...as I struggle through the Starbucks line.
1) Production Class is a great idea and may help to "renovate" the venerable old match.
Of course that implies that you can get people like me to pay attention to it.
2) A 2-day format has more appeal in these grim times than a 4-day format.
3) I wish every event would adopt the "Erhardt Model" for media (and public) relations. The model developed by Paul Erhardt with input from me and Scott Moore and based on ESPN "briefing books" we used in the Great Outdoor Games demonstrably works. It's not rocket science, either.
4) Larry Potterfield has some interesting, and I think smart, modifications to the Bianchi coure of fire, including adding bonus "X" plate/plates on the falling plates course. As a one-time match designer, I always liked adding a "Hail Mary" option to a stage...high risk, but high reward. This allows shooters down in the field to opt to go for it, which adds a whole new level of pressure on the leaders.
5) Bianchi will probably go to a leaderboard next year...great! And long overdue in all the sports. We carry enough computing power in our pockets to fix the Hubble several times over. We ought to be able to apply that technology to scoring a shooting match.
6) Longterm, Bianchi is looking toward going back to John Bianchi's original concept of an invitational. Again, the right direction...it enhances the reputation of the march.
7) There are also macro, industry-wide issues to address. The unintended consequences to ALL TACTICAL ALL THE TIME has been a degredation of competition in general in favor of a rampant Walter Mitty-ism that does no one any good. Secondly, the sports are now mature and heavily Balkanized...which leads to a lot of small audiences rather than a single large one. Which has a direct effect on people like me, who are ratings-driven. You're either forced into a magazine format, whee you sandwich snippets of the competition with more mainstream pieces or try to find something the viewers want to sink their teeth into.
I personally am convinced that the future of the shooting sports is on the Internet rather than broadcast...greater reach, more flexibility in coverage, a larger framework to work in and immediate delivery. Marshal and I are working with OC on this, hopefully as soon as Steel Challenge this year. It is expensive when you start talking about live streaming from remote locations. Marshal, Erhardt and I drew up plans for Internet match coverage a couple of years ago, but - as usual - we were not only WAY ahead of the market but WAYWAYWAY ahead of our financing. We're getting there, however, and when it happens you guys are going to be amazed...or we're going to be unemployed!
Finally, I would love a cross-sport made-for-television event. Of course, this concept has bitten me in the ass before!!! I still think it's the best way for dealing with the shooting sports on broadcast.
-- Post From The Road