My top moments of the 2015 CrossFit Games

Some of my favorite moments from the 2015 CrossFit Games:

  • Murph: I think this was my favorite event to watch, start to finish. I think it is because I have done Murph four or five times and could relate – I have done Murph one time without partitioning the reps, too. I was really hoping to see someone go sub 30 minutes, but no one got particularly close. It was a blood bath, more so for the women. It was a car wreck for sure – it was ugly, but you still had to watch. The heat really killed a lot of athletes. I was really surprised when I read on EZ Muhammad’s Instagram that it was his first attempt at Murph with a weight vest. Watching Kara Webb sort of drunk run, mouth wide open, clearly not 100% there (probably not even 50% there) make it across the finish line. Annie Thorisdottir shut down during the second run. Athletes collapsing, girls that couldn’t even get their own vest off, it was a complete mess. Bodies hit the floor, literally. This was one the big in your face sign that some athletes don’t go “long” often enough. Those who spend 60 minutes on a rower or go on long runs did OK. The athletes that spend a lot of time doing EMOMs, sub 10 minute metcons and lots of Oly lifting really struggled. It was awesome.
  • The hand ripping during bar muscle ups: Last year the Masters got the brunt of the super hot rig and pullup bars. Those black bars sitting under the sun, plus 21 bar muscle ups that the teams had to do in the Team Synchro left nearly all athletes with ripped hands. What I don’t get is why they aren’t wearing hand protection? Everyone has some kind of hand protection these days, don’t they? I have to believe that in those amazing athlete clothing packages that Reebok provided had to be a pair of gloves. Use them. I know it isn’t macho to wear hand protection, but this is the CrossFit Games and you need to be as healthy as possible for the entire weekend. If you wear knee sleeves for squats why not hand protection for muscle ups? And this event was the second event for the teams on Friday – they had a whole weekend ahead of them. Not having your hands of all things at full health that early in the competition is a total mistake that could have been avoided.
  • The team sprints on Sunday: Not only were the short races exciting, but how they set it up so there was one race after another for six total races was awesome. Forget that Mayhem made me eat my words, it was just an awesome event with a ton of action in a short period of time.
  • Snatch Speed Ladder and the Sprint Obstacle Course: Much like the team event above, I love the short and fast events. It was great TV. Watching Dan Bailey in the Sprint Course and the men run through the heavy weights in the Snatch Ladder – awesome. Watching Muhammad drop the last bar on his head, lay on the ground and seemingly tap out only to return a minute or so later to complete the ladder – awesome. I know people didn’t like the Zig Zag event from a few years ago, but I think these events are easily the best to watch. Might not be the best test of overall fitness, but they are fun to watch.
  • Heavy clean and jerks – both team and individual: Danny Nichols STRUGGLING with 365 twice before essentially push pressing it overhead to lock out and get the weight to count was awesome. Not as awesome if he would have hit it easily and then went for 385 and then the report was if he hit 385 he would try 405, but it was still great. Rich Froning is The Champ for a reason and he hit 365. Brooke Ence hitting 245 (I think) was awesome. The only disappointment was that the individual men didn’t get REALLY big. I don’t think any of them got more than 365. I was hoping Mat Fraser, Ben Smith or Muhammad would get close to 400. I think the toll that the week had taken on the athletes to that point hurt the chance of a really big number, but it was fun to watch none the less.

Until next year (or the ECC Champsionships, Wodapalooza or The Granite Games).

CrossFit Games athletes earnings

Curious how much the various athletes earned during this CrossFit Games season (each Regional qualifier earned some money)? So was I. I did some math. I picked the top four from the Games and one name that is popular that finished in the top 20 and a fifth name towards the bottom of the Games results.

Now if I could just figure out how much money they get from their sponsors…

For someone like Khan Porter I am sure he lost money throughout this whole endeavor. Possibly a LOT of money. His winnings might have covered his airfare, hotel and food, etc. Maybe. Depends on how long he was in the states.

Men
Ben Smith: $287,000
Mat Fraser: $110,000
Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson: $63,000
Dan Bailey: $43,000
Lucas Parker: $13,000
Neal Maddox: $4,000
Khan Porter: $7,000

Women
Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir: $286,000
Tia-Clair Toomey: $94,000
Sara Sigmundsdottir: $68,000
Kara Webb: $29,000
Sam Briggs: $44,000
Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet: $17,000
Lindy Barber: $6,000

Some decent money at the top.

CrossFit Games needs to step up its reporting

Many would argue whether or not the CrossFit Games is a real sport or not. This can range from whether the athletes should be professionals and CrossFit is their full time job to the very inconsistent judging at the Regional level. I think CrossFit likes to think of itself as a real sport. If so, they need to step up their game when it comes to reporting action/news and they especially need to upgrade their commentating.

I blogged on the Rockies for several years and spent many evenings into late nights in the Rockies press box. Watching the best of the best at the profession of reporting on sports you realize not only how much time they put into their profession, but how they ensure no stone goes unturned. If you have fans then the fans want information, no matter how insignificant you (the sport) might think it is.

As I mentioned yesterday, fans want to see EVERY minute of action, not just the final heats. They also want to know what happens to ALL the athletes.

