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As of this writing these are the athletes that have withdrawn from the 2015 CrossFit Games (does not include teams):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 Of those, I only know why Myers and Scali have withdrawn and that is because both posted on their own personal social media account as to why (Annie might be doing so in the near future as her withdrawal was very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But, that isn’t the point – the CrossFit Games should be informing its fans why these athletes have withdrawn.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.

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5 comments on “CrossFit Games needs to step up its reporting

  1. Excellent points! I only knew about Annie from her Instagram account. Also the commentators seemed to get a lot of information wrong quite a lot of the time ie names of competitors, weights etc!

  2. Simon says:

    What about the total failure to cover what happened to Kara Webb who collapsed with heat stroke after Murph? There were loads of fans trying to find out what had happened to her on social media and no response from the games. I think that also shone a light on the need for the CF games to up their game when it comes to providing adequate medical coverage for athletes at the games. There were zero medical staff waiting for her when she crossed the line. How can you not have a medical team at the finish line on standby regardless of Kara’s situation for a workout like Murph. It’s amateurish.

  3. Kalli says:

    Thanks for the point on the commentating – it annoyed the crap out of me that the Icelandic girls and Kara Webb were all over the leaderboard from the get-go, and all the commentary team could do was whine about how there weren’t any Americans in the top 5. And Bjorn Gudmunnson and Jonne Koski were mentioned almost as afterthoughts on the mens side, despite being in the mix from the start. If you want your own little World Series, go play baseball. It would be awesome to have to have some more insights into the athletes that are actually doing well, not just the pets CFHQ wants to showcase.

  4. […] wrote a blog entry about this last year during or shortly after the CrossFit Games – as this sport grows more and more people are going to be hungry for information. Athletes […]

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