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« Here’s rooting for a Kyle Busch victory on Sunday | Main | Finishes can be exciting without ‘debris’ cautions »

ABC crew can’t hide enthusiasm for Johnson’s misfortune

By admin | November 8, 2009


By Richard Allen

One place you will probably never see the ABC/ESPN crew that covered Sunday’s Dickies 500 is at the final table of the World Series of Poker championship. In recent weeks they have had a bit of trouble hiding their emotions. In other words, they have not had their poker faces on.

When Jimmie Johnson spun and crashed early in the going at the Texas Motor Speedway it seemed pretty apparent by the tones of the voices of those describing the action that they were at least relieved if not excited that the outcome of the Sprint Cup championship would not be a foregone conclusion going into the last two races of the season.

I am not saying the television announcers were glad to see Johnson crash, but I am saying they were glad there was actually a championship contest coming out of Texas. If anyone doubts that, just go back and count the number of times they made reference to the misfortune of the #48 car during the remainder of Sunday‘s telecast.

Last week in Talladega, this same crew came under fire from NASCAR for telling the truth about the poor racing and the strange decision by the sanctioning body to impose a new policy on drivers about an hour before the drop of the green flag.

On more than one occasion this season, the announcers have made no mystery that they would like to see a caution displayed in the waning laps of the races they cover so that the field might be bunched for an exciting finish. And when that caution invariably would come out after their pleas were heeded by NASCAR the joy in their voices was quite often unmistakable.

Again, I’m not saying the ABC broadcast crew wanted Jimmie Johnson to crash. However, they are keenly aware that it is easier to promote a battle for the championship that goes down to the wire than to promote a driver’s leisurely cruise to a fourth consecutive title. And more, this piece was not written to necessarily criticize the broadcast crew. I like people who say what they think rather than what they think will be the least offensive. I appreciated the fact that they said what they thought in Talladega. Also, if I were involved in the broadcast business I would want a close championship battle as well.

But one thing to remember about Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty is to not look for them during ESPN’s telecast of the WSOP championship. They do not hide their emotions very well. The last few weeks prove that.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

5 Responses to “ABC crew can’t hide enthusiasm for Johnson’s misfortune”

  1. Josie Says:
    November 9th, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I could have done without the 16 replays of JJ’s crash..but I get it! With so many “fans” channel surfing..they HAD to replay the crash to update the viewers who ONLY tune in to the race during football commercials or halftime! I only wish the drivers 2-6 had done alittle better on the track to tighten the points more.

  2. Robert Eastman Says:
    November 9th, 2009 at 7:24 am

    If you think the TV crew was happy, imagine how ecstatic BF and the NASCAR brain trust in Daytona must feel! It gets their lazy butts “off the hook” for another season.

  3. Justin Says:
    November 9th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Is this the part where some of the highly dilusional, conspiracy theorists begin claiming that Johnson’s crash was a carefully orchestrated event, in order to tighten up the points standing, to make fans tune in to the last 2 races……….

    Seriously though, is anyone surprised that Reutiman and Hornish Jr were the 2 talentless morons that ruined Johnsons huge point lead???????

    Tony Stewart made a comment a few years ago about David Regan driving like a dart with no feathers, I think thar applies to both of these buffoons…

  4. Nick Says:
    November 9th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I could do with out Brad Daugherty’s comments all together. He adds no insight what so ever to the race, all he does is repeat Rusty Wallace. (hot rod and yeah baby) ENOUGH! Please keep DW, Mike Joy, Larry Mac, Steve Burns all season.

  5. Dump the Chase Says:
    November 9th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    74 points is still too much to make up. Chad will still cruise to his fourth title. Once again, a lot of hype up over nothing. Too bad for the TV networks who now realize they heavily overpaid for what has become a garbage product. I wonder what TV will pay NA$CRAP in 2014 when it’s time to renew contracts. By then only a handful of people will be watching and Versus will be able to pick up the “Wrestling Wracing Show” for a scant price. Screw you Brainle$$ Fran¢e for completely destroying what once was a great sport. Please drug test and fire the Brainle$$ Drunk. NO ¢ha$e, NO COT, NO Brainle$$ Fran¢e = Problems Solved

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