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  • #31
    Originally posted by Seeksreal
    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.
    The problem with such pacts is the big payoffs in breaking the pact...

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    • #32
      Originally posted by AS
      Originally posted by Seeksreal
      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.
      The problem with such pacts is the big payoffs in breaking the pact...
      Those payoffs would be very shortlived. This pact would be in everybody's interest and the heavy hitters would have to ensure that there would be enough benefit for everyone in keeping the pact intact. It really isn't all that complicated unless this is a circus driven by self-absorbed egomaniacs, in which case there is no hope for our sport at all.

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      • #33
        Would they run into antitrust kinds of issues if IAAF were to stipulate that promoter /athlete agreements can only apply to the competition at hand?

        In other words, no agreements barring an athlete competing with someone else or including any inducements to not compete with someone else.

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        • #34
          Mandated competition?

          Gee, just what we need! A return to the days of the AAU and travel permits, and piss-ant administrators telling athletes when and where they will compete.

          An equal part of the elemental human rights of the athletes is the option NOT to compete. It was a freedom they fought long and hard to get and now you want to take it away from them for the sake of your viewing pleasure?

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          • #35
            Sorry, I don't think it's just a "point of view." It's what happens when pin-headed bureaucrats have say over who competes when and where. It has happened before (think Pre) and there is nothing to stop it from happening again (just ask the Kenyan athletes and their ongoing federation problems).

            Comparisons to the pro leagues just don't fly. That's a team sport, and everyone is progressing towards the same goal. They're also progressing while being guaranteed a league average of over a million bucks in salary (wonder how often people would run for that kind of deal?), and with union protection, employment contracts and a pension plan., etc., etc.

            (Allow me once again to clarify that I agree that nothing--absolutely nothing--would be better for the sport than more heavyweight clashes among the titans. I just think that mandated competition isn't the right way to go about it. And I admit that I can't think of any other way that has much hope of working either. The civil libertarian in me says the current system is the least of all evils.)

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            • #36
              Originally posted by gh
              The civil libertarian in me says the current system is the least of all evils.)
              I agree with this sentiment (although the civil libertarian in me died a long slow painful death when I fond out that some people only have their OWN self-interests at heart, with nary a moment's concern for the rights of others), but I do see a kernel of truth in oldvaulter's position. If there WERE an athletes' union, part of the collective bargaining agreement would be that the athletes scratch the meet directors' backs and vice versa. That would mean that the athletes would sign in, before the season (excl. injury (and THAT'S a whole-nuther can'o'worms)), to a series of meets, that WOULD showcase the sport in a positive light (no Pre separate race scenarios, which WAS a big black eye), and bring the best together in strategic ways throughout the season. I am NOT a fan of the very best going head-to-head, week in and week out, but the Coe-Ovett, Gay-Powell clashes need to happen SEVERAL times a year. Don't put all the marque showdowns in one meet, spread 'em out, but we do need them. The MDs need to think of what's best for the athletes, but the athletes ALSO have to think of what's best for the sport, and THAT is high-profile showdowns, sprinkled throughout the season.

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              • #37
                About the only way Coe's career/life could have turned out better is if he makes king, but I think that job's spoken for! :-)

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by gh
                  Sorry, I don't think it's just a "point of view." It's what happens when pin-headed bureaucrats have say over who competes when and where. It has happened before (think Pre) and there is nothing to stop it from happening again (just ask the Kenyan athletes and their ongoing federation problems).

                  Comparisons to the pro leagues just don't fly. That's a team sport, and everyone is progressing towards the same goal. They're also progressing while being guaranteed a league average of over a million bucks in salary (wonder how often people would run for that kind of deal?), and with union protection, employment contracts and a pension plan., etc., etc.

                  (Allow me once again to clarify that I agree that nothing--absolutely nothing--would be better for the sport than more heavyweight clashes among the titans. I just think that mandated competition isn't the right way to go about it. And I admit that I can't think of any other way that has much hope of working either. The civil libertarian in me says the current system is the least of all evils.)
                  So what mechanisms prevent this problem in golf? The idea that one player would be ducking another seems pretty remote.

