Friday, June 27, 2014

Flashback: The Most Painful Dale Junior Interview In TV History

Update 6/27/14: This column was originally published in July of 2007. Just giving our friends at ESPN Motorsports a little trip down memory lane. NASCAR Now has been cancelled after airing at 2am for this season. The network cannot run away from NASCAR fast enough after boasting of its return in 2007. Enjoy a little Junior flashback.

Original column: Dale Earnhardt Junior looked like he was having a long day. He sat patiently in his Sharpie shirt in front of a Sharpie background on what was clearly a Sharpie "satellite media tour." This is the process by which a driver sits in one location and various media outlets interview him while he wears the sponsor's shirt and shows the sponsor logo on TV.

TV folks get to ask questions only if they also agree to allow the driver to mention the sponsor's own agenda, which usually consists of a special promotion. To say the least, its usually not a lot of fun for the driver. Tuesday, it was almost unbearable.

Earlier this season, Sharpie and Junior inked an endorsement deal that resulted in Sharpie releasing a customized Dale Junior black Sharpie aimed at NASCAR fans. They also appear as a sponsor on his NEXTEL Cup car in Bristol, TN. Part of this deal is the fact that Junior must do "appearances" for Sharpie.

Tuesday evening, ESPN's NASCAR Now teased a "feature interview" with Junior. When he finally appeared, show host Erik Kuselias never said where Junior was located, he just kind of "appeared." Viewers immediately noticed the fact that the Budweiser logo and the color red were missing from his attire.

Instead, he wore a Sharpie shirt and appeared in front of a Sharpie background in his mysterious "studio" location. It was pretty easy to tell, something Sharpie was going to be promoted.

Instead of being up-front with viewers and explaining this agenda, NASCAR Now tried to "sell" the fact that this was a "feature interview" with Junior. They somehow believed fans did not see the Sharpie shirt, or the wall with Sharpie logos all over it.

The number one problem for ESPN is that NASCAR fans have a clue. They knew something was up from the start, and the look on Junior's face really gave it away. It was something between being at the dentist and standing in line at the Motor Vehicle Department. This fun-loving and easy-going guy was having absolutely no fun, and it was very clear that the going...was not easy.

The person being interviewed can hear the "network feed" in their earpiece, and to lead into Junior, NASCAR Now ran an embarrassing video package on his decline this season, his possible failure to make the chase, and his leaving DEI. What a nice way to make a person feel welcome to NASCAR Now.

Kuselias introduced Junior as "NASCAR's most popular driver," and then without allowing him to even say hello just laid into him with one of the most bizarre NASCAR questions on network TV in quite some time. Kuselias asked Junior about Indy "if you don't have the engine trouble, could you have won that race?"

After a brief grimace, Junior politely responded "there's no telling, we were in the top five, so we had a shot at it." Wouldn't we all like to know what was actually running through Junior's mind? Either he was thinking that ESPN has no clue to racing or he was holding himself back from the Geico Caveman answer...."what?"

Next up, Kuselias fired off "how confident are you that the eight is going to make The Chase?" What is the only answer for any driver on any team working hard to do their best every race? Junior said "very confident...we are just having bad luck" Patiently, Junior pointed out that the team was running well in the races they did not finish. This was a point omitted by the host.

"How is the fact that you are moving-on impacted the team this season?" was a follow-up from Kuselias. Again, what is the answer when you are talking to the person who is leaving? Should he say everything is a mess and I am to blame? Junior replied that this change was motivation for the DEI gang to show it could send him out on a high note and also prove that they are a top-notch professional team.

As if things could not get any stranger, Kuselias referenced the DEI/Ginn merger, and actually asked Junior that now that Mark Martin is his team mate, "what do you guys talk about?" His assumption was that since Junior and Mark were on different teams, they routinely did not speak to each other.

Veteran NASCAR fans might have had to be helped-up off the floor, as Junior and his late father had known, and grown-up with Mark and his family for over twenty years. "It would be kind of boring I think" said Junior. He was then nice enough to reference for Kuselias his experience with Mark in the Busch Series and the help he received coming up through the ranks.

