Again, Webb = Democrat, Letsrun = run by republicans. They will do anything they can to undermine his great efforts and exploit his bad efforts or apparently "bad" behaviour. I guess it's good to know the brojo's are a couple of complete Winklevosses.
I thought that the story would be about him taking out his anger on people that didn't deserve it - but throwing your spike bag, yelling at yourself, talking to your agent, being angry, and doing a workout... haven't we all seen dozens of runners at all levels doing the exact same thing after a tough race?
I agree with what has been said already in the above posts. I laughed at the line in the article about not turning on the cameras because they don't want to ambarrass anyone. I wonder at what point they changed their minds about trying to ambarrass an athlete.
Folks, if the article reads like tabloid journalism, that's because IT IS!
On the upside, who really cares? This site has always been the hub for all aspects of running "news", including gossip and dirt on the celebrities of our sport. If you are really surprised, you have NOT been paying attention.
Yes, it is sure to piss off Salazar's camp, but then again, this is what happens when sport celebrities throw temper tantrums (Vince Young anyone?).
Whatever. As Alberto said, all Webb has to do is win his next race and all this will be is an interesting bump in the road.
I agree! Fellas, there is already way too much cynicism going around in our sport. In my opinion this sport needs somewhat more civility and reasonable heads than we have been witness.
Why flame this really nothing moment from Web into a appeal for more of the same " Jerry Springer Like" character bashing.
That headline about Webb is over the top and unwarranted in my judgment and seems to engender a mindless mean spirited attitude. I'm sure that is not your intention, but I hope you understand why others like me might see this situation this way.
While I wasn't at the meet, I stand behind the article. We did not put up the article on a whim. It was taken down from the homepage earlier by mistake while two people updated the site at the same time and we didn't notice it until after the Super Bowl.
I got a phone call about Webb's outburst last night. Emory was completely shocked by what he saw and felt it should be reported. We discussed it and all agreed it should be reported.
I was not totally shocked by Webb's behavior because I know of his competitive nature and know a lot from Chris Lear. I advocated holding off last night and finishing the article today to try and put it in context and get it right. I hope if you read the article that's what you see.
There is probably no athlete I root for more than Alan Webb. Having said that the point of LetsRun.com is not to just be a cheerleader for American runners and only report positive news. If Ben Roethlisberger smashed up the lockerroom after a game I hope it would be reported.
If an American underperforms in a meet I hope we say as much. When Regina Jacobs pulled out of the Olympics after EPO testing was instituted, I'm glad we were the ones to ask her about it.
When other track and field media tell Emory in Boston they don't want to interview Alan because if they do and its negative, he may never do an interview with them again, it reinforces my decision in reporting the story. If our runners only do good, and all we do is be their fans then the site has no credibility and ultimately we believe you won't come back. Much of the other running media only report positive stories and that is why you won't see a negative shoe review, drugs weren't discussed in the 1980s, and all interviews are positive.
We give athletes a large window of privacy and don't report some things that happen off the track. This incident however was in a public place and so outside of what Emory and others considered normal behavior that we determined it was should be reported. It gives insight into who Alan Webb is.
Having said that normal people don't run 3:46 in the mile. Alan Webb has been so damn good because he believes and wants to beat everyone in the world. Although Nick Willis has an Olympic silver medal, he often in the past has not raced like he could beat everyone. Alan is perhaps the only American born runner I've seen on the men's side who truly believes he can beat anyone. That fire that Alan has is one of the things I love about it him. But our greatest strengths are often our greatest weaknesses and I think that is the case with Alan.
A hard part of the article was choosing what words to use. "Meltdown" and "tantrum" were discussed along with others. I felt "meltdown" was more judgmental but you could argue their is judgment in both. Perhaps we could do a better job in putting in words what actually happened. In talking to Emory, he was so stunned by what he saw, that it was his #1 story from the meet. That may not come across in the article but I think we did a good job with a very difficult subject matter that we spent a lot of time trying to get right.
Wejo - Webb did not smash up the locker room, and he did not pull out of the Olympics after the EPO test was instituted.
Why didn't your employee try to interview him, anyway?
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Thanks for writing this webby.
That article is just low and tabloid trash.
I wrote this last night on the "Webb is Pissed" thread in reaction to the Flotrack video, and Malmo throws a hissy fit at the "kids" and "high schoolers" who know zero on the boards:
"He says he 'got impatient,' 'gave up,' and mentions 'I definitely fell apart mentally too, and that needs to be fixed as well.'
Doesn't really sound as anything has changed under Salazar, eh?"
Then the Johnson boys publish the above article, and no Malmo rebuttal? That is comical.
But actually, given the article, I retract my coment on Salazar. There are quotes in there from Salazar indicating that he appears to have attempted to proactively defuse the anticipated Webb reaction to a poor performance, given his state of fitness. So Salazar appears to be trying to work on Webb's mental approach, which has always been his downfall.
I think the article is fine. I have met Webb, talked with him, and observed him for many years from afar. He is overly critical of himself, and high-strung. This works in some sporting endeavors, but not necessarily in racing more than 400 meters.
