The Frontstretch: Fox Is Out, TNT Is In? May God Help Us All! by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday June 5, 2008

Go to site navigation Go to article

Fox Is Out, TNT Is In? May God Help Us All!

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday June 5, 2008


As I predicted a week or so ago, the media blitz is on to proclaim that NASCAR, after a couple of years of seriously slumping television ratings, is back and bolder than ever!

In each of the last two years, FOX’s ratings for all things NASCAR were down 7 percent. This year, however, those ratings are up 2 percent over 2007 and the celebrations have begun! The party goes on despite the equation that minus 14 plus 2 still equals minus 12, unless, of course, you are using the “New Math” that is becoming so prevalent these days. FOX executives were quick to comment, attributing this earth-shattering rebound to the “return of the NASCAR Nation,” or, more specifically, males 35 to 54.

NASCAR nation is back and engaged! Dad’s back watching NASCAR, so the family’s back watching,” said an obviously excited FOX Sports Chairman, David Hill.

Well, that explains the drop in ratings! We, the NASCAR nation, were off looking for some “company,” and apparently, we found some because, not only are we back, but engaged with kids already! Now that those urges are satisfied, we have firmly planted ourselves in front of the tube, commandeered the remote, and have settled in for the long haul to watch the pretty cars go around in circles again.

Besides the familiar voices of Bill Weber and Wally Dallenbach, Kyle Petty will once again join TNT as a booth analyst for the second straight year.

Couple all that with the fact that it now costs ten bucks to fill the mower, and we now have more time to watch NASCAR. Let the grass grow. Let nature take its course. Why, with FOX’s introduction of Digger the animated gopher and his handy “Gopher Cam,” we don’t even mind the moles tearing up the yard anymore; seeing as how they must be a cousin of Digger, it would be a shame to harm them.

Now, you may think the above explanation is a bit absurd, but consider this: 35 to 54 is prime “settle down, start a family, buy a house, live the American dream” time. The part that IS NOT exaggerated is that it costs 10 bucks to fill the mower. With times like this, when we wish our cars ran on milk because a gallon of milk is now cheaper than gas, the car stays parked in the garage and our butts in front of the TV. That is why ratings are up.

Now, however, FOX is done; and TNT arrives with the hopes that they too can cash in on the recently returned prodigal nation.

Not to be outdone by FOX, TNT is introducing their own animated NASCAR character — other than Bill Weber — in “NASCAR Buddy”. As I understand it, NASCAR Buddy is an animated character that will pop up (annoyingly, no doubt) and direct the viewer to online race coverage where there will be various cameras positioned in various places. Brilliant! For those of you who don’t have cable or the internet, go out and mow your grass! It has gotten quite tall since February.

But the one thing that I do like about TNT and their race coverage is hearing all those people that are sick to death of DW and Jeff Hammond lament, after one week of Bill Weber, on how much they miss them. And just think… the season is only half over!

Stay off the wall (but on the remote and do your part to bring back the “Nation”),

Jeff Meyer

The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

06/05/2008 08:20 AM

Bill Weber is in the same league with dumbo DW. What’s the difference? Do what the rest of real race fans and do Sirius ch. 128!!
We don’t have to listen to any of those jerks just watch the race with the sound down. Still hearing the race when they are running commericals!

06/05/2008 08:26 AM

As bad as FOX is, its still not as bad as NBC (motto: we don’t broadcast news, we fabricate it) was.

FOX is horrible – plain and simple. I wanted to vomit my soul after watching DW do the group-hug thing. I could hear him whimper in his last few sentences previous to that and I KNEW he was going to do something stupid. Sure as shizz he did!! I am so glad they are done for a while.

Remember what FOX did to the teams, sponsors and us viewers when they started with the 2001 Daytona 500? They refused to show sponsors on the animated cars in their drivers starting grid. Then, when pressed in races there-after, decided it was a good idea to try to extort MORE money out of the teams/Nascar by asking the teams to pony-up the coin to get the sponsors on said animated cars.
Richard Petty, usually a calm guy, was livid.

TNT will NOT be worse than FOX…even if I have to force myself to like it more.

And yes, Bill Weber is in the same league as DW.

