Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rating the Meats

That's Easy:
1. Steak
2. Chicken
3. Sausage
4. Bolgna
5. Turkey

Now that that's out of the way, why don't we rate some TRACK meEts?
As you may or may not have heard by now, Keninisa Bekele has signed on to make an attempt at his 10,000 meter world record at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on June 8. This coming on the heels of the Reebok Grand Prix's announcement that the world's top two sprinters, Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay (that's right I said it Asafa, what are you gonna do about it?), will face each other over 100 meters. Along with that, Adidas has set up a great field for their Adidas Track Classic this coming Sunday.

Undoubtedly, the three best track events in America leading up to tha' Grandaddy of all American track events: the trials.

With these four meets, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and Nike USATF seem dedicated to putting on top quality track and field meets. Let's have a look how each meet stacks up, shall we...

Here's how the ratings work:

No Stars = Is this a professional track meet or a 7th grade pizza party?!
* = 3 out of 4 LRC message boarders will bitch about
** = Runnerville will have suggestions
*** = Mary Wittenberg would/has approved
**** = "boners galore"

1) Geographic Location
Nike Pre - Eugene ***
Reebok - New York City ****
Adidas - Carson, CA **
Trials - Eugene ***
Eugene as a city, like it or not, is the only town willing to put all their eggs in the track and field basket, and that is commendable in its own right. Even if its not an especially visible town nationwide. NYC is simply the media capital of the world, though, and will always generate a large crowd and, most especially, media hype. Carson is 22 minutes from LA according to my google maps, which doesn't seem that long I suppose, but as far as I'm concerned, ain't nothing in LA but rich hippies and people who are perpetually 3 hours behind me, no one I want at one of my track meets.

2) Venue
Nike Pre - Historic Hayward Field ***
Reebok - Icahn Stadium **
Adidas - Home Depot Center No Stars
Trials - Historic Hayward Field ***
Once again, like the Nike/Eugene marriage or not, what they have invested in track and field and Hayward field looks pretty cool right now. They updated things that needed to be updated but, as far as I can tell, didn't sacrifice too much of the authenticity. Although, putting "Historic Hayward Field" on the new jumbo-tron seems a bit forced. Icahn Stadium is cool, on an island and all, but it's impossible to get to without a car, and who wants to drive in NYC? The Home Depot is a boring store filled with employees that clearly don't want to help me out with my bundle of 4x4's. I don't understand why they are trying to hold a track meet in that kind of environment.

3) Website
Nike Pre - No Stars
Reebok - **
Adidas - ***
Trials - ****
The Pre website looks like my 15 year old cousin's geocities site. Reebok and Adidas are about the same, but Adidas has had a time schedule and starting lists posted for a while now and Reebok has NO updates. The Eugene08 website is top-notch, as it should be.

4) Marquee Race/Time Trial
Nike Pre - Bekele going for 10,000m WR, Meseret Defar going for 5,000m WR ***
Reebok - Usain Bolt v. Tyson Gay in 100m ****
Adidas - 7 of world's top 10 women in 100m No Stars
Trials - Every. American. Ever. ****
Two world record attempts at Pre is pretty impressive but, quite frankly, this smacks of little more than a publicity stunt. Count me as "doubtful" as to whether or not Bekele is actually ready and seriously going for a record or did the Pre folks promise him a free trip see "pre's rock"? Bolt v. Gay is HUGE. I wouldn't mind if Asafa Powell totally dropped off the radar. Bolt and Gay obviously aren't afraid of a challenge. Powell? Shaking. Boots. Adidas has a number of strong races and an overall great field, but no real "matchup" to speak of.

5) Ability to avoid attempts at squeezing any remaining juice from the already dry, shriveled up fruit that is a former track athlete's "legacy.," to the point where a track fan almost definitely resents said athlete.
Nike Pre - Negative Eleventy Billion Stars
Reebok - ****
Adidas - ****
Trials - Jury Still Out
Note to Nike/Lanana/Eugene08: please stop pimpin' Steve so hard. He's not going to be able to carry your company University's mystique forever. His abnormally broad, German shoulders are only so strong.

6) Overall
Nike Pre - *
Reebok - ***
Adidas - **
Trials - ****(times 1 million boners)
This could easily change after the fields fill out.

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