Kuselias did not get it. These two guys had known each other for a long time. They have already talked about life and racing for many years with each other. In his unrelenting manner, Kuselias asked "what specific things would you focus in on with Mark Martin?" He was referring to "getting info" from Martin before leaving DEI, and presumably, not talking to Martin again as he would no longer be a team mate. How priceless is that question?

Junior took a very deep breath. Then another. "That's kind of a tough situation there" he said about the question. Then, a funny thing happened. As we all have at some time in our life...Junior just made something up. It was about learning Martin's "set-ups" for his cars. If you were a fan, it was a hilarious answer. A guy going to Hendrick needs help with "set-ups." The message could not be sent any clearer. But, if you were ESPN, this was great information.

Then, Junior was gone. No thank you or sign-off, just Kuselias saying that Junior would be back later in the show "to talk more about the news involving you." Does that make any sense? Well, of course it does. Junior had to get in his promo for Sharpie, and after taping the entire interview, NASCAR Now just sliced that part off and kept it for the end of the show.

This way, they could pretend that this had been a "feature interview" with NASCAR Now, and not just another TV interview on the Sharpie "satellite media tour." How low can this bunch get?

Sure enough, Junior popped-up at the end of the show again. Kuselias asked about the merger of the JR Motorsports and the Hendrick Busch teams. Junior tried to say that if he is writing a two million dollar check, and Hendrick is writing a two million dollar check for his own team, then putting them together will be cost effective.

Unfortunately, after Junior finished saying "two million dollars," Erik Kuselias started to laugh. He thought Junior was joking. Patiently, Junior finished his answer. Once again, the lack of any racing knowledge on the part of Erik Kuselias was revealed to the national viewing audience. Junior was not joking, it was a two million dollar expense.

Finally, Kuselias said that people at ESPN were showing him their "8" tattoos and asking him if Junior was going to "keep his number." After asking him if he had any news on that, Junior quietly replied "Not really, we don't have any. That's not something that I have any influence on." That is bad news. Apparently, all those Connecticut TV executives with Junior tats will have to wait a little while longer before booking an appointment for "new ink."

Junior then looked relieved when the Sharpie "drive you back to school" initiative was brought-up as ESPN's time wound down. Junior carefully explained this promotion for education and it was, in fact, a great idea. Then, without mentioning Erik's name, Junior was gone.

Several times this year, we have seen drivers on "media tours" appear on NASCAR Now wearing specific sponsor gear, and sitting in an unknown location surrounded by sponsor logos. Each time NASCAR Now has tried to make it appear that the driver was just an interview, when in fact it was a paid media appearance. The trade-off for the "mandatory sponsor TV mention" is that the driver has to answer a couple of questions. This was the case with Junior and Sharpie.

The funny thing is, fans like to hear from Junior. If ESPN had just said where he was, and what he was doing, there would have been no problem. Everyone understands sponsorship, and the cause was a good one. It would have been nice if ESPN had pitched-in and promoted this on their own NASCAR website.

ESPN is now the network covering the NEXTEL Cup Series for the rest of the year. What they seek from fans and viewers is a return to the credibility they had back in the 1980's and 90's. Deception like this on their daily NASCAR show is not going to help that cause. Things need to be explained to viewers for what they really are.

For this program, and the network, to gain any kind of momentum as the NASCAR season hits its peak, there has to be a committment to accountability and honesty. And just maybe, a little less nervous laughter.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by and leave your opinion.


Anonymous said...

**SophiaZ having problems logging in here again with those STUPID "code letters again" but I digress

Well, first, I must confess I had this show on to see if BY CHANCE, AB might be hosting or somebody else. First, I found it odd they actually showed a replay of the live TS interview where he dropped the BS bomb. Funny they did not have that yesterday did they?

I was cooking in the kitchen and noticed Jr looked PAINFULLY tired but thought I had missed something. I had not seen the boy look this depressed in MONTHS.

Man, oh, man. I CRINGED at the 'introductory' video on Jr's rough year. nobody knows more than Jr how rotten his luck has been.

ESPN is a DISGRACE. They are like the fricking NATIONAL ENQUIRER of Sports.

Jr appeared to feel about ESPN and NN the way we all do..disappointed as hell.



Anonymous said...

