Thursday, May 22, 2008

DJ Duties

This week is the week they have been waiting for, the whole thing comes down to this week. That's right, the Lakers and Spurs! LOL

So the trial has kicked off and there have actually been a few revelations. A few people I know are pissed, a few are shaking their heads, and a few could careless and just want the damn thing over.

I care. I am pissed. I am sad. And I want it over.

Since the BALCO case came around I have endured countless message board attacks and accusations. Specific and detailed were the shots and I remember almost all of them. It is fairly easy to remember because 99% of them are coming out in the trial and came out in the BALCO trial. So you see there is some irritation in it all for me.

I am sad for the sport. We are so mismanaged that we are allowing this to define us to the public with out any positive news whatsoever in the press. We have become the poster children for steroids when we should be the poster children for testing, and busting!

I care for those I coach, and those of you still out here grinding and training and doing it right. None of this has a damn thing to do with the current generation of track athletes.

I want it over so we can move on. We need to move on.

I am asking all of you to spin this thing and promote yourselves. Do not run from the spotlight regardless of the source. You will be asked stupid questions, think about how you wish to answer them with a positive spin that keeps you away from the negative and lets people know the sport is about being clean. You are clean and let people know.

It is an Olympic year. You will perform above and beyond yourselves, as will your competition, it is not drugs, it is the norm. We all work and train really hard for this moment, remember that. Revel in the joy and excitement of making the team and winning medals.

I will beat this drum until you get tired of hearing it from me. That I promise to you all.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

DJ Spins

So here comes the day all the naysayers have been waiting for, May 19th, Trevor’s trial. It is being billed as the tell-all day; the day track takes an irreparable blow to its image. The day track officially dies in the American public sports landscape. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Nothing could be more negatively spun than this and track has faced a lot of negative spin. The rhetoric has over taken the facts, and the subsequent emotion is predictable.
Let’s set the record straight. This is about Trevor Graham being on trial for pedaling steroids to a wide sweeping group of athletes. Track is not on trial Trevor is on trial. In his defense he has tried to place track on trial and plans to implicate as many in the sport as he can. It is not complicated nor is it surprising; it is the coward’s way out, which is fitting because he took the easy way in. No one should be surprised at this defense, his ship has sunk, his game is up, and now he is trying to take as many down with him as he can. What you should be surprised at is how willing the sport is to go down without a fight.
Where is the deluge of stats about the drug testing track and field has had in place for over 30 years now? Baseball did not have a comprehensive testing policy before the BALCO scandal, yet I have not seen story after story about the demise of baseball. Golf developed a testing program last year, and garnered the praise of reporters as, “the best testing policy in all of sports!” Football has no unannounced testing and no one so much as blinks an eye. Yet here the sport of track stands with international out of competition testing, unannounced testing, multiple entities that conduct these test, and accredited labs all over the world, being lambasted by some of its own. Stop the madness.
Time to grow up and participate in the professionalism of sport. We are not an amateur venture any longer and those in charge need to recognize this immediately. Where is the marketing and public relations department on this story? It has been over five years and not one positive spin has been put on this thing and it should have been. This is an easy one for the sport, we have all the parts in place, all the numbers, and all the athletes to counter balance the negative side.
Project Believe has been launched and very few know what it is. It is a drug-testing program developed to profile athletes for present and future drug testing. It will create a blood profile that can be relied upon by the testers to determine any significant changes an athlete’s chemistry. No other sport has this type of program or dedication to drug testing.
There are many steps to righting this ship. It will take a diverse media blitz to turn this thing back in the right direction. There is a need for the veterans to come out and proclaim their anti doping stance, give testimonies on how they were tested and what they went trough when they competed. The likes of Edwin Moses, Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Carl Lewis, Kevin Young, Jon Drummond, Gail Devers, Jackie Joyner Kersee, etc. should be contacted and in the public's face on a constant clip. There are about four meets on national television in the U.S., not including the national championships; the USATF should have a presence in each of these events promoting the testing and positive side of it all. The networks have proven they will highlight the most dramatic, which is normally the most negative, so the sport needs to rely on itself to counteract this.
Spin is not always a negative thing or something used to hide something, in this case it is desperately needed. May19th will come and go and Trevor will be sentenced on the merits of his case. Every effort should be made to make sure that is what this case remains about. Track is not on trial, a man who cheated and abused the system is.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So I am in the Caribbean, Fort de France, Martinique to be exact. I announced to my people this weekend would kick off the season. Bolt made sure we all were paying attention, but the rest had yet to let us know it was that time again. I could not wait until Friday. Doha would start it and Martinique and Modesto would end it.

