X-Games starts tonight. TV coverage begins with the pre-show at 8pm/EST, followed by two hours of coverage til 11pm/EST. I’m simultaneously excited and repulsed by X-Games. On one hand, you will see some of the highest quality BMX trick riding ever, including the debut of several new tricks. On the other hand, you will see ridiculous events like the MEGA RAMP. The Mega Ramp is an event that seems way more spectator driven than participant driven…X-Games is at times more of a stunt show than an actual contest and nowhere is that more clear than the Mega Ramp. Here is a pic in case you don’t know…
To the far right you can see the starting ramp, which is about 3 stories tall. Travelling further to the left you can see the launch ramps, which push the riders over about a 70ft gap, landing them on the huge landing pad, and immediately firing them onto a 25ft tall quarter pipe. I have one word for you: CIRCUS. This thing belongs in a circus. Riding something like this is beyond the reach of pretty much any rider so it makes practically no sense to have a -contest- on it. Why not just call it what it is…an -exhibition-?. Events like the mega ramp are set up for one reason…to keep non-rider sheeple viewership. People who don’t ride themselves don’t appreciate tricks that don’t LOOK hard. They like flips, they like extreme height and distance, and they like it to be presented like a show. People who ride themselves, however, appreciate different aspects of a run, in any of the disciplines X-Games offers.
X-Games is also notorious for highly slanted favoritism in the judging of non-timed events. Often, a rider who is a -bigger name- will win or place high in a round in which he was clearly bested by someone who isn’t as recognizable. Because of this, serious viewers take the resultswith a grain of salt.
But despite all its flaws, X-Games is still the largest showcase for action sports on TV. So, although you should watch it with a critical eye…DO WATCH IT! If for nothing else, you may see someone die on live TV on the mega ramp.