Have We Lost Respect?


The other day I was watching a 2009 World Series recap special on ESPN and during a break a commercial for ESPN's NASCAR Nationwide Series coverage was shown.  The commercial featured scripted (perhaps animated, I can't recall) and dramatized racing action between Nationwide Series cars.  Something about the commercial caught my eye and made me think a little bit.  Well... two things, actually.  The first and less curious thing I noticed is how at various points the commercial paused the action to zoom into a particular driver's sponsor  -- Citi, Toyota, etc.  I guess that's no big deal but haven't NASCAR's media partners gotten the memo about the sport becoming way too over-commercialized?  I mean... an advertisement within an advertisement now?

But that's not important.

The second point was the action itself.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, one of the cars that's racing is airborne and twenty feet in the air flipping over.  Two other cars are side-by-side and taking the checkered flag as the airborne car follows them.  Then the commercial cuts to the punch-line:  "NASCAR Nationwide Series on ESPN".  Now seriously... doesn't anyone else find that a little creepy?

I can understand an advertisement perhaps using a historical crash to highlight the fact that this sport is a dangerous one and that danger is a part of the draw.  It's motorsports -- crashes happen.  But to think that somebody sat down and dreamt up his idea of the "best, most awesome finish possible" and came up with this particular vision is a little bit too weird for me.

Categories : Opinion

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