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Pointless musings written while watching racing on TV.

HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
edited February 2008 in News & Other Stuff
<p class="MsoNormal">
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">It is not a big secret that I am a bit of a race fan. Even though there is no chance that I will invest the time to watch all the racing I want, I keep up with the progress of my favorite drivers. <span> </span>I am a fan of a handful of drives on a few different kinds of racing. I will be in front of Speed Channel when the F1 cars qualify in Australia next month even if it is 2 am. </font>
</p>
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">Funny thing is I own 4 slalom skis but not one race car (unless you count the WRX). 8 or 9 months of the year I spend 3 or 4 evenings at the lake so it would make sense if I was a ski fan as opposed to a race fan. <span> </span>That said, I do not know who won the US Open last year or the Worlds. I guess JB is first on world standings but would have to check.<span>  </span>Even more strange is that I know do know who won the Big Dawg finals.</font><font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"> </font>
<p class="MsoNormal">
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">Are the Big Dawgs bigger heroes then the pros? Do the Pros need a villain to cheer against? Is this further evidence of the decline of the sport? </font>
</p>
<p class="MsoNormal">
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"> </font><font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">I really enjoyed the national ranking thing last year. If the World standings were kept up on a weekly basis and the winner at the end of the year was a big honor or prize, would we pay more attention?</font>
</p>
<p class="MsoNormal">
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">Heck I am not sure that there is a point to all this . . . . <span> </span>It just seems funny that Pro skiers are do not have the fan base or celebrity that they would in almost any other sport.</font>
</p>
<font color="#000000"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'">As of </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'">11:00 AM</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'"> Jr is in 10<sup>th</sup> and Shrub in is leading the Nationwide race.</span></font>

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Comments

  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    <p>
    One more thing: Fat guys who fish are way more famous this any skier.
    </p>

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  • ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 826 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    John...wow...I was just typing this post and went off to the gym before I finished...came back to find you reading my mind.
    </p>
    <p>
    Here it goes...
    </p>
    <p>
    If I'm rehasing an old topic - forgive.
    </p>
    <p>
    On my plan ride back from Orlando last weekend, I let my thougths wander a little about the state of our sport.
    </p>
    <p>
    Now I've only been invovled at this level for a couple of years, but from what I understand back during the early to mid-90's 3-event skiing was going pretty strong...you know, an event every weekend, TV coverage, ESPN, beer sponsors, pretty girls, etc.
    </p>
    <p>
    I know the good 'ol days weren't always so good and tomorrow's not as bad as it seems...but...What happened?  What went wrong?  Was the decline obvious - or the proverbial "frog in the kettle"?  Did anyone try to step up and stop it?
    </p>
    <p>
    Our sport is so fun...I'm mean come on...summer time, water sports, cool boats, athletes with great bodies, unique and challenging events (jump, wakskate, tricks, wakeboard, etc.), athletes who are accessible and great to work with...what do the guys who do tricks on BMX bikes for the ESPN X-games have that we don't?
    </p>
    <p>
    And now that we're here what can we do about it?  Is there no one interested or capable of putting together a 10 - 15 week PGA-style US waterski tour?  Should we petition ESPN to join the X-games?
    </p>
    <p>
    I thought there was an effort a few years back with a new organization called WWSF?  Can the new USA-WS director do for us what he did for triathlons?
    </p>
    <p>
    Just pondering as the snow melts...
    </p>
    <p>
    Anthony
    </p>
    Anthony Warren
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    edited February 2008
    <p>
    There has been an effort. The skifly event was created for the x-games (or something to that effect). 220 ft was not enough so the guys changed the rules so they could get close to 300. I do not like it but at least they were trying.
    </p>
    <p>
    In the late 80s a lot of people on the street knew who Bob LaPoint or Sammy were. Today  . . . . I do not know where we went wrong. My real point is I am a skier and I do not even follow the pros. There is something wrong with that.
    </p>

