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  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

Track on TV

On Sunday, at noon Pacific, most of the country will turn their TV's to FOX. Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for the NFC Championship.

But if you happen to flip through the channels, there will be something worth watching on ESPN at that time: Track & Field.

Sunday marks the first of four professional indoor meets held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a series part of the American Track League brand created by agent Paul Doyle. The meets will be held on consecutive Sundays, and all will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2.

Yes, I get it. Bucs and Packers is intriguing. But if you care about elevating the professional side of our sport, tune in to the meet.

Track & Field doesn't get many opportunities to air for a general audience. And despite not being ideal timing, the meet will still serve as an indicator to a major network like ESPN what sort of potential the sport has in their business model.

As we've learned with other professional sports, the big money is made in TV deals. Ticket and merchandise sales only go so far. When networks are competing for broadcasting rights, that's when a sport adds zeroes to its bottom line.

It's become commonplace in Track & Field to be an armchair critic and talk about the way things could or should be. When it comes to advancing our sport, many of us are more adept at poking holes in a good idea than giving that good idea a try.

This meet is a good idea being given a try. Sure, we can critique it afterwards, and maybe that feedback is used to improve it.

But tune in. After all, the competition only goes two hours. You can still catch the fourth quarter of the football game.

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