For non runners, the sport of running is no fun to watch. You won’t see many running broadcasts on TV unless it’s an Olympic year and even then the ratings aren’t very high. Running isn’t action packed. It’s just not that big of a spectator sport. There isn’t enough drama.
The reason that there isn’t any drama in running is because there isn’t a villain.
Every story you read has an antagonist. The one person that is the exact opposite of our hero. The two are at odds with each other. One wants to achieve a goal while the other wants to prevent it. That is the essence of drama.
There are plenty of heroes in running. Runners like to give back. We have all ran in charity events. Most of the races that we participate in support a cause in one way or another. All in all, runners are nice people and that’s a problem. Running needs a heel.
We need a bad boy or girl. A person who talks trash and occasionally breaks the rules. We need a runner with exceptional talent along with exceptional cockiness. A runner who can run with the best but act like the worst. Running needs its own Dennis Rodman.
Every sport has a villain. The NBA had Rodman. The NFL has Ndamukong Suh. Baseball had Barry Bonds and hockey has… that big bearded guy. And those sports are full of drama. Drama that we love to watch. Running? Not so much.
If running wants to emerge as a watchable sport, then a villain needs to rise.
Of course, this is all hypothetical. I’m not encouraging anyone to be mean while they run. We don’t want people who are going to go out and trip people and knock other runners over. Running just needs a little more attitude. A little less Tebow and a little more Rodman.
Who is your favorite sports villain?