Tick Tock, Tick Tock: (It's the 24 clock, but no Jack Bauer - sorry)
According to my cable schedule, the Nationwide pre-race coverage on ESPN2 started at 6:45 pm Saturday night.
I was running a few minutes late and scurried to get my race on the tube. Huh?
Turning on ESPN2 I discover that the score of a college football game is:
Miss St 14, LA Tech 19. 4th Quarter, with 8 minutes, 19 seconds left in the game.So I turned on SPEED Channel and watched Tradin' Paint because at least there I am getting NASCAR news and opinion that covers for pre-race coverage to some degree while ESPN disses the NASCAR fan yet again, in favor of college football.
There's 4 minutes and 22 seconds left in the game, but a player is on the ground.
Scrolling across the bottom of the screen it says: That Nationwide coverage is on ESPN classic and their espn360 website.
So now I'm scrambling to figure out if I even have ESPN Classic and what channel it might be on.
For a little bit I scuttle around my channel guide but initially I'm not finding it, so I head over the the ESPN360 website.
On ESPN360, it looks like I need to sign up to see this anything on this service site.
I fill out the on-line form. For my efforts, all I get is that ESPN will tell my cable provider that I have requested this. The little link button that says "NASCAR Nationwide at California Pt 1" still does nothing.
So ESPN just got my personal marketing information and I got nothing for it. Oh well, that's why I've got an email address specifically set up for all the junk / crap I sometimes find I have to sign up for. Thanks AOL. At least it's good for something.
I finally find ESPN Classic, sitting way way up the channel listing up in a range of channels that I normally don't even look at. I came into the program just in time to
A: Hear Ron Perlman fill in the title of his new show for the announcer who draws a complete blank on possibly one of the biggest cool shows to come to the airwaves, Sons of Anarchy, then
B: Perlman calls out for gentlemen... start... your... engineeeeessssssss!
I look away for a moment and suddenly I'm watching an older boxing match. What? Where'd this old show come from? Oh yea, ESPN Classic.
It's 17 laps into the race and the Nationwide race is now where it belongs. Where it's supposed to be, per my channel guide.
After this is all said and done:
I know it's not all about us, the NASCAR fan. But it is about something that continues to happen over and over again.
I preface this by saying that the college football fan is happy to have had their show finish up and see the end of the game. It's a different demographic that probably doesn't care about NASCAR.
The classic boxing fan is probably not happy to see NASCAR in place of the show they were expecting to see. I understand that completely.
Another issue is what happens if cable subscribers don't get the right channel package and don't get the classic channel? It's probable, being how cable providers are these days, with all the special sets or tiers of programming they make available for a few $$ more for each one.
That is, for those who get or subscribe to cable, if they can. Otherwise, those folks are just plain S out of Luck.
Otherwise, I've just gone through another disregard for the NASCAR coverage, thus a disregard for the NASCAR fan. This is Disney / ABC / ESPN. This is what we have to deal with. Never expect to get timely coverage if Football or Tennis or Golf is still in progress.
Now if the College Cheerleader Competition runs over a little, I might not grumble too much. Would I?
Well, regardless - I have to get back to my Kyle Busch demonstration of how to do laps around the Fontana track.
Thanks for reading one of Bruce's Rants.
Update 9/3/08: There's a bit over on The Daly Planet that puts some links out there to other opinion articles on ESPN and a few great reader comments to boot. Go enjoy! (Thanks to Kenny for pointing me that way!)
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ESPN Race Coverage
ABC ESPN Coverage Nit Pick