Thursday, August 28

Do you remember that?

Oh big deal, Brett Favre now plays for the New Jersey-based New York Jets. Oh big deal, Bon Jovi was going to play tonight in Denver as part of Barack Obama's acceptance speech (although now, apparently, it won't happen). I got to meet the real Garden State legend. Check out this edition of The Bottom Line Show from Southwick. Click here.

Tuesday, August 26

Southwick 2

Well I got lit up pretty good on my de Reuver comments from the other morning, and you folks are probably right. The guy was really fun and cool, and man was he fast when he was on the gas in the first moto. He was totally on target with what he thought, speed wise. He may or may not have been able to beat Short but otherwise, he had every American in the class besides Stewart covered.

However, I still feel like he set a high standard for himself. If he said "I don't know where I was going to finish" and did what he did, it would have been amazing. Instead, he set a target that he fell short of. He didn't fall short because he sucks or anything like that, he fell short because there were all kinds of different conditions he couldn't have been ready for--different bumps, different strategy, different weather. Those types of changes are hard to predict and plan for, so when he dropped his podium goal last week, I thought "uh oh."

But the most interesting part of this whole process is that I didn't see the fans light up against the guy. This sport has come a long way in accepting riders from other countries, to the point where I don't think people even consider riders like Langston, Reed, Metty or whoever a rider from another country. They're just riders, just like everyone else. I saw nothing but respect for De Reuver from the fans. It wasn't that way for poor JMB back in the day. Even the dynamic around the Motocross des Nations has changed. When I was a kid at Unadilla back in the day, it was a total USA versus the World battle, you would have thought Communism was headed to the White House if the Yanks lost that race. In the end, the US was battling Belgium and Holland--not exactly enemies there. Plus, most importantly, it was just a motocross race.

Anyway, we've come a long way. I'm sure fans are still going to be pumped on the des Nations this fall, just like when Everts passed Stewart in '06 and the world nearly exploded, or when RC passed Everts in '02 and the world nearly exploded. But, it's cool to see how far we've come to accepting riders for simply being good riders, regardless of where they're from. If I had this blog 20 years ago, I would have gotten nothing but giant thumbs ups from everyone who read it.

Monday, August 25


WHY WHY WHY does a guy like "Calimero" Marc de Reuver say things like “Hopefully I can make the podium in Southwick. Or is that aiming too high, I’m not really sure? At least I get the impression that apart from ‘Superman’ James Stewart I can beat any American in the sand."

Okay, the odds of doing that are ridiculous. First, de Reuver did poorly the last time he was here. Second, if you're basing your expectations on watching the race on tape or looking at photos, you're way off again because Southwick doesn't ride like it looks. Is it a sand track? Yes. Is it like the sand that de Reuver races on in Holland? No. Plus, there are a million different elements that video tape can't explain, like getting jet lag (which got the best of him when he tried this race in 2001) or dealing with heat and humidity (which got him this time).

It wasn't nearly as hot and humid as it was expected to be at Southwick in August, and yet the heat and the pace and the intensity got to de Reuver. For four laps in the first moto, the guy was insane fast, and he well and truly blew the doors off of Tim Ferry coming through the pack. But in the second moto, he wasn't the same. Once Matt Georke started pulling him, you knew he was in trouble. I mean, when you say you can beat any American in the sand besides James Stewart, and you're in seventh and freaking Matt "Beef" Georke is pulling away from you, you're going to look bad. Then de Reuver crashed and that was it. Now, the man was super crazy fast for a few laps. He obviously can ride. Plus he was really cool and fun and funny. But, that doesn't take away from what he said. Just say things like "I'm not sure what's going to happen, it's totally different so I don't know." Otherwise you create a battle that doesn't need to happen, and then you lose.

Instead de Reuver created a battle that didn't need to happen, and he lost.

Thursday, August 21

16 Year Old Adults

Oh sure, Shawn Johnson is talented and cute and Nastia Liukin is focused and elegant. We heard it over and over for the last two weeks, and for the moment, these girls are America's little darlings. As such, they were thrust into the spotlight, with appearances live on set with Bob Costas, or appearances on the Today Show. You feel like you get to know someone really well in such a very short span, and then you realize you've never heard their voice before.

When the girls did get their turn to talk, they looked way more nervous than they did when they were performing. But no one would blame them. After all, these girls are 16 and 18 years old, and they've never been in this situation before. They're just kids. They're high school aged, they haven't even gone to college yet. And with this Jason Lawrence business this summer, hasn't everyone weighed in with their "Hey, I remember when I was a kid I did a lot of dumb stuff too..."

