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Alltime chokes in sports bureaucracy history

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  • bad hammy
    replied
    Of course the idiots who created and continue to perpetuate the 1600 meter distance for US high school runners.

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  • Brian
    replied
    Re: Alltime chokes in sports bureaucracy history

    Originally posted by DrJay
    OK, we have a "chokes in track history" thread. What are some of the greatest "chokes" in sports history made by officials/drug testers/management/coaches/politicos? I'll throw out the 1980 Olympic boycott as another nomination to get things going.

    Don't want to sidetrack the boycott tangent (interesting), but I'll place my vote for:

    #1. (large scope) The morons who awarded the 1968 Games to Mexico City--unfair to non-altitude born distance runners and producing a slew of artificial sprint times it would take an entire T&F generation (and some state of the art track surfaces) to overcome at sea-level.

    #2. (small scope) The morons who first put Jim Ryun in the wrong heat because his 3:52 Mile time was believed to be a 1500m. time and thus very slow, and who then refused to even consider reinstating him after he was fouled/tripped in the prelim race--depriving all T&F fans of the drama of seeing a fit Ryun at a sea-level venue take on defending champion Kip Keino and (soon-to-be champion) Pekka Vasala.


    Coincidently, both of these concern Ryun; talk about a star-crossed Olympic career!

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  • tandfman
    replied
    Originally posted by guru
    I just can't see any possible sanctions, from what was for all intent and purposes a lame-duck administration
    That's easy to say with hindsight. The USOC decision was made in April, 1980. I'm not sure everyone knew then that Carter would not be re-elected in November. I didn't.

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  • guru
    replied
    Your point regarding the sponsor angle makes sense, and I don't doubt for a second that you know exactly what you're talking about. But again, I just can't see any possible sanctions, from what was for all intent and purposes a lame-duck administration, causing the USOC to cower in the corner. Were it Reagan and the Moscow situation in '84 instead of '80? Ok. He's going to be around for 4 more years, has all the power any president could ever have.

    Why the Carter administration at that point would strike fear into anyone's heart is beyond me. It certainly didn't scare some college kids in Iran.

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  • tandfman
    replied
    Originally posted by guru
    The USOC would have likely had its tax-exempt status revoked, and that threat was the REAL deal-sealer.
    As I recall, the thing that was really scaring them was the prospect that their sponsors might be given a choice--if you want to continue doing busines with the US Government, you'd better not continue your sponsorship with the USOC if they send a team. When you think about how much Coca-Cola the Government buys (for military bases, Coke machines in gov't office buildings, etc), you realize that the sponsors would have folded quickly, and then the tax-exempt status would have been irrelevant--they wouldn't have had any income to tax.

    (I'm not 100% sure that Coca-Cola was one of the sponsors--I think they were but it doesn't matter. There aren't many large corporations that don't sell lots of their products to the government.)

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  • guru
    replied
    And how would that fly with the American public tandfman, seizing passports or locking Americans out of the US? I suspect if the USOC's House of Delegates had shown some backbone and stood up to the Carter administration that would have been the end of it as far as the athletes were concerned. Carter was already in deep s**t after the failed hostage rescue. They couldn't afford another PR disaster like a battle over innocent athletes would have been. They would have folded. BUT.......

    The USOC would have likely had its tax-exempt status revoked, and that threat was the REAL deal-sealer. But as I mentioned earlier, it wouldn't have lasted into the next fiscal year anyway once Reagan was in office, and anyone with half a brain could see Carter wasn't going to be re-elected.

    What a bunch of spineless jellyfish.

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  • tandfman
    replied
    Re: Alltime chokes in sports bureaucracy history

    Originally posted by bambam
    (I could argue that the Moscow COJO could have theoretically accepted the Olympic Identity Card, which per the Olympic Charter, is supposed to allow passage the country holding the Olympics during the period of the Olympic Games, but that was unlikely.)
    Did Aeroflot fly to the US in those days? If not, would they have been able to find a carrier that would let them on the plane without a passport. Presumably all the US carriers (then, as now, subject to Federal regulation) would have supported the Administration by not flying the athletes anywhere. They would have had to find a cooperative foreign carrier (also subject to US regulation if they were flying out of the US) who'd let them out of the US without a passport and then hold them in a transit status at a foreign airport.

    But even if they could get out, what about getting back in? How would they return to the US? Suppose the US immigration folks made it clear that they would bar entry to anyone without a passport. I think there was enough going on that regardless of what the Soviets were willing to accept, this was not going to work for American athletes if the US government wanted to play hardball.

