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  • Indoor meets in yards.

    As the now infamous Boston telecast has shown the American public does not understand metric and never will. As Kuha pointed out, the events covered on TV were, as quoted:

    1. 'Almost a half-mile'

    2. 'Something close to 2 mile'. If anyone understood LR's explanation, please enlighten me.

    3. 'Track's version of the 40 yard dash'

    and so on.

    What I propose is having the indoor meets in this country run in yards Why not a meet with the 40 yard dash, the half-mile, the mile, the 2 mile? Hey they are even bringing back the 600 yard race!

    Sure we can't compare our times to Europe but, hey, do we really want to anymore?

    GH is always babbling about pure racing. Well here is our chance to do something about it.

  • #2
    Re: Indoor meets in yards.

    Simply because "announcers" continue to make weak attempts at converting metric distances, does NOT mean that the public DOESN'T understand them ....

    The assumption is that the public doesn't understand .. Or won't watch .. Or can't convert ... Reality is as long as those who provide them with coverage ACT AS IF IT IS A BIG DEAL, we will probably never really know ..

    Announcers ACT as if John Q public is an idiot ... And end up looking like idiots themselves in the process ... Why not just announce the meets and see where THAT leads to ???

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Indoor meets in yards.

      Larry Rawson has treated us like idiots for years. Anothher highly irritating thing (at least for me) is how he butchers east European names. Drives me up the wall.
      "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
      by Thomas Henry Huxley

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      • #4
        Re: Indoor meets in yards.

        >Simply because "announcers" continue to make weak attempts at converting
        >metric distances, does NOT mean that the public DOESN'T understand them
        > ... Why not just announce the meets and
        >see where THAT leads to ???

        bingo.

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        • #5
          Re: Indoor meets in yards.

          Sorry, but NO bingo. To pretend that the US public "gets" metric or doesn't care one way or another is simple fantasy. All those who believe so are simply dead wrong. The announcers bend over backwards to "relate" the metric distances to yards for a good reason: they KNOW the general audience needs and wants it. And yet, obviously, it still doesn't work. What the hell does it mean to say that the 800 is "almost" a half-mile? Or that the 3000 is "close" to 2 miles? If that is our (the general public's) frame of reference, then it's far better to run the REAL thing: half-miles and 2 miles, etc.

          Shifting the entire US indoor season (what pathetic fragments of it are left) to yards wouldn't immediately pull back a larger audience, but it WOULD help. And what harm would it do? Who gives a hoot about the indoor world list? It has no bearing on "real" annual rankings, after all.

          I remember being taught the metric system 40 years ago in 7th or 8th grade. We all "got" it, but it was something abstract or alien...not something we'd really use in everyday life. I know the basic markers for Celsius, too, but I certainly don't use it every day. On another thread, I quoted from a professional journal of 1880 on the strange reluctance Americans were having in adopting the metric system. This is NOT a new problem; and thus, it's NOT a problem that will be "solved" anytime soon. Why? Quite simple: Americans don't really HAVE to understand metric and so--surprise, surprise--they don't.

          Will shifting back to yards "save" American (indoor) track? No, of course, not. But it WOULD begin a vitally important process of opening the sport up to an audience extending beyond those of us who frequent this board. And that's NOT a bad thing.

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          • #6
            Re: Indoor meets in yards.

            rob stone is a guy who does sideline interviews at soccer matches...

            he played soccer at colgate and got a low rung job at espn...

            when he's the primary announcer, you knoiw espn ahs reached the bottom of the barrel

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            • #7
              Re: Indoor meets in yards.

              The problem isn't getting the public to relate to anything. The problem is that we're the only sport that tries to do this instead of presenting its product to its core and then adding things for others to draw them in too. Stop trying to explain metric. Who cares what the system is, its a race and that what needs to be talked about, not the measurement system.

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              • #8
                Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                The big problem is a competence of announcers...

                use the MUTE button...it prevents a lot of angst when you hear the idiotic statements....

