Barry Smith: Mute airs can leave you mute
In days of yore, long before everything started with an X, Evel Knievel used to jump his motorcycle over cars and buses and trucks and fountains.
He didn’t always make it, but the slow-motion footage of his failures were, in some ghoulish way, more interesting than his successes. Now Moto X riders are consistently, or at least relatively consistently, doing things in the air on and off their bikes that must certainly make the legendary Mr. Knievel wince. And then there’s the snowmobiles, floating through the air as if helium powered.
I feel like I’m witnessing the hundredth monkey of athletic achievement, where the 4-minute mile becomes the 1-minute mile at an incredibly alarming rate. And all I can say, as I stand by and watch this freakish disregard for the previously revered laws of gravity, is “Dude!”
Really, I wish I had more to offer by way of insight, but each time I open my mouth that’s all that comes out.
– As extreme sports become more and more accepted into the mainstream, I can’t help but feel a tug of pity for the Olympic athletes whose sports will certainly be squeezed out in the next few years to make room for the new. Sorry, up-and-coming javelin hopefuls. You have my sympathy, shot putters. Hammer throwers ” well, you must have known your days were numbered when you started.
– It seems a bit ironic that the X Games is touted as a nonsmoking event. No one seemed to pay too much attention to that rule, and rightly so ” if you can’t stand at the foot of a mountain, about as outdoors as you can get, and have a cigarette, then where can you? Also, when it comes to extreme activities, wouldn’t smoking pretty much top the list? Statistically a far more risky pursuit than hurling yourself through the air with a snowmobile in tow.
Yet it’s OK to guzzle down cans of “Pancreatic Shock” performance drinks, even if you’re just spectating.
– And speaking of sponsors, I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention, but when did fast-food tacos become synonymous with incredible athletic activity? Every big sporting scene needs to have some sort of foam headgear associated with it ” I understand that ” but I don’t see the connection between wearing a giant foam-rubber taco on your head and, well ” anything. And I like tacos.
However, as the temperature dropped and I realized I was dressed like a winter amateur, I was secretly wishing for one of those taco hats, as they were looking pretty warm. I would have put a real taco on my head, given the chance. And a burrito on each hand. Refried beans can be great sources of heat in emergency situations.
– The sign at the entrance of the event warns all who may enter that their bags may be checked, and that, among other things, no animals or pets are allowed “inside.” Right below the stern pet warning, after the huge word “NO,” it says in tiny little afterthought-sized letters, “firearms.” Oh ” all right.
– Still two more days of X Games, undoubtedly one of the coolest things ever to grace Aspen. Dude!
Barry Smith is a columnist for The Aspen Times.
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