I saw Dale Jr interviewed mid-afternoon on ESPNEWS with one of the black hosts of ESPNEWS (his name escapes me, but it wasn't Stuart Scott) and it was amazing the difference. The interviewer clearly enjoyed the interview and both he and Jr were laughing the whole time. They were talkin bout Dale's crossover appeal and how he's hung out with all these big name celebs. They discussed a bit of racing and the host appeared informed and knowledgable. I would think by this time, all drivers know who Eric K is on NASCAR Now and dread talkin to him. Maybe ESPN will eventually get the hint!

WickedJ said...

i wonder how long it would take Robin Miller to get fired from ESPN..

thats someone you need to talk about, John..Robin freakin' Miller the man is comedy GOLD when hes on W-T

i vote we start a show..Robin, Bootie Barker and Despain ..the network censor would have a heartattack

anyway after random thoughts...why does ESPN put this dumbass in front of us like we're sitting over here "gee hes kinda smart" instead of putting in AB or Massaro heck Shannon Spake would do a better job then this guy

P.S. anyone else waiting to see AB and Lajoie work together? itll be like old times w/ Wally and Allen

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely astonishing to me that ESPN is willing to make such fools of themselves by putting Eric K in charge of Nascar Now. His total lack of knowlege of anything Nascar, and his insistance on trying to make everything he says some sort of major controversy is pathetic. In fact, pathetic is a term that seems to be universal when it comes to ESPN and anything Nascar.

Anonymous said...

So..What questions would you have asked? I just don't think ESPN has to act as if every viewer is a " Hardcore Nascar Insider and watches every race". Not sure if that profile fits all the viewers.

Anonymous said...

Satellite Media Tours are local-TV, bush (not Busch) league silliness. They're intended to give those operations access to high-profile personality in return for some advertising promotion.

If ESPN now has to use an SMT to get interviews with sports figures like Junior, that is a very telling sign about the network's lack of clout.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't all that bad. I can think of another interview Jr did a couple years ago on Larry King. Larry King asked Jr what he was thinking on the last lap when his dad died. And what he thought when he was told to go to the hospital. I mean it was just so cold. #1 Jr didn't know his dad was dead when he crossed the finish line and #2 how would you feel if someone told you your dad had been in an car accident? Haven't watched Larry King since. Jr didn't look happy on espn's NASCAR NOW but I thought it was more of a drained long day look. I do admit that question about what are you and Mark gonna talk about was kinda dumb. I do give Eric a B for effort. I've seen worse. But I hate to see interviewers sucking up like Matt Yocum does with Tony Stewart, it just seems weird.

Anonymous said...

silly and sad.

Erik not only doesn't know Nascar, he doesn't care to know and it shows.

That and he is clearly not a broadcast professional. He really can't do an interview to save his life.

and to the Anonymous person who asks "what would you ask?". That post was the same confrontational style as Erik. You ask that without even bothering to 'defend' the questions asked. Please advise how those questions benefit even the average fan.

The Mark Martin questions were clearly from a stick and ball mind. Like asking a QB about his conversations with a new stud WR his team just acquired.

silly. just plain silly.

Anonymous said...

ESPN's NASCAR NOW can suck it. Every NASCAR fan can see that it's just another rich corporate idiot trying to capitalize on something that should have great potential but they come up short on every single show. The fact that they try to act legit is what is most sickening to the average fan. I guess we should expect them to deceive us in every possible way. Their race coverage could get a bit of a clue as well, but we'll leave that for another time...

Vince said...

Hello all,

It's painfully obvious to me that ESPN execs just plain do not get it. But then ESPN as a whole is just a shell of it's former self. The whole network now is all about hype. And some of the so called "sports" they show are laughable. Hot dog eating contests, arm wrestling, poker, etc. What's next? Tiddley winks?? Those are sports?

NascarNow has just gone to the same format as the rest of ESPN's news shows. Watch NFL Live. It used to be hosted by Mark Malone, who had actually played pro football and knew something about what he was talking about. Now we have Trey Wingo. Another of ESPN's hype masters. Give me a break. NascarNow is just following the same flawed ESPN format. All hype and fluff. Very little hard news.

