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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Penn & Drake

My reactions to the Penn & Drake Relays and their ESPN2 broadcasts...

Why do announcers get saddled with inferior monitors? For example, in the Penn men's university 4x100, Ato Boldon mistook winner Texas A&M for another team. But on my screen at home, it was plain as day. There were other mixups as well, and I don't think you can pin them all on the announcers.

Why aren't the announcers told who's on what leg? On many relays they were, but not in the USA versus the World distance medley. We knew who the USA's anchor leg was (Lopez Lomong) but not Kenya's or Canada's. And even without any help, with a good monitor (see above) Lewis Johnson would have been able to identify Nate Brannen.

The Pick N' Win setup is a mess. How in the hell are you supposed to pick relay teams when you don't know who's on them? I might have taken a flyer on Canada in the DMR if I'd known they were going to load it up with Tyler Christopher, Gary Reed and Brannen (hats off to AthCan for getting them all together). But picking USA Red or USA Blue in the sprints? It's a coin toss. And why in the hell was Sara Bei still on the start list for the Drake women's 1500 meters when she ran the 5k in Berkeley the night before? Arrgh!

If I were the title sponsor of a field event, I'd be royally pissed that my money barely got me 15 seconds on screen. USATF's broadcast team can and should do a better job for their paying customers. Field events are half the sport, for cryin' out loud.

Dan Taylor is moving up in the shot world and fast. Looks like his decision to start working with John Godina was a smart one.

Does it strike you as a bit stereotypical that all the black announcers were sent to Philadelphia and all the white ones to Des Moines?

Alan Webb did nothing to quell any doubts. This was supposed to be our great hope of a few years ago?

Some way, some how, some day, I'm going to run at the Penn Relays. If I have to wait 50 years to make it into a high-age-group sprint, I'll do it. Penn is the coolest thing I have ever seen.

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