Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Waltrip Factor

The NASCAR on FOX team held their annual pre-season conference call Tuesday afternoon. This season, there is going to be an on-air addition who will light up the Internet with almost everything he does. Michael Waltrip has joined FOX.

The traditional way of thinking about who should appear as an analyst on a network TV sports telecast used to be easy to understand. It was always someone who had no vested interest in those competing. Those times have come and gone.

Since 2007, ESPN has put Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace on the air while they actively owned teams. SPEED's Phil Parsons just left the Nationwide Series and is going Sprint Cup Series racing as an owner full time this year. Now, FOX joins those ranks by putting the younger Waltrip in a key role.

Waltrip's approach is easy to understand. He just puts his comments out on the air and lets the NASCAR TV fans judge them. In my world, few are judged more than Michael Waltrip. He is a confusing presence in a NASCAR world of tangled webs of ownership, loyalty and money.

This Sunday, the Waltrip brothers will be the on-camera face of NASCAR during the pre-race show for the Daytona 500. FOX is counting on the banter between the two erasing the memory of the tired act that used to be the Hollywood Hotel.

Chris Myers was confused, but kidded because he cared. Jeff Hammond rolled his eyes at Myers and tried to make Darrell Waltrip pay attention to his crew chief perspective on situations and issues. There was no window in the new Hollywood Hotel and that just reinforced the fact that FOX was in its own little world.

Last year, the early portion of the pre-race show moved outside. Darrell's dynamic personality worked well in this setting and seeing the pre-race preparations behind the announcers was a hit. The same scenario will be used this season.

While John Roberts will be hosting this Sunday until Myers returns, the change for FOX is that two loud, over the top and opinionated drivers will be asked to share the pre-race stage. The TV network is hoping this duo can put some fire back into the pre-race show and become classic set-up men.

Fans have already been emailing with complaints. How can an active multi-car Sprint Cup Series owner offer opinions on the very teams against which he competes? Aren't these two really Toyota employees? Should we expect Michael to criticize his own drivers on the air when there is a problem? Expect these concerns to continue.

Last year, FOX paired the Waltrip brothers on several race telecasts on SPEED. Actually, the two were quite entertaining in the TV booth and the informality of the SPEED TV environment made them fun to watch. On Sunday, however, things will be very different. This is broadcast network TV with plenty of fans watching every word.

Hardcore fans of the sport already know Michael quite well. After appearing on SPEED's Monday night NASCAR show, Waltrip moved on to the Inside NASCAR series on Showtime. He has been a regular on SPEED's RaceDay, an analyst on SPEED's truck series races and has basically used TV as a tool for the continual exposure of his sponsors.

Where Michael will not be is in the TV booth this season for FOX. Well, at least not yet. However, it's a good bet to believe we will hear much more from him in his Hollywood Hotel location during the race than any infield analyst in the past.

Directing traffic in the TV booth during the race will be Mike Joy. Should Michael not make the 500 for some reason, Joy will face the task of dealing with Michael in the Hollywood Hotel with an open microphone for three hours. Keep an eye on that dynamic if it unfolds.

The man in the middle is Larry McReynolds. It's not a difficult thought that eventually McReynolds and Michael may trade places. That would give FOX two excitable Waltrip brothers in the TV booth and put the dependable McReynolds in the same role he has on the TNT telecasts. That is as the strategist offering updates and information from the infield during the event.

What we know is that Michael's goal is to get behind the sport and promote it at this critical time. Embracing Danica Patrick, celebrating Tony Stewart and reminding TV viewers that the tandem-racing has mostly been erased will be high on his Daytona 500 agenda.

In the past, fans have offered mixed reactions to having active NASCAR team owners on TV as analysts for the sport. This time, we would like you to share your thoughts on having Michael on-camera for the pre-race and then participating as an infield analyst for the actual races.

