Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day Two: The TV Bait And Switch

Look, there they are. NASCAR fans filling Bristol Motor Speedway back in the good old days. Fans knew the product they were getting. TV and radio spread that message and the mainstream media pounded every single accident into our heads once the race was done. Some of the incidents actually became legendary.

Well, times have changed. Wins are nice, but Sprint Cup Series drivers now race to get in the Chase. The cars are different, many tracks have been resurfaced and the new breed of driver spends more time tweeting than fighting. Fans know the sport has changed.

Unfortunately, that message has not been received by NASCAR's TV partners. There is no better example of that than the NASCAR on FOX pre-race show. The Waltrip brothers have been off-balance this season and Richmond may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

Darrell bemoaned the fact that fans were upset because of the lack of wrecks and caution flags. He promised that the "Action Track" would deliver the goods. Michael continued his gushing promotion of the sport and everyone in it. Tonight would be different they said. It was not.

When the carnival comes to town you may be talked into buying a ticket to see the freak show on the midway. More often than not, you have been tricked. After dusty exhibits and perhaps some laughs, you walk out the backdoor knowing you have been had.

This season, FOX has continually promised one thing and delivered another. Since 99% of the fan base watches the sport on TV, this bait and switch approach has resulted in a backlash. Fans are using social media to point out that what they are being sold and what they are seeing do not match.

In response, these last few weeks have seen Darrell Waltrip say fans don't know what they want. He lamented the Bristol Motor Speedway changes without ever taking responsibility for FOX promoting the exact opposite of what the repaved track was made to deliver. That is side-by-side racing.

Instead, Waltrip pointed the finger at the fans. He called out the NASCAR Fan Council and even social media as being problems in the sport. That would be the exact same social media that Waltrip has taken to like a fish to water. His use of Twitter reflects the problem all too well.

The desperation of being stuck between what FOX is promising and what NASCAR is delivering is reflected in Waltrip's recent tweet to driver Jimmie Johnson. "Some of the best driving, racing I've seen in years, just wish fans appreciated the skill you guys have to make it happen!"

You know why fans can't appreciate the skill and the racing? Because they can't see it and can't hear it. Between the inability of the FOX director to show the actual racing and the inability of the Waltrip brothers to stop talking there is a product being produced that does not even fundamentally follow the race.

In response to the fan backlash, "crashing" is the new media term being thrown around. Now when fans speak about the difference between what FOX is promising and NASCAR is delivering it's a "crashing" issue. Those bad fans who just watch for the "crashing" are to blame. Meanwhile, the fact that FOX continually uses accidents and not racing to promote the sport is overlooked.

This season, a new TV twist is to try and show the in-car camera views of drivers involved in accidents. The FOX production team loved that technology let them see Danica hit the wall hard and Jimmie Johnson get t-boned by a car at speed. Nothing like seeing the driver's body get flung around to make good NASCAR TV apparently.

FOX viewers may not see the debris that brought out the caution, the key pass for the lead or the best racing on the track but by God they are going to see Johnson get crunched over and over again.

This weekend in Talladega, the current pattern has the potential to repeat itself. Michael Waltrip is driving in the race, but will still be part of the FOX broadcast from start to finish. This may be the ultimate MWR promotional tool. Darrell is in the Hollywood Hotel and will then call the race, no doubt with another promise of "more action" despite the reality of the season to date.

Race cars at high speed do not need to crash to entertain. If FOX promotes "the big one" this weekend at Talladega it will have learned nothing from Richmond. Perhaps, after all the talking that has gone on this week, just letting the racing on the track be the center of attention might be the best idea.

We welcome your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure if I will be critical if FOX promotes "the big one" at 'Dega... they have done that for years (so has ESPN in the fall race), and let's face it - that is a pretty big aspect to the race that people pay attention to and wait for. I am not a fan of "crashing" and do not tune in to NASCAR for "crashes"... but that said, I do somewhat eagerly await "the big one" at Talladega. The reason is because it is almost inevitable, and that is part of what makes every lap at that track "must see TV". Also, when the big one does hit, it shuffles the driver standings, and that is important to me, too. I don't like to see torn up race cars and I certainly don't like to see any driver hurt or put in peril... but that doesn't mean that the big one isn't exciting and an integral part of what makes the plate tracks unique.

As a fan, while I don't like crashes, wish for them, relish them, or enjoy them... I do like "beating and banging", and that is probably the main thing missing from NASCAR this year. The cars don't touch because they are 2 seconds apart on the track. I also am a fan of side-by-side racing, but let's face it, not all side-by-side racing is the same. A lot of the side by side action has been side drafting, where one car catches another car's rear quarter panel and then the two cars "race" side by side, but really one car cannot pass the other.

My biggest problem with NASCAR this year is that I like to see guys racing for the win. And it is more than points racing that is preventing that. This year (more so it seems than other years and at more tracks), once the leader clears the first two turns on a restart, he just checks out from the field and there is virtually no way to catch him. What's worse, this has less to do with the leader being a dominant car and more to do with "clean air". I hate this. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. There is nothing more boring than the leader getting a 2-4 second lead right away and no one has any chance of catching him. I know nothing about physics, so I don't know how NASCAR fixes this, but it needs to be fixed - and fast. I have zero intention of attending any race where cars can't pass, and I am not alone.

Daly Planet Editor said...

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Anonymous said...

Entire family were die-hard fans, went to several races a year, etc. Now we barely watch-racers and racing are boring and bland. Races are too long.

Broadcasters are terrible and just want to hear themselves talk, offer nothing of value to the races.

NASCAR shows are awful dog and pony shows. I don't want all this glitz and FAKE drama-just want to watch a good race.

Kenny said we need the "old" Kurt Busch back-the one that berated Dr. Jerry Punch who was only doing his job? NO THANKS! A perfect example of what is wrong.

I think we are about done with all of it.

NASCAR Bits & Pieces (Bruce) said...

You hit it on the head as usual John. Me, I lost my patience with Daryl Waltrip when, on live TV, he suggested someone get into the burning jet dryer truck and drive it off the track to keep from causing further damage to the track. Seriously Daryl???

Ever since that moment, I've been a bit hyper-critical and notice how most of his predictive announcing seems to fall short.

It's great to have someone in the booth whose on-track experience can contribute to the broadcast, but at times, that experience also needs to have experience in modern-day tech.

And yes, the networks use crashes to sell the sport. If you've ever been in a sports bar when an ad comes on, showing the crashes, the crowd goes, OOOH and AHHH and I see why they market it that way.

The masses rule... no matter what the long-time fan says or thinks.

Maverick24 said...

"FOX viewers may not see the debris that brought out the caution, the key pass for the lead or the best racing on the track but by God they are going to see Johnson get crunched over and over again."

And let's not forget TAKING HIS HANDS OFF THE WHEEL like he was Isaac Newton and had just discovered gravity. Or learned it from Danica. Or something.

