Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cycling is Boring

--The other day I posted about GP de Quebec's bad ideas for its race. They want to have a sprint contest where the riders go 100-200m. Their logic is that this would make the sport more exciting. Excuse me, they first stated it was hard to fit cycling on TV, in terms of timing, and then mentioned the sport wasn't exciting enough. So really, they aren't sure what problem they're solving.

Anywho, the crux of the issue is this: cycling is boring. Period. It's one of the most boring sports on TV.

Let's take football, for example. You turn on and immediately know who's winning. The red team or the blue team. From that point on you know what's happening. Don't know the players? Moot.
Red team is beating the blue team. That's all that matters. From then on you pick a team and get excited or depressed depending on how they fare.

Now take cycling, for example. I turn on my TV. There's one group of cyclists, probably five, all wearing different jerseys with brands on them. Then, the camera keeps switching between them and a big group with a ton of different jerseys. Maybe they even have a third group that's at some unknown point in the race. Either way, you have no clue who's winning, or better yet, who to root for. It's like if football had 150 different teams in one game. It wouldn't be on TV.

(Yes, there are technically teams in cycling, but no one knows what that means. I won't even go into the differences in jerseys and GC vs stage winners.)

So next time this comes up, about improving viewership, just remember it's because the sport is boring. That's why they can't do anything. That's why Versus tries the "football" method of cycling production--cut to interview, cut to product review, cut to 5 seconds of the riders, cut back to Road ID. Anything to get people interested.

Why do I love it? Because I happen to spend at least 5-10 hours a week reading about riders and watching bike races. So when I turn on I know who's winning, who I want to win, and who said what about who. Knowing all the background means when I tune in I get to see the most beautiful play unfold before my eyes. Tragedy and triumph.

--Horner won yesterday! It was an amazing stage. Ryder was off the front for a while descending like a madman with Martens. Then, Martens went off the road so Ryder waited.

They were caught by the group with Horner and Levi. Horner was leading Levi up the climb but then Levi just couldn't hang. Horner kept at it and took the stage.

--There was an amazing sprint at the Giro today. Check out the Androni rider who slots in third wheel right before the last turn...and then crashes! Seconds after getting into the best spot in the sprint the guy crashes out. Then, some Colnago guy crashes and Robbie Hunter starts crying. Totally messed up his "sprint" from 30 guys back.

--I saw this tweet the other day:

RT @theswordsman: Sponsor Saxo Bank flew Contador in a private plane to cut down on the transfer time & hassle #Giroless than a minute ago via ÜberSocial Favorite Retweet Reply

The Giro has had notoriously rough transfers. Looks like Contador got a little love from his sponsors. Wish I had a jet to fly riders around...

--In other news, Contador was fined 1000 Swiss Francs (~$1000) the other day for, get this, not talking to the press. Didn't realize they could fine riders for that.

What they should fine him for is his recent statement that the Giro could be won in "a hotel." The guy investigated for doping says he's going to win in the hotel...

--Speaking of Contador and doping, Lovkvist has some issues. Basically, Lovkvist is upset that there's no real rules in doping prevention. Period. Last year there was a guy busted for "clen" and he received an immediate suspension. With the Contador case, he's riding a grand tour. No justice in cycling. I just became a Lovkvist fan.

--Cipo goes out and calls Cav fat and mismanaged. Although I'm a Cav fan, I agree. I saw it coming when he dumped his high school sweetheart for the Italian model. Shortly thereafter was his escapade in Uruguayan cosmetic surgery, which threw off his entire 2010 season. Since then he really hasn't regained his dominance on the road. Hopefully he's something from all this. In the meantime, Goss is on the come up.

--Ricco's talking about a comeback. No comment.

--Recently figured out a nice cool weather embrocation: lotion. It works when it's 50-60 out and you want a little protection but not as much as knee warmers.

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