Thursday, October 25

Say It Ain't Not There

I was afraid of this. I was so scared of it. Over a month ago the AMA/Toyota Motocross Championships wrapped up at Glen Helen. It was an awesome race and event that capped an awesome season. A week after the race took place, it aired on Speed. By then, I was knee deep in GNCC stuff, so I never fired up the DVR to watch the TV coverage. I had watched the previous 11 rounds faithfully, exchanging barbs with this summer's roomate, GNCC and Loretta Lynn's Scoring Master Mind Tim Boryk, which was kept a nice run going from last season, when Andy Bowyer was living here at the Weege house.

Late in the season a format change was made on the TV shows. The first motos were showed as highlights and the second moto was shown in its entirety, as if it was a main event. I will just, um, not say anything about that, because we all know the second moto is not a main event and the first moto counts the same so if you show it any other way it would really just be more confusing for those that don't know that. But this, we already know.

Glen Helen threw a bigger curve ball. At Glen Helen, the whole season was decided in the first moto. The whole darned season. Everything. It was all on the line right there, and the first moto of the Motocross Class essentially gave everyone a chance to win the title at certain moments, but when it counted Grant Langston stepped up and found something no one else could match. It was such good drama, such excitement, such potential for riveting TV.

Langston was in sixth at one point, and it looked like the moto and the title could be anyone's: Ferry, Short, Alessi.... but then Langston got going. Got around Ferry when Timmy tipped over. Got around Windham when he fell. Made an unreal pass on Short which essentially sapped the fight right from Andrew--just ruined him like a guy getting burned bad on a huge pass play. Scratch Ferry and Short from the title chase. Then Langston ran down Alessi in a gutty, gritty effort that essentially won the title for him. Those moments--pressuring Ferry into a crash, passing Short and passing Alessi--won the championship for Langston. And how did Speed cover this once-in-a-decade dramatic battle for the AMA Motocross Championship? They showed the highlights real quick, showed Langston passing Short without even replaying it, (and no one explained how big that move was, no one mentioned that if Short had won the moto while Langston was floundering in the back he would have taken the points lead, but instead Langston turned it all around). Ferry was never seen at all. And on it went, missing one dramatic moment after another. But the boring second moto, when Langston already had the title and the overall pretty much sewn up and nothing was on the line, that was shown in its entirety.

So in the boringness, Sheheen was left to do nothing but repeat 17 times "and with this kind of momentum, Langston could really be a contender for the supercross title next season against James Stewart." Hey, you know what, that's a nice story for next year, but this is THIS YEAR and this was one of the best championship chases ever, so why would you not mention that drama and celebrate it? Oh wait, that's right. It's because the good stuff happened in the first moto and it wasn't shown.

What's a better point to have to repeat to fans? How we could have something cool happen in a few months, or that we have something really cool happening RIGHT NOW?

I know there are probably a million things going on behind the scenes that make these decisions become reality. Perhaps someone at Speed who knows nothing of the individual situation of the race instructed the producers to show it that way. And poor Jeff Emig. The man tries so hard each week to put the show up on his shoulders and add some drama when the footage does not. I'm sure there are reasons for what we are seeing. But it's too bad because what we didn't see was so much better.


Paul said...

Hey wait a minute... I'M the one with the lock on criticizing SPEED MX broadcasts! Go get your own schtick!

Daniel said...

In some way I sort of enjoyed seeing an entire moto instead of just a high light reel. But I definately understand where those comments are coming from. Since I listen to all the races online (enjoying your live action commentating) I already knew all about the first moto. But you're exactly right. If someone didn't listen online to know that everything that mattered happened in the first moto, you might wonder what was going in that second one. "Why are we still racing if the championship is over??" Seeing a moto in it's entirity = good. Not seeing both motos that way = not good. Maybe one day soon that will change. We can all hope.

Jbone said...

The coverage of the Nationals this year by Speed has been extremely mediocre. The talent in motocross today is huge. Instead of showing us the talent by broadcasting the entire motos, Speed insists on interviewing everyone and their brother. I would much rather watch the guy’s race than listen an interview. I’m sure it is important to showcase the talent off the bikes, but the real fans watching the races aren’t getting the full race coverage. I would love to send a nice letter to the producer if you could get the name and address. My 2 cents…