Monday, June 04, 2007

Kenny Mayne ought to be ashamed of himself

Goodness knows too many people make mountains out of molehills in our society today.

But sometimes, you hear something and it just makes you so blasted mad you can’t just let it go.

Sunday night as I was trying to drift off to sleep, I had the TV set on the “sleep” mode and ESPN’s SportsCenter was playing. They did their usual 15 minutes on the latest biggest baseball game ever between the Yankees and Red Sox and a couple of other things, then Kenny Mayne got to the story about Sunday’s Nextel Cup race at Dover being rained out.

I can’t quote exactly what Mayne said because I only heard it once and don’t plan on listening to it again to get my dander back up. But the gist of it was something like “If a lot of people named Cleetus…call in to work sick on Monday, it may be because the NASCAR race was rained out on Sunday.”

Mayne used “Cleetus” and another Southern-sounding name, then added “Susan” because “NASCAR has women who are fans, too.”

OK, first, it wasn’t funny. Mayne is better than that.

But the main point is that it’s yet another example that, first, people who work in the national media think that everybody who watches a NASCAR race is a tobacco-spitting, overall-wearing, barefoot-going rube. And, second, that people who aren’t tobacco-spitting, overall-wearing, barefoot-going rubes are inherently better people than those who are.

I get SO tired of trying to make this point, but I can’t help myself.

Suppose Kenny Mayne had been introducing a story about NBA fans having to wait until Thursday night until the final series between Cleveland and San Antonio begins. What if he had said, “All of the Leroys and Darnells (or any other stereotypical names for black people) you know will spend the next few days waiting for Thursday night ...”

Or suppose Mayne had said, “It’s going to be hard to get a hair appointment or schedule a session with your interior designer next week because there’s a big figure skating competition coming up.”

Reckon Mayne could have gotten either those stereotypical remarks past the people at ESPN who ought to be making sure things like that don’t happen? I doubt it.

Keep in mind, now, that in less than two months ESPN becomes the network that carries Nextel Cup races on a weekly basis. There’s no law that says everybody who works at ESPN has to like racing to stay on the payroll, but the idea that the fans of any given sport can be described by using terms like “Cleetus” is absurd.

I guess Mayne thought “Bubba” would be a cliché.

Is this a big deal? No. The world’s not going to wobble off its axis because of a bad throwaway line on an ESPN broadcast.

But I grew up in the South and I still live here. My dad’s father had a farm and so did several of my uncles and great uncles. My mother’s father worked in a textile mill, and then my mother worked in another mill pretty much until she wasn’t able to work any more. Some of them liked NASCAR and some of them didn’t know what a race car was.

Everyone of them, though, did have one thing in common. Every one of them was every bit as good as Kenny Mayne will ever be, no matter how many suits he has and how many times he smirks at you on TV.


Anonymous said...

The funniest thing about Kenny Mayne is how good he thinks he is. I can't think of a single time I thought his "humor" was funny; usually it's just some insult thrown at someone.

Anonymous said...

If you've watched any of Mayne's "stories" then you realize he has no shame. I lunge for the remote when his segments come on, as I can't afford the possibility that he may damage any of my few remaining brain cells. Nothing brings Sunday morning NFL Pregame shows to a screeching, crashing halt like another moronic Mayne non-story.
Mayne not endorsing NASCAR is a big plus in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

We Southerners are a distinct region in language and culture. When we are stereotyped as Mayne and others do, I simply see it as jealousy. I used to let it bother me ,too. However what DOES bother me is the illegal immigrant invasion. Yankees we can handle. Third world poverty crowding our infrastructure is more serious to us than any name calling.

Anonymous said...

On any given Sunday, the most-attended event on the planet is a NASCAR race, yet ESPN routinely routinely reports the story almost as an afterthought...When will the mainstream media realize that NASCAR, NASCAR fans, and Southerners in general, are not a bunch of backwoods rubes...

Anonymous said...

I felt disgusted and ashamed being a race fan when I read this from the Charlotte Observer yesterday about the Chip Williams case....

During the sentencing hearing, Williams' attorney, Locke Clifford, read two letters in support of the former publicist. Clifford said the letters were from two Nextel Cup drivers that he called "household names in North Carolina."

I have no clue as to the extent of their support but it sure sounds sleezy and makes me wonder if my driver stuck up for this creep.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the third-world immigrants. They never stop me and tell me how much better things were where they came from...

Anonymous said...

Get over it already. KM has always been off the wall. He's kinda like that "shotz" character over at

I hope he still says: "and Bill Elliott, who is popular . . .".

It's much ado about nothing.

BTW: How in the hell could you see the TV over that belly of yours?

Anonymous said...

If southern NASCAR fans don't like the stereotype of being drunken retards, they should stop throwing beer cans at races.

Anonymous said...

Having just moved here from upstate NY last year, I took offense to the moron who said third-world immigrants are preferable to Yankees "because at least they don't tell us things were better where they came from."
Well, don't get me wrong...there's a lot I like about the South...but take a look around. Murders in Charlotte every 2-3 days, ridiculously overcrowded roads and local officials with no clue what to do about them and yes, those pesky immigrants taking jobs away from the rest of us. And, as someone else points out, there's always those drunken geniuses who make the rest of us look bad by chucking beer cans at Jeff Gordon.
Moral of the story: Look in the mirror before you start waving your Confederate flag.

