Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?


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Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Trackrunner » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:21 pm

I certainly agree with the sentiments in this article if not the details that the track and field programming and format needs to be reworked. Is the proposed Triple Crown of Speed part of the solution?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jpmoore/we-need ... usain-bolt

Three times a year the greatest sprinters in the world would come together to race for big money and bigger accolades. NBC would build an hour or two of programming around both the men's and women's races, in the way they do for the horse-racing Triple Crown, and a sponsor would put up big prize money. To maintain track and field's international spirit we'd hold one race in North America, one in Europe, and one in Asia, but make sure that the races happen either in the afternoon or primetime in the U.S.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:01 pm

Three times a year the greatest sprinters in the world would come together to race for big money and bigger accolades. NBC would build an hour or two of programming around both the men's and women's races, in the way they do for the horse-racing Triple Crown, and a sponsor would put up big prize money

OK, a may have detected a flaw or two in the proposal . . .
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:11 pm

I have seen worse ideas, although I do not think that there is enough backing. AND, I think that the Diamond League would be a bit opposed at being put down a level unless it was done through the DL in some manner. Would it always be a 100. Note that the real one has three different distances.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby aaronk » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:06 pm

26mi235 wrote:I have seen worse ideas, although I do not think that there is enough backing. AND, I think that the Diamond League would be a bit opposed at being put down a level unless it was done through the DL in some manner. Would it always be a 100. Note that the real one has three different distances.


Okay, so have the 3 be a 100, a 200, and a 400.
We'd finally see Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay in a 400!!

But, being more a distance fan, I'd like to see a DISTANCE Triple Crown!!
Say, a 5K, a 10K, and a one mile!!
We'd get to see K Bekele and Galen Rupp tangle in the mile!!
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby KevinM » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:23 am

Marlow wrote:OK, a may have detected a flaw or two in the proposal . . .


No legal widespread way to gamble on track, for one.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:34 am

KevinM wrote:No legal widespread way to gamble on track, for one.

Oh yeah, there's no possible way that could go south! :?
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:00 am

Trackrunner wrote:
Three times a year the greatest sprinters in the world would come together to race for big money and bigger accolades. NBC would build an hour or two of programming around both the men's and women's races, in the way they do for the horse-racing Triple Crown, and a sponsor would put up big prize money.


And everyone gets a pony! A swell idea. I sure wish I had thought of it first...
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Trackrunner » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:07 am

I think the writer is on to something - it is a brain teaser in a sport stuck in a rut and lacking in ideas. The Diamond League is not user friendly - the purists can follow along but the casual fan is like what the heck is the Diamond League and does it mean anything. Heck I have trouble figuring out who is leading and which races are supposed to be Diamond League races and which ones are not. A simpler cleaner format is needed to supplement or replace the Diamond League format. Not sure why as others have pointed out this needs to be limited to the 100M.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby kuha » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:22 pm

The general public seems quite happy only thinking about track for 2 weeks every four years. Ideas like this aren't going to change that.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:17 pm

kuha wrote:The general public seems quite happy only thinking about track for 2 weeks every four years. Ideas like this aren't going to change that.

But what have we done for them lately? Not much. Getting big int'l 'match races/events' and hyping the hell out of them (think US vs. USSR then or USA vs. Jam now) makes us happy and simplifies the equation for the general public so they can have a vested interest in the outcome.

Great performances are NOT enough (sad but true, says the Marks Snob); we need tantalizing show-downs to get Average Joe interested. The (old) Eastern Bloc SPers against us and Canada (need DA on my side!). The French/German vaulters vs. USA; the Caribs vs. USA vs. Europe in the 100-200-400, W Africa vs. The World in 5000. Get some rooting interest going in the build-up.

We are all nationalistic to a large degree and we all like to take sides in an Us vs. Them scenario, even if the Us is not just our own country. Team sports ride that aspect all the way to Da Bank. We need to do that more, but arbitrary teams won't do it; nations and/or continents will.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby user4 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:29 pm

Some might disagree with the 100-200-400 being the proper triple crown of speed. I will suggest rather a 50(or 60) a 300 and a 500 (or even a 600). That will shake the tree !!
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Trackrunner » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:48 pm

kuha wrote:The general public seems quite happy only thinking about track for 2 weeks every four years. Ideas like this aren't going to change that.


And that is because track has not found a way to market itself to a wider audience outside of the Olympics. And this is not a good deal for a sport that was being marginalized in prime time coverage for 'sports' like beach volleyball at the recent London Olympics. I say the sport can do better...with better marketing and packaging even in non Olympic years. In fact the sport would do itself a favor if it could find a way to pivot away from the once every 4 years Olympic Games and find significance in other championships like the World Champs and in other meets(the Diamond League unfortunately is not going to cut it).
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby KevinM » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:07 pm

Marlow wrote:
KevinM wrote:No legal widespread way to gamble on track, for one.

