telling it like it is ..where’s the realness gone?
In these last weeks there have been some discussions going on about that same topic. All started with the U.S. Winter X-Games, which went down by the end of January this year, on which Pat “The Eye” Bridges interviewed living legend Terje Haakonsen talking about the X-Games and the upcoming World Snowboarding Championships. Being the World Championships, it would be great to have the best Slopestyle and Halfpipe riders attending of course to figure out who really the world champ is. Consequently one dude can’t be missing on this event for the Halfpipe competition and that is Shaun White. According to Terje in that interview Shaun got invited of course, but he happened to want a little bit of money to attend. Not for the flight, no ..or the hotel or anything, no. Just to attend. Next thing is, that “Shaun wants just way too much money to show up” but this money is even “more than the overall prize money” is for the 2012 WSC.
But thank god everyone of us is perfectly able to read. It says above (marked text) that this structure is the same for male, female, Slopestyle and Halfpipe. That makes 4 identical structures like that one above. So we’re definitely not there yet with 100 lousy tiny grand, hell no. 4 times 100 grand leaves us at 400 grand. The marked text from above also says: Quarterpipe TBA (= to be announced). So we can assume that due to the smaller rider lineup in Quarterpipe and everything that there won’t be again 100 grand of overall prize money to be giving away, but maybe 30 or something. Fact is, that Shaun asked for more than 400’000 USD JUST TO SHOW UP.
Hmm. Alright. We always thought that getting an invite to a World Championships event of the sport which built you and gave you the possibilities to build up your own career with succes through good performances would be an honor or something but we must have gotten something wrong ..clearly. What happened? Oh, they didn’t pay and Shaun consequently didn’t show up to the WSC and left the title he might have won -who knows- to iPod.
Now the Euro X-Games are about to start in Tignes, France and guess who announced to show up and attend: Shaun White.
What follows now is especially so that you get an idea of the dimensions which lay behind the following parties:
X-Games never were a TTR event and were not a true sports event in that sense. Terje said it in that mentioned interview above too and we couldn’t have told it a better: “It’s a TV station” ..yeah it is.
It’s ESP-fu****g-N. More entertainment and mega highlights for spectacular shows than there fits in an NBA Jam video game. For sure a dope event, but when thinking back to Torstein’s Triple Cork on last year’s X-Games 15 ..well, ..right.
It is the world’s largest sports TV network on our planet and is hold by abc, which is hold by The World Disney Company. So who’s behind the Winter Euro X-Games in France? We tell you: It’s Canal+ (and ESPN partially).
Canal+ is like the Euro version of American ESPN basically. Coming from France, they went over to Spain and Belgium and also succeded perfectly. In both countries they not only broadcast sports, but also documentaries, blockbuster movies, usual TV shows and do also produce theatre movies and are the main sponsors for both professional soccer leagues. Anyone having an idea here how much money is in soccer TV rights in Europe? That much, that you barely can even watch a regular league soccer game on free TV nowadays there.
Overall Canal+ belongs to the largest pay TV network in Europe. Anyone really thinking now that they would mind to give the flying tomato a few hundred grands?
Fact is that after all this bullshit our sport went through with the FIS and the IOC for Olympics, after all the harm and lack of support in hard times, Shaun’s move is like basically spitting on our snowboarding sport if you ask us. How sad is that, come on. We snowboarders always were the ‘youth brigade’ like Volcom says, the pure rebellion on the slopes, the outlaws which were so not liked by anyone, but everybody wanted to be like for real, because we were rock ‘n roll and not giving a fuck ..doing our thing and developing our own style but especially one thing: Having the madest fun out there with our buddies and supporting those who rocked and stepped it up for the game.
Now we have rollercoaster producing wanna-be actors who claim to still be profesional snowboarders, who hang out with Diddy, party at Playboy Mansion, fly private and wear tight women zebra pants of their own collection to promote on mainstream contests, where they get a perfect 100 point score “to define perfection” as another multi-million TV highlight, but are too awesome for us regular people or true real snowboarders to show up on a real snowboarding event and basically say, “fuck you” ?
But when in these days Shaun will be dropping the pipe in France, everybody will be freaking out and forgot because he throws down the illest hits in that pipe (that is not to be discussed of course).
Extremities are never good for anything, hell no. But tolerance always has a limit.
You choose for your own now, if that limit is reached or not.
P E AC E O U T