Anonymous said...

As a result of the past couple of blogs I being a new follower of Nascar only following the past 10 years I'm shocked when I hear that the races have gotten boring or bland. This past spring race at Richmond we had 19 cars on the lead lap. In the good old days of the 70's the most cars on the lead lap for the spring Richmond race was in 77 with 3 cars. '71,'72 and 75 only had the winner on the lead lap. In '73,'74,'76,78 and '79 only 2 cars were on the lead lap. I just can't see how exciting this could be. Maybe I'm wrong but I have never once had the feeling of boredom when I've gone to a race.

I really truly believe that we have great racing but that tv just doesn't show it.

Sorry had to get that off my chest.

John Calvin said...

I find the best way to watch NASCAR of Fox is as follows.
Listen to PRN/MRN for the prerace.
Turn on the TV after the national anthem.
Turn the TV Sound OFF.
Listen to REAL announcers, instead of the blabber brothers, call the race.

Anonymous said...

Of course the radio broadcast is more exciting. They have to describe the action for you. That's the number one thing TV has gotten away from. Notice in your "benchmark" ESPN races from the '80's that they described the action instead of spouting stories and opinions as you watched the action. Same goes for every stick and ball sport. Announcers describe the action that you are watching and then analyze it. Go back and watch both races at Richmond and tell me how many times Bestwick and Joy actually called the action instead of storytelling by the others.

Paul said...

"This season, a new TV twist is to try and show the in-car camera views of drivers involved in accidents."

I mentioned a similar incident to JD following Fox's in-car camera shot of both Johnson and Danica's cars after their hard crashes at Daytona before finding out the condition of the drivers.

The incident I'm talking about is from Fontana 2007 when David Reutimann lost control of his car and mistakenly turned his car dead right, straight into the outside wall in the middle of a turn. His accident can be found on YouTube for anyone interested in seeing it, though I won't be posting a link. It was eerily similar to Danica's NNS crash at Daytona this year, as well as Michael McDowell's Texas crash from 2008.

If you watch the video of Reutimann's crash, you'll notice that the Fox cameras first showed Reutimann's wrecked race car coming to a full stop on the track. They then go to the roof cam, where a fire comes up in front of the camera. And then the next shot is from the in-car cam, which shows Reutimann slumped over the steering wheel. At first, they showed this cam for a mere split-second, as if they accidentally switched to that camera. But in that split-second, if your eyes are quick enough you'll notice that Reutimann isn't moving. They then quickly show Bobby Labonte's wrecked race car, before jumping back to Reutimann's on-board cam once the production truck sees that he is in fact alive and moving (slowly) inside his car.

This new tactic of jumping straight into the in-car camera immediately after a wreck before the driver's health is known is nothing new for Fox. If I'm not mistaken, JD's blog entry from the other day mentioned that since 2007, TV networks that cover NASCAR have done so in a different matter. Perhaps this new in-car cam is part of that new programming that the networks are using to "spice things up."

To Fox's credit, they did jump away from the in-car cam initially when Reutimann hadn't moved, so perhaps this was an accident. But what I didn't like is that they went back to this cam once he started moving, not knowing if he had suffered any injuries from that wreck. As it turned out, Reutimann had the breath knocked out of him and only started to move after his spotter told him his car was on fire, a natural reaction to hearing "fire," no matter what condition you are in. Thankfully he suffered no injuries, but I felt like Fox jumped the gun on showing the in-car cam before Reutimann was checked out from the in-field care center, or at least out and walking from his car.

Then of course, more recently, Fox took to this in-car cam not once, but twice in the same weekend following two very hard crashes. First with Danica in the Gatorade Duel race when she was hit going down the backstretch and hit the inside wall so hard that her car lifted off the ground upon impact. Thankfully, her car did not roll and she climbed from her car uninjured. Unfortunately, viewers like myself didn't find this out by seeing her climb out under her own power or from an in-field interview. Instead, we discovered this through the in-car camera, showing us just how hard and impacting this wreck was. It wasn't just by the sound of the crash, but also by the way her body reacted from hitting the wall at 180 MPH (of course as we learned this past week, this was a "light" crash since race cars typically travel 500 MPH).

Paul said...

Thinking "why not?" after Danica turned out to be just fine following her massive crash, the Fox team returned to this tactic during the Daytona 500 just three days later. The contestant this time: Jimmie Johnson. Now I'm not a JJ fan, but I was worried for his safety after his car not only hit the wall head-on, but was soon after t-boned just as it started to come to a stop in the middle of the race track. Once again, a hard crash at Daytona, driver walks is cleared following the in-field check-up, and of course the in-car camera made one more return.

Now I mentioned before that I wasn't a JJ fan because while I was concerned for his safety, the Fox team, which is one of JJ's biggest fans, apparently wasn't concerned because they very quickly jumped to the in-car camera replay of his crash. I found this sickening for two reasons: 1. They jumped to the in-car camera knowing full-well that his car was t-boned by another car as it was sitting in the middle of the track, and 2. Darrell Waltrip, who we know to be very empathetic towards JJ's hard driving in front of us stupid fans, was more excited about Johnson taking his hands off the wheel (a la Danica from the Duel race) once his car was wrecked than he was concerned for Johnson's safety after getting t-boned at near-full speed from a slowing David Ragan.

Whatever happened to the old days where they would have an in-car camera centered on the track and not on the driver, and they wouldn't show go to the camera following a crash until it was clear that the driver was okay? I mean, shouldn't the purpose of these cameras be to show us, the fans watching on tv, what the drivers and the fans in the stands see? It makes no sense to show an in-car camera that focuses on the driver. All you'll ever see is the driver the driver either holding the wheel straight, turning left, or being thrown around after crashing their car. Why, just the other week (I can't remember because all races are the same these days) Maybe the reason for doing this is to show us, the viewers, what the drivers do when they're in their office. After all, without this in-car camera, we would have never seen Dale Jr picking his nose, or Tony Stewart throwing his steering wheel at the camera, or the Busch brothers flipping people off.

Yes, it really is sad that tv networks now think that in order to get people to watch their product, they have to get their "characters" over with the audience. They can't just show us a good product, they have to make everything into a show, with the action being the sideshow.

Fox has everything backwards. Instead of watching a race with some interesting characters taking part in it, we're watching interesting characters driving around in circles for three hours. It isn't racing, it's entertainment nowadays. Well if that's the case, why bother watching a race? Why not watch one of the hundreds of other reality and drama shows on tv (some of which happen to be on Fox)? Race fans don't watch races to be entertained by the crazy wrecks that happen, or by how funny the announcers are, or by what drivers are tweeting about in their free time. They watch races because they enjoy watching good, hard racing amongst the best drivers in the world. Most of us couldn't make it in auto racing, but we love watching our heroes drive and race each other week-in and week-out because they're doing things we could never do. Someone once said that racing isn't entertainment, it's a sport that happens to be entertaining. And that's why we love it.

