Ladies and gentlemen of NASCAR nation, I have good news.
I just saved a ton of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.
I’m just kidding, and no, that’s not a plug. I don’t even have Geico.
But guess what? Several of you fans have been demanding a change in the ESPN announcers booth, and now, you’re finally going to get it.
Jerry Punch is out; Marty Reid is in.
That’s right, ESPN’s NASCAR play-by-play announcer since NASCAR’s return to the network in 2007, Jerry Punch, will be replaced by the network’s 2009 Nationwide Series and Indy Racing League play-by-play announcer, Marty Reid. And I can almost guarantee that the 2010 NASCAR Chase will be more exciting because of the switch.
Why do I say this?
It’s simple. Jerry Punch is boring, while Marty Reid is exciting. How will that make a difference? Well, I’ve always felt that a good, exciting play-by-play announcer could turn a boring event into one that is worth watching. At the same time, a bad, boring play-by-play announcer can turn an exciting event into one that isn’t worth watching. And the way that both sides can do this is simply by how they call the race.
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. Take the NFL, for instance. In one corner, we have NBC’s Al Michaels calling the game. In the other, we have NFL Network’s Bob Papa. Let’s say that Michaels is calling a game between a 1-12 Tampa Bay team against a 2-11 Cleveland Browns team, while Papa calls a game between the 11-2 Minnesota Vikings and the 9-4 Green Bay Packers.
Simply by looking at the match-up, you’d likely choose to watch the latter game. But once you started watching both of them, you would probably prefer to watch the first game, because the announcer calling the game would not only be better, but he’d be more exciting and make the game more interesting. That’s what Reid will do.
Punch is like Papa. He’s there. He’s calling the race. And you know there’s a lot at stake because the championship is on the line, but you just don’t feel like watching because the play-by-play announcer isn’t into the race. And if the play-by-play announcer isn’t into it, then the analysts won’t be into it. And if all of the announcers aren’t into it, why should the fans be into it? Why not just change the channel to a football game? Or the PBA Championship?
Marty Reid is more like Al Michaels. He’s into it. He loves what he does. He loves who he works with. And it shows. It makes for a better, more fluid telecast. When the play-by-play announcer is into what he’s doing, the analysts will be, too. And when all of the announcers are into what they’re doing, the fans will be, too. At least, a little. Even if the competition isn’t much better.
Marty Reid may not be able to make the competition in NASCAR any better. But he’ll make NASCAR’s Chase at least slightly less boring in 2010.