that they knew from watching TV.
They recognized Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip right away the first time they saw them.
The grins went ear to ear the eyes were wide open. They got to hang out with these "stars" of racing and the "Stars" loved hanging with the girls. It was a great day for them. Their Dad had just gone to the "big house" and their Momma had passed away a few years before.
These two racing legends are our "stars" they are the "stars" of racing to the world.
What company could ask for any better ambassadors?
Yep. DW gets a little mouthy. That's what helped make him a "star"
Oh he could drive and talk.
And now he talks.
We are lucky to still have him in the business of Motorsports.
Thanks goodness someone does yell at the finish. I do too!

Ron said...

DW has always had a big ego, he thinks NASCAR revolves around him, and pitched a pity party when he didn't make the Hall of Fame last year. I mean come on, we've had enough of these announcers like DW and Larry Mac, and as much as I was looking forward to the start of the racing season, I don't look forward to those 3 Stooges calling the race, and just adding to their big ego's!
There are so many skilled people that could do an awesome job, and Fox continues to hold on to these people. Heaven help us! I look forward to when DW LM and MJ ride off into the sunset and finally just shut up!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the article, but for two things. One, "Marketing folks still marvel at Waltrip, who can walk the fine line between analyzing the sport on national TV and being simultaneously involved with specific brands and sponsors behind the scenes." I have never, ever, seen DW walk that fine line. And two, you were too soft on him. He should be taken out back to the woodshed for his unprofessional "mistakes". Come on nascar, bring in some professional announcers like the NFL has instead of announcers like the WWE has. MC

danielb59 said...

Didn't like Jaws as a driver.....don't like him as an announcer.

Anonymous said...

I too, am old enough to remember when Jaws Waltrip was brash and hated. When DW plays it straight, he can be an effective analyst. It's when he starts bs'ing that he becomes unbearable.In the last two laps of a race, he'll pick three winners to cover all the bases. DW is almost as bad as Mikey. Self promotion and self centeredness is in their DNA! Have you ever seen a Nascar driver win a race and get out of the car with their helmet on? Usually, they towel off and wait for the go ahead to exit the car. Not Mikey. After winning the Truck race, he gets out with his helmet on. Of course, it's pure coincidence that it was plastered with sponsor decals. He waited as long as he could before removing the helmet. Now , of course , all drivers have a responsibility to gain publicity for their sponsors, but Mikey can't say good morning without mentioning his sponsors. With Digger, DW was the same. If I were running things, I'd dump the Waltrips, the Wallaces, Brad and Kyle Petty. Change in the booths is long overdue.

Bucky Butler said...

DanielB59 said it for me. But more to the point about the show being about DW was the last lap shouting and screaming and his subsequent Twitter reply. The point is, he doesn't know or realize that he has a role. As you said John, by the time the last lap comes around all the pit stops are over, all the analysis is complete. It's the roll of the play-by-play man to bring the field home. DW will not be pigeon holed into a role or a bit player. His ego will not allow it. I understand the excitement at the conclusion of an exciting race. That said, DW and Larry Mac as well, are paid "broadcast professionals". They must curb their enthusiasm and yes, sit on your hands and keep your mouths shut! Their role has ended for the day.

Anonymous said...

I can listen to DW but when the race starts I listen to the scanners with my headphones on via TRACKPASS. Y'all should try it. It's cheap and makes watching much more exciting!

James said...

For all the insight and knowledge DW brings to the job, his personal agenda has always been his most visible attribute. Between LMR and DW you really have to wonder about professional conduct. I think it took a lot of DW to get LMR to chastise the entire media group during their tour! The decision to let DW be the voice of FOX was the best mistake the network has made to date. If NASCAR is so worried about their demographic you tell me what 18 to 30 year old male will tune in to hear this guy.

Anonymous said...

Waltrip forgets he is not a fan but (supposedly)a professional. He is being paid to do a job, and that job does NOT include upstaging Mike Joy.

If he wants to cheer, he needs to buy a ticket and a seat in the grandstands.

Mike Joy is a pro and knows his role. So does Rick Allen. DW is not and does not.

Jumbino said...

Darrell Waltrip is all about Darrell Waltrip. He has always felt he is bigger than NASCAR. He thinks his boogity boogity boogity is the national anthem. I too remember his pity party about missing the Hall of Fame. For a week I gloated in his misery, the best part his arch nemisis Bobby Allison went in ahead of him. This had to eat at him like fire ants. Darrell Waltrip has made it so I root against everything Waltrip. Yes, occasionally I loose in this battle (Michael's truck win) but more times than not anything Waltrip has a bad day. Darrell act's like he was Dale Sr.'s best buddy.... No Darrell, you can't rewrite history, your not gonna take the place of Neil Bonnett and Richard Childress. Please, just stop being a drama queen and maybe you will get an an ounce of respect back.

Chadderbox said...