Paul said...

I know I've trailed away a bit from my original point, but in a way it all ties in together. From the in-car cameras to the in-car interviews, from the in-race twitter feed to the color commentator who talks more than the play-by-play announcer, it's all a big show, the racing is just a sideshow, and if you don't like it then it's not the sport, it's you that's the problem (according to the producers of the show, that is).

What DW said this past week really bothered me. I normally pay no attention to his tweets because let's face it, the man will never say anything bad about the sport that made him so much money or the network that continues to pay him money. But to go out on Twitter and on Sirius radio and basically tell the race fans that "Hey, you don't matter. Now sit there like a good fan and don't speak out about your dislike with the product we bring to you." It's just sickening that the guy who seems to have a bigger role in the sport as an announcer than as a driver (Bruton Smith asked for his opinion on Bristol remake over active drivers), is telling us, the stupid race fans, the people that came to support the races from back in his early years at Ellis Raceway, to his long-awaited Daytona 500 win, and even now in his post-driving career, to shut up and enjoy the product. I mean, what exactly is the 1st amendment? (smh) And what's funny is that he is complaining about the fans voicing their opinions through social media as he himself is using social media! That's like me commenting on this blog saying that people shouldn't comment on this blog. Ugh!

But then again, we shouldn't be surprised by DW's actions. After all, this guy's nickname is Jaws. The guy never stopped talking during his racing career, and to this day hasn't stopped talking. He's just been given a bigger platform to talk from. Just like we shouldn't be surprised by the NASCAR on Fox presentation. They've been doing a lot of what they're doing now for years, they're just recognized more prominently now than they were five years ago. It's sad knowing that they were once the best NASCAR broadcast team around, and now they've slumped lower than ESPN. ESPN may half-a** its way through a broadcast, but they do so in a professional manner. Fox meanwhile, tries too hard to be put on a show for the fans instead of just showing us a good, hard race between 43 of the best drivers in the world.

Along with NASCAR, I'm also a football and pro wrestling fan. What NASCAR (especially on Fox) has done is go from presenting us a sport to presenting us a show. I watch football and NASCAR because I want to know who's going to win, who runs well, who doesn't run well, and how everyone ends up where they finish in between. I watch pro wrestling because I want to be entertained, because unlike the other two I mentioned, wrestling isn't 100% real. If NASCAR is to be taken seriously by its fans, no matter how stupid they are, it has to be presented in a professional manner. We want to know what's happening in the race, not in the announcers booth.

Paul said...

It's just a shame that Talladega is this week and even though Mikey is driving, we can't get away from the tandem Waltrips because as it turns out, Mikey will be announcing from his car. Hmmm... I wonder which driver DW will be talking to from the booth this week. It's a shame because not only will there be a lack of racing at Dega, but the presentation and announcing will be too distracting for me to pay close attention to the pictures on the screen. I find myself getting angry listening to the announcing to the point where I have to leave the room just so I don't accidentally punch my tv screen.

But hey, who am I to complain? I'm just a stupid race fan of 10 years who's only interested in seeing crashes. So it only makes sense that I'll be super excited to see Talladega, right? Wrong. Face it, Fox is trying to sell us on the possibility of wrecks because that's all they're promoting at this point. Since the lap 2 wreck at Daytona, we've only seen one multi-car wreck (to my knowledge), so odds are there won't be one this week.

Perhaps Fox is banking on those new fans they continue harping about. You know, those new fans that continue to pack the grandstands and tune into the show every weekend. Oh that's right, there aren't any new fans. Or if there are, they're being far outweighed by the increasingly large drop in attendance and tv ratings every week. Comparing tv ratings from 2010 to 2011 up to this point, all but once race had higher ratings in 2011 than 2010 (Richmond was down, but only slightly). This year, ratings have been down at every single race. Even the Daytona 500, which they bragged as being the most watched Daytona 500 in history. What I found to be most shocking was that Kansas lost over 2 million viewers over the past year (I bet they're glad they gave that track 2 dates).

There are no new fans. There are fewer old fans. But there is an increasingly greater number of stupid fans, and that's about the only increase there is in NASCAR these days (almost as much as green flag laps). Things are only going to get worse from here on out, unless a change is made. The best change we can hope for now is that Fox doesn't get renewed to cover NASCAR races beyond 2014. Unfortunately for us, we'll have to suffer another two years of this crap.

Paul said...


Sorry about the multiple posts. I didn't realize there was a character limit and couldn't didn't want to go through everything and decide what to cut out. Took me 2 hours to complete that "venting" process. I hope you understand.

The Loose Wheel said...

JD, you are on the money here.

There is no reason FOX cannot embrace what the racing right now is and turn it into a positive. Instead though, they remind us that what is going on on the track does not mesh with their "script" for how they want the race to play out.

And THAT is the issue I have. Show me the doggone race and put your network script, bias and BS aside.

The Loose Wheel said...

Annon @ 12:53.

My version of the "good old days" was late 90's and 2000. To me that was a phenomonal balance between diverse tracks, drivers, teams, sponsors and exciting racing. You had competition, more than 3 super teams, and no start and parks. The points system made sense, NASCAR tried giving us green flag finishes without going insane. It was just the type of racing I enjoyed the most.

James said...

I could not agree with you more on this JD. I do not believe that fans care WHAT the two W's think or comment on, it is nothing but self-serving nonsense. Again, I do not understand how NASCAR allows this. They cannot be that blind. TV will never stop this, until the numbers are so bad, even they cannot justify their path. NASCAR has chosen to grab every dollar they can for everything possible, and in return the sport has NOT become better for it. This true fan is about as disgusted as I can be, and again, THANKS FOR A PLACE TO VENT!

Is there anyone listening anymore???

Stupid Fan said...

I will approach Talladega with caution. The drivers will points race (in the back), then with 7 to go will make a run for it. The network will, of course, dumb us down, with All WALTRIP, ALL THE TIME. Mike Joy might as well go home and sit on the couch, and Larry Mac can sit and watch Darrell make a fool of himself (again).

glenc1 said...

When I became a race fan in 1997 (I had been the 'casual fan' previously) I was amazed at how biased the coverage was compared to other sports. If a ref makes a bad call in the NFL, the analysts are on him immediately; not so in NASCAR. Then I learned more about the Frances & the need for control. And you knew the media was not going to call them out, most of them were ‘homers’. One night I was outraged when Benny Parsons said on RPM2Nite that some fans didn't like plate racing because Mark Martin had complained about it not being 'real racing' and they were just following him. 'How dare he', I though, I can think for myself’. (I have since forgiven Benny for that; I'd take him back anytime....) But Darrell’s comments did bring it back to mind.

