Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rusty Wallace Leads Montreal Mess


There are times in TV when you just can't make things up. What happens live on the air is just so entertaining that no embellishment is needed. May we present the NASCAR Nationwide Series in Montreal.

The pre-race show featured a slight delay for a Little League game on ESPN. Once the Nationwide Series was on the air the Camping World Series trucks were still live on SPEED from Michigan ending a crashfest with a win by Kevin Harvick.

When the green flag finally flew on a beautiful day, this telecast quickly became a tribute to all the issues we have with Nationwide Series owner Rusty Wallace being in the TV booth. Some of his statements were outrageous.

Live chatting here and on Twitter documented the fan reaction to the same issues. Wallace is ill-prepared for this kind of telecast even after five years of working for ESPN in both the TV booth and infield. When he is put in the lead analyst role, his observations are often driven by his personal and professional agendas.

In this telecast, Wallace started by mispronouncing the names of several Canadian drivers. That quickly mushroomed as the race began to play-out in a very different form with drivers ducking in right after the green flag to top-off fuel tanks.

In just a short time, Wallace had no clue who was on what fuel strategy or what was going on. Luckily, Wallace was teamed with another driver in the TV booth. Ricky Craven worked endlessly to help Wallace with his remarks and patiently added his own comments to the telecast.

TV veteran Allen Bestwick has lead this telecast for years, but this race featured Marty Reid. After six months of working on Nationwide Series telecasts this season, Reid has built up a legacy of saying the wrong thing at critical times in key races.

In this event, Reid never was able to help viewers by tracking fuel mileage or strategy. His comments were limited to what was being seen on the TV screen, as Montreal is a road course and TV visibility is limited. This meant that Reid could not know what else was going on unless the ESPN producer told him.

One critical part of the race featured Wallace talking passionately about his son Steven racing hard in the top five. Just as Wallace finished his comments, Steven caused a crash that took out Canadian hero Patrick Carpentier who was racing in Montreal for the final time.

Like it or not, ESPN soft-pedaled the incident and the replays. Craven called Wallace out, but not even by name or car number. Reports via other forms of media detailed the crowd reaction which was not seen or heard on ESPN. After the race, the Carpentier crew chief grabbed Steven Wallace by the hair in his car and shook his head rather vigorously.

Click here to see how ESPN and the senior Wallace handled that moment on the air.

Here is the bottom line. ESPN paid the money and can use any personalities in the booth that the network chooses. Fortunately, part of the same bottom line is that we can continue to speak about the fact that Wallace does not add to the telecasts in his role and has become a running joke for fans on websites and social media.

It's all about ratings, so if this is what ESPN believes might draw in viewers for telecasts then expect more of the same down the stretch. If you watched the telecast, let us know what you thought of ESPN's effort by clicking on the comments button below.

55 comments:

Daly Planet Editor said...

I did not add the comments about rain tires. You can pick up that topic in this thread.

Anonymous said...

At first it was awkward having Rusty comment on Steven's alleged driving talent; then it became embarrassing. Now it's unethical. Anybody out there on the NASCAR Fan Council: mention this on your weekly surveys! This HAS to stop. It's just too disgusting to go on.

PammH said...

The calling of this race by all parties (except Craven) was awful! A giant cluster____ all the way around. Mispronounced names, made up words...smdh. Only the overhead shots of such a beautiful track & PC's grace in his last race has stopped me from throwing myself off the roof of my house! It was THAT bad.

Roland said...

Did anyone expect any different? Marty and Rusty in the booth? I saw this coming from a mile away. Marty is just plain awful, hes the Kevin Conway of play by play. That guy needs to disappear. Rusty, well theres no hope for him. From the small parts of the telecast I actually listened too, Ricky just took him to school. Rusty is not made for TV. He has not gotten any better in 5 years. Neither has his son.

I am just so sick of this conflict of interest. Steve is a weapon. He doesnt have his head on straight. The guy has issues. I know he has tourettes syndrome, I believe thats affecting his driving. The fact that they just dodge the situation and not place any blame on Steve is just too much. These telecasts are more biased than Fox News. If it wasnt for MRN I would have stopped watching this series a long time ago.