I don't think Waltrip needs to go. He is passionate about the sport and that is fine with me. What he need to do is give Joy the front seat to call the race. In the sense that Waltrip talks over Joy coming to the checkers he needs to show more professionalism. I would think Waltrip could fix this problem with a little bit of work on his part. I am not asking him to go, just to be more professional.

Anonymous said...

Time to CLEAN the broadcast booth.

Get rid of the HAS BEENS , never needed them back in the DAY , ABC / NBC had good commentary and it was about the RACE , not 2000 details of no interest.

Anonymous said...

DW need to go to the Hollywood Hotel.. To much old stories and inapropreate chatter during the race.

Anonymous said...

I watched no NFL Football until the Playoffs. What struck me about the announcers for the Super Bowl was their focus and self discipline. With all the ebb and flow of highly charged emotions, the announcers were crisp and objective. Camera coverage and split-second replays also contrasted sharply with any Nascar Race. Nascar broadcasters and production teams could learn a lot from their NFL counterparts!

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

DW as a broadcaster is like mixing oil and water. He was brash, arrogant and annoying as a driver and has not changed much. He apparently became a broadcaster becasue he yaps his gums. His Boogity, Boogity, Boogity is getting old fast. As a matter of fact it's already old. He gets too excited about close finishes and talks over Mike Joy wayy too much, especially during close finishes.

DW needs to go manage his brothers race team or take a long vacation and give up broadcasting while he still has dignity left.

earl06 said...

DW is poison in the booth. Mike Joy used to be a great PxP guy, now he seems resigned to the fact that calling the race is pointless when he has a boothmate that blurts out whatever is on his mind like a spoiled child.

The call to the finish last sunday should have been Joy's, but if you listen, it's just two guys screaming and one guy giving up mid-sentence. Sad.

DW has some very good insight, if he can learn to interject it at the right time. Being professional is important if you are the lead analyst for a major sport. Too bad he's just a hack...

SquidBuzz said...

He is passed his prime. Maybe if he was only on TV for the race so we are not so saturated with him, it would be better.

Allison J said...

Love the DW. The last thing we need are more cyborgs like Bestwick and co.

JUMBINO said...

DW thinks its his gig to shout over everyone bringing his "buddies" to the line. DW, it's been done before professionally by Ned Jarrett. He was asked to bring "Dale to the line". You take it upon yourself to "DW-ize" everything. Like Digger, you would be better off in your hole.

Bobby said...

Mike Joy said a long time ago in Dick Berggren's magazine that he has preferred a more laid-back, three friends shooting the breeze style.

Some of the best calls on Fox have been with all three men being on it at the finish.

The 2009 Aaron's 499 was an example, all three men were on the Keselowski-Edwards tangle that it was Larry McReynolds who made the most important call of the race, not Mike Joy.

"Brad Keselowski won this race."

Larry also delivered the winning call as the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 but Mike could only lay back when Larry and Darrell in unison went "Craven got him!"

The Carl Edwards pass of Jimmie Johnson was another round of crosstalk at the finish too in Atlanta 2005.

There is a bit of short track announcer racing in this booth and that's something that fits their "laid back" attitude from that old interview.

All three actually were on it at the finish.

Mike: "Cinderella's glass slipper fits"

Darrell: "Trevor Bayne is going to win the Daytona 500!"

Larry: "He did it!"

Passion may be a good thing but that's criticism for all time.

OSBORNK said...

Some of us survive DW by muting him and listening on the radio or on our computer. However, those less dedicated frequently survive DW by turning off the TV or never turning it on. I think that is the problem that Fox and Nascar is missing. An unpleasant problem is avoided by avoiding where the problem is located.

Anonymous said...

You have a point with Larry McReynolds and DW. They usually did the NASCAR on FOX races, Trackside and that's it. Now they are all over TV, and the overexposure has hurt them. McReynolds was tired of negativity at the beginning of the season and Waltrip has lost any sense of restraint.

I don't think his age should be a factor. Benny Parsons was a fantastic commentator through the 2000's even though it had been decades since he competed in the Cup series. Benny had plenty of knowledge, professionalism and a likeable personality. But DW is very different.

I think FOX can make it work if there is some fine tuning.

starrcade76 said...

If DW was on MRN I could maybe understand being upset with him screaming over the finishes. In that situation the words of the announcers are your sole avenue for finding out what is going on.

But on TV he is accentuating the excitement that is at-hand. We can already see with our eyes who is coming to the finish line. The screaming of the announcers is what punctuates why this lap is more important then the 199 that came before it.

It isn't much different then the local broadcasts of baseball or football teams. Where in the middle of the play-by-play guy describing a home run or touchdown, the cheering of the color analyst tells you something important is happening.

Anonymous said...

All Fox has to do is turn of DW's mike on the last lap. Maybe he would get the message.

