Like many of you, I was slightly peeved that the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials held in Houston earlier this month was broadcast – tape delayed – in a condensed two hour format. The top men finished in two hours and nine minutes and the women in two hours ad twenty-five minutes. It would have been just too much to add a extra half hour to this ONCE EVERY FOUR YEAR event just to provide full coverage, wouldn’t it?! I mean, I realize that distance running is not really a spectator sport but, sheesh, have you ever watched NASCAR? Or, excuse me, have you ever watched mobile flying billboards circle a motor home dealership, like some demented rings of Saturn, for 400 LAPS (not tape delayed, not condensed into two hours even though it desperately cries out for some editing before broadcast)!?!
To ease my disturbed psyche, I decided to turn my snarky derision to the proper target. To the executives who make television decisions? No… to NASCAR. It’s official F.M.S. policy that the quickest way to get to the top is by standing on the throats of others.
So – running and NASCAR -who’s to say which is better?
Me. Running is better. Here’s why:
1. In NASCAR, “rubbing is racing”. In running, it’s a subtle form of time passing, socially acceptable groping. Think Japanese men on a subway.
3. Distance runners like to throw in a right turn every now and then to break up the monotony.
4. If there is a collision between runners, the rest of the field doesn’t bunch back together and restart once the blood and skin has been cleaned up. I didn’t realize this while watching the 2011 NYC Marathon. As Meb drifted further behind, I was cheering for a collision between a few runners on the course that would collapse the leader’s lead back down to one second…because that’s the fair way to do it, right NASCAR, RIGHT??
5. Race bib numbers are not shaved into back hair.
6. Enlarged, healthy hearts, hamstrings and lung capacity vs. enlarged livers. You choose.
7. Celebrating a win:
8. Bumper stickers:
9. What’s the worst that could happen?
Okay, so maybe this is a draw.
10. Sport origins:
Heroic, albeit mythical, messengers
Despite that fact that we enjoy this sport in relative media anonymity, rest assured that running is indeed better than NASCAR. Just as it was Charlie Sheen before that. So continue to enjoy those right turns, continue to run free of gas fires, continue to swig a post-race non-Budweiser refreshment! Just watch out for this guy and his pick-up at the next intersection.
Don’t forget to enter the random drawing for the free YakTrax. You have until noon ET tomorrow. As I mentioned, you may enter as often as you would like. It seems that Deb is the only one who has taken me up on this. I don’t want to hear any crying if she wins. You all had your chance. And, as of now, Xenia is the runway winner of the ‘screw a charity’ hand picked winner…unless someone has any other ideas. C’mon, Sarah McLachlan and those sad face puppies on TV? Who wouldn’t want to screw them over?