LessThanOurTweets

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who Needs a Chuckle?

Promise there'll be new stuff going up here in the near future, but for now, I think my partner in eleemosynary crime deserves a little hat-tip for yesterday's entry in The Meat Grinder, over at Track ala Shark.com -- it's staggeringly good and you can read it here.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Welcome to the Meat Grinder

Apparently there is this thing called NCAA Cross Country going on. Funny how it -- and anything else that happened post-Olympics -- seemed to have slipped under our radar. Especially given that it. Is. Awesome. I defy you to find a more thrilling race than NCAAs, with individual and team honors to be won and 200+ people on one starting line to duke it out. It's like Braveheart meets Any Given Sunday meets Rocky meets Rambo meets Must Love Dogs. (Only a dash of the last one, though.)

Which, all in all, really makes it inexcusable that there's been nothing written here on that, the greatest of all sports. Literally, there are no excuses. Except for the fact that Ben actually HAS been writing about this cross season religiously -- just, as an interloper.

Yes, ladies and germs, Trackshark has been exploiting ben's word-smithry like a lonely high school kid and his slightly heavy (read as: grateful) but still respectable (read as: cute face) female friend. Which is to say, everybody's pretty much OK with the situation -- at least until a better offer comes along for either. Check out previous editions of his column -- called The Meat Grinder -- for an Introduction, Season Preview, Team Rankings - 1st Ed., Individual Rankings - 1st Ed., 1st Week Preview (Iona) and Recap, 2nd Week Preview (Griak) and Recap, and most recently, 3rd Week Preview (Notre Dame).

So once you've caught up, bookmark it here:

http://trackshark.com/features/ben/

It's tres bien. And I'm not just saying that because he bought me ice cream. That treat was just because he's a good friend. And heck -- while we're at it, I've tried to be not completely worthless to running fans the past few weeks, hitting up the 5th Ave Mile with Chris Lukezic and Chris Solinsky.

Ok, now that I look at those, yeah I was pretty worthless.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kara Goucher's Comin' to Town


News released today that one half of LTOB's favorite(-to-write-about) running couple will be gracing the city of New York with her lovably bubbly footfalls. Kara Goucher is running the NYC marathon.

No word yet as to where Kara will be staying in the days leading up to the race, but my new apartment in Brooklyn has a very spacious 7 square feet available, perfect size for an air mattress (air mattress not provided).

Kara moving up in distance for this fall's NYC marathon makes perfect sense since: One, she's mentioned it numerous times before. Two, she ran a fast half marathon last year. And, three, Mary Wittenberg Gets. What. She. Wants. Period. And she wanted Goucher.

Goucher is by far the most marketable American distance runner right now. She is like the 1986 Michael Jackson of distance running. And Wittenberg got her!

It's only a matter of time before Wittenberg gets her hands on running's Golden Boy, Usain Bolt, too. That would be like the 80's Don King and Mike Tyson of the 2008 running world. If you got all three of them together, that would be one crazy trio wouldn't it...




I finally got to use this picture! Cha-CHING!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Appointment Viewing If There Ever Was Some

Belgium: most overrated of all European nations? Until recently, I would have voted a strong Yes. Tulips? Chocolate? You can get those items at your local supermarket. (Availability of the girl pictured to the left depends on the job market where you live.)

If we're rating international flavor, let's talk exotic hand-woven rugs made entirely of harvested moth fur (Sri Lanka) or delicious potato jelly (Ireland) or prostitutes who do this thing where they dislocate their hips (also Ireland) and, in some locales, proceed to smear delicious potato jelly all over their bodies (that last detail is unique to Rhodesia, believe it or not).


But now, Belgium totally redeems itself by serving up a steamy, swiltering scoop of sprinting. Friday. Bolt. Powell. Gay.

That shit's on ESPN Classic (delayed 11pm) and ESPN2 (totally delayed, Sunday at 3:30pm), which is pretty significant for a post-Olympics Golden League Meet, and, I think, goes to show what a splash the Lightning Bolt made in Beijing. For diehards, though (meaning, virtually anyone reading this) you can watch the meet live here.

(NB: Gay is already making hamstring-related excuses so don't be shocked if Gay pulls out. But that'd still leave 9.69 and 9.72 going head to head -- not to mention TravPadge and Churandy Martina.)

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Live Blog Beer Bash: Olympic Marathon

****This is a spoiler free live blog. We are (grudgingly) waiting for the NBC broadcast of already completed events such as the men's 5000 and women's 1500. So if you know what happens, DON'T TELL ANYONE. DUMB JERK!

Enjoy the shenanigans below and don't be afraid to chime in if you have an insightful comment or a fart joke. Starts promptly at 7ish pm EST****




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On the Disappearance of the NBC Sidebar

We have standards here. They are low. But they are there.

The real-time results were not much fun for those tape-delay watchers among us. The red trim totally clashed with the rest of our layout. But those were the less egregious of the trespasses. Lookie here:










OK, look closer.








Are you serious? There are some places even we won't go.

But: to see how low we
will go, tune in to our live blog tonight.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Hungry? Have a Live Blog

Yeah, I know we're pimping this LIVE BLOG BEER BASH pretty hard. But, that's just how we do things around here: All out. Win or go home. Balls to the wall. Another sports buzz phrase. 110%.

In addition to the marathon, it looks like NBC will be cramming a number of other tape-delayed, spliced up, poorly commentated track finals into the broadcast, including the women's 1500 and the men's 5000. Two events that, as I'm sure you know, have HUGE potential for American flag waving (Jeremy says he's not going to look at results, I won't be able to help myself. I never can.).

We'll be here discussing the races, sharing libations, playing truth or dare, and otherwise doing things my Grandma should never ever ever know about. Join us!

So let this be your last reminder. Tomorrow night is going to be totally rad and I'm super excited. How excited? This excited:





That's right Zack! I "really are taking drugs." Caffeinated drugs. Since Wednesday. You should be too.

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IT'S THE END OF DAYS

Maybe you missed the memo, but US track and field is scheduled to be disbanded sometime in the next day or two. After drops in the 4 x 100m, it's all doom and gloom, from all sides. But basically, what it comes down to is this: the big-name American favorites who were getting their balls fondled by the USATF, NBC and domestic media, didn't produce. If the shot-putters go 1-2-3 (or probably, even 1-2 or 1-3), and if Tyson Gay doesn't get hurt and gets two silvers behind WR times... are we wailing and gnashing our teeth? Bear in mind, that's a royal "we" because ben and I certainly are doing neither of the above. At least not for track-related reasons.