I still DVR this show and FF through all the BS. I listen to Marty, Angelique and some of the other real reporters when they are on and skip the rest. Erik with a k is a joke. He doesn't have a clue and never will. ESPN has shown total disregard for the true NASCAR fan by putting him as the main host for this show. I did watch the Jr. interview and it was as painful for me to watch as it was for him to do.

I haven't had a chance to comment on this past weekend's coverage by ESPN of the Indy race, so I'll do it now. They have taken the coverage to a new low. The prerace was a joke. Only saving grace of that mess was DJ. He was a class act as always. The coverage of the race as a whole had no flow. I do not understand why ESPN needs to come back from a four minute commercial break and then give us another 4 minutes of Brent and Suzy. What I ask you do Brent, Suzy and Brad bring to the coverage of the race? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Just come back from commercial and go straight to the booth like you used to do when Bob, Ned and BP were doing the coverage. I feel like we saw about 45 minutes or maybe an hour of a three hour race. As for the guys in the booth, they were below average. Rusty needs to go. If I hear AREO one more time from him I'm gonna go nuclear. I can't stand DW, but I'll take him over Rusty any day. And get rid of the lame draft track thing. That's the dumbest thing I've seen since the glowing puck in the hockey coverage by Fox a few years ago.

Once again we were subjected to seeing only the leader cross the finish line. Duh, ESPN we all have our favorite drivers and after watching your lousy coverage for three hours we'd at least like to see them finish. If it's first or 43'rd. I do NOT want to see the crew jumping around like children or hear an interview from a crew chief who obviously doesn't want to give one either. If you insist on showing us that crap, tape delay it and show it a minute or so later after you have showed the entire field finish the race.

Anyone know if ESPN is going to continue to show the qualifying? I watched the Indy qualifying and they didn't show at least 14 of the cars qualify. What gives with that? I know they need to do the commercial breaks, but they can tape delay the guys that we miss while on break and show them to us after coming back like Speed does.

I've read the posts on here the last few days and some of you think John is being too hard on ESPN for their crappy coverage and want to give ESPN time to get their act together. Why?? ESPN has had all year to get their act together. They've been doing the Busch races and should have been using that for practice. They just plain suck. NASCAR is a major sport and they should have gotten their act together long before this weekends coverage. I hold them to a higher standard than I do Fox or TNT, so no I am NOT going to give them a break. The coverage at Indy, one of the biggest races of the year, was just plain lousy.

As usual John, thanks for the great articles. You're a beacon sanity in a fog of useless drivel we get from a lot of the so called NASCAR pundits.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Told my husband that Junior looked very un-Juniorlike and not to happy. Erick the Silliest does ask the most inane questions. That was an utterly wasted (except perhaps for the Sharpie folks) interview....

Anonymous said...


Here's a better one very few people know about. When Junior fell out of the Indy race with a blown wngine, they got him for an interview, but the folks in the truck DIDN"T RECORD IT. (they probably were recording it so as not to interrupt some of Suzie and Brent's invaluable insight)
So, they asked Junior to DO THE INTERVIEW A SECOND TIME!!! His response was somrthing like "Is this the first time you guys have ever televised a race"?
On another note, did anyone else scream at the tv when Jimmie Johnson's tire blew as he was coming right at the camera and the ESPN announcers missed it?? Punch said something like "a couple of pieces coming off the car" then, the car was against the wall and in flames!!!
I'm still with Sophie. A full blown tv boycott is coming!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Once again, please post your opinion of the TV topic that is being discussed. This site focuses on the NASCAR TV partners and their activity in live and post-produced programming. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

ESPN really sucks. TNT is great compared to the idiots @ ESPN and that's not saying much. I miss FOX. At least those guys know what they're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Been meaning to ask you if you caught the graphic under GREG Zipadelli? When ESPN used their three screen split screen they put SCOTT Zipadelli under Greg's screen. Who the hell was running the graphics program that put that up? Another note on the split screens, I like many people have a 25" TV not a 52" plasma. So the three screen split reduces the race view down to about 10" I wish they would use their heads a little more.

Anonymous said...

