Recently in TV and Sports Category

In the hours before the 2018 European Athletics Championships, the quotes from Michael Johnson's interview in the Sunday Times magazine, which were found by our friend, Stuart Weir, make sense.

Michael Johnson makes it clear that, for the sport to not be the little fiefdom it currently is, drastic change will be needed.

I think he should be heard out.

In my mind, the kernal, the essence of the sport is what people want. How do we capture that? We have build such expensive monstrosities that it becomes very hard to replicate.

I love championships, they are my favorite events to attend. But how do we allow the sport to grow?

Micheal currently does commentating for BBC Sports at the major events, such as Commonwealth Games, European Championships, World Championships and Olympics. His comments are biting, but, in my estimation, honest. I wish he would be used on U.S. television, but such is not the case.

Johnson-Hart-MJInvit05.jpgMichael Johnson, Coach Clyde Hart, 2005, photo by PhotoRun.net

Reposted July 3, 2018

On the 4th of July 2018, there will be a street vault in Lausanne, Switzerland. These three vaulters will be there, with a fine field to celebrate the vault. Here's a piece on these fine athletes and how the men's pole vault has reinvented itself.

Reposted May 24, 2018

I liked this story so much in 2017, I am reposting for the Pre Classic in May 2018. The mens' pole vault is one of the most popular event in our sport. The athletes are accessible, the event is sport and entertainment and the fans love it! Both the men's and women's PV are doing well in 2018. This piece gives you an idea on why the men's PV will continue to excite fans, both old and new! I wrote this piece while I was in Lausanne in July 2018.

Updated July 20, 2017

Originally posted July 8, 2017.

Watch these three! Add in Pawel Wajciechowski, and Piotr Lisek, and you have the men's pole vault traveling show. The pole vault has been very exciting this year, as Sam Kendricks soars over six meters, Mondo Duplantis clears 5.90 meters and the only man who has clears 6.16 meters, Renaud Lavillenie, builds himself back up, from injuries last fall. These guys are providing an entertaining show!

Kendricks-Duplantis-LaVillenie-Lausanne17.jpgSam Kendricks, Mondo Duplantis and Renaud Lavillenie held a great Lausanne presser, photo by PhotoRun.net

If terrestrial TV was smart, and really pandering for ratings, they would adopt the men's pole vault. Right now, we have some tremendous athletes, from all over the world. I focus on the three above as an example of how athletes in an event take control of their own futures. Renaud Lavillenie is the world record holder, London gold medalist and European champion. Mondo Duplantis is the new, young, talented vaulter on the scene, who is coming into the elite world with some control, and Sam Kendricks, the American champion, is current Olympic silver medalist, newly minted six meter jumper and currently, very hot on the Diamond League circuit.

Here's is why they are getting it on promoting their event.

Jager_EvanH-USOut17.jpGEvan Jager on task, photo by PhotoRun.net

Originally posted June 26, 2017

Reposted January 7, 2018

Horace Ashenfelter died on January 6, 2018, at the wonderful age of 94. Horace Ashenfelter won the Olympic steeplechase in 1952, the first and last American male to do such an thing. In his honor, we are reposting several pieces on this wonderful man, classmate of our late editor, James Dunaway, and former FBI agent, Penn State grad, and winner of 18 AAU national titles, from cross country to 10k.

Evan Jager took Olympic silver and World Champ bronze in the steeple. I recall his amazing steeple in Paris in July 2015, that blew my mind, running 8:00.45. His silver medal in the steeple in 2016 was best medal since 1984, with Brian Deimer and best medal since 1952 and Horace Ashenfelter. In honor of the death of Horace Ashenfelter, I thought we would rerun this piece by David Hunter.

Evan Jager is the Olympic silver medalist in the steeplechase. At the top of his game, Evan is a player in the event that he was made for, that he has trained hard for, and that he is a player in any steeple he enters. Here is David Hunter's feature on this fine athlete.