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                • #9
                  Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                  That may sound good but it is, to be frank, nonsense.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                    The above is in response to MJR.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                      I really believe that USA stays Imperial (flying in the face of all logic), because we no one in the gov't has the guts to mandate it. In EVERY other country it just happened whether people liked it or not (and human nature being what it is, they didn't). Our president and congress are too worried about the short-term backlash. And if you believe they SHOULD listen to our gripes in this regard, revisit the whole seat-belt thing, which people didn't like initially either. Just get on with it. There will be tons of bitching for a year or two and then we'll just move on. The kids in kindergarden will deal with it just fine and as we dinosaurs become extinct, it's ancient history. I AM one of those Imperialists (oooh, flashback to my 60's/70's college days), but I'll deal with it too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                        So how should a track and field meet be telecast??

                        The major error is interrupting a race......

                        I've seen 800 meter races be interuppted on American TV...

                        15 years ago, soccer matches used to be intterrupted for commericials.

                        This does NOT happen any longer...

                        Why??? Understanding how soccer came NOT to interrupt and game, AND then apply this to the BROADCASTING of T&F is the 1st step.

                        Basically, this is any distance race... generally, a race is run, then we get 2 or 3 minuts of commercials and then the next race...

                        organize the telecast to block out 8 or 9 minutes for the 3000, then after it show 5 mintues of commercials.....

                        and to quality of announcers, just let Rawson to it by himself...

                        adding a moron just destroys the telecast more than Rawson alone...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                          >Who gives a hoot about the indoor
                          >world list?

                          those interested in qualifying for world indoors and ncaa indoors give a "hoot" -- and they matter more than any casual fans who supposedly cannot enjoy racing over metric distances do.

                          all the "reasoning" i have seen listed comes across as nothing more than gut feelings backed up by asumptions and guesses. until the mold (no pun intended) is broken - i.e. either announcers realize that it has no bearing on the actual length and quit yammering about it or meet directors decide to screw athletes seeking qualifying marks by going archaic in race measurement to see if that draws all the hypothetical fans who apparently are so completely puzzled by metrics/conversions that they change the channel in a fit of frustrated confusion (as opposed to those who change the channel in a fit of frustration over endless showings of warmups and replays, insulting and insipid color commentary, races that have key segments interrupted by commercials, uninteresting races making the broadcast while more compelling races are omitted, pre-emption of much of the broadcast by the yawner finish of an obscure college basketball game, etc.) - it remains a non-issue. there are many other things to consider fixing before it comes to something that minute.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                            Kuha, explain how its nonsense.

                            No business ever goes after the fringe audience of customers first and hopes to succeed. We are the core audience for T&F and the TV idiots refuse to market to us, instead trying this 30 year experiment to get a larger audience by disregarding what is going on on the "field of play". No other sport is presented this way. Every other sport goes first to appeal to its hard core fans, then adds things to draw int he rest. What they do to us is akin to only showing 1st and 4th down of every football drive and expecting people to follow the sport while they interrupt it with commercials and inane (idiotic) commentary about how this sport can be understood by comparing it to a dozen other things and mentioning how the sport used to be contested 30+ years ago.

                            We're presented as a tired old boring game, by tired old boring commentators, speaking about all the "good ol' days". Shut up already. Fire these people and get people in there that have a clue, some pep in their step and can relate to anyone under the age of 45. We're supposed to be attracting the 18-34 demographic and make absolutely no effort to do this by constantly referring to the old days. ESPN still uses the graphics and music intros for the late 80s when the Olympic Invite (Vitalis) Meet was in existence and Coughlin broke the WR there.

                            Yes, we need to embrace the history of the sport and revel in it. We cannot continue to live in it and that's what the marketing of this sport is intent on doing and we wonder why 80% of the HS kids who participate stop the second they graduate, never watch it on TV and/or have no idea who any Olympian is 30 seconds after the Olympic are over (if they ever knew).

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                            • #15
                              Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                              'I really believe that USA stays Imperial (flying in the face of all logic), because we no one in the gov't has the guts to mandate it.'

                              Well, that is not entirely true. If you remember back in 1974 there were bills in Congress passed that mandated that the U.S. would go entirely metric. However, there was such a huge backlash from the public that it really never went anywhere.

                              But, that is neither here nor there. Trying to get the public to go metric seems a lot harder than having yards in indoor meets. And as Kuha mentions: What do we have to lose? I think it would be fun to see a 40 yard dash and the public would have some to connect to. I think this is why Nascar is much more popular than say, Formula 1 racing. The reason is that Nascar racers race in cars that look similar to what the average Joe drives---albeit a lot more powerful.

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