ESPN, you done good by replacing Marty. Time to step up and admit that Rusty is a horrible analyst with severe conflict of interest, and make a change.

James said...

I just watched the most "botched" up race I have ever seen. ESPN should be sued by NASCAR for impersonating a telecast of their product. I can believe that this race continued to get worse as it went. The people employed by ESPN with the exception of Ricky Craven would be better served if they broadcasted a more scripted telecast, like BINGO! This is a comedy show that features a sport where others do the heavy lifting. Please put a stop to this misery.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why ESPN tolerates the crap that Rusty Wallace says. I guess they do not understand the meaning of Conflict of Interest! Wallace and Marty Ried have got to be causing fans to stop watching races, or switch to radio or online sources. I will be one of those fans just as soon as I can afford to buy an XM radio with a home kit.

Sophia said...

watched bits of this on tv at home during golf & from the Y so can't complain about specificities.

That said, how has RW gotten by THIS many years making excuses for his son in the races he covers?? And not learning how to pronounce names is basic job prep 101....my first name is hard to pronounce so grew up with that with stupid grown ups even as a kid...(Not sophia)

glad I missed the messed up broadcast details...but sorry I missed the girly hair pulling fight afterwards.

Marty ruins the Indycar races sad to say...a very nice man so it pains me to criticize him, but maybe should work on Pit Road or something?? Put Robin Miller in the tv booth, but I digress

...just like AB should be in the booth in ALL ESPN races if you want to attract views.

Fed UP said...

ESPN normally has a good broadcast for the Nationwide series, however, today was not the day.

Now, Im going to cut the "b" team some slack here. We know that neither Marty nor Rusty have a true grasp of the English language, nor of pronouncing French names, however it was embarrassing. The S is silent in most French names...and there is no such thing as jacks villeynuvey. Nor was there a padrick carpenter in the race.
If Rusty can't be honest enough to admit that his son is a loose cannon-I agree with the weapon comment out there-than he needs not to participate in announcing. In fact, imo..if you have a vested financial interest in any team that you are broadcasting in the same series, you should be prohibited from doing so. Conflict of interest. And that's not just an ESPN problem...its a FOX and SPEED one as well.
I can't wait until the next weekend when the regulars are back in the booth.

PammH said...

sophia-hair pulling episode is on youtube already!!

@firecracker427 said...

Once again Rusty showed us why owners/fathers should not be in the booth - a total buffoon! Something I comment on every NASCAR Fan Council questionnaire I receive. He commented that his calculator battery died, too bad it wasn't his wireless mic!

52 yr. fan said...

It is apparent that the decision
makers at ESPN do not have the
ability to comprehend the image race fans have of Rusty. He adds
nothing original to the presentation and hampers other
crew members in honest depiction of
incidents involving the 62 & 66.
Owners, drivers, crews, sponsors,
and above all fans, deserve a better representation of racing.

PDXLeelaB said...

I try not to hate people I have never met. I like all drivers because their different personalities make NASCAR fun. I cannot say the same about former drivers who own a team, let their son drive one of the cars AND are paid to call the race. How stupid can ESPN be? Rusty was a polarizing figure when he was racing. More hated him than loved him. Putting him in the booth has been a disaster. I used think it was funny but today it went too far. There were times today that I had to change the channel. Dear ESPN, get the buffoon out of the booth and then shoot me an email or tweet and I will come back. Rusty has the "ick" factor going to much for me.

Anonymous said...

Over the past few races, Rusty has gotten defensive over Steven's driving. Ricky Craven is the only one on the show worth listening to!

Maybe Rusty needs to talk to HOF member Ned Jarrett about calling a race when his son is running in it!

Anonymous said...

I could not stop laughing after Stevie boy takes out some cars RIGHT AFTER his daddy talks him up on TV...just priceless...every single weekend Rusty is in the booth, you can pretty much sum up his comments like this "well guys there's going to be a lot of wrecks today, and boy these cats are fast and smooth...and the 66 is looking good, and uhhh never mind....where is my check book"

Scott said...

You nailed most of the points. Roland's correct that Steven Wallace is a weapon. Unfortunately, he’s a live weapon under no one's control and we never know when he's going to detonate, only that he will indeed do so in every race, and his dad will never offer proper professional commentary where he’s concerned. He has enough trouble with drivers he’s not related to.