Let's review:
-- sweep in the Men's 400H
-- sweep in the Men's 400
-- 2-3 in Men's 110H, behind the WR holder
-- gold in the Women's 110H (nearly 1-2)
-- surprise gold in the Women's Discus
-- bronze in Women's 10,000, behind the (essentially) #1 and #2 10k performances, all-time
-- 3-4-5 in the Men's 200 (essentially), behind the WR holder
-- silver in the Women's pole vault, behind the WR holder
But OH GOD! We lost to a freak of nature in the 100 & 200 with our best runner coming back from injury! We didn't win the 4 x 100s! Well, here's a little truth-bomb that I'm borrowing from ben's caché: the US men haven't won the 4 x 100m in consecutive Olympics since 1976, and the women haven't won it period since 1996. So it's not exactly like we've had a stranglehold on the event. Should we win the 4 x 100 most years? With our depth, Yes. Absolutely. Does losing it this year perhaps bespeak some laziness or a lack of preparation, especially when it feels like we always blow it in the Olympics? Sure.

But choking in the 4 x 1 hardly indicates that our athletes are no longer top notch, since that particular gold medal has never been a given, even in our best years. To wit: in 2004 we were talking about Athens being our most dominating showing in athletics, ever, despite getting beaten by Britain (men) and -- gasp! -- Jamaica (women) in the 400m relay. This time around, a couple key athletes falter individually -- while other unknowns step-up, mind you -- and we lose THE SAME RELAYS WE LOST IN GREECE and suddenly we're in the shitter. Right.

We've got women medaling in distance races. In the short stuff, we were beaten by world record holders in Bolt and Robles. If ANYTHING should be a cause for concern, its that we got totally housed in the Women's 100m, and had no one in the 800 or 1500 finals, on the men's side. But the latter is a product of a brutal Trials system which saw top talent in each event (Webb and Khadevis) get left at home. And the former, well, shit. Sometimes it just happens. Since 1992, US Women have won exactly FOUR of a possible 15 medals in the 100m, just two of them gold. Not like we've been laying waste to the rest of the world.

Why the sudden consternation? Because, after great showings at Worlds, Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix and Reese Hoffa and Jeremy Wariner have been getting pimped around for months now, and in Beijing they have 3 medals between them, none gold. (Felix & Wariner should each pick one up yet, in the 4 x 400s.) Statistically, this has been a pretty darn good showing, overall, for the American team, so don't blame the athletes. It just feels like a let-down. And for that, blame the marketing people at NBC, at the USATF, at Visa, at Nike, at adidas.

Guess what: surprises are what makes the Olympics the Olympics. One shot. Sometimes it doesn't work out.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Win Free Stuff

We dropped the ball by not having any sort of contest for the Olympics, so here -- we'll piggyback off of someone else's contest (again).

If you do the Facebook -- and I know you do -- you can join the group set up for the chasingBOLT video project, and, once you're in (like buttah) you can send Usain some well-wishes via photo message. The best messages will win special, Limited Edition Gold Medal/WR T-shirts, which will be sweet. I have full confidence of this, because Ben suffered the ignominy of getting caught wearing the shirt Puma made after Bolt's 9.72, whole HOURS after it was rendered obsolete by that 9.69 clocking -- and that design was the balls.

And meantime, take a look at some of the other existing submissions. If you can't beat them, you ain't trying. In fact, whoever can come up with the best re-captioning/Photoshop-job of someone else's entry, we'll give you something for nothing. Something mysterious. Something cool. Something that's cool because it's mysterious.

Hey - looks like we officially have a contest, after all.

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We Got A Live Blog


Unlike NBC, LTOB is really excited to bring some LIVE action to our viewer(s) this weekend. This Saturday, we invite you to sit down with us and our LIVE BLOG BEER BASH and enjoy all that is the Olympic Men's Marathon.

We can be together for all the highs (Ryan Hall winning Gold) and the lows (NBC identifying Martin Lel as Rashid Ramzi), for all the cheers and the jeers, the laughter and the tears (so what, I cry every Saturday night when I'm drunk and texting my ex-girlfriend begging her to give me another chance, sue me!). It will be a time to get pumped for the marathon together and to look back on the Olympics as a whole. But most of all, it will be a time to make fun of as much crap as possible.

So join us, we'll be cracking open our first Budweiser tall boy at 7pm EST sharp on Saturday night and we promise we won't pass out or leave to "go get some chicks" at the bar like your other friends. At least not until I gather the courage.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Gouchers: Drama, Drama, Drama


LTOB, being the internet's, and thus the world's, number one source of breaking news and juicy juicy gossip surrounding all that is "The Gouchers," is very ashamed to say some big Goucher news slipped past us the last few days. (The blogging veterans at Lets-Krong had us beat by 2 whole days. Unacceptable.)

As it turns out, Kara has been writing journal entries for her hometown paper in Duluth, MN about her experiences in Beijing. And oohh baby have they been experiences.

The main thing I gleaned from reading her entry on August 10 is, I guess, something any fool would realize: Dudes love hitting on Kara Goucher. And not just any old dudes. In the first two days Kara was in Beijing she was hit on by:

1. A former President of the United States
2. A current President of the United States
3. An undisclosed NBA player
4. The entire United States men's volleyball team
5. The entire United States men's soccer team.

Whhooo! That's a lotta hollerin' headed in Kara's direction.

I have no doubt, of course, that her husband Adam has nothing to worry about. Kara's one of those wholesome types. Plus, I'm sure male athletes are spraying it in all directions while they're in Beijing, I know I would be. It is just this kind of thing that lends to Kara's girl-next-door, jee-golly vibe and makes her all the more deliciously appealing. To fans, that is (get your head out of the gutter, this is a family blog).

To keep up this image, I'm just going to ignore this part of the August 10th journal entry. Kara writes:

When I got to my room earlier, there was someone there and I lost it! She is a pole vaulter and very, very nice and she is leaving tomorrow morning :).

I know what she means, this afternoon I caught someone in my office eating the bologna and ketchup sandwich I left in the fridge. He was very very nice and he ended up without a left eye ;)

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The Relative Fun and importance of Rhythmically Chanting U-S-A


There is no reason to tell you, dear reader, how special the Olympics are. You know they are great. And not just the track, the everything. But especially the track.

