Chad Stafko’s “OK, You’re A Runner. Get Over It” Is An Example Of A Hack: A Response

15 Nov

Oh god.  Well, its no secret that as a cross country runner; I do have a bit of disdain for the sport that I love so much.  But, this article got my (and the rest of the running world’s) attention and I have to respond to it.

Chad Stafko of the Wall Street Journal is known better for a few articles.  Such as race-baiting while talking about the “irrelevant black voting bloc” or “welfare state” and fear-mongering, “OMG GUNS“; so its kind of funny that a guy whose hackery isn’t even good enough for the Drudge Report or RedState found his way into the Wall Street Journal.

Stafko seems to be the type of guy that self-pats himself on the back for every time he mentions the word “OBUMMERCARE” when talking about the Affordable Care Act or self-pleasures himself each time food stamps get defunded.  But politics aside, how did a guy like this get a job at the Wall Street Journal?  I mean, then again, the Wall Street Journal is the same newspaper that let Suzanne Somers write an op-ed about the Affordable Care Act so is there any legitimacy to it anyway?

Anyway, Stafko took a brief pause from writing about how he isn’t racist because some of his best friends know black people by lecturing us on how runners are the most egotistical people on Earth.  Well that’s not a big deal; I’ve already mentioned that before but when an outsider talks about the sport, it gets under your skin.  Like you can make fun of your family, but if Chris Stafko says that they should be deported because my mom likes Darius Rucker’s voice; then it gets personal.

But, let’s look at all of this article so we can properly talk about Chad Stafko.

There is one kind of bumper sticker I see almost daily here in my small Midwestern town: 


a small oval printed with “26.2” or “13.1.” In case you’re lucky enough not to know what these numbers represent, let me explain: They indicate that the driver or someone in the car has run a marathon (26.2 miles) or a half-marathon (13.1 miles).

I love that line already.  “In case you’re LUCKY ENOUGH TO NOT KNOW”, like the marathon is this unknown plague that’s sweeping the nation.  I bet Stafko says that shit on a daily basis.  He’s the best Yahoo! comment when someone goes “WHO?” on a story about Kim Kardashian.  Like he has no idea who the person that he clicked on an article is.  By the way, thanks for telling us how far a half-marathon is, my math skills weren’t good enough to divide a marathon in half.  Probably because my teacher didn’t own a gun.

There is only one reason running aficionados display the stickers. They want the rest of us to know about their long-distance feats. So let me be the first to offer my hearty congratulations.

Thanks, Chad Stafko!  I prefer your bumper sticker of Obama’s birth certificate better though!

I’d even offer to give them a pat on the back—once they’re done doing it themselves.

“Sorry Chad, I’m busy listening to Chief Keef; I wonder what your thoughts are about him?”.  But oh those self-gratifying pale kids and middle class folks.  Didn’t they know that Rockefeller and Carnegie never patted their own backs?  How about Stalin?  All American heroes!  We could really use more but now we are stuck in OBAMA’s America.  I miss my country!

What’s with this infatuation with running and the near-mandatory ritual of preening about it?

Almost every day I see people running: in the city, through subdivisions or out on country roads. They’re everywhere and at all times, from dawn until dark, their reflective gear flickering along the road.

“and every day, I try to run them over as I go to shake my head when visiting the homeless shelter; why do those people brag about being homeless?”

I thought I was imagining this spike in running’s popularity, but that’s not the case. According to the group Running USA, there were some 15.5 million people who finished running events in 2012, compared with approximately 13 million in 2010. These 15.5 million are hoofing it through marathons, half-marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks, fun runs, night runs, charity runs and what can only be labeled as insane ultramarathon runs of 50 miles or more.

Are all of those people in your small Midwestern town too?

When they’re not out there sweating through the miles, they can relax with a running magazine. There is Runners World, with its 660,000 subscribers, but also Running Times, Trail Runner, Runner’s Gazette and several others. Reading. About running.

THE HORROR!  Out of the 15.5 million who run, 14.9 million DON’T read Runner’s World.  That’s 14.9 million too little!  How about a nice issue of the National Review or Mein Kampf?  Keep in mind, this is the SAME GUY that bitched about Ed Rendell calling gun owners loopy or whatever.

Or these runners, when they’re not running, can go shopping—at a running store

AHHHHHHHHHHH!  Next you’ll be telling me that they go on surfaces made for running!  Or getting food stamps!

There’s one such store less than 15 miles, or better said, just a bit over a half-marathon, from my house. It sells only running equipment and apparel. 

No shit.

The store has been in business several years, so apparently it is making money.

Until Obama makes them buy healthcare and takes away their guns!