It's a shame that Ricky Craven is dragged down by professional association with Marty and Rusty. BTW, someone should talk him into joining Twitter. The guy knows his stuff and does a great job of presenting it to the audience. He’s good. Get him in the booth with Allen Bestwick.

ESPN should be ashamed of either their horrible choices for booth 'talent', their utter lack of regard for the Nationwide series or both. Why did they even bother bidding for the rights to cover it? Whoever produces the coverage should be fired. There's no excuse for the lack of preparation week after week after week. Cover the action. You have lots of cameras. Get the names right. It’s not difficult. Ever heard of phonics?

Anonymous said...

I actually look forward every weekend just to watch Rusty talk his way into a cluster, while his son continues to make "friends" out on the racetrack with his wonderful driving.....just hilarious....oh you could make a highlight reel so far from this season with replays of Steve's wrecks and his dad trying to cover them up....

jmnlman said...

Embarrassing coverage from start to finish. As JD superbly summarized the Rusty fiasco. Yeah talk up Montreal but then can't be bothered to get the drivers names right. Did we really need to know Danica's weight as well as her height? I was half expecting them to launch into a list of her turnons and turnoffs. Crying and moaning about the possibility of rain you just knew it wasn't going to show up.

The Loose Wheel said...

I feel Reid is better fit for the Nationwide Series, but when your cast is providing zero help there is not much you can do. Like Petree was for awhile, Ricky Craven has been a gleaming diamond in a horrid mess. Rusty needs to be let go of this TV role entirely because no one else around ESPN can handle him or his ego. Another reason owners in the booth is a horrible idea.

The pit reporting was equally just as bad. Sadly this just seems to have become a running joke with ESPN. You can almost call their miscues to a T.

Run Ricky Craven, run far far away! Replace Mikey in the SPEED booth!

Vicky D said...

And Rusty says the word "I think" that I wish had a nickel every time I would be rich. Ricky Craven gave RW so many openings but he just wasn't "with it" today to add much to the broadcast. I think Randy LaJoie would have done much better.

glenc1 said...

I only saw the end, and missed the mispronunciations. But I agree with anon 6:09. For a while I could handle it but it seemed weird. Then embarrassing, then unethical as Rusty started defending Stephen's mistakes (it's ph, btw.) I kept hoping Steve would somehow 'get it' but it's certainly not looking that way now.

I don't 'hate' Rusty and I still see plenty of his old fans at the Glen. But as a broadcaster, he has to go.

diane said...

First, I was willing to suffer through anything just to watch Ambrose finally win here. That being said, compare what we heard to a professional like Leigh Diffy. Diffy is prepared and knows what's going on.

Also, I was lucky to be home when coverage was starting because ESPN or Cox cable screwed up the TV listing and my DVR would not have recorded what was listed as Rugby and Tennis.

Rusty should not be placed in a position to call a race where his son is a competitor. Its a no win situation. No team owner, or part owner should be calling races period.

Jimbacca said...

When the hit occured they blamed it on the other drivers for making it 3 wide. Well he hit something from the side which means he wasnt in front.

They steered away from calling it as it was seen. They skipped any item the featherless dart caused except giving him a reach around because he mowed down enough cars to be in near the front.

Conflict of interest to the hilt but they did renew his contract so they must be seeing some other racing that we aren't.

Sophia said...

Tx pammh saw it & heard it!:) There was a link on tw about hair pulling video but no sound. Indeed, Ned Jarrett knew how to have class & call races w Dale in them.

For the Record, Marty Brennamen on Reds tonight said "Nothing is more insulting than to mis-pronounce an athlete's name. He makes it his business to find out how to say the names even if he has to ask the player personally. Then writes in phonetics if need be"...did it for a game years ago against some Russians!

So, yea, I'm tired of the bad name calling because NASCAR announcers are too lazy to learn the CORRECT way to say a name. Unprofessional.

When it came up during the Reds radio game, I had to post about it here after that topic came up earlier w RW & apparently others :)

Palmetto said...

My fantasy league pals often have a side bet on which lap Steven will do something stupid.

My 'not a race fan' wife wondered today if having an owner in the booth makes the rest of the broadcast team uncomfortable.

