Jenn Fryer did a piece on Darrell Waltrip, namely why he should retire, unfortunately for her, the article came out after Darrell Waltrip officially announced his retirement. Podcast here
Getting past the horrendous timing, the points/critiscims she made in her article are not even correct. She says Waltrip makes mistakes, that he is out of touch, that he has stayed too long.
Jenn Fryer then goes on to quote “surveys” about what fans most want to change about NASCAR and apparently the Fox Booth ie the TV commentators are the ones that “keep cropping up” as a thing that needs to change.
On this point I agree.
But the problem is not Waltrip and it is not Gordon.
If you want to pick a problem with NASCARs commentary team you’d have to say there is too much cheese.
Captain cheese being, Mike Joy.
1.Jenna Fryer wants to say that Darrell Waltrip is from a bygone era. And yes that maybe true but that is most positively a huge bonus to NASCAR fans.
Who does not want to be reminded of the golden era of Ernie Irvine, Dale Jarrett, Davey Allison, Earnhardt Snr etc etc. The history is what makes NASCAR so special, to say a guy in the booth comparing modern era NASCAR to previous eras is a negative is an insult to the sport of NASCAR itself.
The real problem is Mike Joy.
Mike Joy is from a bygone era of broadcasting and that is not a good thing. In the 70s and 80s, the way Mike talks was acceptable but today he seems like a caricature of a stereotypical TV broadcaster of twenty years before.
I have absolutely zero problem with Darrell Waltrip as commentator, the guy is insightful, the guy in entertaining, the guy brings a different perspective (from Jeff Gordon), the guy is funny and generally, Darrell Waltrip makes people want to watch NASCAR.
Mike Joy on the other hand is someone that I have to tolerate if I want to hear DW.
For want of a better word, Joy is smarmy whereas with Waltrip and Gordon you get it as it is, no acting, no BS.
2.Jenna Fryer wants to criticize Waltrip for talking about something that is not actually happening in the race at that time.
Sure, when you are commentating this is an absolute no no. You talk about what is happening now, not twenty years ago but Waltrip has his own style and it fits with Gordon and it fits with what we are watching on the track.
Waltrip keeps it relevant to the current action and that is the big difference in the way DW does it compared to lesser commentators.
3.Jenna Fryer wants to say there is a lack of chemistry between Gordon and Waltrip. She must be watching different races to the ones I see.
Waltrip and Gordon are absolutely fantastic and as the races go by, the better they get.
If you want to say there is an impostor in the booth it is Mike Joy. His lack of knowledge of the sport (compared to Cup Champions) is a chasm and exposes his commentary for what it is. Superficial & plastic & outdated.
NASCAR is leading the way when it comes to race commentary, getting ex and current drivers in on the commentary teams is absolutely inspired. The Xfinity races where the team is solely current cup drivers is so refreshing and it shows you do not need an “experienced” commentator in the room like Mike Joy for everything to work.
Three experienced & knowledgeable guys, talking in a levelheaded way about the racing is just what motorsport fans crave.
4.Jenna Fryer questions if the booth needs three people. Again, I don’t understand how she could even be considering reducing the number of commentators. The more the merrier within reason. Three is probably perfect.
Look at the NFL. Two man commentary teams, sure its ok, but it would be so much better to have a third person in there to mix things up a bit. After a few years it’s like listening in on a married couple.
Jenna Fryer says McMurray is ready for a full time job in the booth for the Monster Cup Series.
McMurray is good but it is still early days for him, for Jenna to suggest he is ready now just confirms she does not know what she is talking about, at least when it comes to identifying good commentary.
I wish Waltrip would stay. People say he stayed too long in the cup, the last years he was at the back of the field
He wanted to keep racing, he had the ability to keep racing and he kept racing. Good for Waltrip. He wasn’t causing problems for anyone else. Good for him that he kept on going. If he enjoyed it, why not?
And likewise with the commentary.
The majority of people want him to stay, (the ones that don’t will change their mind when he leaves). If he wants to keep doing it and FOX are happy to have him them he should do what he wants. Do it as long as he wants, we only live once,
do what you love for as long as possible.
If FOX thinks there is something wrong in their NASCAR commentary booth, hopefully they come to their senses and see the obvious, the problem is not Waltrip and it is not Gordon.