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  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,438 Mega Baller
    a big problem is the lack of distinction b/t pros and joes,  go to any given r tourney and there will be a few or a few dozen pro skiers competing  beside joe schmoe.  try to go play pick up basketball and run in to micheal jordan.  and go to a pro qualifying tourney like the us open early rounds,  it is just like every weekend back yard tourney (except the obvious talent level)  There is nothing to seperate us from them except they ski a few more bouys,  the pro tournaments need to be stepped up in a league of their own.  and if you ski pro, you should ski pro,  there should be more emphasis placed on competiting than performance.  just my rambling thoughts, feel free to bash away.
    NWA....Heaven on earth!
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    Skidawg wrote "...there should be more emphasis placed on competiting than performance..." 
    </p>
    <p>
    Maybe that's where the head-to-head elimination matchups come in to play.  Bracket it like March Madness i.e.  Then it's no longer the same half-dozen guys running the most buoys (that most of us will never be able to match).  Catch the right guy at the wrong time (for him) and maybe Joe Schmoe wins a big tournament once in awhile.  At least it would change things up a bit.  Or not...
    </p>
    <p>
    Ed
    </p>
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
  • DWDW Posts: 2,369 Mega Baller
    Proper leadership and vision is one element (Nascar v open wheel racing), the proper element of danger and pain, and lots of color and excitement.  The one thing that needs to be there is an understanding of the sport and how difficult it really is.  Many people can do the things racers / golfers / stick and ball sports players do but they also realize how much better the top pro's really are.  I think in racing it is a lot of pretenting one can do it, but few people really can or will since it takes so much money.  The issue with slalom skiing is that few people really want to do it, so how are you going to promote and generate interest if few people really care of have an interest.  It is a niche sport and appears destined to stay at that level unless some sort of interest can be fostered.  Hard to do with the current swing towards wakeboarding.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    <p>
    Off subject more then ever: The best part of F1 is this guy on talking on Speed channel. I do not know what he is talking about but he cracks me up.
    </p>
    <p>
    <img src="http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:KVBykGDr7hvUMM:http://www.mclaren.com/historyofmclaren/images/Hobbs.jpg" border="0" width="102" height="95" />
    </p>

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    edited February 2008
    <p>
    this kind of goes with my original point..... I want to see Lewis crash every race and cheer for Kimi among others. On the other hand I really do not care who runs 41. I just do not have any passion for pro skiing and I think that is typical. Sure someone out there is going to dissagree but I think most skiers are with me.
    </p>
    <p>
    You mean what Mclaren did to Alonso last season.
    </p>
    <p>
    You do know who David Hobbs is?
    </p>

