Broadcasters and Sunglasses: Something's Gotta Give!

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer INovember 10, 2008

Who knew sunglasses would become so important?

In the world of poker they are your best friend in concealing your play; in the world of lying they are the holders or your eyes' true emotion; and in the world of not wanting to stare into the sun they are your greatest asset.

In the world of NASCAR however, they should only be worn with proper etiquette—at least according to our friendly neighborhood broadcasters who call the races.

Every driver has been seen wearing sunglasses, and when they’re interviewed they keep they’re stylin’ shades on—all except for two drivers. And now the broadcasters have taken it upon themselves to remind us every chance they get.

Yes, Carl Edwards and Justin Allegier have caused Jeff Hammond and company to get uptight when drivers don’t remove their sunglasses when giving their interview.

Do they really have nothing better to do? And is it really that big of a deal?

It’s gotten so bad that instead of listening to what Carl Edwards is saying I find myself mentally screaming for him to keep them on just to see what their reaction would then be.

Dale Earnhardt’s image may have been the Man in Black but he was that man behind a pair of big black sunglasses which no one complained about. Sunglasses that became just as well-known and iconic as Earnhardt was.

Upon building statues of the great, his sunglasses are either on his face or seen hanging in his front pocket.

But now all of a sudden it’s become a big deal on whether or not a driver reveals his eyes.

Some people have even written in to Darrell Waltrip and others saying that drivers who don’t remove them are impolite and rude.


It seems that you would rather listen to what the driver is saying than getting into a starring contest with them.

Also, lets be honest, some of them should keep them on.

But in today’s NASCAR there is an entirely different and monetary reason that drivers keep their shades on: advertising.

Many drivers, if not all of them, have an endorsement with a sunglass company.  Therefore, the more the driver is seen wearing them, the more justice he is doing his contract, and the more consumers will want them.

After all, we are fans who will buy anything associated with our favorite driver.

"I have noticed that the guys are starting to wear wilder and wilder sunglasses. They're also getting bigger," said Martin Truex, Jr., who reps the popular Spy brand.

Kyle Busch might win the award for the biggest sunglasses in the garage. But he does seem to have the right idea. The bigger, the better; not only to save you from the sun but to protect you from any flying debris.

But just like everything in NASCAR, it can never be that simple.

Now, not only are drivers expected to say the right things and look the right way, but people want to implement rules to their sunglasses.

Doesn't NASCAR have enough rules? What are they going to do if a driver refuses to take them off? Fine them, like they did when drivers used to knock the Powerade bottles off their cars in victory lane?

Oh, poor old sunglasses—dear old friend who makes us look stylish and who guides us through the light—your intentions are well known but you’re now learning that NASCAR fans can be hard to please.