When you're talking adults-only, NASCAR ads trump Showtime

Nick Bromberg

As you've probably already seen -- and was already noted here on From the Marbles -- there's going to be a NASCAR roundtable show on Showtime. That's a pretty big deal, right?

Sure, there will be a lot of NASCAR fans who won't be able to see it, and that's a matter of some concern. But the fact that a sports show happens to air on a subscription-based channel hasn't stopped the acclaim and success of "Inside the NFL," which has been on HBO and Showtime for nearly 20 years. And during that span, have football fans ever complained about Showtime and HBO's programming?

Well, if this Daly Planet post and ensuing comments are any indication, there's a contingent of fans who are unhappy with the channel selection for Inside NASCAR. Their dissatisfaction stems not from the fact that they have to pay extra to watch it if they don't already subscribe to Showtime ... but because of the other programming Showtime broadcasts.

Really? What's more obvious -- bad language and inappropriate situations in some scripted shows on Sunday evenings, and nudity and soft-core pornography during the middle of the night -- something easily avoided -- or Kevin Conway and the soon-to-be ubiquitous ExtenZe ads during Sprint Cup telecasts? For instance, what's being not-so-subtly implied here?

(Side note: ExtenZe is coming to a Super Bowl near you on Sunday in a new commercial with former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson.)

NASCAR and its teams -- and every other sports league -- will go wherever the money is. Look at Richard Petty relent on his lifelong ban against alcohol advertising when Kasey Kahne's car was part of RPM's first merger, or the first, shall we say, phallic-oriented sponsorship when Mike Bliss was driving the #27 Viagra Pontiac.

Like it or not, male performance-enhancement ads are a staple of sports, and are much more blatant and unavoidable than any adult program someone chooses not to watch. If you're against NASCAR's presence on Showtime because of its programming, that's fine. But I hope you're calling the FCC every time that dude in the Viagra commercial creepily talks to himself in the window.

[Editor's note: Everybody give a big Marbles welcome -- no, that's not a euphemism for a filthy act -- to Nick Bromberg, who'll be pitching in around here. Nick's written for Racin' Today and many other outlets, and we're glad to have him aboard.]