The Calllout is a weekly editorial piece that highlights the “Good Calls” and the “Bad Calls” in swimming from the week prior.
This week’s Bad Call goes to Omega Timing. I’m going to take you way back here to a time when Michael Phelps was bursting onto the scene with a fabulous performance at the World Championships in 2003. At thirteen years old, I logged into my fresh installation of Windows XP on my state of the art Pentium 3 computer and navigated to Omega Timing’s website on my zippy “high-speed” DSL connection. Then I waited fifteen minutes as the PDF file from each event slowly downloaded. It was exciting, almost like watching the race live. The progress bars were like the swimmers, often dying in the last 15 meters of the race.
Unlike Omega Timing’s site, swimmers have actually gotten faster. Omega Timing is still using the same “live” results system they used for the 2003 World Championships. The only real change they’ve made is a switch from black to white. Now I know the company has a long history of providing classic timing systems, but this is not the place to be practicing that philosophy. Users want fast and easy access to results and if Omega Timing can’t provide that, even with all the big sponsorship money they can provide to some events, meet managers are going to switch timers (I hope). Bad Call Omega Timing, for living in the stone age of the internet and not improving your results system.
I know some of you are finding this a little played out but … this week’s good call goes to Nathan Adrian for exposing himself to the world via a suit that was a little too snug. Or maybe it goes to Speedo, for providing a suit of questionable reliability. It may even go to Tim Binning, for being there at just the right moment to capture the glorious images that drew the attention of Yahoo! Sports. Or maybe it goes to all of you, for providing the perfect storm of events to bring my floating ship of a budding website down in a ball of flames. Though you may have ruined my weekend by forcing me to put out server fires left and right, I know you made the day of just about every swim mom who tediously sits through meets secretly hoping for this kind of thing to happen. Good call Nathan Adrian, for providing the kind of ass swimming hasn’t seen since Amanda Beard hit Playboy.