I have a confession. In 2014, I went to Lille, France for the Championnets de Francaise, the elite French championships. I went to see Jimmy Vicaut, Christophe Lemaitre, who were fantastic. But the highlight was the 110m hurdles. The French have five 110m hurdlers who are among the best in the world.

Darien_GarfieldQ-Poland14.jpgGarfield Darien, World Indoor 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

At this time, Garfield Darien is the world leader, at 13.09 in cold weather in Ostrava on 28 June. We spoke with Garfield in a wide ranging presser on Friday, 30 June, was amazing. Garfield is coached by his father, and he explained that relationship, which is complicated as any father/son relationship is, but also refreshing.

Most of all, Garfield Darien is well grounded, and relaxed. His training is coming along quite well and he looks to be in the thick of it in London 2017.

Stevens_DeajahFHL-USOut17.jpGDeajah Stevens wins the 200 meters, to the consternation of NBC, photo by PhotoRun.net

Steven Ritchie has watched many hours of track & field over the four days of the USATF outdoors. On Day 4, Steve focused on NBC, and as one would expect, there were some things that were good, but there was some things, well, lacking.

Again, why do we do this? If we want Track & Field to be a bigger sport globally, we need to professionalize our media coverage. We need to up the game. Here's Steven's commentary and review of the coverage and his suggestions on how NBC can make their coverage better.

Bartoletta_Tianna1-Lausanne16.jpgTianna Bartoletta, photo by PhotoRun.net

Kendricks_Sam1c-Pre17.jpgSam Kendricks, photo by PhotoRun.net

Saunders_RavenQ-OlyGame16.jpgRaven Saunders, photo by PhotoRun.net

It is called American Track & Field, but many days, it should be American Field and Track. On Day 3, Steve Ritchie focuses on the increased coverage and quality of the field events, and provides some compliments plus some worthwhile critique.

We have asked Steve Ritchie to review the coverage provided by NBC Gold, online and on terrestrial TV. This is day two's column. Let us know what you think. If we want our sport to be taken seriously, we need to improve the access and quality of athletics media. That, dear and kind readers, is why we asked Steve Ritchie to review the USATF Coverage.

Cunningham_VashtiR-USAout17.jpgVashti Cunningham, High Jump champion, photo by PhotoRun.net

Steve Ritchie is a fine journalist hailing from Oregon. I met him over the last three Olympic Trials as he represented various media groups. I enjoyed his writing and our conversations. I asked him to cover the various media covering the 2017 US Champs, from June 22-June 25. Here is his first column, on NBC sports gold.

Why do we review media coverage, as we have since 2004? Because we want to see our sport thrive and we believe that providing a critical review of media coverage is key to improving that coverage. Please enjoy Steve Ritchie's review.

Grunewald_GabrieleQR1-USOut17.jpGGabe Grunewald, after her 1,500m heat, photo by PhotoRun.net

Grunewald_GabrieleQ-USOut17 copy.jpgGabe Grunewald, photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin's piece on the Stockholm DL came just about the time I was waking up on Sunday, June 18. His observations on Kenyan athletes and their competition is precise and his suggestions on how Andre De Grasse can make his name a bit simpler, is, well, pure Justin.

I hope you enjoy the piece as we do each and every week!

The final stretch. Mens 1500m #bauhausgalan #stockholmdl

A post shared by BAUHAUS-GALAN (@bauhausgalan) on

Devon Allen is the American dream athlete. He plays American football and track & field. An amazingly talented hurdler, Devon Allen, after some football injuries, made the decision to move to track & field.

We spoke with Devon Allen a the Nike Pre Classic presser, and asked him to speak on how to stay on your plan when coming back from injuries. Devon Allen was thoughtful and helpful. Watch this, and pass it around!

Crouser-Muhammed-Allen-DuplantisPC-Pre17.JPGRyan Crouser, Delilah Mohamed, Devon Allen, Mondo Duplantis, photo by PhotoRun.net

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