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Track gets no respect

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  • #16
    Re: Track gets no respect

    I agree we Americans love our relays and to not showcase such fine meets as the Texas Relays and Mt.SAC is horrible. We could have a nice package of meets in the early spring to the early summer.However sports channels like ESPN and others need to step up and commit to this sport, because the sports they are showing right now are no where near as watchable to me as track,with the exception of baseball.

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    • #17
      Re: Track gets no respect

      Here's a question many of you could answer : We all complain about USATF's leadership, so what can we do about it? I assume that USATF membership includes a chance to vote for representation. If so, should all of us bellyachers join up and vote for those who wish to push the elite level into the national spotlight?

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      • #18
        Re: Track gets no respect

        I love track and field, but I think the metric distances are killing public interest. 100,200,400,800,1500,3000,5000,10000, etc.etc. ad nauseam. It is like watching binary code in your computer......after awhile it becomes meaningless. A 2 hour Marathon or a sub-4 mile has meaning to the public, can we say the same about a 3:42, 1500?

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        • #19
          Re: Track gets no respect

          At the risk of sounding like John Housman, you earn respect and you do that from the ground up. The leadership of track in this country has missed the opportunity to build interest and participation from the youth level on up. I said it in another thread - which "commissioner" of any sport in this country has juristiction from the youth to the pro level? None. So why does the leadership of USATF (Masback et al) try to attack this problem from the top down, i.e. trying to get more uninterested, sedentary adults to watch taped meets? Why not start with the kids and build fromt he ground up? Masback has the luxury of being able to take the strategic view with little fear of losing his job. Rather than being tactical (its not working anyway) he needs to approach this from the grass roots level.
          Joe Lanzalotto

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          • #20
            Re: Track gets no respect

            While there is certainly a valid argument that there are too many events, I'm not sure that's what is killing public interest. To me, it is the inconsistency of the events run at major meets. Those who have even a basic understanding of track and field expect a meet to consist of events like the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500/mile, hurdles, hj, lj, pv, etc.... So, this person is naturally confused when he or she looks at the results of recent Golden League or GP meets and sees that different events were run at each.

            If I attend a meet (or, in the uncommon event that a meet is televised), I want to see a full-slate of events. Not just the few events the IAAF has designated as grand prix events for the upcoming year.

            Yes, the 100m is a bit different than the 200m. Likewise with 200/400 or 800/1500 or 1500/5000, etc. Each event requires a slightly different set of skills to be successful. That's what makes the sport interesting. Can the runner who blew the field away in the 400 do the same in the 200? Will the 1500 runner hold up as well at the longer 5000 race?

            No sport makes perfect sense and many spectators have trouble adjusting to the nuances of that sport. The key is to make the sport interesting to people.

            >I love track and field, but I think the metric
            >distances are killing public interest.
            >100,200,400,800,1500,3000,5000,10000, etc.etc.
            >ad nauseam. It is like watching binary code in
            >your computer......after awhile it becomes
            >meaningless. A 2 hour Marathon or a sub-4 mile
            >has meaning to the public, can we say the same
            >about a 3:42, 1500?

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            • #21
              Re: Track gets no respect

              I agree that the events are tough and require great skill. It's just that they aren't sexy enough, and I think metric's is partly to blame.

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              • #22
                Re: Track gets no respect

                >If I attend a meet (or, in the uncommon
                event that a meet is televised), I want to see a
                full-slate of events. Not just the few events the
                IAAF has designated as grand prix events for the
                upcoming year.<

                And how much time do you want to invest in this? One of the problems we have in marketing the sport these days is that our events can take much longer than most people (and particularly most younger people) seem to want to spend at an event of any kind. Sure, I want to see the whole programme, too. But I think you and I are part of a small minority of people willing to sit through it all.

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                • #23
                  Re: Track gets no respect

                  I've always had interest in track on all levels, but over the last 5 years, I've been less interested in college and pro track (at least in the US).

                  Most people such as myself go to Penn Relays for the high school events, as opposed to the college and Olympic Development. Luckily, Penn's implementation of the USA v. The World has made watching the world class at Penn more enjoyable.

                  College track, for me, has become a virtual zero (Penn or anyware else, even NCAA's). Sorry, but I'm not feelin' college right now.

                  High school track has always been and always will be enjoyable to me. In addition to Penn, the Armory is a classic (for indoors).

                  My point is this. Many people say fix track at the grass roots. I say fix it at the college and pro levels. They need help. For a lot of reasons. Peace.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Track gets no respect

                    While T&F gets little respect, swimming gets none. At this moment they have the WC in Barcelona and there is hardly any mention of it in the media. The "major" sport website such as ESPN, CBS, Sporting News, CNN/SI dont even have a category for swimming.
                    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                    by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                    • #25
                      Re: Track gets no respect

                      Assuming that the meet is not an invitational with multiple heats of every event, it seems like a meet could be finished in about the same amount of time it takes to complete a 9 inning baseball game or a football game.