At the time it led me to think more consciously about NASCAR, its members & the media and how they can influence us. It's not so much that I think NASCAR believed fans were stupid--I think it was more the 'benevolent dictatorship' believed they knew what was best for us, as if we were children. But then the world changed. With the Internet fans had a way to communicate with other fans like they never had before. We could share our frustrations now, we felt as if maybe we could make them change things. When the drivers complained, the next week they’d be singing another tune and we knew they’d been ‘spoken to’; but they couldn’t do that with fans. Neither can Darrell Waltrip.

First my complaints were about the lack of objectivity; the NASCAR ‘monopoly’. Back then the gripes were NOT about where they put the cameras and what they did with the pit reporters because they were doing it right. I had an interest in how TV did its job—as do most of us; *that’s* why we came here. Then came NBC/FOX…the drama of the ESPN guys on the helipads…the fight over rights to the old broadcasts…for me it was replacing Allen Bestwick with that troll Bill Weber. I know we have been accused of ‘group think’…but we are mostly people who just find media interesting, or we don’t like what we see so we’re looking for a place to express ourselves …it wasn’t because this blog told us what our opinion should be; it’s because many of us were *already* complaining/commenting on other sites until JD gave us a place to voice it after ESPN came back.

Many of us agree on the main principles of coverage—letting the action unfold, not dictating storylines, actually *seeing* the action with some larger perspective and describing what’s on the track. They need to take care about what they show (ie, the post wreck in-car cam.) They are simple ideas that other sports manage reasonably well, yet they treat racing in a different fashion. I turn on MRN/PRN because I know they will be able tell me what I’m not seeing on TV. That’s what Waltrip and FOX should be concerned about; not blaming it on the Fan Council, blogs & Twitter. No, I do not watch for wrecks (seeing a car 'tarped' will cure you of that) and I like actual racing, something we haven't seen much of. I go to the races, and yes, there are some things NASCAR needs to address (and others have already spoken well on those issues here). But that doesn’t get FOX off the hook for lousy telecasts—no excuses.

Buschseries61 said...

Very powerful piece JD.

It's amazing DW could forget the race that pushed NASCAR into the national spotlight. When they show brief highlights of the 1979 Daytona 500, what do they show? The last lap accident and the fight. Like it or not, this is the stuff that boosted NASCAR.

I think FOX is hoping the sport goes back to the ways of old. The way the sport is now, it's as amusing as watching golf. If the sport stays on this path, and Jeff Gordon & Dale Jr. decide to call it a career in 5 years or so...bye bye NASCAR.

AncientRacer said...

This topic will not die, but as JD has been emphasizing here on TDP for a long time and as Matt McLaughlin in an excellent column did last week on “The Fronstretch,” the sport as we know it might. If you have not read his piece I encourage you to.

In addition, with all the recent discussion, I was reminded of an article in America's Best Magazine from 2009 by Cheryl Sowa titled “Wanted: Reputation Killer - Negative Word-Of-Mouth” The article is lengthy and primarily aimed at the retail trade in goods, but here I offer a few excepts I think are applicable to the sport. Think of the photo which heads today’s column as you read them:

“…TARP, a behavior research company based in Arlington, Va., found something interesting while exploring the effects on businesses of word-of-mouth. The study found that customers who leave a business happy and satisfied with their experience may share the positive occasion with just a few friends who will not remember much of the conversation, and not think to share the information. On the other hand, TARP found that customers who had an awful experience will share their negative incident with an average of 12 other people. In turn, each of those 12 people will mention the occurrence to six others. This means that the one person with the bad experience will discuss it with 12 others, and each additionally to six individuals. Do the math: (1+12+ (12x6)) which totals to 85 people who will have a tarnished view of your business because of one negative experience."

...Decades ago, negative word-of-mouth had a completely different dynamic. Although people still fumed about negative experiences at businesses, it did not necessarily reach as many people as it does today. With the Internet, most negative word-of-mouth is spread through cyberspace. There are many websites designed to allow people to vent about negative experiences with businesses. In addition, many online retailers provide a section for customer feedback. This allows unhappy customers to directly express their feelings to the company which wronged them. Although this seems like the most effective way for businesses to gain feedback, beware. The comments which are left on websites by customers complaining about a product or service are most likely on the Internet for awhile. When other consumers see the negative word-of-mouth about your business, they will be turned off by your company and look to your competition. The negative word-of-mouth in cyberspace is much more detrimental to your business because it does not disappear, but rather stays on public display for some time.”

...It is obvious that negative word-of-mouth is devastating to your company, but what can be done to avoid it? The truth is, not much. Some believe a way to prevent negative word-of-mouth is to constantly promote your business via positive word-of-mouth. In fact, that could be just as damaging to your business as negative word-of-mouth if carried out in the wrong way. Any positive word-of-mouth that is flawed and gives incorrect information misleads customers, allowing the chance for negative word-of-mouth. On the other hand, a business owner who utilizes their family and friends to positively promote their business using word-of-mouth could be effective, if they deliver correct information in the appropriate setting. Otherwise, constantly promoting your business via positive word-of-mouth could be as annoying as spam blasts. Take the time to research what works and what does not work for word-of-mouth before putting it to work...."

I see parallels in these excerpts to what we have been discussing vis a vis NASCAR & the broadcast partners. Perhaps you do as well.

I have to believe it is still not too late.

Neon said...

I predict Mikey will do a tank-slapper leaving the pits (ala Daytona Duel) and smack Talladega's wall. DW won't mention his ineptness, but only praise for letting go of the wheel prior to impact (ala Danicant).

E-Ticket said...

Well Said JD.. They powers that be and especially DW it appears don't understand. They really don't understand we are still here and care about the sport enough tell you what we think needs to be fixed. I guess they think that is stupid, the ones that don't care anymore aren't sitting in those seats at Bristol and aren't watching TV anymore and didn't let you know they left..

scarletandmaize said...

Amazing the difference between the quality of the trucks and Cup broadcasts, considering both are owned by Fox.

Fox producers and directors, and the Waltrips should be forced to the watch the truck broadcasts over and over and over and over and over and over and over ....

Anonymous said...

E-ticket, when I was in retail they called them the 'silent customers'...the ones who don't complain, they just don't come back--and you know the tracks and NASCAR care because it's visible. Not so sure about the TV guys.

Ian Schrader said...

I can't understand why when there caution/wreck count is down in races, TV doesn't focus more on the strategy side of things. If you want to keep eyeballs, you have to focus on what IS happening, not what ISN'T. Basic sales training (and that's what TV really is, is sales) says to under promise and over deliver. If you build expectations to a point that can't be met enough times, interest falls off. I have gone from watching everything NASCAR/racing related every weekend a couple of years ago to DVR'ing the race and tuning out the announcers for the most part. I still say being at the track is the best experience of all. Always something to watch. If you have to have guys catching and passing for the lead all the time, sorry it just doesn't work like that.

