July 26, 2007

NASCAR comes home to ESPN: ESPN's return to NASCAR coverage could mean much more than just some extra minutes on Sportscenter. Gradioc breaks it down in a sportsfilter column.

posted by justgary to auto racing at 12:40 AM - 7 comments

...every time I hear Waltrip say "boogedy, boogedy, boogedy" I want to crawl inside the TV and rip his throat out. Its not just you. I have openly mocked NASCAR for years as an overly simplistic, hillbilly, quasi-sport (my personal favorite was: How do you coach NASCAR? Drive fast, now turn left, now drive fast, ok now turn left, ok now drive fast....). Eventually I realized that my opinion was not only immature but not entirelty true so this year I have made every effort to get into the sport and actually watch what I had mocked. I have to say 19 races into the season (of which I have probably caught probably 8-10 races) I am sold. NASCAR is never going to be my favorite sport but after bseball and fotball it is easily settling into the #3 spot well ahead of bsketball and hockey for my entertainment dollar and time. Sports is ultimately about entertainment and NASCAR is most definately entertaining.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:52 AM on July 26, 2007

For as hard as the tv people try to make Nascar exciting to watch, the best way to experience it is to go to a race. If you ever go to a race and experience everything that happens during the day, you'll be hooked. The smell of the exhaust after they start their engines, the sound of 800 horsepower X 43 cars, the stands vibrating as they race by, the sheer speed of the cars, the pit crews changing 4 tires and filling it up with gas in 14 seconds. It is truely an amazing experience.

posted by dbt302 at 07:50 AM on July 26, 2007

the best way to experience it is to go to a race. Well put, dbt. Even though TV can give you many camera angles, slow motions, etc., going to a race, any race, is really where it's at. I'm a very casual NASCAR fan, at best, but I do enjoy going to races. I have been to a few NASCAR races, but I also attend racing at various dirt and short tracks in my area. It is a blast, and the sound alone is something you will never be able to replicate on a broadcast. As for ESPN getting into it more, I have mixed feelings. ESPN tries so hard to be everything to everyone, sometimes (many times) they go too far. It's kind of like Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not long ago, all they did was chicken. Then, they start getting into all these other foods, and it gets further away from what they do best. That's just my thinking, but there are a lot of people who just eat up that "Boggedy Boogedy Boogedy" junk.

posted by dyams at 09:55 AM on July 26, 2007

My son and I just love the, "Boggedy Boogedy Boogedy," stuff. I imagine I will take my new born child down the same path of dark linguistic destruction! I just wish it was not on ESPN I only pay for the $15 a month cable and can't get it. When the race comes on it is like the 1920's sitting around the radio listening to an old show. But going to the race is the best!

posted by cptdon at 11:08 AM on July 26, 2007

What all the broadcasters need is objective reporting. Quite a few broadcasters have other interests within Nascar that shade their willingness to give honest opinions. These so called experts miss lots of happenings at the race because they are busy watching what their other interests are doing. The only " expert " I thought did a good job was Ned Jarret. When his son screwed up he was up front about it and when he won the Daytona 500 he was his biggest cheerleader. When Nascar cuts people out of the reporting loop they do nothing but cut off their own noses just to piss off their faces. The more the merrier.

posted by Ironhead at 12:13 PM on July 26, 2007

I gave up on NASCAR a couple of years ago. (I am a racing junkie. If it has wheels, I'll watch it race.) Oval racing is boring. It's chariot racing, only with less death than 2000 years ago. The only time NASCAR interests me these days is when they hit a road course. As an F1 fan, I was gutted when one of the few decent racers quit the sport. So it was great to see him his first NASCAR race a few weeks back. I thought Montoya would be enough to get me back into NASCAR, but it wasn't. I just don't care about the other guys. There are very few drivers in the field I'd consider to be great RACERS. As in capable outside of NASCAR. Stewart, Gordon... Maybe a couple of others. The other problem with NASCAR is overtaking. In F1, we have very little. People are crying for more. However, NASCAR has the opposite issue. Too MUCH overtaking. Really, with NASCAR, you only need to tune in for the last 15 minutes or so, as endless cautions keep the field so close together that every overtaking move prior is rendered meaningless. Sportscar, F1 etc... is like sex with extended foreplay. The buildup, the expectation. It slowly builds to a climax. NASCAR is masturbation. Two minutes of excitement, with the build up being mostly filler.

posted by Drood at 05:12 PM on July 26, 2007

Nice analogy, Drood. Road racing here in the good, old US of A is slowly vanishing. I'm sure that part of the reason is that the good folks selling beer on the TV would have too much truble following it. There's nothing like a compact oval course for keeping the number of cameras to a minimum. I really wish there were more coverage of road racing and rallying. NASCAR's efforts to reduce the sport to the motor equivalent of "one-design" sailboat racing are leaving me cold. I read a small note somewhere in a newspaper or magazine that the NASCAR folks want to go with "specification" engines, which I suppose are engines that are supposed to be nearly alike on every car. The same article mentioned that GM was not happy with the idea, and they might not participate if it were placed into effect. Back in the day when Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Pontiac, Plymouth, etc, meant something, NASCAR was fun. Now it is boredom, and even the wrecks are growing stale.

posted by Howard_T at 12:24 PM on July 27, 2007

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