A little over a month ago I asked someone that I believe is one of the smartest and funniest people I know to write a guest column for RUNonsense. He agreed. I cheered. Then I waited. A little over a month later I get an article on the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix meet that took place a little over a month ago. It was worth the little over a month wait. Tyler Hopsnatz (not his real name) gives you his critical take on the TV coverage, the meet itself, track & field and a number of totally (un)related subjects. I hope you enjoy and I hope you and I both won’t have to wait, yes, a little over a month longer for another. Cheers, CB
Bennett asked me to write something for his netsite. Presumably his servers can’t handle the overwhelming traffic and he needs to offend off some readers.
Not really. Please keep reading. We need the hits.
The one condition was I had to write about running. But running is kinda boring. Someone should really figure out how to make it less boring. Bennett, get on it. In wracking my brain, I couldn’t come up with an interesting running-related topic, much less an interesting angle on that interesting topic. So I took the easy way out and wrote a diary of the Boston indoor meet. I can blatantly steal a Bill Simmons column idea if it’s about a Boston event, right?
Sunday, 9 February 2014
6:00 PM – What, you thought I was going to spend my Saturday afternoon watching track? It’s Sunday night, I’ve got some laundry on and my landlord and the plumber are working on unclogging the pipe that drains my sink (that’s not a metaphor, I swear. My sink really is clogged. Why won’t anyone believe me?). A perfect time to pull up the meet on TiVo. One of the great things about track’s fledgling popularity is it took zero effort to avoid seeing results. ESPN partially ruined the men’s downhill by telling me Bode Miller didn’t medal, but all I had to do was not pull up Letsrun to not find out Rupp ran 3:47.
6:01 PM – Since I’m writing a meet diary, I told myself I wouldn’t fast-forward except commercials. My resolve is immediately tested when they lead with the women’s 60.
6:02 PM – Fast-forward
6:03 PM – I brought it back to real speed for the commercials. Just wanted to note that these appear to be real commercials, not the infomercials they normally show for track meets and World’s Strongest Man re-runs at 3 AM on ESPNU. This means someone is paying to advertise for a track broadcast. The sport is doing fine. Bennett, what the hell are you complaining about?
6:04 PM – Men’s 60. Joe Morris in lane 3. Bennett has his poster so we know he’ll be rooting for him. The Rock in lane 7. Loved him in Pain and Gain, but not sure if the upper body mass he gained for the roll will translate well to the dash.
6:06 PM – Tim Hutchings behind the mic, huge improvement from the guy behind the mic for every other track and field broadcast of my life. Track will never have its own Phil and Paul, but Tim is a step in the right direction.
6:10 PM – Here are the Oscar movies I’ve seen so far:
• American Hustle
• The Wolf of Wall Street
• Blue Jasmine
• Inside Llewyn Davis (Okay, it wasn’t nominated, but it was better than American Hustle)
Here are the Oscar movies I still want to see:
• 12 Years a Slave
• Dallas Buyer’s Club
• Captain Phillips
Here are the movies that make every one of those movies seem like a high school A/V club project:
• Blue is the Warmest Color
Before I saw Blue is the Warmest Color, I thought Cate Blanchett was great in Blue Jasmine. Now she seems like a cartoon character. When she wins Best Actress, I’ll be rooting for Adele Exarchopoulos to Kanye her.
6:15 PM – When is Trautmann running? That article by Bennett has me pumped up to see him run 4:20. Who do you think would win between Trautmann and Cain? I’m glad we can’t bet on Track & Field. Gambling doesn’t make anything more fun.
6:20 PM – Rupp. Talking head with Rupp. Why don’t they do a talking head with Alberto, but after Hutchings takes him out for 6 beers? Bennett wants ratings, I’m just trying to help.
6:21 PM – Hold on, I’m going to go out to my local track and run once around in 60 seconds.
6:22 PM – The sad thing is I’m not sure I could do that anymore.
6:23 PM – <Pause> Is there any doubt Manzano is going to get shellacked here and then do the shellacking when qualifying spots/medals are on the line? <Play>
6:24 PM – Crack!
6:24:45 PM – What’s with the pace? I thought they were going after the world record?!?
6:25:50 PM – Galen, can I call you Galen? Mr. Rupp, with all due respect, what are you doing? You think you can outkick Willis off a slow pace?
6:26:05 PM – Oh. Nevermind.
6:26:50 PM – “Manzano right out the back door”. Well-called, Hopsnatz (and Hutchings)
6:27:30 PM – One of these guys has a silver medal. One of these guys is doing his own thing.
6:28 PM – Nice win by Willis, but let’s be honest. That race was a colossal letdown. Time for a 16 year old to redeem the telecast.
6:30 PM – Cain out in good position. Showing the field of veterans no respect. Love it.
6:33 PM – Cain is gonna rip the last 200
6:34 PM – OK, Bennett. I give. Mary Cain is awesome. I’ll get you a poster.
6:38 PM – Nice awkward step away by O’Brien after the Cain interview.
Greatest O’Briens of All Time (GOOATs….or GOBOATs?)
1. O’Brien from 1984. Don’t talk to him. Don’t even look at him. He will fu€¥ing break you. Then when you pledge allegiance to The Party, he’ll pull a sack of rats over your head.
2. Conan O’Brien. Lost his fastball with the Tonight Show fiasco, but lately seems to be back in good form. He’s pumping low-90s and painting corners. Meanwhile Fallon is dropping conversation turds every night and somehow he gets The Tonight Show. I guess if you’re looking for a Leno replacement it’s a good fit.
3. Pat O’Brien. Member of South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
4. Dan O’Brien. Olympic Gold medalist, Decathlon/Awkward Conversation Ending.
6:40 PM – 4 x 800 World Record Attempt™
6:42 PM – Scherer, you are killing Symmonds. 1:55?!?
6:44 PM – What’s with the different uniforms from guys on the same team? I bet it’s the shoe company’s fault. Bennett, get ‘em.
6:49:15 PM – WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6:50 PM – They definitely should not have the 4 x 8 in the Olympics. Nothing exciting about it. The DMR would suck, too. As would betting on it.
6:51 PM – That’s it from The Reggie. Yes, I’m in on The Reggie.
In – The Reggie, Cain, 4 x 800, Hutchings, Willis
Out – Rupp, Brooks Beasts, O’Brien interviews, not showing Trautmann’s race
– Tyler Hopsnatz