ESPN has failed miserably to step up to the plate with their NASCAR telecasts this year.
Erik Kuselias is an absolute imbecile on NASCAR Now. When it come to reporting on anything related to NASCAR, Kuselias is about as useless as a screendoor on a submarine.
If ESPN wants NASCAR Now to be a success, they need to alternate Alan Bestwick and Ryan Burr in place of that ignoramus Kuselias.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the anonymous poster about the other interview done on ESPN news (and it is available to watch at Night and day difference. Maybe it was an act, but you could tell the guy conducting the interview actually LIKED Jr. Jr had the same blah look on his face for just a second but warmed up to this guy immediately. It was a great interview, so far removed from the one on Nascar Now.

Sophia said...

Wow! Lots of great comments since last night! Vince, enjoyed your post and all the other ones too!

Is that REALLY TRUE ESPN asked Jr to do a second INTERVIEW because they did not tape it. TOTAL LUNACY. How old are these guys running things?


One correction..Robin Miller works for SPEED...not ESPN.

Anonymous said...

SOME --thankfully not all so called interviews--are directed at only humilating the person in the " hot" seat--That Jr. can retain his composure in such a situation only gives credence to his maturity level-- Thankfully ESPN does NOT cover the entire season of Nascar

Anonymous said...

That Eric guy on NASCAR NOW is a bonehead. He knows nothing about anything. Every show he picks JR apart, never has anything positive to say. He should be canned and MC Vick's dog fights, LOL, what a joke he is. Alan Bestwick should be the fulltime host, at least he is passionate about the sport and knows how to relate it to fans. ESPN, get a clue and dump this ASS!! NASCAR should look at this and realize fans are turning away because of this know nothing wanna be.

Anonymous said...

ESPN, Please remove Erik K. from your Nascar Now show. He obviously does not know much about Nascar and is not happy to be there. Allen Bestwick would make your show 10 times better.

Anonymous said...

John, I enjoy your blog. Your focus on NASCAR's TV partners and the thorough coverage that you give it are a great resource for those with less time available to follow all the details of that aspect of NASCAR. I certainly agree with your criticism of the pompus and often clueless Kuselias.

I am part of a regional NASCAR radio program and we often get NASCAR drivers and other personalities as guests. It is expected that those folks will be given some time during the interview to plug a sponsor or - more often - a cause or charity. It's just part of the deal and ESPN knows this as well as anyone. Keep the good stuff coming.

As a note - the picture that you feature in your post of Dale Jr. was taken by Beth Anne Heisler for and the Bench Racing blog, at Indy this past weekend. We have no problem with it's use as long as proper attribution is given. Thanks.

cwebs said...

ESPN seems to have a very strange relationship with Jr. Did anyone catch the #8 car's radio traffic replayed on INC Monday night? Jr. apparently had some sort of problem with Hamlin on the track during the race at Indy, and proceeded to tell his spotter to speak to Hamlin's spotter. Jr. wanted a specific message delivered: Tell Denny I'm going to park him!

Did ESPN completely miss this? I don't remember hearing anything about it during the race telecast. Maybe ESPN did know about it, but kept it quiet so they wouldn't "offend" their "in race reporter"??? Or was it another example ESPN incompetence, meaning they didn't realize what was going on?

Anonymous said...

Re: Charlie Turner's comment "clueless Kuselias".
I have a new name for Erik, "Klue-less-ass". Has a nice ring to it.

Anonymous said...

Kuselias is a moron...He deserves the "BS" treatment Tony Stewart gave Dave Burns this past weekend. If I were going to ask Junior something about the recent race, it would be exactly what you said, "What were you thinking when the motor broke?" Or how about, "Do you forsee the upcoming races being this frustrating?" "Is there more pressure to make the chase this year, or will you blame your contract negotiations as a reason for missing the chase?"

And as for Mark Martin, why not ask something like, "Do you think DEI's buyout of Ginn is related to how much money DEI was willing to give to you?" "If you were staying with DEI, would this buyout have occurred?"

ESPN...Ryan Burr, Allen Bestwick should be on NASCAR Now...Hell, bring in Bob Jenkins.

Anonymous said...