What do you think, fair or foul? Is his presence advancing the sport because of his recognition factor or is Darrell's younger brother a confirmation that NASCAR is really entertainment? Let us know what you think by clicking on the comment button below and adding your opinion to this conversation.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


OSBORNK said...

It doesn't impact me a lot because I don't believe or trust anything from a Waltrip. I believe what I see. I think the Waltrip and Danica overload we will experience from Fox might be enough to cause enough protests to get changes in the future.

Weather said...

I think it's good to have both the Waltrip brother's on the prerace show. It will give more "action" to the prerace show which viewers should enjoy.

candoo49 said...

We don't need another car owner being biased towards other drivers in the booth. We have several now!

b said...

I had to keep muting the TV during the shootout Saturday every time the younger Waltrip and older Waltrip spoke. Don't care to hear either of them, especially Darrell's cheer leading.

Buschseries61 said...

Since Michael was active in the Shootout, DW frequently called down to Michael for a comment. This happened much more frequently than Joy/DW used to call Hammond in that role. If they impress the FOX suits with their pre-race show, I imagine Michael's role will only grow. It puts the host of the Hollywood Hotel awkwardly to the side while Michael has the whole camera. While that matched John Roberts' RaceDay experience, will it match Chris Myers?

I can also imagine FOX swapping McReynolds with MW if they are that into the act. McReynolds has already established his role outside the broadcast booth with his TNT position. The guy left out is Jeff Hammond. Hopefully FOX creates some sort of odd-jobs gimmick for him to work with. I really felt bad for him watching the shootout, he appeared like a fill-in where needed. His whole persona is based around the Hollywood Hotel, this role just comes off as a demotion.

This will be an interesting year of transition for FOX.

Sally said...

It's bad enough that Mickael Waltrip appears to get paid by the word whenever he's on TV, but having 2 Waltrips involved in a broadcast at one time is a horrifying thought. Having anyone as a permanent fixture who is actively involved in the ownership of a team is so unprofessional as to be laughable.

Buschseries61 said...

I just remembered Myers has worked with Waltrip on the Nascar show on Showtime. The relationship between the 2 has already been established then, I just haven't seen it yet.

RPM said...

I met Michael at TMS after his Daytona 500 win. He is truly a people person. All the other drivers (most notably Dale Jarrett and Dale Jr.)had the "1000 Yard Stare" and a quick pace avoiding fans in their quest to make it to the safety of the garage area.

Michael reached the gate, stopped, turned around and spent the next 20 minutes signing anything a fan handed to him.

I can't fault the guy for his on air persona, he's as genuine as the day is long. If you don't like Mikey, you've never met him in person. He's not playing a character for TV.

Anonymous said...

Granted, none maybe as outspoken as Michael Waltrip there have been a few car owners announcing races they had a vested interest in before. In fact the 1995 Daytona 500 had Richard Petty as an anaylst for CBS and he had Bobby Hamilton in the race. Hamilton was in an accident very late in the race that Petty took no shame in anaylzing and scrutinizing the other driver involved. Petty also announced Talladega and Michigan that year along with the 600 on TBS.

Johnny Hayes worked several races for WTBS in the late 1980's while he owned cars driven by Phil and Benny Parsons. On a sad note, Johnny recently passed away earlier this year.

Buddy Baker was a car owner briefly while announcing his first year on TNN back in 1991.

I'm sure Michael will do fine. He analyzed the Bowyer wreck fine on Saturday night.

Will he still be on the pre-race show if he makes the starting field for the Daytona 500?

Anonymous said...

Im not a fan of this move at all. DW just loves talking about Mickey who wouldn't even be around had it not been for Dale Jr. and Dale Sr. blocking for him in 2001.
It will make for funny/awkward TV when DW gets excited over Dale Jr. leading a race. Heck, I guess they might as well have all the FOX personalities pick a favorite.

ragtag said...

The season has just started and I'm already tired of Michael. It's going to be a long season for the wrong reasons I'm afraid.

MRM4 said...

