Leo Manzano at the 2014 USATF championships // photo Getty Images

Leo Manzano at the 2014 USATF championships // photo Getty Images

Track and field

USATF and the notion of homework

For years, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field were the two reliable punching bags in the American Olympic scene. The problem at both was much the same: constant management turnover and an unwieldy governance structure, each encumbered by a board of directors numbering in the triple digits that created an environment rife with petty politics.

Over the past several years, both have turned it around. But with USATF in particular, there remains a dissident cohort for whom seemingly nothing seems to be good enough. Case in point: there’s a new, professionally produced commercial featuring several track-and-field stars, and it’s even airing on network television. This has to be a huge win, right? Exposure for a sport that needs it? For some, apparently not.

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Super high-vision: a green bottle with a long neck

When high-definition television came along, it revolutionized the game. Watching sports got way better all over the world for literally millions, if not billions, of viewers.

For fans of American football: think, for instance, of Mario Manningham’s clutch 38-yard catch that sparked the New York Giants’ winning drive in Super Bowl XLVI, and the sideline tap-dance that was part of it. High-def made it all so real.

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No fear, one DQ, two golds

DAEGU, South Korea — John Smith, the Southern California track coach for whom there are two ways — his way and the highway — has a mantra he particularly likes.

Fear, he says, is nothing but “false evidence appearing real.” There’s no fear in anything, he says. Get out there and 100 percent do your best. Just execute.