Stick With the Biff said...

just reading the comments makes me laugh. Love him, hate him, and a lot of in between. DW was a driver I used to root for back in the day. Didn't really mind his 'jaw flapping' then; it was just part of who he was. But in the booth, it's different. He *can* contribute both knowledge & enthusiasm. But he needs to do it in a professional manner, and that's gotten worse and worse, not better, as it should have, over the years. And the 'boogity' stuff is embarrassing. Not to mention, the 'way back' stories, well--they don't belong in the race broadcast. I don't mind them so much in qualifying or practice coverage where there's time for such stuff & it's relevant in some way. But I do agree with those who say his ego & shilling for Toyota have really gone over the top. It doesn't belong in a broadcast, period.

Mad Mikie said...

NA$CAR needs to make the restrictor plate mandatory for Larry Mac and the Waltrip brothers mouths.

52 yr.fa said...

Great column JD. After reading
David Hill's comments earlier in
the year lauding DW I knew we were
going to be up to our ears in
his babble.

I wish there was a way that the Fox
ratings could discern who is watching but not listening.

Smoke Fan!! said...

DW's yelling Yabba Dabba Doo or what ever you call at the start of a race it is hayseed. It needs to stay in Kentucky!!! Bring back Wally D.!!!

GinaV24 said...

When DW is relaxed, he can do be really funny and informative. Last year when he was on RaceHub with Steve, he was interesting and I enjoyed those programs and his input.

However, I don't enjoy it when he takes over the booth - whatever series. The PXP person should have precedence there. I agree with the poster who said that DW might be a better fit in the Hollywood Hotel.

I usually mute the TV during the race broadcasts and listen to my driver using trackpass and follow the race using Pit command.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling what everyone thinks, DW, Mikey, Larry Mac, Rusty, Brad are all Toyota people get them out of here. These guys are killing the sport, everytime you turn on Speed or Nascar on Fox you have to listen to them. Don't be fooled by DW if it came down to Jr. or a Toyota driver he might say he wants Jr. but we all know who he would root for.

Anonymous said...

I would like to buy the Waltrip brothers for what I think they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth.

Neither one brings any respect or professionalism to the booth.

I did not like one bit either of them dealing themselves into the Dale SR remembrances throughout Daytona. That was tasteless and without class. Mikey became a drunk and lost his marriage because we lost Dale? Sorry Mikey, you really weren't the victim there. The real friends of SR showed in their honest emotions, like Schrader who saw reality, Childress who lost a friend that was more like a brother, JR and Kelly who lost a father. They showed class and respect. The Waltrips in my opinion just found another band wagon to jump on. Next it'll be DW spouting the greatness of Bayne and how he's been following him for years and helped in his development. Sorry Kyle, you're old news now, DW has moved on.

The bottom line is that when they accept a paycheck to be in the booth the are being paid to be professional and they aren't. The only professional in the booth is Mike Joy who shows it every week by not taking off his headset and walking out.

Ken-Michigan said...

Spot On JD !

DW's over exposure the past couple weeks at Daytona has already worn out his welcome, he was everywhere on TV.

For the last few years on The Daly Planet I have commented several times about NOT letting the PXP guy do his job. DW and Larry Mac are terrible at "stealing" moments away from the main pxp guy. Mike Joy is the man to conduct the traffic in the booth, but FOX seemingly has a different thought process about it.

The FOX pre-race production meeting has got to step up and approach this subject. Unless, the FOX Producers want this style. Which I hope they don't.

Mike Joy IS the "pilot" of this plane. Let him fly it ! But nearly every last lap on FOX, Waltrip and MacReynolds kick down the pilots door and knock the pilot right out of the seat, resulting in a very bumpy and awkward end to the flight.

As a fan back in the early 80's, I had a huge dis-like of DW as a driver. But then one day I met him in person, played a round of golf with him riding in the same golf cart. By the end of that round of golf, I changed my whole outlook on ole DW and I was ashamed at how I prejudged a man I had never met. Those 5 hours I spent on the golf course with him were simply awesome. Deep down I know he is a good guy.....makes it so much harder to understand why "it is like it is" on FOX.

ZIEKE said...

Thanks John,
You have pretty much said it all about the saddest example of a TV broadcaster. I agree 100% with you and so do most of the posters. NASCAR has lost many, many viewers because of 1 person who has NO clue as to what he has done to the sport. Too bad! If you think of a way to unload him to Wal-Mart, please share it.

w17scott said...

Editor -
To quote that philosopher, The Rock: "Shut your mouth and know your place" Time for DW to man-up and show the professionalism for which he is being paid - and generously, no doubt ...there is no place for 'homer calls' NASCAR track is a home field for any driver ...all drivers run on a track new to them each week, not like running weekly series on the same track

Newracefan said...

I like DW but I do wish he would tone it down little. As far as the truck race goes that one didn't bother me because it was reminiscent of the 2001 500 and actually seemed fitting with the same Mikeeeey. I'm OK with his emotions for that one.