West Coast Diane said...

First, I didn't figure out DVR wasn't recording until only 20 laps to go. I called DIRECTV. They said it was ESPN's issue. Is that true JD?

Second, it looks like they did me a favor. If the rest of the race was like those last 20 laps glad I missed it!!

The camera work made no sense. Yes some very good overhead shots but that was it.

Mispronunciation of names is inexcusable. There is no review in pre race meetings?? What an insult to the drivers, their fans and the viewers.

Marty Reid really struggles. It just seems there is no preparation by the booth or production crew. Just show up and say what ever comes to mind. I think they should give Leigh Diffey a shot. I know he calls other races but we need somebody new. Leigh did a great job with Speed recently.

Rusty. Totally absurd that he is in the booth for two reasons. One, conflict of interest. Two, as far as ability in the booth, he is a master of the Peter Principle....he had risen to his level of incompetence. Maybe he knows alot, but he is incapable of articulating it. He adds no value to the broadcast. ESPN, if you must honor your contract with Rusty just let him do pre race, NASCAR Now, etc. No races.

West Coast Diane said...

Ps. Doing this on iPhone. Couldn't edit. I realize Leigh Diffey works for Speed. I'm just desperate for someone competent in the booth.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Di, race was always scheduled for ESPN on my TV listings. Same thing for tomorrow, check DVR vs. reality for Cup from MIS on ESPN.

TerryG said...

I liked Rusty as a driver, but as a commentator in the booth, he needs to go. He's an embarrassment to the sport, and so is Steven. And Steven doesn't get why people are pissed at him. This whole telecast was just lousy. The beautiful venue and nice overhead shots were the only high points.

red said...

i have never accepted that owners and/or those with a financial interest in a race team should be permitted in the broadcast booth or on pit road. once a person has a financial stake in the outcome, he/she no longer belongs in that role, no matter how much experience he/she can bring to the broadcast.

it's why i don't like carl edwards or brad keselowski or others just "dropping by" the booth once they're out of a race. it's not that they aren't interesting or that it's not a fun time. it's that they are competitors with a vested interest in the outcome of the race and so they do not belong there.

a natural extension of that is that parents & siblings don't belong there, either. yes, it was unbelievably wonderful for ned and dj and for dw and michael but it's still not right to me.

so, on all accounts, rusty wallace does not belong in the nationwide booth when his team is racing, regardless of who might be in the seat. add the factor that it's his son and it's made worse. then add in the reality that his son is frequently involved in wrecks and it's even worse.

today, it was evident that rusty wallace no longer belongs in the booth for yet another reason: he was simply lost. from horrific mispronunciations of racers' names (a major complaint of mine) to just not adding anything solid to the broadcast, he failed. craven repeatedly attempted to toss wallace an intelligent question and just as consistently, the answer was a rambling mess. props to craven for continuing to try but it was evident it just wasn't going to work.

wallace's constant stream of consciousness talking became the background noise to the race for me. i had no idea what was going on for the vast majority of the race, no sense of strategy beyond the pit stops in the first handful of laps and who hit or turned whom or why happened on any number of occasions.

in short, it was a hot mess and i regret giving it those hours of my life.

Buschseries61 said...

I saw the first 20 laps, left in disgust, then returned to watch the last 15 laps. The camerawork was terrible. The first few laps had too many tight single car shots. They didn't search for the racing, just random cars and fuel talk. It was tough to watch after SPEED's beautiful wide shots and blimp shots just a short time before.

Towards the end of the first 20 laps everyone was on a different cycle - Marty & co had everyone lost and confused. Even Rusty had no idea, and he owned 3 cars in the field. Annett getting spun by Danica led to another Rusty moment.

When I returned, things were just worse. Rusty, Marty, and the pit reporters continued to pronounce Jock-Vil-noob and butcher the rest of Canada. Steven got himself in trouble multiple times, which forced dad into defense mode or total silence. It was pretty hilarious. Rusty giving up on tracking the fuel strategies was another hilarious moment for this group. He struggles to do his job, but remember, he wants a raise! Then cars started spinning, Robby Gordon's car was smoking, Patrick Carpentier was sitting in turn 1 as a spectator. Marty was lost and Bestwick was across the border unable to help. Bayne was penalized for cutting a corner, which Marty & co. defended NASCAR for. When NASCAR saw the replay, they actually reversed the call, which led to more NASCAR praise by Marty & co. Andy Petree was missed.

