Most Hyped head-to-heads


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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby ajp » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:37 pm

rhymans wrote:I think there is a difference between great head-to-heads and "most hyped". The Donovan Bailey-Michael Johnson meeting over 150m was heavily publicised, but was just a money race.

Some great rivalries were not particularly hyped -
Yuriy Sedykh-Sergey Litvinov
Rudolf Harbig-Mario-Lanzi
Gunder Hägg and Arne Andersson
Jesse Owens-Ralph Metcalfe
Herb McKenley - George Rhoden
Betty Cuthbert - Marlene Mathews

Some were too brief-
Vladimir Kuts - Gordon Pirie
Jesse Owens-Eulace Peacock
Irena Szewinska - Marita Koch
Alberto Juantorena - Mike Boit
Jack Davis - Lee Calhoun
Glenn Davis - Eddie Southern

Others seemed generally too one sided
Paavo Nurmi - Ville Ritola
Charley Paddock - Jackson Scholz [the former was master of self publicity, while the latter actually led the rivalry]

I could go on, but I'd probably put you all to sleep.



Two more of the greatest (before we all go to sleep) -Jack Lovelock and Glenn Cunningham in the 1933 Princeton Invitational (I was too young to remember much of this) and Jim Ryun and Kip Keino in the late 1960s.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby Per Andersen » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:29 pm

I suppose it can be debated how much of a rivalry Brumel/Thomas really was as Brumel pretty much owned him. I don't have the exact number where I am now but it must be around 15-1 in Brumel's favor.
But I probably can't quite comprehend the Cold War thing since we were used to see Soviet athletes compete in Scandinavia since 1953.

However, for two years, 1954 and 1955, the two best HJers in the world, Ernie Shelton and Bengt Nilsson had a real rivalry. Shelton finally got the upper hand but they both attempted 7ft on several occasions. In one competition Shelton actually turned his back as Nilsson attempted 7ft.
He couldn't stand to see his rival beat him to 7ft.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby Olli » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:30 pm

As an example of *posthumous* hype, one might add Prefontaine-Viren. On the basis of some Internet discussions, it seems that many Americans imagine that it was a great distance-running rivalry in the 1970s, even though such rivalry hardly existed at the time. (For Viren, Prefontaine was just one of several opponents in several Olympic races.) This fictional rivalry seems to be the product of a couple of movies featuring Prefontaine's story (which I have not seen).
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby gh » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:45 pm

Per Andersen wrote:I suppose it can be debated how much of a rivalry Brumel/Thomas really was as Brumel pretty much owned him. I don't have the exact number where I am now but it must be around 15-1 in Brumel's favor.
But I probably can't quite comprehend the Cold War thing since we were used to see Soviet athletes compete in Scandinavia since 1953.

However, for two years, 1954 and 1955, the two best HJers in the world, Ernie Shelton and Bengt Nilsson had a real rivalry. Shelton finally got the upper hand but they both attempted 7ft on several occasions. In one competition Shelton actually turned his back as Nilsson attempted 7ft.
He couldn't stand to see his rival beat him to 7ft.


The key to this question is the "hyped" in the subject line: that means that the reality of the situation is somewhat irrelevant. I was pimply-faced teenager living in Canada at the height of the Brumel/Thomas "rivalry" and I knew it as one of the most important on the planet. And I wanted the American guy to beat the godless Commie in the strongest of ways.

Within a few years, however, I came to view Brumel as the event's greatest ever. A view that I still hold true to today. I don't have time to look it up late on a Saturday night, but what was it, 3-4 years that he was never outjumpd in any meet? Forget absolute heights. He dominated the event in a stunning-stunning fashion. And with a style that sticks in your mind forever if you've seen the films.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby telf » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:25 am

Lots of great memories and funny how many of the rivalries previously mentioned were quite one-sided once they had run their full course.

One my favourites from the '70s was Malinowski v Garderud.

For me, the best head to head rivalries occur when participants are divided by running tactics and/or background and/or likeability
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby bekayne » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:14 am

ajp wrote:
Landy-Bannister received great hype for the time, it being referred to as the "Dream Mile". It was televised live in its entirety (at least in NY) which just about ruined all subsequent track telecasts for me.


Can anyone name a sporting event in which no American athletes were involved that received more attention in the US? Other than a World CUp soccer final maybe.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:58 am

gh wrote:

Within a few years, however, I came to view Brumel as the event's greatest ever. A view that I still hold true to today. I don't have time to look it up late on a Saturday night, but what was it, 3-4 years that he was never outjumpd in any meet? Forget absolute heights. He dominated the event in a stunning-stunning fashion. And with a style that sticks in your mind forever if you've seen the films.