I like the Olympics mainly because they include sports and I am a sports fan. More specifically, I like being a fan of sports teams. Being a fan of a sports team you truly care about is fun as hell. Especially this time of year when I get to look forward to NFL Sundays with wings and wing sauce stained Bengals jerseys, and yelling at a television in a bar full of less enthusiastic post-church brunch-eaters. At this point I'm even looking forward to college basketball starting and the inevitable ebb and flow of hope and despair, and depression, and crushing losses and unhealthy coping mechanisms. All the emotions that accompany every Cincinnati Bearcats basketball season for me. I love being a fan!

Every four summers, though, the Olympics represent an event that is like our American sports experience jam packed into 16 days of a nation's rapt attention. It is special. It's 16 days of sports ALL THE TIME. Like the entire 16 week Bengals season in 16 days. Like the entire Big East basketball season on 16 straight nights. My team is playing every night, and that gets me pumped.

I am a huge homer and always have been. I cannot fill out an NCAA tournament bracket without having Cincinnati win the whole thing. I can't play a fantasy player for the weekend if he has a game against the Bengals. Quite frankly, I'm lukewarm about sports in general if there is not an extreme emotion that hinges on whether one team/athlete wins or loses. In these unemotional cases, I'd usually rather watch Office DVDs.

Because I'm a huge homer, I want the USA to win/dominate/set world records every time (Beware of whoever doesn't want this. They are Communists). Naturally, this makes every event interesting to me (full disclosure: I have been having strong Usain Bolt feelings the last few months, but I know my Gay feelings will come to the surface soon. Wait, that came out wrong. I have my strongest feelings for Brazilian Beach Volleyball. That's right, I'm ALL MAN).

Being a fan creates scenarios where I get to cheer not only for my country but against an "other." I know that when the "other" loses, we, as a collective fan base, have proven that we are more bad ass than the "other." Albeit in competitions like fencing, footraces, and ping pong (rarely), but a win is a win. And no one had to die!

In the Olympics, of course, this comes across as "patriotism" or "pride in country" but mainly I want to prove that my guys are better than your guys. We all know the USA has a lot of faults and so do other countries, but for these competitions we get to trivialize those faults and use the games as a release of all the built up aggression, rather than the other way around. To me, that needs to happen. Boycotting an Olympics, for instance, is the last thing that will help relations with another nation. One country gets to actually say "we are the best at this" and pound their chest, which is something that humans really really like to do. It gets it out of our system so we can focus on those faults when the games are over. Plus, it's fun!

So, as track competition looms on the horizon, dear reader, you have been enjoying some gymnastics and some swimming and getting your Michael Phelps fanboy on. But, now is the time to hitch up your pants and get serious about this 2008 Beijing Olympiad. Be a fan out there, I know I will. Get drunk, punch a wall, let off some steam, throw out some good-natured stereotypes (don't forget to include America, you arrogant, prudish, wasteful cowboy you) and don't hold back when you yell at Matt Tegenkamp to "Kick, gahdammit. Go. GO. KICK!!" Because that shit is fun. And healthy.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: Olympics 1.0

Is it track time yet? For serious. I already feel like the Olympics have been going on for a week and yet we're FIVE WHOLE DAYS AWAY from seeing any athletics. There is literally nothing running-related to tell you about this weekend because it was all swimming and gymnastics and volleyball and stabbing. (Oh, and Meb was 2nd at Falmouth, whatever that is.) So in the meantime, with nothing else to talk about, enjoy a little eye-candy after the jump.

Ladies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and gentlemen . . .




























Personally, I don't get it with Phelps -- he may be the first person with an underbite worse than mine -- but I keep hearing females call him "hot" and "so hot" and "I wish I had the unbridled lascivious vocabulary of a man because all I can keep coming up with is 'hot'." Now, on the other hand I can think of a lot of adjectives that could be used in conjunction with Ms. Alicia Sacramone, here (she's on the women's gymnastics team, and don't worry -- she's 20 years old). Lotta verbs for that matter. But I will refrain. Afterall, she's someone's daughter.

And, I trust a bunch of you will be more than capable of picking up the slack in the comments.


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Friday, August 8, 2008

Opening Ceremonies Drinking Game

So, no doubt you are as completely over-saturated by excited for the Olympics as we are. What better way to celebrate their commencement, than to punish your liver with a drinking game? Find the rules, after the jump.

And remember, the beauty of the drinking game is that, no matter what, you will win -- and you won't have to dedicate your entire life to the pursuit of it. Though, at 270 minutes, watching this telecast will certainly feel that way.

A new country enters the stadium - take 1 drink
New batch of fireworks set-off - 1 drink
Exterior shot of the Birds Nest - 1 drink
Shot of the Great Wall - 1 drink
Bob Costas appears on-screen - 1 drink
Commercial pimping The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - 1 drink
Commercial pimping Season 2 of Heroes - 1 drink
Broadcaster mentions Michael Phelps - 1 drink, poke self in eye
Broadcaster mentions heat, humidity, or pollution/smog and potentially adverse effects on competition - vomit, take 1 drink after clean-up

Exterior shot of The Cube (Aquatics Center) - take 2 drinks
Close-up of athlete with camcorder - 2 drinks
Close-up of Chinese administrator and/or high ranking political figure - 2 drinks
Discussion of US' inability to adhere to the basic rules of basketball win International basketball medal - 2 drinks
Performers perform any sort of Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics - 2 drinks
Inappropriate racial/cultural generaliztion crosses your mind - take 2 drinks, chuckle to self
Bob Costas says "Ni Hao" - 2 drinks
Feature/mention/close-up of breathing masks offered by foreign Olympic Committees to their athletes - 2 drinks
Broadcaster mentions Tibet - 2 drinks (self-immolation optional)

Close up on a "delegation" of a single athlete (think Seychelles)
- take 3 drinks
Close up on Chinese celebrity that looks -- to you -- like any other Chinese person - 3 drinks
Feature on Tiananmen Square and/or past political unrest in China - 3 drinks
In-Studio "Interview"/Promo with cast-member of The Mummy 3 - 3 drinks
Bob Costas uses some form of the world "inspire" in setting up an athlete feature - 3 drinks
Broadcaster mentions Darfur and/or the Sudan - take 3 drinks, pour 1 for Lost Boys
Mention of Ryan Hall and his chances at a marathon medal - take 3 drinks -- of juice, or tea, or water.

Inevitable mention/close-up/update on Eric "the Eel" Moussambani - drink until he finishes his race.