I have been waiting several days to comment on this topic. Here it goes.

Under no circumstance should an active team owner be employed by a network as an analyst in the sport where they own their team. This is just wrong. It's a major conflict of interest.

Another reason it is wrong is the network will not ask the tough questions of their own team. A perfect example of this came during Sunday's qualifying. Waltrip's car driven by Clint Bowyer failed post-qualifying inspection. Officials gave some time to see if the car settled and re-inspected it. The car still failed. Before going off the air, the guys in the booth said Bowyer would have to start last in his Duel race. After those comments, things switched to Roberts with Waltrip sitting beside him. Waltrip was not asked about his car failing inspection. What do you think will happen if one of Waltrip's cars is involved in another controversy?

I don't understand why the networks feel it's okay for an active car owner to be an analyst during their broadcasts. They do not do that in other sports they carry. Imagine if Jerry Jones was hired to be analyst for the NFL or Mark Cuban an analyst for NBA games. There would be plenty of outrage from fans, other team owners, and the other networks. Not with NASCAR though.

I realize MW has a dynamic personality and that's what Fox wants. But it's more important to have an objective person there who can and will answer questions about ALL the issues, not just a select few.

Anonymous said...

Thought Mikey was at his best back on SpeedVision when he had no agends other than speaking his mind as a driver ( who was something like 0 for 199 win to race ratio) !
Schrader could control him as the perfect 'foil'.
Now he's a hawker/promoter. Too bad.
I also thought that the Fox infield show on Saturday night was abysmal. Disjointed, with a clumsy Danica interview that added no insight, then an awkward tribute to Chris Myers with Danica in the shot looking like the only girl at the prom without a date. Really poorly done.
Bottom line is, until FOX gets someone in charge of motorsports that actually understand motorsports, fans will continue to look elsewhere for entertainment

Ella said...

I agree that including Michael in the Sprint Cup commentaries makes for biased reporting. Chad Knaus' car that failed inspection was talked about ad nauseam. However, Boyer's car failing inspection pretty much got a pass. This kind of stuff gives a false salute to journalistic integrity .

Anonymous said...

Although I already knew Michael was going to be in the Hollywood Hotel and got an overdose of it last weekend, reading this blog made me want to head for the bathroom to hurl my breakfast.

The overblown egos of both DW and Michael suck all the oxygen out of any room they're in. Everything is always about them. I've never met two people who were more self-serving and self-promoting. They are the most unprofessional people in any sport, so how did Nascar get tagged with both of them?

Fox thinks this is going to add to the programming quality, but I see it as a total disaster. The annoyance level will be at a peak all season. Too bad you don't listen to the fans.

GinaV24 said...

Over the past 2 years I have stopped watching the pre-race shows for any of the networks altogether. The exception to that was usually for the Daytona 500. This year, I won't bother watching any of it.

the motormouth brothers do absolutely nothing that inspires me to watch and/or listen to this broadcast. It's all about them and it should be about the racers and the racing.

I'm planning to use trackpass and mute the broadcast.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
As things transpire, DW makes Mikey look better as an analyst ...the mute button still works, so there is some solace ...ironic, isn't it that when FOX first joined the NASCAR broadcast team, the announce team wasn't allowed to mention the title sponsor of a race - unless - they purchased air time ...hmmm, makes one wonder if DW and Mikey or others pay a sponsor fee when a corporate logo, even MWR racing, is seen on air ...enough already with DW's drooling over 'June-bug', heaven spare us from his possible antics with Danica ...while 'adored' for her IndyCar appearances, interested to see if she tolerates DW's adolescent and embarrassing (for a grown man) fawning episodes ...the time may come, oh well, she has shown a bit of temper

glenc1 said...