The last lap was a mess with Marty calling a caution when it was only the white flag. Steven getting his hair pulled was the topper. There were a few positives, but this was terrible compared to the SPEED Truck broadcast.

Sally said...

As much knowledge and insight as Rusty and DW may have, neither of them should be involved in broadcasting races. I now appreciate just how skilled Ned Jarrett was, announcing races without pandering to his son on the track. He did such a good job that it was apparently assumed that anyone else could do the same. No one with a vested interest in any driver or team should be involved in the PxP in the booth. It says something when Leigh Diffey, someone not involved with stock car racing on a regular basis, can do a better, more informed broadcast than the 'regulars'. It has to be hard on Rusty, trying to either ignore or explain incidents involving his son on the track. Not an enviable position. I don't 'hate' Rusty, DW, or Michael, I just don't think they belong in the booth during a race. "Personality" is not a substitute for competence.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

JD


Isn't there any laws for conflict of interest?

Daly Planet Editor said...

sbtf,

What you find out quickly in TV is that the only law you need to understand is the one that keeps your employer happy.

ESPN is very happy with Rusty Wallace and recently signed him to a multi-year extension through the 2014 season.

JD

Roadgeek Adam said...

I come to believe Marty has room to improve, but I know a weak point he has got to work on.

Mike Joy, Rick Allen and Allen Bestwick have this down to a T (as did Ken Squier and Bob Jenkins). Even Adam Alexander is good enough at it (not perfect, but better than Marty.) The last lap, especially if its an important or amazing finish, you want to sound legitimate, show some excitement, but not get overhyped. I come to believe Marty gets so "amazed" that he overthrows the finish.

Look at the finish at the US Cellular 250 in Iowa with Stenhouse and Edwards:

"AND GUESS WHO WINS THE RACE? STENHOUSE!"

That's a lousy finishing call and definitely one that could've been improved. A lot of finishes are based on the call of the last lap at the finish (1998 Daytona 500, 1994 Brickyard 400, the 2011 Brickyard 400 for that matter are just examples).

That's my main peeve with Marty.

Rusty, I think what has been said has been said. The problem question here is, even if you could get him out, who the hell do you replace him with? As JD mentioned a few days ago, there aren't many people open for Marty's spot, Rusty's even harder, because some are just not made for TV.

As for Pit Road, I can say this, Shannon Spake needs to go, she is really bad at what she does, I get more enjoyment in hearing Jamie Little do pit reporting. Is it something with the networks specifically that they must have at least one female on the cast? TNT runs 4 men (Sheheen, Snyder, Yocum and Neville) and all work pretty well. (Of course if I had the choice in the replacement for Shannon Spake, its John Kernan all the way. That or hire Bill Weber back for the job, but that ain't happening.)

Honestly, I don't know, I mostly try to ignore the talking head known as Rusty Wallace and Brad Daughtery, the bad camera angles (this applies for all 4 of them) and the "agendas". That's just me though. I get a chuckle out of Rusty being a big failure though.

Anonymous said...

Espn has created a real mess. With a new contract, Rusty's not going anywhere. Worse, Espn by paying Rusty, is really financially subsidizing Steven Wallace and the entire team. Rusty and his son are a total embarassment to the sport. Other then Craven, the entire broadcast was a joke. Marty Reid is hopelss! Get him off the air. There are countless fans in the stands that could do much better.

Anonymous said...

CRUSTY OWNED THREE CARS IN FIELD (caps on purpose)- that is so unethical for a broadcaster. And we complain about the Waltrips and Dougherty? That would be like Jerry Jones broadcasting Cowboy games. I do no always agree with Sophia but she is on the money with the pronunciation of names comment and how other sports announcers write it down phoenetically.

Sally said...

@Roadgeek....how about Kenny Schrader as a replacement? He has the knowledge, and a sense of humor. And he still occasionally drives the current cars.

Bud Select said...

