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  • #16
    Re: Indoor meets in yards.

    How about Dwight Stones as the one man booth. He certainly has the voice, and is knowledgable. As for Larry Rawson, he is a moron.

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    • #17
      Re: Indoor meets in yards.

      >What do we have to lose?

      at the elite level, being a significant part of the international scene as well as the high end collegians -- outside of the mile, the championship events for each require qualifying marks in metrics. dispense completely with the metric distances from an indoor meet and it will turn into nothing more than a local all-comer's meet; essentially all high level competitors will steer clear. see what that does to the fan base, particularly the non-hard-core types.

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      • #18
        Re: Indoor meets in yards.

        MJR: I, too, would love to see the real sport (without fou-fou and nonsense) treated with the respect it deserves. That's why, in part, I fly to Europe every summer--it IS treated with respect there. The US media deals with track as entertainment and tries to package it accordingly; the European press tends to treat it as news--a big difference.

        However, when you suggest that no need should be made to reach out to an audience larger than the current hard-core,I have to disagree. IF we want more meets in this country, higher caliber meets, and better media coverage, then the sport simply MUST broaden its appeal. In our capitalist society, numbers are power. That's why, of course, the networks take the hardcore fans FOR GRANTED and spend tons of effort to pull in whatever fringe or casual audience there might be. They do this badly, of course, but they do try...

        If that's the reality, then it is worth some serious thought on how, exactly, the sport can be made interesting and understandable to this larger audience. And I don't mean "everybody," of course--it will never be as popular as major league football or baseball; times and sporting tastes have changed; etc. But, certainly, more can be done to enlarge the sport's appeal. I and a few others have observed that the metric nature of the sport is ONE handicap to popular understanding. We can call the US public morons and idiots all day long, but that won't make them go metric. (And the idea of government mandates makes me laugh.) So, what to do? Maybe none of us know...but my gut reaction is that your view is a recipe for the status quo--which, by any measure, is pretty pathetic.

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        • #19
          Re: Indoor meets in yards.

          >>That's why, in part, I fly to Europe every summer

          You must have won lotto! I'll carry your luggage EVERYWHERE if you take me along.

          >>However, when you suggest that no need should be made to reach out to an audience larger than the current hard-core,I have to disagree.

          That's not my suggestion at all. What I'm saying (and thought I had done a better job of explaining - mea culpa) is that the broadcasts need to have a primary focus on the action, which is what the FANS (us crazies) of the sport want. This is no different than any other sport, but some reason they refuse to do it for T&F. Now when the fans (casual watchers) tune in, they should add more elaborate items without denigrating the sport and/or its FANS. Without FANS watching, you will never get fans to watch it, because FANS will tell fans about how good it is, not the other way around.

          You need to build everything by starting with a strong base and building outwards. Yet ESPN, ABC & NBC like to build the outer shell and expect to fill it with water, then the balloon bursts and everyone gets wet and pissed off.

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          • #20
            Re: Indoor meets in yards.

            They could build suspense in the field events by showing more than the winning jump/throw. Hell, you could even edit in suspense that doesn't exist in person! Make the viewer stay put by coming back to each field event periodically. Cut away from a 10K for 5 seconds to show a single throw or jump. TV doesn't give the impression that so much is going at once and it seems like a whole lot more standing around than there really is.

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            • #21
              Re: Indoor meets in yards.

              Just leech onto the feed from Eurosport or the BBC and let it run. The announcers all speak English and it will be much more worth while.

              Hell, for the Bislett Games on ESPN2 they simply took the European video and had Rawson watch it on a TV and talk into a microphone.

              Although it would have been even better if they had kept the original commentary -- even if it was Norwegian.

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              • #22
                Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                MJR: We're in complete agreement that the sport could certainly be presented/packaged better than it is now. And, yes, certainly, one of the key things is to focus on the ACTION and dispense with the frills and foolishness. Why don't the networks already do this? I have to presume it's because they feel that the action alone isn't enough. We all disagree with that, of course, but I'm sure they're going from all sorts of market research in making those calls. I'm a firm believer in reality: I will go where the great meets are and don't expect them to come to me. However, it is a crying shame that the sport has deteriorated so badly in this country in the last 30 years. (Remember the days when nearly every major city had a decent indoor meet?) There are many pieces to the puzzle: action, personalities, rivalries, "stories," stars, etc. Somehow, it seems, what worked a generation or more ago is just comatose now. Getting back to "basics" is a very good idea, but it would be nice to enlarge the viewing audience somehow.

                I'd love for you to come to Europe! Pack your bags!

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                • #23
                  Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                  To the respondent above who commented that going imperial would make it impossible to get qualifying marks for the World Indoors or the NCAA: of course not, marks are easily convertible.

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                  • #24
                    Re: 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'<<

                    Larry Rawson needs to be put down. They shoot horses, don't they?

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                    • #25
                      Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                      As a reasonably metric/imperial distances bilingual foreigner, I think the whole idea of switching to meets in yards in an attempt to attract fans is futile. In my opinion, the mindless comparisons spewed by the commentators listed in this thread is where the presentation to "Joe Sixpack" needs improvement.

                      Aside from the fact that only the US and two other countries you couldn't find on map stubbornly stick to the imperial world, since when have US fans not wanted to be able to directly compare how superior their athletes are to the rest of the world? How do you compare whether a 43 second 400 yard guy should place in the world rankings? I guess in the distances at least, you could fool yourself by thinking you have the best 6 milers in the world, even though they ran a minute slower than the leading 10,000m guys.

                      Other sports have shown that US sports fans do not necessarily need a complete understanding of distances. They seem to be quite competant in dealing with the fact that a long fly ball in Coors Field may be a home run when an equal distance fly somewhere else gets shagged by the outfielder. How are they able to deal with differing distances in the same park where a double of the Green Monster is worth less than the exact same distance hit to right field? Try applying that logic to the throws.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                        >To the respondent above who commented that going imperial would make it
                        >impossible to get qualifying marks for the World Indoors or the NCAA: of course
                        >not, marks are easily convertible.

                        and yet, as a matter of fact, they are not.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                          >>To the respondent above who commented that going imperial would make
                          >it
                          >impossible to get qualifying marks for the World Indoors or the NCAA: of
                          >course
                          >not, marks are easily convertible.

                          and yet, as a matter of fact,
                          >they are not.

                          Since the conversion was done in Canada when I was well into my school years, I'm a unilingual foreigner who thinks imperial but can understand and converse in metric(always making the translation). Temperature for example. Start with the fact the 0 degrees Celsius equals 32 degrees fahrenheit. Take the Fahrenheit temperature and subtract 32. Then take that number and divide by 9 and multiply by 5 or just divide by 1.8. Simple? Right? Volume is a little more difficult but I usually start with the fact that a 26 ouncer is equal to about 750ml. Where it gets almost impossible, however, is converting miles per gallon to number of litres per 100km especially when the US gallon is smaller than the canuck one. So, tafnut, that is what you are faced with if it is done in your lifetime. No wonder gh hasn't come back. Distance-5cm is about 2 inches(blew that one the other day) and 1km is about 5/8 of a mile...

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                          • #28
                            Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                            I am willing to suffer so my children (well, now my grandchild(ren)), don't have to.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                              wow, a martyr amongst us ;'>

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                              • #30
                                Re: Indoor meets in yards.

                                I'd like to point out that the monetary system in the US has been metric since its conception. I've always wondered why didn't they at that time convert everything else.
                                "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                                by Thomas Henry Huxley

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