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'07 and the Tidy Bowl Man Part I

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

'07 and the Tidy Bowl Man Part I

Jeremy T. Sellers
October 22, 2007

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For sure, most of you are thinking that this is much too soon to script an "end of the season" article. I guess in some aspects, I agree, but let's face it folks, this season has been over for quite some time. When I atteneded the Daytona 500 back in February, I actually had some optimism about how this year would conclude. However, the sterility was quick to rear it's angry face once again. After reading several articles and driver interviews over the course of the season, it's become apparent that I'm not alone in my disgruntled nature. In this piece, I will tackle everything from television coverage, to driver free-agency. Surly not all will agree in my view, but in the end, most will admit that a huge re-vamping of NASCAR needs to incur before all is lost.

I hypothesize that if TNT or ESPN had brought the first part of this season to the viewers, many of us would have tuned out quickly. Not that FOX holds a special place in my heart because Larry Mac sounds like a southern fried idiot on the air, but they were instrumental in a covert-type way of bringing the phantom caution flags to light. FOX and it's company owned SPEED Channel, do, in my opinion, provide the better, well-rounded race coverage through both of its networks. The only term I can think of for FOX is that it's user friendly. They truly bring the sport down to earth in a way that even newer, younger fans of NASCAR can understand. I will confess to you that if "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" were a tangible item, I would like nothing more than to see it crammed up DW's tail pipe once and for all.

If I had to pick who provided the worst coverage between TNT and ESPN, I would be up late at night, losing sleep over two broadcast teams that had to have been picked from the tard farm. Granted, Allen Bestwick made an educated career choice when he jumped TNT's sinking ship and landed on the shores of ESPN/ABC. But let's face it folks, those of us who remember him on MRN Radio simply recall a voice that could make you feel like "you were there". The passing of Benny Parson's was a devestating blow to their broadcast abilities because for years we were all so use to hearing his voice during a race. To try to save SOME grace, TNT/NBC brought on Kyle Petty as not only a booth broadcaster, but an in-car reporter as well. This proved to be an educated move which in my opinion, will give Kyle a wonderful opprotunity after retiring as a driver. Yet this gem was tarnished by the two biggest egg-heads in sports television: Bill Weber and Wally "Still"enbach. The only conclusion I can arrive at is Bill must have had Jimmie Johnson's johnson so far up is back door that he was the only driver Mr. Weber was allowed to discuss on air. Coupled with Wally's ass hat comments for every incident on track were enough to make ANYONE's ass, tired! Is it me, or are there FORTY THREE drivers in the field, not just one?

Ha, which lands me on ESPN's team. Here, someone obviously lit a bag of dog shit, threw it on the porch of ABC, and when they stomped it out, came the broadcasting brain fart of Rusty Wallace, Andy Petree, Jerry Punch, and Brad "because I was a car owner, I know everything about NASCAR" Daugherty. Rusty believes he was the greatest driver of all times, just ask him. The man talks about himself so much, there are times where I wonder if I'm watching a race or a Rusty Wallace documentary. You retired, get over it! If anyone brings balance to this frog-in-a-blender mishap, it would have to be Andy Petree. Between Jerry and Brad, you would never know that there are other drivers on the track besides those who pilot for Hend(p)rick. Andy at least acknowledges the fact that there are other drivers putting in good efforts. I still cite Clint Bowyer's win in New Hampshire. The man leads 223 laps of 300, and you would have never known it because Rusty, Jerry, and Brad were so far up Jimmie and Jeffy's ass it would have been a shit storm if they had broke wind.

Broadcasting should be evenly balanced. Yes, there are times when certain drivers dominate an event, but not always. What is so wrong with recognizing the efforts of the others? ...and perish the thought, give those other competitors some camera time if it isn't too much trouble.

So, as the above mentioned jump on deck with the Tidy Bowl Man in preparation for a swirling adventure, I will conclude Part I of this multi-part epic. Stay tuned as I still have to tackle political corruption, driver free-agency, and declining fan base.

Part 2...



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