Oh yeah, there's no possible way that could go south! :?


The point I thought I was making is that horse racing is a(nother) sport dying on the vine whose only events of widespread interest have everything to do with gambling, and nothing to do with interest in the sport.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:48 pm

Trackrunner wrote:
kuha wrote:The general public seems quite happy only thinking about track for 2 weeks every four years. Ideas like this aren't going to change that.


And that is because track has not found a way to market itself to a wider audience outside of the Olympics.


These if-we-only-marketed-track-better threads come up on a regular basis.

Track was big once. It was in prime time, meets everywhere and the talk of the town. And I am glad I was around when the sport really meant something. But like the dinosaurs it had its day. The reasons for its slow road to public irrelevance, outside of the Olympics, are many and discussed many times.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:32 pm

Conor Dary wrote:The reasons for its slow road to public irrelevance, outside of the Olympics, are many and discussed many times.

And 'acceptance' to that fate guarantees it . . .
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby kuha » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:31 am

Marlow wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:The reasons for its slow road to public irrelevance, outside of the Olympics, are many and discussed many times.

And 'acceptance' to that fate guarantees it . . .


No. "Acceptance" means we can enjoy the very real stuff there IS to enjoy, while saving the time & mental energy to do and enjoy a host of other things, too. It's called "attempting to live a sane life."
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:24 am

kuha wrote:
Marlow wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:The reasons for its slow road to public irrelevance, outside of the Olympics, are many and discussed many times.

And 'acceptance' to that fate guarantees it . . .


No. "Acceptance" means we can enjoy the very real stuff there IS to enjoy, while saving the time & mental energy to do and enjoy a host of other things, too. It's called "attempting to live a sane life."

I doan want no stinkin sane life; I want my cake and eat it too.

I don't need T&F to be a first-tier sport, but the second-tier (e.g., golf and tennis) sports are out-marketing us - by far (and yes, there are reasons why they are intrinsically more marketable) - but WE COULD DO BETTER!

I realize we have beaten this horse into atoms, but the fact remains that we still look like amateurs when it comes to hyping our product. My motives are selfish: I want more and better coverage of T&F, but I also want better T&F, and although this particular idea seems far-fatched, at least it IS a new idea!

I do not want T&F turned into a Reality-TV sensation, but, holy mackerel, right now we are so far off the radar, we DO need to generate some blips!!
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:30 am

kuha wrote:
Marlow wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:The reasons for its slow road to public irrelevance, outside of the Olympics, are many and discussed many times.

And 'acceptance' to that fate guarantees it . . .


No. "Acceptance" means we can enjoy the very real stuff there IS to enjoy, while saving the time & mental energy to do and enjoy a host of other things, too. It's called "attempting to live a sane life."


Right. After a number of own-goals by the some of the leaders of the sport, these Sisyphean attempts to make track a big deal again seem rather hopeless.

As to Marlow's comment:

    We are all nationalistic to a large degree and we all like to take sides in an Us vs. Them scenario, even if the Us is not just our own country. Team sports ride that aspect all the way to Da Bank. We need to do that more, but arbitrary teams won't do it; nations and/or continents will.

The only time the US team thing really means anything to 99% of Americans is in the Olympics and even there I don't think it really even means that much anymore. The Soviets were a nice villian who made a worthy opponent. But since the demise of the CCCP it just isn't the same.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:36 am

Marlow wrote:
I do not want T&F turned into a Reality-TV sensation, but, holy mackerel, right now we are so far off the radar, we DO need to generate some blips!!


We do have blips. Bolt is one. Webb's HS mile record was another.

Frankly compared to the rest of the world track is doing pretty well here. We have relatively healthy high school and collegiate track programs, something that is non-existent anywhere else.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:56 am

Conor Dary wrote:Frankly compared to the rest of the world track is doing pretty well here. We have relatively healthy high school and collegiate track programs, something that is non-existent anywhere else.

{rant]
Which only frustrates me more. We DO have an awesome farm system, but then we drop the ball. Our free-market laissez-faire approach to post-graduate athletes is woefully underdeveloped. We have some rudimentary programs, but there is no single dynamic vision of HOW we can best help them (help themselves). I really thought that was where Doug Logan was heading before his untimely demise (I have still not read a rational explanation how that went so badly at the end!). We desperately need a George Steinbrenner (Satan's spawn that he was sometimes) to come in, kick ass, take names and build a better mousetrap. From my (admittedly far away) perspective, right now we have a bunch of well-meaning but impotent leaders at USATF, who are just trying to protect their piece of the old sodde. Perhaps it is Mission Impossible, but I'd love to see someone at least come in and TRY! Maybe that is exactly what got Logan fired - he was too bold - he didn't pay proper obeisance to the entrenched power structure. The opacity with which USATF conducts its business isn't helping either . . . sigh . . .
[/rant]
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby user4 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:57 am

Conor Dary wrote:
Marlow wrote:
I do not want T&F turned into a Reality-TV sensation, but, holy mackerel, right now we are so far off the radar, we DO need to generate some blips!!