DW does always seem to root for someone at the end of the race and I can handle that too I would just like to see him tone down the talking over of Mike Joy especially in the last lap or 2. We have all have Mike's voice embedded in our memory for multiple epic occurrences "What could be more fitting, what could be more special" and he deserves more of them

JT said...


Oxymoron (N) using "DW" and "professional" in the same sentence.

Anonymous said...

DW is past his BEST BEFORE DATE :).

Time for him to pull out that Rocking Chair Dale SR gave him on his retirement and head back to Kentucky and rock away.

And take the 2 HAS BEEN Ex crew chiefs with him and Mr Lack Luster who baby sits Jeff Hammond.

Anonymous said...

I tried this year once again to listen to the Fox broadcast, but after the Shootout gave up. I muted the TV and just looked at twitter for the update, more info there and quicker than the broadcast. Once the 500 started found MRN broadcast on Iphone and muted the TV. I like both DW and LMac on their other shows but NOT the broadcast, they offer absolutely NOTHING of value. I want to hear what is happening ON the track, Fox has never been able to do that. I feel sorry for Mike Joy, if only he could just call the race without those IDIOTS! There would be a bigger audience.

KoHoSo said...

I think back to my days many years ago in radio, especially in college where I received regular grades for my work. If DW were in that situation where he was always stomping over the play-by-play man, going over-the-top with his personal agendas and ever-changing man crushes, and trying to force catch phrases, he would have gotten nothing but F's...and to think that he has now had over ten years of practice and has only gotten worse.

There's nothing wrong with excitement. There's nothing wrong with having fun. However, there is something in broadcasting as well as real life called self-control. DW's lack of that quality is really hurting the ability of fans both old and new to follow the action while he blurts out whatever he wants whenever he wants.

Despite the momentary upswing in ratings (for which I am very happy), continuing to let DW wail away in the booth is something I believe will continue to drag down ratings and turn away potential new fans. It's not his age but his actions. He either needs to tone it down or be moved out to pasture.

Anonymous said...

DW overstayed his time as a driver, and now he has overstayed his time as a broadcaster. In his final years as a driver, he couldn't qualify on time and had to constantly rely on the past champion's provisional. NASCAR finally created a rule to put him out of his misery by limiting the number of times per season a provisional could be used.

DW will never quit his role as broadcaster becauase he has a boundless ego and no sense of embarrassment. It's a shame David Hill is so arrogant and clueless. He should do what NASCAR did and kindly tell DW it is time for him to go.

Beth in NC said...

My gosh people! If you don't like the analysts provided by FOX, mute the TV and turn on MRN.

These commentators are there to call and comment on the race. You see the same thing in the NFL on Monday night. They can all be obnoxious but they are there because they probably know and have had experienced a little bit more than we have. If you are going to listen to them, take it a grain of salt.

KY1WING said...

It's not Kentucky he needs to go back to folks, it's Franklin, TN.

DW cut his ties to Kentucky when he went south to race with the big boys because he felt Owensboro, KY wasn't "southern" enough to be accepted in NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

John, you wrote:
"Marketing folks still marvel at Waltrip, who can walk the fine line between analyzing the sport on national TV and being simultaneously involved with specific brands and sponsors behind the scenes."

I have to disagree with that. He does not walk the fine line. IMO, he has his own, Mikey's and Toyota's agenda first and foremost and that is what we hear most about. At one time he was a good driver, but I still remember how bad he talked about Earnhardt and even looked down his nose at him making fun of him the whole time. And now he and brother both come up with fake tears as if they cared about something other than how much money and attention they get. It is getting old...I use the mute button a lot and dvr just to ff through a lot of his rattle.


philgoodstory said...

It's clear the best part of any FOX broadcast is when they "crank it up." Why? Because that's the only time it's guaranteed Darrell Waltrip will not be talking.

Anonymous said...

Beth--this is a TV blog. Sorry, but complaining what we do here (and we do it well, lol.) We should not be satisfied with 'turn on MRN.' For one thing, there is a timing delay. The pictures don't always match up with what we're hearing. I don't think it's too much to ask to have professional broadcasters, especially when we have them (Mike Joy) and they barely get a chance to talk.

E-Ticket said...

I really find it funny that News Journalist have taken to chastise each other on twitter for cheering in the media center when the Checkered flag fell. They found it unprofessional and bad for the business and they should not be there if they cannot write and not cheer.

DW does the same thing every week in the TV booth and assorted shows he is on but, JD finally steps up and says what we all want to say.

I wonder if he acted that way in the media center as a writer all the time how long it would take for his fellow writers to take him to task. Then again we know is fellow broadcasters will never call him out.

Don't get me started on the BS that is DW on twitter, I unfollowed him long ago. Funny thing is Kenny Wallace is started to move the needle towards unfollowable as well for the same reasons as DW broadcasting and on Twitter..

