Is this a legitimate trick shot? I'm not sure; it looks a little fakey to me because the ball travels to the hoop so quickly, but I could be wrong. Here's the link, and here's the shot. We report, you decide.*
*Actually, I find on the web, you decide. Much like TV news, there's no actual reporting going on.
Long before "extreme" became "X-treme", when you talked about "extreme sports", you were usually talking about daredevil motorcycle stunts, and if you were talking about daredevils, there was usually only one man you were talking about: Evel Knievel.
Evel Knievel was famous as much for the stunts that failed as the stunts that worked. The clip above is of his infamous leap over the fountains at Caesar's Palace, a stunt that resulted in him breaking nearly every bone in his body. His other failure of renown was his attempted leap over the Snake River Canyon on a specially-designed bike. I was one of the millions who tuned in to see if he could actually perform such a stunt, or if not, just how spectacular the crash and burn would be. Surprisingly, he escaped with only minor injuries.
Evel's last jump came in 1981, but his legendary feats and showmanship made him an icon. His death at the age of 69 is almost a surprise, because when you consider how many times he cheated death in the past, you'd think he would have kept on doing it forever. Oddly enough, his death comes only a couple of days after his name made headlines once again because of a lawsuit he'd filed (and then settled) against rapper Kanye West for trademark infringement. Evel always did know how to milk publicity for all it was worth.
Jake Brown, X-Games miracle man, has to be the luckiest guy on the face of the earth as he basically falls 50 feet to a solid wood ramp with the force of someone being hit by a speeding car. Actually, I saw someone get hit by a car going about 35 miles an hour, and that looked like it hurt worse than what happened to the Australian skateboarder in this YouTube video. It hurts me just watching him (though that hasn't stopped me from watching it 20 times now)
The Squirrel Queen says it best:
After watching hundreds of bodies fly through the air in action flicks thanks to CGI, it was hard to fathom that this was a real person plummeting four stories with no harness and safety rigging nor bungee cord waiting to snatch him back up into the air before he collided with the planet.
John Waters of NBC Sports isnt a fan of competitive eating contests. In fact, like most of the media these days, he points at Kobayashi versus Chestnut and says, Look, thats why everyone hates America! He goes on to proclaim, quite loudly and in bodily function related terms, that our nation has a problem because we have one televised competitive eating contest.
I don't want to regurgitate all the old beefs: that competitive eating contests only confirm the rest of the planet's worst assumptions of us; that it is immoral to mass-consume when half of the world is starving and the other is obese; that gluttony is no more of a sport worthy to be televised than is onanism, the old mastication versus masturbation debate.
Of course, by mentioning the old beefs, he regurgitates said old beefs.
Ignoring that, this is someone who is entirely ignorant of competitive eating. Why do I say this? Well, who do you think first put competitive eating on television? Ill give you a hint: Takeru Kobayashi is from there.
Thats right, kids; the sport that epitomizes everything wrong with the United States is more popular in Japan than in this country. There are more contests, people eat longer in contests, and people consume more weird stuff for more pay. All Americans have done is what Americans are good at doing: figuring out a way to make money off something that is already there.
A neck and neck face-stuffing race until the very end, Americas Great White Hope Joey Chestnut defeated the competition at Nathans Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest yesterday by wolfing down an astounding 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. I have no idea how his total jumped from 63 to 66 over the commercial break, but he was wolfing down dogs so fast and in such large numbers that I couldnt keep track. Kobayashi, battling jaw ailments, could only manage a paltry 63 dogs, not counting the dogs he re-ate after he threw up in his mouth/hand.
I always wondered if those guys ever threw up during competition, and now I know they do. It was even more chunky and disgusting than you could imagine. Thanks for putting me off Nathans Famous Hot Dogs for the next month, Tsunami. Those were my favorite dog, too.
Duke boys know where to put their sticks and balls.
Hey, remember those Duke lacrosse boys that got in trouble for possibly running a rape-train on that black stripper? Well, guess what? Duke didn't cancel this season, and in their triumphant return to the mowed green fields of Cameron, North Carolina, they were victorious over hated rival Dartmouth.
Well, I assume they're hated rivals, because I don't know anything about lacrosse, except that the players love to get seriously drunk and entertain interracial adult exhibitions. I'd imagine they got drunk to celebrate their wins, but they probably left the strippers at home this time. At least the black ones.
And today marked the end of the 2007 Winter X-Games, not that the majority of the writing crew here even realized that the Winter X-Games were taking place. They didn't see Shaun White fail to reach the Gold Medal for the first time at the Winter X-Games in years. They didn't notice the awesome new tricks taking place at the winter X-Games, the events that grow or develop.
But that's okay, the majority of the country doesn't care or pay attention, despite the claims that the sporting event is slowly becoming on par with the popularity of the Super Bowl. Honestly? That's ESPN hype machine at work. Don't get me wrong, I really love the Winter X-Games, but there is no way that the majority of the country is starting to anticipate the X-Games as much as they anticipate the Super Bowl.
But, there is no reason that they should strive towards that goal. The X-Games were not developed to be mainstream. They're not there to celebrate mainstream society and sports. The X-Games were created to celebrate action sports, the sports on the fringe of society, and if they were to go mainstream they would lose a lot of the things the hardcore fans love about the games. The attitudes and personalities of the athletes and fans are developed by the fact that they aren't your run of the mill event, athlete, or person.
Don't strive for mainstream. Strive towards new tricks, new events, and continued excellence. You don't need the mainstream approval. I know you ESPN; you're seeking ad dollars and I know that you are a self-built promotional machine for any sport you carry, working to gain it new fans. But that doesn't mean you have to hope to turn the X-Games into an over-hyped event that usually ends in disappointment, with people enjoying the commercials more than the game itself.
The X-Games rarely disappoint and are usually full of surprises and excitement for the fans, unlike some February events.