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« $20 million a prize worth working overtime for | Main | Indy pit road should be improved before NASCAR arrives »

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity…Fox needs to make some changes, boys

By admin | May 31, 2010


By Richard Allen

The Fox Network has just completed its tenth season of broadcasting NASCAR races. Since their beginning of covering this sport in 2001, they have made very few changes to their on-air team or style of coverage. In my opinion, the time has come for some changes to be made.

Quite frankly, the material of booth commentators Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds has become more than a little stale. It seems as though the two have offered essentially the same commentary from week to week and year to year.

When I first heard that Waltrip would be part of the broadcast team I thought he would offer fresh, insightful and perhaps even controversial discussion. As a driver he certainly never minded speaking his mind and rubbing people the wrong way. I hoped he would do the same as an announcer. However, he has seldom brought that same edginess to the broadcast booth.

Waltrip has offered a number of anecdotes throughout the years. Unfortunately, he has seemingly told the same tales over and over again. For example, how many times over these past ten years have we heard the ‘Vortex Theory’ of the cars keeping rain away. And, the discussion between he and Richard Petty as to why Petty used to run so high on the track has been rehashed more than a few times.

According to several e-mails and comments I have received over the years, many fans believe Waltrip has taken on the role of on-air spokesman for his brother’s team, which if true would certainly hinder his ability to be unbiased.

In my opinion, Waltrip has disappointed as a commentator and after ten years in that role it may be time for a new duty to be assigned to the three time champion.

McReynolds was brought in to provide a crew chief’s perspective of the action. He certainly has been able to add insight into the goings on through his personal contacts in the garage area. He does add numerous details of race day set ups and other tidbits he has picked up on at the track.

However, McReynolds has proven to be terribly indecisive. His commentary often sounds as if he is afraid of making anyone angry, perhaps for fear of losing those garage area contacts. Like Waltrip, McReynolds has shown a different persona from that of his active days in racing. From listening to scanner talk of him when he was a crew chief he cared little about sparing the feelings of his drivers or crew members.

Along with the booth personalities, the act of Chris Meyers and Jeff Hammond needs to be revamped as well. These two have gotten plenty of mileage out of the same jokes they began telling in 2001. But I will say this. I do not necessarily mind a non-racing personality such as Meyers being involved in the broadcast. He just needs new material.

There is not enough time here to get into Digger or Pizzi so I’ll just let my silence do the talking.

Not all of Fox’s work has been all bad. Mike Joy is one of the most solid lap by lap men in the business. The pit reporters typically have done a good job of describing the action. Also, the network has brought new technology to the sport that has given fans a better perspective of both a visual and audio nature.

All in all, however, in the opinion of this person who has never worked in broadcasting but has watched many broadcasts, it is time for Fox to consider shaking things up a bit. If I have heard my last boogity, boogity, boogity I will not be disappointed.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

33 Responses to “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity…Fox needs to make some changes, boys”

  1. missouriracefan Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    I became a NASCAR fan in 2006. I enjoyed the Fox broadcast announcers during my ‘rookie’ year. The exception then was Chris Meyers; he acted like he barely knew anything about NASCAR. I already had that role covered. Since then I have educated myself about the intricacies of the cars, the relationship of driver to crew chief and crew, pit road strategy, etc. Now I am annoyed when I feel the announcers assume I am still that rookie fan and act like I know nothing. Also I think Waltrip lives in the past and spends too much time cheerleadering for MWR and Toyota. In my house the race is muted to avoid hearing yet again the same old stories and the fabricated interpretations of what is happening on the track.

  2. gene Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    To see just what little regard Fox has for NASCAR fans one only has to watch a race broadcast, then watch a Fox NFL broadcast.

    Fox constantly explains (or ’splains’, God I hate that) NASCAR 101 to all the yokels that can’t seem to remember from one week to the next that the fuel pickup is on the right side of the car, the tires need a couple laps to build up pressure, or the advantages of running up front in clean air.

    During their NFL broadcasts Fox doesn’t explain double coverage, illegal procedure, or a pump fake during EVERY game. They realize that most fans have been watching forever, and the newer ones will pick it up easily.