Michael B said...

Darrell Waltrip is a cartoon character. For the non-race fan, he's a joke. And as the years have gone by, he's become a joke for the rest of us as well.

He has his niche in the sport. He can be on tv. But if you want ANYone outside the sport to respect the sport, DW needs to be put in a different role. Fast.

Unknown said...

I believe DW is a good man under all that tacky persona, and I want to get that out here first. The Waltrips have really helped NASCAR become what it is. However, you do not see Troy Aikman stealing the show from Joe Buck. You do not see any football analyst (CBS, NBC, or Fox) hocking their own junk on network time. It's tacky, it is disrespectful, and it's just annoying. No one is going to turn off a telecast, because of DW. They will simply turn it down and turn MRN up. This is the only place our voices of outrage can be heard by NASCAR and FOX (Not that they will stand up and do anything). I have been watching since this started and DW needs to be more professional. He can start by retiring "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" and that stupid squirel. How does NASCAR expect to expand their demographic and add different types of fans if they keep this "hillbilly persona" front and center from the start of the most watched race of the year? I always try and get my friends to watch NASCAR, and follow it, and appreciate all that is involved that makes it so great. My task begins with a disclaimer to, "ignore the Hill Jack screaming 'boogity, boogity, boogity'." What begins for newcomers as surprise and respect for NASCAR's emphasis on an invocation and our National Anthem, quickly moves to a wide eyed, "oh my god what a bunch of idiots" look, as soon as the green flag flies. DW needs to go, OR he needs to sit back, do what THEY PAY HIM to do, and quit interjecting his hillbilly outbursts and his tacky vending machine merchandise. The time has come to keep the traditions and heritage that are creating value for NASCAR and FOX, and strongly recommend the other fluff be left out as soon as he steps foot in that booth. Show some respect DW. FOX and NASCAR are bigger than you, and even though it seems like it's the other way around inside your brain, you need remember while on the air that they are the show.

Anonymous said...

That is correct, Brandon. If Brian France and David Hill could see the look on the faces of friends and relatives I have had over to watch races when DW starts up. It is priceless. But don't expect it to end until BF mans up and does the right thing for the sport. Hill, being an Aussie, sees eye-to-eye with Darrell Flintstone (thanks Smoke Fan!!) and his Yabba Dabba Boogity hill country yell. So let's settle in, pull them belts tighter and learn to like cause it ain't going away. (Is that how you say it, Larry?)

LVI56 said...

I agree with what Bobby said, FOX has had some great end of race calls that were not Mike Joy. However, this is one that really frustrated me. The entire weekend it was Waltrip after Waltrip, and at the end of the 500 he was just too much. There needs to be a point, in the biggest races, where the analysts step back and let the call be made, because it's that call that's going to go down in history.

Someone needs to tell DW, he can call the start of the race, but give the end to Joy. Every other network has proper and almost rehearsed calls to start the race and finish it.

Anonymous said...

Both Waltrips are ego-driven and will promote themselves whenever they can...from pushing products to shamelessly cashing in on the Earnhart anniversary.

They will not stop.

The true issue here is who allows them to keep doing this. The Waltrips can only continue as long as they have platforms.

FOX, SPEED, Hill, etc. are the real culprits.


Unknown said...

Seems to be that the majority on this post feel the same way. DW needs to get serious or get out. New generation fans don't like him, and even the old loyal NASCAR fans are tired of his disrespectful hillbilly outbursts, and his shameless, tactless self-promotion. This is the attitude that is dragging NASCAR to the junkyard. The one where they let the same old trashy product stay around and try and distract us "idiot fans" with gimmicks and hooplah.

Dear Brian France, your model is broken and you are holding it together with band-aids waiting for the doctor to come in. News flash, YOU ARE THE SURGEON! Get it together and stop disappointing your father! You have something with the potential to still be GREAT! Just do the right thing, and that doesn't just apply to DW. It's even gotten bad for me (a 26 year old Chicagoan), so I can't imagine how it is for my father's generation or those in the heart of racing country.

Slick said...

While I posted in comment #3 above that I won't blame Darrell Waltrip for his passion and emotion, I've also commented previously on this blog, that DW can be annoying at times. It would be nice (as some have suggested above), if DW could tone it down at times, but I suspect that might be difficult for him to do, especially in the last few laps of a race.

Regardless, it was an emotional weekend for all of us fans, with the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt losing his life, so perhaps we should just give DW and everyone else some slack and understanding, and perhaps re-start the field next week. Perhaps Darrell or some of his friends and associates read this blog (and why wouldn't they :D), and so maybe he can listen to the voices of some of the fans here, and find a better balance between unbridled enthusiasm, and (brief) moments of quiet reflection. Maybe we need Jimmy Spencer in the booth with DW, to balance each other out, though some might argue that that would make it worse. :)

But not me ... DW and Spencer would be a blast!!! If I recall, I might've seen 'em work together in the past, on a non-Cup race, and I'm sure I loved it! Or maybe it was just a dream.