RPM, that's a pretty big assumption. I would imagine any number of people who know Michael personally don't care for him (just making the point that any two people can realize they don't like each other--like his ex-wife, for example.) One has no way of knowing which 'character' is genuine. I got Michael's autograph a few years ago, and yes, he signed for a while and is a good ambassador for the sport. I've seen lots of guys do this, including Dale Jarrett, who was as nice as he could be. A lot of it is catching a guy on a good or bad day, and a lot to do with their popularity at the time (if Junior stopped for long, it would be a mob scene & security issue, just saying). But this sort of thing doesn't have a direct link to what Michael's like as a broadcaster, and it certainly doesn't speak to the issue of team bias. When you're signing autographs and making small talk, you're not responsible for putting forth an intelligent, insightful analysis for a large audience.

Personally, I find his Toyota & sponsor shilling to be obvious and obnoxious. At times, his work on the truck series has been very good, but he doesn't own a team there. DW was a favorite of mine as a kid, but I've come to see him as hokey and embarrassing as a broadcaster (I don't think he started that way; he's digressed.) And can only rarely speak objectively about his brother's team, or about certain other drivers. I expect to be listening to a lot more radio this year. My aggravation level with the both of them gets hit pretty quickly.

Trina... said...

I like DW. At least he's emotional, unlike the boring crap you get at the other networks. I don't know if him and Michael are going to be too much together.

Anonymous said...

If I were larry MacReynolds I'd stock up on vitamin c and pray I dont get so much as the sniffles until TNT takes over. Fox will pull him from the booth in a heartbeat if they have any plausible reason in order to try Mikey on for size.

I like Larry Mac most out of the entire broadcast crew but he has a big target on his back this year.

Any word about who they are going to bring in for Fox's groaning comedy segments? With "Slice of Pizzi" not coming back to fill in the hole left when they stopped producing 8 minute Digger cartoons? I'd bet its something like a 6 minute fixed shot of Rutledge Wood trying to play the spoons, because some jacka** back in the production truck found it funny over drinks one night.

Roland said...

I noticed during the Shootout when Clint spun and during qualifying when Clint failed inspection that Mikey took the Rusty route, meaning he tried his best to not talk about it and dance around the subject. Thats a major issue for me. Were 2 broadcasts in and theres already been a conflict of interest problem.

Fox has great talent, to bad they get steamrolled by the Waltrip express. Getting tired of Fox making their broadcasters the show instead of focusing on the racing.

matriarch said...

GAG! I hope all those who feel like I do (nauseated) about the Motormouth Brothers will let Fox and Speed know how we feel. They have shoved DW down our throats since 2001, and now they want us to make room for another annoying brother. It's too much. Way too much.

OrangeTom said...

One Waltrip is enough. And while DW can get a little over the top with his t.v. presence, I've never doubted his love for NASCAR and its history. Michael's love is directed more inward and Fox's increased use of him is a mystery. His best days as a racer were limited to restrictor plate races and were long ago. And his career as a owner is checkered at best. Remember the jet fuel? I think even Rusty would be a more credible commentator.

Long Island Pat said...

I am definitely a Michael fan and look forward to he and his brother together. Normally I would agree about having non owners, non racers
in there, but this is the exception. Dynamic personalities are really needed - NASCAR is exciting and it should be presented as such. These two can get it done!!!

Michael Stoffel said...

The front page of our papers sports page today had an AP (?) article comparing football concussions with racing accident concussions. Mikey was interviewed and claimed to have had numerous concussions. I'm just saying.....

Anonymous said...

Oh please God, NO!!!!!!!!!! I am a true NASCAR fan (love me some Tony) but I will not watch it on tv any more than I have to. Listen to it on my Sprint phone (PRN coverage).

robbydjr said...

At this point, I don't care what they do, short of getting rid of the Waltrips. I didn't listen to one. And I see no reason to start listening to two.

And another thing, if I were a driver, the last owner I'd want to drive for would be Mikey. Imagine having an owner who's primary concern is getting his face on TV.

oldirtracker said...

