Waterski and the Olympics - The Case for Jump
|Bro! Hit next, I hate this song!|
Waterskiing as its presently presented will never be a sport within the Olympic ideal, its to complex, to many moving parts and far to many facets operate in a way that the powers that can easily say, "yeah...umm, lets just do some ball room dancing, that’s way easier then this shit" and they move on and we bitch and moan and no one cares.
Yesterday we brought you the poll from SportsPro media asking you what you thought about what should be the next sport in the Olympics, at the time of writing this it was:
Softball = 44.91%
Wakeboard = 28.91%
Baseball = 17.59%
Hey Look! Wakeboarding is right there!! Awesome! And lets be honest, they already cut softball off at the knees a few years ago so this should give wakeboarding a great in to the games no????
Yes, Christ, hopefully!!!
Lets put our cards on the table though...is Wakeboarding the discipline of our sport that best represents what our sport is as a whole?
For that matter is Wakeboarding the discipline of our sport that captures peoples attention?
Meaning, when the Olympics are on and on some random Thursday night will Wakeboarding capture people’s attention? Will this part of our sport draw people to the TV and invest emotionally in it enough to justify all the teeth gnashing the past years?
Will people see wakeboarding on their TV and care enough to make it work? Maybe there are enough personalities within that sport to capture peoples attention, honestly, but, other then maybe Shaun White, does anyone remember any other snowboarder?
I really don't think so.
No offense to the wakeboard crowd, but, it projects to me like the X-Games do, or snowboarding, where, unless there is a compelling story surrounding it, I don’t know if I would care enough and just go back to eating cheez its and building model airplanes.
No, I think we as a sport need something, a discipline that we can bring to the world that will capture everyone even if they have no idea what they are looking at.
Look, people can see a whirlybird and a scarecrow and a whatever and it all blends together because they have no idea what it is, just a dude or chick spinning around and it looks awesome...serious, if you have ever seen a real good wakeboarder in real life its breathtaking.
However, I don’t think that will translate well enough to the public to make it worth it.
|This show sucks!!!|
Which, hey, a lot of us are!
No, what people need is something simple, they need to root for their country with easy to see metrics.
Slalom is out, because its just not…its kinda boring to watch unless you invest some time to figure out what is going on.
Trick is out because its wakeboarding on a smaller ski and with less air and you need to much time to explain the tricks then you probably have.
Kneeboard it out because only 25 people still do it.
Complete 3-Event is out because the same reasons as above…it takes to much investment to get the end result across.
No No, its long distance jump.
Its simple as hell, its fun as hell and it will make America stand up and go:
America: "OH SHIT! DODD JUST KILLED IT!!!!!!!"
America: "Wait, he is Canadian...Damnit, but that was 230...C'mon Freddy!!! Beat that maple syrup mofo!!!!"
L-D Jump is simple and easy to digest, you have to jump further then the next guy to win. Its easy!!!
We want people to buy into our sport without knowing everying yet, its not a matter of "damn, Jimmy Siemers is killer on a trick ski, but, not quite the same on jumpers is he?" as it is, this...
|In Soviet Russia the Puck scores you!!|
"GOD DAMN, FREDDY CAN FLY!!!! BEAT THAT KRAUT BASTARD!!!...YEAH!! USA USA USA!!!!"
See the difference?
LD Jump is simple, its beat the next guy and win.
That’s a very easy to digest version of our sport. It works, it plays and it is AWESOME to see live.
If any of you have ever seen a pro event in person you know, probably before, the person hits the ramp that he is about to kill it.
For example, at Night Jam this last year amidst all the beer, when Freddy came towards the ramp on his winning jump everyone seemed to draw a collective breath because we knew he was about to stomp shit out.
I wish I had that specific jump on my camera, because it was palatable. The, ohhhh, wow.....YEAH!!! that took place.
Serious, I remember just going, “ohhh wow……(deep breath)…..YEAHHHHH!!!!” After Freddy stomped out his jump. It was amazing. There has been very few other events that I have attended that had that same “OH SHIT” moment that this specific jump did. Everyone stopped what they were doing, it was quiet and we just watched him float…and float…and it looked just that little bit better then what we had seen. It’s a primal sort of visage, something you can’t really explain other then the fact that he just crushed people. It was awesome.