Raisin' a glass, and saying :

Thank You, Dale Earnhardt. For Everything.


Anonymous said...

Anon 5:56 here again. I think there is a good place for DW in the Hollywood Hotel with Chris Myers. Perhaps an even swap for Hollywood Hammond. There, DW would be limited to comments during breaks in action which are short in time and he must get to the point quickly. That format would be good for him and us, too.

Anonymous said...

So many good comments that I agree with , many of which I couldn't have said better. DW does not walk that fine line, he crosses over it. I've been saying for a long time DW needs to improve, that is, actually put some effort into doing a better, PROFESSIONAL job with his TV duties. As I've said many times before, how can FOX do such a great job with it's NFL and MLB coverage and then INSULT us with it's NASCAR coverage. One scary thing is I recently heard David Hill make a comment about DW doing a good job and needed to be used more.I've often wondered if he really watches his own coverage and if he is really aware of how many fans are offended by the Waltrips on air persona..

ddsbstrb said...

Way too much shilling for that "foreign" manufacture, and, it all started back in 2007 when JAWS spent the first 30 minutes of that Daytona 500 talking about the "foreign" car company and his brother. Of course, his brother fell to the back, and the "talk" faded. At least Mikey didn't take out half the field in 2007.

I cannot wait until TBS takes over the Cup racing this season.

I prefer watching on RaceView, and scanning some of the drivers vs. Fox.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have any problem with the call of the end of the race. All the guys were excited, and I don't think Mike Joy could have summed it up any better than the sound of the excitement and giddiness in the booth.

Anonymous said...

DW needs to go, I agree the best way to watch Fox is with the sound muted.

Anonymous said...

Not long ago, people on this forum were complaining about Jerry Punch being a boring, monotone personality and wanted him banished from the broadcast booth. Now you complain about DW being too excited. I guess DW loves this sport too much and it shows in his excitement. Perhaps if he weren't on every show, it would make him more palatable.

Justin said...

Alot of DW hate here, but seriously, Darrell is there for color commentary and THAT he does provide! At this time and for the foreseeable future FOX is intimately tied with NASCAR and FOX is totally invested in DW. Darrell could be more professional at times, but he is a personality whose emotion is hard to keep in check. He and Larry McReynolds greatest failings are the loss of a crictical edge when examining the actions of the sanctioning body.

Rockingham said...

I can not stand DW, the only way I can watch a race is with the TV sound muted and listen to MRN or PRN. I can't stand the shilling for Toyota, his Brother and anybody else that has paid him. Make him go away!...Now Please!

allisong said...

I totally agree that DW ruined the call to the line of the D500, and this is the 2nd straight year he's done that. Anyone remember "Lil' JAYmie BAYbeee!!!" I cringe every time I hear them replay that, and feel sorry for Jamie for having that attached to his win. Contrast that with AB's "With lessons learned from his father...."

Mr. Daly, with all due respect, I put some of the blame for DW's recent omnipresence at your feet. Do you recall a column you did back in '07 or '08 regarding how NASCAR "needed" DW to do more on TV after the FOX portion ended? I believe this was after a Windtunnel appearance he did. I believe that DW, and also David Hill, took that to heart, and this is what we got. The two of them believe that DW is the biggest reason people watch, so he must therefore be on every panel, every show, all-Waltrip, all the time.

Roland said...

I have a lot of respect for DW for his accomplishments and dedication to the sport. So he doesnt really bother me as much as everyone else. That being said I got so sick of him at Daytona. Bud Shootout weekend was ok. But during the duels he became overbearing and his commentary was uneducated. He was completely off the mark and it showed. The truck race call was good because of the circumstances surrounding it. But screaming over Mike during the run to the flag during the 500 was disrespectiful and unprofessional. And the boogity boogity boogity is the most unprofessional and embarrasing part of the broadcast. The man is on wayyyyyy to many shows. Get him off trackside, get him off the FOX pre race, and keep him on sprint cup telecasts only.

I think another big question exiting Daytona was the dissapearance of Larry Mac. He was a forgotten man in the booth last week. He was taken off trackside for unknown reasons. And his nascar performance show is tucked away early sunday morning. What is going on behind the scenes? He must have had a falling out with David Hill/Patti Wheeler/Hunter Nickel or whoever is in charge of Speed.

Anonymous said...

There was certainly Waltrip overload last weekend. I like 'ol DW. His brother not so much. If DW were to go off into the sunset somewhere I'd be afraid that Mikey would be given yet another forum. Besides I would miss the boogity

GinaV24 said...

Slick, DW doesn't have a filter that would allow him to step back and see how if he just shut up once in a while, he'd make the broadcast better and the fans would be more receptive to it. He couldn't do it as a driver -- he flapped his jaws all the time, which is why Jr Johnson gave him that nickname.

