If we are going to succeed in having Track and Field as the number one sport again, we have to change a few things.
First, we have to make it more TV and Internet friendly.
I agree on making the meets 2 hours long, at least for TV, but the meet can be 3 or 4 hours long for live spectators. But that doesn’t mean having the no false start rule, or just a 2 heat semi-final for the relays either.
Second, we have to be entertaining, including more personalities. Mr. Bolt has that figured out, but what the others?
We need personalities. We need to connect the audience with emotions to the athlete. Yes, it’s annoying to have a McDonald’s Moment (i.e. a featured athlete profile with some hardship story, like polio or being an orphan) before the start of a race on TV, but the non track fans need this to identify with personalities.
Third, we need more head to head matchups. No ducking. In the old days, we would still compete injured.
Some New Innovative Ideas
How about a pursuit 5000m? 17 runners start the 12.5 lap race, at the end of each lap, the last guy gets DQ’ed. At the bell lap you are down to 5 runners, and only 3 medals and 3 prize money. 4th and 5th goes home empty handed.
We’ve seen the Shot Put and Pole Vault having separate venues, including the 2004 Olympics (just don’t remind Adam Nelson!)
We have long jumping over cars. We had London 2012 Olympics long jump hopeful British athlete J.J. Jegede successfully jumping over the roof of three MINI Coopers in central London last September. Click here for the video on YouTube.
We have the reverse 400 meters running clockwise around the track.
Now this one looks cool.
Hammer throwers are used to throwing outside the main stadium for safety reasons.
But throwing over a river?
Check out Martin Bingisser’s blog post. As long as you don’t FOUL and fall into the river, they should be fine!