                      Granted, it would be unrealistic to run a full-slate of distance races under this scheme. No offense to the distance runner (hey, I enjoy watching these guys as much as anything), but I don't envision such a meet that runs both the 5000 and 10000. For one thing, wouldn't they be the same athletes? And, would they be willing to run both in the same day?

                      To make my point clearer, the way many of the "professional meets" are set up, potential fans of the sport are only seeing a small sample of the whole product. I, for one, would be terribly upset if I made arrangements to attend a meet only to find out that the high jump (or any other event) is not being contested because it's not an "in" event that season.

                      >>If I attend a meet (or, in the uncommon
                      event
                      >that a meet is televised), I want to see
                      >a
                      full-slate of events. Not just the few events
                      >the
                      IAAF has designated as grand prix events for
                      >the
                      upcoming year.<

                      And how much time do you
                      >want to invest in this? One of the problems we
                      >have in marketing the sport these days is that
                      >our events can take much longer than most people
                      >(and particularly most younger people) seem to
                      >want to spend at an event of any kind. Sure, I
                      >want to see the whole programme, too. But I
                      >think you and I are part of a small minority of
                      >people willing to sit through it all.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Track gets no respect

                        >Assuming that the meet is not an invitational
                        with multiple heats of every event, it seems like
                        a meet could be finished in about the same amount
                        of time it takes to complete a 9 inning baseball
                        game or a football game.. . .

                        the way many of the "professional meets" are set up, potential fans of the sport are only seeing a small sample of the whole product. I, for one, would be erribly upset if I made arrangements to attend a meet only to find out that the high jump (or any other event) is not being contested because it's not an "in" event that season.

                        If I attend a meet (or, in the uncommon
                        event that a meet is televised), I want to see
                        a full-slate of events. Not just the few events
                        the IAAF has designated as grand prix events
                        for the upcoming year.<

                        The full slate includes 16 field events--eight each for men and women. They include six long throws, which can be conducted only one at a time.

                        Same amount of time as a baseball or football game? Nonsense.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Track gets no respect

                          The metric distances ARE confusing to a stupid public. To most people running brings up memories of being forced to run in gym class. Maybe if the distances were more "user" friendly: ex; run from the couch to your fridge and back during the commerical, the sprint around Walmart the day after thanksgiving, ect. The majority of people I know that don't like track and field are the ones that could benefit from the exercise and find encouragement to work out by watching it.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Track gets no respect

                            In my opinion, the unit of measurement is irrelevent. What's important is the ability to easily compare one distance to another (i.e the 100m is half as long as the 200m, the 800m is twice as far as the 400m). We could just as easily measure the length of a race or a throw using a javalin as the unit of measure people would still be able to relate distances.

                            Most people are pretty clueless when it comes to measurement. Sure, we're all pretty good at visualizing what 12 inches/1 foot looks like, but once you get beyond 8-10 feet, it's a lot more difficult (from near or far, how many can truly differentiate a PV bar set at 17 or 18 feet).

                            What make you think measureing distances in yards/miles would make it any better? I would bet that a large portion of the public doesn't even realize that there are 3 ft in a yard, or 1760 yards in a mile, or 5280 feet in a mile. When a play is run during a football game, half of the audience probably uses the markers to determine the diustance of the run of pass, while the other half just waits for the PA guy to announce it. Most people couldn't come close to walking a distance of 100 yards unless they were on a football field or look. They couldn't drive a mile in there car without resetting the trip odometer.

                            It's simply a matter of adjusting to the metric system. I can't be that bad if the rest of the world uses it. Watch foreign tv sometime. They spit out distance is meters/centimeters, weights in grams/kilograms, and temperature in degrees Celsius like without hesitation.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Track gets no respect

                              Maybe it's just the hardening of my arteries, but I've been trying to 'adjust' to metric for 30 years, and it's just like when I was taking German in high school, when I had to translate everything in my head back into English. YAY! to T&FN's policy to keep imperial listings for an AMERICAN public. When gh's (and my) generation is sitting 1.83m under, y'all can go metric all you want.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Track gets no respect

                                You are right, any measurement of distance is completely arbitrary. I am just suggesting that a complete venue of running events that start at 100, then gets doubled again and again and again and again etc. gets tedious to a public that we want interested in this sport. I have a question for you, do you think TV exec's in the U.S. are more interested in a good 1500 man or a good miler?

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