Monkeesfan said...

David, it's irrelevent what Kenny Mayne says.

Anonymous said...

Water off a duck David - don't become one of the P.C. crowd on us my friend. When people talk like that, they do themselves more harm than those they mindlessly abuse. People see him for what he is...makes ya wonder how some folks keep a job though, eh?

Anonymous said...

Just another reason to keep Mayne on the idiot list...

Anonymous said...

wow... it's amazin to read about the pot callin the kettle black.
from a guy who has written that nascar cheats so their favorite drivers can win, i find your shock funny and self serving.
you have never missed the chance to down grade nascar.
since i have read your columns, i have decided that nascar isn't worth the time, and i have started to look for other things to be interested in following.

Anonymous said...

We all know that the Eastern Intelligentsia in Bristol CT don't understand either our sport or our fans. I f ESPN/ABC is going to be a broadcast partner they shoul at least require an on air apology and reprimand from the excuse for a sportscaster that is " Kenny Mayne"----he needs to go back to dancing with the stars

Anonymous said...

well can you really blame ESPN? ESPN helped NASCAR get to where it is and then about 7 years ago NA$CAR kicked them to the curb. What goes around, comes around.

Anonymous said...

All the Sportscenter Anchors suffer from "I want to be the next Keith Olbermann" Disease. Mayne suffers more than most since he got booted from a regualar anchor slot by some guy with better hair. NASCAR fans should be grateful for what ESPN did in the late 90's covering a vast majority of the races and developing the audience that Fox and NBC paid big bucks to get. Do what I do, if you want reasonably intelligent NASCAR dicussion, watch speed. If you want to see the latest dunk of juiced ball player launch another moon shot, watch Sportscenter

Anonymous said...

All of a sudden, I'm thinkin', "Mayne, Mayne... I've heard that name somewhere..."

Anonymous said...

What!!.. no reference to Bubba & Puddin!!

No we are not all Bubba's! I graduated college in '75.The same year I passed the CPA exam,passed the Mensa test AND got my first( of many) NASCAR drivers license.

Anonymous said...

Wah, wah to taking offense at that guys comment. Upstate NY is a beautiful area that unfortunately is dying a slow-death due to the loss of blue-collar jobs. At least that's what my relatives from Buffalo tell me and I'm guessing that's why you moved here. Howeva, it is very annoying to have people constantly talk about "how they did things back home". Oh, and I'm pretty sure the guy was joking. Lighten up.

Monkeesfan said...

I get tired of these defenses of ESPN - that "ESPN helped the sport grow," etc. ESPN did no such thing - they latched onto something they knew was good and ran with it. NASCAR grew because of the on-track product, not because ESPN was covering it. There's no reason to be grateful to ESPN because they weren't that good in their coverage then and they're worse now.

As for SportsCenter anchors trying to be the next Keith Olbermann, Olbermann happened - note the past tense.

Monkeesfan said...

anonymous #15 - NASCAR didn't kick ESPN to the curb - ESPN cheapened out on rights fees.

Douglas said...

kenny mayne is funny. learn to take a joke. NASCAR would be well served if Mayne replaced Erik Kuselias as the host of Nascar Now. I think EK does well with other sports, but he obviously doesn’t fit in in this role and Brad Daughtery comes across as “the only black dude” we could find that knows a little, I repeat, a little about Nascar. Mayne is entertaining.

If you happened to catch any of Mayne’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby or read his blog, you’ll see that he makes fun of EVERYONE…even the Queen of England. And its humor…not a personal attack…so don’t take it as such.

This chip on your shoulder about Nascar being a backwater, redneck sport is the very problem Nascar has today. Nascar sold its soul to money, corporate ninnies, etc. and now what we have is a very bland sport…that guess what…..people in California STILL DON”T CARE ABOUT!

There’s nothing wrong with being from the South, or wearing overalls, or someone commenting on it.

Anonymous said...

Kenny Mayne has a bone to pick with NASCAR. And I’ll explain why I think so. I personally overheard him say on sportscenter a few weeks OBAMA! when someone hit a homerun on Sportscenter. Using freedom of speech is all fine and dandy with me. But using it on Sportscenter as a platform to promote your favorite Presidential candidate and then turn on NASCAR is not good for America. After running across your blog on Kenny Maynes classless commentary on making fun of deadicated NASCAR fans. His comments don't surprise me one bit. I remember earlier this year, Mayne was doing the highlights for a NASCAR race and implied several times in a lame duck accent, ” NASCAR is all about family, yep it’s all about family”. That really bothered me…big time. I feel Kenny Mayne has it out for NASCAR. There’s a fine line between having fun, and making something personal. Is this a political vendetta with Kenny Mayne? Or is it personal? I have noticed lately that they have had Neil Everett covering NASCAR highlights and not the tomato dodging Mayne. Someone did get threw to ESPN about this guy pounding his standup comedy act at a sport many people love, cherish and look forward too once a week. Thick skin is a great asset in life. And it is apparent that NASCAR has was built on this trait. This has been going on for years.

