What’s missing here?

I want you to click on the link below, which will open the news page at USATF.org (in a new window, so this one will stay active). Study what you see, and you might notice something strange.

Click here — USATF.org news page

Have you studied it? Have you noticed the strange thing you see?

Maybe it will help if I refer to a passage from the Sherlock Homes short story, Silver Blaze.

Inspector Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

I say this because the strange thing you’re seeing is rather an absence of seing. There is no mention whatsoever of Bernard Lagat’s US record at Saturday night’s Millrose Games.

Late edit: There actually is mention, but it’s one line buried in the USATF Classic story. I don’t think this fact changes my analysis of USATF’s pettiness.

In fact, I don’t think you’re going to see any mention of Millrose headline at all at USATF.org in at least a month. By all accounts, the Armory Foundation pulled off a hugely successful evening. It sold out and the buzz among fans and media alike was unlike that of any indoor meet in recent history. Yet the federation cannot bring itself to even acknowledge its existence.

Now, I know that speaking of “the federation” isn’t quite right. Many people work for the organization and they’re not all the same. Surely, some people in the organization were happy to see the new Millrose succeed and want to publicize it. But the people who call the shots did not.

Jon Stewart would call this “the height of dickishness”. An Olympic year, a struggling sport dying for attention, and the people who call the shots can’t swallow their pride for even a minute.

I’d say that this sport deserves every bit of its failure, but these morons are taking the rest of us down with them.

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24 Responses to What’s missing here?

  1. DoctorDave says:

    There is no help for T&F in this country. All of that groundbreaking talk at the USATF convention, and absolutely no results from it. Truth be told, T&F in this country is still an amatuer sport, because those who govern are amatuers.

  2. Victor says:

    At some point is a conversation about the USOC decertifying the USATF warranted?

  3. Karl Kauffman says:

    Well said Jesse. Millrose smoked the USATF/Nike “Classic”, from the hours of live, streaming coverage in beautiful 720pHD on youtube(while the freeze-dried ESPN coverage of the Classic was pushed to Sunday), to the far superior depth and variety of it’s field. Kudos to Ray Flynn and the Armory Foundation on a terrific meet, despite the best efforts of the aforementioned entities to derail it.

    And let’s not forget the coolness factor of having Giancarlo Esposito(Gus from Braking Bad) conducting a Millrose infield interview!

  4. Chad Austin says:

    The good news is that as a fan of the sport, I rarely go to the USATF’s website for my info.

  5. trackfan says:

    What is going on with the USATF?? Aren’t there former athletes on the board, they need to get over themselves. Just like we see in other organizations where the board members put themselves above the people they are there to SERVE. The USATF is a broken entity and needs a complete overhaul. This isn’t about the suits and their severence packages, it’s about the sport and it’s athletes, they have clearly forgotten that. Last time I checked, Lagat runs for the US and the USATF should be lauding his accomplishments and promoting the crap out of centrowitz.

  6. NYC says:

    Let’s not forget that at the sparsely attended US Open at the Garden, the USATF trotted out its awkward show pony Dan O’Brien to ask high school kids, “Aren’t you glad you are here instead of the Armory?” That’s your USATF today, using high school kids to carry out a campaign of idiocy against a non-profit. I agree with decertification.

    • trackfan says:

      please tell me that isn’t true?

      • Jill says:

        Jesse, I can assure you that is not true. At the US Open, when Dan was interviewing one of the high school athletes, the young man started talking, completely on his own, about how great it was to be at the Garden as opposed to other locations in NYC. Dan did NOT tee it up in any way, shape or form. The kid was thrilled to be at the Garden and started talking about it.

        Many people seem to be projecting onto USATF and/or our partners opinions or feelings or intentions that are not true. We do not oppose the Millrose Games at all. Millrose chose to move to the Armory and, by extension, out of the Visa Championship Series. We wished them well, and moved forward with our meet at the Garden (I’ve spoken publicly in the media ad nauseum about how USATF considers the Garden the home of pro T&F in NYC).

        As I said to many people over the course of the last several weeks, while European meets are being cut, in the U.S. we ADDED indoor meets this year. That is great news for everyone – especially athletes, who have more opportunities to compete and make a living – and great news for the sport. Millrose is a great meet with great tradition and obviously athletes took advantage of the chance to compete there. (And for the record, they participated at Millrose with the blessing and even the encouragement of their sponsors as well.)

        We did not do “live” coverage of Millrose because we weren’t there. We were in Arkansas, at our Visa Championship Series event. (The meet in AR had been part of our series for 10 years and was on our radar for this year’s series again even before the Millrose move.) We made mention of Bernard’s AR as part of our write-up from Fayetteville. We didn’t and couldn’t do a full write-up in real-time because we weren’t there and weren’t seeing it, as essentially our full staff was in Fayetteville.

