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Thursday, July 06, 2006

If I were King of All Track

Sports Illustrated has a "Commissioner For A Day" writeup on eight different sports. I'm sure it's merely a mistake, an office drone paperwork snafu, that they didn't ask me to write a column about track. So if I were King of the IAAF, I would mandate:

1. Athletes wear national colors on the GP circuit. Right now in any multi-lap race you've got a dozen identical Nike jerseys and a few identical Adidas outfits. You can't tell who is who. Contrast this to the World Cup, where the red-and-white of England and the striped jerseys of Argentina are immediately recognizable. Track guys aren't going to run in national uniforms, no, but a simple and recognizable scheme of two or three colors with space for a sponsor logo on the chest. (The national uniform will be the same exact color scheme with the country's name where the logo was!)

2. Replace the lame World Cup with a Davis Cup style dual meet tournament. Take two years to work it out. Meets can be indoors or out. The first year reduces it to eight nations (Commonwealth, South America, Asia, Pacific, North/Central America, Africa, and two from Europe) and the second year crowns a champion. Nice leadup to the Olympics, eh?

3. Find some way to penalize athletes who duck each other. Coe and Ovett only ran against each other in the Olympics, when they couldn't avoid it any longer. This year's Gatlin-Powell two-step isn't any fun either. Flog them in public if necessary, just get them to face off regularly!

4. Eliminate the World Cross-Country short course race. Already done, but not fast enough. "Short" and "cross-country" don't go together and it just dilutes the talent while drawing the meet out an extra day. A bad idea from the start.

5. Make the IAAF World Rankings dependent on head-to-head record. Right now it's little more than an average of an athlete's six best marks.

6. Get an IAAF channel on satellite TV. All track, all the time. **drool**

1 comment:

jen said...

If #6 happens, I could move out of the COUNTRY and superfan wouldn't notice...