In-studio segment with Bob Costas learning martial arts moves from Mummy 3 star, Jet Li - 5 drinks

Feature on Carl Lewis - Finish drink
Airing of the inspired Carl Lewis music video - Finish 2 drinks
Feature on 1996 Gymnastics Team Gold Medal - Finish drink
Airing of the related -- and utterly inspired -- SNL Weekend Update Bit - Finish six-pack
Animated on-screen promo for The Mummy 3 featuring a warrior yeti performing Olympic sports - Finish six-pack

Anything involving the Olympic rings and a shirtless Brendan Fraser - Kill self

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A Handy Guide for Tonight's Opening Ceremonies

The fine folk(s) at Lets-Krong first linked to this, but I'll repost it here because it's pretty brilliant: The Big Lead breaks down each of the countries competing in Beijing. (Here's Part Two)

Some personal favorites:
American Samoa - Just won gold over Thinmintistan.
Kyrgyzstan - Would like to buy a vowel, please.
Afghanistan - Has a chance to medal this year, because the US will be too focused on beating Iraq.
Hey-o!

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gearing Up for the Olympics: You may have noticed...

There are these things called "widgets" now inhabiting the right column around these parts. To take a moment for a little shameless self-promotion, the one at top is chasingBOLT, a project I helped Matt Taylor with a little bit. It is at the top because a) Usain Bolt is sweet and b) you can actually look at content right there in the player -- photos, videos... the whole shebang.

The NBC thinger below it just wants to hijack you over to their site, which we don't like as much... but we're sure there's no way we'll be able to update LTOB as quickly as those bastards at NBC will be updating that feed. So it'll make sure you never miss breaking news about the Hamm Brothers while you're visiting our site. Also, we've been promised that it will be a Carol Lewis-free zone.

Ultimately, let us know if you like having them there, hate having them there, or just think we're stupid for selling out in an arrangement that managed to net us zero dollars.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beijing 2008 Starts... TODAY

What's that you say? Friday? False. That's the Opening Ceremonies, homes. The first competition of Beijing08 began today -- Wednesday -- with something called "women's football." Not sure how women can play football, but, Hey, it's the Olympics! Right? Everyone gets a turn!

Anyhow, I apologize if this news comes as a bit of jolt, but no matter -- the important thing is that you've still had ample time to go see Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Warrior. Twice. So in light of that, let's take a little look ahead to all that lies in store for us -- athletics and otherwise -- during these three glorious weeks, using the most inspired element of M3 as our ruberic...

GYMNASTICS: Funny floor-routine music, impressive feats of athleticism and, this year, domestic intrigue: the US "women" could once again take home Olympic team Gold, just like those fetching young ladies did in Atlanta in 1996. Major difference? A team-wide crush on my part will would now be entirely inappropriate.

Excitement level... 10 warrior yetis






MODERN PENTATHLON:
Running, swimming, pistol shooting, equestrian, and fencing. Remind me: when exactly was this event "modern"? I feel like a truly modern pentathlon would consist of Halo, Eating Snacks, Getting Fat, More Halo, and Whining. That said, I do like the spirit of this poorly-named event. I would like it more, though, if you had to fence another person while you were each riding a swimming horse, with the other competitors shooting at the both of you as they run along the riverbank. Then we all switch.


Excitement level... 5 warrior yetis





SWIMMING:
Will Michael Phelps break medal-winning records? Probably. Will I care? Doubtful. Let's be honest - swimming is the most overrated sport on the docket every four years. Having multiple "discplines" for the same act -- swimming -- is like contesting a 400 on the track but making everyone run backwards, or walk on their hands. It's asinine.


Excitement level... 1 warrior yeti





BASKETBALL, MEN:
Also known as, LeBron's Chance to Meet His Future European Teammates. What does it say about Northeast Ohio if LBJ is talking more about playing in Russia than he is about re-signing with Cleveland? Oh, and if I hear the USA team automatically referred to as "The Dream Team," I may try to choke on my own tongue. There was ONE Dream Team. There will only be one Dream Team. I'm not sure anyone has ever laid awake at night dreaming about Tayshaun Prince playing ball.


Excitement level... 6 warrior yetis





BASKETBALL, WOMEN:
I hear the Women's portion of the Olympic basketball competition was so unwatchable it had to be subsidized by the Men's portion. Hey-o! But here's hoping this guy travels to China to support his favorite WBNA-ers and to serve as an ambassador for our nation.


Excitement level... 0 warrior yetis







TRAMPOLINE:
I like trampolines. When I was a kid, my neighbor had one one time and it was fun.


Excitement level... 9 warrior yetis






TABLE TENNIS:
Maybe the best game ever invented, if only because in 68 tries, ben has beaten me exactly 2 times. To get a sense of what that looks like, watch Trinidad's Dexter St. Louis take on Wang Hao of China in the early rounds. Won't be pretty.


Excitement level... 8 warrior yetis





JUDO:
What do you do here? Grapple. Throw your opponent. That. Is. Awesome. I mean, even the
name sounds cool. Joo-doe. Jooooooo-doe. Moreover, it's the sneakiest of all martial arts, as "judo" means "gentle way" -- you hear that, you start to think you're about to get a massage or maybe some sort of exotic aromatherapy/facial peel and then WHAM!

Excitement level... 8 warrior yetis





WUSHU: I'm pretty sure this is some sort of traditional food item. Not sure how it made it onto the Competition Schedule.


Excitement level... incomplete








BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Not as sexy as it sounds. Or as it could be.


Excitement level... 3 warrior yetis





RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS:
Not NEARLY as sexy as it sounds. Or as it could be.


Disappointment level... 100 warrior yetis

HANDBALL: Handball might be the coolest, most underappreciated ball sport there is. It's like soccer and basketball and hockey and ultimate frisbee rolled into one. Could some trampoline have been thrown in there for good measure? Sure. But there's still a lot of jumping, diving and balls flying everywhere. In other words, it kind of sounds like my typical Friday night.

Excitement level... 7 warrior yetis





ATHLETICS:
Also known as Track and Field. (I will be using Athletics because it is beautifully compact, yet all-encompassing.) Do I even need to say that there is no better Olympic sport? There's more history here than in any other sport. No subjectivity like in gymnastics. And the Beijing08 edition should be a doozy when it comes to storylines: Lagat's double... the ouster of Russian cheats (unfortunately they still haven't caught the dirty-as-hell Russian steeplers)... Bolt v. Powell v. Gay... Jamaica gunning for the 4x100m WR... tons of talent in the 800m...


It just goes on and on.

