How many of you out there watched CBS in the early 70's with Brent Musberger and Adrian Metcalf anchoring the coverage of track and field. Do any of you remember any more detailed coverage of track and field since on network TV? For a field nut like me watching Feuerbach, Woods, Oldfield, Wilkins, Powell was nirvana. Many a Sunday afternoon was spent with me glued to the tube then to run out to my south Louisiana backyard to put a 12# high school shot and then dig it out of the lawn to mother's dismay. Prodigous efforts of 39' and yes the magic 40' were broken in the land of the swamps. Yes we were a self admitted "Bush League track team" in our La school division. What a time!
Ralph Boston on the field events! Personal highlight was watching the US-USSR junior meet when Craig VIrgin ran 14:14.6 at age 16 in > 100 C in Sacramento. He was outkicked by 2 19 year old russians. He got his revenge the next year in 13:58. We got a lot more coverage in those days.
I think this track program began in 1969. Personal highlights were Frank Shorter upsetting the Soviets in the 1970 U.S. v. Soviet Union dual meet in Leningrad. Shorter ran 28:24, which at the time was the second fastest American time. Also the epic Liquori-Ryun dual in 1971 was also broadcast on CBS. Does anybody else remember that far back?
They even showed racewalkers in the opening montage as I recall. Brent seemed to interview teenage Mary Decker every week and once he found out it was her favorite meal constantly asked her if she had had sphagetti for dinner the night before. As I recall, the series was on Sunday early afternoon each week during the summer.
Yes, that series was my favorite of all time. No "up close and personal" distractions or any of that rot- just plain unadulterated track & field.
I remember meet after meet Rod Milburn cleaning everybody's clock in the 110m or 120y HH, with his hairdo occupying lanes 3, 4 and 5 at the same time!
And "Chi Cheng from China" was always the call in the women's sprint.
(it was actually Taiwan, but that wasn't as alliterative, and besides Taiwan WAS China before Nixon's trip in '72; the mainland occupiers being "illegitimate Commi imposters".)
A reference was made earlier in this thread to Dick Bank. Where is he, how is he now? I was a sports writer then covering just about every major meet from Fresno to San Diego. To me, the glory days from from 1964 to 1972. The USA-USSR meet in Los Angeles really started it all. I'll never forget meeting the Press sisters!
"Tamara" Press (can't remember the other ones name - Irina?) - the first time I thought .... mmmmm, whats up with THAT? As naive as I was - that was an eye opener. USA-USSR DUAL meet - a dinosaur now. AND the San Diego to Fresno beat must have been ... remarkable. Correct me if I'm wrong (as I am want to be) but little compared to that, save the indoor circuit and the big relays back east. When Fresno and Modesto were .. well you know. MtSac survives the ice age.
<How many of you out there watched CBS in the early 70's with Brent Musberger and Adrian Metcalf anchoring the coverage of track and field.>
I did not, since I was not in the USA at that time. Is this the same Adrian Metcalfe - 400 m runner for Britain, who sensationally ran 45.7 in his first full season (1961) and could not duplicate the performance or reach real "heights" any more?
<>Is this the same Adrian Metcalfe - 400 m runner for Britain, who sensationally ran 45.7 in his first full season (1961) and could not duplicate the performance or reach real "heights" any more?<
I'm with the guy who said it made him a fan for life. It wasn't until a year or so later that I learned that Ralph Boston and Bill Toomey were athletes before they were announcers! Week after week, Don Quarrie, Pre, Pat Matzdorf, Willie Deckard. You're right, we could go on and on. You know what? In retrospect, that program may have made a significant contribution to the "running boom". It certain fueled the fire of young people like me by exposing me to the athletes that became "heroes" to me.