    Fox needs to sweep out all their announcers and bring up Speed TV’s Truck announcers (except Mikey) and Speed’s pit reporters.

  3. bikeguy Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Fox Sports can mess up anything and they regularly do. I won’t even watch the World Series anymore because Fox messes it up. Their problem is not so much their broadcast crew as it is their overblown fascination with gadgets, graphics, and glitz. I want to watch a race and they want to put as much extra garbage on the screen as they can.

    Darrell Waltrip is the worst of the broadcast crew but not because of any stale stories or even his boogety, boogety, boogety commentary. Darrell’s problem is that his commentary is always wrong. I wonder sometimes if his eyesight has gone bad. In the late laps at the 600 he was certain that McMurray was going to catch and pass Kurt Busch when anybody with half of one good eye could see that wasn’t likely to happen. Darrell was one heck of a race driver but he’s not much of a commentator.

    I’ll be glad when TNT takes over although they probably won’t do any better. Apparently nobody has enough NASCAR smarts to go hire Bob Jenkins, the best lap by lap man in the business and Buddy Baker, the most knowledgable technical commentator I’ve ever heard.

    Cotton

  4. Charles Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Richard I agree with most of your comments about Fox!

    But with that being said, I had rather see them 2 to 1 than the other networks!

    Talk about boring the Espn version especially is the one that needs to be more entertaining!!!!!

  5. Woogeroo Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I wish all the networks would do away with two things…

    1) announcers

    2) live on car/in car, under car cameras( they work good for replays, but they never use them well live for actual racing action)

    I want to see the race and hear the engines… that is all.

    -W

  6. Gordon82Wins Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Watching the last broadcast for Fox this season (HOORAY!!!) it was evident to me what their problem is…they think it’s about them and not the racing. DW polls the fans every season to see if he should still do “boogity”, Chris Myers showboats, their pre-race is an hour long, that profoundly irritating gopher and the “Slice of Pizzi”.

    None of the networks, but especially Fox, get that race fans could give a crap who’s in the booth as long as they’re mildly competent. We don’t need ridiculous bells and whistles. We just want to see a freakin’ race!

  7. mrclause Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 7:42 am

    As long as NASCAR rules as only a bully can, these are the results we can expect. Larry Mac, if you remember, was called down by NASCAR for some truthful, if negative, comments early in the season and since then he’s climbed on the positivity band wagon. There really is no reason for NASCAR to have power over the networks, or, for the networks to give their show away. Why should any announcer fear speaking the truth, the facts? What is NASCAR going to do, fire the network? The networks present the show for the fans that keep NASCAR’s corporate pockets lined, they pay damn well for that opportunity. Stand up to NASCAR and present the real show.

    For me, the DW and Mikey babble takes so much away from the actual show which is racing. Notice how often the two of them say “I”. DW is rude, overbearing, and repetitive. I’ve been in and around this sport since 1964 and don’t need every race explained like I’m a seven year old, week after week, after week. It always ends up being the DW or Mikey show. How about this for a thought? No active car owners as announcers. How about no stupid rodent? How about some simple respect for the fans, the folks that pay for the show from top to bottom? They aren’t teaching first grade, they are calling a race with reasonably well informed fans, just call the race, there is plenty of race day or race week background to use. DW was a great driver, Mikey not so much, but that was yesterday, the race is today. I know about spring rubbers, I know about air pressure, I know about loose and tight, I know the theory of aero, God knows you’ve told me every week for 10 years in every race. I know you are Toyota supporters, that Kyle is the man where you are concerned, but, can you both just try calling the race if you even have to be there? Can you let others talk? When a different part of your anatomy hollers boogity, boogity, boogity, it just might get more interesting than it is now although it will still be as stale!

    I really wish there was a “vortex” that kept the Waltrips away!

  8. wsf0286 Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:25 am

    “fans believe Waltrip has taken on the role of on-air spokesman for his brother’s team, which if true would certainly hinder his ability to be unbiased.” Couldn’t agree with you more. I would also adds that he is the “spokesman” for any driver in a Toyota. Wlatrip needs to go. Switching between Indy and NASCAR really lays out the difference.

