As reported on LetsRun.com ( link ) , 96.7 The Ticket (Dallas) had some fairly mocking contents regarding the recent Tracktown Summer Series (TTSS). Like much of sports talk radio, there was some good humor mixed in with a significant level of ignorance. Check out the above link.
As I have said repeatedly on this site, I am all for supporting new ideas and initiatives that promise improvement in the professional sport. So, I do not really take too seriously the comments from radio hosts who think that a 21.66 second 200 guy is “world class”. However, discounting every one of a person’s ideas, just because they get a few things wrong, is a textbook example of fallacious logic. We need to consider ideas and comments based upon their specific merits, not based upon who presented them. As I have stated in the white papers on this site ( link to white papers ), many of the approaches and gimmicks employed by TTSS seem tangential to the changes in organizational structure that are needed to really improve the business of ET&F. Short-format meets, funky television coverage, relatively low amounts of prize money, a generally average athlete pool ( discussed ), and recycling odd mascots from Major League Baseball suggest to me an enterprise that Tracktown does not yet believe in. They are trying to apply a bunch of non-track braces and suspenders to what is supposed to be a new type of ET&F event. I do not like this general approach. I think that the radio hosts hit the sweet spot with some of their mockery.
The editors at LetsRun.com, while making fun of the radio show, do suggest that summer (4th of July) would be a great time for a “huge” meet. Make it big, and be proud of of it, I argue. However, as I have discussed in detail here, there are many other important things, beyond just throwing the party, that should be considered. It needs to be full-format (i.e., include all T&F events), with large fields. It needs to find a way to compel participation of a much greater fraction of the sport’s elite talent base. The (average) 46th IAAF ranking of TTSS athletes probably does not reach this threshold. The best way to compel athlete elite participation is with prize money. So, figuring out how to make any such event be more the size of a tennis major (or a $15M ET&F major, as I have described in the white papers) is an essential, early task for event developers.
Anyway, please check out LetsRun.com. There is a lot of everything on that site!