Thursday, February 12, 2009
I don't know what we should blame for this trend (Laff-A-Lympics? Pro Stars?), but FOX has made a habit on depending on cheesy cartoons during games. First it was Slider, the goofy baseball with a face that told you about certain pitches. Next it was Cletus, the hip-hop inspired robot. And now it's Digger, the annoying gopher that pops up from the track during races.
Digger first appeared last year during NASCAR coverage, but this year they're giving him a little bit more airtime. To the tune of his own pre-race show! Via Sports Media Watch....
FOX has announced that Digger, an animated gopher that serves as the "alter-ego to FOX’s Gopher Cam," will be the subject of a series of vignettes that will air prior to the network's NASCAR telecasts this season.Are we positive that David Hill of FOX is qualified to run a network? I mean, between the band shots and now the cartoons, I almost picture him as Tom Hanks in "Big". A cartoon about a gopher before a NASCAR race? You think the names they call Jeff Gordon are bad? Wait until a kid down South gets caught watching this by some bully.
The two-minute vignettes will be entitled "The Adventures of Digger & Friends", and will feature Digger, "his girlfriend Annie, best friend Marbles, Gramps and arch-nemesis Lumpy Wheels." The series' theme song will be sung by country star Keith Urban, who says of the theme: "I just hope that Digger likes it."
The series makes its debut during the NASCAR on FOX pre-race show prior to this Sunday's Daytona 500.
Digger and his associates will also "appear throughout NASCAR on FOX broadcasts as animated wipes, billboards and bugs," akin to what the network did with its robots during NHL coverage in the 1990s.
FOX hopes to use Digger & Friends to cultivate future fans. The network notes that "roughly a third of the FOX NASCAR audience" is made up of homes with children.
'Digger and Friends' to precede NASCAR telecasts (Sports Media Watch)