This “equipment,” of course, is nothing but shoes and clothes. You can buy these same shoes at a sporting-goods store or online, probably for much less.

Also includes GPS watches, running shorts that are never found at Dick’s Sporting Goods, perform gait analysis so you don’t get hurt with a new pair of shoes, have a wider variety of clothes, sponsor local races so you can discounts, provide jobs, provide running tights that are never found anywhere, can customize uniforms for you, have runners or coaches sometimes give speeches or talks, etc.  Research, douche!
But the clothes—well, that’s a different story. Many of the shirts on the racks have running logos, motivational slogans and images of stick people running.
That’s another different story.  How about the stick people voting bloc?  Totally irrelevant.  No wonder they voted for John McCain in record numbers!
Like the 26.2 and 13.1 bumper stickers, this apparel serves a clear purpose: We can look at them and immediately know that the person wearing it is a runner—perhaps even an accomplished one.
Unless you have no idea what a “runner” is, if not, boy are you lucky!
I have several friends who are runners
“I have plenty minority friends!” (that don’t vote thankfully)
or at least I did before writing this. Some have completed marathons in Nashville and Washington, D.C. One even ran the Boston Marathon.A few days ago, one of these running friends said, after describing a recent run: “Why do I keep doing this?” I have no idea.

Why would someone want to get up at 5 a.m. and run 10 miles adorned with fluorescent tape to avoid being struck by someone who has the good sense to use a car for a 10-mile journey?

Well that’s a surprisingly decent question.  Ya know, I say that pretty often.  Why do I do this?  Probably because of staying in shape, actually trying to run faster than I did before, being with my teammates, enjoying being out on the roads instead of laying in bed; maybe that?
I have a theory.
Oh, Christ.
There is no more visible form of strenuous exercise than running. When runners are dashing down a street in the middle of town or through a subdivision, they know that every driver, every pedestrian, every leaf-raker and every person idly staring out a window can see them.
That’s it!  I run when no one is out at 5am for two-a-days and 3pm when everyone is at work or in class because I want Mrs. Smith to check out my sock tan and tights!  I know deep down, as people yell homophobic slurs at me (sexist slurs for females who run); that they really wish they were me!  That’s it!  Thank you Chad Stafko!
These days, people want more than ever to be seen. This is the age of taking a photo selfie and posting it on Facebook FB +0.26% with the announcement that you’re bored—in the hope that someone will “like” that information. People want attention and crave appreciation. If you’re actually doing something like running—covering ground, staying healthy, almost even having fun—what better way to fulfill the look-at-me desire? The lone runner is a one-person parade. Yay.
Uhhh, maybe because we feel good afterwards when no one is around?  Dude, you just posted an OPINION piece in the Wall Street Journal.  Do you even have a column?  You have a Facebook!  You even HAD a personal website!  What B-list writer does that to himself?  Why do you post political topics on your Facebook?  So all of your friends can know who YOU support?  Because you are a member of the Stafko voting bloc!
OK, I know, this isn’t the case for all runners. Many of my friends who regularly run have done so for years, decades before there was a thing called social media to put humanity’s self-absorption in overdrive. These folks also tend to be infatuated with fitness anyway. If they’re not out on the streets showing the sedentary world how it’s done, they’re at the gym or in a spinning class.
So basically they are showoffs?  Doesn’t that go against the grain of everything you just said?  Ugh.
But what about the others? You can spot them, wandering through the mall or killing time at StarbucksSBUX -0.21% proudly wearing their “[Fill in the blank] 5K Run” T-shirts. They’re getting what they want, without losing a drop of sweat.
Their coffee?
I saw a great new bumper sticker the other day.
It read 0.0. I’ll take one of those, please.
Oh-ho-ho that was a good one!
What sucks about this piece is that its basically some contrarian talking about society and the Facebook generation.  Like suddenly, Americans are selfish!  Back in the day, we weren’t!  That people, god forbid, now do leisure instead of working!
This piece was basically a troll job.  He knew it would create outrage, so let me congratulate you while you are done masturbating to Andrew Brietbart.  But we caved in because all websites, nowadays, take the BuzzFeed model of clickbait knowing that you will click to either be outraged or amused.
That’s a shame.

One Response to “Chad Stafko’s “OK, You’re A Runner. Get Over It” Is An Example Of A Hack: A Response”

  1. Danielle November 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Some friends of mine a while back came up with “Couch Point Fridge” stickers which were intended to mock the runners who would brag about their accomplishments. Nothing to take too seriously, we are runners too so they are meant to be FUNNY!

    Check out our website:

    Or our Facebook Page:

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