Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 25, 2011

Why ESPN Is The Worst Thing To Happen To Indy Car In The Past Ten Years

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 7:32 pm

While Randy Bernard is in the negotiating period for Indy Car renewal with various television entities, he needs to keep in mind at all times the thorough and complete screwing Indy Car has received over the past ten years or so from every part of their 40+ year broadcast ‘partner’ ESPN (on ABC). The behavior of ESPN over that period is inexcusable.

Vintage Indy 500s and SportsCentury broadcasts about A.J. and Mario notwithstanding, they have mostly forsaken Indy Car in every meaningful way. There is little to no coverage about the series on the air. Indy Car is buried on their web pages. They can see no further than NASCAR. Ever.

Enough is enough. The month of May is sacred for Indy Car, yet that 100-year fact continues to elude these ignorant bastards. Their most egregious act of cluelessness is occurring as we speak. After the most compelling pole and bump days in years, ESPN chose yesterday to report that ‘sources’ say Danica Patrick is moving to NASCAR next season. NOTHING about ANY of the incredible Indy Car story lines.

It is no secret that Danica is probably moving to NASCAR next season. Given the consistent dysfunction that exists at Andretti Autosport most know she will be somewhere else. Why on earth would Indy Car choose RACE WEEK in INDY to ‘break’ such speculation? That is completely irresponsible.

Even worse the very first set of questions for the first of four minutes they asked the front row while assembled for an interview was Danica and NASCAR. Huh!?


Is the interviewer that clueless or is some equally clueless producer feeding that crap to the talking head?

If Randy Bernard is serious about re-upping with the most reprehensible broadcast partner in the entire history of television it is my hope they unleash the most talented legal minds they have to write precise, specific terms about quantity and quality of coverage across all platforms into any future contract, then enforce the terms. Enough is enough.

What ESPN is doing (and not doing) is utterly insulting.



  1. True.

    Comment by Jeff — May 25, 2011 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  2. All I can say is that this has to be the last straw. If it’s my call, I am on the phone with NBC. Look at this way, Randy is getting a taste first hand. This is either a bonehead error or the timing is of no coencidence. ESPN and ABC have gone to a new low. Total BS…

    See you at the track Friday….

    Comment by Mike Miller — May 25, 2011 @ 8:37 pm | Reply

  3. How long are you going to continue to beat this dead horse? Sad thing is, you have a legion of bootlickers who feed off of you believe the same crap you spew. So you expect ESPN, since they hold the broadcast rights to the Indy 500, to not report a story about Danica because it is the week of the Indy 500 and gomers like you think this is “sacred time.?”

    If anything, your attitude probably makes ESPN not want anything to do with the 500 and Indycar. They don’t need some jackass watching sportscenter with a stopwatch and reporting on the amount of time they reported on Nascar and Indycar, and crying that Indycar doesn’t get its “fair share.”

    Comment by TroyM — May 26, 2011 @ 3:28 am | Reply

    • Troy, you don’t get the point (either too stupid, a Nascar fan, or obsessed with Danica). You have the front row of the Indy 500 in to talk about the Indy 500, and you start out asking about Danica and Nascar. It would be like Jimmy winning the pole for the 600 and the first question was about Scott Speed not making the 500. Do you think that Tags, Scott or Orial give a crap if a midpacker goes to Nascar or not? Why does every one at ESPN and ABC think that Indycar can’t survive without Danica? Will Nascar fold when Junior quits, or F1 when Micheal finally retires? Indycar will survive and grow with good racing and excellent marketing. They put all there eggs in the Danica basket for the last five years and where are the ratings? Indycar ruled when you had drivers like Mario, Unser, Mears and the like driving on the edge, not due to a beauty contest in SI. I think it would be good for Indy if Danica goes to Nascar, then maybe the media will cover the raceing and not get caught up in a popularity contest. Nascar is all about the drivers (ala Junior) while openwheel is about the racing and the teams. I hope Indycar doesn’t try to go the way of Nascar with drivers past their prime still running because they a have a large fan base. Lets focus on the racing and the fans will come back.

