Greatest Track Nation?


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Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Marlow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:08 am

Front Page link asks if Finland is. The quote intrigues me:

Track and field is the most popular sport in his country during the summer months, and ranks second behind ice hockey overall.


If this is true, then in one perspective, it is.

Quantity of success? USA.
Jam dominates sprints; Kenya & Ethiopia, distance. I don't find the 'per capita argument' very compelling.

Let's not turn this into yet another Jam vs. USA kerfluffle, so what are some other interesting answers?
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Pego » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:14 am

Would the Finns fill all the country stadiums every weekend for track? They do for soccer.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Marlow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:19 am

Pego wrote:Would the Finns fill all the country stadiums every weekend for track? They do for soccer.

If that were the criterion, then isn't "College Football" America's favorite? More fannies in seats for that than any other 'sport'.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Pego » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:24 am

Bad comparison. The Americans fill both college and NFL stadiums, so you could call football the #1 spectator sport. The Finns fill soccer stadiums, I doubt they would do the same for track week after week.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Marlow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:29 am

Pego wrote:The Finns fill soccer stadiums, I doubt they would do the same for track week after week.

Equally bad comparison? If the stadia had the nation's best track athletes competing for a highly-prized championship (which the regular season indirectly is), the interest would be high. Plus, T&F is transparent in its results. If you don't run a sub-10 100, you are not one of the best. In soccer it's about relative strengths and home-team partisanship. In soccer, a 2-1 victory against the hated arch-rivals is cause for 48 hours of drunken debauchery. Track . . . not so much. :P
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Pego » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:37 am

If you tell me that track would fill the country's stadiums from Helsinki to the smallest village beyond the Arctic circle each week in the spring and fall they do for soccer, you will sure have an argument here. Soccer offers no stars most of the time, no fancy rewards, lower leagues' rosters are populated by local boys.

To say that T&F is more popular than soccer in any European country (I am talking about attracting spectators) is asking for a fight :wink: .
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby booond » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:59 am

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:Would the Finns fill all the country stadiums every weekend for track? They do for soccer.

If that were the criterion, then isn't "College Football" America's favorite? More fannies in seats for that than any other 'sport'.


Major league baseball attendance dwarfs NCAA Division 1 College Football - 73mm to 37mm (2011 numbers)
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Olli » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:04 am

Pego wrote:Would the Finns fill all the country stadiums every weekend for track? They do for soccer.


This is not true. The amount of spectators in football is not too big in Finland
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Olli » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:08 am

To be precise, in the present season, the average number of specators in the Finnish premier-division football match is 2386.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Cooter Brown » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:08 am

booond wrote:Major league baseball attendance dwarfs NCAA Division 1 College Football - 73mm to 37mm (2011 numbers)


With what, 10 times more games?
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Pego » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:09 am

Olli wrote:
Pego wrote:Would the Finns fill all the country stadiums every weekend for track? They do for soccer.


This is not true. The amount of spectators in football is not too big in Finland


I bet it is still incomparably bigger than it would be for the athletics. I am talking week after week, every level of competition.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Olli » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:12 am

According to a recent poll (2012), the five sports that Finns find most interesting are, in this order, ice hockey, track&field, skiing, ski jumping, formula 1.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Marlow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:25 am

Pego wrote:To say that T&F is more popular than soccer in any European country (I am talking about attracting spectators) is asking for a fight :wink: .

Don't shoot the messenger!!!
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Dixon » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:34 am

I just can't imagine some European/Asain nation with that same level of enthusiasm as we see right here in the USA with Long Beach Poly, Edison of Fresno, Serra, Muir, Hawthorne coming off that final turn neck and neck in a high school 4x4. Then here comes some kid out of McClymonds in Oakland blowing by all of them as the crowd.....WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I have a hard time seeing that coming out of Finland.

USA greatest track nation.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Pego » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:39 am

Olli wrote:According to a recent poll (2012), the five sports that Finns find most interesting are, in this order, ice hockey, track&field, skiing, ski jumping, formula 1.


I find it hard to believe, overall attendance at those sports (not the polls) would be a lot more convincing.

Marlow wrote:Don't shoot the messenger!!!


You were not the target 8-) .
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Olli » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:47 am

Pego wrote:
Olli wrote:According to a recent poll (2012), the five sports that Finns find most interesting are, in this order, ice hockey, track&field, skiing, ski jumping, formula 1.


I find it hard to believe, overall attendance at those sports (not the polls) would be a lot more convincing.


But most people watch sports on TV, and these are certainly among the most watched sports. You cannot watch formula 1 in every village; yet it is popular (if it is a sport is another subject).
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby mikli » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:07 am

Soccer in Finland???