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  • bambam
    replied
    Re: Alltime chokes in sports bureaucracy history

    Originally posted by gh
    Originally posted by DrJay
    ...I'll throw out the 1980 Olympic boycott as another nomination to get things going. BTW, who actually made the decision not to go to Moscow? Was Carter the "decider," the only one who could say yay or nay? Did Congress have to take some action to make the boycott happen?
    I'm trying to remember who the truly evil guy was in the White House who purportedly met w/ USOC leaders and issued some strong threa... err, ultimatums.
    Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was the main heavy. He spoke at the IOC Session in Lake Placid before the Winter Olympics, purportedly to open the Session on behalf of the US government, and went into a polemic supporting the boycott idea. The IOC was irate.

    And though the USOC did not have the balls they should have, the government also threatened that they would pull the passports of all US athletes on the Olympic team, if the USOC defied the boycott proposal. Theoretically that makes it hard to travel to a foreign country. (I could argue that the Moscow COJO could have theoretically accepted the Olympic Identity Card, which per the Olympic Charter, is supposed to allow passage the country holding the Olympics during the period of the Olympic Games, but that was unlikely.)

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  • tandfman
    replied
    Re: Alltime chokes in sports bureaucracy history

    Originally posted by gh
    I'm trying to remember who the truly evil guy was in the White House who purportedly met w/ USOC leaders and issued some strong threa... err, ultimatums.
    IIRC, the architect of the boycott, and the man who quarterbacked the domestic and international efforts to get governments and Olympic Committees to fall in line, was White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler.

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  • MJD
    replied
    Zbig was a hawk?

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  • gh
    replied
    Re: Alltime chokes in sports bureaucracy history

    Originally posted by DrJay
    ...I'll throw out the 1980 Olympic boycott as another nomination to get things going. BTW, who actually made the decision not to go to Moscow? Was Carter the "decider," the only one who could say yay or nay? Did Congress have to take some action to make the boycott happen?
    I'm trying to remember who the truly evil guy was in the White House who purportedly met w/ USOC leaders and issued some strong threa... err, ultimatums.

    Leave a comment:


  • guru
    replied
    I stand corrected on Lewis. From his Wiki entry(and T&FN):

    The August 1982 of Track & Field News magazine, under the heading, "Lewis Wuz Robbed", asked, "Did Carl Lewis lose a sure World Record - and perhaps history's first 30-foot long jump - because of a foul called erroneously by an official? Did Mike Conley lose a 57-8 triple jump - an American Record and the second longest ever - for the same reason? T&FN believes they did." 28 foot long jumper Jason Grimes estimated Lewis's fourth jump at "definitely 30 feet". Lewis said, "I figured it at 30-2." Boston Globe reporter Joe Concannon wrote, "Had it been measured, it would have been history's first 30-foot jump." When Lewis went to look at the plasticine indicator board after his fourth long jump of the evening was called a foul by the official, there were no marks present (as there would have been with a foul). The officials told him - as they would tell Conley in the triple jump the next evening - that the toe of his shoe had been slightly over the end of the takeoff board. As T&FN reported, "The problem is that under the rules, neither Lewis' jump nor Conley's was a foul. The IAAF rule says, 'It shall be counted as a failure if any competitor touches the ground beyond the takeoff line with any part of the body...' And of course it would be impossible to touch the ground without leaving a mark on the plasticine. So, how could two jumps which left no mark in the plasticine be called 'fouls'? The answer is simply this; the officials did not know the rules. The officials firmly believe that the rules define a foul as one in which the jumper's shoe breaks the plane of the take-off line at the end of the take-off board. But in fact, there is nothing in the rules for the horizontal jumps which makes any mention of 'breaking the plane of the takeoff line.'" Officials erred further in not measuring Lewis's jump, even though it was declared a foul. Had they done so, Lewis could have later filed an appeal to have the mark instated. The Athlete's Congress (TAC) Rule 36 in effect at the time stated, "The Field Judges shall measure, judge and record each trial of each competitor in all field events." Thus not one but two official errors probably cost Lewis a world record in the long jump.

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  • Justin Clouder
    replied
    Originally posted by guru
    Originally posted by bad hammy
    The Carl Lewis 30 foot jump???
    That was a legitimate foul. I don't know that that has ever been questioned.
    That doesn't chime with my understanding. I thought the official had made a mistake by calling a foul because Lewis broke the plane of the line even though he did not touch the ground past the board (ie made no mark in the plasticine), the latter being what the rules specify as a foul.

    Am I wrong?

    Justin

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  • guru
    replied
    Re: Alltime chokes in sports bureaucracy history

    Originally posted by tandfman
    But there might have been some ugly consequences.

    For how long? 6 months? I'm sure any "ugly consequences" would have disappeared with Reagan's inauguration.

    Balls were in short supply at the USOC in 1980, that is a fact.

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  • guru
    replied
    Originally posted by bad hammy
    The Carl Lewis 30 foot jump???
    That was a legitimate foul. I don't know that that has ever been questioned.

    Leave a comment:

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