Johnny, you're doing the nWo Wolfpac thing wrong
In news that could adversely affect Nascar's attempts to extend its Nationwide Series broadcast deal with ESPN, the sports giant reported record-low ratings for its recent coverage of the Dollar General 200 at Phoenix. Network executives pinned the drop-off in ratings squarely on the absence of superstar driver Jeremy Clements.
"We would never have put this race on television if we'd know that Jeremy wouldn't be running", said ESPN spokesperson Ella Donald. "This would be like the Yankees and Red Sox both pulling out of Major League Baseball, combined with the Miami Heat folding, and the Lakers dropping down to the D-League."
Clements, who was suspended for uttering a racial slur before the season-opening Daytona race, was credited with bringing in the coveted 18-79 age range, appealing to a broad-spectrum of fans who enjoy seeing an unsponsored car soar to two top-10s in a single season.
"There's no way that I was going to watch that race without having Jeremy in it, and I work for the network televising it!", Donald explained. "Our rating was something like a 0.00001, worse than a 2am re-airing of SportsCentury: Chris Hoiles on ESPN Classic."
As required by contract, ESPN will still air next week's Nationwide race at Las Vegas, though they are taking precautions in case Clements is not reinstated by Nascar.
"We've considered putting the race on ESPN Deportes, or airing it tape-delayed on ESPNEWS", Donald added. "Or we might just see if we could get Jeremy in the broadcast booth. I know that I'd like to hear the perspective of someone who's been all the way to 15th-place in the points standings."
Jeremy Clements was unavailable for comment on this story, as the crowd of supporters outside his race shop was too thick to penetrate.