But here's the funny part about motocross. We don't have 16 year old kids. We don't have cute darlings. We don't have people who are just of high school age, or who haven't even entered college. By the time a motocross rider at the same level of Shawn Johnson or Nastia Liukin shows up, he's expected to be a man, to be mature, to be a pro and to not be a kid. We don't have 16-year-old kids in this sport. We have 16-year-old adults.

I'm sure when the nation saw Johnson nervously squeezing her medals on Tuesday night, they thought it was cute that she was that nervous. After all, she's just a kid!

In motocross, you're mature way beyond that. Motocross riders have been interviewed a billion times by the time they turn 20. Trey Canard and Jimmy Albertson came on our webcast this weekend and it seemed like it was old hat to them.

Sure, our webcast reaches about a zillionth of the audience the Today Show does, but that shouldn't dismiss how impressively well spoken today's teenaged motocross star is.

As always, we have a tendency to forget just how young our athletes really are. The new champion of the AMA Motocross Class, the one who had to get beaten down for three years by the Greatest Of All-Time, would have spent this summer in NFL Rookie Camp if he played football. For us, he's expected to carry the sport on his shoulders and into the masses. That's as impressive as anything he can do on the track, or Johnson can do on a balance beam.

Monday, August 18

Millville (2)

Talk about eating crow! I didn't expect any of the "new kids" to do anything at Millville, but we did cover them hard on the Racer X Motocross Show from Saturday because our producer/director, Wes Williams, is a hardcore amateur motocross fan. But I was shocked, SHOCKED, with the performance of Blake Wharton on Sunday. Blake wasn't even up front early in the week at Loretta's, and even when he rebounded later in the week to win motos, he still didn't look dominant. But I think he dealt with the pressure better than the other rookies. I saw him on Sunday and he said "It's just another race," and it actually seemed believable.

In the first moto, Blake crashed on the first lap, came all the way back to 9th, crashed again back to 12th, and then finished 10th. That's a lot of energy spent, which doesn't bode well for a rider who hasn't race 30 minute motos before (and practicing 30 minute motos at home isn't the same).

In moto two, Blake got the start and even kept Ryan Dungey honest for the first ten minutes. He was going really, really fast. For Blake, it must have felt like the moto went on for an hour, because eventually Brett Metcalfe got to him, and then eventually Villopoto did. Blake must have been tired at the end, but 4th place is VERY impressive.

Now, will this be a signal of just how good Blake Wharton is going to be as a pro? Or is this another one of those amazing first national performances that won't have a follow up? We'll see.

Sunday, August 17


Whoa, we're back to racing. Feels like we haven't been here in months, although it has only been two weeks. But what a difference that time makes. Ivan Tedesco is back. Broc Hepler is back. Gavin Gracyk is back. We've got ten (10!) new rookies from the amateur ranks. Stewart and Villo can wrap their titles. Sounds like a good weekend.

Although, this year's rookies don't quite have the promise that last year's did. A little-said secret out of Loretta's this year is the fact that last year's rookie crop--Canard, Stroupe and Izzi--were so darned good that it makes this year's entrants a little less exciting. If Blake Wharton, PJ Larsen and the rest want to go all Michael Phelps and use this as bulletin board material, go ahead, but it's not the same as last year's gang, and the lap times from today in practice prove it.

Still, Larsen is the kind of guy who looks really really fast when he rides. So he's fun to watch, and Blake Wharton has, bar none, the best hair to ever roll to an AMA starting line. So there's that...but in the motos, expect the same old names up front, which means a pair of championships wrapped up by the real dominators of American sport. Not Phelps, but Stewart and Villo.

Thursday, August 14

Real Journalism

As you can see, we take our jobs very seriously here. Check out a rousing round of the Bottom Line Show on here.

And yes, I will announce anything.

Tuesday, August 12

An Olympic Moment

First of all....I'm back baby!

Second, I had a weekend off and I was supposed to be all "I don't want to look at a motorcycle, I'm burned out" etc. Yes, a week at Loretta's takes years off of your life, but I'll take those years off at the end, not now.

Anyway, I tried to stay away and do stuff around the house, tried to start planning out that wedding thing (we have like a full month to go, that's plenty of time to get this ready, right?) but in the end it all came back to motocross. I kept thinking about the nationals The Olympics began on Friday night, and we've been watching them solid since. And what did I see???