Excitement level... 3,000,000,000 warrior yetis

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Doug Logan Has a "Blog"


It came to my attention today that our fearless leader, new USATF CEO Doug Logan, has started his own "blog." In it, he writes about being on top of that old Brontosaurus known as the USATF, Caveman Games-style. I use quotation marks on "blog" mainly because I think the b-word is being used a bit too liberally in this case. Let's take a blog validity test, after the jump:

1. A name, often cheesy, that references a hyper-specific entity within the larger world of the thing that the blog is about: +1
--"Shin Splints"!! HAHA, classic Doug, we can so tell he's one of us!!!

2. Liberal use of profanity: -1
--Have yet to read a "shit" an "ass hole" or even a "greasy taint monster" in the first two posts. And he calls himself a blogger?!

3. Pictures of hot chicks: -1
--So far both pictures have been of Doug himself. Not a strong start. He's gonna want to get some hotties plastered all over that blog, and fast.

4. A billion different ways to share each blog post and subscribe to the blog in a reader: -1
--No RSS feed? No Technorati? No "Share this article on facebookmyspacestumbleupondiggreddityahoogooglenewsvinemixxprintthedamnthingoutonapieceofpaper?" If a tree falls in the forest...

5. Start every post with "I" or "me" being within the first 5 words: +1
--Every blogger knows that their life is what people are dying to hear about.

6. Pop culture metaphors that come somewhat close to making sense: -1
--This is an easy fix for Doug. They can be thrown in, literally anywhere, in each post. For example, "Marion Jones is worse than Oprah in a pancake factory" or "performance enhancing drugs are about as welcome in track as a can of Bud Light in a Jay-Z video." See, it's just that simple.

As we can clearly see, Doug Logan's "Shin Splints" is actually a negative 2 on the blog validity scale, which makes it less of a "blog" and more of a "press release." Of course, Doug can change all that with some bad words, a steamy picture of Gail Devers at the office 4th of July cookout, and a few well-placed Fall Out Boy references.

So there you go, Doug, a new priority #1, the whole drug thing is sooo 2006 Tour De France anyway.


********It should be noted that Doug Logan actually writing about the state of USATF is great and seems to signify a strong move toward self-awareness which will ineveitably lead to positive change in the organization and blahblahblah.

Also, LTOB scores only a +2. Jeremy and I are O.K. with that score. Not happy, but O.K.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

See Kanye with the Keflezighi's


If you are planning to be in the Los Angeles area at the end of this month, there are three things you must do: 1. Visit the Hollywood walk of fame. 2. Visit Disneyland. And, of course, 3. Go to a free Kanye West concert with Olympic Silver Medalist Meb Keflezghi and his family. You know, standard touristy stuff.

The event is held in conjunction with that whole "Nike Human Race 10k" thing. The Keflezighi's are upping the ante on those humanitarians at Nike, though, by raising money for ninemillion.org, a campaign promoting education and sports for refugees worldwide. So, a great cause to be sure. No word yet as to where exactly the concert will be held. the only information I found was here, where a Mr. DJ Craze is claiming Kanye on his schedule somehwere in L.A.

My question: What is Meb's favorite Kanye jam? Stronger? Jesus Walks? Too obvious. Get 'em High? Barry Bonds? Now, we're talking.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Here is...Something!

We got an email recently from what I can only assume was Bob Costas himself informing us of these things called "widgets" that NBC is using to promote their Olympic coverage online. Despite it being called a "widget," which sounds a lot like the tool Inspector Gadget used to save Penny from Dr. Claw that one time, it seems like quite a useful tool.

Quite frankly, it's on the verge of being "too corporate" for us, given that they show commercials before the videos and, since we don't get any money for those commercials, that's aaaalllllmost unacceptable. But, it looks like they will have high quality live video and highlight videos during the games, so it's worth checking out. Here it is: share it, embed it on your own site, or better yet, bookmark this page and come back over and over and over again (but not more than three times because this is a fringe site, we don't want TOO much traffic lest we lose our counter-culture cred).


Exclusive Summer Olympics news & widgets at NBC Olympics.com!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Fearless Predictions: NYC Half Edition


Less Than Our Best is concerned with very little. One of those few interests is pretending to give a shit about the election. The other is acting like I have some expertise in predicting things. Here's a few things that will LITERALLY happen this weekend:


Aviva London Grand Prix

Men's 1 Mile
Alan Webb is on the starting list, just like last week in France. Fool me once, Alan, shame on you. Fool me twice and I will send someone to your house to beat you with the rusty bottom of my Zoom Milers (j/k?).

With or without Webb, the London Mile is chock full of milers NOT from Africa. Baddeley, East, Sullivan, Mottram, Lukezic, and Webb. That's one pale, poor dancing group of guys headed to the start line.

Lagat will win followed by Mottram, Korir, then Webb (I still believe), Sullivan, and Baddeley. Those six will all run between 3:49 and 3:51.

Men's 3000 meters
A random smattering of runners make up this field. As always, Alistair Cragg will start out bravely with the leaders and slowly fade over the last 600 meters. One of these days the guy is going to hold on, today is not that day. Ed Moran, fresh off his front row seat to watch Jorge Torres make the Olympic team, can stake his claim at US distance running A-list status if he can hang with the pack in this race. 7:42 will do well to get Moran mentioned closer to your Rupps and your Torreses and farther from your Carneys and your Rohatinsky's. Sean Quigley and Tim Nelson, solid c-listers, get some valuable "European experience" (read: prostitutes picked up in Piccadilly circus after the race).

New York City Half Marathon

Three Truths: Dathan Ritzenhein is still supposed to start. Patrick Makau is going to win. Adam Goucher will be there, which means so will Kara Goucher (hopefully) which means More "The Gouchers" news for LTOB!

Makau will take it out super fast, like he did at the Healthy Kidney, and it will quickly turn into a race for second. Ritzenhein has run two of his three best American soil races in NYC, becoming the Healthy Kidney 10k record holder and getting 2nd at the Marathon Trials (the third was his domination at US Cross this past winter). He will be second in 1:01:20. An amazing feat over guys like Limo, Kipsang, and Ramaala. It will be one of the finest US distance performances of the year, way to go Ritz!

Second best American honors will go to Fernando Cabada followed by Fasil Bizuneh. Adam Goucher will come home in 30th place in 1:06 with a huge smile after hearing one of the spectators yell "you're ALL winners" at mile 10 and getting confused.

