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Mr. Webster has nothing on DW

By JOHN COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003


In the annals of great sports calls, "boogity boogity boogity" would be right up there with ... well ...

All right, so maybe it's not up there at all. But as far as well-known calls with absolutely no trace of precedent or meaning that draw a fervent following, it's No. 1.

Even Darrell Waltrip can't explain it.

"I just wanted to have something different," he said. "I think it's definitely accomplished that."

Waltrip said he is asked a lot about the origin of the call, which translated into English means something like: Go. Go. Go. But he has no answer.

"As a matter of fact, this whole week, we've been doing a lot of research on that," Waltrip said, presumably joking. "I sent a crew out to the library. They looked it up in the dictionary, and they didn't find any real conclusive evidence there as to what it meant. People through the garage have been polled and asked. Fans have been asked. So far, we have not been able to come up with a definition.

"But it seems to be one of those cults that has caught on and is growing rapidly. I'm just fueling it if you will. Dumping a little fuel on it."

Seems to be working. Race announcer Mike Joy said even NASCAR president Mike Helton came into the booth this week and asked.

"It just came out of my mouth one day," Waltrip said. "I don't know where it came from. Larry (McReynolds) and Mike (Joy) looked at me one day and they said, 'DW, they're coming to take the green.' And I said, 'Yeah! Boogity! Boogity! Boogity!'

"Then, the next thing I know, they're holding up signs in the grandstand."

So boogity boogity boogity lives on. And it will, just as long as those signs keep popping up in NASCAR crowds. A poll on NASCAR.com last year showed that 67 percent of fans liked it.

"So that's a mandate as far as I'm concerned," Waltrip said. "It's the 21st century way to start the race."

FLY BY DAY: Fox will debut it's Fly-Cam on Sunday; it just doesn't know how many times.

Carried on a cable that will run 250-300 yards over pit road, the Fly-Cam is the newest innovation Fox is wheeling out for coverage. Because it has not been used in a race setting, race director Artie Kempner is unsure how it will play. But with the increase in pit stops -- analyst Jeff Hammond thinks there could be as much as 14 -- Kempner will get plenty of footage from which to choose.

JUST SUPER: Super Bowl XXXVII is No. 1.

According to Nielsen Media Research, data recently released has added 1.2-million viewers to the total for the broadcast of Tampa Bay's win over Oakland. That brings the total to 138.9-million viewers, putting it ahead of Super Bowl XXX (138.5) as the most-watched program in history.

ON TV TODAY: Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, will sit down at 10 tonight on Dateline NBC with Katie Couric and do her first prime-time interview since her husband died. ... To celebrate Michael Jordan's 40th birthday Monday, ESPN's NBA Shootaround will count down his top 40 moments at 1.

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