At the end of ESPN's previous broadcast commitment, they were snubbed by FOX and NASCAR when ESPN was forced to interview the drivers at the helipad after they left the track. What I have witnessed since ESPN began broadcasting the Busch Series this year is continuing during their Cup Series broadcasting is this: I see reason to believe ABC/Disney/ESPN has budgeted whatever amount of money it takes to bring NASCAR down. Perhaps by the end of the year, NASCAR brass will conclude this and litigate the end to this contract. Nothing else explains ESPN's sudden incompetence at such a high level than the first statement in this paragraph. And no, I have not been diagnosed with any mental illness or learning disability.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the sentiments of a couple people here: it's not that Erik K doesn't know about NASCAR, it's the fact that he doesn't appear to care. Some of the questions he asked were throwaways for sure, but they sound even worse because of the way he delivers them. So a viewer like me--who is still really a NASCAR newbie--just feels offended and confused. I mean, if the host of NASCAR NOW doesn't care about NASCAR, then why should I? If NASCAR's new network doesn't care about having a host like Erik K, then why should I bother watching?

Anonymous said...

I think we all should blame Fox/SPEED for the bad coverage done by NBC/TNT and ABC/ESPN. If Fox/SPEED didn`t do such a fantastic job with their coverage, the others wouldn`t seem so terrible.

Anonymous said...

To me the majority of the espn people sound like they should be commentating a football game. They are obviously not comfortable with auto racing and the racing language. Course it could be worse, we could be back with nbc sending their people on ridiculous waterskiis or hot dog runs.
I saw Jr`s interview and I defintely was not impressed and he looked dumbfounded.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoyed Allen Bestwick hosting the Inside Nextel Cup show on Monday nights (on Speed) and I think ESPN should put him in the booth calling the cup races. Can't wait to see him and Randy on Saturday (for the Busch race) that should be a good one! And I really enjoy Robin Miller but Eric Kaliesious (sp?) can go.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see this interview, but i'm sure it was bad. THe people at nascar now do not do a good job, thats why I never worry if I miss that show. I saw jr. on na earlier ESPN show (First Take, I believe it was) and from what I saw (that last bit of it) he seemed to be enjoying himself. It much be hard to try and be poliete with people who act so incompetent.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever laughed so hard reading a NASCAR-related article and the comments about it. I must agree with most of the comments here. ESPN definitely has dropped the ball on coverage and I too miss Allen Bestwick in the booth! The race announcers often watch other races, I think, instead of the one at the track at which they are located. I dread the rest of the season. FOX, even with it's problems, has the best NASCAR coverage. It's good that Dale Jr. has the composure he does, because if it were me, I totally would have replied with "what?!".

Anonymous said...

First of all, the interview was taped earlier in the day. He appeared on First Take, then ESPNews, and that was between 1-2pm. So there's no way Jr heard the feature that aired before him. Even as an average home viewer I realized this. Guy is doing a satellite tour. He appears on ESPN at 1pm on First Take and 1:45 on ESPNews. My gut's telling me they taped it between 1:10 and 1:30.

I don't understand what you want from ESPN. Should they have come out and said, "Dale Jr is hawking Sharpies today and that's the only reason he's on our show." And it's obviously the smart thing to do to air the interview in two segments. There are more Dale Jr fans than any other driver. So you split the interview which keeps people watching at least the first 3 segments of your show. This is just basic TV.

Anonymous said...

Man that Eric guy,ESPN you really need to do something about Nascar Now. This could really be a good show if you guys would get him off there. Dale Jr did this with Sharpie for Back to School for kids. Finally Jr gets to do something else to benefit kids and that knucklehead steps on it. Does Eric even know anything about Nascar or Junior for that matter? You could tell Junior was extremely uncomfortable doing this interview. Being the person that he is he made it thru though.

It would be nice if ESPN would
have someone that at least enjoys the sport of Nascar be the host of the show. How about Allen Bestwick or Mike Massaro or even Shannon Spake?

If ya'll have people writting questions for your interviews maybe you should look into changing your writers.

At any rate when you have someone as big as the top 4 drivers in the sport such as Junior, JJ,JG and Tony you could at least have someone interview them that really gives a hoot about the reason why their doing the interview in the first place.