We do have blips. Bolt is one. Webb's HS mile record was another.

Frankly compared to the rest of the world track is doing pretty well here. We have relatively healthy high school and collegiate track programs, something that is non-existent anywhere else.


Calling Webb's HS mile record a blip sharing any similarity to what Bolt has done is a major blip in reality!
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:19 am

user4 wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:
Marlow wrote:
I do not want T&F turned into a Reality-TV sensation, but, holy mackerel, right now we are so far off the radar, we DO need to generate some blips!!


We do have blips. Bolt is one. Webb's HS mile record was another.

Frankly compared to the rest of the world track is doing pretty well here. We have relatively healthy high school and collegiate track programs, something that is non-existent anywhere else.


Calling Webb's HS mile record a blip sharing any similarity to what Bolt has done is a major blip in reality!


Don't be idiotic. I never said they were the same. Of course they are not. But the point is both made an impact beyond the sport, which is what I call a blip on the public's radar screen. And it is no coincidence one of the events was a mile.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:29 am

Marlow wrote: We desperately need a George Steinbrenner (Satan's spawn that he was sometimes) to come in, kick ass, take names and build a better mousetrap.


Steinbrenner? You talk about egos and you want to bring Mr. EGO into the story?

What exactly would such a fellow do?
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby kuha » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:47 am

Marlow wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Frankly compared to the rest of the world track is doing pretty well here. We have relatively healthy high school and collegiate track programs, something that is non-existent anywhere else.

{rant]
Which only frustrates me more. We DO have an awesome farm system, but then we drop the ball. Our free-market laissez-faire approach to post-graduate athletes is woefully underdeveloped. We have some rudimentary programs, but there is no single dynamic vision of HOW we can best help them (help themselves) etc.


Again, HS and college athletes are enjoying themselves and their sport(s)--a perfectly sane and healthy thing to do. If they choose to continue further, they will. Not one of them should do so out of any bizarre "obligation" to you, me, and the others here.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:57 am

kuha wrote:
Marlow wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Frankly compared to the rest of the world track is doing pretty well here. We have relatively healthy high school and collegiate track programs, something that is non-existent anywhere else.

{rant]
Which only frustrates me more. We DO have an awesome farm system, but then we drop the ball. Our free-market laissez-faire approach to post-graduate athletes is woefully underdeveloped. We have some rudimentary programs, but there is no single dynamic vision of HOW we can best help them (help themselves) etc.


Again, HS and college athletes are enjoying themselves and their sport(s)--a perfectly sane and healthy thing to do. If they choose to continue further, they will. Not one of them should do so out of any bizarre "obligation" to you, me, and the others here.


Yes, it is not like the not so long ago 'amateur' era where it was impossible to make a living at the sport. If you have the talent and drive, whether you are a 100 meter guy, like Gay or a marathoner like Hall the opportunity is there.

Of course, there are other options available such as football, or deciding that trying to take on the East African juggernaut is not a worthwhile long term career goal.

Frankly, with all the other opportunities available we should be lucky that we do as well as we do. Compared to Europe or the UK we are in Paradise.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:37 am

kuha wrote:Again, HS and college athletes are enjoying themselves and their sport(s)--a perfectly sane and healthy thing to do. If they choose to continue further, they will. Not one of them should do so out of any bizarre "obligation" to you, me, and the others here.

??!!
My point is NO, many of the best will NOT continue, if the path is too arduous. This is zero Obligation; there is only Opportunity. After college, life's responsibilities begin to impinge upon our Dreams. Sane rational people are being powerfully dissuaded from pursuing any kind of career. Yes, the Truly Blessed can make a living, but we have all seen some people (Aries Merritt!) who have needed some time to fully develop. How many Aries Merritts are there that did not gut it out as he did? All you have to do is look at the Logos Brouhaha to see how we discourage athletes. There's GOTTA be a better way to run a railroad, n'est-ce pas?!
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Pego » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:04 am

Marlow wrote:Perhaps it is Mission Impossible


Correct.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:21 am

Pego wrote:
Marlow wrote:Perhaps it is Mission Impossible

Correct.

So the obvious solution is . . . Tom Cruise for USATF CEO!!!!
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby marknhj » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:34 am

Pego wrote:
Marlow wrote:Perhaps it is Mission Impossible


Correct.