FYI for those that think 2-3 cautions at Richmond were too few, it wasn't till the mid 80's that they averaged more than 5 a race. Same for Bristol and Martinsville. So seems we have racing just like the good ole days.

Anonymous said...

The only thing with NASCAR is the tv coverage. Why does it have to be presented as if the fans are retarded? Why cant it be presented as a serious sport with serious competitors? Why does DW have to act like a clown? When I told my girlfriend (a new racing fan) when she asked who that was that was acting like a retarded redneck that DW was a legend of the sport and a member of the hall of fame she could not believe it. Can you imaging Joe Montana acting such a fool on an NFL broadcast? Thank god it is spring here in the northeast and short track season has started.

Can someone tell me what the hell the cartoon gopher has to do with anything? If anyone enjoys it speak up now.

Anonymous said...

Also please stop telling me how great the allstar race will be. It is contrived and will not be a great race. Want to have a great allstar race, have it at Iowa or the Bristol track they are about to ruin. That was great racing to a real fan. Take that to the bank.

Joj said...

Let us try it again -

We fans are not the problem.
If the majority are telling you that you are wrong ( though Tweets, viewership or emails) you need to take are hard look at yourself. That is a sign of maturity.

We fans want to see as much of the race as possible in real time. This means we understand there will be commercials. We get it not every pass will be caught in real time. We will not be subjected to shots of racer X who is this weeks flavor be the only driver on the track - along with the MWR drivers.

During a wreck, which real fans worry over -
We do not want to see an in car shot before we know the driver is OK. Nor Repeated showing the impact over & over.

We get it. We do not want to watch 1 car in a tight shot all day ( we real fans call that qualifying or practice)
We want to see beating and banging, we want to see the racing on the track as it actually happens.

As a real fan I'm not looking for wrecks, yes they do happen, yet its not what I watch for.

I want to hear the race called, not having 6 tickers to watch to figure out where my driver is on track. I want the analyst to shut up on the last lap (at least) & let the PxP guy call the end of the race.

I as a long time fan are VERY offended by being talked down to- I'm not 4 - I do not need to be told what I want, or the very basics of my sport, or how to think. This does not happen with other sports. Treat us with a drop of respect.

No I do not like the "car" or this points racing, or the PC-ness of not showing the empty seats so we get tight shots. We all know the economy tanked, we know the racing ain't its best right now. We get it -treat us like adults.

Do not promise to show a race and then give me 4+ hours of qualifying screen shots, blather, memories, inaccurate mind reading & self indulgent hype.

We get it. Fox & espn do not respect our sport nor the fans who support it. Got it.

NASCAR needs to put some one in a position - with the authority - to over see the networks and make sure the sport & its fans and sponsors are treated with the respect all are due.

Anonymous said...

JD - Right on target. Too bad FOX or NASCAR will not listen.

GinaV24 said...

Well said as always, JD. I particularly like the carnival analogy. These days, the broadcasts are a true "freak show".

All that the "stupid race fans" want to see is the actual race. If the TV partners would just follow the racing action with the cameras and let their PXP people call the race, people would be complaining less(all of them do a variation of the same thing - DW is just the noisiest about the fans not liking it.)

The racing in 2012 is totally different than it was when Fox first started broadcasting in 2001. I was excited every week to tune in for the race. I miss those days and that is what DW, JJ and the rest are missing - the point is that once upon a time, in the not too distant past, the fans WERE excited every week - not because of the wrecks, but because of the racing.

the way I look at it is I'm the consumer here. I was willing to be patient for a while, but I've run out patience and interest in the product I'm being sold. When I buy an inferior product from a store, if they are lucky, I'll write and complain about it. If they do something positive in response to that complaint, I'll try the product again. If all I get is silence or excuses, I don't buy the product AND I tell other people WHY I'm not buying it.

There's an axiom in business - keep the customers you have happy since they are 10 X easier to satisfy than to get 1 NEW customer.

It applies to NASCAR and Fox, too.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Amen, brother ...thanks for conveying the thoughts, concerns and frustration of long-time and new fans ...keep on keeping on

KoHoSo said...

All I can possibly say about JD's post is that I wish I could state it all that clearly myself.

Anonymous said...

JD wrote: You know why fans can't appreciate the skill and the racing? Because they can't see it and can't hear it. Between the inability of the FOX director to show the actual racing and the inability of the Waltrip brothers to stop talking there is a product being produced that does not even fundamentally follow the race.

That says it all for me. And I want to add that the fan comments with this particular article are mostly right on. But I am afraid that Nascar nor Fox will listen and change their agenda. Too bad because the sport is fast failing and losing tv viewers weekly.

GA Red

bevo said...

You are spot on JD. As other long-time readers and commentators can tell from this post you are as frustrated and upset as we are. It has gotten so bad that I rarely post these days (even though I make it a daily read) simply because nobody in power at NASCAR/FOX/ESPN gives a damn about us.

I still remember the early days of your blog when suggestions we all made actually came to fruition. We had behind the scenes people who do the grunt work producing a telecast telling us what could and couldn't be done from a technical standpoint and appreciated the feedback. Obviously the suits could not tolerate this and the hammer came down.

We are truly in the corporate bs zone now and it's obvious who has kept their integrity and who hasn't.

sbaker17 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbaker17 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbaker17 said...

maybe this time it will post correctly.....

As far as I 'm concerned, everything can be summed up in this quote from JD:

You know why fans can't appreciate the skill and the racing? Because they can't see it and can't hear it. Between the inability of the FOX director to show the actual racing and the inability of the Waltrip brothers to stop talking there is a product being produced that does not even fundamentally follow the race.

JD: If ever you should discontinue this blog, the above should be your epitaph :)

Anonymous said...

Re: anonymous @ 11:41 typo correction: "am afraid Nascar nor Fox will NOT listen."


GA Red

oldirtracker said...

I really think the comments for this post have covered what us ignorant race fans veiw as the problem with racing today. it all comes down to watch tv, listen to prn, and fox will never ever realize how much fans dislike the blabber brothers and their ignorant dribble, you hire intelligent, educated broadcast professionals and then let the idiot brothers to all the talking. how many times to they get to put in a biased plug for aarons,toyatoa , napa etc. makes me want to hurl.

oldirtracker said...

I believe in the Kiss principle (keep it simple Stupid) instead we just get stupid with the babble brothers. my three step race watch system. 1. turn on fox.
2. turn off volumn
3. dial radio to prn
Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

JD said:

"You know why fans can't appreciate the skill and the racing? Because they can't see it and can't hear it. Between the inability of the FOX director to show the actual racing and the inability of the Waltrip brothers to stop talking there is a product being produced that does not even fundamentally follow the race".

That one paragraph says it all.