Wow. Remember when so many of actually missed ESPN covering our beloved NASCAR? This is a classic example of "Be careful what you wish for"........

OrangeTom said...

Running joke pretty much sums it up perfectly. A Wallace in the booth and a Wallace on the track just keeps getting worse and worse broadcast integritywise.

Also think it has to handcuff Craven a bit in the booth, especially given the fact that Ricky is a pretty new t.v. presence. Just out of human nature, would be hard to go off honestly on mistakes of the guy sitting next to you's son.

Heavy, heavy sigh

bowlalpo said...

I also had issues with recording on Direct (set it Friday night along with CWTS and Grand-Am but only got 2 of the 3), so I recorded the NNS re-air and...guess what?

I know ESPN goes "Cheap Charlie" (no reference to fellow commenter!) for their re-air editing, and in this case, they completely cut out laps 38-53 (which included the 66 and 99 tangle) and showed 20 minutes of action-free caution laps at the end.

OT; another better example of "Cheap" editing; try watching a 2-hour college FB re-air. They have 40 minutes of commercials, and for the other 80, they spend 20 minutes telling us that "due to time constraints, we must move ahead."

In the re-air of 66 vs. 99, ESPN only showed via post race, the hair-pulling and Steve Wallace interview. They obviously and egregiously protected Rusty. It's inexcusable.

bowlalpo said...

In fairness I must add that ESPN showed Carpentier's interview before the final green.

I know they have to fit more than 2 hours of the event into a 2 hour window, but as ESPN adds hundreds of on-air personalities, they need to do something to improve their editing room.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Re: Rusty - 'nuff said; with this performance Rusty has joined DW in the gutter with ever-present ego-rants and shameless shilling at the expense of informing and educating the fans ...Randy LaJoie has earned re-instatement by NASCAR ...that should satisfy ESPN to return him to ghe booth ...he worked with Craven previously and their chemistry was obvious ...but I guess that's too much to expect
Walter

Daly Planet Editor said...

Brian, try your comment again please and focus on this specific topic. Thanks.

diane said...

Everyone check you DVR listings again. Yesterday my Cox ESPN listings were wrong and today that is the case again. The non HD channels show the Nascar listing but the HD channels shows Indycar and Rugby, which I have now set up to record.

sbaker17 said...

JD:
R. Wallace has a signed contract with ESPN through 2014. Is the contract exclusive to R. Wallace doing NASCAR, or could he be reassigned to another sport? Lawn Bowling, perhaps

Cathy said...

I guess now we know why Steve Wallace has an in car camera!!

sbaker17 said...

Perhaps S. Wallace needs to see Leffler and get a deal with Super Cuts.

OOPS. S. Wallace has ruined that option a few weeks ago

worstwickwaytoo loud said...

wORSTwICK CHECKS In with his
way too loud voice. Things never
change with Alan dothey

sbaker17 said...

It's simple, really. R. Wallace is not suited to the task of professional announcer. I would think that one should improve at one's chosen occupation as time goes by, but R. Wallace is just more sorry by the year. Even Ricky Craven, the rookie is trying to bail out R. Wallace, to no avail
For me, R. Wallace he has surpassed San Posey as the worst automotive commentator evah.

GinaV24 said...

obviously the apple that is Steven didn't fall too far from the tree - although he has less talent for driving than his father does. Stupid is as stupid does.

I cannot believe that the booth guys continue to screw up people's names week after week and I've said before that the conflict of interest of having anyone with ownership or a financial interest in the booth bothers me.

it gets worse and worse with rusty and brad. Marty has no excuse - he's supposed to be a professional. Rusty and Brad are untalented amateurs.

But as you said, apparently ESPN loves rusty just like fox loves DW since both entities extended their contracts.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

"sbtf,

What you find out quickly in TV is that the only law you need to understand is the one that keeps your employer happy.

ESPN is very happy with Rusty Wallace and recently signed him to a multi-year extension through the 2014 season.

JD"

Who gives a rats behind JD. Credibility is what matters. ESPN will continue to have no credibility if RW is still hangin around. My main man Vince says Rusty was arrogant as a driver and his arrogance still shows through on TV. His butchering of the english language is one for the ages. Very similar to Rebecca Black's Friday video.

Anonymous said...

