And You Thought Junior Had a Bad Day …

FOX withstands some serious criticism for its coverage of the Daytona 500.

Having spent Sunday’s Daytona 500 alternating between the MRN broadcast and listening to driver communications, I only occasionally turned my attention to the big screen TV to my left at ESPNZone in New York City.

Judging from the fallout that has continued through the week, I’m apparently glad I wasn’t limited to watching the race strictly through the eyes of Mike, Larry, Darryl. And though the overly-caffeinated guys on MRN come with their own vexing habits, if I never have to hear ‘boogity, boogity, boogity’ ever again, it’s fine by me.

Apparently, however, DW’s idiotic catchphrase doesn’t rank among the top 10 of FOX’s Most Annoying Broadcast habits. That dubious distinction belongs to Digger, the rodent that lives near a camera embedded in the track. One writer has Digger being mentioned 20 times to 11 for Kyle Busch during one stretch of the race. And during a David Hill press conference in the days leading up to the race, a beat reporter and Hill exchanged unpleasantness when the writer had the gall to question FOX’s reliance on the animated rodent.

At the end of the day, Digger notwithstanding, my greatest issue with these broadcasts — and I’m certainly not alone nor am I breaking any new ground — is the start times. Had FOX started the 500 closer to 1 PM than the 3:20 it did, the race might have been run to completion; there have even been some grumblings that FOX was the driving force behind NASCAR’s decision to call the race as quickly as it did — at least on the East Coast, FOX’s Sunday night lineup went off without a hitch or any delay.

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