Adventures In Running


NBC was DOA in London

Written By: The Hornet - Aug• 15•12

Congratulations to all the athletes who participated in the 2012 Olympic Games.  World records were shattered and the athletic performances from around the world were nothing short of sensational.

I am sure that most, if not all, of you tuned in for as much of the 2012 Olympic games in London as you could watch on NBC.  This was the most successful summer Olympics in history for the United States.  Unfortunately, we were deprived of much of the enjoyment by an incompetent network that failed in its duties from the opening to closing ceremonies and everything in between.  I pray that another network can outbid NBC for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio because the sheer quantity of blunders would make it nearly impossible to list them all here.  Some complaints have been widespread while others have been voiced by me alone.  Tell me if you agree by voting in the poll below.

  • Right from the beginning in the Opening Ceremony, NBC cut away from a tribute to the victims of the 2005 London bombings to show a pre-recorded interview with Michael Phelps.  When criticized for doing so, their response was condescending and ignorant, “Our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience.”  Get off it NBC, you know as well as I do that you didn’t air that portion because of political motivations.
  • There was a tremendous delay in many of the popular events until very late into the evening.  The weekends were filled with “sports” that I can’t imagine many people would enjoy watching (rhythmic gymnastics) and some important events were not shown live or at all.  If you are a track and field fan (and I am sure you are) the coverage was beyond disappointing. Important track events were taking place but NBC decided it was more important to show the United States woman’s basketball team beating the stuffing out of the French.  I think three or four people watch the WNBA in the U.S., so what makes NBC think we care to watch them in a game that’s not even close?  Triathlon and cycling were not very well represented either.  By the time you were able to sit down and watch the little quality coverage there was, it was likely you already knew what transpired and who won the events.  NBC says that we could have watched everything live on the internet.  Not true!  I am not the only one who had problems getting the page to load during popular events and most of us could not sit in front of our computers at 4:30 am and still make it to our jobs on time.  Jobs we do correctly by the way, unlike NBC.
  • Why was Ryan Seacrest on the Olympics?  Why is Ryan Seacrest on anything at all for that matter?  Did NBC not think that Bob Costas was sufficiently annoying?  Even so, I still must give some credit to Seacrest for not being rude to the athletes as Bob Costas was during his interview with Michael Phelps.
  • Commercials were not planned out well for having events that were taped.  You would think it would not be too difficult to appropriately place your sponsors air time into taped events as they do in their regular programming, but NBC failed at that as well.  This is not the first time I have watched the Olympics folks.  This “coverage” was a chopped up, haphazardly thrown together disaster.  I will not accept the time zone argument that NBC put forth because I remember the 1984 winter Olympics in Sarajevo.  With far less technology, ABC was able to deliver quality coverage from the same part of the world with only 63 total hours versus NBC’s 5538.
  • I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the story of Kellie Wells, the Olympic bronze medal winner in the woman’s 100 meter hurdles.  She had been abused and raped repeatedly at a young age by her step father which drove her to eventually move in with a friend when she was sixteen. One month later she was informed that her mother and her rapist were killed in a car accident.  She now wants to be a role model and inspiration to others who have been victims of sexual abuse, which is truly commendable.  It is a horrific but inspiring story that was conveyed by NBC announcers far too early in the evening for people that may have been watching the games with their younger children. Sorry, but I don’t want to have to explain the concept of rape to little Susie.
  • While the Brits put on an extremely enjoyable closing show from beginning to end……wait.  Where was the end?  The last thing I saw was NBC cut away to their new show “Animal Practice”.  I sat through 30 minutes of the worst television ever broadcast until I decided it was time to either shoot myself or go to sleep.  The hour was late and any hopes of seeing the final celebrations were slim.  From what I understand NBC cut out performances by Ray Davies, The Who and Muse for a craptacular hour of bad jokes and a dressed up monkey.  To think, some moron got paid to make this decision and a bigger moron got money to create the “show”.  Where were the closing fireworks?  Where was the big finale?  If it was even televised, it was far too late for people with responsibilities early the next morning.  If you were one of the real troopers that stayed awake and watched whatever happened after Animal Practice, I applaud you.  
Run for fun and race to place everyone!




Ultra Runner or Ultra Insecure?

Written By: The Hornet - Aug• 10•12

There will be a poll for you to vote at the end of this article. It’s been a while since I went on a rant so here we go and PLEASE read carefully what I am trying to make clear. I was speaking with a friend of mine last night who happens to be an ultra trail runner. Let me preface this article with an explanation of said friend. He HATES pavement running and becomes extremely defensive when anything positive is said about the subject.  I really don’t want to beat him up too badly though because he’s not a bad guy.

Last night he made the assertion that if you took the best professional ultra trail runners, they would beat any of the best pavement marathoners on the street.  I am not going to sit here and tell you that one type of running is better or worse than another, with the exception of parkour, which is just idiotic. Whatever floats your boat is fine with me. But what I will argue is that you can’t find ANY ultra trail runner that can beat someone like Ryan Hall (PR 2:04:53) in a 26.2 mile pavement run. By the same token I would never put Ryan Hall in a 50 mile race filled with tree roots and loose gravel and expect him to beat the best ultra trail runner. As a general rule, when comparing runners of like ability, asphalt runners won’t beat trail runners in their world and trail runners can’t beat us in ours. They are two different types of running, that’s all I am saying. Oh, but that wasn’t good enough for my friend as he responded continuously with “I don’t believe that.”  He still insists that there are ultra trail runners that can beat our best pavement runners in a street marathon. Good luck with that.

Those of you in the ultra running community, I request that you don’t take offense when I make my next statement because I know many of you and what I have to say does not apply to everyone.  Trust me, I do admire the ability that many of you possess. Having said that,  I find among a segment of the ultra running community, that they have an inferiority complex and staged arrogance, if not a self-convinced, inflated sense of self-worth which always seems to have them chasing praise from anyone who will listen. Dean Karnazes is a great example. Don’t know who he is? Maybe that’s why these people are so insecure.  One of the top ultra runners, he has been repeatedly accused of exaggerating some of his past race times and providing no proof to back them up.  When he fails at what he sets out to do, he instantly becomes royalty – the king of excuses.  Sure, he’s run A LOT of miles and has some very impressive accomplishments, but his arrogance is based on finding a pointless goal that most others would not want to attempt and then engage in incessant self-promotion. Sorry Dean and ultra runners like you, I would gladly put you up against Ryan Hall in a 26.2 mile pavement race ANY day of the week and watch you get your butt kicked. For those of you that fall into that category I have this to say, SHUT UP AND RUN!  Running encompasses many things, athletic performance, competition, health and an inner peace just to name a few.  What it should not be about is trying satisfy some lifelong insecurity by having an enormous ego and browbeating praise from others.  I’ll agree to stay out of the ultra trail running world competitively if the group that I speak of agrees to leave their obvious shortcomings at the door and just run their sport. Unfortunately, I am likely asking the impossible.
Run for fun and race to place everyone! (Yes, ultra running friends too)