Of course Olli is right as we Finns so very well know.

Ice hockey is #1 by a huge margin, unfortunately. That spot used to belong to T&F.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby aaronk » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:12 am

Question to the point:
From which nation did the term "soccer moms" originate....
Finland or the United States?? :)
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Olli » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:28 am

I don't remember if I've even heard about "soccer moms." And it translates clumsily into Finnish. Or do you think anyone would call herself "jalkapalloäiti"?

I do remember, however, the hockey mom who ran for vice president of the USA.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby booond » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:26 pm

Cooter Brown wrote:
booond wrote:Major league baseball attendance dwarfs NCAA Division 1 College Football - 73mm to 37mm (2011 numbers)


With what, 10 times more games?


It's not my fault they don't play more games. MLB puts more fannies in the seats, which was the criteria.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:39 pm

Cooter Brown wrote:
booond wrote:Major league baseball attendance dwarfs NCAA Division 1 College Football - 73mm to 37mm (2011 numbers)


With what, 10 times more games?

Roughly 720 games for 1-A college football and exactly 2430 games for MLB.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Marlow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:49 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Roughly 720 games for 1-A college football and exactly 2430 games for MLB.

Hmmm, when you add in D2, D3, NAIA and JC/CC, how many? Gotta be close to the MLB number and then the TF (Total Fannies) has gotta be close too!
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby booond » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:06 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Roughly 720 games for 1-A college football and exactly 2430 games for MLB.

Hmmm, when you add in D2, D3, NAIA and JC/CC, how many? Gotta be close to the MLB number and then the TF (Total Fannies) has gotta be close too!


49,699,xxx through div 3. I don't see those others covering the 24mm missing.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby booond » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:13 pm

booond wrote:
Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Roughly 720 games for 1-A college football and exactly 2430 games for MLB.

Hmmm, when you add in D2, D3, NAIA and JC/CC, how many? Gotta be close to the MLB number and then the TF (Total Fannies) has gotta be close too!


49,699,xxx through div 3. I don't see those others covering the 24mm missing.


Highest attendance for NAIA Championship games is 6,500

And attendance for major college football is in reverse.

http://thebiglead.com/2012/12/10/college-football-attendance-is-down-significantly-blame-soft-schedules-and-rising-ticket-prices/?source=top-modules
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby TN1965 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:52 pm

I wonder which country has the highest TV ratings for the World Championships, their national championships and DL meets.

USA should be about 175th in the world with its 1% rating for the WC.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby tandfman » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:18 pm

Dixon wrote:I just can't imagine some European/Asain nation with that same level of enthusiasm as we see right here in the USA with Long Beach Poly, Edison of Fresno, Serra, Muir, Hawthorne coming off that final turn neck and neck in a high school 4x4. Then here comes some kid out of McClymonds in Oakland blowing by all of them as the crowd.....WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I have a hard time seeing that coming out of Finland.

Yes, but would California HS fans recognize a javelin if they saw one? In Finland, they worship the things. They reserve their WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!s for the trajectory of a spear in the air as it flies out to beyond the arc marking the meet record.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Per Andersen » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:31 pm

Dixon wrote:I just can't imagine some European/Asain nation with that same level of enthusiasm as we see right here in the USA with Long Beach Poly, Edison of Fresno, Serra, Muir, Hawthorne coming off that final turn neck and neck in a high school 4x4. Then here comes some kid out of McClymonds in Oakland blowing by all of them as the crowd.....WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I have a hard time seeing that coming out of Finland.

USA greatest track nation.

No doubt! I was stunned the first time I met an American track fan who said he mostly followed HS track.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Per Andersen » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:26 pm

Olli wrote:According to a recent poll (2012), the five sports that Finns find most interesting are, in this order, ice hockey, track&field, skiing, ski jumping, formula 1.

How big is Handball in Finland? I have some idea of how big it is in Norway. Very different from when I lived there.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby LopenUupunut » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:26 am

Per Andersen wrote:
Olli wrote:According to a recent poll (2012), the five sports that Finns find most interesting are, in this order, ice hockey, track&field, skiing, ski jumping, formula 1.
How big is Handball in Finland? I have some idea of how big it is in Norway. Very different from when I lived there.
It's a very minor sport, especially among the Finnish-speaking majority; Swedish-speaking Finns are somewhat more interested, but I don't think it's big even for them. People pay a bit more attention if a local team does well in the national main league but that's pretty much it.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby TN1965 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:00 pm

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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby shivfan » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:49 am

TN1965 wrote:Most popular sports by country.

http://mapsontheweb.tumblr.com/image/46585240658

That map is flawed...they list cricket as the most popular sport in Jamaica. That used to be the most popular sport, once upon a time, maybe in the 1960s. But it hasn't been the most popular sport in Jamaica for years now.