David Oliver and Allyson Felix made it official, it is THE year. 12.95, 10.93, and 49.84. Thanks guys it was great, and got me going. Now this is easy to talk about because the times speak for themselves, ya know. However, there is something that got me real excited and you had to be there to get it.

Martinique has a secret, the long jump competition is always great. I remember 2 years ago when Walter Davis and Brian Johnson had the headband war, I thought that was great. This year topped that by years. It started from round one, Miguel Pate, Brian Johnson and Dwight Phillips came to party. All three started the competition by jumping over 8.20! It was all in succession and it was a throw back competition. It brought me back to the Myricks - Powell - Lewis days when 27 feet got you third and 28 feet was nothing to be comfortable about. They were not jumping that far but they were jumping farther as a collective and it was GREAT to feel. Every round was dramatic, all the way until Dwight's last jump, when he went 8.47, falling one centimeter shy of tying BJ. If you have ever seen BJ, Miguel and Dwight perform you can imagine how it was going down. The energy on the field was beautiful.

Then came my personal moment when Ryan won the highs. That was good stuff. He beat back the Old Guy aka Allen Johnson, which is no easy task.
But the women's race had me dancing on the infield. D. Cherry and D. Ennis-London locked up in a war. Every hurdle was step for step, EVERY HURDLE! Neither woman was giving up a thing. I was shocked by the final time margin, but that did nothing to minimize the excitement of watching the 2 athletes get after it. 12.47 was the winning time, fastest in the world.

And the festivities ended with a blistering display by Muna Lee in the 200. She came off the bend and it was all over. The end came at 21.91w and it looked that fast.

And so went the opening weekend of excitement and highlights to let us all know this is the Olympic year.

Meanwhile, life is like a box of chocolates. LOL

It is May. For all the athletes out there May is hell. Time to compete and come down off the training or in some cases get in the last bit of training which makes competing a mental exercise the equivalent to solving the world economic problems. For coaches it is a time to insert the mental cues that will win medals and make teams.

Welcome to the Olympic year. I will see you all when I need to see you. Not sure when that will be, but I was told it will be on time. ;-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

DJ Shout outs

David O big shout out, 12.95! Elite club and company there.

Allyson Felix has established herself as the premiere woman in sprints. A tremendous day at the office, 10.93 and 49.84. Wow!

Muna Lee put on a show in Martinique. Her 200 was a sight to see. 21.91 with a 2.8 was fast!

Brian Johnson and Co. brought the old school back to the long jump for one great night. 27 feet got you third!

And now we wait for Osaka.... I love it all!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DJ Hits

Some quick hits from the Caribbean.

Guadeloupe was a much better meet this year. Weather held up and saw some impressive runs out there. Ivory Williams was impressive. Told me he will run 9.9 tomorrow.

Martinique is windy. Hopefully at the stadium the weather is a little better since we are some 30km away.

9.76. From some eyewitness accounts it was windy. Long Jump was happening at the same time and the women had negative winds in excess of 2m. The long jump goes opposite of the 100, on the same side. FloJo esque. Makes more sense to me. I have no problem admitting this performance is hard for me to rationalize. It is either that good, or it was windy. I will refrain from the X-File conspiracies.

You ever have to control your temper against your will? I do. I know it sounds a little elementary, I mean when else would you have to control your temper except against your will. But I am sitting around a person I just want to curse and slap. Oh well, this is what grown ups do. Trust in the Lord and behave.

Back to reality... can you believe there are more players in the hurdles! LOL

Looks like rain, but it always looks like rain out here.