Beautiful to watch. And one of greatest of all time in any event.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:13 am

On the marathon side, I remember Ron Hill and Jerome Drayton being sort of a big deal when they met in Boston 1970.

Image
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby cullman » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:58 pm

Almost forgot the Keino vs Ryun match up in 1968.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby ajp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:53 pm

gh wrote:
Per Andersen wrote:I suppose it can be debated how much of a rivalry Brumel/Thomas really was as Brumel pretty much owned him. I don't have the exact number where I am now but it must be around 15-1 in Brumel's favor.
But I probably can't quite comprehend the Cold War thing since we were used to see Soviet athletes compete in Scandinavia since 1953.

However, for two years, 1954 and 1955, the two best HJers in the world, Ernie Shelton and Bengt Nilsson had a real rivalry. Shelton finally got the upper hand but they both attempted 7ft on several occasions. In one competition Shelton actually turned his back as Nilsson attempted 7ft.
He couldn't stand to see his rival beat him to 7ft.


The key to this question is the "hyped" in the subject line: that means that the reality of the situation is somewhat irrelevant. I was pimply-faced teenager living in Canada at the height of the Brumel/Thomas "rivalry" and I knew it as one of the most important on the planet. And I wanted the American guy to beat the godless Commie in the strongest of ways.

Within a few years, however, I came to view Brumel as the event's greatest ever. A view that I still hold true to today. I don't have time to look it up late on a Saturday night, but what was it, 3-4 years that he was never outjumpd in any meet? Forget absolute heights. He dominated the event in a stunning-stunning fashion. And with a style that sticks in your mind forever if you've seen the films.



The Brumel-Thomas rivalry, though a bit one sided as it may have been, was a "real" rivalry and was hyped before every indoor confrontation in all the NY newspapers. Of course it was the "cold war" thing. Brumel's jumping was unforgetable. A proponent of the dive straddle, as were many others at the time, Brumel seemed to bounce higher and approach faster -he seemed to fly off the takeoff.
Brumel was relaxing in the front row of Madison Square Garden before the competition began one early evening when my then petite wife slithered past him and accidentally spiked him with her high heel. He grunted, then smiled as she apologized with great embarrassment, and I could not help thinking that it hurt, but only when he laughed. True story.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby Gabriella » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:59 am

rhymans wrote:I think there is a difference between great head-to-heads and "most hyped". The Donovan Bailey-Michael Johnson meeting over 150m was heavily publicised, but was just a money race.



So I'm definitely after 'most hyped' as opposed to great head-to-heads, where the media and sport has hyped a clash leading up to the event or during a champs.

The Bailey-Johnson meeting over 150m is a great example. The whole 'who is the worlds fastest man?' debate was very intriguing at that time, Johnson challenging the traditional view that the 100m champion was the fastest man alive.

What was the hype like in the US or Canada? In the UK it was taken fairly seriously, though there was a debate as to whether this was more circus than athletics. I remember British TV showing the event live (from memory it was ridiculous hour) with the other head-to-heads building up to the big event. But, as often happens, what a disaster.
The women's 100mh saw an obvious false start, failed recall, Engquist hesitate, Freeman steam ahead, only to lose her balance and allow the Swede to come through at the end. Okkert Brits totally doiminated Lawrence Johnson, 5.90 to 5.75; Charles Austin domninate Patrick Sjoberg, 2.30 to 2.20, and Heike Drechsler beat JJK 6.82 to 6.79.
Come to the main event, Johnson pulls up at 85m, clutching his leg, Bailey slowing as he crossed the line in 14.99, turning and taunting Johnson. Bailey would later claim Johnson 'chickened out' but Johnson refused to take the bait. But if anything, it was clear Bailey was the more concerned party before the race, insisting it had to be in Canada, claiming the curve was the wrong length and angle, threatening to drop out countless times.
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Re: Most Hyped head-to-heads

Postby Gabriella » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:14 am

Flumpy wrote: Bizarrely I don't remember any of this. :?


Pah, call yourself an avid fan? :D Still have your collection of AWs? If so, go back to the 1995 season, there were plenty of articles and in the iAAF promotional material. There was much hype on Eurosport too and German TV brought in Heidi Rosendahl to comment on the event.

But, I think the fact that you don't remember is because, as gh says, more often that not these things end up being complete let-downs!
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