      Comment by Brian P — May 26, 2011 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

      • I think that you’re missing Troy’s point which is this: the reason that ESPN spent the first five minutes asking the 500 front row about Danica is simply because she is the only real “name” driver that the Series has had over the past few years. Add to that the fact that she’s a woman and it’s obvious (to me, anyway) why the coverage focuses on her. Assuming that she does go off to NASCAR, it’ll leave a big hole in the Series’ marketing plans. Then again, introducing and educating the public about their drivers was something that both CART and the IRL failed miserably at year after year…


        Andrew (a former Champ Car fan who lost interest after unification but has started watching again and am very heartened to see that the US open-wheel scene seems to be getting up off the floor and building itself up again.)

        Comment by Andrew — June 1, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    • I don’t think that the problem is that ESPN is trying to report news, it’s the fact that they think that something that is months old, not a done deal, nothing new to see here, that that is worth reporting about as if it’s a breaking story (in ESPN.com’s front page headlines and everything) literally days before IndyCar’s biggest event. Might not they have gotten the same amount of page views if they’d posted this next week? Or the week after? I’d say “yes”. But, the fact that they’d throw a declaration out there right before the 500 that “IndyCar’s biggest star is [probably…put that part in very small typeface] going to NASCAR next year! She [probably…again, in sotto voce] doesn’t care about Indy anymore!”, that smacks of ulterior motives.

      Comment by The Speedgeek — May 26, 2011 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

    • Troy, you really need to have that checked out.

      Gerald Forsythe syndrome is now a treatable disease. Although it can’t be cured, your insatiable need for Crap Wagon rhetoric can be calmed. Excessive doses of valium to the point of unconsciousness should do it.

      As far as your foot fetish, I have no answer. I suggest you check out the song “Venus in Furs” by the Velvet underground. Perhaps you should look up some S and M shops and get yourself whipped.

      While you continue your fetish will boots, I’ll be enjoying the race.

      Comment by Mike Miller — May 26, 2011 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

  4. Troy, you come across to me as someone who clearly has an agenda-as most of us do, including myself-but your agenda seems to be to tear down INDYCAR at every opportunity.

    It is NOT beating a dead horse to talk about ESPN’s “coverage” of INDYCAR, which basically consists of “The Princess and the Serfs.” That is how ESPN views INDYCAR, and if you actually watched their slipshod, uncaring, uniformed and unprepared broadcast, you might see that.

    As to your last paragraph, that is total B.S. I sincerely doubt that ESPN is so bothered by the comments on a blog that they don’t want to be bothered with INDYCAR; if they are that thin-skinned-as you are-then that is on them. Maybe it’s YOU who needs to stop beating the dead horse.

    Comment by Thesmartestguyintheroom — May 26, 2011 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

    • I misspelled a word. The word should be “uninformed” not “uniformed”. My apologies, I was writing quickly and didn’t catch the error before posting.

      Comment by Thesmartestguyintheroom — May 26, 2011 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  5. I’m not a bootlicker, was a CART fan and don’t always agree with Disciple, but he’s hit the nail on the head.

    Comment by Tony — May 26, 2011 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  6. Dear Defender:

    It is very disheartening to realize that the only stories that the ‘world wide leader’ runs on its networks concern Danica and her impending move to NASCAR. Twice this week, Pardon the Interruption found room to talk about Indy Car and of course both stories dealt with Danica…Tony Kornheiser incorrectly stated that Tony Kaanan was a former winner and Mike Wilbon, who loves the white women, mentioned quite proudly how he knows Danica and her husband, who apparently reside in the Phoenix area…apart from this drivel, neither host had a clue about Indy Car or could care less about our sport. As for ESPN, broadcasting Indy Car made sense in the 80’s and 90’s when the network had little access to the stick and ball sports but now that ESPN has rights to hoops, football, baseball and even NASCAR, Indy Car is a nuisance and is only mentioned when there is a big wreck or Danica stubs her big toe…screw ESPN and Danica as these are the vestiges of Indy Car’s lost decade under TG’s failed vision and his total and complete lack of focus on growing and improving the sport…bring on NBC and its potential to expose Indy Car to a new generation of fans…I am just worried that the exit of Dick Ebersol, who apparently wanted NBC to take over broadcasting the ‘500’ will derail this plan and result in Indy Car having to remain on ABC/ESPN…

    Comment by Neil Rubin — May 26, 2011 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

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