Saw my brother yesterday. He only watches the races, Cup, maybe NNS. Running his own business, very busy. He started going off on the TV coverage, citing all the things we've discussed. One point was a top running driver pits in 5th, comes out 20th, no update on why. He says they are too busy flapping their jaws about who they talked to last night or something else not relevant to the race.

Must be a stupid race ran fan.

I watched the K&N & Denny Hamlin races last Thursday. I had forgot what a PxP guy sounds like. Mike Joy was fantastic. And the others in the booth complemented his call of the race. They did not take over and become the focal point. So they can do it. For some bizarre reason, they choose not to on Sundays.

OSBORNK said...

I don't think NASCAR and the TV partners understand the role TV has in the sport. They think they need to present a reality/personality show to attract fans and viewers. They are very mistaken. Their mission should be to be our eyes and ears at the track when we are not at the track.

When we are at the track, we don't concentrate on just the cars in front when there is not close racing there. If a driver has an uncontested lead, we scan the track and watch the best racing we see. That should be what the cameras show us on TV. Rather than bore us with stories of years past and other irrelevant nonsense, the booth needs to be telling us about the action on the track that the camera is showing and other information relevant to the race that is being shown NOW.

I think golf sometimes have play by play announcers that do an excellent job of telling about the action and we don't even know who they are. They do their job well and it is not about personalities. We need announcers and play by play professionals and not personalities.

I think the in-car cameras will probably continue until they show someone being killed in a horrible accident. Then it will stop.

Anonymous said...

Cha-ching !

David said...

I sat mesmerized watching the Masters a few weeks back. The announcers were talking about GOLF, about the next shot the PLAYER had to make--not about themselves or a sponsor or a team. I was watching coverage of what I was watching--golf. It was fantastic!

I grew up watching NASCAR, really enjoyed it in fact, but now I can barely stomach 100 laps or so. I don't want to hear stories. I want to hear coverage. I want to see coverage. I want to see racing. It's like FOX isn't excited about the racing anymore, like they have to find something ELSE to talk about to make it worth their time on air. If they keep it up, I won't watch anymore--and that kills me to say.

Thank you, JD, for saying what needs to be said. Keep it up! You're a bigger voice than I am, and this sport needs voices like you that are bigger than DW...

Bobby O said...

Indiana used to have the best high school basketball tournament in the country.
But the administration thought that "class" basketball would be better for the kids.
There was huge push back from the fans that were mostly adults.
The administration changed anyway. So now all these years later no one goes to the tournament.

Now they are considering going back to single class.
Saddly NO one cares anymore and won't even show up at meetings to discuss the matter.

Not sure if there is a moral to this story, but if shoe fits....

Just seems to be very similar story to this Nascar/TV vs. Fan fiasco.

Thanks JD, we luv you man!

Zetona said...

Very well-said, JD. Of course, the Big One has almost always been a part of superspeedway advertising. I suppose FOX could go the honorable road and promote "Three-wide action" and tight racing instead of just outright showing big wrecks.

I've been pondering why the action in NASCAR has...well, waned, to put it simply, even over last year. Here are my ideas:

You could say that the Chase gives drivers the freedom to put it all on the line in some early races, knowing that any points they lose when crashing out will be wiped out when the Chase happens. Of course, what seems to be happening instead is that drivers think about the points for their current position rather than risking their season to get a better one.

I think the reason there are fewer crashes is not necessarily that the drivers have improved, but that the COT is so very unflappable. The "old"-style cars were shaped so that you could get your bumper under the rear bumper of the car in front and spin them out with a tiny touch. Plus, those cars had a lot less sideforce, which made running side-by-side without spinning out a risky proposition. It's meant less wrecks with the COT (which is a good thing), but shouldn't it also mean more side-by-side, bumper-to-bumper racing, even on larger aero tracks? That hasn't been happening, maybe because the COT punches a bigger hole in the air.

What about double-file restarts? I like them, they've produced some amazing action, but I think the drivers have figured out how to drive them. When they were first introduced, some huge wrecks resulted, but now the drivers know to give each other more room, perhaps at the cost of racing. Plus, it's a lot harder for second place to get a jump on the leader given that you have to stay in line until you cross the start/finish line. I'd like to see NASCAR return to the rule that you could get a jump on the car ahead as long as you didn't pass them before the line. Maybe only implement it at really wide tracks, like Michigan.

Does anyone else get the sense that there's a broad consensus that a bunch of stuff is wrong in NASCAR, but there's no agreement on how to fix it?

Now, to try and bring this back on topic. I really hope that the new cars next year race as well as they look. There's certainly an opportunity to revive some dormant storylines. For instance, the manufacturer's championship. I can't be certain, but I think the last time I saw a broadcast show the manufacturer's standings was 2002. Ford was so proud of their effort that year, they trumpeted it in commercials! Where has that gone? For that matter, when's the last time the broadcast gave the Rookie of the Year standings? There hasn't been a good ROTY class since 2007 or so, but still! Add some storylines for when the main title race or the action on the track dries up!

MadCowRacing said...

I hate it when people say "the races are too long" as far as I'm concerned they aren't long enough!

Kevin said...

Let's take a look at what television is required to cover. Let's compare 2012 to 1996. Here is what has been gained, and what has been lost, in sixteen years.

Gained: 2 races at Texas, 2 races at Kansas, 1 race at Chicago, 1 race at Homestead, 1 race at Fontana, 1 race at Las Vegas, 1 race at Kentucky, 1 race at Loudon, 1 race at Phoenix.

Lost: 2 races at Rockingham, 1 race at Atlanta, 1 race at Darlington, 2 races at North Wilkesboro.

One could make the argument that we lost two races at the old Bristol track and gained two races at the new Bristol track.

5 of the 6 races lost were on tracks with personality.

9 of the 11 races gained were on 1.5 mile or 2.0 mile ovals.

I don't think you can discount the impact this has on the quality of racing.

Then you change the cars ... cars that struggle to run close to each other on tracks in the 1.5/2.0 mile range, that hurts competition.

The cars are more equal, and as Jimmy Johnson said last week, unless cars are running more than 0.3 seconds different lap speeds, you can't pass. Sure, you have 20 cars on the lead lap (vs. 4 thirty ears ago), but they are running single file.

This means that the racing isn't as dynamic as it used to be.

Maybe that causes Fox, TNT, and ESPN (all three will be beat up for their take on the coverage, just for different reasons) to feel like they have to do things to make the broadcasts more exciting.

We keep searching for cause-and-effect ... there's the tracks, there's the cars, there's the chase, there's the networks and their coverage, and there's the interaction of all four things. All four aspects are in a feedback loop that, at this time, isn't favorable.

If the TV coverage were perfect, as everybody wants for it to be on this blog, how would that improve the on-track product at Kansas ... when 16 years ago, that race might have been held at a track with more personality, with cars that might have been more amenable to side-by-side racing?

