The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Sunday, August 30, 2009


US track & field television coverage has a cancer of stupid. It began to go into remission during the Worlds, but relapsed with a vengeance today.

The double whammy that plagues the broadcasts is 1) wasting huge amounts of time with introductions, previews, slo-mo replays, and vacuous post-race interviews and 2) failing to cover huge amounts of the meet. This has to be the worst offender in this way in recent memory, even worse than the awful Adidas Classic last May.

There were sixteen events on the program of the Zurich Weltklasse meet. Only eleven even got mentioned on the air, and two of those (women's pole vault and high jump) got only the most cursory coverage--the dreaded "here is their winning attempt" crap that denies the existence of an actual competition.

No coverage of the men's 1500, steeplechase, triple jump or javelin. Most inexplicably, no women's 1500, where America's Anna Willard came up just 0.23 seconds short of beating the World/Olympic champ, and two more Americans toook 4th and 5th. In terms of depth of performance, this is without a doubt the greatest single women's 1500 race in US history. Nothing.

This may not actually be the worst telecast of a track meet ever on national TV, as the mind-bending pair of Larry Rawson and Carol Lewis were mercifully absent. But coming as it did on the heels of a week where the producers seemed to begin to figure out what we wanted to see, it is without a doubt the most disappointing.

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