Conor Dary, kuha and pego = voices of reason
Marlow = President of Cloud Cuckoo Land HOA

:D
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:00 pm

marknhj wrote:Marlow = President of Cloud Cuckoo Land HOA

Zackly! And as such, I seem to be the only here who can see beyond what is - into what could be!

My favorite poet is Emily Dickinson cuz she's was as nutty as I am. She wrote:


Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail -
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -


Thank about it! :wink:
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:12 pm

Marlow wrote:
marknhj wrote:Marlow = President of Cloud Cuckoo Land HOA

Zackly! And as such, I seem to be the only here who can see beyond what is - into what could be!


You have it wrong. You are looking at what was. But remember Jurassic Park was only a movie and there is no Dino DNA to resurrect track as we once knew and loved. You can search for prehistoric amber high and low and all you will find is a paperweight.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby kuha » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:34 pm

Marlow wrote:Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -

Thank about it! :wink:


So...you're saying you should be "handled with a chain"? Please don't drag us into your twisted chamber of horrors.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:50 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
Marlow wrote: We desperately need a George Steinbrenner (Satan's spawn that he was sometimes) to come in, kick ass, take names and build a better mousetrap.


Steinbrenner? You talk about egos and you want to bring Mr. EGO into the story?

What exactly would such a fellow do?


Now that I think about it, track once did have a sort of Steinbrenner, Andy Norman.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Pego » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:01 pm

kuha wrote:
Marlow wrote:Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -

Thank about it! :wink:


So...you're saying you should be "handled with a chain"? Please don't drag us into your twisted chamber of horrors.


We no longer have to do the chains. We have pills for that now 8-) .
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby kuha » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:19 pm

Pego wrote:
kuha wrote:
Marlow wrote:Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -

Thank about it! :wink:


So...you're saying you should be "handled with a chain"? Please don't drag us into your twisted chamber of horrors.


We no longer have to do the chains. We have pills for that now 8-) .


Sadistic horror pills? Yikes! :shock:
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:38 pm

Conor Dary wrote:You have it wrong. You are looking at what was. But remember Jurassic Park was only a movie and there is no Dino DNA to resurrect track as we once knew and loved. You can search for prehistoric amber high and low and all you will find is a paperweight.

?!
I do not want to go back to what was, because times have changed, but if we don't think we can't carve out a new niche in the public consciousness, it CAN'T happen.

I can't count how many times I came into new situations in my professional careers and wondered why things couldn't be improved. The answer was always "that's the way we've always done it." I then did it differently and at WORST, nothing changed, but in MOST cases, they markedly improved. And yes, I always got a lot of head-shaking at my ideas. As you can imagine, that has never deterred me (cf. 'insanity' above).
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Pego » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:05 pm

Yes, trying to improve things is noble. Certain things you do have the power and ability to change, some you do not. A few gimmicks are not going to have a Joe Public smash his forehead and say "WTF was I thinking? It is not football (baseball, basketball...) I am interested in, it is the track."
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Trackrunner » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:55 pm

Marlow wrote:
marknhj wrote:Marlow = President of Cloud Cuckoo Land HOA

Zackly! And as such, I seem to be the only here who can see beyond what is - into what could be!




No it is not just you. There are some of us who think the sport can do better, but we are in the minority in these parts.
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:23 pm

Pego wrote: A few gimmicks are not going to have a Joe Public . . .

We are not talking about a few, or even abuncha gimmicks; we're talking about a fundamental sea-change in the way the highest-tier domestic meets are marketed together, not individually. The circuit would be fueled and hyped as rivals' showdowns in some key events. USATF would have to do the heavy lifting and an athletes' union could enter into collective bargaining.

But right now, as Capt. Willard said to Col. Kurtz, when Col. Kurtz asked if Willard thought his methods unsound, "I don't see any method . . . at all."
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Re: Time for a Triple Crown of Speed?

Postby marknhj » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:23 pm

Trackrunner wrote:
Marlow wrote:
marknhj wrote:Marlow = President of Cloud Cuckoo Land HOA

Zackly! And as such, I seem to be the only here who can see beyond what is - into what could be!




No it is not just you. There are some of us who think the sport can do better, but we are in the minority in these parts.


Trackrunner: each of us must chose whether to live in the reality of the track & field world or hope that the dreams in our imagination become that reality. Neither is right nor wrong.

But those of us who chose to accept the reality of track & field do so based on the empirical evidence that has been staring us in the face for several decades now. Simply wishing, or dreaming, or believing, that better "marketing" or more "gimmicks" will return us to the days of the sport's glory is fine, but to some those dreams are simply an illusion.
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