I somehow have to believe that TV coverage, while not what people want to see, is stuck ... stuck with a product that is fundamentally different than 16 years ago. It seems like people might be more patient with the coverage if the tracks and cars and racing of 16 years ago were here today. I could be wrong.

brucer said...

One would have to think that DW would tape the races, review and self critique his performance during the week. Most professionals would. Does he even realize how pathetic he sounds? Boogety Boogety, please.

JD the bad thing is Fox has its head in the sand and ignores the fans. Turning the broadcasts into hours of paid promotions. Not good for the sport.

Anonymous said...

Solution: Go to your local short track insted. Competition will be great, You can hear, feel and even smell the racing. Drivers are giving their all because of the love of the sport. Best of all no ads with that dumbass MW wearing a napa Elvis suit acting like a retard.

Sophia said...

JD said:

"You know why fans can't appreciate the skill and the racing? Because they can't see it and can't hear it. Between the inability of the FOX director to show the actual racing and the inability of the Waltrip brothers to stop talking there is a product being produced that does not even fundamentally follow the race".

Lather,rinse, repeat. We've all been saying this for years and things get WORSE So I am finished.

Give the IzodIndycar Races some love. It deserves it and the NBCSports gives it good broadcast. I dread how ABC/BSPN will gunk up the 500 though.

Step away from the abusive relationship, folks. NASCAR is giving the proverbial finger to all the fans. I feel bad for most who cover the sports. They cannot possibly be comfortable with this head in the sand mandate.

I miss watching the races, too, but we can't watch the race on tv.

P.S. The switch to an in-car cams live during wrecks is a DISGRACE! 1st, we may see another tragedy. 2, all the in-car/bumpercam is what's ruined the show.

Hope those arrogant truck guys have fun playing "musical chairs" with the camera work as I'm no longer playing their games.

Rambo M. said...

I like whoever suggested the use of the #usstupidfans tag for twitter. Y'all should try that this weekend just to see what happens.

OSBORNK said...

I just got back from an errand where I listened to a NASCAR call-in show on Sirius/XM radio. they were talking to a caller about people complaining about the racing. They explained to the caller that the racing is now the best it has ever been and the great majority is happy with the racing and only a small minority of fans complain.

I agree that only a small number of people actively complain. However, many people who are not happy are speaking with their wallets and remotes. The lack of people at the races and the lack of viewers speak louder than those of us who actively complain.

NASCAR and their apologists can defend the way the races are run and presented until they are blue in the face but it doesn't change the facts. Like with movies, the best promotion in the world does not offset a poor final product. Empty stands and silent TVs tell the real story.

Anonymous said...

Still can't understand how Nascar is allowing a team owner, one Michael Waltrip to be in the booth. This has to be the most blatant bias ever in broadcasting. Owner of 3 Toyota's with multiple sponsors, who's commercials are on multiple times throughout the race and with him in all the commercials to boot. One hour of him on pre-race. Shown indefinitely throughout the race more than some of the cars on the track. Then we have to hear him post-race. RIDICULOUS!!!. This week will be worse once he is out of the Talledega race. He will come to the booth wearing his firesuit plastered with his sponsor. C,mon Nascar, get real....


well written...sadly falling on deaf ears

The Loose Wheel said...

Sophia, I have missed you!

Here is what boggles my mind: How can DW and Mikey BOTH be in the booth for a truck race with Rick Allen, yet produce a worthwhile telecast BUT on FOX, they are clowns and out of control?

Love the analogy to sales. Fits perfectly. Under sell and over deliver. Not the other way around.

Wiresculptress said...

And it just gets worse...

Fans who wish to see the debris when a debris caution is thrown? They are "needy", according to VP of Competition Robin Pemberton.

Has NASCAR declared war on their fans?

As for use of in-car cameras during wrecks: I have been watching IndyCar long enough to remember when the network showing the 1997 (?) Toronto race came back from commercial focused on a dead Jeff Krosnoff, still strapped into what remained of his car. FOX, TNT, and ESPN do NOT want to go there.

Kristine (just another stupid race fan)

Chadderbox said...

Right on JD. There is not much left to be said after your post.

I just want to say that DW is out of touch with the fans!

DW is just plain out of sync with what is needed to improve the telecasts. Instead of the telecast getting less of him he has obviously been given the green light to give us more DW.

It's hard for me to say this because DW is the reason that I became a nascar fan back in 1980. I have my photos with him from 1982 at Anderson Speedway (Indiana) when he raced a late model on an off week and I went into the pits to meet him. He was the driver that I liked to follow each week in nascar growing up. So it's not a thing about just wanting to jump on the bandwagon criticizing DW, because I like DW. After 32 years of watching Nascar I don't even watch the races anymore, I just DVR them and listen to MRN. I FF thru the race on DVR later. I do it for FOX and ESPN. They are both guilty.

Hearing DW sort of lash out at the fans is insane. It's not our fault the telecast is awful.
DW and the rest of the them are getting out of touch with the fans!

John in Chico said...

Anonymous said...
Of course the radio broadcast is more exciting. They have to describe the action for you.

Anyone, go back and watch the first 5 laps of Richmond and if you or anyone else can see racing let me know. At one point in the first 5 lap segment we had a perfectly clear picture of the white back streatch wall. But that was just one of at least 10 different cameras attempting (I presume) to show me the start of the race.
Did you get to see any car other than the winner (go Kyle) cross the finish line? I heard the finish, on the lap-top and MRN, what was going on but the race did not end when Kyle crossed under the checker, it ended when the last car on the lap crossed the line. Did you se anyone other Kyle, Mr. Anomymos? I did not and TV's responsibly is to show the race not show themselves in whatever form they chose this week.
It's about the race and it's supposed to be only about the race. But it's about FOX.
About Bristol: was anyone at the track disapointed with the race or was it the 99% that were forced to get the FOX version and who was upset with the coverage. Those at the track or those at home?
It was a good race to be there it was a horrible race to try and watch. Close up pictures of one or two cars while they blaber about the sponsor does not show a race, it didn't in Bristol nor will it next week when there will be 20 or 30 cars together but we will see one or two.
It's TV's responsibility to show it and they aren't.
Signed, John Willis, not anonymos, a vertian viewer, been trying to watch since the 1960 Daytona 500 on WWoS. I have experience, plenty of pitiful, painful experience.

Sally said...

Apparently Nascar, DW, and Fox fail to realize that telling the fans to 'just shut up and watch' won't work. As 'independent contractors', we can choose not to many fans certainly have, judging from the drop in ticket sales and track attendence. Turning on your fans is not the most intelligent move...but why does it not surprise me? With the coming of the internet, fans now have a forum to voice their opinions very publicly. Nascar doesn't get that, either.

Buschseries61 said...

I had a better chance to read this tonight without skimming like this morning.