  9. dawg Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I think it’s time Faux gave the Shill from Nashville, his very own show. He could take all his furry little sidekicks with him.
    If this sport really wants to be taken seriously, it needs to eliminate the conflict of interests with it’s on air personalities.
    Nothing wrong with using retired drivers, owners, or crew chiefs. Every sport does it, but if they have skin, (or kin) in the game, they don’t belong in front of a camera. Unless someone is interviewing them.
    Randy Lajoie is available, & he sure beats what they. have.

  10. Wayne Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:21 am

    100% correct. I’m tired of the FOX crew and it’s time for a change. DW’s big problem is that he is wrong more than he is right.He continues to guess and then state it as fact. Most of the comments here are valid and I hope FOX revamps it’s lineup for next year, No Waltrips please.

  11. JerseyGirl Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:27 am

    After 10 years of the same old, same old, it just isn’t fun, its stupid. I tune in to any sporting event to WATCH the sporting event (gasp), not listen to DW wax poetic about how great he was or be a paid spokesperson for Toyota and their teams.

    DW is not a professional broadcaster and just like Mikey when he’s in the booth, their bias and conflict of interest shows. It has turned me off from watching the truck races on Speed and I’ve quit watching Trackside due to the overwhelming influence of all things Waltrip.

    I’ve followed racing for a long time and I know the terminology. If I didn’t, I’d figure it out.

    I watch less and less racing on Fox and use the radio broadcast and computer to follow along more than I ever did.

    If NASCAR really wants to know why people have quit showing up at the track, they should watch a few races on TV - in their entirety - not just a quick glance. The product shown on TV is so disjointed that you can’t follow the action. Even long time fans can’t without using multiple sources and that is just ridiculous. The director or camera crew act like they have ADD and since no one calls the racing action, they just “talk about nothing” for 3 hours, how can you get interested?

    Mike Joy is one of the best PXP guys ever and he was constantly spoken over by DW or Larry this entire season.

    The Indy broadcast was far and away better than Fox. Heck ESPN’s Nationwide coverage has been much better this year. TNT without Bill Weber has a lot of possibilities.

    Fox is now a lame gopher.

  12. marc Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:29 am

    rich finaly !! can we start the get larry of the air rebellion now !!! first can i say niether larry, darrell or jeff have not raced or worked on a race car in over a decade.

    thier about as race savey as they are space travel savey
    and meyer’s ????? send him back to what ever he used to do………

    its bad enough that we don’t have competive racing anymore but to put up with this other nonsense..

    man tighten them belts up around all of them and give them the deep six .boogity boogity boogity .

    i just about toss the tv out the window each time i hear back when i was !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Justin Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I think this was fairly well stated by Rick Allen, so I wont add too much to it. The one hing that I have noticed, is the fabricating in the booth. What I mean by that, is they pick and choose what they talk about, and sell it to the fans.

    T go further, I have DirecTv, and they have the 4 channels dedicated to various drivers at each track. As a Jr fan, I am happy he almost always has a channel dedicated to him. So, as I watch the J CHANNEL (for those not familiar, they have a split screen of Jr’s in car cams and the audio from the team, as well as the race broadcast/commentary of Fox/TNT/ESPN…). It is funny to me, that you will see one thing from jr’s in car, and then you will see Fox go to a replay, and tell you something completely different. The fans not watching DirecTv will then have the wrong opinion of what happened. I have seen, for example, a driver, lets say Kasey Kahne, drop back though the field. And instead of telling the audience that Kahne is backing up, they will simply make it seem as if Jr has moved up to battle Kahne, when in fact Kahne had fallen back to Jr……

  14. Mutt Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 10:26 am

    DW has to go, I just can’t take his poor yacking any longer! Meyers should go too, he’s pretty much useless. Mike Joy……………….. well, honestly, he repeats stupid little basic things so dang many times I really am tired of him as well. Larry and Hammond with some fresh ‘Youth in the Booth’ could be good. If Vickers can’t get back in the car, I would LOVE to have Brian in the booth replacing Waltrip and Meyers. He’s a great kid, knows racing, speaks well, would be a wonderful addition to the booth, but only if DW is gone so other people can actually talk.

  15. assume1331 Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I know i will be completely hammered but i find nothing wrong with the broadcasts. They are informative and enlighning. I have been a fan for weel over twenty years and can remember the days of the crappest announcers on public channels trying to figure out how the changed four tires so fast. but hey thats just me.