In terms of pulling spectators in Jamaica, I think it's more like this....

1) Football (soccer)
2) Athletics
3) Horse racing
4) Netball
5) Cricket
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Vielleicht » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:04 am

Also table tennis is no way the most popular in China if you use attendance/viewership as the creteria. We play it but we don't watch it beyond Olympics or World Cup.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby toyracer » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:07 am

shivfan wrote:
TN1965 wrote:Most popular sports by country.

http://mapsontheweb.tumblr.com/image/46585240658

That map is flawed...they list cricket as the most popular sport in Jamaica. That used to be the most popular sport, once upon a time, maybe in the 1960s. But it hasn't been the most popular sport in Jamaica for years now.

In terms of pulling spectators in Jamaica, I think it's more like this....

1) Football (soccer)
2) Athletics
3) Horse racing
4) Netball
5) Cricket


Agreed. It's been decades since cricket was the most popular sport here. Even football is holding on by a thin thread over athletics within the last decade.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby lonewolf » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:43 am

Basketball: I can understand it being king in KS, KY, NC, CT and maybe even CA, dating back to the Wooden days, but AZ? I knew there was a presence in Latvial and Lithuania but Phillipines?
Baseball: MO as two MLB teams but why NV? and kinda surprising it leads in NY and the cold weather New England States. Hard to distinguish between the two yellows but assume Japan is Baseball and Mongolia is Wrestling.
Skiing: Makes sense in Switzerland but Estonia?
Other surprises: Norway and Sweden Football(soccer) instead of Ice Hockey or Skiing. Why the little Cricket enclave in Guyana?
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby Pego » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:31 am

lonewolf wrote:Basketball: I can understand it being king in KS, KY, NC, CT and maybe even CA, dating back to the Wooden days, but AZ? I knew there was a presence in Latvial and Lithuania but Phillipines?
Baseball: MO as two MLB teams but why NV? and kinda surprising it leads in NY and the cold weather New England States. Hard to distinguish between the two yellows but assume Japan is Baseball and Mongolia is Wrestling.
Skiing: Makes sense in Switzerland but Estonia?
Other surprises: Norway and Sweden Football(soccer) instead of Ice Hockey or Skiing. Why the little Cricket enclave in Guyana?


It is Austria. I bet that football is the most watched sport there, just like in Switzerland.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby mireille coco » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:08 pm

lonewolf wrote:Basketball: I can understand it being king in KS, KY, NC, CT and maybe even CA, dating back to the Wooden days, but AZ? I knew there was a presence in Latvial and Lithuania but Phillipines?
Skiing: Makes sense in Switzerland but Estonia?

for basketball in Philippines not really surprise - medal in world championship (1954), hosting world championships (1978), regulary qualified for the Olympic tournament till 1972 - one of most successfull sport for Philippines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball ... hilippines

for Estonia I guess it is cross-country skiing (not alpine skiing like it is in Austria)

Archery in Bhutan - it's curious
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby toyracer » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:16 pm

lonewolf wrote:Basketball: I can understand it being king in KS, KY, NC, CT and maybe even CA, dating back to the Wooden days, but AZ? I knew there was a presence in Latvial and Lithuania but Phillipines?
Baseball: MO as two MLB teams but why NV? and kinda surprising it leads in NY and the cold weather New England States. Hard to distinguish between the two yellows but assume Japan is Baseball and Mongolia is Wrestling.
Skiing: Makes sense in Switzerland but Estonia?
Other surprises: Norway and Sweden Football(soccer) instead of Ice Hockey or Skiing. Why the little Cricket enclave in Guyana?


Guyana, although a South American country, is a part of the West Indies as far as international cricket is concerned, and have a rich history of cricket greats.
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby shivfan » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:24 pm

And cricket is still the most popular sport in Guyana, as it is in Barbados, St Lucia and Dominica.....
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby TN1965 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:28 am

If Finland is the greatest track nation, why is there no DL meet in Finland? (There is one in Sweden and Norway.)
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Re: Greatest Track Nation?

Postby LopenUupunut » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:49 am

TN1965 wrote:If Finland is the greatest track nation, why is there no DL meet in Finland? (There is one in Sweden and Norway.)
The organizers of the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku want to get DL status by 2017. It has to be said, though, that I don't see that happening, as awesome as it would be.
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