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Track gets no respect

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  • #31
    Re: Track gets no respect

    Even though I'm probably a lot younger than you, TAFNUT, I should be better accustomed to metric. I'll admit that I'm not, and I'm a mathematician! I know everything there is to know about the metric system and can easily do the conversions. In my opinion, the hardest adjustments to make are the fields events. I too thank GH and T&FN for providing imperial measurements along with metric. But, I'm learning!

    The nicest part about the metric system is the fact that there is only one base unit. There doesn't seem to be an advantage with 6ft = 183cm = 1.83m. But, 6ft,2in = 1.88m. No need for using two different units!

    Right now, you and I are more comfortable when we visualize/measure short distances in feet? Would we be just as comfortable measuring these heights/distances in yards, too? How would we react to the HJ WR be listed as 2.68yd (or, how about 2yd,2ft,1/2in)?

    I still stick by my point made earlier, though. I a race with a fixed distance, the unit of measurement is still irrrelevent

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    • #32
      Re: Track gets no respect

      I think the doubling of distances is just a natural, consistent, way of increasing the distance of the races. Sure, the distances could have just as easily been set at 100, 300, 900, ... or 150, 300, 450, ... [I'm not going to say anything about why we suddenly jump from 800 to 1500 -- it doesn't make a lot of sense to me).

      To answer your question, though. I don't think a tv exec could give a rat's a** about the 1500/mile debate. The past several years, it seems like the only interest from tv is the 100 and perhaps the 400 (during the MJ era). I do believe however, that the 1500 is a silly equivalent to the mile. If it's not meant to be, then why is often called the "metric mile"?

      >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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      • #33
        Re: Track gets no respect

        Clay: You must not of watched the Prefontaine meet and the mile buildup for Alan Webb on NBC this year. The reason there is little coverage for middle or longer distance events overall is exactly due to the public's lack of interest in watching it on TV. Why is that??

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        • #34
          Re: Track gets no respect

          Without a doubt, track and field is probably the most difficult sport to cover on TV -- especially races longer than a mile. If you think about football, basketball, and baseball, there tend to be natural breaks occuring every 5 minutes or so (timeouts, change of possession, in between innings, etc...). In track, it would be next to impossible to show a 5000 race in it's entirety without interruption (imagine having to listen to the the commentators talk during this time). Seeing a condensed version of the race just doesn't do it for me. I'm always wondering what I have missed. The problem with trying to show the field events is the dead time between attempts.

          On the other hand, all of the shorter races fit into this 5 minute (+ or -) span.

          I couldn't even begin to come up with a way to repackage track for TV. Personally, I would much rather attend a meet in person. Unfortunately, I live in Indy and we don't get many track meets here. Too bad we don't have adequate support or facilities here (just a bit of sarcasm...)

          P.S. I think I missed the Prefontaine meet on tv. Wasn't it aired days or weeks after the meet? I'm thankful for T&FN for allowing me to get the detailed, up-to-date results that you can't get on TV or in the newspaper. It sure beats what we see on TV these days...

          >Clay: You must not of watched the Prefontaine
          >meet and the mile buildup for Alan Webb on NBC
          >this year. The reason there is little coverage
          >for middle or longer distance events overall is
          >exactly due to the public's lack of interest in
          >watching it on TV. Why is that??

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          • #35
            Re: Track gets no respect

            I hear some folks saying that college track is less enjoyable these days. I beg to differ. I coach track at the high and jr. high level and those folks plus college athletes really lay on the line for their teams.That is what I like about high school and college track.The regional qualifying system installed in college this year has forced good athletes to make decisions about where to run hard and when to pull back and maybe skip a conference championship meet. I think this makes for boring meets by not showcasing your stars,so they might not get injured.I think coaches really need to look at whats going on with other sports and make a decision that will help this sport get out of the shadows.

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            • #36
              Re: Track gets no respect

              I would be interested in seeing a "team track" concept devloped much like Team Tennis. It certianly wouldn't be glamorous like the major championships, but it may spark some interest in track and field.

              I imagine a scenario where the size or each team was large enough to field a complete team (2 or 3 per event) but small enough to force some doubling or tripling up (100/200/4x1, 800/1500, etc...)

              Depending on the number of teams formed, there could be a round-robin series of dual meets or a series of tri/quad meets staged over a period of time in different cities. I also believe it could be easily be packaged into a nice afternoon or twilight event.

              It would be kind of like a high school dual meet, only these meets would have world class athletes.

              It may or may not be an ideal situation for TV, but that's not the point. The point is to give potential fans an opportunity to attend and see there favorite stars compete against each other in a team format.

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