I was probably the only person not stoked about Metallica playing Saturday night. It’s not that I don’t like them, but they should not be your sole reason for going to the X Games. Although I have no problem with casual action sports fans or non-fans coming into the scene with an open mind, I do take issue with people talking loudly in the middle of an event or taking the good seats because James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett are playing the national anthem, only to leave before we even get to the finals. Plus there were so many people smoking in areas where it was not allowed. Although the rude individuals who didn’t care about rules or action sports made me grumpy, I still had a great full day of X Games.
- So much dust! VIP probably got it the worst because they were right at the first turn. The visibility was so bad that drivers were hitting each other and even missing the jump.
- I almost want to agree with my mom about how watching this on TV would be better because you’re not choking on dirt and can see the carnage up close. However, it’s not as exciting. Also I never fully understood the joker until I saw how it affect all the different positions. TV focuses on a few cars and areas so you don’t get the big picture of the strategy that goes into rally.
- Ken Block and Travis Pastrana had really bad luck. So did Patrick Sandell. I felt for him because he fixed whatever was leaking in his car, but they wouldn’t let him back on the track due to broadcast time limits. I thought that was a pretty lame reason.
- Scott Speed got reckless at the end of the final, but he was gonna finish first so we don’t need a bumper anymore, right?
I didn’t realize the pits were open to the public until the rally announcers brought it up. I also learned that Travis Pastrana was signing autographs so I headed over to line up after finals. Saturday had a ton more people, and the line for Scotty Cranmer’s autograph had to be cut off. That included me, but one of the kind people at the AT&T U-Verse booth saw how bummed I was and got an extra signature. I have to give it to the volunteers for their friendliness even if they led me on a wild goose chase to find the upgrade seats for BMX Park on Friday. Meeting Travis was great. He did some publicity for Fruit of the Loom by riding their mechanical bull and then announcing for a few people, including a couple lucky kids who showed him up (though they used both hands).
Standing in the sun wore me out so I skipped out on the vert legends demo and panel, along with BMX Dirt. I do regret missing the latter after seeing the TV coverage. At the same time, my search for shade and food allowed me to check out more booths (namely Marvel because I’m a geek) and swing by Best Whip winner Tom Parsons’ signing (which was not crowded at all).
Moto X Speed and Style
- This was the event in which Metallica made a brief cameo. I tried to get better seats after people left, but I was stuck in an adjacent section due to the main stands being filled up earlier.
- It was hard to tell Mike Mason and Adam Jones apart because they pretty much had the same jersey, and they wound up racing each other for bronze.
- Tes Sewell kept calling rookie Genki Watanabe “Janky”, which made me wonder if this was a nickname or dreadful pronunciation (it’s a “g” sound like in “get”).
- Some of the races were so close that the riders nearly hit each other in the air. Thus speed factored directly into style because who ever hit the jump first could usually do their planned trick whereas the guy behind him would have to hold back to make sure he didn’t hit anything. Nevertheless several times, style bumped a rider into the lead.
- Adam’s extension on his rigor mortis is sick. It was probably my favorite trick of the event.
- The last jump isn’t scored so Bilko wound up doing a pelvic thrust in one of the race. He should’ve gotten extra style points anyway.
- I wonder how things would have turned out had Bilko not slid out. Nate Adams rode solid all night, but he made mistakes in both racing and tricks. That’s not to say he didn’t deserve the gold because he’s been working hard and pulled some of the most difficult tricks, but it would have been an interesting battle to the very end.
BMX Big Air
- I thought it was interesting how Douglas Oliveira got higher scores for doing a straight air to going for a record air on the quarter pipe than those who pulled tricks. It showed how much amplitude mattered and how difficult getting that much height was.
- James Foster took two of the hardest slams. Medical okayed him, but boy was that rough to watch.
- Newcomer/alternate Mykel Larrin had a very good night even though it was due to unfortunate injuries that Chad Kagy sustained. Knowing that he was subbing for his good friend gave Mykel an extra boost in motivation though, and he walked away with bronze.
- Mykel also got lucky on one of his falls that almost sent him careening off the ramp. Instead, he slid right down the exit ramp.
- Seeing Zack Warden’s bike flip backflip in person reminded me of when I first saw that trick. Utterly mind-blowing.
- Colton Satterfield wore a Martin Luther King shirt, which I found to be pretty rad.
- Obviously Morgan Wade was the fave, and he totally played it up. He did the worm after crashing on one of his runs and at the end of the his third run, he grabbed the flag and waved it around. He also had a gigantic Superman over the gap that was way cool.
- I don’t know what went through Morgan’s mind on his third run: whether he wanted to take it easy since he’s tired or he’s just having fun. Still when you have the defending gold medalist who’s trying a never-been-done trick left to go, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
- We couldn’t have had a better ending to a final where it was a “bottom of the ninth, two outs and two strikes” scenario. Colton failed his double flair attempt on the first two tries. He needed to find that happy medium in terms of rotation and landing, and he did it! I knew Kevin Robinson was probably wanting to come down to celebrate with everyone.
- Watching the TV replays of the final added a new level of meaning to Colton’s accomplishment. Here was a guy inspired by the X Games and Kevin Robinson, and now he wants to push himself so he can inspire others. It was an unforgettable night that still makes me emotional just thinking about it.
I learned you have to pace yourself and get to places early. Saturday was still a ton of fun, and like I said, I will always have the magic of witnessing the first double flair on a MegaRamp with me. For more photos, check out my Flickr.