Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No excuse for ABC to switch from NASCAR in Phoenix to America’s Funniest Home Videos.

On Monday, ESPN explained the decision to switch the remainder of the live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix in the Eastern and Central time zones of the US at 7:30pm from ABC to ESPN2 for other programming:

"After two red flags, rain in Phoenix and 4 1/2 hours on ABC, we were still 34 minutes from the end of the telecast as it turned out. We told fans in the East and Central from the second red flag on that the race was moving to ESPN2. ABC's entertainment viewers and NASCAR fans were both well served in a tough spot, and we are fortunate to have ESPN2 among our networks to serve the fans." - ESPN

What a statement made by ESPN after last Sunday night’s Cup Series race in Phoenix, so now, instead of the big story of the night being a good race and the chase for the championship, it’s now going to be why would ESPN switch from the live Cup Series race to America’s Funniest Home Videos that headlined kicking it in the crib, garage door dove and doggy go round, well at least the episode was new, by the way, kicking in the crib won.

Yeah I don’t think that made a difference to NASCAR fans either, can imagine, as NASCAR fan watching the race #34, which was also a chase race #9 In Phoenix that had already run late due to rain and wind, not to mention having a good battle upfront for the lead, to hear the announcer say at the bottom of the hour, you would have to turn your television to ESPN2 to caught the remainder (last 34 laps) of the Cup Series, oh wait that happened, believe me, it didn’t go well in this house neither, well at least this was the first time right, nope not even close. And here I thought that what FOX did earlier this April which ironically was here at Phoenix, a good 1 mile track that produces good racing and yet…

In my opinion, there is no reason why ABC should have switched the race to ESPN2 for America’s Funniest Home Videos, I just don’t get it, just one question, now I have digital cable and most people due, however, can you imagine watching this race with 34 laps to go, Jimmie Johnson leading, Jeff Gordon his teammate had a blown engine, the #26 and #2 breathing down knocking on your back bumper and not having ESPN2 on your television??? Sorry ESPN, you cut a classic duel in the desert for America’s Funniest Home Video and yet even though I have ESPN2, no luck here, this was not the right call at all period.

So, first, does this beat out FOX switching from the Boston Red Sox game I might add was due to a lengthy rain delay to the NASCAR Cup Series race earlier this April with ironically was at Phoenix International Raceway? Of course FOX switched from Baseball to NASCAR if that makes any difference, which it doesn’t, however FOX had a no win deal when it came to FOX in Boston, ABC/ESPN did have a win lose deal here and they lost.

So anyway, second, I mean second, what was the second biggest story coming out Phoenix on that evening/night? In being a NASCAR fan, one of the best racetracks on the schedule in my opinion besides Richmond and Bristol is Phoenix which I heard was a sellout crowd, good to hear in this economy, which I might add, turned out to be a good race depending upon what you classify as a good race.

If a good race to you is lots of side-by-side racing, lots of passing which is what racing is in the first place throughout the field, the drama following the #24 Jeff Gordon’s engine blowing up and that it might affect the points leader Jimmie Johnson, then it a good race, however if a good race is centered upon the number of lead changes, passing in the top 3 perhaps, then maybe you had a problem with the race considering Jimmie Johnson started on the pole and changed the lead around with Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray, before leading the most laps, dominating, winning the race and making huge statement in the championship, then it might not have been a good race, personally it was your classic duel in the desert, but nothing is going to top the spring race at Phoenix which Jimmie Johnson won in a late race drama of fuel mileage.

You know in watching this race, a few notes, I found it a little ironically that last week at Texas Motor Speedway, David Gilliland got in it on the racetrack with Montoya and that one ended with Gilliland pulling a dangerous move turning down on Montoya and wrecking him and of course himself in the process and then fast forward to Phoenix, Gilliland found himself getting jacked up by Scott Speed.

What a sight to see, a photo is worth a thousand words, check that one out, however if you are reading this with no images, then imagine if you will, once the smoke cleared, Gilliland in his #38 was jacked up in the air sitting with his rear end on top of the #84 Red Bull of Scott Speed hood, does anybody got wings...

Finally, specking of the chase for the championship, this one is about over depending upon what Jimmie Johnson does, this is his third championship and all he has to do is go get it finishing better then 35th, last year at Homestead, he was points racing, but if he knows he has this championship, I think he is going to go for the victory too and that has been Jimmie Johnson in this seasons chase and if he three-peats, that would be perfect in my eyes period and he’s earned and so has his entire #48 Hendrick Motorsports crew.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)