For those of you that know me, know that I really don’t follow sports.
I was and still am an athlete and LOVE performing and competing but, to sit around on a Sunday watching Football while drinking a 1,000 beers and shouting at the TV just doesn’t do it for me.
When it comes to the Crossfit Games, you can’t pull me away from my laptop or flat screen as it’s highly intriguing and entertaining to see what events are happening, and what these incredible athletes are able to perform in record times.
From 2010 to 2015 the coverage has changed drastically and I feel that the live stream footage has improved and for once, the masters division is seemingly starting to make some head way and people are starting to respect their division…. Slightly.
As I sat back watching these master’s men & woman go completely ape shit, I couldn’t help but be upset at the lack of attendance in the stadium, or the fact that the announcers continuously screw up peoples names (when it happens more than 3x’s in an event my hands get thrown in the air like Richard Simmons at an all you can eat buffett)
How shitty must it feel to train day in day out year round, to make it to the Superbowl of fitness competitions and have like 50 people in this MASSIVE stadium cheering you on? Let’s face it, the master’s athletes are the ones that should be highlighted as much as the Froning’s, Frasers, Leblanc’s, Thorisdottir’s, but they are not.
There is no excuse for them to be second class citizens at an event that is testing the cream of the crop in the fitness industry because in all honesty, these men & woman are performing and executing more athleticism than most 20 year old’s and if that is not enough to blow the lid off of the Games to make more of a big deal about it, I don’t know what the hell will.
Nothing beats watching a 60 year old Boston native Bob Caslin giving it all he has and looking like a savage straight out of Spartaaaa *arrrrwoooo* performing feats of strength which at that age, and the intensity of the sport is nothing short of jaw dropping. Did I mention he took third place?
Back in 2010 the Masters events looked more like a sideshow in a dirt parking lot. In fact, I have a 2010 games athlete that was performing at the first introduction to the masters division and this was their response
“There will always be people wanting more coverage, more exposure and frankly more recognition. I understand that. I was part of the group of very first masters and frankly the swag we got was pitiful compared to the Reebok era. We were a side show if you will. We stood in 90 degree heat for over 30-45 min waiting for our first event while Castro discussed the team events. On the final day we meet under the then HDC and were told “Masters your doing Fran, now on to the individuals”. We did get to perform Fran in the tennis stadium, but most people left. It’s not all bad. The community was very receptive though. People you don’t know wanting to talk to you about your experiences was great.”
Looking at 2010 and looking at this past weekend I’m happy with the majority of the live coverage for certain, but come on guys, scheduling the individual events at the same time as the masters events is like saying “Hey, Metallica is playing at this club down the street” Do you honestly think anyone would stick around for the opening band at the club up the street?
For me there has to be a better way to structure the events so that there is no overlapping and give each group it’s fair share of attention. I guarantee if these Masters athletes had the same amount of people ranting and roaring as this past weekend’s events we would have seen even more freakish athletic feats.
Because you are a product of your environment and when it’s go time and you’re competing, there is no better feeling than knowing you’ve got thousands of people watching you and cheering you on to make that last miserable rep….. Well, less miserable.
Another thing that I’ve noticed that’s becoming a theme through all of the divisions from a coverage standpoint is any athlete not in the top 3 get’s limited to zero attention. Some of the nastiest athletes that should have been shown during the events got nothing, including the teams. In fact, during most of the events, I was trying my hardest to look at what people were doing in the back ground, than focusing on the “stars”.
I’m always going to root for the underdogs because those are the men & woman who will sneak up when you least expect it and bite you in the ass. (Or arrrrse) as my British clients try to get me to say.
I look at athletes the same way that Dr. Dre chooses artists to work with. He doesn’t care if they are world famous or someone that has never played a show, if they have a voice that you can distinguish through the crop of a billion other voices, that’s who he wants.
In athletes I look for talent, I look for someone that’s not overly hyped but hardworking, and I look for someone that I see 2 years down the line, how and where they could potentially be given they stay injury free.
There were a few standouts for me this year that I have a feeling will be dominant players at next years Games.
Both of these athletes showed great promise this year and as the 2016 Games comes steam rolling into our worlds, these are two athletes that will be on the rise for certain.
I don’t know what we could truly do to rectify the masters coverage for the on going years, and honestly, until we have some of the poster children hitting the masters division, I don’t know really what much will change.
If nothing else, I will continue to be outspoken about the masters men & woman that I work with on a daily basis, and to keep making some noise in the hopes that these men & woman get the coverage and respect that I truly feel they deserve.