Saturday, December 24, 2011

Your NASCAR TV Christmas Wish

Not everyone can have their own Rusty Wallace tree ornament. So, for those of you who are still in the Christmas spirit we have a little challenge.

If you had one wish to change any part of the NASCAR TV world, what would it be?

This sport is huge on television. All three pro series, qualifying sessions and even practice is shown live. ESPN has over 25 NASCAR TV personalities, FOX and SPEED have even more and TNT still hasn't replaced Lindsay Czarniak.

There have been animated rodents, colored draft trackers and some of the worst musical selections on the planet in the live race telecasts. One network has ten announcers for one race and yet another tops that with eleven.

Let's not forget the battle of the Tech Garage vs the TNT cutaway car vs. Jeff Hammond pointing at stuff. We also have Infield Pit Studios, a Hollywood Hotel and a rotating infield rig.

We have six lines of graphics on the screen at the same time, colors so weird you can't read the driver names and fake pylons inserted on pit road. We see only two cars in the race and after four hours, we only see one finish.

We have ladies married to NASCAR guys, fellows who own NASCAR teams and pit reporters who might really rather be at an IndyCar race. We have Nationwide Series drivers as studio analysts for Sprint Cup Series races and TV roundtables featuring drivers who were actually in the race being discussed.

Across the ten months and thousands of hours of television there has got to be something that you really want to change and have a good reason for changing it. Let us know what that is by clicking the comments button below.

Thanks for stopping by The Daly Planet in the off-season!


Billy weeks said...

What i want is to do away with hte in-car cameras at the plate tracks.. Daytona and Dega.... you say it 100 times a show the driver can see anyhting other than what in front of him.. guess what?.. thats all WE see too.... NOTHING... get rid of it...

Anonymous said...

Its like the videogame industry, they'll keep on trying new & different things until they find something that works & becomes popular. For example, less 'graphics' on screen is more! LESS IS MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BToS JD said...

Even on a huge screen side by side racing and commercials are useless, especially when they show only one car during that period. I have to mute the sound of the commercial to actually watch the little bit of racing action they're showing in the small side screen.

I loved the images of racing on TV 20 years ago with wide shots of many cars at once.

Sophia said...

Comment of the year x 1000!

BToSJD said
I loved the images of racing on TV 20 years ago with wide shots of many cars at once.

Get rid of the "toy racing video game factor". In other words, ditch the interruptive in car/zoom cam. Even the SOUND of the zoom cams versus wide camera sound is annoying for listening purposes. It's been lost on me & I've watched less or skipped races entirely.

I wish NASCAR RADIO was still around so I could listen to race in the car or sitting in the yard. Much more fun to listen to radio...and I don't mean online. That's a pain to listen off tinny laptops.

Anonymous said...

TOO..... Much Carl Edwards. Not everyone cares to see his Smiling Jack_$_. Who cares if Ford & ESPN drool over him!!

Vince said...

Fire everybody named Waltrip!

West Coast Kenny said...

J.D. & Planeteers,

My wish is simple: Every NASCAR TV partner would have to spend 30 seconds showing every car (except start 'n' parks) with team news during that 30 seconds. If even the marginal teams could tell potential sponsors that their logos would be shown on national television for 30 seconds each race a lot of teams would go from marginal to healthy overnight.


P.S. Chappy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and a very happy and healthy New Year to you, J.D., and all your Planeteers.

Anonymous said...

My wish is for people to stop complaining about the tv coverage

Bill said...

"The NASCAR Network" 24/7/NASCAR, the return of Randy LaJoie to the booth, the removal of all analysts whose last name starts with "Wal," and to all, a goodnight.

SD80MAC said...

Geez, JD, you are making it very difficult to list only one, HaHa!

Let's see...hhmmm. OK. All the NASCAR broadcasters need to get rid of active team owners, drivers, crew chiefs, etc. and their brothers. Replace them with unemployed NASCAR journalists and analysts like, for instance, Dustin Long, Kaitlyn Vincie and Randy LaJoie!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to JD and all the Planteers!

SD80MAC said...

Sophia, from looking at your blog it looks like you suffer the same problem I have - living in Southwest Ohio where there are zero MRN and PRN radio affiliates. Your only NASCAR radio opportunity is if you can afford a $15 a month subscription, SiriusXM Radio has a channel dedicated to NASCAR 24/7/365. They broadcast all of the Cup, Nationwide and Truck races live (and a late night rebroadcast). The race broadcasts are from MRN and PRN who have been broadcasting races for 20 years or more. In my not so humble opinion, it is worth the cost of having subscriptions for 3 radios (car, living room and bedroom).

