Posts Tagged ‘X-Games’

My take on this year’s X Games…

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Well…the Shaun White Lovefest that is the X Games came & went this past week/weekend. And whether you watched it or not (because you’re boycotting it until they reinstate modified shovel racing as an event) nothing will change the fact that it happened.

Before I get to that though, I’d just like to tell you that I went and played snowboards 3 times since my last post. 3. Because I like to P-A-R-T-Y. Once in drizzly rain & freezing fog, once on a relatively warm night and once more at night, but in single degree temperatures. Why? Because I’m a fucking G and I got me a new Burton Custom FV 160 Muppet’s (Dr. Teeth) board and needs to be stood upon and slid downhill, that’s why. Each time, my buddy Jordan who I taught how to ride the day before Turkey Day was with me. He’s getting pretty good at it. He’s even got his own set up now. He’s hooked.

Anyhow…back to the X Games. I got some thoughts I’d like to share about them. Here we go!

THE GOOD

• Shaun White’s pipe run: 24 feet of air on the first hit? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s quarter pipe-type air we’re talking about! While his run lacked style, even the most outspoken SW hater couldn’t argue that his 2nd run wasn’t the best run of the night, and that he desevred to win. What I hate though, is that that run was better than his winning run last year, and it got a 98, but last year he got a “perfect” 100.

• The sign Scotty Lago’s dog wore: “That’s my daddy”…? Fucking awesome.

• Ayumu Hirano: that little dude went OFF last night in the finals, and earned 2nd place. Oh, he’s 14 years old, 5’2″ & in 8th grade. Dude is gonna be nasty and take lots of top podium spots…unless judges decide to fuck him over like his fellow countryman, Kazu Kokubo.

• Elena Hight: She keeps getting better.

• The Swedish Chef “This is SportsCenter” commercial: Damn I love me some Muppets. However, after the 19th time, I was getting tired of it.

• The Mighty Ducks: Sorry, this has nothing to with the X Games. It’s just currently on while I’m typing this up. QUACK, you cake eater!

THE BAD

• Just about EVERY other commercial: HOLY SHIT! How many times can the same commercial be played…over and over and over…in the span of 4 days?!? Has anyone in the history of watching the X Games been persuaded to enlist with the NAVY while watching the X Games? “I like shredding, so logically, I’ll join the Navy, where they do a shit ton of winter sports. Gonna jump in my JEEP, call Geico for low rates, guzzle a Red Bull and drive to the Taco Bell for some fourth meal before I head on down to the recruiter’s office.”

• BoarderCross, as well as SkierCross, is no more: Apparently, the decision to end BX in the X Games was made in August, but I didn’t find out until Wednesday. I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why they would take out out the most gnar event from the X Games. They left in SnoCross and Speed & Style, all performed on snowmobiles. You know what I did when that came on? Said “Fuck this shit!” and took a nap on the couch, falling asleep while watching Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader on GSN. Turns out, I’m not. But seriously…SnoCross might as well just be winter NASCAR. Dude who won beat the entire field by 11 seconds. And there was 16 fucking laps of that boring ass shit. But they cut the one event that is retardedly fast paced and more exciting than the the championship peewee hockey game between the Hawks and the Ducks, (Sorry…still watching Mighty Ducks. DAMN Charlie stepped up on that penalty shot). Also, not having a BX contest this year robbed all of us from seeing how Lindsey Jacobellis was going to fuck up winning right before the finish line.

• Shaun White’s choice of attire: Can anyone tell me why SW thought looking like the Gimp was a good look? Dude looked like he was an extra at the Blue Oyster Bar from Police Academy. He needs to dump that coach of his if that dude isn’t stepping up and telling him that he needs to cut the leather daddy Hot Topic bullshit.

• Scotty Lago’s drop in: “YEA! LAGO IS THE LAST DUDE THAT CAN WIN DROPPING IN! PRIDE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE RIGHT THERE! HE’S GONNA GIVE SHAUN A RUN FOR HIS MON-oh…WTF? He fell dropping IN to the pipe? Awesome. What else is on tv?”

• ESPN basically verbally blowing SW: Any and every chance they got, they were hyping him up. Sure he won the pipe, but still…when another rider is about to drop in, and the camera is glued on SW…enough is a enough.

• Keir Dillon Announcing: Not trying to hate on him, but he sucked. Sounds like he’s been huffing helium & his on-camera appearances were so uncomfortable and odd. FUN SIDE NOTE: Keir & I almost came to fisticuffs at the US Open in 2003 or 2004; I can’t recall exactly which year it was. But we’re good now.

