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DATE News (chronologically)
11/15/07
nascar
More NASCAR on ESPN as ratings plummet  There may not have been sirens and flashing lights inside of the ESPN Broadcast Center, but there was clearly a "NASCAR state of emergency" declared last Friday afternoon that has continued through today [as viewers get even more disgusted with NASCAR oversaturation and switch off NASCAR with abandon].

Whatever happened, and who ever did it, the effects have been sweeping across the ESPN networks and programs. Suddenly, NASCAR discussions are taking place on programs that have openly mocked the sport for years. Suddenly, NASCAR promos are being read by announcers at college football games that do not know Jimmie Johnson from Junior Johnson or Darlington from Daytona.

The NASCAR comments originating from some ESPN announcers are actually finding their way onto the Internet courtesy of alert NASCAR fans. Note to ESPN: Do not let college football announcers talk NASCAR unless they are prepared to live on YouTube forever.

NASCAR fans are still cringing from the staged liveshot with Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon at halftime of the Monday Night Football Game. Stuart Scott, one of the biggest racing-haters on ESPN was chosen to interview two tough NASCAR stars. Only several things were missing. Instead of two drivers in uniforms pumping the racing action coming-up at Homestead, ESPN had arranged for something...a bit different.

What viewers got was two buffed and polished "actors" sitting side-by-side in cozy chairs and fashionable clothes talking about togetherness and camaraderie. Several Daly Planet readers suggested these two had gone from "fearless racing drivers" to "stylish metrosexuals" in one interview. That term was coined for the buffed New York City young professionals who seem to be "just out of the spa" anytime of the day or night.

What ESPN and NASCAR were trying to accomplish in this interview was anybody's guess. It certainly did not make anyone want to tune-into a NASCAR race. The hastily expanded one hour editions of NASCAR Now have become nothing more than a chance to re-air old features and add more commentary to a program already light on hard news.

In a way, this sudden company-wide "push" to promote the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race is simply embarrassing. The reason is easy to understand. It did not have to happen this way. When one looks for the cause of this late-season scramble, they need look no further than the ESPN campus in Bristol, CT.  More at DailyPlanet

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