Despite putting forth a number of changes that I’d implement if handed the keys to the Heps Kingdom, I have yet to be summoned to command. So I put forth yet another proposed rule change.
This might be seen as anti-multi, but it’s not. I actually have a great deal of appreciation for the multi-eventers.
In fact, I was introduced to the concept of the decathlon by Nanu in The World’s Greatest Athlete when I was eight or so. While unconvinced that Jan Michael Vincent was the best choice for a part about an African athlete, I came to appreciate his many skills.
The next multi-event movie I can remember had an even greater impact on me. It was Personal Best, a film which simultaneously ripped the stance of the U.S. government boycott of the 1980 Games and caused boys like myself to be very curious about the off-the-track exploits of Mariel Hemingway.
As well as the movies, I also paid attention to the careers of folks like Bruce Jenner, Daley Thompson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Dan & Dave and the rest.
So it sadden me to see the turnout of decathletes and heptathletes at the Penn Relays yesterday. You can go look at the results. There were just three men and five women in the competition. Ugh.
At the same time, those within earshot know that I like to rant about the length of the schedule at Heps. For the sake of the viewing public, I’d like to see the event take place in the least amount of time possible. I think Outdoor Heps should be no longer than 5 1/2 hours on Saturday and even shorter on Sunday (under five hours). Killing the always-cancelled first rounds of the sprints and hurdles would help and moving the multi-events to the Penn Relays would complete it.
Imagine if Heps, the Patriot League and the Big East conducted their decathlon and heptathlon all together at the Penn Relays. The competitors would simultaneously chase a Penn Relays and a League title while ensuring fantastic competition.
Unheard of, you say? Well, the PAC 12 hosts the multi-events on its own weekend prior to its Championships, allowing those athletes to also shine in their best disciplines during the main portion of the event.
Gathering for the multis at the Relays, just another way Heps would be different if I were its ruler.
A [revised] recap of my rules:
1. All Indoor Heps take place at The Armory
2. No more Outdoor Heps at Franklin Field
3. No more three-round schedule for sprints/hurdles
4. Adapt to webcasting
5. Kill the men’s 500m and 1k runs indoor; add the men’s 200m for the men and the women’s DMR
6. Kill the women’s outdoor 3k
7. Release Championship start lists earlier
8. Bring back the mile; record en route times for 1500
9. Bring back Army & Navy
10. Multi events contested at Penn Relays