It is a conflict of interest for any car owner to be in the broadcast booth period. If you factor in Michael's biased opinions,toyota hawking,Nascar shilling and just plain big mouth bad manners, how can fox conclude this is a good idea.Add this to Darrell's triple B hokey starts and a stupid gopher, i am ready to hurl already. Lets get Buffy and add her to the mix and we might get some real Waltrip insight to these egotistic creeps. Thank god for radio, mute tv, carry on.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt DW loves the sport. I am sure in both his and his brother's contracts there is agreement that they can shill Toyota and their sponsors. They must both be shrewd business owners and they think constantly about their finances and what is in it for them as do most business people. It is sad that Nascar has taken the business of the sport to be most important rather than the racing itself. All the announcers can be heard at times asking/begging for free stuff. That is just the game these days. No matter how fans complain FOX will not change their way. History shows in any endeavor that everyone who comes along thinks they have the 'best' way or solution to the problems we complain about no matter what the arena is.

GA Red

AncientRacer said...

First: Both Waltrips annoy me, but a lot of "analysts" and "commentators" across the sports spectrum annoy me too: Terry Bradshaw and (football) Jimmy Johnson just to name two. The Waltrips are no more annoying than them. But even in saying this I am leaving some aspects out. For example, at least in the case of DW, I am convinced no small part of the feller we know is a calculated act; a schtick if you will. If you would like to see a very different Darrell take a look at his recent appearance on . Different demo, different Darrell.

Second: Sports broadcasting as DJBK pointed out with reference to auto racing has always had broadcasters who had conflicts of interest and it, and sports in general, still does and probabaly always will. Four of the very best Curt Gowdy (Red Sox), Red Barber (Yankees), Harry Carey (Cubs) and Vin Scully (Dodgers) for example did (or in Scully's case still does). I would not want a standard that would or would have thrown any of them under the bus. They, all of them, are "homers", but they did not hide it no more than it is hidden in racing.

Third: JD ended with the question, < Darrell's younger brother a confirmation that NASCAR is really entertainment?/i? Well ... . Entertainment is exactly what it is and it is a marketing tool. As evidence I simply point to what Danica said yesterday during her really superb turn at the National Press Club Luncheon in Washington (not sn easy room to play). She talked of herself as a "product" and a "package" and capped it by relating how Japanese Customs Authorities classified her when she went to race her Indy Car there:

KoHoSo said...

To answer JD's question at the end of the article...for me personally, I say, "Foul." To repeat what I have said here before, I was one of the Planeteers that held out the longest on defending Mikey until he made his little rant on This Week in NASCAR that people like me were not "real fans" (and I again remind everybody I have been following NASCAR since 1970). Again solely on the personal front, he has shown regardless of telecast or position that he has no credibility and that his on-camera attitude that has morphed over the years is no longer funny or informative.

That being said, I have to be honest and give a Dale Jarrett "it'll be interesting to see" if Mikey is a help or hindrance to the Fox telecasts as far as interest and overall fan reaction goes. A big media company wouldn't make such a move if they did not have some sort of research telling them that it will bring more eyeballs to the show. I have my strong doubts but I admit my heavy anti-Mikey and anti-Fox bias. After all, Fox has let DW stomp more and more on Mike Joy's normally exemplary performance as each year has passed so I have no confidence they will realize that a little of Mikey goes a long way.

sbaker17 said...

NASCAR on the OWN.
Only Waltrip Network
Sorry to say that after watching (except for the 2 times I went to Daytona) every 500 live on TV since 1979 I may not be able to stomach the all Waltrip Babbling Team this coming Sunday. With a large screen HDTV & surround sound, having to mute the TV and listen to MRN dilutes the experience.

robbydjr said...

Is his presence advancing the sport because of his recognition factor or is Darrell's younger brother a confirmation that NASCAR is really entertainment?

Welcome to NASCAR's version of the WWE. Sometimes I think Brian France has conference calls with Vince McMahon.