RPM said...

Well let's see... Bill Weber is off the air. AB is back in the PBP booth.
ESPN's contract isn't up for renewal.

I guess I'm good for next season. Merry Christmas everyone!

(The word verification is "stent"? I thought medical records were private?)

The Mad Man said...

My Christmas Wish would be for both Waltrip brothers to cover either paint drying or snail racing on ESPN-8, "The Ocho", in between tiddly winks with manhole covers and dodge ball and never be a blight on NASCAR TV coverage ever again.

Merry Christmas to JD & all the Planeteers.

Anonymous said...

I would start watching again if they would just change their camera shot philosophy. No more hyper-tight unless it will show something important. No more in-car, front bumper, rear bumper, roof, side, floor board, etc cams unless it will show something important. No more jumping from from one camera to the next every second unless it will show something important. Sorry if I broke the one wish rule. Merry Christmas! MC

James said...

Fire both Waltrips, ban the use of rear bumper cams, teach the production staff of all the "partners" that the cameras are not supposed to make the viewers feel like they are on a carnival ride! Send BZF a note reminding him, 1) the TWO CAR DRAFT is NOT a FAN FAVORITE
2) Wave as your DAD rolls by, after most of your decisions at press conferences
3) Wave to your GRANDFATHER as he rolls by, after another state of the sport message from your side of things.

Happy Holidays to all and thanks again for a place to VENT

OSBORNK said...

My wish is simple. Ban anyone whose last name begins with WAL from anything related to racing on TV.

I would also require that any debris cautions must have debris visible to the TV cameras.

GinaV24 said...

All I want is a reasonable broadcast of the race - show me the action on the track with camera work that isn't hypertight or hyperactive.

Give me broadcasters in the booth who aren't cheerleaders but will call the race as it happens, not as they want it to turn out.

Sometimes there are too many bells and whistles and they just get in the way of the reason I tuned in which, of course, is to watch the race.

Vicky D said...

I'm with Bill bring Randy LaJoie back to the broadcast booth for the NW races we don't need anymore of Carl's perfect straight teeth and fake smile! Keep the tight shots to a minimum. I already got one of my wishes for a certain cup driver's outbursts we won't be hearing in the coming season! YAY.

WB said...

Three guys in the booth plus pit reporters. Lose everyone else (Hollywood Hotel, Infield Pit Studios, Tech Garage ...) We've seen this and enjoyed this on the rain-delayed Monday races. Less is more. Also, let the lead announcer do the majority of the talking. (Can you say "Fox".) I don't think the color-analysts' paychecks are based on how much they speak, so just shut-up.

Anonymous said...

Have a Merry Christmas John. Thanks for all the work you do throughout the year providing consistent and timely NASCAR media information. Your column is a daily (no pun intended) read.

Jt said...

Have Larry McReynolds understand that if you are trying to understand something you try to "get your mind around it". When you try to "get your arms around something" it's considered a hug.

Tracy D said...

What GinaV24 said.

And please, please don't use Carl Edwards in the booth.
Everytime I see him on TV, I get a flashback of him threatening to pummel Matt Kenseth after Martinsville, face twisted, eyes ugly, and Matt looking surprised and worried.

Nascar 24/7 resurrected would make me happy, too.

This list is growing too long, and everyone else seems to have the same wishes as I do, so "ditto."

OrangeTom said...

Have Mike Joy call every race

Ziggy said...

My one wish .....

That John continues to keep his blog site up & running. With his insight & knowledge I'm afraid he might just have another job offering within the television production world.


Sue Rarick said...

A couple of weeks ago I saw a replay of iRacings version of the Homestead race. Sadly their use of cameras was better than ESPN's. The two guys commenting on the race, although obviously new, actually made the race more interesting. They showed wide shots of cars racing each other. In short, even though it was a SIM race the coverage was better than what I saw at the real Homestead race.

matriarch said...

Ditto to what Vince said.

KoHoSo said...

Narrowing it down to one thing is difficult. However, above all else -- DW, Mikey, Digger, Brewer, advertisements, poor support, underusing the pit reporters, and all the rest -- I can say it two words that I often see our esteemed host say on Twitter.


Merry Christmas, everybody! *<:-)

Ken-Michigan said...

Wishing for changes in NASCAR TV is like wishing for a nose hair trimmer that works well.

Sure, it might work good once or twice, but then you come to the realization and you simply say ... ohhhhh heck with it !!

Keep Pluckin ' !!

Anonymous said...

New Rule!
NO pitting under yellow without penalty.