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  • auskierauskier Posts: 461 Baller
    <p>
    when you look at the users of this forum most would be considered good to very good skiers. some users on here who have the 9 to 5, wife, kids etc etc and their average score may only be a pass or two different than someone like CP, JB etc. now compare that to elite motor racing. who can say that they are only a little off the pace with alonso or kimi and are an average joe? F1, NASCAR or indy are spectacles and attractions not participant events, therefore are placed on a much higher pedestal. i know i would rather spend a day with ferari or mclarren in the pits on race day than any pro skier. Why? not because i love F1 more than skiing, because not many people get such an opportunity to be close up and appreciate the multi-million $ machines and the technology. i could go to skitek, hancock, fishers, luckys or trophy etc and meet and greet and ski with pro skiers. cant do that sort of thing for most big name sports. but do i think pro skiers should not coach and give the average swerver to ski with them. HELL NO! this sort of thing makes our sport the best sport in the world, but does lower the 'professional elitist appearance' to those inside the sport. For the pro appearance to be improved, the target demographic is not the users of this forum but the viewers of espn...
    </p>
    <p>
    We are only waterskiing...
    </p>
    Toby
  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,146
    <p>
    Everybody, anybody, and mainly kids can go pick up a baseball, basketball, football, soccerball and with relative ease get a game going.  Hockey...need ice & rink time, skates, sticks, $$$$$; golf.....need course, clubs, $$$$$$; skiing....need boat, ski, partners, $$$$$$$$.
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    What I am trying to say is; unfortunately the mass appeal is not there due to many factors and one of the large factors is accessability to the sport for the common person.  Most of us here are fortunate enough to have the means to own a $35,000 boat, $1000.00 ski, spend $2000 on boat gas; and pay into a lease of a lake at whatever the respective costs are.  Most people can't relate; and, probably don't care or really appreciate the amount of skill and talent it takes to ski at high levels.  I could go on; but, I think you get my drift.  There isn't any real mystery as to why football, baseball, basketball, & soccer (internationally) dominate the world of spectator sports.......as for NASCAR, well....everyone has a car and races down the road everyday....so everyone can relate...oh yeh, and there are a lot of rednecks out there too.   
    </p>
    Bob Grizzi
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    I would rather watch syncro swimming then that pointless driving in circles.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,369 Mega Baller
    <p>
    Not a point raised before, but I think one potential barrier to slalom skiing is the constant speed aspect.  If you get up close to most other sports, the pro's do them so much faster than the average person or even a percieved good person.  That is much of the wow factor.  Check out a top level downhill ski race, supercross, or pro football game and you can visibly see the speed differential compated to the average person or even good amateur.  That makes the sport pretty exciting.  A little more subtle in sports like baseball and golf, but they do hit the ball a lot harder and farther than the rest.  Of course in F1, the cars are simply just rockets and sound so cool, and Nascar or drag racing has speed, noise and chaos.  Slalom skiing, on the other hand, does not seem to really crank up the intensity unless you really know what is happening. 
    </p>
    <p>
    Perhaps if the sport was inverted in the format it might become more popular.  Line length is constant, speed is increased every time you make it.  Might be pretty exciting to watch JB and CP ski at say 60 mph boat speed to make the course.  Might add some interest with some hot rod boats to pull the skiers at elevated speeds.  When at Daytona, the jumpers were the ones all the fans came over to watch, and yes, based on our surveys, many come to watch the crashes.
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">I think we all know that tournament skiing is often painful to watch. My point is that inside the sport we do not seem to be invested in our elite. Maybe we need a villains and heroes. </font>
    </p>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"> </font>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">Lets say we all decide that we hate Parrish because of his goofy performance in Edged In Water. When he beats Jamie we would all be dejected but cheer when underdog Terry Winter passes on the lead lap for the win. </font>
    </p>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"> </font>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">Yea this is silly but I am looking for a parallel to the way I fell about race drivers. I cheer for a couple of guys for some silly reason and cheer against others for more silly reasons. They keep turning left and we keep going right left, right left, right left, right.</font>
    </p>

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  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    <p>
    It took many, many years for NASCAR to get to where they are today. Think of how much money do you think was spent over the years. Much more then could ever be put into our sport.
    </p>
    <p>
    Target, Lowes, Home Depot and lots of heavy hitters have dumped millions into that crap. Good luck convincing sponsers to dump that kind of money into our sport.
    </p>
    <p>
       