• Skier attempting a 1980 in Big Air: Five and a half rotations? Really? That’s not even cool. Next year, maybe when they get rid of another event that is awesome, like Slopestyle, they can replace it with Super Twirling. First person to get a nosebleed wins. X-TREME!!!

THE UGLY

• Kelly Clark: Look…I’m no catch…and neither is shim.

• Rogue sled into the crowd: The Aussie motocross turned freestyle snowmobile dude had less than 4 hours on a sled, total, in his lifetime. Yeah…that seems safe. While his fancy trick was pretty cool, he somehow got his sled to ghost ride into the crowd, injuring a teenage bystander. Made me think of this song, (which in turn made me think of riding, jetlagged and stoned out of my mind in the thin ColoRADo air at Echo Mountain Park, RIP, and getting my boogie on alongside Loaf & Zagbeast the Hoebag):

Well…that’s all for now. Flame away.

-CLK

2013-10: On Snowboarding and Projection of Self-Perception

Friday, January 25th, 2013

You guys seeing this showdown between Shaun White and Mark McMorris? Shit. I can’t even imagine the pressure on those two. If McMorris doesn’t win, he comes off looking like a real deal asshole. And if he does win, Shaun has to go home and cry on his bed made of gold medals and cash and a ridiculous legacy.

I was really trying to avoid Xgamesy stuff. But I had to watch this video, simply because a Helgason put it out:

X GAMES Slope style quallyz a Snowboarding video by Helgasons

Holy shit. Look right there, in the background. Shaun White is co-mingling with other riders. He’s not sequestered in a private Shaun White Stride Gums Lounge. Is this a new Shaun White we are seeing?

People love to go off about who’s going to beat Shaun White, and it’s going to start happening—probably consistently and probably soon. The guy has been on top for a decade now. I’ve wondered time and time again if snowboarding is even fun for Shaun White. It never seemed to be about screwing around with friends, it was about winning. Now I’m wondering if it isn’t getting a bit old for him.

Can he put his game together tight enough to take home medals in halfpipe and slopestyle in Sochi?

What if he did it and walked away? What if he pulled a Craig on us? What if he stepped off that Russian podium, walked into the mountains and never came back? Would we still spit vitriol at him? Would we still blame him for ruining snowboarding?

But that is tangential. I’m here to discuss a young dude that is making me  happy that I still follow snowboarding.

Jamie Nicholls, who I once bagged on for being from the UK. This kid is the raddest in the game right now. First off, he is an impressively good rider. You can see him get loose at the Nike Chosen event last year:

Now consider that he grew up riding dry slopes, because he was from the UK.

But apart from that the kid is straight-up 18-year old. He’s out there with friends and having a good time.  Blasting off tweets like this:

Then jock-poppa in charge of snowboarding in the UK reprimands him.

In a shocking turn of events, Jock-poppa gets charged at because this is snowboarding and it’s all about having fun and screwing off, it’s not rugby and he backs down, admitting he needs to learn to roll. You don’t see the game get played like that in the USA.

Jamie Nicholls, free to be young again, heads off to Quebec for a contest. He makes it through to the finals, but doesn’t do as well as he hoped to, so he puts out something like an apology on the tweets.

WhoTF is this dude? Dude just brushes it off, essentially says “I’ll do better next time” and goes to hit street rails. Perhaps he feels like he owes his followers this, because he’s on the dole, sucking from the titty of the British sporting public (In case you missed that part). It seems like a noble thing to do.

More importantly it seems like a well-adjusted thing to do. This dude is 18 and apparently has been on the British scene since he was six. Contrast that to Shaun White who played that role for those of us in the US. Shaun has always been on a pedestal. Whether it was self-imposed or done at the bidding of other forces, Shaun has existed completely outside of snowboarding. It’s part of what has allowed him to be so successful, but it’s one of the biggest factors having lead to the incessant Shaun-bashing.

Honestly I hope this kid keeps ripping the shit out of things. According to the European connection, riders like Jamie and his pal Billy Morgan have a good chance of blowing up before they head to Sochi. And, It doesn’t hurt to have the likes of Nike and Salomon behind you. The guy is headed for great things, and he may never really hit it big stateside, but I really hope the next group of contest kids, and more importantly their parents and (for fuck’s sake) coaches, take note on how to be awesome for yourself, your friends and the whole shred game.

 

***The screen grabs I used came from Whitelines article about the twitter kerfuffle, which you can read here.