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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Voices from the Heartland: FOX is Out, TNT is In? May God Help Us All!

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%. This year, however, those ratings are up 2% over 2007 and the celebrations have begun! The party goes on despite the equation that minus 14 plus two 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.

Couple all that with the fact that it now costs $10 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 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

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