August 09, 2007

Did the X Games suck... again?

I pretty much thought so. And I'm not alone: check out this hilarious piece by Racer X Canada's Steve Matthes. It's funny, but on the money.

Honestly, I was put off my feed... literally... when I saw Jake Brown take his infamous digger live while eating dinner at a sports bar in San Diego. That was enough to make me wary of watching any more... and I actually LIKE skateboarding and bmx vert stuff. But like a true motohead, I tuned in later that night to watch the Moto "X" best trick event... and was dismayed by the dude in jeans and the clapped out bike. And no, I wasn't completely surprised when he endoed after attempting the double back flip. The guy had cajones, I'll give him that, but... was he even supposed to be there?

So at that point, I was like "forget the X games"... but again, like the true motohead that I am, I checked out a late night replay of that sorry excuse for a supercross "race". How about ESPN making LiveNation look like motorsports gods? I didn't pay much attention to commentary... I know better than that!... and I just focused on the visuals and all I could think was that most pros have better practice tracks than what they "built" in the Home Depot Center. God, that was an ugly track.

I admit that I was surprised to see Chad Reed go backwards and give up a medal to Kevin Windham, but I'm not going to go as far as some and declare Reed washed up. That would be ridiculous. Although "ridiculous" is a good descriptor for the X games, sure...

Supermoto? Didn't even see it, but I heard a writer, of all things, got the bronze. What's up with that?? (good job, Pingree!)

I could be wrong, but I think the X games is on the way out. I'm sure someone who knows better has some facts and figures to point out that ratings were higher than ever and attendance skyrocketed and all that jazz, but just based on the scant attention being paid at the very packed sports bar I was dining at gave me a much different impression. All good things come to an end at some point, ya know?


artamis said...

First of all I respect your opinion however I think your perspective is slightly skewed. Im a x games fan and always will be, when things go bad i dont dwell on it. Sure the supercross track was subpar but i am will to bet that the first superbowl ever was not much better. As for the backflip guy, I think its awesome that a no name from some woods of michigan can show up and say "hey i can do that," and be given a chance of a lifetime. I would like to see this years world series offer that opportunity to someone. What im trying to say is that all these sports are so new that they need to had time to mature. Take a look back and see how far the x games have come. Its negativity like "Did the x Games suck... again?" that will kill the sport. If you are a true motohead just watching the sport be accepted to anything looks like progression. Thanks for listening.

Paul said...

Thanks for weighing in with your thoughts, artamis. I disagree with your contention that "negative" or critical comments will "kill the sport", or kill anything for that matter. Remember "sticks and stones..."...?

And which sports in the X Games are new? All of the board sports existed well before ESPN invented the show; even freestyle motocross was already well established before it became an X Games staple. The X Games have benefited from taking popular extreme sports and formatting them to fit their broadcast model. I will give the X Games producers credit for inventing Moto X step up and Big Air (for boards, bikes and FMX), but as far as motoheads are concerned, those sports don't even exist outside of the X Games.

And artamis, I don't mean to be critical of your comment, but I think your superbowl analogy is waaaay off base. There was no excuse for the X Games supercross track. If Jeremy McGrath can build a good-looking, rider-approved course in the Home Depot Center, the producers of the X Games should be able to as well.