Friday, August 1, 2008

To the XXXXXstreme!

As a general rule, I don’t like the X games. I don’t hate them, but I really don’t like them. There’s a lot that goes into that statement.

Look, it’s just not a legitimate sporting event. It’s an enormous marketing scam focused on product branding for 15-22 year old males. The car crash, boobies, caffeine and ninja fight demographic. Very discriminating taste. Now, I know there is sponsorship and cross promotion all over the NFL, College Football, MLB, NBA, etc etc, but these sports existed for decades before they all sold their soul. The X games had their advertising campaign and celebrity appearances nailed down long before they bothered to decide on the rules of their little “sport”. Believe me, Baseball would still exist and flourish whether or not Good Charlotte (or whatever other shitty band that’s more current) was blaring through the loud speaker. Can you say the same for the X Games?

Also, there is the fact that they call it the X games. If you’re going to invent a sport in 1995, than don’t name it something that is totally 1995. They might as well have called it the “Beavis and Butthead, Doc Martins, Live is the best band in history” games. It’s like the Toronto Raptors. When you name your NBA expansion team, don’t name it after the featured villain of that summer’s (1993) biggest movie. If Toronto had begun their franchise in 2002, they would be the Toronto Orc’s. No less lame. This, of course coming from a die hard (and tortured) fan of the most ironically named sports franchise in history, the Utah Jazz.

Back to the X Games. They can’t really change the “X” now, no matter how dated it is. They would lose all credibility. (I just passed out from laughing so hard) Besides, they would just change it to an updated version of the same crap, dictated to them by their focus group held at the South Towne Mall food court. Fortunately I am out of touch enough with the current incarnation of the aforementioned car crash, boobies, caffeine and ninja fight demo that I have no idea what that would be. Trucker Hat Games?

All this being said, I do have a genuine respect for the pure balls and athleticism it takes to pull off this kind of crap (play it on mute, the song sucks). I mean if you can make Evil Knevil look like a pussy (relax), you’re pretty dang cool. But as cool and impressive as it all is, that doesn’t mean it’s a competition. The same applies to gymnastics, figure skating and diving (might as well get my Olympics rant out of the way). They are all impressive, entertaining demonstrations of incredible talent, but unless there is a scoreboard or a clock, it is not objective and therefore not a sport. You have to inject it with competition. If two people run a race, there is a winner and a loser. Not way around it. Two people do a different skate board trick, and no one knows which one was better until the judge’s tell you. It’s all hopelessly subjective. That’s why competitive ballet never caught on.

Like I have already said, seeing people actually do this kind of stuff (ouch) is amazing and very entertaining. But it’s the same kind of entertainment you get when you see Cirque De Sole. I couldn’t do it. It’s fun to watch someone else do it. But it doesn’t awaken the competitive fury in the spectator that a football game does. And that’s because it’s not a sport, it’s a circus act.

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