Imagine, if you will, that you were James Stewart. Seriously, let your thoughts wander to what it would be like...
... to have been superfast since nearly the very first time you swung your pre-pubescent leg over a motorcycle.
... to have not only won, but DOMINATED at every amateur level in which you competed.
... to have dedicated your life to becoming just like your motocross heroes, foregoing normal youthful activities in pursuit of your goal.
... to break into the professional ranks and quickly prove yourself as a force to be reckoned with, setting win records along the way.
... to develop to the point where you are acknowledged as the fastest Supercross racer on the planet, and to literally have the "keys to the sport" handed over to you by the best racer of all time.
You can see the light at the end of the tunnel; you are closing in on your dream of being the dominant active rider in the sport. Every time you go to the starting line, you look at your competitors and say to yourself, "I can beat ALL of them." And if a certain nemesis running the #4 plate is on the line, you know that, well, sometimes you can beat him too... but everyone else is covered. All of your hard work is paying off; all of those years of dedication are coming due. And all of a sudden, the sanctioning body of your sport announces that it is considering introducing new rules meant to nullify your domination.
How would that make you feel?
Would that make you consider changing your game plan? Would it make you feel unappreciated? Castigated? Isolated?
Would you go back into your video library of old races, back during the days of Jeremy McGrath, or back when Ricky was winning every single moto... would you go back to see what the AMA's response was back then? What did they do to achieve this "parity" when the King of Supercross was on a roll? If you did take the time to review that history, you would find nothing. Nothing was done about it. There were no suggestions that the bikes were "too fast for pros" or anything of the sort.
But somehow it's different now. So, how does that make you feel?
Parity, loosely defined, means a situation of equality. That things are equal. A strange goal, to be sure, in professional motocross where the OEM teams spend millions of dollars striving for technical superiority over one another just as the riders devote hundreds of hours to practice and training to hopefully achieve some physical advantage over their competitors. The AMA seems to think that they can legislate some sort of technical "even playing field"; heck, that's what the rule book is for. Ultimately, the idea is that the bikes are somewhat evenly matched and it's up to the riders to make the difference. Is that NOT what's happening right now?
If so, why all the talk about "parity?" Instead of equality, it almost seems that they are really seeking some type of INequality; a way of closing the gap between Stewart and the rest of the pack.
What if the AMA were actually able to make that happen? Again, if you were James Stewart, how would that make you feel?
Probably ready to take a closer look at NASCAR...