Now that the NBA playoffs have begun the regular season TV viewing rule, “you only need to pay attention to the final five minutes”, has been eliminated as every possession is contested with pressure defense. Yet due to marathoning’s linear rather than episodic nature, where there is no shot, pitch, play, etc. every 30 seconds, or quarters, periods, innings or halves to break up the action, the sport of long distance racing is a hard sell to an ADHD audience. This is especially true when very few of the athletes have been marketed as individual stars to the non-running public, and where, by comparison to other sports, the stakes are quite low.
In the face of these circumstances to then control the action via pacesetters only serves to further separate the average viewer from the game, as there is no reason to become engaged until the “real” action begins after the controlled first half.
In London this weekend we have another of the “greatest fields ever assembled”, both on the men’s and women’s sides, with thoroughbreds striding along the Thames everywhere you look. Yet once again there will be a host of pacesetters ready to take the men through the first half in a rapid, but controlled 61:45. Continue reading