Devon Allen was robbed, the Blazers get crowned and the Mariners could still screw this up: The I-5 traffic report
The World Championships lost its moment with Allen's absurd disqualification.
I would imagine there’s a few people in track and field who are rolling their eyes today. For most of the year it’s a sport for the diehards, those who brave competitions through the wet spring months and appreciate one of our oldest sports for its nuance and intricacy.
Sunday night was not the typical track and field crowd. The world is in Eugene and Devon Allen was racing in the 110-meter finals. Allen is not only one of the most popular former Oregon Ducks ever, but his two-way status with the Philadelphia Eagles gives him rare crossover appeal. So yes, it was more than just the track crowd watching last night when Allen’s “false start” cost him a shot at the World title.
What followed was enough online outrage that the meet organizers got their wish: The World Championships were the No. 1 trending topic on American Twitter. But it came at the expense of that sought-after audience largely thinking the sport’s rules were a joke.
And oh, hey, there’s me:
Again, I’m sure there are some purests out there who will point out that rules are rules. Still, it’s a tough look for a sport when its own governing body put out a study more than a decade ago challenging the very basis in which Allen was penalized. The disqualification came because Allen’s reaction time was measured at 0.099 seconds after the gun. The allowable reaction time is 0.100. In 2009, World Athletics published a study suggesting the allowed reaction time to be lowered to 0.08 seconds.
“When I was flagged, I was very surprised, which is also part of the frustration because I know for a fact that I didn’t react until I heard the gun,” Allen said after. “To be 1/1000th too quick, which I know I’m quick, but it kind of sucks.”
It does for everyone. It sucks for Allen, who is having one of the best seasons of his professional career and made it to Sunday’s final just weeks after the passing of his father.
It sucks for the on-track officials, who had no recourse except but to apologize to Allen for a computer-signaled foul as boos cascaded down from Hayward Field’s stands.
And it sucks for fans waiting for that moment. Track is a sport that requires you to trust it. You sit through days of qualifying rounds for the payoff of a final race that’s over in seconds. Injuries can be lived with and bad performances reasoned away. But when one of the premier racers at the sport’s premier event isn’t allowed to race because of that, well, well that just feels like a massive unforced error.
Flags won’t be thrown if Allen is that quick off the line of scrimmage this fall, and if he takes off with the Eagles, maybe he shouldn’t look back.
Blazers get crowned
After my last high school hockey game, my mom put together a scrapbook filled with team photos, awards and news articles from my less than notable playing career. I still get a kick out of looking at it every now and then, mainly because it reminds me of a time when sports were everything. That Bantam D state championship we won in 2003 in seven overtimes? I remember walking out of the rink that day as an exhausted 14-year-old thinking my entire world had changed. Now it’s just a memory, sandwiched between others in a scrapbook I grab out of the shed every few years.
It gives me a smile.
The Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA Summer League Championship on Sunday.
It’s still the Mariners
Tonight’s Home Run Derby is a good opportunity to bring back one of my favorite videos. It comes from the KIRO 7 archives, when a young Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and David Ortiz had themselves a home run derby in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Griffey and Rodriguez were both stars by then, but Ortiz took everyone by surprise as a dinger-swatting minor leaguer in the Mariners’ system years before any one had heard of “Big Papi.”
Ortiz shows up the two Major League Superstars, giving everyone in that crowd visions of a future A-Rod, Griffey, Ortiz lineup. But just a few months later, the Mariners traded Ortiz to Minnesota for a player to be named later. He would go on to hit 541 home runs.
What’s the point of all this?
The Mariners are on a 14-game winning streak, Julio Rodriguez is participating in tonight’s home run derby and tomorrow he’ll be joined by Ty France in the All-Star game. If you’re a fan, appreciate these moments. Because this is still the same organization that had Griffey, Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner and David Ortiz in the same system and managed to get only two playoff appearances out of it.
— Tyson Alger
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