As I said in my previous posts, there are times when I really enjoy listening to him - but not when he (and his brother Mikeeeyy does the same thing)take over the entire conversation. When people do that sort of thing to me in real life, I tune them out -- same thing happens on TV. I either mute it or change the channel when if Mike Joy could call the race, I'd be able to enjoy it.

AncientRacer said...

As I see it everybody is right here and everybody is wrong here including me. I have not a clue what to do with DW, but I do know if he suddenly disappeared or was somehow muzzled part of me would be happy and part of me would be unhappy.

It is in my little world something like Howard Cossell. He was oh so annoying on MNF, but as I look back with my Senior Special Genuine Rose Colored Glasses I see the glory days of that program.

Jus' sayin'

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Gina, i second your post

DW yaps his mouth too much and thats all he ever does.

Many fans have heard his jabberjaw since the 1970's and some can't take him anymore. Hence the Jaws nickname by Cale Yarborough.

I know this is america and we all have freedom of speech but acts do get old after a while.


Anonymous said...

All this talk about "shilling for Toyota". Seriously - when was the last time DW did this? Three years ago? Give me a break.

PammH said...

anon 12:41...are you kidding me? If DW being in the Sponsifier comml w/Shrub isn't shilling, what exactly do you call it?? I call it stepping waaaaaaay over the line of "professional broadcaster" and going into huckster mode. Everyone knows about DW's bromance w/Shrub & Jr. Betcha can't tell me who Mike Joy's fav driver is...because he's a pro.
~off my soapstand now~

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

DW is in the new Toyota Sponsifier ads that debuted during the Daytona 500 so he is still shilling for Tiyota and always has..

Anonymous said...

am I the only one who really doesn't get that commercial? Once I saw the longer version it made more sense, but it's still kinda stupid. And I can't stand Kyle but I thought the 'little baby seals' line was actually funny. I think Toyota missed the boat on ads this year so far.

ddsbstrb said...

PammH....Excellent comparison between ol' JAWS and Mike Joy, or several other broadcasters, whom I consider...."professionals", like Dale Jarrett, Ralph Sheheen, the late Benny Parson, Andy Petree or Alan Bestwick.

Compare and contrast how these "NASCAR-professionals" work in the booth, when compared to the two big-mouths....JAWS and JAWS Jr.

Thanks for sharing your great point with us PammH

Sally said...

It's sad to me to see/hear what a caricature DW has become. In a quieter setting he has some great insights on the sport, rational and well reasoned. Put him in front of a microphone at a track and he babbles nonsense non stop. It's a shame that his knowlege can't be used in a forum that would afford him some dignity.

Anonymous said...

I want to sit down on Sunday and enjoy a RACE done professionally on TV. I do not want to use anything but the TV for a RACE. I have not seen a RACE done professionally on fox for a long time and I am no longer putting up with it. DW is not the only problem, but he is one of the big problems. I will still read JD, but I will no longer waste my time on nascar on Sundays till TNT. MC

Anonymous said...

I cringe everytime DW comes up with new non-words and walks over Mike Joy. Makes me miss Benny Parsons more and more.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
NASCAR presented itself well long before David Hill came along ...Fox blew its opportunity to enhance the appeal and image of NASCAR when it failed to put a muzzle on DW wonder they opened last week with an outside shot - that's the only place that could accommodate DW's ego and clearly the reason he doesn't hesitate to talk over PXP ...shame on David Hill/Fox for placing favoritism over professionalism

Anonymous said...

I for one am not surprised Faux resigned this booth monkey one bit. They don't care about the product they put out there and this certainly proves it. Jimmy Spencer on the Race Hub does a more professional job then ole DW ever has.


Daly Planet Editor said...

From Waltrip on Twitter: I"m grateful for contract extension and the wonderful fan support I get for my work,I'm surrounded by the best team in racing,thanks 2 all.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here is a series of Tweets today from SBNation's Jeff Gluck aimed at TDP and myself about NASCAR TV:

DW joins Rusty as broadcasters signed to extensions despite fan gripes. Conclusion: Networks don't care what you think about their talent.

DW isn't going anywhere and he isn't going to change (a new deal only encourages his broadcasting style), so if it annoys you, tough luck.

While enough fan opinions/complaints may move #NASCAR to make decisions, TV networks are not interested in fan input on who's in the booth.

My point is if you're going to complain about something, you're wasting your breath on the TV announcers. Save it for something else.

The ratings are up this year so far...everyone is happy in TV land. My advice is to just enjoy and press mute if it bothers you.

GinaV24 said...

so, contract extensions for both Rusty Wallace and Darrell Waltrip. Guess that means that no one at the networks is listening to the fans comments.