Junior and Sharpie were there for the kids benefit for Back to School. However, the way the shows format was done that was lost. I realize that was not a live interview although had it been maybe the real reason for it in the first place may not have been lost. This was all about the kids.

I hope Junior and Sharpie take their promotion to other networks. I'm sure they will do a lot better job of getting their message out for the kids.

Anonymous said...

Please, let the Nascar Gods grant Erik K an interview with Tony Stewart. It would be the most interesting interview in ESPN's history. Talk about getting fined---Tony would kick Erik's behind to heck and back. That's one interview I'd TIVO and keep.

Speaking about hype, did anyone notice on Nascar Now how Kuselius over-hyped the Stewart BS incident? He said a couple of times "Stewart's expletives" when in fact, there was but ONE expletive, not plural.

BTW, does ESPN read this blog? If they do, it's obvious they don't care what Nascar fans think.

Anonymous said...

Well, since I am posting on August 1st, I would like to point out that Ryan Burr today not only hosted the best episode of NASCAR Now ever, it may have been better than any episode I have ever seen of NASCAR Live. I have never seen Terry Blount with such a big smile on his face, as he was seemingly taking part in a conservation with Burr which had mostly unscripted questions. WOW!

Anonymous said...

ESPN is like NASCAR for dummies. They explain everything like we have just seen it for the first time. I know what drafting is, you don't need to show me 5 times throughout the entire race. They are also very bias toward the california drivers, like gordo, harvick, and johnson. They cannot believe the fact that the fans support a driver who doesn't win.

Hey, ESPN get over it, and send your commentators back to NASCAR 101.

JHD said...

I've sort of reached the point where anytime Erik is talking sounds very similar to the Teacher in the Peanuts cartoons. Waah-wah-WAH-wah-Wah-WAH. All background noise, no discernible words. Can't imagine being interviewed by him and forced to actually listen to what he says. I'd rather have the root canal without Novocaine, thanks.

There is quite the difference between interviews done by Erik and those done by Ryan or anyone else. And I'm not talking about laughter, I'm talking about basic manners. Erik seems to have none. He cuts interviews short by saying "That's so and so" instead of thanking them for the time.

Although the best part is the fact that the cameramen go back to the person being interviewed, usually still sitting there with a dumbfounded look on their face at the rudeness. I can't tell if the cameramen do it on purpose or not. Junior's expression the entire interview and Casey Mears' stunned expression last week at Indy when they cut back to him after being cut off were typical of everyone who gets the pleasure of talking to Erik. [/sarcasm]

I second Anonymous' suggestion of Erik interviewing Tony Stewart, but with the express understanding from NASCAR that they won't be fining Tony for anything he says or does during the course of the "discussion" as he puts Erik back into whatever hole he crawled out of. A pay-per-view of the interview would probably make the VJGC just as much money as the Prelude did.

Anonymous said...

ESPN had the worst coverage of any Network so far this year. I turned over and watched golf, which I am no big fan of, but it sure beat having to watch 3 to 4 hours of commercials. They didn't show enough of the race to make a 1 minute commercial. How pitiful, and to think, we have to put up with this the rest of the year.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get to see the Jr interview, but what I have read, sounds about right. I Like ESPN when it comes to Football and other sports, but they are way out of their league with racing. They also need an analyst with racing experience, not Brent Mussberger

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what you want from ESPN. Should they have come out and said, "Dale Jr is hawking Sharpies today and that's the only reason he's on our show."

No, I want to know why Big Super Amazing Sports Network ESPN couldn't get Junior for their own interview and had to use one supplied by a sponsor hawking a product.

Bev M said...

I saw the interview with Erik Kuselias. I hated the introduction. He sure knows how to kick a person when he is down.
It appears he thinks Nascar is a sport for only Red Necks, well look again is a cross section of the county. There are millions of dollars spent on Nascar Merchandise yearly.
ESPN can't be serious about keeping this interviewer..........
Did he really think, all the years Jr. hung out at the track, he never spoke to Mark Martin.......get real!

When Mr. Kuselias tried to make Dale Jr. look like a fool, by cutting down the most favorite driver in backfired....It showed what a horses butt Eric was.

Lou said...

thanks for the flashback.