Even on ESPN, after the race, you see Webb with this very serious, angry look on his face flash across the screen after the finish, then they pan to Willis smiling, laughing, hugging, and congratulating the guys who beat him. Two different mentalities. Both lost. One has an Olympic medal, the other runs fast in races with less pressure. Even Rojo's article says that after the meet, "At one point this group of athletes (including Nick Willis and Lukas Verzbicas) was taking fake starts out of starting blocks as they continued to joke around and have a good time."
I feel for Webb. I want him to succeed. Believe me, Malmo, et al., I am no derogating him for the sake of doing so. I wish him the best, and hope he gets help for the psychological side of his racing. This is his achilles heel.
Post Script: Webb is better than me; Malmo is better than me; Rojo and Wejo are better than me. I am not a high schooler. None of the above is new info, it is Webb's modus operandi. Will Malmo be counterpoint to Rojo in the purported podcast mentioned in the article?
I did not want to imply Alan is equivalent to the Olympics thing or Ben R. My point was we can't just repot positive things and part of our job is to ask difficult questions or report news that could be unflattering.
My Ben R analogy was to just say if an athlete does something in a stadium and it crosses a certain threshhold it is going to get reported in every other sport. Why not track and field? If our sport is legit then the stories aren't all going to be positive.
Perhaps we did not report well enough what happened and I'll try and have Emory or Tom come on here tomororw and give more their impressions. I don't want to put words in their mouth.
As for Webb, Emory did interview him. I believe Ray Flynn had Alan come over and start talking to the media and Emory was one of them and then Emory encouraged Ryan of Flotrack to record it. I heard Emory in that interview speak.
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The part you seem to be missing is there there was no "tantrum" or "meltdown". Watching his interview he actually came off very well I think because you could see the frustration in his face but he kept his composure during the interview. I haven't seen the race so I don't know the details of what happened with someone cutting him off, but you could tell it bothered him, but he didn't say who it was in the interview or blame them for his bad race.
The interview is not the "tantrum" or "meltdown." The interview is Webb talking to the media 1 hour later.
Perhaps in just doing out dry description of Webb we did not convey the bigger picture that Emory, who has been to many pro track meets and covered many of the sports top stars, was so shocked by Webb's behavior and that it was so outside of what he had seen before he felt it had to be reported. I don't want to put words in his mouth so I'll encourage him to come on here.
A friend of mine just chatted me.
you are mocking a guy
when he is down
who is an american record holder
and coached by the most powerful coach in the country
who is connected to the company which funds the entire sport
me: there is no attempt to mock him
Will: if you want access to the athletes
this is a risky move
i know what youre trying to do
in the article
but i gotta say honestly
it comes across as pretty mocking
Our attempt was never to mock Alan. As I said he is perhaps my favorite American athlete. He is the only athlete who I want to see everyone of his races for a decade. We tried to compare Alan's behavior others not to mock him but to try and be fairer instead of saying "this was so damn shocking it has to be reported." Maybe we came up short in that.
And I don't have a problem with you all saying as much. We all screw up and that was one of the points of the article.
To be honest I don't see why Webb's display of emotion evident in his actions in public sight can't be reported upon. If this was a professional athlete in any other sport having a breakdown amid peer competitors and reporters in a closed arena ESPN would be all over it. Have you ever heard of T.O. and and his antics? You have!? Well that is ESPN's reporting. These are sports media outlets that report on sports and the athletes that compete in them, both their actions on and off the field.
Wejo, I don't think you need to apologize. Just turn on ESPN tomorrow morning, and they will break down every play, every person, and ponder the psychological well-being and leadership ability of any number of Pittsburgh Steeler players. Given Webb's history, and his actions in Boston, I see this as reporting on something that has been discussed any number of times in the past regarding Webb. Only thing now is, you guys witnessed it firthand, and some of it was filmed.
With all due respect, the article was tabloid-sleazy gossip and had no news value (though Webb's post-race workout may have been of some interest).
If your "reporter" thought that was the big story of the meet or even of that particular race, he was wrong.
Being upset after a disappointing effort is not "screwing up."
It's great if you're not afraid to show athletes in an unfovorable light if their behavior warrants such illumination, but a blow-by-blow description of harmless venting by a frustrated competitor (not even any lockers were harmed) doesn't meet that measure.
I think you owe Webb an apology. Like you said, we all screw up.
See, here you sound like a reasonable human being.
But in the article, you sound like a middle schooler jeering the kid who's having a bad day.
The approach you took was "omg i'm SO APPALLED" even if you didn't intend it that way, that's the way it came across.
What you could have and probably should have done was acknowledge that Webb is human. Ultra competitive and very hard on himself, but human.
You brushed past his humanity and focused on his "abhorrent behavior."
In summation, uncalled for.
First: like other posters, I was greatly disappointed when i saw "alan webb throws a tantrum" on the front page, and even more disappointed when I read the article.
Second: I watched the interview last night, and I agree it was far from typical, but it was by no means out of line. If anything, it was refreshing to see an athlete expressing passion for the sport. If anyone watched Leo Manzano's interview, it provides a good contrast: "uh, I'm probably not going to run much until late april, I'm gonna do other stuff" (paraphrased).
Come on wejo, take the article down. It's not good for the sport to be jumping all over something like this.