Pick Your Sport

The Winter X Games Are Flipping Out

During the winter months as you filter through the sports landscape on the television, you are going to find a lot lame stuff like a college hoops game between Ball State and Bonaventure University.   Occasionally,  you will come across something that at first you were going to pass on, until you see the most unbelievably athletic feats that the human body can perform.   I just came across the Winter X Games in late January from Aspen Colorado.   Most of us have seen the various sports showcased in the X games but the Winter X games enlightened me on all kinds things you can do in the snow to endanger your well- being. 

The Winter X Games began in 1997, an offshoot of the X Games which started in 1995.   As I landed on ESPN and the games, I caught some of the Freestyle Snowmobile.   As much as I wanted to just move on from the acrobatic act on snowmobile,  I didn’t turn the channel.  I have never seen this before and I wonder how in the hell did this become a sport.  I sure after a little research I am sure I can get the lowdown.   All of the research in will not answer the question how and why does one find themselves doing this type of feat.   Of course,  when if you live in snow country this type of activity can happen.   It is probably no different than a motorcycle or BMX rider when it comes to performing flips and landing them.   I also wonder how the early practice sessions went when they are working on a new maneuver.   What happens when they don’t square up the jump and the landing is off?

If you have never watched these games before then I will tell you that most all of the events are all involve the ability to manipulate your equipment, project your body in difficult maneuvers and land in an upright position.  This as entertainment cannot be denied when you think about everything it offers.  These games provide the danger of spectacular wipeouts, incredible acts of athletic ability and young people having a great time.   If you any of this is your cup of tea than you will not be disappointed.

The rise of the X Games in popularity makes sense because not every kid growing up doesn’t fit into the team sport box.   So many kids get thrown into soccer because it easy to for them to grasp.  Just run, kick the ball and for God’s sake don’t use your hands.  If the kids like it, and it’s more of social thing and they excel then by all means keep them in it.   So many kids come out of the soccer and Little League thing bored but find more joy in the individuality of skateboards, snowboards and bikes.   The equipment nowadays has advanced so much and more affordable that it has opened the door for these young daredevils.   Most parents are mortified to see their kids trying out this stuff but they cannot stop their childs interest.

I am not sure how much farther they can take these maneuvers that were performed on snowboards and skis and a snowmobile.  There will be a point when the jumps and heights will be so high and complex that it becomes more of a circus show.  I don’t know how big this audience can grow because the average sports fan cannot relate.   The Winter X games will slowly evolve and will probably stay a secondary choice on a cold wintery day.   I think the sport needs a decathlon event that crowns the world’s greatest X gamer.   There you have it, the couch potatoes view of the X games that admires the skills and awesomeness of it but wants more.   Just a few more ideas, how about demolition snowboarding, half- pike and rifle shooting, snowmobile dodge ball.   Okay I will stop.

 

www.xgames.espn.go.com