06/05/2008 10:00 AM

Anyone who would pick Faux, over TNT. (I do concede, that’s a little like a choice between of being shot, or hung) Must, A. love Toyota B. Be good with Mikey being the featured Toyota. Never mind the fact that he’s 4 laps down. C. Really believe that the wrecks that continually happen around Mikey.Are due to some kind of cosmic disturbance. That Mikey, really didn’t run into them. The only time I’ve ever heard Ole Ratchet Jaws, silent about Mikey. Was when he was giving Casey an assist, down the backstretch. That was really cool! we got rid of Ole DW for a short while, & Mikey for the rest of the race! My choice wasn’t really that hard. I’ll take Bill Webber anytime.

06/05/2008 10:34 AM

HankZ said it very well.

I don’t care how bad TNT is, anything is better than watching or listening to DW. It’s sad that a NASCAR superstar driver has turned into a cartoon character. Good riddance to DW and Fox.

06/05/2008 11:16 AM

6 weeks of endless promos for the fall TV line-up, baseball games, and other things on TNT with maybe a lap or two of racing thrown in for good measure plus I’m sure we’ll have the shilling for their own goofy products. Not to mention trying to figure out who the bigger idiot is, Myers or Weber.

DW and his sidekick are in a category of their own. Until the fall coverage by ESPN, Fox and TNT occupy the cellar for the lowest of the low. Then we’ll see. Maybe ESPN will be a shining beacon of light or we have a 3 way tie for the worst coverage. Time will tell.

06/05/2008 11:30 AM

So, i’m reading and taking it all in. My thoughts:

Let’s relate this to baseball for a second, how many horrible announcers are there, the reason the playoffs and world series are so good are because they get real players in there who can actually speak intelligently about the game.

now, let’s switch that to racing. They tried to do that, execept they’ve picked morons to do it, coupled with the morons doing the color commentary, the broadcast sucks. I actually like Kyle Petty in the booth, I think he’s good at breaking it down, not to mention the side-by-side racing/commercial breaks so that i can actually continue watching the live sport.

I think Dale Jarett will be great in the both, he has proven that he’s capable of speaking the english language and getting names right. Rusty was just flat out horrible.

Bill Weber sucks, Alan Bestwick has the most annoying voice, Jeff Hammond and Larry Mac are annoying to listen to as well as Chris Myers, who is USELESS.

So, if anyone is listening, perhaps we could try something like having some of these non-qualified drivers come into the booth, talk about their program, broadcast the race, talk about the stuff that we only hear announcers speculating about.

Ok….sorry for rambling on so long.

06/05/2008 12:38 PM

Does anyone know what happened to Bob Jenkins from the old ESPN days? Would like to see him come back on one of the networks. Kyle Petty is an excellent color announcer because he can be honestly blunt at times. And that’s what we need. I am sick of all this political correctness crap we have to deal with now days. I give high marks to Andy Petree which I believe should be moved up the Cup broadcast level as soon as possible

Big Henry
06/05/2008 04:28 PM

Well, they could offer Bob Varsha and David Hobbs big dollar$ to cover Nascar full-time. They are the best racing announcers in the USA. They make SPEED’s coverage of F1 a lot of fun even when the racing was not so hot (not now, racing is better than ever) I couldn’t beleive Tony let DW into Eldora last night – that was a shame. He’s starting to sound like someone’s overcaffinated grandpa who’s never been to the track before. Guess I’m calling Sirius Radio this week….

06/05/2008 09:07 PM

Thankfully FOX is gone for the rest of the year. They completely ruin racing for me, can’t bear to listen to DW, Hammond, Chris Meyers,and McReynolds. Their neverending blather and self promotion makes it impossible to watch racing without the mute button. Ther’e gone now but I fear they will vbe back as usual next Feb. I find TNT or ESPN much better; Webber and the TNT crew are okay as are the guys on ESPN. At least they don’t make you want to throw a brick at the TV.
And, what did happen to Bob Jenkins, he was the absolute best?

Brian France Sucks
06/06/2008 01:41 AM

MRN + mute = Happiness

SS Mike
06/07/2008 08:23 AM

FOX flat sucks. I can’t watch the races because of them. Now they are done. No more DW and no more hyping Toyota and that no talent Mike Waltrip.


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?

Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.