Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Tuesday TV Toss-Up: Jeff Hammond
It's going to be an interesting 2012 for Jeff Hammond. His Twitter account is titled @hollywoodjeff, but this season Hammond will be without the infield studio that gave him the nickname. In his seat will be Michael Waltrip.
The NASCAR on FOX press release said that Hammond will still be on the Sprint Cup Series telecasts, but will assume the role of a roving reporter. The bottom line is that in TV land, that assignment is like having one foot out the door.
While Hammond has never been able to unseat Larry McReynolds and move up into the broadcast booth, his presence in the Hollywood Hotel was well defined. He was the voice of reason during the pre-race between Darrell Waltrip and Chris Myers. During the race, he provided information and perspective while continuing to counter Myers and his tired act.
The good news for Hammond is that he has found a role on SPEED that fits him like a glove. Working in the TV booth, Hammond is outstanding on practice and qualifying shows for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.
The most recent twist for Hammond is his role on the newly-revised Trackside program. Sitting awkwardly alongside of Kyle Petty and Rutledge Wood, Hammond's style of hardcore NASCAR conversation just does not mesh with the two-man act of Wood and Petty.
One saving grace for Hammond is that Waltrip does not live near the SPEED studios. While McReynolds continues to appear Mondays on RaceHub, Hammond's appearances later in the week allow him to take center stage and make conversation with his friend and show host Steve Byrnes.
While we expect to see a healthy dose of Hammond on NASCAR TV next season, his highest-profile role will change at Daytona the first time Michael Waltrip takes his seat in the Hollywood Hotel.
Where do you stand on Hammond these days? What was your opinion of him in his former Hollywood Hotel role and the other programs on which he appeared? Give us your opinion by clicking on the comments button below. Thanks for stopping by.