        Every week, we recap the top performances of the week as part of our Athlete of the Week release. This week’s release will include Millrose performances.

        Millrose was well-promoted and as always the Armory did a fine job. Making it an us-vs.-them exercise in pettiness is just that. The Armory is a great facility that does great things for indoor track, the sport and their community. They are our partners in the Hall of Fame.

        Bottom line, we are glad that this year, our athletes had more opportunities than they’ve had in at least a decade to make money on their home turf. That’s good for all.

        • admin says:

          Jill, thanks for taking the time to respond.

          I’ve not criticized the existence of two meets on the same weekend, neither here at this blog nor elsewhere. I agree with you fully on that account. In the heyday of indoor track in the USA, there were two or three meets on the same day with regularity. That was seen as a healthy thing, and it was.

          There’s also no denying how this appears.

      • Trackster says:

        this is completely not true. The CHSAA was very vocal in their displeasure of moving Millrose from the Garden. They, with many other high schools, feel Millrose at the Garden is “mind numbing and faceless”. That was a direct quote in article back in 2011. I was at US Open, crowd was weak, but there was energy and the kid who said MSG way better than Armory was not lead to say that.

        • Jill says:

          I also should have mentioned that USATF posted on Facebook and Twitter about Kip’s AR on Saturday night – which combined reaches more than 100,000 people, instantaneously (as opposed to an email list of 2,000 and having people just pop by the website).

          • Check your facts says:

            “USATF posted on Facebook and Twitter about Kip’s AR on Saturday night.”

            In fact, on the USATF Twitter feed
            http://twitter.com/usatrack_field there was no mention of Lagat’s AR on Saturday night. The 1st mention was a defensive tweet on Monday in response to Kevin Liao’s criticism of USATF on Twitter.

          • Ben says:

            It’s great that the USATF mouthpiece can’t even find anything to reply to this. Try harder, please! We all know you’re lying.

  7. Red says:

    Doug Logan, sipping from a coconut hull, hammocked and swaying gently in the warm breezes, somewhere in the south seas: “Do you miss me now?”

  8. eric says:

    4 years later after masback ditched usatf for nike in an olympic year… things stay the same..

    Indy: how can u soar like eagles when Indy is surrounded by turkeys… hey Jill Geer, abdicate


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  11. trackthoughts says:

    Nice article, right on point! The Armory Foundation & Ray Flynn did a GREAT JOB! The place was electric Saturday night, I can’t wait until next year for the next Millrose Games.
    The People at USATF need to get it together and support the sport. (that pays their salaries) They seem to have their heads so far up Nike’s backside they can’t see the track and are running out of their lane. If this wasn’t back enough Nike seems to like the placement of the USTAF heads. Shame on these USATF officials and shame on Nike. Track & Field needs good USATF officials and we need Nike but it needs to be a partnership between all parties working for the good of the sport.

    • Jill says:

      TrackThoughts, I appreciate you bringing up Nike. They do more than any entity in the country to financially support track and field in this country – between their sponsorship of USATF, athletes, grass roots, university, and HS running, etc. I don’t want to speak for them but they supported the Millrose Games by directing several of their athletes – including several big stars – to compete at Millrose. (Some of their athletes wanted to compete at the USATF Classic instead but Nike directed them to stick with Millrose. And look how many winners and stars at Millrose were Nike athletes.)

      This sport historically has more controversy than an army full of stick-shakers can shake a stick at. There is no need to create more, simply for the sport of it.

  12. Haha says:

    The mouthpiece for the federation is lying. USATF did not tweet about Lagat. Go look. That is absolutely easy to disprove. Given this lie, I’d assume that there are others.

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  14. Victor says:

    Let’s revisit the Dan O’Brien question. Did he or did he not ask high school kids over the Madison Square Garden public address system, during the US Open, ask four high school students, “aren’t you happy that you are here instead of the armory?” the answer is “yes he did.” if you want to dispute it, mouthpiece, roll the tape.

  15. Observer says:

    Hang on, Jill. You said above that USATF tweeted about Lagat’s AR, and a reader replied showing that in fact this was untrue. Are you really going to ignore that? It seems pretty arrogant of USATF to throw out misinformation in a hit-and-run fashion.

    It’s not as if you didn’t follow up on issues that were more convenient for USATF: you’ve found time to promote Nike, and you’ve attempted to represent the decision-making of athletes you say would have preferred not to compete at Millrose but were “directed” to. Why not take a moment to address the apparent falsehood you posted: “USATF posted on Facebook and Twitter about Kip’s AR on Saturday night”?

  16. Jerome Kopf says:

    The Armory is an extraordinary resource for indoor track and field, from fast kids on the block to high school and college to open, and even to masters.

    If the USATF wants to sulk like a child over having the Millrose removed from their playground, so be it. We can always count on the USATF for damage control.