As of this writing these are the athletes that have withdrawn from the 2015 CrossFit Games (does not include teams):

Annie Thorisdottir, Maddy Myers, Kevin Simons, Joe Scali, Neal Maddox and Chad Mackay. Of those, I only know why Myers and Scali have withdrawn and that is because both posted on their own personal social media account as to why (Annie might be doing so in the near future as her withdrawal was very recent as of this writing).

But, that isn’t the point – the CrossFit Games should be informing its fans why these athletes have withdrawn. Can you imagine watching an NFL, NBA, MLB or any big college game and one of the athletes get injured and the reporters never telling you why? I have a theory why CrossFit doesn’t report on this: they are afraid of their image. They constantly fight those who say CrossFit isn’t safe, so athletes getting hurt during a competition they oversee would look bad. Now, I don’t believe this theory, it’s just a theory. These athletes are professionals and putting their bodies through a lot. A LOT more than 99.9% of CrossFitters in the world. These athletes getting hurt doesn’t reflect on the rest of the CrossFitting population.

Give the fans the information they crave.

——

Last night after Mat Fraser charged to win the nerdy named “Triangle Couplet” to move within four points of Games leader, Ben Smith. Or so everyone thought.

Today Fraser beat Smith by six positions in “Midline Madness” and everyone, including Bill Grundler and Sean Woodland who are announcing the event, thought Fraser pulled ahead of Smith by at least 20 points going into the yet to be announced final event.

Minutes later – 30 or more – the leaderboard still showed Smith leading Fraser by eight points. That can’t be right. Can it?

Well, CrossFit finally posted on Instagram and Twitter that there was an adjustment to Sprint Course 2 yesterday which put Fraser much further back from Smith. Who knows if Fraser knew of this adjustment prior the first event today or not. One thing is for sure – no one will ever know if Fraser knew or not because the reporting at the Games is terrible.

Fans want to know. Look at all the questions posted to Twitter after the CrossFit Games made the announcement. Yet, no answer to all the fans.

———

Finally we have the terrible announcing. I personally love Sean Woodland, Bill Grundler and Cheri Chan, but Tanya Wagner has got to go. I have considered going back and watching every event she announced just to put together the list, and it would be a LONG list, of moronic comments. Comments that don’t make sense. Comments that directly counter the point she just made previously (like she disagrees with herself in the span of a few seconds). Comments in which she reiterates, almost word for word, what another announcer just said.

She is horrible.

And while I am criticizing CrossFit announcing: no more buddy, buddy relationships. No more bias. Time to get people to announce the games that do NOT workout with a few of the athletes all year long. Call it like it is. I know everyone loves Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, but how come no one wants to interview her when she is losing? Only when she wins? Because they don’t want the world to see how much of a poor sport their good friend is.

Look at all the coverage Dan Bailey and Brooke Ence get, but hardly anything for those who are actually in contention. So little coverage on athletes like Katrin Davidsdottir or Cole Sager, for example.

If you want to be considered a real sport, CrossFit, time to let other reporters into your event to report on the actual news – not just what you want published.

CrossFit Journal Instagram is a bit sexist?

Either the CrossFit Journal Instagram knows that sex sells, or it is run by a perverted man. Either way, I like it!

The account was created just before the 2015 CrossFit Games began…and I just counted how many pictures posted to that account are of females versus males (and many of the female pictures are “up close and personal”).

Female: 82

Male: 2

Undetermined: 2

Something’s up…ya?

CrossFit Games fail – streaming/TV

The CrossFit Games website keeps trying to tell me that I can watch, and I quote:

ESPN3

U.S. fans with cable packages that include ESPN should go straight to ESPN3 for complete coverage of the Games. Every heat of every event for every division will be streamed here.

This is taken from this page on the games.crossfit.com website.

This is bullshit.

Last night I only got to see the last two heats, of eight, of the men’s speed snatch ladder. I didn’t get to see ANY of the women’s quaterfinal heats of the snatch speed ladder. I was watching ESPN3.

Today I am watching ESPN3 again and I didn’t get to see either of the first two heats in the sprint obstacle course – for the men or the women.

I would venture to say that the most fan friendly events this year are the snatch speed ladder and the sprint obstacle course and ESPN3 and CrossFit decided to not show each event in its entirety.

Yet, I could watch the entire ho-hum 2 mile paddle board event. This makes no sense.

In hopes of attracting people to pay $1000 for the Level 1 certificate and eventually turn into affiliate owners who will pay CrossFit $3000 a year to affiliate they are trying to prove why CrossFit is best on ESPN rather than showing stars….stars like Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet. They are choosing to show highlights, past events in their entirety and why CrossFit is the best test of fitness instead of showing CLB break down and cry after the snatch event last night.

Let me list who I would guess are the biggest names in CrossFit, in no particular order: Rich Froning, Annie Thorisdottir and CLB. I would bet that those three get the most money from sponsors, most interviews in magazines and help spread the good word of CrossFit.

Well, I couldn’t watch CLB perform the snatch event, the sprint event and now today they aren’t showing the first heat of the soccer chipper, which included CLB.

Lindy Barber won one of the sprint events and took second in the other – we didn’t get to see her performance today.

I hope this doesn’t continue throughout the weekend.

I understand the desire to attract new business, but give those of us who have sat around watching the games since the absolute mind-numbing paddle event and have been watching the Games since 2011 an option to watch our favorite athletes online while you puff out your chest on ESPN.