Of course, I don’t know if the good senator ever had to get up at 3:30 a.m., then get asked to talk for four hours straight without without saying anything stupid. I think the only living soul in my household who could pull that off is my beagle/lab, Jack — he doesn’t talk much.
So I’m trying not to slam ESPN “Mike & Mike in the Morning” hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic too harshly for their segment Tuesday morning that included Danica Patrick. Greenberg was asking Golic which athletes he felt turned the needle when it came to television ratings. When Greenberg got to Patrick, Golic said no.
The entire premise of what they were doing was shaky, at best. Sports talk is about opinion, but in this case there is very little subjectivity. You can go back and look at numbers that will definitively tell you how many people were viewing when a certain someone was present/absent. Nobody on this planet will try to tell you that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson don’t make more people watch golf, and if they do, well, smack them.
According to SPEEDTV.com, Patrick’s 2010 ARCA race at Daytona drew 2.4 million viewers, an 87 percent increase over the 1.3 million viewers the 2009 event had. Her subsequent Nationwide debut at Daytona was the most-viewed series race in the history of cable TV.
The only way to blow off the numbers would be to conclude that Patrick was a flash in the pan. But her consistent improvement in the Nationwide Series and the constant buzz over her potential full-time move to NASCAR renders that argument useless for everyone except guys like Golic and Greenberg, who wouldn’t know because they just don’t follow racing.
Their annual trip to Texas Motor Speedway is a teeth-clincher, as they struggle to ask somewhat intelligible questions. In the past NASCAR, which hoped for mainstream attention, would’ve welcomed all the talk.
But NASCAR isn’t the NHL anymore and doesn’t need big media names butchering the goings-on.
When it comes to NASCAR, the Mikes should take the advice comedian Ron White offered a relative who started caterwauling about a subject he knew nothing about.
“The next time you have a thought … let it go.”