Friday, May 6, 2011

Yeah, that haPenned

Last weekend, while the rest of the nation’s cable stations were totally consumed by royal wedding recap, ESPN2 cashed in on a prime opportunity to televise a track and field meet without anyone noticing.

But since I couldn’t have cared less about whether Princess Eugenie’s headpiece indeed qualified as a hat, I was tuned into coverage of the Penn Relays.

I’m sure most of you were much too wrapped up in the debate over Pippa’s bronzy glow—was it real or was it fake?!?—to have caught the broadcast of this historic institution of track and field. Here’s the rundown of important things you missed.

My observations from the Penn Relays:

1.) You know that TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? It’s the one you’ve probably heard of lots of times but never actually watched. Well, I was shocked to see that, in stark contrast to the hailstorm going on outside my living room window, it really was sunny in Philadelphia. A spring track meet with pleasant weather? Hah! Imagine that!

2.) There were a lot of dudes in spandex unitards. I’m talking long sleeves and long tights combined into a single, full-body fashion fail. These skin-tight stretch suits appeared especially frightening in solid Texas Longhorn orange.

3.) Several track event winners, especially the professionals, raised their arms in victory upon crossing the finish line. Admittedly, I’m no elite athlete, but come on—who has that kind of energy after winning a highly competitive race at such a prestigious meet? I think lifting one’s arms at the end of any race longer than 200 meters should be grounds for automatic drug testing.

4.) This actually has nothing to do with the meet, but during a commercial break I saw some ESPN ad about how John Heisman was such an innovator of football because he invented the forward pass. So I got to thinking, if all you have to do to be considered an “innovator” of your sport is make up a new rule, I should really quit wasting my time blogging about running and instead start innovating. Here are a few ideas I came up with during a preliminary brainstorming session: combining “track” with “field” (i.e. the 3,000-meter hammer-throw, in which contestants would repeatedly throw and chase their implements over a total distance of 3,000 meters); spicing up less-interesting events (i.e. the 5K and 10K) with contact elements like slide tackles and jousting; adding a diving board at the end of the long jump runway and replacing the sand pit with a miniature swimming pool or Jacuzzi.

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