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  • #16
    I think what would help track and field are some good old fashion, bitter, fierce, vicious, ferocious, rivalries (ala Carl and Ben, Renaldo and Greg, Steve and Seb. United States and Russia). Ok, I know those ships have sailed. Rivalries might not help, but they damn sure would not hurt. Just saying..

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    • #17
      Originally posted by gm View Post
      I would like some input from the under-50 crowd... 😁
      22 here
      Though I agree that the sport need "personalities", I don't get the idea behind this topic. Is it that we should encourage athletes to show their inner self more blatantly and have the stadium as a kind of giant open-air therapy circus ? "Look what I am, I have a PERSONALITY". Or maybe worse (in my POV), that we should incite each and every athlete to create his own character ?
      Some athletes are charismatic, some others not that much (sorry Christian Coleman), don't think the later should try and create a role : T&F is not wrestling.
      I really feel like Noah Lyles is a "fake", overdoing everything (communication, pre and post race posture etc) and I don't buy it.

      Some of the feats you call for are contingencies, e.g. Smith/Carlos, Drummond, Mekhissi, Grunewald (guess she would have chosen another way to go down in history) ; I don't recall that anyone ever asked for it (except maybe Mexico) and that's precisely why they felt genuine and dramatic ...

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      • #18
        Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
        Usain Bolt was a phenom but his antics turned me off.
        Me, too.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by user4 View Post

          The greatest are almost universally very humble and modest people. The greats that are immodest and petty and disparaging of others are very rare indeed.
          Make a list of the best players in the last 30/40 years of the NBA and tell me how many of them were modest.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by user4 View Post

            The greatest are almost universally very humble and modest people. The greats that are immodest and petty and disparaging of others are very rare indeed.
            True. Obviously, people have different personalities and personality preferences. Doesn't mean either is wrong, just different. Spontaneous exuberance can be excused, repeated self-grandiosity gets tiring. A sprinter (forgot who) turning a fire extinguisher on his spikes was funny but don't do it again.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
              Usain Bolt was a phenom but his antics turned me off.
              I understand where you are coming from, but one could say the same thing about Muhammad Ali.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by donley2 View Post
                Make a list of the best players in the last 30/40 years of the NBA and tell me how many of them were modest.
                Why restrict the era when we had superstars like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bob Cousy, Jerry West? Has sportsmanship deteriorated that far?

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                • #23
                  Because that is ancient, like most track and field fans.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by The Klingon View Post

                    I understand where you are coming from, but one could say the same thing about Muhammad Ali.
                    Yes. And I almost did but hit the post button too quick. Classic example.

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                    • #25
                      The sport needs "villains", too. Not really a villain, but a larger-than-life figure (like Bolt) who generated strong positives and negatives among the fans, much like Muhammad Ali. Justin Gatlin was a figure who engendered strong dislikes and much disapproval attention in Britain, while being relatively nondescript in the U.S.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by J Rorick View Post
                        The sport needs "villains", . Justin Gatlin was a figure who engendered strong dislikes and much disapproval attention in Britain, while being relatively nondescript in the U.S.
                        The British. LOL!!!

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                        • #27
                          More Ezekiel Kemboi

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                          • #28
                            I'm an upper-middle-age dude and I love the exuberant displays, more so if they are genuine. Bolt was a superb showman.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by gm View Post
                              I'm an upper-middle-age dude and I love the exuberant displays, more so if they are genuine. Bolt was a superb showman.
                              I can understand lonewolf's concerns regarding excessive show boating but for me, Bolt never crossed that line. There is a modest amount of showboating that is tolerable and can be fun and then there is grotesque garish behavior that diminishes the sport. Bolt was always good natured and never denigrating of his competitors. I cant fault him.

                              My own sense is that any athlete that in any way taunts or disparages another athlete on the field of competition should be immediately escorted off the field. Im serious. If you cross the finish line and say one cross word to a competitor, there should be two "bouncers" that grab you by the scruff of your neck and carry you off the field in complete humiliation. That will put an end to clown acts that are sucking the life out of the sport.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by user4 View Post

                                I can understand lonewolf's concerns regarding excessive show boating but for me, Bolt never crossed that line. There is a modest amount of showboating that is tolerable and can be fun and then there is grotesque garish behavior that diminishes the sport. Bolt was always good natured and never denigrating of his competitors. I cant fault him.

                                My own sense is that any athlete that in any way taunts or disparages another athlete on the field of competition should be immediately escorted off the field. Im serious. If you cross the finish line and say one cross word to a competitor, there should be two "bouncers" that grab you by the scruff of your neck and carry you off the field in complete humiliation. That will put an end to clown acts that are sucking the life out of the sport.
                                I'd say the stuffed shirt aspect probably sucks more life out of the sport than any showboating or disparagement. I'm also really not sure exactly what your last sentence is referring to. You think potential or existing fans are not paying attention to T&F because of "clown acts"?

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