Monday, May 2, 2011
TV Police: NASCAR On FOX From Richmond, VA
This case is going to require a lot of talking to unravel. Talking is what Darrell Waltrip does a lot during the FOX telecasts. One minute Denny Hamlin is the favorite, but the next he has a feeling this could be a big night for Mark Martin.
There is only one person who can out-talk DW. Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson came from Georgia and wound-up in Los Angeles leading the LAPD's Major Crimes Division. Once she got you in a room there was little doubt you were eventually going to spill your guts. She could out-talk anyone on the planet until they pleaded for mercy. She is "The Closer."
Friday night SPEED telecast the Nationwide Series race from Richmond. The cameras showed the track, the racing and followed the stories. Saturday night FOX produced the Sprint Cup Series race. The cameras showed one or two cars mixed with endless in-car camera views. Two different networks, two different telecasts...same track.
Chris Myers is back in fool mode and that is a shame. The pre-race show was goofy and filled with awkward laughter. That was mixed with what Waltrip passed off as serious thoughts. His "Revved up" segment this week was him yelling at fans that hated the fake "lovebug" two-car racing at Talladega. Waltrip made it clear if you were a real fan, you better like it.
In the background of the outdoor pre-race, fans were standing. Four of the fans held up signs. Two said "NASCAR on FOX" and the other two said "FOX Sports." The signs were identical.
Jeff Hammond continues to try and be the voice of reason between Myers and Waltrip. Hammond was banished to the Hollywood Hotel once the race was underway and was never a presence. Despite the long periods of silence during the actual racing, Hammond did not have a place in the telecast.
Mike Joy sounds defeated. His energetic calls of NASCAR races seem to be in the past. Whether that is what the new FOX management told him to do or he is just tired of the overpowering Waltrip persona, the energy is gone. Rick Allen on SPEED Friday night was head and shoulders above Joy and that is certainly a changing of the guard.
Digger is back and is now in 3-D. In the race, it obscured a replay of a questionable accident that brought out a very questionable caution flag and then was in animation mode during a spin on the track. It was a tough night for Digger.
As we have mentioned in the past, as the race winds down the pit reporters fade into the background. There was so much more information that should have been provided, especially during long green flag runs. FOX has the most experienced pit road team and the least utilized. There was never a field rundown in the event.
Aerial shots were repeatedly used as replays to solve the issue of who hit who. They were replays because the FOX director refused to use this video source live. It was the one angle that allowed racing throughout the field to be shown at one time. It was rejected for the entire three hour telecast.
This was a continuation of the production style of NASCAR on FOX this season and clearly something that the network feels good about. FOX has been in the sport for ten seasons and won national Sports Emmy awards for NASCAR telecast productions. All of this proves that TV is subjective and we all have our views on what we would like to see.
We invite your post-race comments on the NASCAR on FOX telecast of the Sprint Cup Series race from Richmond. 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.