Somewhere a bit later in the pack, your humble narrator will flail his way to the finish in what Mary Wittenberg will call the "fuckin' ballsiest race ever run on the streets of this city." Thanks Mary, but I don't do it for the accolades.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Douche for the Decades: John Chaplin


The man to your right is John Chaplin. He's a douche. In this crazy mixed up world where people are willing to throw around the "d" word all too often, this Mr. Chaplin guy has earned it. He has practically defined it. He has made us all think twice the next time we want to call our friend a "douche" for renting "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" and watching it with his girlfriend on Saturday night instead of drinking and lighting fireworks with his "bros". And that is just not right, Mr. Chaplin. Not at all.

As you may have noticed recently in Scott Douglas' Running Times piece , John Chaplin came across as a bit of a...a...a douche (I simply can not find a better word).

Mr. Chaplin, tell us how you really feel:


“The Olympic trials are not a goddamn all-comers’ meet.”

“Those clowns in the bottom half of the 10,000 have no chance on God’s green earth of making the Olympic team.”

“I have no patience with distance runners any more.”



Me neither, Johnny. I think you successfully used your clearly endearing personality and vocabulary to change my mind. I'm with you, you're not a douche. Distance runners are too squirrely and generally bad smelling for me, anyway.

If only these goddamn people would shut up and stop goddamn bothering you, right? Hell, you had your goddamn buddies "Slim" and "Buckface" from your goddamn coaching days at Washington goddamn State with you in Eugene and that goddamn trip to the goddamn coast afterward didn't just plan itsgodamnself now did it?!

Why would anyone bother you about appealing to get into a heat? It's ludicrosity stacked on top of dumbassery.

To all of you constantly complaining distance runners: please stop your fighting. There is no reason and no chance we are going to expand the field just to suit you. Mr. Chaplin has made this fact crystal clear: Appeals will not be heard, event fields will not expand. So. Shut. Up.

Hehe, see how I told them Mr. Chaplin? Those guys never learn. Why would they possibly think that an appeal might help their case? Why would they try? Stupid goddamn distance runners. Now, excuse me while I read on in the article.

“Appeals are decided on an individual basis,” (Chaplin) says.


Mr. Chaplin?! Johnny? Chap-man! Sup with the whack contradictions, sup?! You really had me flipped for a second there, you old coot. As it turns out, you ARE a douche.

So, you're saying that appeals ARE part of the process of getting into the field, but you don't want to hear them, but they ARE considered on an individual basis. And, as it is revealed in the article, you are not even going to read a perfectly legitimate appeal from a runner (Blake Bolden) who went through all of the proper channels and steps to take a shot at being admitted into the field? It's not like you are the chair of the committee that is supposedly in charge of sticking to these rules.

The laziness, arrogance, and profane amount of old-man-bullshit that that jumps out of this article is a slap in the face to every USA track fan and athlete. John Chaplin feels like he is invincible. Otherwise, he would never say the things he said to a reporter.

Chaplin needs to be removed from his post at USATF. Doug Logan needs to make a statement and hold Chaplin accountable for his comments. A high ranking official in any organization should not get away with calling people in that organization "clowns", or speaking so condescendingly about runners who are following the appeals process that the USATF has explicitly spelled out and then not even reading the appeal that was submitted. Logan would make a lot of people happy if Chaplin was raking long jump pits at the Springfield come-and-run at this time next year instead of back slapping in the lobby of the Eugene Hilton.


I truly hate to be negative and I hate even more that I am about to use a phrase that is obscenely overused in track and field media. I hate hate hate it. But, John Chaplin, from his statements and his history, is the most perfect, most douchetastic, and most cronyistic (Not a word? Should be.) example of...




oh no, here it comes...






I'm gonna do it so get ready...







wait for it...






WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR SPORT!!!!



That is why Mr. John Chaplin has been chosen as the inaugural selection for the Less Than Our Best "A Douche for the Decades" series. So celebrate with us, come on!

Let us know if you have suggestions for future "ADFTD" pieces.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday New and Notes


Weekly look at the best of the internet running minutia...with links!

DN Galan meet is this afternoon. Results are going to be here.

Of Interest is Matthew Tegenkamp and Edward Moran in the 3000. Even more interesting, perhaps, is Tony Famiglietti in the steeplechase. Is the guy better than ever or just not been challenged yet? Is he getting enough pub as a medal contender? IS he a medal contender? Will his "modern hippy" chic style go over well with the fun-loving yet usually clean shaven Swedes? So many questions will be answered by this one race.

Slattery, Rudolph, and Huddle in the women's 5000. The 'B' tier of the US women's 5k pool, if you will. If Women's US distance running was the movie "Mean Girls," this group would probably be the uncool group trying to get back at the Plastics for always being so popular. Which, I suppose, would make Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher the plastics. Which doesn't necessarily seem right. Then Jen Rhines would be Lindsey Lohan I guess. Wait, who is Tina Fey in all this? Deena? That works, right? This metaphor has spun wildly out of control.

Also, LTOB favorite, Usain Bolt, is on the line against his countryman and former scaredy-cat Asafa Powell. I think we all know how this one's gonna end up.
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Scott Douglas breaks down the whole trials qualifying/Gouchergate melee quite effectively in his Running Times piece.

Article finally explains exactly how a few athletes approached the "process" of getting into the meet and how (not why), specifically, they were rebuffed.

If nothing else, you get an intimate snapshot of John Chaplin, the head honcho of the men's track and field executive committee. Among many other gems, states Chaplin: "Those clowns in the bottom half of the 10,000 have no chance on God’s green earth of making the Olympic team." Guy's a peach, huh?! More on him later today.
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A very good read on Jim Dunaway, hardcore track and field journalist who has been to every Olympics since 1956.

The best thing about Dunaway is that he used to hitchhike everywhere (He claims to have covered 500,000 miles in that most creepy way of transportation). Times have changed, huh, Jim? Oh, how I yearn for the days when a nice, nonhomicidal driver would see someone (like me) on the side of the road and want to give them (me) a ride somewhere, maybe even a snack or a cold cut sandwich, instead of honking and pointing. And covering their children's eyes. Oh, whimsy.
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Our new USATF CEO has skipped the middle man and gone straight to the top on his first day! Dear Mr. President...

ONIONS!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: We'll Always Have Paris...

What They Didn't Tell You - Paris... and more!