That would allow time for commercials and green flag action without interruption.

Harry in Calif

Dot said...

Two things come to my mind. Get rid of anyone in the booth who owns a team or calls Jr "Junebug". Second, please make a readable ticker.

Vicky D said...

One more thing I've thought of, please Jaime don't be so melodramatic when your favorite driver's car breaks down and ask him, how does it feel ???????

Anonymous said...

race rerun on speed today!

Wisconsin Steve said...

1. Colorless, easy-to-read graphics on FOX/Speed.
2. John Kernan as Lindsay's replacement on TNT.
3. More consistent starting times for NASCAR Now on ESPN2.
4. And to all networks: stay wide and show us the racing.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Anonymous said...

Get everyone that has any ownership in NASCAR out of the booth. It is such a conflict of interest. And it makes the others in the booth not say anything bad about that persons team. Total BS

sbaker17 said...

Dump all announcers at every network with a last name that begins with "WAL"

Bobby O said...

I was not going to comment because sadly I can't narrow my list down to one item.
But my word verification was "saging". Just like me, so I had to post.

Ok so like most of us, ZOOM OUT please!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Roland said...

My wish? For a hundred more wishes

I wish Fox would dump the Waltrips and broadcast our races with the same kind of professionalism they display on their other sports properties. No gophers, no boogity, no country as the theme music, please just broadcast the event properly and not fuel the stereotypes.

I wish TNT would optimize their graphics for HD, being as their the only network that hasnt. I wish they would find a new theme song. I wish they would put AA on pit road and Ralph in the booth. I wish they would give us more than 5 minutes of post race.

I wish ESPN would get some better pit road talent. I wish they would dump Brad and Rusty and bring in Ricky Craven. I wish they would pick better buffer music than they do now. I wish they would quit trying to reinvent the wheel and start being the old school ESPN.

I wish Speed would get a leader with half a brain.

I wish every network used split screen commercials, and split screen replays.

That is all.

Buschseries61 said...

Love the sense of sarcasm in the article. Let's see, ok, I think I'm going to give one wish per tv partner. So:

I wish Mike Joy will be able to call the entire Daytona 500 from start to finish without a Waltrip interrupting/talking over his play-by-play.

I wish Adam Alexander will finally gel with the TNT crew. It'll be year 3 (I think) of his 6 week stint, things need to click to make boring races tolerable.

I wish ESPN will finally learn how to make the most of their large staff of 'tv personalities'. Just adding more voices won't fix things. Put your people in the right roles.

I wish ratings continue to rise for the Trucks and the crew continues to do a great job, so SPEED gets the hint that racing is what people want to watch.

MRM4 said...

Ban any active driver or car owner from being any kind of an analyst.

Send the producers and directors of all the networks tape of races on ESPN and CBS in the 80's and tell them that's how to show a race on TV.

All pre-race shows need to be 30 minutes tops except for the Daytona 500. Start at 12:30 and throw the green flag at 1:05-1:10.

Tell any network if they pimp their own products during the race, their contract is up at the end of the year and they cannot get it back for an extended period of time.

I may have some others.

Anonymous said...

No pre racshow
no hollwood hotel
no espn infield studio

eMan the left coast fan said...

I wish that Speed HD would show NASCAR Race Hub and other NASCAR shows between the hours of 6pm and 10 pm PACIFIC TIME. A show at 4pm pacific during the week doesn't work for those of us that have a job. The 11pm re-broadcast is too late at night to stay up to watch.
Reruns of Pinks and Passtime during the prime time hours suck.

Alternate: Like the majority of the comments- BYE BYE WALTRIPS!!! Mikey AND Darrell every race, for the WHOLE race??? Thanks to God for a mute button on the remote. How can Fox be so stupid???

starrcade76 said...

1. Every race to be commercial free, and shown only on mobile devices.

2. The cameras will be pulled back far enough to show the entire race track.

3. Announcers will be replaced by a scrolling twitter feed.

4. No tweets from current drivers, owners, spouses, or relatives. As that would show favoritism. Nor from anyone that could be construed as a friend, business partner, associate, or fan of a specific driver.

5. Post race show would include interviews with all 43 drivers and crew chiefs.

Ginny said...

I have one wish I can do something about. I'll be getting a slightly bigger TV (than my 12" screen) so I can maybe see what car is on the track in between all the graphics.

My other wish is that others would stop using "we all" in their complaints about NASCAR TV. I don't agree with many of the complaints.

robbiejr said...

I wish Brian France would retire and go away, and take the Waltrips, Rusty Wallace and Chris Myers with him.

