All we tend to hear about in this crazy backwater sport are all the drug and corruption problems. Every great performance is just as likely to raise questions as applause (sadly). But there’s one thing you had to give the sport of athletics, we never heard much in the way of other Premier League/Hollywood/Washington DC hi-jinx amongst its athletes, at least publicly, until now.
No sh*t. Multiple time Olympic track champions Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie have clashed in a Don King like pre-fight boxing feud before Sunday’s London Marathon. Except Haile isn’t racing against Mo, Eliud Kipchoge is.
But not to worry. We are still new at this. We’ll get it right soon enough, don’t you fret.
Still, Mo v. Haile is better than nothing. Bad blood, ill will, and stolen money, it’s got all the bases covered except sex. And as in life, you can’t have it all.
For years, I kept waiting for some TMZ-titillation to come along in running, just to spice things up. You know, black hats and white hats and people who have been wronged. Maybe it was there all along, but running and track didn’t create big enough stars to uncover it. There has never been a New York Post Page 6 coverage for running.
Years ago we joked how we wanted to start a show or publish a rag called Track Dirt where you could get the skinny on who’s doing what to whom on the circuit. But runners were just too boring, I guess, too skinny, too under-paid to be newsworthy in that way. There’s your test for relevance.
SNL did a skit on March 10, 2019 that mocked the low pay and status of WNBA players. Could just as easily used track & field athletes, except they are even less well known to the public.
So all running had was its old school drug offenses and corrupt officials stories. Ho-hum. B-O-R-I-N-G! Till Mo went down to Ethiopia to train and stay at Haile’s Yaya Village Hotel. Now there are accusations of thievery and abused guests and previous feud elements.
So thanks, Mo and Haile. Your nasty little dust-up is just what we need to get tongues wagging and accusations flying and maybe more people watching this Sunday’s big race.
Now, if we could just get Eliud involved, maybe playing the part of Judge Judy, we’d really have something.
4 thoughts on “BRINGING TMZ TO RUNNING”
Another thing our earnest sport lacks is laughter, especially of a satiric irreverent kind. Thanks, Toni.
You are most welcome, Roger. Nothing Swiftian, of course, but earnest in its own way.
“Get Eliud involved”?!? Please, no. We need a hero to rise above the fray and keep his white hat (or in this case, teeth) pearly white. And although I was going to watch London anyway before all this, I’ll be rooting a bit more vociferously for the smiling runner who hasn’t kicked anyone in the neck recently.
Eliud can wear the white hat on Sunday.