Rev Up: Pride

July 2, 2009 12:24pm | by:

  • The Red Bud faithful love their 4th of July race
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. Pretty heavy weekend coming up, ladies and gentlemen. The Fourth of July is the biggest day of the year for our country and there will be celebrations from sea to shining sea. I chose pride as a title for this week's column because that word has always kind of rattled back and forth in my head. It's an interesting word that has a vast definition. Some folks view pride as a positive, while others consider it to be one of the worst sins a person can commit. That said, for better or for worse, Americans have more pride than any country on the globe. We absolutely adore our flag. Ours is bold, bright, and beautiful. When a man buys his house, 90% of the time the first thing he does after carrying the wife through the front door is unfurl Old Glory and set her sailing off the porch. Why is that? Is it because that man was proud of what his forefathers did to make this country stand on its own two feet? Or, does that flag stand for a sense of personal accomplishment? Maybe both?

History is one of my favorite pastimes and I've read enough to know that Americans have a lot to be proud of. But I've also been around long enough to watch pride help the country slowly eat itself. We bought things we couldn't afford to keep up with the Jones’s, and look where we are now. Be that as it may, some better-aimed pride will turn it around. Pride in your work. Like a racer's pride...

I think all motocross riders have more pride and patriotism than anyone. It takes a mountain of fortitude to look past ominous dangers like first-turn pileups and little jumps like LaRocco's Leap. The line between confidence and arrogance with most motocrossers is paper-thin. And with the best, the Alpha Males, there is no line. They are fearless egomaniacs who don't just think they are bulletproof, they know it. 

If you watch the Star Spangled Banner play at any sporting event, the strongest participants are the ones standing the straightest with their hands over their hearts. I've seen NFL players moved to tears before a regular-season game. NASCAR's Jimmy Johnson hears the Star Spangled Banner 35 weeks in a row, and each time he stands like a stone pillar until the jets fly by.

  • Could we see an American claim the red plate this weekend?
Why is that? Why do the best of the best become so centered during that moment? There is a scientific definition for it, but I'm not smart enough to try to take command of it. All I know is the feeling. You know... that feeling. The one you get in the pit of your guts when you push your bike to the starting line and roll it into the gate. The one you feel when you rest your goggles on the handlebars and listen to that scratchy version of Whitney Houston singing the National Anthem. It's the feeling you get when the song is over and you see the guy holding the 30-second board swinging his index finger over his head in a circle. "Fire 'em up."

Pride is what runs America. The right kind of pride gave us our Independence and made us strong. The right kind of pride made Americans the most dominating force motocross has ever seen. We wear the title belt and we'll be damned if anyone will pry it from around our red, white, and blue asses.

And thus, round six of the Lucas Oils Motocross Championships rolls into RedBud. It's an American motocross tradition. And yet, after all of my gibberish here we have an Australian and a Frenchman leading the two premiere classes in the world. "You feel that sting in the back of your neck? That's pride screwing with you." Respect to Reed and Pourcel. You two have weathered the storm this summer and lead the charge. But, don't be surprised if the going seems a little more difficult than usual this Saturday afternoon. There is pride on the line.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.