    </p>
  • DWDW Posts: 2,369 Mega Baller
    <p>
    Yes, but things like Pinks, wakebarding, skateboarding and Setup all had a pretty quick rise to some level of popularity.
    </p>
  • RogerRoger Posts: 1,596 Mega Baller
    edited February 2008
    <p>
    IMO, slalom skiing was doomed with the invention of the jet ski and the wake board. The average person never even sees slalom skiing anymore because on any public lake they might visit, it's full of jet skies and wake board boats. Any serious slalom will not be happening there.
    </p>
    <p>
     Most of the posters on these boards ski on private or otherwise restricted sites. The general public doesn't see it anywhere anymore, not at the lake on the weekend, not on TV. What chance does it have?
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    Roger B. Clark - Okeeheelee skier. Senior driver, Senior Judge
  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,146
    <p>
    I like the constant line length and increase the boat speed idea.  Maybe if the course wasn't so symetric and you had some type of obstacles involved.....just some idle rambling..but that is how things get started....thinking out of the box.  If you could incorporate a fan freindly event and piggy back a true slalom event you might get more people to view.
    </p>
    Bob Grizzi
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    <p>
    If Ski Fly couldnt draw a crowd, nothing will. 300 feet off of a ramp at all out speed and the posibility of a big digger at the end. What more do you want?
    </p>
    <p>
    Waterskiing was on the Wide World Of Sports when I was a kid and NASCAR wasnt even a dream yet.
    </p>
    <p>
    The Nationals were broadcast on TV up until the mid 80s. What happened to that.
    </p>
    <p>
    But the most exciting sport on TV has to be Log Rolling or Poker. (YAWN) If they can put that crap on TV and sell it, that means we have a serious marketing problem.  
    </p>
  • rodaroda Posts: 77 Baller
    <p>
    It's simple.. our crashes aren't spectacular enough or aren't perceived as having the potential to cause serious injury.  I think people like watching other people perform on the edge.  What clips are in the highlight shows?  Its hard to notice a skier on the edge for 99% of the population but even my 6 year old can understand cars sliding into each other or a wall and the danger that exists.  I love watching the bmx guys.  I can relate to ridning a bike and how unforgiving the dirt/ramp/concrete is.  After all, water is soft isn't it? 
    </p>
    <p>
     Now, if we could only get WRC back on TV and in HD.....
    </p>
  • ellaella Posts: 1
    edited February 2008
    <p>
    Hook the kiddos, then be nice to the parents?  I've always been a fan of peer pressure. 
    </p>
    <p>
    I am over-simplifying, but it has to become a cultural thing in the area that you reside-- the "cool" thing to do.  Needless to say, there's expense involved, but it has been my experience that people will pay the money to be surrounded by friends doing something that makes them feel good about themselves.  We all want to be good at something.  Better skiers holding off on the eye-rolling and "Wally" comments is also in order (please).  :-)
    </p>
    <p>
    edited to add:  This seems to me more of a participatory sport, not so much a spectator sport.  Most of the people who will watch it are those who can do it (or think they can).  Hence why I watch fat guys sweat and whisper about colors of spinnerbaits-- I am not good enough to be in BASS masters, but I know a thing or two about fishing.  Folks watch NASCAR cos they know how to drive, sorta. 
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    edited April 2008
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"><img src="http://media.thatsracin.com/smedia/2008/04/20/14/139-" border="0" width="1" height="1" align="top" /><img src="http://media.thatsracin.com/smedia/2008/04/20/14/139-" border="0" width="1" height="1" align="top" />Saturday night I was in a hotel room in Vegas watching the Indy race from Japan. The race was won my Danica Patrick. She has been so close to a race win for years but has never before been able to seal the deal. I don’t really like Indy cars but I cheer for Danica because she is the under dog (and really hot). <img src="http://media.thatsracin.com/smedia/2008/04/20/14/139-" border="0" width="1" height="1" /></font> <a href="http://www.thatsracin.com/photos/other/gallery/13193-a13191-t3.html">http://www.thatsracin.com/photos/other/gallery/13193-a13191-t3.html</a>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"></font>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">I still  don't really care who wins the Masters next month. I think what we need is a skier to hate. If we have guy to hate then we will cheer for the guy how beats him</font>
    </p>

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  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,146
    Then let's just pick out some poor bastard and label him as the sacrifical villain.  The flip side to that is that there is always a contingent who cheer for the villain....so I guess it would be a win- win.
    Bob Grizzi
  • trs1trs1 Posts: 85
    <p>
    Horton,
    </p>
    <p>
    Have you ever watched Pro Wrestling?
    </p>
    <p>
    Laugh if you want, but you are describing a "Face" vs. "Heel".
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    Wrestling may be obnoxious, loud, etc. but look at where it started from and where it is now.
    </p>
    <p>
    Vince McMahon is a pretty smart dude.  They are selling out arenas all over the world and more importantly making a mint off pay per view.
    </p>
    <p>
    Last night they even had all 3 pres. candidates on there for about a minute each talking. 
    </p>
    <p>
    Seriously, think about it.
    </p>
    <p>
    I would totally root for a "Heel" over a "Face" or vice versa.
    </p>
    <p>
     This idea has some potential.
    </p>
    <p>
    ts 
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    edited April 2008
    <p>
    <font size="2"><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial">I can't cheer against Terry but Marcus does have that really awful hair . . .</span><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"> </span></font>
    </p>
    <p>
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"></span><font size="2"><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial">Degasperi seems really nice but he is Italian. We could have Beauchesne Vs. Degasperi but no one would be able to spell or pronounce it.</span><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"> </span></font>
    </p>
    <p>
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"></span><font size="2"><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial">The ladies love Parsons (aka “Cookie Boy”) so maybe he could be our Jeff Gordon pretty boy and Finlayson looks to be a bit of a bad ass so he could be Dale Sr. </span><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"> </span></font>
    </p>
    <p>
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"></span><font size="2"><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial">Boris Vs Sasha .<span>   </span>.. sounds like something from <span>Rocky and Bullwinkle</span></span><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"> </span> </font>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"><font size="2">I am not sure if the fact that Stisher is sleeping with Schreiber could come in to play but . . . . </font></span>
    </p>
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"></span>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font size="2"><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial">We need a Cory vs Patrice or Sammy vs Carl</span> </font>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"><font size="2"></font></span>
    </p>
    <p>
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"></span><span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"><font size="2">I am just thinking here . . . .</font> </span>
    </p>
    <p>
    <span style="color: black; font-family: Arial"><img src="http://mcgonnigle.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/boris_natasha_fearless.jpg" border="0" width="455" height="338" align="top" /></span>
    </p>

