Ask Ping!

November 7, 2008 12:21pm | by:
  • Bombs away
I was just wondering if you had heard anything about a joint promotional project that could be done with Jagermeister MDK KTM and Red Bull Honda that would involve the two teams pitting next to each other and serving Jager Bombs at the supercrosses. If it hasn't been discussed maybe you should offer it as a suggestion.

Andrew Clark
St. Louis, MO

Dear Andrew,
I’m actually terrified about the ramifications of having Jagermeister served at races across the country. Over the years I’ve seen drunken fights in the stands, drunken stupidity in the pits and I’ve even seen drunken couples dry-humping in the parking lot. And all of that was just beer-fueled idiocy. This year I’m imagining people passed out against the stadium walls, mechanics and crewmembers reeking curiously of black licorice and the star spangled banner being turned into a bad karaoke rendition by the runner up in a beauty contest just before last call. Hey, I love it when new sponsors join our sport and maybe I’m just being what Ned Flanders would call a “Nervous Nelly.” But bringing Jagermeister and Red Bull that close together with that much sample product is like handing out free, pre-lit sparklers in a gunpowder store. We might need to coordinate an AA meeting for the industry every Sunday morning by the time Vegas rolls around.

Dear Ping,
Just wondering what you think of Tuesday’s results. Luckily my family already bought our guns before your new president enforces all the gun control laws. That’s me in the North Face shirt and my son Ryder in the middle with the hat and shades. Check out the Racer X sticker.
New Mexico

Without getting into it, lets just say that the guy I voted for came in second, which is fitting for me. And while I’m a little too Barney Fife-ish to have a gun in the house (I’d end up blowing a hole in my foot or the ceiling) I am absolutely in support of folks like you being able to own one… or, you know, twelve. I love the Racer X shield but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a four year old standing there with a Luger. Is that thing loaded? Is it just a Pez dispenser you gave him as a prop for the photo? Either way, that is one good-looking family and I appreciate you sending in the photo.

What’s this economy doing to the racing industry from your perspective? I know gas is expensive and lots of folks have lost their jobs, but what’s going on inside the industry?

P.S. Love your stuff.
Mark Tuttle
Fort Worth

  • Ping's bedroom by March 2009
Dear Mark,
It is having a profound effect on the sport and it’s funny how the racing industry has mirrored the country’s economy as a whole. Things had been going great while the housing markets were doing well. There was a false sense of security there and the sport was supporting more riders than ever before, particularly in the 250 class. But negotiations for 2009 have been downright insulting for many riders. Chad Reed, for instance, could only get a fraction of what he was asking for and he’s running the number one plate. Other 250 riders that were making 100K to 250K last year are being offered more like 20K to 80K this year. That is the reason several riders have just called it quits or packed their bags and headed home. Andrew McFarlane had a couple offers but they weren’t enough for him to support his family so he went back to Oz. Billy Laninovich got a fourth last year and is still easily a top five or six guy and he can’t find a job. Manufacturers have cut budgets in half (or more in some cases) and anything that is deemed unnecessary is being cut. The world isn’t coming to an end, Mark, but it sure seems like it for some people. Hopefully it won’t last long and things can get back to normal. Until then it might get crowded under some freeway overpasses. I’ve already started wearing a garbage bag as a windbreaker and Kleenex boxes for shoes around the house to see how they fit. They’re more comfortable than you’d think.

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