Honestly I had expected that Gordon would retire in 2010 when the contract with DuPont expired. The only reason I'm still watching racing is because Jeff's on the track - it sure isn't the "wonderful" TV coverage by both FOX and ESPN.

Based on that news, I will make sure that I keep my trackpass subscription but I have to admit that I'm seriously giving thought to cancelling my cable and just keeping the high speed internet service.

GinaV24 said...

So in other word, Gluck's advice to the viewers who don't like DW's style is to "lay back and enjoy it".

For some reason, that advice makes me angry.

I wonder who DW gets his fan support from?

Anonymous said...

It's all been said. Time and time again. Fox doesn't listen. I know several people who have left Nascar for good because of DW's mouth. I'm hanging on by muting the sound. What a he!! of a way for Fox to treat the fans that are forced to tune in to their programming. I hope the fella who offered DW an extension is forced to watch racing from his couch listening to the old bull bellowing at the top of his lungs.

Anonymous said...

I must be the minority that enjoys Waltrip. But at the same time I understand why some people may not like his style. I agree if people don't like it, put the TV on mute. Networks do what makes money. That why they are in charge and we are not.

Chadderbox said...

Gluck said press mute if we don't like it.
I read comments on this blog that quite a few people do that very thing.
Pressing mute takes care of DW, but I still have to see the tight camera shots even if I am muted. When the camera shots are crappy I will criticize.
I think Gluck is being realistic with his network comments. They (the networks) don't care what we say. There isn't anything that indicates to me that the networks care what we think.
I am still watching with mute on, trackbuddy, trackppass, or MRN whatever it may be. DW won't drive me away!

Ziggy said...

(Making note to self: Extend the warranty on the remote's MUTE BUTTON for another 2 years).

Amazing, so I'm guessing Mr Gluck's justification for DW's contract extension is due to the last 3 weeks of ratings. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...


AncientRacer said...

Next gig for DW now that he has renewed?

Dancing with the Stars!

What!?! You think I'm kidding?

Anonymous said...

A long time ago, I posted that we have the Bozos on Nascar TV because those in power want it that way. While it's hard to stomach, Gluck makes a number of valid points. What I have chosen to do is to avoid essentially any pre or post racing television. I'm just not goig to listen to Rusty,Brad,Kenny,Kyle Petty,etc. One exception is the one hour Monday Nascar Now show which can occaisonally be a stinker,too. When viewers have alternate venues to watch a race, then maybe the Networks will change. With a two year contract extension and a week off to rest up, Lord help us when DW lets loose at Bristol!

FedUP said...

Not surprising is it? Look in the past, dippitydo wanted to know what the fans thought of his trademark" boogers-lets go racing." The Fans hated it. What did DW do? Denied that the fans hated it, and keeps saying it.

I hate this time of year with Fox. The one thing that I hope happens is that when the t.v. contract is up....Fox doesn't go after it. That would be one way to get rid of the boogerman.

Sophia said...

I like the guys on Fox in the booth ok..they just seem off their game this year & the color schemes of cars is STILL throwing me off..but they should have notes.

The overly colorful dayglo OBNOXIOUS colors goes with the FOX mentality. I can NOT read the ticker on the big tv nor the 21 inch in kitchen or 36 in in my room. Drivers are ridiculously colored & NUMBERS tough to read. Much prefer last years ticker but the color coding on all drove me nuts with the chase colors...remember that?

That said, DW can be overbearing but it's the SHODDY !@#$&*@ Camera work & choices I HATE. But they say ratings are up. Funny I know some local twitter folks that gave up on NASCAR...i've already cut waaaaaaaaaaaay back in race shows & percentages of race I watch..I find the race is bearable ONLY as background noise as you do other things.

That would be fine except my house mate did NOT invest in a 52 inch tv to see bumper cams/in car cams/one car finishes. They are starting to ruin IRL/F1 races w this method but NASCAR FOX takes it to Elvis Shoot the Tv Moments.

Honestly, I just want better pictures. My guess is people are getting drunk & having parties & watching the tv & enjoying it as filler.

I'm stunned. STUNNED ratings are up but alas, our gripes continue to go unheard so maybe we ARE THE MINORITY.

Vince said...

I find DW and his brother to be the two most annoying and juvenile people in Nascar. Which is why it doesn't surprise me that Fox would extend DW's contract. Look at Fox's lineup of tv shows. Mostly annoying and juvenile.

As for Gluck. He's only been reporting Nascar for what, 6 or 7 years? He's still in diapers in Nascar reporter years. I get my news and views from reporters who have been around the sport longer. I could care less what Gluck says.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...


Does that include glee.

KY1WING said...

AncientRacer - love your 2/25 analogy to MNF (sorry so late - penalized for running over ah air hose)and I think that was the "model" FOX was after when they first signed on. Unfortunately a Dandy Don with a Howard Cosell ego and mouth just doesn't work for me.

At least Howard had a command of the English language and didn't rely on made up words to get his point across.