Thanks. When I heard the news that you will be taking over the second half of the NASCAR season, beginning in 2015, I was thankful for what could be. We can only hope it is not a continuation of what I suspect will be coming our way this Sunday.
NASCAR broadcasts, the good ones, are a narrative, one featuring not only the one in front or the one who may be challenging, but an entertaining, informative, and interesting story encompassing the various nuances of the event. Baseball and NASCAR may appear different, but their storylines often develop at a relaxing pace. You have the duel between batter and pitcher, that may last just seconds or go on and on before resolution. In NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson might jump a restart to end the drama, or he could lead lap after lap before a challenger finally emerges. Ball games may go inning after inning before we have a highlight, or there could be a stellar fielding play, a great hit, a pick off, a series of strikeouts, or a stolen base. Even so, none of that might change the scoreboard. Same with the leaderboard in NASCAR, where no change might be seen for a multitude of laps, though there could be a great pit stop, a wreck, a blown engine, or a duel back in the pack that could provide some excitement.
In short, the broadcast team is made up of story tellers. They keep us entertained even if the action alone is not all that entertaining. They provide insight, anecdotes, and tid-bits of information to add color to what we see before us. You do not need to be a Hall of Famer to do this. In fact, few who are can do this with much proficiency. I do not know if Vin Scully ever played baseball in his life, but his Dodger broadcasts have the master’s hand. TNT, which I also understand will be without their six race summer run come 2015, already boast such a crew in Kyle, Wally, and Adam. NBC could not do much better than to hire that trio to lead their team. As for ESPN/ABC, which loses its right to cover the second half of the season in 24 months, please allow the majority of that crew to silently go into the night. Andy, maybe, and I have always had a soft spot for Allan, but in a different role. However, please hire folks based on their ability as broadcasters, as story tellers, not solely on how well they once drove, called the shots from the pit box, or even if they tinker with ownership. As to why I might mention that, I invite you to watch the action from Indianapolis on Sunday and tell me if that is what NBC envisions for its broadcasts. I recommend keeping the mute button handy.
PS – Did you notice that Jimmie Johnson is not only first in the standings but once again the hottest driver of the past ten events? Odds are he will remain so after Indianapolis, where he has won four of the past seven years. He won there last year. Heck, he might still be the guy to beat in 2015.
|Martin Truex, Jr.||290||9||9||(12)||1||2||5|
|Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||281||11||11||(5)||0||1||4|
|Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||252||17||15||(21)||0||0||0|