Another media ‘expert’ on track and field. This one actually writes for an Oregon paper.
‘decline in relevance as a spectator sport (since the early 1990s)’ . Brilliant observation!! He’s basing his whole article on the well-known fact that TnF lost ground in the ‘90s. He does not cite the last 4-5 years and how much more exposure we’ve gotten.
“Difficult for the casual fan to follow…” ok, so pay attention!!!
‘It’s metric’; God forbid people actual learn what a meter is, and it’s easier to multiply by 10 than by 12, isn’t it?
‘Difficult to televise..too much happening at once…’ Are you kidding? The writer would rather sit through a 4 hr 1-0 baseball game with most of the time spent idling in between plays? The Prefontaine is an awesome meet because there is no wasted time for the spectators.
“The sport becomes numbers driven…a football game has a (more) definitive outcome…” Tell that to Khadevis, who lost an Olympic slot to Christian Smith by 0.06 seconds. Not a clear outcome? The writer disparages the Hayward Crowd because they knew the significance of a high schooler running an 8:29 two mile.
And how can something be 'numbers driven' without a definitive outcome? I'm an engineer, and this one puzzles me.
“NCAA Prelims… treats the general public as an afterthought….the best athletes deliver throttled down performances to qualify with minimum efforts.” So, baseball/football/basketball players don’t do the same thing just prior to the playoffs so they can ‘save’ their best performances for when it counts most? They call them PRELIMS for a reason.
“…I tried to set up an interview with a local athlete…was told the athlete wasn’t doing interviews until after the championships.” More sour grapes; this sounds just like another writer who thinks the sport revolves around himself. Tough beans, Mr. Reporter, the athlete needs to keep his head on straight before the race. He’ll give you the world after the race, but leave him alone before.
Let me make a suggestion; start a relationship with the athlete BEFORE you want something from them. Or do you show up only when there's something in it for you?
‘’…wouldn’t happen in the NFL with Media Day (reporters getting stiffed). Ok, Mr Reporter, pay T&F athletes what the NFL gets, and we’ll make sure they do your interview.
“Track and field is run by participants, for participants…a bubble of self-absorption." Yes, it’s a sport that requires commitment and individual performance, with no one else to help you on Race Day. No, it might not a great spectator sport to the average guy sitting on his couch. if you’re not a fan. But a spectator who doesn’t know the sport doesn’t know what it feels like to negative split a race or to set a PR.
Athletes need to pick and choose their events. In T&F, you can't compete at a high level every week because the body doesn't work like that. In football and baseball, there is much downtime during competition in which to recovery. No rest to be had during a 3000m steeple.
I simply cannot stand ignorant people who think track should be more like other sports. It’s inherently different.