Alright King Ping,
I've got a question for you. First, I will preface it with the admission that I am all but ignorant of the English language (especially the more obscure words that they torture those kids with in the national spelling bees). Well, a few months back, I saw a GNCC on TV and heard the other #101, David Knight, say something like "after that second lap I really got knackered." Now I could go ahead and assume that "knackered" means something as obvious as tired, but what fun would there be in that? Since it is not listed in my relatively small Webster's dictionary, I thought that it could mean "I got sick, annoyed, pissed-off, passed, a flat tire, thirsty, roosted, monkey butt, dirt in my eyes, slow, fast, wet or crapped myself, stopped in the bushes for a quickie and so on." And so the question, for those of us not in complete command of the English (and I do mean English) language, what does knackered mean? I need to know this because I may have gotten knackered on the second lap of a race myself and not even known it.
Knight was knackered photo: Jason Hooper
Admittedly, I hadn’t heard that word before either. Luckily for you and I, we have a few Brits on staff here at Racer X and I called “The Gov’nor,” Simon Cudby, to find out what David Knight was talking about in his post-race interview. Knackered is an English term meaning, literally, castrated. Still, I don’t know if Knight actually had his nuts removed somewhere on the course, he smashed them on the gas cap on the second lap, or if his gonads just retreated inside him like a frightened sea turtle during the race. Only Mr. Knight can answer that for certain. One thing I do know is that unless your wife has your bits and pieces mounted over the fireplace, you have not been knackered.
Knight was knackered
photo: Jason Hooper
Although most of the times I agree with you and laugh at the way you handle readers' questions, I disagree about what you say regarding how ridiculous it would be for a rider to say they are going to beat James Stewart. I don't hear riders say that because, quite frankly, most of the riders are losers by definition; they don't win. Maybe they do in their personal lives, but not their professional lives. Only RC, CR, JS, and RV can claim they are winners. JL can too; he won last year. To quote a great winner named Vince Lombardi, "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser. If you can accept losing, you can't win." That was as true then as it is now. I feel most riders accept losing.
The overwhelming desire to win is what makes riders, and people in general, great. MC, RC, Hannah, Ward, Johnson and the rest would try and beat your ass on a track even if nobody was there and no money was involved because they don't want to lose. It is not in their nature. I don't agree with that mentality. That is almost like playing not to lose rather than playing to win. Winning isn't everything, but trying to win is [also Lombardi]. I like that CR gives Stewart fits when he is trying to pass him because he doesn't want to give up his spot. (Only now it looks as though CR expects Short to do it for him?!) Tim Ferry should get a "Rudy" award for having heart. He has all the reasons he could think of to quit, but he still is determined to get better every year.
Anyway, keep up the laughs, I look forward to them. I watched you at quite a few races in ‘99 when you were on Primal. Why does Suzuki have problems keeping a "Lites" (loathe using that word) team together?
P.S. Not sure what Suzuki’s deal is. Maybe they just always hire loser riders.
Got a question for Ping? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.