Saturday, July 19, 2014

NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" may have a silly title, but it's actually a good show!

The blogosphere has been abuzz over Kacy Catanzaro's impressive performance at the Dallas finals, in which she beat the course to move on to the ultimate Las Vegas finale:

The show's title may be silly, since ninjas are kind of the stuff of low budget 1980s movies and kids' Lego toys, and some people might think they wouldn't be interested in the show as a result. But in fact, it's really a super-difficult obstacle race where amateur athletes are (sometimes) able to accomplish incredible feats of strength and coordination.

Possibly the best thing about the show/competition, however, is that it exhibits a really cool ethos of athletes supporting one another. Though there are plenty of characters (some showing up in costumes, others playing to the crowd), there's no trash-talking; indeed, during Catanzaro's run, you can hear the crowd repeatedly cheering for her. Some of that might be because she was the first woman ever to finish that stage of the competition, but still. . . . The same kind of positive spirit is one of the things I really like about the running community, how people cheer for one another during races.

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