Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Digger, I Propose a Truce

Digger is one polarizing little varmint. From sites touting that "Digger Must Die" to polls showing that viewers would rather see Digger take a hike than Dale Jr. win a race, this is one gopher that really gets folks riled up.

I can see why the furball is so hated. Every time anything of note happens on the track, there he is, popping up from his underground lounge to obscure all the action. My beef is that Digger makes raceday coverage seem less like a major sports broadcast and more like a Saturday morning cartoon.

And that's where NASCAR has made a critical miscalculation.

Grownup race fans may hate Digger (and keep hoping that his furry little head will get smashed by a set of Goodyears). But their kids don't. The kids LOVE him. My nephews get excited every time Digger makes an appearance on screen. And I've heard the same from several of my friends. As much as they hate to admit it, their children dig Digger too.

So it would appear that as a potential revenue stream to lure younger viewers into the NASCAR fold and turn them into paying customers at the merchandise trailer, Digger makes sense. But what doesn't make sense is expecting the parents of the those kids (and fans without children) to enjoy each and every time Digger and his irritating posse break into the broadcast.

NASCAR and FOX would be better served to go for broke with Digger. Why not create full half-hour episodes that air each Sunday (or Saturday, in some cases) before the real race coverage begins? That way we could nix the abhorred mini-sodes that muck up the pre-race works on Sundays and get back to live driver interviews and commentary. And NASCAR wouldn't lose an opportunity to entice the younger set to buy Digger gear and become lifelong fans.

Then, if we could convince DW and the gang to rein it in and keep gopher sightings to a minimum during the race--Digger might not be so bad after all.


  1. I personally can't stand the Digger episodes and the animation popping up every time we get to see a view of the racing off the corners. I would almost rather watch the broadcast on MRN radio than have to see another Digger clip. However I doubt that Fox and the gang are going to exterminate the rodent so lets comprimise, move the gopher to the right side of the screen so he is not in the way of the action on the track when he pops up.

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  3. why doesn't every one grow up and accept it for what it is, Nascar does not have to be a cookie cutter sport like the others, good ole boy stuff is best, not political correct crap!
    Paul D