No-hander 900s, sidewinders, superman-seat-grabs and flares — confused yet? If you are, then you haven’t been watching the X-Games on ESPN and ABC.
History is being made everyday at X-Games VIII. “The Godfather” Mike Metzger made X-Games history in the freestyle Moto X with back-to-back backflips, the first back-to-back ever landed or attempted in competition. Mat Hoffman couldn’t hold his run together long enough to take the gold away from Dave Mirra, but did make X-Games history with a filthy no-handed 900, the first in competitive history.
From their inception eight years ago, the X-Games have gotten crazier and sicker every single year — from the king of skateboard Tony Hawk to up-and-coming stars that seem to have no fear or no brains. Hawk shocked the world when he pulled off the first 900 in X-Games history and, until every variation of every trick has been tried, every year will continue to be an unbelievable display of tricks no one thought were possible.
Last year a Moto-X backflip seemed like more than anyone could muster; this year, Meztger hit two on consecutive jumps and second-place finisher “the Cowboy” Kenny Bartram broke his ankle trying a back-flip from a step-up, which is a groove on the side of the dirt jump, something no one else even thought of. Bartram landed the trick in a practice run, showing everyone in the competition that it was going to take something utterly unbelievable to walk away with the gold this year.
The entire X-Games line-up is like a powder keg ready to explode. Granted, everything else seems obsolete after you’ve seen these guys flying 40-feet in the air on a 240-pound motorcycle with a 250cc engine behind them, but with guys like Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist and Danny Harf, you never know which event will be the most exciting.
Danny Harf, last year’s wakeboard champ, once again jumped and spun his way to gold after falling on his first run. Harf stepped up and nailed a 720 and a 900 in his next runs. I don’t care how cool you think you are or how good other professional athletes are, this guy did not one or two revolutions but three revolutions off the ramp while being pulled by a boat. If you’ve ever even tried to jump on a wakeboard, you know that a 900 is wicked hard.
Watching the X-Games this weekend reminded me of my college days when I used to rush home from class on weekdays to catch any little bit of X-Games action I could.
I remember when Tony Hawk and the rest of the crew were barely getting started, and I used to pretend like I was Tony Hawk with my skateboard when I was in fifth grade.
Since the beginning, extreme sports have been treated like a crime, because they tear up public property.
Now, more and more towns, including Los Lunas and Belen, have skate and bike parks where the X-Gamers of the future can go to brush up on their 900s, fakies and McTwists.
The X-Games will be on at 7 p.m. Mountain Time on ESPN on Wednesday and Thursday with the final two days of competition.