Dear Bronze Ping ,
First off, congrats on your bronze medal. I would have gotten gold, but hey, I'm better. You gave it your best shot and that's all I can ask from you. Now I would like to ask you about a live outdoor national event at Glen Helen. With four riders having a chance at a 450 championship and an amazing two-man 250 battle, it would be awesome to see all four motos live. I know it would screw up Speed TV's whole schedule, but I don't think any motorsport has had both series' this exciting in history. If Speed can't do it, it would be cool to see live video on motocross.com. If Short, Ferry, Langston, and Alessi are all within 15 points going into Glen Helen and theTownley/Villopoto battle is still really close, I can't think of a reason not to. I'm not too confident it will happen, obviously. I was just wondering what you think of this idea and how they could pull it off. Just in case you didn't figure it out by now, I was joking about my second sentence.
There is just one key problem with having live television for the national motocross series: money. There isn’t enough interest from sponsors or viewers to offset the cost of bringing in a truck and running cable around a course that is over a mile long. Supercross is a much easier sell because the cables can be easily set up around the track. They actually did try doing same-day events this year at Budds Creek, and it was a huge success, but very expensive. Maybe in the future we’ll see it but I’m guessing it gets to the internet before its showing live on SPEED or somewhere else. And I’m sure you would have gotten gold at the X Games. Hey, Chad Reed might have won the thing if it was just a little more “extreme.”
Ping, what has happened to the nationals? I have attended the Millville national since 1986 and witnessed many changes. What is a "smooth track" policy that the AMA has adopted? What kind of craziness is this? Maybe we should make all the tracks flat, then Harley Davidson can join in too. photo: Carl Stone
The amount of vendors now are out of control. You can't get along the start straight fence anymore to watch the start. Nice. Put all the vendors on the walk into the track. And we all know that Monster and Toyota are the big sponsors now. Lining the entire track with banners is ridiculous. I heard many people with kids say that they couldn't see a dam thing anymore.
Anyways, my thought is the sport is all about the sponsorship $$ and TV contracts, not about the racing. Guess I'll just have to remember the good old days of talking with Bailey, RJ, Wardy, and the Dogger when they let the pit gates open after the final moto.
One final note, seeing RC take a "thank you" lap after the 2nd moto for the fans was sweet.
Thanks, Ryno from Minnesota.
photo: Carl Stone
What you are experiencing is the downside of growth in the sport. Sure, back in the day you didn’t have to deal with sponsor banners or vendors and the pits were open to everyone after the races. But back then even the top riders weren’t making much of a living and motocross wasn’t even on the radar of mainstream sports. To answer your questions, I don’t know why the tracks have been smoother this year. They definitely overdid it at Southwick and Budds Creek and I think the lack of rain this spring and summer contributed to the hard, flat racing surfaces this summer. The 30-second board girl is something new and, in my opinion, nothing to complain about. You really have a problem with a cute girl turning the board sideways? I’ve gotta tell you, Ryno, that sounds pretty gay to me. And trust me; the pits would still be open if it weren’t for people stealing things out of the team’s pit areas. The kids aren’t happy with getting a handshake from their favorite riders these days; if they don’t get goggles or a jersey or a helmet or a set of tires, some of them flip you the bird and storm off in a huff. It is sad that we have to keep everyone out but the fact is that stuff disappears when they open it up.
I think the nationals are doing well. Sure, we have to watch some blonde knockout in short-shorts and a tube top hold the 30-second board (such a bummer) and there are banners along the edge of the track but the racing has been incredible all year. Safety issues are being addressed, television is better than ever and we finally have a battle for the titles that will come down to the last moto. Come on, Ryno, enjoy the racing and stop whining. And if you can’t stand watching the pretty girl out on the start line you can always drop by the Minneapolis/St Paul airport bathroom for a little male companionship….
Reed sure is a knob but at least his interviews are worth reading, I like the fact that he has something to say even if it upsets a few people along the way. Motocross needs some more characters, good or bad, loudmouths or whatevers. Which makes me wonder why is everyone so nice in motocross these days? Are they worried about sponsers sacking them? Even the Alessi’s have nothing to say now. I think Ricky has killed off all the characters with his complete domination and the sport is to clean cut for its own good. Could someone get on the podium and call someone a chump or worse please?
I don’t think Reed is a knob. Chad is actually a good guy, he just isn’t that good at packaging some of his thoughts for the media. There are some things that just shouldn’t be said in public. I’ve always thought that all the riders’ podium speeches were mechanical and bland with the exception of a few. Sure, Jason Lawrence might have his problems but he does add some flavor to the sport. I just wish more guys would show more of their genuine personality when they were up on the box. I know from experience that it’s difficult when you’ve just finished riding and you are trying to show respect to your sponsors. Maybe we should hit them with a little sodium pentathol right after they cross the finish line—that would change things, wouldn’t it? There’s nothing like a little truth serum to spice things up. You think any of them would tell Erin Bates they love her? Better yet, let’s give Erin the truth serum and see what she really thinks of these riders. Hey, Live Nation, you getting this? This is solid gold here!
Got a question for Ping? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.