If you view yourself as any sort of legitimate journalist you should print this question without any ass kissing. If not, thank you for your immeasurable moto insight coupled with your Pulitzer-esque journalism talents.
With that out of the way I would like to ask two questions, the first being somewhat of a question but more of a comment/pet peeve. After watching a strategically filmed promotional video of riders practicing alone on a test track with no one else to gage their speed, why does everyone who watches the video (Vitards, et al.) seem to have the same comment… “Man he looks fast!”? I don’t doubt that these folks are in fact very fast but with a few well-placed cameras and some nifty editing just about any C class racer could be made to look like he’s ready to line up for an AMA national – almost.
Second, in said videos I find it entertaining that the “support Staff” of mechanics, parents, team managers, bros and other type of and man friends, are cheering on the rider – while he’s all alone on a practice track. Are the egos of these riders so fragile that they need someone to cheer them on while they are practicing or testing? Should I hire a cheerleader to sit next to me in my cube while I fill out these all important spreadsheets (with the appropriate TPS cover sheet – Of course)?
Oh great Ping-A-Ling help us common folk understand this peculiar behavior…
The Big Ragu
Welcome to the age of the narcissist, my friend. These “edits” are just the tip of the iceberg with today’s look-at-me millennials. These kids pull out the iPhone their parents bought them and tweet about where they are going riding that day. Then they update their Facebook page and head to the track where they have their buddy shoot some “bangers” for their Insta page. Of course actually going fast or working on improving comes second to leg swag, scrubbing, whips and having the sickest looking kit at the track. What IS important is posting something legit on Snapchat and maybe even getting some live video from your pit on Periscope. Their pal shoots some riding video to post later that afternoon and then it’s one more selfie with two limp fingers held sideways and they jump back in their dad’s truck and head home. And these delicate little snowflakes can’t stand being alone so they bring an army of nut-swingers to tell them how great they are, hence the entourage. I know I sound grumpier than Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino but it’s out of control, especially here in “Bro-Cal.” The only cheerleader you should need helping you get through those spreadsheets is a paycheck and pride in your work. If your self-esteem is really taking a beating you can post your spreadsheet on IG and I’ll go on there and tap the heart button.
Have you ever noticed how much fathers and sons fight over motocross? It’s the age-old story of the father contributing his cold hard cash by working twelve hours a day in the coal mine to support the sons racing and then not seeing maximum effort expended by the boy, and he ends up losing his Sh#$. Then the son gets mad then the mom gets mad because the father is pushing too hard, or in some cases the mom is pushing too hard. I see this with most parents; it’s not so much about winning it’s just about the effort. Most dads want a maximum effort for dollars spent, that’s all. Is that too much to ask? Or are we being hard asses?
I think an article on father and son and the relationship around racing would be great. I can say that since my son no longer races we get along better than ever. We both miss it, but we don’t miss the bickering.
Signed ---- 12 hours a day in the coal mines.
Father and son arguments are a part of the sport just like washing air filters—and they are about as much fun. Dad spends a ridiculous amount of time, money and energy getting little Johnny to the races and he wants to see some effort and appreciation for his investments. Little Johnny is a kid, which, by default, makes him an asshole. He’s got girls on the brain, hormones raging out of control and that annoying attitude that most teenagers have where they think they know everything. What could go wrong? My dad and I had our struggles like everybody else. He was busting his butt working on my bikes and I wanted to go to my girlfriend’s house to hopefully see her boobies. We got into a fight over it and I ended up going to Mammoth that year with one of my friends. Obviously it was difficult not having my dad there but I did better that weekend then I had ever done at a big race and it was because I was relaxed; I didn’t have him breathing down my neck about results. When I got back we talked it out and I explained that he was putting pressure on me, whether he knew it or not, and it was hurting my results. He promised to chill out and I promised to help get my bikes prepped and ready before I went boobie hunting again. Sometimes it just takes some honesty and a real conversation to get through some of those issues. Unfortunately, as men we aren’t very well-equipped to do that. It’s easier to throw a socket set at the wall, yell profanity and then storm off in a huff. I’m glad you and your boy are getting along now—that relationship is more important than racing dirt bikes by a long shot.
Hey man I just wanted to get your opinion on the announcing talent at the races these days. I have been going to supercross races for a long, long time and while the sport has made huge leaps and bounds in certain areas I feel like we are lacking a Larry Huffman-type of personality on the floor or in the booth. What say you?
It’s quite rare to find the perfect mix of professionalism and entertainment when it comes to broadcasting. The tough part is that no two people want the same thing; one guy likes his broadcast staff serious and only providing facts and calling action. Others want some personality, charisma and a peek behind the scenes of professional racing. This just proves what we’ve known all along… people are the worst.
I think the current announcing teams do a good job and I certainly don’t want to insult them in any way, but I do wish we could find another “Motormouth” who was equal parts motocross fan, entertainer and master of ceremonies. His catchphrases and sayings are legendary and they made watching the race more exciting. I’m not sure if the same can be said about an announcer in any sport at the moment. If I could get any person in the booth I wanted it would be Ricky Johnson. RJ has a sense of humor, a big personality and he’s one of the best riders the sport has ever seen. I’m sure he’s having too much fun driving trucks, though.
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