People hate.... FOX, can't stand DW, Larry, Mike, etc. Can't wait for TNT, then... KP, Larry(again), Wally__, just shoot'em. Finally.... ESPN, OMG__, Can we get any worse. Geesh__ PEOPLE what does it take to make you hApPy ??
lovingnascar

NorCalFan said...

As the broadcast of the race was an unorganized mess, it doesn’t surprise me hearing Marty Reid’s comment after the Steven Wallace hair-pulling video that ESPN didn’t have any film of the incident Wallace was referring to when he got into Jason Leffler. With 15 laps to go in the race, Leffler was running in 7th place when the incident with Wallace occurred and with 14 laps to go the tracker showed Leffler was in 27th place. A Nationwide regular driver loses 20 positions late in the race and no one in the booth says anything—and if they didn’t know about it, shame on them for not doing their job. They seem to have no problem keeping tabs on Carl Edwards. Gee, I wonder why? With all the cameras on the cars (and the 66 even had an in-car camera) was everyone asleep in the production truck? Were the cameras busy showing Carpentier sitting in the scaffolding? Or riding around in the pace car?

Rusty Wallace as an analyst has got to go. Right off the bat early in the race with cars pitting on different laps for gas, Rusty threw in the fuel strategy towel. Said he couldn’t keep up with it. Where’s Larry Mac when we need him? I guess since Rusty wasn’t going to keep us informed on the various fuel strategies, that would leave him plenty of time to comment on his son in the race, except of course when he was involved in an incident and there was dead silence in the booth or Rusty would simply declare it “aggressive driving”. Since there always seems to be a camera on the #66, it just amazes me there is no film footage of the incident with Leffler.

As for the mispronunciation of driver's names, there is simply no excuse. It's a case of not doing one's homework. I'd rather hear Rusty call a driver a "cat" than hear him butcher pronouncing a name. Then again, I'd rather not hear Rusty at all.

Flooflox said...

Don't understand ESPN extending Rusty's contract. He hasn't improved. All he does is repeat what someone has just said seconds before. And he does a poor job of that!

I shouldn't admit it but I do enjoy when his cars are involved in incidents on the track. His awkwardness seems like some sort of payback for all the misery he puts us through.

I like Marty but being a play-by-play announcer is not his thing. I'd keep Craven, though.

We had the same camera direction problems as we always do. Too many tight shots. In car shots when racing is happening all around and you can't see it. Too many low angle shots where it was difficult to see what was really happening.

There were a couple of good angles on a couple of the corners and they did let the cameras linger on those for an extended period which was good.

Felt bad for Maryeve Dufault and the drivers that narrowly (or almost) missed her. Bayne was rather animated on the radio after that.

I will say this. I find the racing on the Montreal track to be VERY entertaining. I'd love to see NASCAR keep it on their schedule.

Kim said...

Does ESPN realize just how controversial Rusty is and THAT is why he gets a contract extension?

You know, any publicity is good publicity?

I don't expect perfection from anyone in the booth, but I expect quick reflexes and the ability to describe, quickly and without editorializing, (a) strategies and (b) what is happening, in as much of the field as is possible to cover.

I do expect professionalism. This is not a high school football game.

Know the names of the drivers (forget French, learn that it is not Eric Amarola!).

And at the end of the race, EVERYBODY BUT THE PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER SHUT UP!

What I'm hearing here is that Ned Jarrett was the Master; and that Mike Joy and Ricky Craven are rare gems.

I am not going to blast Rusty Wallace here. The man is passionate, intense, you KNOW he loves his son. Steven is the age of my kids - I'd do anything for them, put them in a car if I owned a team - give them every chance I could to be successful and be as defensive as hell if anyone attacked them.

But I'm not covering them on national television, and no one is asking me to be impartial.

Rusty has the looks for on-camera work, the charisma - there is a place for him at ESPN. Let him cover NASCAR in general on another show. Let him do a commentary spot.

Heck, get him out of race analysis and into color commentary. Then he won't have to worry about fuel strategy! Or, give him lessons on how to call a race, and how to (at least outwardly) remain impartial when your son is on the track.

Does Rusty even KNOW he is perceived this way???? Maybe he is so insulated from social media he has no CLUE!