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Ask Ping

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Hey Ping, 
After watching a bunch of kids make a great race out of a mud pit in Anaheim, the moto message boards lit up, as they do after every race, with postings about which rider is a "punk" and what rider "sucks." These are allegedly "fans" of the sport, yet some of them go out of their way to manufacture things to bitch about. Who are these message board "tough guys" and why are they so miserable? Do you industry insiders have a name for these people? If not, can you make up something that not only describes who they are, but also works to shame them into shutting the hell up? I'm sick and tired of seeing great riders finish on the podium after getting wadded up, then read some message board [idiot] who says "he sucks" or "he doesn't have the heart to win."
Mike Antle. Dalzell, IL

Dear Mike,
I think “message board [idiot]” is about as good a description as any. The only way to completely avoid these kooks is to stay off the message boards. What are you really missing out on? Any legitimate information or breaking news goes up on our site almost instantaneously. So, all you would really be missing is wasting time with a bunch of losers with nothing better to do than sit around and chat online. They are the motocross equivalent of Napoleon Dynamite’s brother, Kip. And the negative attitude is just a byproduct of jealousy. These guys probably dreamed of being factory riders, but they never made it past the local novice class, so they dump their issues on guys that really are making it happen. These message boards are like the Sun or the National Enquirer at your grocery store checkout line. They are more full of crap than an elephant with no ass. So, Mike, stop wasting your time on those sites. And to all the message board dorks that don’t have anything positive to say: let it go. You didn’t make it as a racer, and that is sad, but don’t dump all over guys that have a chance.
PING

Dear Ping,
What’s the deal with this ‘80s throwback night for Anaheim 2? Personally I think it is all a big joke. There will be nothing truly ‘80s about it. Everyone will still ride thumpers, everyone will still show up with their entourage of trainers, talent agents, and fauxhawk-sporting mechanics and everyone will still thank their increasingly obscure sponsors (whatever happened to thanking Skoal and Bob Bender, the Evel Knievel crew chief, for putting the thing together real nice?). I think if Live Nation really wants to go all out on this ‘80s theme they need to attend a college frat party or at the very least have a 24-hour Winners Take All marathon to get the creative juices flowing. I'm in the opinion that if you're going to do something you should do it right. I want two-strokes, box vans, 3/4 helmets, boot gators, JT gear, and enough hair spray, teasing, back-combing, and heavy make-up on women to make Motley Crue puke a little in their mouths. And lets be honest, there will still be some people that show up January 19th that completely missed the memo both socially and via Speed commercials that will feel oddly at home in the florescent spandex-clad atmosphere. Your thoughts?
Eric. Iowa

Dear Eric,
I know that this might seem like a half-assed effort of taking things back a couple decades. Still, I commend the effort and the idea. Anaheim ’86 was one of the best races ever and this is a cool way to celebrate it. Still, something tells me that there won’t be any Run DMC pumping out of the Gibbs Racing semi or Cinderella screaming out of the Honda tent. You just know Micky Dymond had some killer tunes blasting out of his van back then. Sadly, we’ll have to do without. There is an insane ‘80s band called Metal Skool that would totally rock if we could get them. Probably won’t happen. I’ll be stoked if I see a couple of sweet mustaches and some JT jerseys cruising through the pits. I’ll throw on an extra squirt of hairspray for you after I climb into my Reaganomics T-shirt and Van Halen hat.
PING

Hey Dave,
Like most people who write, I must say I find your column very entertaining. I wrote asking a question over a year ago but I never did see a response. The answer still eludes me to this day and my curiosity compels me to ask again. Do you know or are you able to find out what kind of sales increase Suzuki realized (in the form of a percent) year over year since their signing of Carmichael?   

Best regards and never stop chasing that #1 plate
Bruce MacKenzie. London, Canada
 

Dear Bruce,
I didn’t respond the first time because I didn’t have the answer. I still don’t have the answer. I will take a guess and say this: There is no way they could have recouped the money they had to pay him for his services, let alone the dollar figures they had to kick down in bonus money. In fact, I’d bet you that Kawasaki doesn’t get back the money they have to pay Stewart, Villopoto, Ferry and the rest of the green guys in motorcycle sales alone. I’m not sure any of the Japanese manufacturers come out in the black at the end of the year. But the image marketing and brand recognition that they get from a sport as high-profile as supercross is worth spending a little money on. Let’s not question their decision to go racing, because if they decide to pull the plug now, the Gibbs Racing team would be the only crew still making it to every round. Imagine that: Josh Hansen would be the next national champion.
PING

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