Monday, April 7, 2008

X Games x'es out Skateboard Vert

Hey, all of you wannabe pipe boys and gals better look into doing more kick-flips into manuals. Because Vert Skating is Dead! At least that's what Disney and ESPN decision makers thought when they removed Vert from this summer's X Games. Reason for the removal were low ratings, an older competitor pool and the rise in skateparks.

After reading the spin doctoring job over at the Worldwide Leader's URL, it looks like the X Games has finally embraced its dark side by finding another way to pimp their brand of "extreme sports" (which is an offensive word to all non-traditional sports of this nature) just so they can sell more crap to unwitting kids. The suits at Disney have no clue on how popular Vert is or isn't. They just looked at some bean counter's stats and made a knee-jerk decision. It's like the IOC (International Olympic Committee) deciding to kill the Men's High Bar and the Women's Uneven Bars just because the routines are the same and the competitors are older. It doesn't make too much sense.

Case in point - after reading the comments, there was a link to a Quicktime movie showing some younger skaters showing their moves on the half-pipe at the Tampa Am last month. And since I'm a full-service kinda guy, here is said video embedded below:

Now, after seeing that, why shouldn't those kids have a chance to get that national exposure that was given Hawk, Macdonald, Lasek and more recently, The Flying Tomato and Gagnon? If the quality is there (and usually with the trials, it is there at the X Games), people will watch. But without Vert in the mix, I know at least one household which will not have Corporate X Games on this summer.

But that's not the end of this story. After watching said Tampa Am vid, I really started to dig the track that was playing on the clip. Luigi was the name of the band and they had more than a few free MP3s available for DL. Great cuts like the one from the 411vm vid, My Will, Mariposa and Wash It Down. Their sound is more like the power pop sound of the early 90s before the crush of bad grunge/alternative killed the scene. Here's the only video of them I could find. The song is Single Cell off of the CD, Found on the Forest Floor:

I was truly hoping for this band to be on the verge of breaking through so I could hate them for selling out later. But it wasn't meant to be. They broke up at the end of February this year. Damn, now I'll have to add them to my collection of broken-up bands that I still like along with The Tories, Chalk Farm, Scapegoat Wax, Army of Anyone, and Sugar. At least, for me, there is something to take away from this X Games screw-up; even if it is so bittersweet.

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