I think the fans have felt the frustration for years, but struggled to explain it properly. There has been a gap between what people see at the track and viewers see at home. The fans at home are unhappy and express it, while DW runs his mouth and blames the fans for not appreciating the race. Fans complain on Sirius, but are scolded at and their fanhood is questioned by rude hosts.

The sport, media networks, and fans are not on the same page. It's a complicated mess of problems, but your article and the other comments here explains it all better than I can in one post.

Ron said...

Spam and spamming. That is what Fox broadcasts, that is what NASCAR on television is fast becoming, and finally, spamming. This is what NASCAR's favorite talking heads on television, radio and satellite do twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. And to NASCAR this is a feature, it is not a bug!

Thank you AR, for triggering this thought in my mind.


Kim said...

Thank you. Underneath the television coverage and the Waltrip show, there is actually a sport. The sport may be evolving, but we'll never appreciate how or why or know what to look for (or what we are seeing)by listening to the booth.

I haven't noticed anymore in-car cameras during the wrecks. Whoever had that idea should be fired. Good lord. : (

Darrell Waltrip has outlived his usefulness in the booth. And I used to enjoy him very much.

GinaV24 said...

OsbornK, what you described hearing on Sirius radio is the reason I cancelled my subscription. I simply could not continue to listen to them spout the PC nonsense that "the racing is better than ever" when I've been to enough races and know that it isn't! At least not from the side by side racing point of view - not since the COT and the chase were introduced. As Zetona pointed out, it IS different.

I also agree with your comment that while only a small number may be actively complaining - those pesky "stupid fans" like me - the facts are that people are no longer buying tickets or tuning in to the broadcasts. That group is MUCH larger and are the "silent" complainers - they have simply opted out completely.

As Matt McLaughlin's column stated "is it too late to save NASCAR?". Might be - especially if DW and others continue to alienate those fans who are left.

brucer - DW watch a broadcast and critique himself? Ha, don't you know - he's perfect! Ask him, he'll tell you. He was that way as a driver, too.

Garry said...

Last night I watched the NHL game between the Capitals and Rangers. WOW. Any hockey game on t.v. is awesome. The play by play announcer called the action as it was happening, and the color commentator gave info as needed. At one point, at the 13:30 mark in regular game time, there were 9 action instances happen with 6 seconds. ALL WERE CALLED CORRECTLY AND AT SPEED. And the hockey players skate at, what, 12 to 15 mph? NASCAR drives at 180 mph plus, and we miss most of the action over a 4 hour stretch? 6 seconds vs. 4 hours, people.

Bob in VT said...

I really have to think the double dose of Waltrip is a short term issue. I think DW is ready for retirement and they're getting Mikey ready to take over. I think Mikey should take over now, I don't think much of him as a driver but he is quite good on Truck broadcasts and think he has a better all around understanding. Best that can happen would be that DW takes a week off like happens on ESPN and we get to see Mikey in the color role. I think there's a chance we'd see the Mike and Mike show as a excellent booth broadcast. DWs opinion was never worth anything as a driver and now that he's convinced himself he's the best broadcaster ever it's not worth much in the booth. Fox used to be the best broadcast team, but at this point with the fixes at ESPN (who realized they had people in the booth who did the broadcast a disservice) I now look forward to them starting their part of the year. I'm not sure how long is left on DWs contract...but i think he's about ready to scale back (i know that fans are ready for him to go do that) if we didn't see/hear so much of him he can go back to the fan favorite he was at the end of his driving career.

I'm really glad to see agreement that the Truck broadcasts are enjoyable versus the cup. I think that common shared opinion here shows that we're just not all about hating on Waltrips or Fox, just looking for a better product.

James said...

It sure appears that folks here know the sport and are very passionate about it. Never doubt how much you, JD mean to the fans, something NASCAR has LOST!!!

MRM4 said...

I'd like to have a chat session with Robin Pemberton over those comments. There is absolutely no reason not to show debris that caused a caution late in the race. Without showing it, all that does is give more ammo to the black helicopter crowd.

Anonymous said...

Bob in VT may like Mikey on the truck broadcast,but I can tell you an awful lot of folks who no longer watch the trucks with the audio on simply because they cannot stand his incessant yapping and shilling.As far as DW, he was a pain in the but as a driver and is even worse now that he has far too much exposure.

Anonymous said...

So Robin Pemberton thinks fans are "needy" if they feel they need to see the debris? I can't believe he'd say anything that dumb. Nascar's credibility on 'debris cautions' is absolutely zero. Even Junior recently gave an interview where he used the phrase, "a bunch of BS cautions". Maybe Junior is 'needy'? Nascar still holds an iron fist over the sport. Everybody knows how it operates. I wonder if Junior got fined or Tony Stewart after Tony bitched about a caution flag at the end of the race for a water bottle. The #18 driver saw a Coors beer can. With a Gazillion TV cameras, it should be mandatory to show the debris for every debris caution. Heck, a year or two ago, they threw the caution when they thought the rear corner of Kurt Busch's car touched the wall when replays clearly showed that it didn't. The COT,poor broadcasting, the Chase and the long,boring cookie cutter tracks are killing Nascar's product. But try telling that to the mucky-mucks at Nascar.

Colorado said...

Wow to Robin Pemberton. Wow. Not only in the last 10 days have we been called "stupid", now we are called "needy". I think a round of a** whoopins needs to be handed out to these guys. (kind of a joke, by the way). But still. Calling the very people that help pay their salaries names? I guess if I spent the majority of my life as a millionaire, I wouldn't care about the "little people" either...Shame on you Robin. And shame on you Darrell.

Anonymous said...

D W thanks for letting me know I,m not a good race fan. If I had know this in 1960 I would never have started going to the Indy 500 with my father. I would have spent my Memorial Day week ends doing something more productive, than being a bad race fan.
I also would never have become a NASCAR fan. I sure could have spent a lot of week ends, since 1984, not being a bad fan.
Oh yeah by the way you're a really bad race announcer and you're brother,wellllllll, is he still lookin for the person/s who sabotaged his intake manifold at Daytona? just sayin

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new column up, thank you for all your opinions on this topic.


Anonymous said...

To NASCAR and TV...Just show the race. Everything else will take care of itself. MRN proves that every week.

AllisonJ said...

Fox's crash and burn promos appeal to the non-racing fan, which is apparently their customer base. Those commercials horrify me, not only because my husband is a SCCA racer, but because crashes are precisely what the good fan does not want.

Anonymous said...

I believe that this is the best column you've ever written.
Well done my boy

Bray Kroter

Doug M. said...

Nice column, JD. As always a good read.

To illustrate how poor of a job the TV guys do, and to highlight how good the radio guys are, I usually get a better feel for the racing by listening to the radio.

There is a very simple solution to solve all of the TV issues..

Point the cameras at the cars on the track, and SHUT UP!

Alas, it will never happen. The good things is I get more done now, because my radio is portable.

I guess I will just continue to listen to the radio, and read the planet..