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Isinbaeva blasts Gay and Powell

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  • #16
    Who foots the bill for the Gay/Powell meetings? Meets have finite budgets and their own fiscal health as a prime directive. If you bust the bank putting a head-to-head together and diminish your meet's longterm health,how has that benefitted the sport?

    Why should Gay or Powell cut their price when there are enough meets willing to pay to have just one of them to satisfy all their racing desires? They're performers, and a cut-rate performer soon becomes just that.

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    • #17
      Montgomery didn:t have an opportunity afforded to race much following the discovery of his illegal scheme known as "Project World Record".

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      • #18
        Fans in the US do show their dismay with the big names avoiding each other. they either don't become fans or they quit being fans and then they can't quite find the time to buy tickets to go to the meet.

        Remember the stupidity of having Powel and Gatlin in Eugene a couple years ago for the Pre and having them run in different races? Now there was a crowd pleaser. "Annie, see how this guy in this race is the fastest in the world? Now this other guy might really be the fastest in the world but they are going to run in separate races. Yeah, I know it seems kind dumb. They flew here for the race, we drove down for the race and now, they are going to run separate races...."

        That is why I prefer the field events. People generally don't duck each other.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tafnut
          So I guess Isi won't mind it when the PTB dictate HER schedule to HER??!! She's speaking out of turn. She needs to let TG & AP figure out what's best for them. She needs to get back to setting WRs. That would help the sport now.
          Out of turn? So maybe it's "Back to the collective farm for you, Isi, you uppity impertinent serf"?

          She not only at the top of her event (the top ever); she's at the top of the sport. She's earned the right to speak her mind -- at least as much so as some loquacious on-line ankle-biter.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Dave
            Fans in the US do show their dismay with the big names avoiding each other.
            Yeah, imagine what people would have said if a few weeks ago the Patriots & Colts both ducked each other to play the Dolphins & Raiders.

            Sports are about competition. When you're better off financially not competing, something is inherently wrong with the sport.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by oldvaulter
              Originally posted by Dave
              That is why I prefer the field events. People generally don't duck each other.
              Nor in the hurdles. And the ducking that the sprinters have now gone crazy with is also a fairly recent phenomena, not characteristic of the history of the sport. Opportunities to compete against the very best the sport has to offer should be a big incentive and great satisfaction to the top athletes. If it isn't, something is screwed with their priorities.

              I'm not minimizing the need, nor the appropriate desire, for the athletes to generate as much income as they reasonably can during what can be a very short career. But when this becomes the sole objective, competition is undermined and the sport suffers.
              Did anyone do it better than Edwin Moses?

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              • #22
                Athletes needn:t duck each other for the sport to suffer. Aouita attempted to better the Rono 7.32 WR in Malmö, but got side-tracked watching Barrios and Ondieki as Maree cruised lap after lap as the unofficial designated rabbit once those athletes focussed on each other, and not the race at hand. Aouita won that day, but stated afterward that in order to better the world record, he:d have to run a race where he could focus on himself, not his competitors.

                P.S. The race was boring except the final 200m when Aouita, possessing superior 1.43 speed, injected a bit of pace into the race and dropped his rivals.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by oldvaulter
                  ....
                  I'm not minimizing the need, nor the appropriate desire, for the athletes to generate as much income as they reasonably can during what can be a very short career. But when this becomes the sole objective, competition is undermined and the sport suffers.
                  Where did anybody say it was the sole objective? Or even hint at it? I certainly didn't.

                  On a day-to-day basis the athletes--as you noted in an earlier Rankings thread--want to get good marks more than anything else. As for the ultimate goal in every season (well, at least 3 out of 4) it's to win OG/WC gold.

                  I agree that the sport suffers when competition is undermined. But who are we to tell the athletes how to do their business? If you worked in the widget industry and and I told you that by taking a cut in pay you'd be helping the industry as a whole, what would your reaction be?

                  This is their JOB; they're not gladiators thrown into the arena just to perform for our pleasure.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by oldvaulter
                    ....Ducking looks bad, and is bad for the sport and the athletes. They do owe something to the sport that has given them the opportunity to excel to the point of fame and fortune.

                    World class athletes who are well-known and well-supported by the public are, to some significant extent, entertainers. If we didn't get pleasure from their performance, we wouldn't pay to see them and they wouldn't have a job.
                    Hmm.... didn't seem to hurt Coe & Ovett much, did it? Or before them, Walker & Bayi? (Or, as somebody alluded to above, Edwin Moses and pretty much everybody whenever possible.)

                    Indeed, out there in the crass world of popular sports, "ducking" is viewed as the best way to build the hype and draw attraction to the sport.

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                    • #25
                      Just about nothing outside of PEDs makes our sport look lamer than the head-to-head situation in the men's 100 as personified by the 2006 Pre meet where Gatlin and Powell ran different heats. Ludicrous . . .

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by oldvaulter
                        Originally posted by gh
                        But who are we to tell the athletes how to do their business?.
                        We, the fans, happen to be their employers. This is true of all who earn their keep by public performance -- artists, athletes, politicians, etc. They don't have to listen to us -- at their long-term peril -- but we certainly have a right to express what we want from them.
                        The difference is that the "employers" of the others can make a difference to their bottom line. If all the hardcore and semicore fans in the country (say total readership of this board, letsrun, dyestat and trackshark) never again watched a Gay or Powell race or bought a ticket to a meet they were running in, the people who pay their salaries, the shoe companies and the TV people, wouldn't even notice.

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                        • #27
                          I disagree with that gh.

                          Most of the people that attend the World Class meets I've attended are either married to, friends of, children of, or employers of ....us.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by bad hammy
                            Just about nothing outside of PEDs makes our sport look lamer than the head-to-head situation in the men's 100 as personified by the 2006 Pre meet where Gatlin and Powell ran different heats. Ludicrous . . .
                            I couldn't agree more.... but Nike obviously wanted both its superstar sprinters to perform in its showcase meet. (And, I would guess, didn't want to risk forcing either into an early-season injury.)

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by gh
                              If all the hardcore and semicore fans in the country (say total readership of this board, letsrun, dyestat and trackshark) never again watched a Gay or Powell race or bought a ticket to a meet they were running in, the people who pay their salaries, the shoe companies and the TV people, wouldn't even notice.
                              So what you're saying is that Joe Sixpack rules the waves? The T&F Cognescenti count for nought??!! The Pre crowds and the Zurich crowds are a bunch of belly-scratchin' yahoos, who couldn't tell a Hammer from a High Jump?

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by oldvaulter
                                Originally posted by gh
                                But who are we to tell the athletes how to do their business?.
                                We, the fans, happen to be their employers. This is true of all who earn their keep by public performance -- artists, athletes, politicians, etc. They don't have to listen to us -- at their long-term peril -- but we certainly have a right to express what we want from them.
                                I absolutely agree with this. If the gala organizers were smart about it, they'd band together and force at least 3-4 head-to-heads per season of the top sprinters of the year. Perhaps they could rotate which galas got to have them from year to year? They could always lock out AP and TG along with their managers' other athletes from ALL their events if they wanted. I bet they'd have both AP and TG signed up pretty fast for head-heads this way--even at a slightly cut rate. Athletes come and go, but the main galas remain the same. And if the galas averaged 5000-10000 more spectators, they'd be making up for the added costs of the divas.

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