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  • trs1trs1 Posts: 85
    <p>
    Horton,
    </p>
    <p>


    Apparntly you may have a man-crush on some of these guys.
    </p>
    <p>
    I did not hear you say one thing about the ladies. 
    </p>
    <p>
    You can be like the Nascar girls and show your chest every time the skier makes a turn near you.
    </p>
    <p>
    Who knows, you probably have a better bosom than most of the Nascar Groupies.  If you cant get what I am trying to say without saying it, MANBOOBS!
    </p>
    <p>
    Keep talking your smack here on your message board.
    </p>
    <p>
    We will see who has the last laugh on the webcast of all of the Pro Tour Events this year.
    </p>
    <p>
    But, in all seriousness, you are on the right track with your thoughts above, except for one of them.  That one is not exactly correct.
    </p>
    <p>
    Dirty South 4 EVA!
    </p>
    <p>
    ts 
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    edited April 2008
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">So when you told me that you and Seth were “Partners” I guess I misunderstood. Say what you want but chicks dig my ManBoobs.</font>
    </p>
    <p>
    <font size="3"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman">Sadly this subject can’t really go anywhere without a lot more exposure. (chicken/egg) Without media exposure the personalities will stay hidden and without the personalities it is hard to care who wins. Without interest by the public the exposure is very hard to achieve. <span> </span></font></font></font> <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"> </font>
    </p>
    <p>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">There are probably some pretty unsavory things that could be honestly said about some of the athletes and that would give us our villains. On the other hand I think we then find ourselves shining a bad light on the sport. <em><strong>If anyone posts really good examples I will delete immediately. </strong></em></font><font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"> </font>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">There a lot of fans of “that nice pro the coached me” but it is hard to build a fan base one coaching session at a time. Back to racing, I cheer for the guys that seem cool and booo the a-holes. In reality the guys that seem nice may be a-holes & the other way around. What matters is they got me to care/watch.</font>
    </p>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"> </font><font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">Maybe this is a pointless train of thought. As I said months ago when I started this thread, it seems odd that most skiers do not have any passion for the pros in the sport. I talk to guys every day who are rabid / foaming at the mouth about skiing but I bet 95% of them do not know who won the masters or the worlds last year. </font>

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  • kstateskierkstateskier Posts: 524 Solid Baller
    You've been drinking and watching TV again haven't you John? 
    KStateSkier
    Bradley Beach - Lone Rock Ski Club, Missouri
    2004 Malibu Response LXI, 2014 D3 Helix 66"
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    Yea

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  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,146
    Maybe all of the pros can come up with "course" nick names like Seth "the Slasher" Stisher could be "Triple S" or Chris "knell before me" Parish could be the "Minister of the Course" or Will "I'll leave you in ashes" Asher could be the "Cremator of the Course".....you get my drift.  I remeber all of the old wrestlers like Ricky 'the Dragon" Steamboat and Jim "Hacksaw" Dugan...he carried around a 2 by 4 as a prop.  You need something catchy. ike when Goerge "the Animal" Steele would tear appart the ring turn buckle with his teeth after a victory......maybe there is a pro out there that would be willing to do the same to a turn ball........
    Bob Grizzi
  • DWDW Posts: 2,369 Mega Baller
    I was discussing sponsorships with one of the current major sponsors of athletes and brought up waterskiing.  He indicated that the sport is not one of the "main" sports so it would not appeal to them.  The sport is also too much of a niche sport, does not exhibit the extreme elements desired by the broadcasters to launch it towards being of interest to a sponsor.  Obviously, the manufacturers of skiing equipment will be interested, but I am talking about other sponsors here, the ones that will move the sport back to televised status.
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