  16. J.J. Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I go back to (and beyond) to the days when DW replaced Donnie Allison at DiGard (I worked in the garage), although a talent, I didn’t like him as a person…

    But

    I can tolerate that crew–there are worse. Besides, it’s never about the racing with Nascar, it’s a “show” to showcase the products they shill. And who would replace Waltrip and Larry Mac (and take Jeff Hammond, too) in the booth?

    I suggest turning off the sound of Fox and turning on MRN and listen to real racing broadcasters.

  17. Spencer Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I agree with most of the comments here…save the one about not having announcers. Announcers add a great deal to the excitement of the sport, but DW and Larry Mac and company aren’t professional announcers. They’re “personalities” who with every passing year grow older and less relevant with the key demographic. MRN and PRN use real pros who know how to use the english language to bring excitement to the sport and make it come alive in the minds of the listeners. FOX uses these wanna be announcer personalities and props them up with pictures chosen by a director in the booth to tell the story. And after 10 years they’ve gotten very lazy and paint a very boring picture that we’ve all seen. Gimmicks and graphics are a desperate grab to jazz things up but the bottom line is the public is weary of FOX’s schtick. FOX desperately needs to clean house in front of and behind the camera and regroup. At the end of the show DW and crew were saying “we hoped you enjoyed us” and I can honestly say “no, no I didn’t” for all the reasons people have noted here and more.

  18. Bill B Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:37 am

    All they networks need to do is pay attention to how MRN covers the races and emulate that. It’s just that easy.

  19. Gina Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Thank god it’s TNT time. I love Wally and Kyle. Kyle especially isn’t afraid to say EXACTLY what he thinks.

  20. Clint Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I enjoy the Fox coverage. They are by far WAY above the level of ESPN and TNT. Sure they should tweak things from time to time but I hope they leave it alone for the most part.

  21. Brandon Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    If FOX could measure how many of their viewers were on mute they’d know they need to ditch Waltrip. I regularly tune into MRN and Trackpass in-car (when it works). I’m tired of Waltrip and his puppets at FOX. They are part of a list of contributors to what has ruined NASCAR over the past decade. Also, isn’t it tacky that DW makes money off of copywrites on Digger, “Boogity” etc? What a *****.

  22. Carolyn Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Rich, I am with you. Fox has good video, but the blabber…. Every week I scream at the tv, particularly if DW is talking. I hate the cutesy gopher kid’s graphic and if I never hear that STUPID boogity again it will be too soon. I have been a devout fan of Nascar since the 70s when I was a KID. Nascar has always been the sport where you’d better not have sensitive ears or feelings, and now we have to all listen to his whitewashed version of events and what interests him ie: “hey what’s junebug doing? oh he’s in 42nd.. let’s watch him for a bit…………look! he passed someone!” or “jeesh, I sure don’t think he did that on purpose”. To DW: I can watch with my own eyes and see what happened. If McMurray ran into the back of Martin because he had another driver pushing him, don’t continue to tell us McMurray “caused that thing”. Stop telling us what to think!!! Just show me the footage and tell me what happened to the guy that just went from 2nd to 29th in 2 laps. GAH! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, Rich. All y’all have a great day!

  23. Hal Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I can agree with some off you. But, I also disagree with some of you. FOX does have some problems. But compared to the other networks, they are minor. ABC, ESPN, NBC,TNT, and CBS have never had good programing for Nascar Racing. DW,Larry,Chris and some pit reporters are very boring some of the time. When personal opinions from them is Ok, I understand it
    But when they say so-n-so is trying to pass such-n-such is not the case most of the time, which is really the opposite is happening. Means they are not watching the same race we are. I get p–ted of when they talk about “The New Kyle” and MWR and the problem with the ford teams and Jr. Just give us the facts and let us deside what we want to believe. As far as Boogity and Digger etc., I’m OK with that, because some snall children are watching and they like that. The Vortex deal is just something the comentators give the weather man to guess if he is right or wrong. Even we “the race fan” could be a weather person. because they don’t have to be right all the time and they make alot of money by guessing. Yes!, there are problems, but, the alternative is worst.

