What If TMZ Ruled the NASCAR Media Center?

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and wife Ingrid Vandebosch at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Recently, celebrity gossip website tmz.com (and its television counterpart TMZ ) reported they would be opening a new site, tmzsports.com, sometime soon.

Upon hearing such news my thought was: I'm all about celebrity gossip, but an entire site devoted to gossip about athletes?

One report claimed the site will be a sports celebrity “blog.” I hear the word blog and I think of someone's personal thoughts or someone reporting on news, not gossip or rumors.

But I know there are all types of blogs out there.

As word of this news spread, the sad news of the layoffs at NASCAR Scene and scenedaily.com came. Then news of the entire publication possibly closing. (Full Article )

I remember when I first signed up for NASCAR Scene. I received a free poster of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a book about his life.

I became more excited each week when the magazine arrived and I would get race recaps from all three major series, in-depth interviews, points standings, and letters from fans debating hot issues in the sport.

As I was pondering these thoughts and reading the tweets of the writers that were let go and their fans showing support, I watched that evening's TMZ .

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The last story was about Jeff Gordon. It had nothing to do with his thoughts on the championship or preparing for Daytona. Instead, the TMZ “pap” asked Gordon if he had any advice for Tiger Woods' driving.

He chuckled and kept on walking.

I then remembered a story they recently broke on their website about Earnhardt Jr. buying patrons at his bar, Whiskey River, drinks for an hour which ran up an incredibly high bar tab.

Once again, all of this got me thinking: Can you imagine what would happen if TMZ was in the NASCAR Media Center?

Post-race press conferences would be filled with questions like:

Where did you eat before the race?

Who designed your race suit?

Are you really dating Kate Hudson?

While it is true that most athletes do become celebrities, I think and hope, it's a far reach to include them in the category of celebrities that get stalked by paparazzi and written about in Us Weekly. Unless, of course, they choose to put themselves in that spotlight.

An article about the website said it would give ESPN.com a run for its' money.

Some sports fans are worried that ESPN will go too far and become more gossipy than sticking to the facts in order to compete with TMZ, and I for one agree 100 percent.

I want my gossip to stay gossip and my sports news to stay news. The two should not overlap.

Hopefully that means the NASCAR writers who were let go from their jobs this week can find a way back to their sport and to reporting the hard-hitting news to the fans who have been following them.

It would be a shame to learn when Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson break up from a gossip website.

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