At the Gaz de France in Gay Perry (name that movie, win some props), Alan Webb did not make his scheduled appearance to defend the mile crown from the 2007 edition of this meet. Why, you ask? Well, some people would have you believe he was too busy eating Egg McMuffins and lost track of the time. But actually, they're called Oeuf McCrepes over there.

Also in Paris, Shannon Rowbury barely missed breaking 4:00 in the 1500, and was just tenths away from taking a sizeable scalp in Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain. While the dual near-misses had to have stung, the PB and strong placing in one of Europe's biggest meets are worth savoring, and later that evening, Rowbury was seen out on the town celebrating.

Jeremy Wariner finally took the measure of Lahawn Merritt in a significant manner, hanging half a second on his rival. But, unfortunately, Wariner's adidas uniform? Still hideous.

It may have been a smaller meet than Gaz de France, but the weekend's other big meet wasn't lacking for excitement with an 8:00 flat steeple, a hot 5k and Webb finally making his appearance, to clock 3:35. What they didn't tell you, though, was that Houston hosts a big-time track meet. Crazy, right?

At that same meet, Jenny Barringer ran a furious final 50 meters to run down Anna Willard for the win, and the right to put her name beside the new American Record of 9:22. Sadly, what they didn't tell you was that the Flotrack cameras packed it in too early -- and this will dismay fans of steepling, message board rivalry-dissection, and women -- and thus, did not capture the exchange that followed, as the bad blood between "Jenny B" and "'Fred' Willard" spilled out and over into the steeple pit, where both wrestled around in sopping wet kits. Humminahumminahummina....

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Fearless Predictions: Why So Serious?! Edition



Less Than Our Best is concerned with very little. One of those few interests is rewatching clarkandmicheal.com over and over, and over again. The other is acting like we have some expertise in predicting things. Here's a few things that will LITERALLY happen this weekend:

Ladies and gents, I know your fearless predictor has not been around the past few weeks. You've probably been confused and upset. You have been going into the past few weekends feeling a little clouded, sad, and less itchy than you did before you met me. I understand and I am sorry. But, to your infinite delight, I am back on the predicting scene and, despite the popcorn farts I have from last night's nerdfest midnight showing of Dark Knight, I'm willing to drop some (future) truth bombs on all y'all.

Gaz de France

1. M1500 -- Let's face it, all American eyes will be on that enigmatic wookie, Alan Webb. It's a solid field.. A quick glance at the start list, though, shows that Webb is the only runner who has ever been under 3:31. In fact, he has an entire half second on the second best PR in the field, Shadrack Korir. You don't have to be a fearless predictor to know who's gonna win this one, eh? Right? Huh? What? When? Screw it. WEBB WINS in 3:32.5!!! They don't call me fearless for nothing. That, and stupid.

2. M400 -- Has there been a more satisfying track rivalry than Merritt and Wariner in recent hisotry? No. The Gay Bolt rivalry (don't laugh at that, child) has the potential, but Wariner and Merritt seem hell bent on on actually growing a pair and racing each other like real men and unlike non-real men. In this meet, the winner is not the largest issue (the only race that matters is the Olympic final, all other races are forgotten after that), the largest issue here is the time. Wariner wants the WR, he needs to go faster than his 43.98 Season best. They both will. Wariner wins in 43.75. Merrit second in 43.85.

3. W1500 -- People don't seem to grasp how out-of-nowhere Shannon Rowbury has come to totally dominate the USA women's 1500 scene. Can you grasp it? It isn't slippery, just try. There, you got it. A year ago, she was a longshot at best to make the Olympic team, now she's a legit contender in a Golden League 1500. Some people think she can break 4:00! Hotchy Motchy! You go girl, and all that. Some might say she hasn't been in enough of these international affairs to know how to race well against such seasoned (and fast) competition. however, those people are probably old curmudgeons, so ther opinion counts only 3/4 of my opinion. She'll break the top 3 and 4 minutes and the hearts of so many guys who have 1500 PRs of 4:00 and slower. Tough luck, slowpokes.

New USATF Regime

1. Doug "Silver Fox" Logan (pictured above) was named the new CEO of USATF. What does this mean for you and me, fans of this oh-so-hateable-but-we-still-love-it sport? Well, he was the leader of the MLS when it started up. This means we can look forward to becoming not only a niche sprt, but a niche sport that all those preppies-who-want-to-seem-European will love. Am I right? I predict USATF will continue to putter along at the status quo until we hire the real man for the job, Toni Reavis.

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I Can't Believe They Killed Off Alfred!

I kid, I kid. I would never give away a secret plot point of a movie that most of you have probably not seen yet. ...or WOULD I?

Anyway, in case you hadn't heard yet, the USATF finally named a new CEO -- former head of the MLS, Doug Logan. I framed this with a Dark Knight reference because of the obvious questions at hand:

Can Doug Logan be our sport's Batman?

I'm sorry, that was just plain silly. Obviously, the REAL reason for that framing was to lord it over you that LTOB has already seen the hottest movie of the summer, and you haven't.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Photo of the Weekend: Rome Golden Gala

Last year at the Golden Gala we had a guy racing without legs. AND -- in what smacked of a publicity stunt meant to invoke the memories of Rome's gladiatorial past -- a guy getting speared in the side.

This year? Zilch. Zip. Wait, no, more like No zip. Zipless.

This little guy came to the meet expecting something GRAPHIC to happen. Now, he has lost interest and this photo says it all, as you can practically read his sleep-thoughts: Bo-ring.

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Tuesday News and Notes


Our weekly look at internet running minutia...with links!

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The funloving folks of the Kimbia Madison Olympic Development Track Project Club (I assume that's their offical name) have decided to put on their own little 1500m race in their own little town on their own little track tonight (7/15) at 9pm. Just a few small town boys (including Matt Tegenkamp, Chris Solinsky, John Riley, and Sean Quigley) trying to put on a show for the beer swilling, cheddar sweating, fireworks lighting locals. I like this a lot. A send off, of sorts, to Europe. Plus, the Madisonites will love it. There's nothing midwesterners love more than standing outside together and looking at something on a muggy summer night.

My money is on Solinsky. But, don't worry about his psyche if he loses, he has already seen bitter dissappointment and shame rear its ugly, helmeted head.
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The Olympic Track team was named! Not exactly Selection Sunday excitement over here, eh? Kind of anticlimactic, huh? Already watched a litttle thing called the trials, right? Wrong. It's time to get pumped. 8/8/08. Here we come China, and all that.