One thing I do remember very well about this guy Kenny Mayne character….The 1998 Daytona 500. The year Earnhardt won it on his 20th attempt. Earnhardt was interviewed at the Sportscenter desk right after he won the race by guess who??? You guessed it. Kenny Mayne. Earnhardt got up there and just laid Kenny Mayne out big time with one of his classic one liners. Kenny Mayne had asked him some smart ass question and Big E nailed him right between the eyes. Earnhardt did a great job of imbarresing this cat on National TV. So maybe this all stems from him going down to Daytona a few years ago with a chip on his shoulder and just plain out got laughed out the building by a bunch of of hard working good ol’ boys who couldn’t relate to socialist demeanor. Just my opinion. And I'm only a 30 year old man, what do I know? Calling this Kenny Mayne guy out was the right move. He is unprofessional and ESPN should know better….


Anonymous said...

yes nascar is a backwoods sport
no matter where the nascar big shots go to get $$$$$$$ from
ie. calf vegas chicago. throwing
stuff at race cars. drivers trying to run over crewmen. being called a family sport ????? i remember when i could go to qualifying
for FREE !!!the only FAMILY the France's are thinking about are their's!! just ask all the drivers and car owners who left the sport with nothing..oh yea what are they gonna do with all the old cars next year!! new series
no they cant do that the present cars aern't safe enough for the cup boys to drive.. just think how this makes the busch boys feel
if they wanted to run a COT could they ???? it's suppose to be the safest thing out there..
ok back to our topic back woods is backwoods.

Anonymous said...


Backwoods???'s more like pure jealousy on the part of people in denial of the worlds most exciting, hands on spectator sport in the world. I guess I would be pissed off as well if I couldn't figure out how to stick my foot in my ass when being objective. Regardless...Nascar has many ties deep in the waters, and I believe NASCAR cares very much about all of it's past and present drivers. This is very evident if you ever watch NASCAR. Notice that NASCAR is one big community/family. Now, if one decides to isolate themselves from the NASCAR family, then I could understand where this frustration might come from.
Once again, This is a desperate attempt by a person who has an axe to grind against NASCAR and the France Family... I'm sure this poor guys aggression stems from his wife having the hots for a backwoods sport called NASCAR. I bet right now, she is out in the front yard throwing beer bottles at his "Kenny Mayne for President" campaign signs.

"back when time trials was free"


Anonymous said...

You know for all you say about people stereotyping NASCAR fans, the way your colleagues use the same stereotyping just shows the world that NASCAR is still holding onto. And by that, I mean the world that existed before Lincoln was assassinated.

On his blog last week, one of your fellow bloggers, John Daly, suggested that "NASCAR Now is the same TV series that had a black hip-hop DJ as the host who then mysteriously 'disappeared' a while back. " So it's not ok for non-NASCAR fans to make fun of NASCAR fans as "cletus" but it's ok to suggest that someone knows nothing about NASCAR simply because of the color of their skin, and the music they like to spin. Shame on all of you.

Anonymous said...

This is to my fellow American who views life before Lincoln...

Today in this country, everyman has the same opportunity as the next. Europeans brought African-Americans to the Americas from Africa to help build and construct it to where we ALL stand today as a country. Millions of African Americans have become very successful in this great country, from opportunity that has also been embraced many races that reside in the USA. Many African Americans embrace their heritage and their history. Unfortunate as it might be...most would not stand for people who don't recognize or acknowledge what has been overcome by the African American race. In this the year of 2007, it is difficult to find kids black and white that are stuck in racial divides such as the liberal media groups and politicians who wake up each day with the sole intention on brain washing children, minority's and young adult, sport loving children with their "uneducated" poisonous bias opinions.

That is not evolving.
That is not moving forward.
That is not accomplishing Lincoln's dream of giving all race, color and creed the freedom to not be enchained.
This modern day movement of uneducated freedom of speech is accomplishing absolutely nothing.
It is setting America back, and enabling it from diversity and endangers Americas future.
The modern day black and white races of children and young adults, actually have the maturity and wisdom to embrace each others cultures.

The outgoing Kenny Mayne wanna be can spin his opinions all he wants to justify his unprofessionalism in his opinion of content.
Bigger picture: "In God we Trust" Race, color ,creed and opportunity for all, is what America was founded and built on. As for the few bad apples that can't accept hip hop and other growing cultures such as NASCAR, that's a personal issue and unfortunate problem that is unacceptable on a National Television program...


Daly Planet Editor said...

Simply suggesting that somehow a factual description of a national TV host is suggesting his lack of NASCAR knowledge is connected to the color of his skin is hilarious. Have you seen David Amber on NASCAR Now? Brad Daugherty on NASCAR Countdown? Doug Banks had no NASCAR knowledge or experience, and he happened to be black. If he was purple, it would also have been in my post. ESPN is lost outside of their actual racing coverage, and has been almost all season. That is the sole point.

John said...

The ESPN Nascar race crew is too chatty. I'd rather listen to the radio broadcast.

Chus said...

This is what I think: Kenny Mayne