  24. midasmicah Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    It’s gotten to the point where I turn down the sound at the beginning of Fox’s broadcasts. Waltrip’s boggity thing has lost any and all appeal. McRynolds is nothing more then his talking parrot. Kind of reminds me of Ed McMahan of Johnny Carson fame. He’s Waltrip’s echo.

  25. jjs Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    FOX coverage is terrible and I welcome TNT.

    Every week we are treated to some 90sec feature on how great DW was. This week it was his 1989 Daytona 500 win. What does this have to do with Charlotte?

    He never won in a Ford, never won in a Dodge and never won or drove a Toyota but which make does he praise the most? Toyota.

    When Toyota’s are leading or in the top 5, its time for the “Toyota Top Performers” However when the Fords are running out of the top 10 its time for “Ford Tough Performers”

    Entirely too much Ford and Dodge bashing and Toyota praising.

    The entire broadcast seems to revolve around DW

  26. PTBOY Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Sorry i disagree. They are the best broadcast team going. if an engine is running rough, DW annouces the source of the trouble before the crew cheif says it on the team radio. I understand what McReynolds says when he’s talking about pit strategy and tires and I like the way they work in the all important lap times. Im no gear head but I understand what Hammond is talking about with the cut away car…No innovations? Did you forget about the cut away car? Remember when TNT tried the computer mock up? That was confusing and hard to understand. You are way off. these guys are the best in teh business. The others are fighting for 2nd place.

  27. Richard in N.C. Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    DW and Larry Mc are still far more knowledgeable, connected, and objective that the majority of what passes for the press today.

  28. Winston Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    That Fox Blabbermouth and his two parrots are gone and I hope for good. DW thinks that Nascar is all about him and Mikey and MWR.

    Surely Fox executives can’t be so stupid as to think there is any class whatsoever with this crowd. They are going to have to tell B.France that they aren’t going to put the Waltrips on everything Fox and Speed just because King Brian has a love affair with these dopes! Flush these weirdos they have already ruined enough!

  29. Andy Bohn24 Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    What I wouldn’t give for TNN to cover a race again. Eli Gold and Dick Bergren with Glenn Jarrett in the pits. They called they race and I didn’t have to hear D.W. ramble on about his brothers team. I also didn’t have to see that Digger thing and graphics. Just scroll the positions and give me some intervals every once in a while and I’m all good. I must say though my favorite coverage team was Bill Weber, Benny Parsons and Walley Dallenbach they were the most entertaining.

  30. Marybeth Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I would like to see Dick Berggren kept on doing his interviews either with SPEED or with TNT or ESPN. He has his own approach & does very well where others don’t.

  31. Richard Petersen Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    FOX does a hell lot of a better job than TNT or ESPN ever does. FOX brings excitement to a race.

  32. Duane Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I am also ready for a change. I like what Ned Jarret said one night on Wind Tunnel, he said ESPN just showed the race and left the race make the story. Not tell a story and by the way show the race. Also speaking of MRN if all of you think they do a better job of broadcasting the race just remember this MRN is owned by the France family and just listen to them and watch the race, they make every race seem like a barn burner and the race is alot closer than it is. Got to make the race sound like it is the greatest so ISC can sell tickets and concessions to the fans. Just listen to NA$Car radio and you will get how MRN/FRANCE wants the sport covered.

  33. Keith G. Says:
    July 23rd, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I really think that all you tittybabys should find something else to cry about! Fox’s broadcast of NASCAR is not one of them. There is nothing wrong with Darrell’s or Larry Mac’s coverage. They are doing their job. Their job is to inform fans of what goes on in a race. That includes the driver (DW’s area of expertise) and the car ( Larry Mac’s expertise). I guarantee none of you crybaby’s have watched them over the years and not learned atleast one thing about NASCAR. The whole team at Fox does a wonderful job. Besides,who would you replace them with? Truth be told,ESPN,TNT,and even Speed channel has taken the same approach as Fox. By putting ex-drivers and ex-crew chiefs in the press box,i.e;Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree for Espn,Kyle Petty and Wally Dalenbach for TNT,and Michael Waltrip and Phil Parsons for Speed. I would much rather have somebody “who’s been there and done that” explain to me want is going on,then somebody who hasn’t.