Of note on the list:
+The always-willing-to-say-the-'f'-word-on-camera-so-that-little-boys-and-girls-can-giggle-themselves-to-death-javelin-thrower Breaux Greer made the team despite an injury riddled end to his Trials experience.
+Only event that could not fill the three slots due to lack of three 'A' standards? Hammer Throw. It's a sad day for our nation's proud Blacksmithing tradition.
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You will be interested in this if you are either a 15 year old trying to make the top 7 or your looking forward to the point where the ghost of Steve Prefontaine BECOMES competitive distance running in America. Kind of like how "Coke" stands for all soda-pop and "Kleenex" stands for all tissues.

Sample sentence: "I was thinking about going out for a 30 minute Prefontaine, but then realized my ovaries hurt" or "Hey Grandma, can I borrow your Springsteen 'Born to Steve' album? I'm doing a class project."
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--www.Lets-Krong.com over and done with? Nah. I've seen this before.
--The Summer Olympics are great because, if for no other reason, they inspire stuff like this.
--Charles Barkley's golf game is like a...a...a...blog? Other things Chuck thinks are like blogs: Alan Webb's race schedule. Galen Rupp's nose strip. Larry Rawson.



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Monday, July 14, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: European Vacation

You could feel the postpartum depression settling in throughout the American track-web-media-scene this past week. And why not? Look at the etymology: post, Latin, for "after." partum, Greek, for "party." "After-party depression."

So why
shouldn't our venerable domestic websites be a little slow to recover from Eugene and a week of hard-living, hard-partying, and hard-ons? (I'm assuming.) Thus, we shift our gaze to Europe, where the action was... not quite so tepid. And the coverage... adequate. What They Didn't Tell You about this past weekend, after the jump...

That guy Bolt was at it again, clocking a 19.67 in Athens to re-write his own Jamaican National Record. What they didn't tell you though is that apparently Bolt likes a little junk in the trunk, when it comes to women. That's apropos of nothing. Just a fun little fact.

In other European action Wariner finally got back on top of Merritt, which doesn't sound right at all. I'm just going to stop that there, mmk?

Some good performances by Americans at the World Junior Championships: a kid named Walter Henning from some nameless Long Island high school won the hammer, little Centrowitz clocked a 13:58 and Jordan Hasay took 4th in the 1500m (which, incidentally, was won in a time slower than her recent AR). But the best part of the whole meet is imagining how everything at Junior Worlds is miniature. Mini competitors, mini implements, mini hot dogs from the concessions...

Dispatching Hasay was a British lass named Stephanie Twell, who probably would have enjoyed her win more had someone not stepped on her foot, really, really hard.

And finally, Junior Worlds were held in a place called -- and I'm not making this up -- Bydgoszcz. I promise you, that's not a typo. So clearly, they didn't tell anyone how to pronounce that. I say, just go ahead and make up your own pronunciation. I'm going with Bitty-Baby-Sizzle-Syrup. Sounds yummy, yes?

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Olympics: Only Slightly More Complicated Than Planning a Family Reunion Potluck

Talk about a logistical nightmare. Today's New York Times features an article about the issues raised with rival companies vying for publicity at the Olympics -- some legitimate Olympic sponsors, some not.

Fast fact: the local organizing committee basically needs to snap up ALL the billboards in town to ensure only official sponsors end up using them. Crazy, right? (Note to self: buy properties in Chicago, investigate local zoning laws pertaining to billboards.) Also, as the article points out, if you're an official sponsor like Visa (and I'm assuming you are) you'll want to get some value out of your licensing investment and, thus, you'll need to make sure vendors EVERYWHERE are equipped to handle Visa cards. Afterall, your motto is "Everywhere you want to be" and Beijing, China...? Pretty far down the list, checking in just ahead of Poop Factory, and just behind Moist Hippo Sphincter.


The Olympics, however, IS where everyone wants to be -- even if they were held in said Sphincter -- and so companies are elbowing each other aside like fat people at a Golden Corral. For those of you at the Trials, you saw firsthand how adidas pulled a mini-coup by creating the post-race Place-to-Be at Villard Street Pub (more on that later today), just a short walk from Swoosh-festooned Hayward Field.

Inexplicably, Nike was unable to purchase the Olympics Movement as a whole -- you should have seen their proposed logo of five interlocking swooshes -- and, while Old Lady Victory was busy reaching past its grasp, adidas apparently slipped in to nab apparel-sponsor rights for Beijing 2008. (Nevermind the fact that the USOC is sponsored by Nike and that the US Track team will be competing in ugly Nike uniforms... whole other can of worms...)

So you can bet Nike will be looking for alternative methods for cashing in on the Olympic cow. My suggestion?

Handjobs.


[Ed. Note: Now including link it should have included from the get-go.]

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Letsrun Posters Geek as Facebook Photos Leak


Earlier today a Letsrun.com message board poster going by the gracious alias "at least they can party!" posted links to several facebook pictures that included a number of Olympic Trials participants "beering it up," as I like to say. How dare they!?!?!

It seems that the heavy flow of hot and most definitely sweaty traffic has overloaded the message board, which is a blank screen right now.

Situations such as these create a very interesting conundrum for the media and for fans of the sport. Should these photos be news? Other sports seem to think they are. Is running different? Is there some sort of unique kinship that we share with all other runners, no matter their ability level, that puts us in a different category than football or baseball fans and forces us to think twice about embarassing one of our own by defaming them as they do something we have all done before and will continue to do every time we're at a party where there's beers, buds, and broads (sorry, that's the only word for woman I can think of that starts with 'b'....seriously.)?

I don't want to get into this now. Basically, I just wanted to use that headline. And, hey, three posts today...you're welcome very much.

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Ritz, Others Racing in NYC Half


Once again, Dathan Ritzenhein has made a bold promise to compete in a road race. This one: NYC Half on July 27.

All signs point to Ritz at least starting this time as he did start and finish the Olympic Trials 10k less than a week ago. Plus, according to the NYRR release, the race is going to be his "final tune-up" before Beijing. So, the whole "precautionary measure because I felt a twinge in my left/right ______ last week" thing is less likely to hold him back when faced with the alternative of going into China rusty. Although, he went into the marathon trials rusty, so...

Also in the men's race will be US half marathon champ James Carney, perpetual close-to-the-fronter Fasil Bizuneh, and youtube G Fernando Cabada (1,800+ views of him just driving his car? Am I missing something?)

Not only that, but yours truly will be on the line ready to pant and complain over 13.1 miles of regret in the debut of the LTOB "Racing" Club. Get your tickets early folks.

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