Reporters gone wild

Posted by Iannucci | 3/01/2007 | 5 comments »
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I’d like to draw to your attention that Curt Cavin’s Q&A has undergone two changes. Not only is it now in blog format – which means I’ll be linking it permanently on the right sidebar – but Cavin has announced his intention to update it every day. I hope this doesn’t mean he has to be less selective with his topics and needs to answer innumerable “Why does so-and-so suck?” questions all the time, but for the time being more power to him.

On a distinctly different note, another frequent talking head of the open-wheel reporting variety has gotten himself into a bit of hot water with the Champ Car World Series. This week Robin Miller published an astonishing hit piece on the CCWS for SPEED that painted a portrait of certain doom and gloom, closing with the following paragraphs:

Champ Car appeared to have some momentum last summer, but it's evaporated into this amatuerish guessing game that sets them further behind the Indy Racing League.

Kalkhoven and Forsythe have spent a lot of money keeping Cosworth, Long Beach, Toronto and the series going, plus they spend a bundle to be on national television. It's big money, and nobody can knock their commitment. But, instead of cutting corners and making bad decisions during these past few months, they should have been locked and loaded on keeping stability in the ranks, bolstering the staff with smart hires and promoting the product -- damn the cost.

But maybe it's become too expensive, even for guys with their wealth. Or maybe they've simply lost interest. Maybe this would be a good time to cut a deal and cut their losses.

Call Tony George, sell him your assets and save money, if not open-wheel racing.
Yikes! This from a guy who has spent the last decade chastising the IRL for any number of things while glorifying the last vestiges of CART. So why is this worth mentioning on an IRL site? Because is reporting that Miller was fired the next day from his position as a regular contributor to the Champ Car web site.

Now, I don’t really care if a writer is fired or not, and honestly if they want to sack the guy then that’s their prerogative. If he’s paid to write about sunshine and he writes about rain then clearly he’s not meeting the expectation. The curious conclusion is this response of shooting the messenger doesn’t necessarily invalidate what Miller said.

I’ve also read some retorts to Miller’s column on a message board (now deleted) by a CCWS big wig, but really…what is that? Don’t these people have press releases anymore? Everyone knows Miller has been known to write things that are dead wrong, but these knee-jerk reactions present the appearance that this piece has some truth to it.

I only present this because people are always talking about a merger of the two series, and I’ve been one of the few saying it’s a bad idea. If what Miller says is true – and the Champies reaction seems to validate this – then the Indy Racing League is not competing with them.

If the CCWS wants to sell it’s assets and there isn’t a billionaire to savior waiting around then sure, buy the series and throw Long Beach and Toronto on the IRL schedule and be done with this unending merger madness. Otherwise, it would seem better for George, Barnhart, et al, continue to ignore that other series and to focus on building the product they have.

UPDATE: More pink slips in the CCWS. Pressdog is reporting that Derek Daly has been axed from future Champ Car broadcasts. There is now literally no reason for me to even attempt to watch their races.

Can someone at ESPN get DD in the booth for the IndyCar races? I mean, he and Scott Goodyear are totally yin and yang in the personality department. Please consider pairing these two together.


  1. Anonymous // March 01, 2007 10:14 AM  

    I like your idea alot, as who doesn't want to see Sebastian vs. Sam and Legge vs. Danica? That would be awesome, and I actually like road courses so keeping some of their venues would be fine with me. I think the egos in Champ would want to keep some sense of themselves being alive however and would probably want their name on the finished product, so how about Tony agreeing to rename the series ICRL,Indy Champ Racing League. That would be better to me than making it IRCL and having it called the "Erkle Series" haha

    IRL fan Dan

  2. Anonymous // March 01, 2007 1:52 PM  

    A booth of Derek Daly and Scott Goodyear would be ratings suicide, IMO.

  3. Iannucci // March 01, 2007 2:00 PM  

    Oh come on. Can't you just imagine Goodyear making some perfectly valid point in his perfectly measured tones and then Daly cuts him off, tells him he's "dead wrong" and questions his racing credentials? Then Goodyear walks outta the booth, but realizes he's in Japan and has nowhere to go.

    Am I the only one that would enjoy this? Oh well, it would never happen anyways.

  4. Anonymous // March 01, 2007 6:27 PM  

    I haven't liked an IndyCar color guy since Sneva. What you're after is the old Page/Posey/B. Unser booth (which went down as you describe, with Unser verbally pummeling Posey) and was always a hoot.

    I always wanted to hear the ESPN International feed a few years back, which was the Gary (Lee) & Larry (Rice) Show.

    I'd even take Robin Miller, but he would have to do the entire broadcast impersonating a different driver.

  5. Anonymous // March 02, 2007 9:07 AM  

    i actully agree with Joe. Sadly i thought Rusty Wallace was the best color guy the IRL had had lately, despite not having any ties to the circuit.