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought fox couldn't get much worse with gimmicks they add another Waltrip to the fox broadcast. Gives me another reason to be glad when ESPN takes over. I don't care much for their asinine little rats/gophers either. The good thing is that fox makes the second half of the season seem so much better. bogitty bogitty bogitty.

Bucky Butler said...

For me, the main reason I stopped watching pre-race shows on ESPN, FOX and Speed including TrackSide was because of the "Brothers Waltrip". I've stated in past comments that the corn pone, buffoon type broadcasting exhibited by them and others in sports (Terry Bradshaw & Jerry Glanville come to mind) sickens me. Don't get be wrong, I can be as backwards as they come but in my "professional day job" I try to put that on the shelf. As a consequence race telecasts have become a chore to listen too. I started years ago of turning up the radio and muting the sound. TV provides the pictures and MRN/PRN give me the details. But radio has it's limits, especially on AM. Night races couldn't pick up the signal and the most recent affiliate in South Florida didn't carry PRN and dumped racing all together once the Dolphin season started. Live streaming by MRN/PRN will be my salvation.

But the bigger issue with The Brothers Waltrip is the continued, unabahed self promotion. Just what you would expect from two people who make their living from pleasing sponsors and primarily selling something or themselves. This, in my opinion, has no business in broadcasting. I learned a long time ago that objectivity in this sport is non-existent when the outlet has a relationship/partnership with the sanction. On those rare occasions where any criticism of the sport is raised, it is quickly squashed and the critic is summarily taken to the wood shed and is reminded that all is well and there is nothing to see here. "These are not the droids you are looking for".

We have seen the transition of others, including Michael, when they go from being just a driver to an owner or owner/driver. You see how those folks who stray from the company line in the media are treated by the sanction through their race teams and it's best not to ruffle the feathers of the sanction. The owner/driver becomes neutered in their comments and criticism is muted, lest their cars have "problems" in inspection. Or with in race infractions. The result is another pom-pom waiving member of the garage or in the media. Everything is "rainbows and lollipops in NASCARworld".

I have learned that sports for the viewer is entertainment. For those who participate, it is a business. For those who believe motor racing or any other sport is "life and death" to wring one hands over, may want to seek professional therapy. Whatever semblance of "sport" there is for the participant decreases with their increased participation and as the money increases. That said, the entertainment value has decreased over the years with the sports over promotion, over exposure and endless conga line of commentators, good, bad or indifferent during the telecasts.

I stopped relying on Speed, ESPN or FOX for my racing news. With social media and the internet the way it is , TV is irrelevant for me for pre-race "news". By the time pre-race shows are aired, they are merely recapping what I already know. So I stopped watching and frustrating myself because of the actions of the presenters. I've also learned I don't need to watch every race and I no longer scream at the TV because of the many, many talking heads used in every telecast.

Gone are the days of a two man announce crew, three pit reporters and a spotter. Perhaps a out of the box producer someday will realize that less is more and that you also do not have to have a former participant of the sport to analyze the sport. You can count on one hand the number of former drivers who have regularly broadcast on Motor Racing Network the past forty years. And somehow they survive without driver, owner, crew chief or mechanic experience on their broadcasts. But I believe television is too far gone for such radical thinking.

AveryNH said...

I met Mikey long ago, long before he was a Daytona 500 champ, at an autograph session at a local short track here in NH. He was there with Geoff Bodine and Steve Park. There was so many people packed into our .333 mile track. My mom and I trotted on up and it was like Michael was as excited to see me as I was him. He signed some Philips #7 things I brought. I will never forget his genuine friendliness. He got all the drivers to stop signing autographs and pose in a photo with me. I still have em and will never forget that day. Love or hate him, annoying or not he is who he is.

PammH said...

