Ask Ping!

August 25, 2006 11:44am | by:

Hey Ping,
There is something that has been bugging me for quite some time, and I sure hope you will be able to help me out. Why in the world is it that every time Matt Goerke has a great moto or great finish, it seems there is no coverage on him? At Southwick, he was constantly mistaken for McFarlane or Metcalfe while running fourth. At Washougal, he hardly got noticed. Then the poor guy gets the podium at Millville through the torrential downpour and the mud-slinging, and again, nothing. His name was never mentioned in the second moto while running third, and his interview on the podium was not even broadcast.
He was at my house watching the coverage on Monday afternoon, all of us knowing this would finally be his shining moment in the spotlight and once again, NOTHING! What a heartbreaker. What does he need to do before his efforts are finally recognized? This was one of his best racing moments, his first podium, and no coverage, no mention. Wow! It's even hard for me to believe. Am I missing something here?
Valinda (Matt's aunt and #1 fan)

Star Racing's Matt Goerke

photo: Simon Cudby

Dear Valinda,
I know exactly how Matt feels. While my “shining” moments in the outdoor nationals were few and far between when I was racing, I have been shut out of the television broadcast before too. I used to get pretty upset and blame everyone from Art Eckman to David Bailey and anyone else involved in the production of the show. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that it is hard to mention every rider that deserves to be mentioned. As an announcer, you can only talk about what the camera is showing. So if the camera wasn’t filming Matt during the race, it would be weird for us to be talking about him. The mud makes it particularly difficult, because the cameramen don’t know who they are filming as they ride by. I’m sure this was the case in Millville, since riders were practically unidentifiable on the track. Matt has been doing a great job and impressing a lot of people with his finishes, and that will pay off much bigger dividends than a little bit of TV time. But I’ll do my best to keep an eye out for him.

I just finished reading the latest “Ask Ping” on the web and noticed the question about whether or not factory riders get new boots every race and if they have someone breaking them in. Well, Ping, you replied, “As far as the boots go, I think you are getting a little carried away. These guys have all the boots they need but I think most riders prefer to break them in themselves.” Well, ironically, after reading that I was checking out the Monday Kickstart on Transworld Motocross’ site (Racer X is always the first choice, of course) and it just so happened to have a section about Beeker breaking in Bubba’s boots. I don’t know if this is copyright infringement, but to quote what was in the paragraph, “Turns out that he was actually breaking the brand-new pair of boots in for his rider, James Stewart. 'James likes it if they are broken in just a little bit,' he said. 'Fortunately, we are the same size, so I can hook him up.' Beeker also added that sometimes, he’ll even heat them up with a heat gun to get them softer and more pliable, right from the get go.” So basically, Ping, Bubba is clearly a way bigger deal than you were as a factory rider … but you're still pretty cool.
Jesse Shimrock. Deep Creek Lake, MD

Dear Jesse,

I stand corrected. I had no idea the lengths a gear rep would go to in support of their guy. Beeker is clearly taking his craft to a whole other level, just as James is doing on the track. Makes you wonder what else he’s doing for Bubba, doesn’t it? Well, I did some research and found out that Beeker also downloads music onto James’ iPod for him, cuts his hair, dictates James' thoughts and feelings down in a private journal, and even cuts his fingernails and toenails. Crazy, right? He also makes Beeker buy a two-pound bag of M&Ms every weekend and pick out all the green and yellow ones. The green ones James puts in bowls around his coach, but he has Beeker smash all the yellow ones and throw them in the toilet. James is a diva … who knew?

I'm cable-impaired, so I just saw my first national on TV this year with the Millville round. Thanks for mentioning Donny Schmit in the telecast, even if the other announcer kind of interrupted you and changed the subject. We Minnesotans are pretty proud to have a two-time world champion who was from here, and we still miss him a lot. If you really want to tweak the locals next year, try to work in a Tom Benolkin reference. My question is about the play-by-play guy (I could look up his name if I was more ambitious). Does he talk like that all the time or does he turn it off when he's not in the booth? I have visions of him being in a restaurant calling the play-by-play of the wait staff, but then again, my mind is a terrible thing.
Bob Chase. Curator,

Dear Bob,
You can’t talk about Millville and not mention Donny Schmit. I didn’t know him that well, but I’ve never met anyone that had a bad thing to say about the guy. You lost me on the Tom Benolkin reference, though. Unless he’s a 68-year-old physics professor from Maine, because that’s what I got when I Googled him.

To answer your question, Brian Drebber’s voice is much different when he’s not on camera. His real voice sounds exactly like Carmine from the old television show Laverne and Shirley. How’s that for an obscure reference?