Jojay said...

My wish is that the fancy gizmo cams, narrow shots go away. Show us the race in wide shot, tell the story of the race on the track. In 1 wish - just show the race!!!! I can mute all TV networks that have on air people whose last name starts with a "W" I can not figure out how to see the race if TV does not give us wide shots!!!
Verify = chingle ( cash + jingle?)

Anonymous said...

My one Christmas wish for NASCAR coverage is have Mark Garrow replace the "Wals". Merry Christmas to all.

Anonymous said...

Strap Brian France in a chair and tape his eyelids open. Do the same to other top NASCAR management. Repeat process with the management, producers, and directors of all three TV networks. Now make them watch at least five races from beginning to end. Release them, and then let's see if anything happens.

Charlie said...

Show Wide Shots.

Andrew S. said...

Well if I am limited to one wish.... all NASCAR programming is available in Canada (I'm looking at you ESPN and TSN) like NASCAR Now and the Monday roundtable consists of Allen Bestwick, Ken Schrader, Johnny Benson and a rotating cast in the third seat.

Vicky D said...

Starrcade has the right idea. At least give us a good post-race show. And don't ignore the wrecked drivers who aren't up in the points please interview them when they come out of the infield care facility. Is that too much to ask????

Anonymous said...

Please no more Carl "Eddie Haskell" Edwards and Jamie"Drama Queen" Little

Anonymous said...

I wish *you* John, would fix comments to where we can reply to, laugh with, maybe... disagree.

Tracy D: The way I see Matt vs Carl, look__ close.... and you'll see (upturned palm) where MK would have put CE's nose in his brain if he had took a another step.

Anon 6:56 p.m I love all__ of our NASCAR officals including Brian, but that was ~FUNNY~ and so very true.

PammH said...

My ONE wish (thanks for making this damn near impossible JD) is WIDE SHOTS!! I can mute all the Wal names & listen to the radio, but I can't do anything about camera angles from home. That would fix a multitude of sins, imo.
veri word...manduct...too funny!

Bill said...

VickyD - I wholeheartedly agree on the removal of Cousin Ed from the TV screen, and I'm so sorry that your one fulfilled wish didn't come true after all.

However, having a "Finger Cam" and "Cuss-Word Ticker" from inside the 51 car could prove to be quite entertaining.

Darcie said...

My one wish is to get rid of Fox/TNT/ESPN and put all racing action on one single, NASCAR dedicated network.

SD80MAC said...

Anon 6:47 has a FANTASTIC idea! So let's replace Michael Waltrip with Mark Garrow and I'll add Eli Gold to replace DW. Let's add the whole MRN team. They know how to call a race telling us what is happening on the track without the drama and story telling. We can use Krista Voda, Wendy Venturini and Ray Dunlap for the pre-race show. Use the production team with the same number of cameras that does the Speed channel Truck and ARCA races. In my not so humble opinion, that would be the perfect TV race broadcast.

HaHa! The Word Verification is "sacks" which is what should happen to the ESPN team!

Dennis said...

Car cams ONLY used for replays.

Scott said...

Lose the Waltrips, Brad Daugherty, Rusty, Carl and Tim Brewer, PLEASE! Also, any pit reporter who asks drivers the kind of stupid/horrible questions Jamie Little and Dave what’s-his-face do. Everyone else should be required to watch Jerry Punch to see how a pro handles pit duties and talks to drivers fresh out of cars after 3-5 frustrating hours in 130+ heat or post-wreck.

Someone said have Mike Joy announce all the races. He IS the best but Alan Bestwick is good also. ESPN just has him as flummoxed as many of us are. He never knows what to expect from ESPN production. He does his homework but ESPN nullifies his preparation. I’d be happy if we just had either Mike Joy or Alan Bestwick with Larry Mac. Larry knows his stuff and doesn’t talk to hear his own voice.

ESPN is horrible in so many ways. Camera shots suck as has been noted. Networks now have a nice HD wide screen format. Use it! Show ALL the cars crossing the finish line. Oddly, ESPN set the standard in the 80’s-90’s by which we are judging them and everyone else now.

Shorten races by at least 20%. Have a lot less pre-race and a lot more post-race. Sorry, JD. There’s just SO MUCH!

Sally said...

Please, just show me the race with updates on ALL the cars and drivers! I want to see the close racing wherever it is on the track. Giving me useful information on the ticker (like time intervals) lets me 'see' if a car is closing on another or losing time. Ditch all the gimmick cams. Please.

Vicky D said...