My take (again) for what it's worth. I have been listening to Sirius for the last few yrs, because DW will no longer let Mike Joy call a race. It's a shame, because he's one of the best at it. Adding Mikey is a terrible idea. As others have mentioned, both of them are HUGE shills & very self-serving. What a joke Fox has become.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of these stupid TV EXECS being out of touch with what the fans want. DW and Michael are just horrible. The race fans really really don't want these guys in the booth for a number of valid reasons. I am sure the exec dummies are going "Hey hey we are great, look at those Waltrip boys, they are talking about them must be good right!" And don't even get me started on "DANICA"..yuck. Sick to death of DW, his time has come and gone..go home! Michael is a jerk and it shows his true colors the way he dismissed Ruiti.

Anonymous said...

My take is that DW is thinking about retiring and that you won't have the two of them together all that long. I loved Mikey on the SPEED and I liked him on the truck series.

rob said...

Fox does not listen to the public opinion, years ago Boogity, was voted to go away, but they ignored that. Maybe they are trying to get the ratings down even more before they redo their TV contract.

GinaV24 said...

After reading through all these comments, it makes me realize that once again the consumer (the fans) have no power in this other than to turn it all off.

Unfortunately I want to watch the dratted race so I'll do it with the TV muted, so Fox will still think they're winning and be oh so pleased with their new plan.

JimH said...

Adding Michael to a set with DW is akin to throwing gas on a fire. But this is how Fox likes it, and that's why they do it. They want controversy, because it stirs us up.

I recently re-upped my XM radio subscription after several years in hiatus. I plan on skipping the booth antics for at least some of this season.

starrcade76 said...

I'd imagine if Mikey or anyone with conflicting interests says something that seems slanted, the actions themselves will reflect badly on them.

There are just too many owners, drivers, crew members, and broadcasters with intertwined relationships to just call the Waltrip's out on this. But that can be easy for fans to do. Because we all know they don't have any preconceived bias themselves. Just the broadcasters.

I look forward to reading the critique's on Sunday from all the people that had their TV's muted or listened to the race on radio

Julia said...

The one thing I can say about "the Waltrip Factor" is:
THANK GOD FOR MRN!! I can listen on my laptop, & don't have to listen to DW's man crush on Kyle & Dale Jr.

Fed UP said...

Thank God there is radio...that's whom I will be listening to.

Anonymous said...

fyi, I mute the broadcast but leave the closed captioning up sometimes. Other times I leave the TV sound on very low and turn it up if there's something I want to hear. So it is possible to critique it while not actually listening to it full time.

Anonymous said...

I hate it hate hate it but will not really matter to me as I don't watch any pre race show anymore and keep the mute button on for the race and listen to the radio.

I tried to watch the pre race show last weekend and could only make it through them showing of DW HOF ring.

Anonymous said...

It has been said over and over for many years now that a huge majority of race fans do not want to listen to a Waltrip on their race telecasts. So don't you wonder how come they are still on the Fox network? This says a lot about the idiots who are running things when they pretty much tell us that they are really not interested in what the fans think. Thank the Lord that we are able to hear the commentary on radio and are not exposed to Waltrip drivel.

Vicky D said...

Whatever we think the broadcast will be scripted way ahead of time I'm sure DP will have a lot to do with that.

tyoak809 said...

I will be listening to SiriusXM and watching the race with the mute on. I've already had enough of the Waltrip brothers during the shoot out. Everything is about them and I'm tired of it. We can't wait for TNT and ESPN.

Dannyboy said...

This seems to me to be a tempest in a teapot. One simple fact is constantly ignored in many attempts to analyze this topic: my own exposure to TV production thru several friends convinced me that the people who run FOX and the other networks don't gauge their moves by what us few fans on a comment blog think. They have other much more "sophisitcated metrics" by which they hold on to their high paying jobs. And those methods tell them that more eyeballs will be on FOX with this new setup.

As a fan of both Waltrips (and Bradshaw, and Jimmy Johnson the coach, etc), that's fine with me. But even deeper than that I have always felt that both of them produce waaayyy more good for NASCAR than bad.

