Forty Years After a Dream Mile, a Harsh Reality for Track
By Tim Connelly, The New York Times
The news that the Millrose Games are leaving Madison Square Garden after 97 years to relocate uptown to the 168th Street armory reminds us of how indifferent we are to track and field. And yet, in a coincidence of timing, we remember, too, that we were not always this way. Friday’s announcement came almost exactly 40 years after an event that placed the sport, however briefly, front and center in the consciousness of the American public.
On May 16, 1971, Marty Liquori and Jim Ryun went head to head at Franklin Field in Philadelphia in what was billed as the Dream Mile. Maybe it did not generate the overheated water-cooler conversation that anticipated Ali-Frazier two months earlier, but in an era of unusually outsize sports personalities, when malevolence of thought and deed were imputed on the slimmest evidence, the Dream Mile fueled a rousing simmer. Like Ali-Frazier, Liquori-Ryun lived up to its hype.
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