Monday, September 25, 2006

Don't care how often they say them, the TV guys have got these wrong

Four terms used on NASCAR broadcasts that are either wrong, misleading or just plain stupid:
1. Mulligan – A golf term misused to describe the concept that a driver in the Chase for the Nextel Cup can afford one bad race and still contend for the title.
When you use a mulligan in golf, you do is hit a second shot because you didn’t like the first one. If the second shot is better, you play it as if the first one never happened.
You can’t do that in NASCAR. You don’t get to run that bad race over again and take the better of the two finishes. What happens in the Chase is actually the EXACT OPPOSITE of a mulligan.
If you have a bad race, you’re stuck with those results and you have to make sure you do everything better in the other races.
In golf, the equivalent would be accepting the bad first shot and trying to salvage a good score with the rest of your shots.
In other words, it would be NOT hitting a mulligan.
2. Happy Hour – The outdated nickname for the final practice.
When the term was first coined, it made sense. On Saturday in a normal week with a Sunday afternoon race, you’d have second-round qualifying on Saturday morning. Then, as the Busch race or whatever was happening in the midday, teams would change their cars over to race trim.
The final practice would then be held in the late afternoon. When it was over, it’d usually be about 4 or 5 p.m. and time for sportswriters to end work for the day and head to the bar for “happy hour,” back in the day before some sportswriters realized you eventually have to graduate from college at some point in your life.
Now, the race practices are almost always held Saturday morning and are over with before noon.
If you’re drinking before noon on a Saturday and you’re not at a college football tailgate party, you might want to think about how “happy” you really are.
3. “There’s a $1 million bonus for finishing 11th in the final Nextel Cup standings.” – No. No. No. No. No!
That’s wrong. No matter how many times somebody says it, it’s wrong.
The 11th-place finisher in the standings is assured of making a minimum of $1 million from the Nextel Cup points fund.
The “bonus” for 11th is the difference between what 11th would normally pay and $1 million, and it usually comes out to around $200,000-$250,000. That’s a nice piece of change, but $1 million is not added to the amount that driver would have won anyway, which is what would have to happen if it actually was a $1 million bonus.
4. Silly season – Another term coined by a sportswriter or 12 that has outlived its accuracy.
Years ago, the season would end just after Halloween and nobody would give much of a dang about racing until at least late January when things started gearing up for Speedweeks at Daytona.
Some of the guys who covered racing got most of that time off work, and spent it doing as little as they could get by with. (God love them for that, because it’d be great if things still worked that way.)
Whenever a driver or a team had any kind of announcement to make about his future, if it was a big enough deal these writers had to come out of the duck blind or off the golf course long enough to write about it. And they thought that was pretty silly.
There’s nothing “silly” about teams losing sponsors and potentially having to shut its doors, putting people out of jobs.
There’s nothing “silly” about drivers making decisions that could ultimately make or break their careers.
What is “silly” about it is that some of us who cover the sport act like when we’re chasing down the speculation and rumors about what might be going on. But that doesn’t make the term “silly season” any less ridiculous.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank You, Thank YOu, Thank You.
Gee, a repoprter who actually pays attention to his job. I think MOST reporters today think that the news and events are so boring that nobody pays any attention and so it is THEIR DUTY to report every thing in such a fashion as to make people pay attention. I call it " SENSTIONALISM " and all it really does is pi$$ people off.

Please forward a copy of this article to the mail box of all those who repot on nascar, including Mr. Dillner.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the spelling, this darn computor has a mind of its own.

Jo said...

While we're at it, "banzai run"--last run of pre-qualifying practice, where a team tapes up the grille of the car and makes all the changes to qualifying setup. Named from "banzai," the cry uttered by Japanese samurai warriors when entering battle. "Bonsai run"--a trip to garden ridge to purchase dwarf or miniature trees in small containers--also a favorite of the Japanese, but nothing to do with qualifying.

Think you're especially right about "silly season." Way too often no attention is paid to the crew members who lose jobs because of this (think of David Gilliland's Busch team) or to their families, or to the regular soldiers (David Green, Jason Keller, etc.) who get dumped because some owner or sponsor gets excited about the flavor of the week. It makes me sick that people think this is some kind of game or TV reality show with no real world consequences.

Anonymous said...

Another thing I hear Larry Mac or Mikey or Harvick say is; "it is, what it is." They say this like they've said the most profound thing in the world! All it means to me is, you can't really think up a better way to describe things . STOP IT!!

Paul said...

Reminds me of a publication that referred to a season that was a fourth over as being at the "quarter pole." Actually, the "quarter pole" in horse racing means the horses have a quarter mile to go, and that may or may not be a quarter of the race. More than likely isn't because few horse races are one mile long.

Anonymous said...

I can't say it's bad usage, but I was hoping that "lucky dog" wasn't going to last. Now, it looks like some advertisers have latched onto it, so I guess we're stuck with the thing.

Was NASCAR coverage always so annoying?

Meeklo said...

No Nascar coverage wasnt terrible always.

Back in the day when it has seasoned announcers like Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett, Eli Gold, And Ken Squier. Although I never did care for Ken Squier. But holy shit Larry Macrenoylds and Bill Weber are just garbage announcers. And ive said it before Micheal Waltrip needs to get injured in a way which would cause him to never speak again. Him during the truck races is the most painful experience ever. Its just so bad. Matt Yokum is brutal.

But a caller on wind tunnel hit it right on the head. INstead of calling the race professionally they talk down to us like were 6 year olds.

I truly hate this coverage, and hope that one day it gets better.

Anonymous said...

I've grown accustomed to muting the t.v and tuning in PRN or MRN. Also since I'm hearing impaired, I like to mute the tv and turn on the captions. As long as there's all that TV money flying around we'll get garbage announcers. Man, I really miss Ned Jarrett calling the action on The Nashville Network.

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