With one in the booth and the other in the HH, it's a different dynamic than both in the booth. I'm therefore a bit bemused by John D's feeling that while they worked well together in the Truck Series booth, this venue is all THAT much different.

Anonymous said...

I really don't like Michael Waltrip's schtick any more. Sometimes he kinda plays it straight - he was rather tame when the Showtime show first began. But once he gets comfortable, he gets unnecessarily goofy, usually to the detriment of the show he is on. I expect the same thing will happen on FOX.

What I like least about MW's addition to the FOX lineup is that it just mainly shows a lack of creativity. I mean, how many NASCAR shows does this guy need to be on? Is there REALLY anyone else who couldn't do the job? It's like he is the only guy any executive can think of to cast. Lame.

tommy1946 said...

I don't believe it's reasonable to have a car owner or current driver in a series in the booth as a broadcaster or expert analyst.

Anonymous said...

The move sealed the deal on me never watching the pre-race again. As far as I'm concerned DW should be told to talk at least 50% less during the races or hit the bricks #annoying as hell.

OSBORNK said...

If the decision makers were locked in a room and forced to watch the races as we see them without the opportunity to turn the sound off, I don't think we would have to hear the Waltrips for a long time.

sue said...

Should be interesting on how this pairing is going to work. Mikey was allowed to ruin the wonderful Monday night show on Speed. Hope the reins are going to be pulled in by Fox but I some how doubt it. They must feel were just dumbed down Nascar fans.

Shaun said...

Michael will tell you like it is. He will have already told his team so I don't see him sugar coating anything. He will be funny in his own way and people just need to relax and enjoy the show. It's better then not having a Nascar race on live or on at all.

ddsbstrb said...

Anon at 11:12....Has anybody ever wondered why the NASCAR announcers and booth people are so heavily involved with Toyota? I sure have.

Here is the list and I am sure I missed a couple:

1. Mikey Waltrip-MWR
2. JAWS Waltrip-former Toyota truck team
3. Dale Jarrett-former driver for MWR
4. Brad D.-part owner of #47 team
5. Hollywood Hammond-Red Horse Racing
6. Phil Parsons-formerly with a Toyota S&P team, now with Ford, however

Also wonder about why so many NASCAR event and weekly sponsors are also sponsors for MWR? Does BF also own a piece of MWR, I wonder?

I just cannot stop my mind from wondering about all of this, JD!

Another, great, article btw!

Have you noticed the ratio of the lack of support for those Waltrip Bros.? Looks like for about every 10 or so, who cannot stand them, there might be 1, who actually enjoys their work on Fox/Speed.

Count me in with the 10-majority!

robbydjr said...

I never paid the extra money to Sirius/XM for the NASCAR channel, until towards the end of last year. And that was before they made the announcement that Mikey was joining Darrell. Now I know it's going to be money well spent.

The Loose Wheel said...

Mikey is the biggest shill of the two. He will say/do anything at the request of a sponsor or anyone lining his pockets.

DW on the other hand, can be rather thoughtful and informative at times. Though, he too is fairly fair weather on certain topics. It just seems DW tries too hard to be main stream and "hip" that he probably doesn't realize how dated and annoying he actually comes across as.

The mix of these two is scary. Where it worked on SPEED, it will never fly on FOX. You can be loosey-goosey on SPEED with the Trucks and fly by the seat of your pants, but trying to put that into a broadcast of your elite series on broadcast television? Ouch.

I just really wish NASCAR would come in and set the foot down that if you are an owner of any race team in any of the 3 touring series that you cannot be in the television booth as a job also.

Sorry Phil Parsons and Jeff Hammond, but a hard line has to be drawn since Rusty and Mikey have ruined it for the rest.

Earlthepearl said...

The last thing we needed was a lot
LESS MIKEY. Now we get more mikey.
And of course the suits are in
TV heaven ( so they think ) Gosh
we get the Waltrip Brothers.All
over all the time.
Imagine week after week day
after day .. mikey in yo face.
argghhhhh good nite .