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                  • #39
                    $$$$$$

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by oldvaulter
                      Originally posted by gh
                      $$$$$$
                      AND 4 majors per year which none of the top players would dream of missing because winning majors is what major careers are made of. Track has only three majors in four years, while golf and tennis have sixteen in that time. How about four indispensible majors per year in track? The likelihood of getting a world ranking would be remote for those who didn't compete in all four. And there could be other incentives, including money. Of course if you win three majors and are injured for the fourth, you're still going to rank well, but otherwise you better be at all four or you're not really a player in the sport.
                      How about:

                      Olympic year: Olympics, WAF, upgrade Zurich (all events), upgrade Pre (all events)
                      Olympics +1 : WAF, World Championships, Zurich (all events), upgrade Pre (all events), some big deal in Asia
                      Olympics +2:WAF,Zurich (all events), upgrade Pre (all events), some indoor meet
                      Olympics +3: WAF, World Championships, ,upgrade Zurich (all events), upgrade Pre (all events)

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                      • #41
                        Obviously I was trying to be a bit of a provocateur when I started this thread with the title I gave it. The little quote in the original short article clearly wasn’t much of a “blast”. But this evening I’m translating Ms. Maryanchik’s more lengthy Isinterview™ from Monaco that was posted Wednesday on Allsport.ru – http://www.allsport.ru/index.php?id=10176 – and while it's getting late and I’m probably gonna run out of gas tonight before I get it finished and send it off, I want to post a more complete version of what Isi really said. This young vaulter rather clearly echoes what others have said here.
                        - But you know where all these problems with our image come from in general? Compare, for instance, football players, who play on the order of 40-60 matches per year. Okay, football is a team sport, so possibly the comparison isn’t valid. Let’s take "Formula-1". What do you think; can Schumacher forego the rivalry with Alonso? No, they always compete on the same track, because this is an issue of the popularity of their sport; an issue of the interest of the spectators and journalists. But what do we see in athletics? For instance, the best sprinters in the world, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay – why do they avoid facing each other? Why? They’re worried about insufficient money! I’m not interested! Just imagine how much more interesting it would be for the fans if Powell and Gay opposed each other at every tournament. We, the athletes, mustn’t think only about ourselves, but also about the popularity of our sport. Many athletes shy away from contact with the press - because of fatigue or unwillingness, they play no role. But stars must openly talk about themselves, about their country, about their position. For instance, Asafa is from Jamaica – not the best known country for many. But he can tell about it, present it in the way he considers necessary. Every country, on every continent has its stars. It’s worthwhile for them to speak more about their homelands. I don’t know where the problems of athletics are rooted, but I figure the solution, in any event, must begin with the athletes. They must understand that they’re important figures in the popularization of our sport.

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                        • #42
                          Playing devil:s advokat here: What would happen if Powell or Gay responded with, Issy, contest lower heights in order to give the impression that you care about competing against your colleagues, not soaking the limelight for yourself simply because you can. We won:t duck if you don:t; you:re in it for the money, too, or you:d not come in when the competitors are nearly finished off and then take world-record attempts on your third or so effort of the evening.

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                          • #43
                            Kudos to Isi! She is right on!! I think the golf example is also very valid. How can such a boring sport get so much media coverage???? T&F has way more to offer in terms of excitement and intensity. One way could be to make the WAT a true tour where each event is contested the same number of times and one overall male and one overall female winner is crowned at the end of the season in addition to individual event winners. If it is possible to add points from each meet to the total score, the top athletes would compete as much as possible and be less concerned about who they are up against in a single meet. I have thought out quite a detailed system for how this could be constructed and incorporating the concept of "majors" in it as well. I won't go into all that here, though, but if someone from IAAF wants to talk to me about it, I'm here.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by AS
                              Not as sure about this quote though

                              I really love the Gala! To see everyone with whom you go to the tournaments all year, looking beautiful, well dressed, in civilized clothing – this is simply super!
                              SI has an online photo album of women sports stars off the playing field. Included is this photo of Izzy in civilized clothes: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multim ... nt.11.html

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by bad hammy
                                Included is this photo of Izzy in civilized clothes
                                Ya gotta love The Shoulders!!!!

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