LD jump has that direct kinetic connection to people because it’s so simple on a basic level.
This is what we need in the Olympics.
We have all the countries covered for the most part, shoot, if nothing else we got Freddy and Dodd and Ellis and Llewellyn battling it out for USA/Canada bragging rights with about 50 other dudes who can fly and waving their flags about ready to punch us all in the jump for the medal.
Not even mentioning the girls who fly like a mofo as it is.
|Yo, I can see your mom with...my dad?? WTF??|
Its just as difficult as any other version of our sport, but, its the easiest to convert to TV viewship, its the easiest to gamble on...which lets be honest is an important part, its the easiest to make sense of when you are 1/2 paying attention and it appears to be the sport where the people involved are eager as hell to promote.
Yes, yes, wakeboarders, dont think we think that you suck or something, but...lets be honest here for a second.
No one in their right mind would prefer watching a scarecrow landed blind vs. a 230 foot jump. Well, that’s not fair, yes, a lot of people would. However, its so EASY to get behind a simple measurement scale like distance vs a scored system of tricks.
Its just easier to understand in this realm.
Do you think anyone knows the difference between the Super G and Downhill ski in the winter games? Unless they are a technical douche?
No, they don't, but they do know that skier A was faster then skier B and that makes it easy.
Does this make sense?
Our sport has a high barrier to entry, lets break that down and make it easy for people to get into. Lets grow our sport by making the simple parts available to people and they will be drawn in.
And the bullshit about "oh, it has a motor and a driver and that won't fly." This has been a stumbling block for ever. That “outside” influence doesn’t a legit sport make.
BULLSHIT. The majority of the sports have either different shoes, or vaulting poles, or hockey sticks or guns or whatever. Every single event in any Olympics has some play with the various companies that help out.
But on the level, this is where some of the various governing agencies need to get smart and just say, “yo, we are using zero off, Malibu boats and this rope for all” Make that part of the issue level.
Just make it the same across the board and that argument is moot. You take the CRB Skimasterbu and our rope and do it.
That argument went out the window years ago with the Dream Team, you aren't a real "amateur" event anymore, you are a money making machine. NBC just paid out their ass to televise the games for the next 20 or so years, you think that THAT amount of money will be levereaged against the ideal of idealistic Greek sport? HELL NO!!!!
|I am TOTALLY buying you a drink later|
The Olympics are a melting pot of the unique, the odd, the fringe sports, the ones that people buy into so you watch and the people can make money. We all waterski, EVERYONE waterskis at some point in their life, in some way shape or form, two skis, a tube, riding in a boat, seeing a lake, floating in a god damn pool.
The Olympics needs to have waterskiing in it at some level and this is something that we all need to push to get. Waterskiing is a mentality that we all have in some way in our life and this is not even an arguable point.
Everyone does it. Everyone knows what it is and god damn it, we are a legitimate sport.
Lets take the one discipline that best translates to Mr and Mrs TV viewer and blow them away with how god damn awesome our skiers are and how incredible it is to see in person and then bask in the afterglow.
Apollo Ohno is famous for Speed Skating and that is nifty...Freddy is twice the athlete that he is, competes in a sport that is twice as entertaining and damnit, should be twice as famous. Lets get this done, I want to watch Letterman in a few years and see Freddy, Dodd, Worden, Jaret, Damien, Laurentano, Regina, Fladborg, Poochie and Vympranietsova giving the Top Ten list while eating caviar cakes delivered to them by supermodels.
America is as widely varied in taste in 2011 as we have ever been, we relish new ideas, new events and new things to capture our attention. But, they better capture the shit out of our attention. Otherwise we will just say screw it and watch football. Its time to blow people away with our unique brand of kick ass.
A shame that no one is there to see freddy enter orbit. Jesus christ this jump is sick!
Gotta Pee, Gotta Pee, Gotta Pee...gah!
Bro, the handle is your best friend, hang on to that, do we have to teach you everything Carl??
Fist pump on jump 2 = pimp.