Bill, one of my wishes didn't last very long did it? We'll see what happens when the #51 goes a lap down and then have to listen to the outburst!

Delenn said...

For me, it is the mega Nascar TV "talent" cull.
Axe anyone called Waltrip, Wallace, Myers, Parsons, Brewer, Dougherty, Rutledge, Pereyra.
Use those left across networks, to create a consistent Nascar crew across all broadcasters.

eg, All Cup races called by Joy or Bestwick.
All Cup races colour analyst (driver) is DJ, KP, LaJoie, Hermie.
All Cup races colour analyst (crew chief) is Petree, Larry, Jeff Hammond
Presentation by Nicole / Krista etc.
Use the best talent across all networks to produce a consistently good Nascar offer.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

My wish: show the racing! Cut the bells & whistles.

Thank you.

Bill said...

Delenn - That makes perfect sense, which is probably why it won't be done. Too many egos, too much pressure from the suits above for the almighty sponsor/dollar...

fbu1 said...

I've rubbed my crystal ball ornament and asked for three NASCAR media Christmas wishes:

1) I wish ALL of the Cup networks would really make an effort to find production directors who were actual racing fans. Perhaps then they would allow the race dictate the story line and ditch the shallow pre-determined scripts. One more note about the productions: with the exception of the programmer's closest friends, no race fans are impressed with "gee whiz" graphics etc. Focus on the race.

2) I wish that SPEED would support the CWTS with aggressive online programming, including a real time lap tracker. treats the trucks like an embarrassing step-child. With the proper promotion, CWTS has growth potential, bur it can't grow when it is mostly ignored by NASCAR's official website.

3) Finally, I wish that the self-congratulatory chuckle fests that pass for pre-race programs would disappear. The resources devoted to those superfluous programs would better serve viewing fans with more post race coverage like Victory Lane.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Find and hire the guys who made NASCAR great on ESPN in the 1980's

Bill Rasmussen

Anonymous said...

"Find and hire the guys who made NASCAR great on ESPN in the 1980's

Bill Rasmussen"

Don't forget his son, Scott the political pollster (Rasmussen Report). He was there at the beginning also.

Give Bob Jenkins whatever he wants, dump Dale, hire Ned.

NorCalFan said...

Just read on-line that Carl Edwards will be co-hosting Live with Kelly the week of Jan. 16. According to the article, Kelly will have a revolving door of "hot jocks" as co-hosts during the month. Guess Carl is expecting to increase his broadcast exposure and fanbase to the show's demographics of women between the ages of 25 and 54.

SD80MAC said...

Scott 2:41 said "Oddly, ESPN set the standard in the 80’s-90’s by which we are judging them and everyone else now."

Forgetting for a minute my Fantasy Broadcast Team, I consider the Gold Standard to be which ever networks Rick Benjamin, Eli Gold and Ned Jarrett worked with. Back before the first "mega TV contract" which started in 2001, they were the best broadcast teams. Mike Joy, Alan Bestwick, Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty are the best we in the booth have now. The best Pit Road reporters I think are Dr Jerry Punch, Krista Voda, Shannon Spake and Ray Dunlap.

My two absolute best is Eli Gold and Dave Moody who is on MRN/SiriusXM instead of TV. I like those two guys because you can here the genuine excitement in their voices when something big happens. And you can tell they are really excited rather that portraying a preconceived script written by a suit in Connecticut.

GinaV24 said...

JD, since it's now Christmas Eve, wishing you a Merry Christmas. Thanks for keeping the fun in talking about NASCAR and the TV coverage.

Hope all of my friends here on the board have a safe and happy holiday. Keep the shiny side up!

Sally said...

All you Planteers have a safe and happy holiday. JD, blessings on you for helping keep us same with this site.


Vicky D said...

Also, I just want to wish JD and all the Planeteers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It's really bad weather in Houston so we aren't going anywhere tonight. See ya'll in a few days and looking foward to a great broadcast year. I have one more wish that the National Anthems actually be sung but real singers!

Jojay said...

JD -
Have a Merry Christmas, & thank you for a safe place to discuss in a civil manner the alleged coverage of our sport.

To all the other Planeteers - Merry Christmas Happy Holidays & Peace.

Anonymous said...

MERRY Christmas JD!
T'was the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a Cup fan was disputing
That Brian France was a louse

Their stock cars were hung
Out there to dry
And the true fans were left
To only ask "why"

When we want to see racing
with less and less "talks"
are we forced to watch bullcrap
from ES-PEN and FOX

So I say to you all
On this Christmas Eve night
Merry Christmas to all
And don't give up the fight

Bray Kroter