Swimmer Michael Phelps is going to...oh wait, just made, Olympic history by logging more gold medals than anyone else in the history of the games. Amazing. It really hit me during his record-breaking swims tonight. First, the announcers knew he was going to win. They also knew how he was going to win. "It will look like the other swimmers can challenge him at first, but in the last turn he will make them look like boys, and they're not boys, they are the best swimmers in the world."

And then, that's exactly what happens. No crazy upsets. A few stay with him, then eventually he makes the turn, leaves the pack behind and wins again.

Even in the "wide open" events, ones without a Phelps in it, the TV people already know who the contenders are, and lo and behold those contenders become the only actual contenders for the win once the race begins.

Does this sound familiar? Is this not James Stewart? Before the race begins you know who is going to win. You know who is better than everyone else, and then it happens exactly like it's expected to.

In this year of dominance, I've been working hard to try to make sense of why motocross can become so lop sided. Everyone comes up with theories. We need easier tracks. We need harder tracks. It's the four-strokes. It's the works bikes. It's lazy kids who don't train or try. It's...whatever. Honestly, what it really is is, is that it is what it is. It's a sport. Yeah there are motors, and hence we have a Motocross des Nations instead of Olympic competition. But when you watch it every weekend and then watch this on your weekend off, it's not different at all.

Friday, August 8

YouTube Bails Me Out From Actually Posting Again

Did you even know Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine had like videos and stuff? Check out this gem, basically Thriller just set in a jail.

Thursday, August 7

He Almost Beat Favre

Well, he didn't sign with the Jets and he doesn't wear number four (I guess it was already taken) but it's now official: Chad Reed is racing with Rockstar Makita Suzuki next year. Suzuki just sent us the press release and then I stole it from Racer X. As you can see, we won't get Chaddy Daddy for the nationals next year, but I bet if he gets an itch to try one (like he wants to do right now) Roger D and the crew will have a bike ready for him. Here's the official part:

Chad Reed Signs with Rockstar Makita Suzuki

2008 AMA Supercross Champion, Chad Reed, Joins Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki.

Brea, CA (August 6, 2008) - American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) announced today that they have signed current AMA Supercross Champion, Chad Reed, to join the Rockstar Makita Suzuki factory race team for 2009. Reed will race the 2009 AMA Supercross series and other selected events in the United States as well as compete in supercross events in his home country of Australia aboard his Suzuki EFI RM-Z450.

“We have a great heritage in racing here at American Suzuki,” said Mel Harris of ASMC. “Suzuki has been dominant in the road racing arena for several years and with the introduction of the RM-Z450 and the help of Ricky Carmichael, Roger DeCoster and our dedicated team, we’ve been able to elevate our position in supercross and motocross to that championship level. The signing of Chad helps us reinforce our position and goals for the future of Suzuki racing. We are very happy to have Chad join our team.”

Chad Reed, 26, began racing professionally in the United States in 2002 and since then he’s earned two AMA Supercross Championships (2004 & 2008), an AMA 125cc East Region Championship (2002) and won the 2004 US Open. Over the last six years he has amassed a total of 42 AMA wins and 82 podiums.

“I’m extremely excited to be starting a new chapter in my career and to be working with Roger DeCoster and Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki,” said Reed. “It will be a whole new experience for me which I’m really looking forward to. I rode Suzukis for a good part of my amateur career and have some great memories from then and now I’m excited to be racing the new Suzuki EFI RM-Z450. I believe this bike and my new team have great potential and I couldn’t be happier.”

“I am very excited to have been able to sign Chad Reed to Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki,” said team manager, Roger DeCoster. “Our team has worked very hard to get to the level we are at today and I’m glad we’ve been able to secure a rider with such accomplishments and determination as Chad so that we may continue to be top contenders. Our sponsors have been extremely supportive over the years and I’m happy that we are able to provide them a top-level rider and team to support him.”

Reed’s first race with Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki will most likely be the Rockstar Energy Drink US Open at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on October 10th through 12th.

For more information on all of Suzuki’s race teams, please log on to

Finally the wait is over

Brett Farve has been traded to the Jets. It's over. Now we can all move on with our lives. Nothing to see here. Look away. Put it behind you. Focus on something else. Please. I know it's going to be hard to watch SportsCenter and see some news on something else, but we're all going to have to accept the fact that this debacle is complete and maybe find out something else about another team or sport, finally. Hope we can live with this.

Wednesday, August 6

How Could I Resist

You know, I was trying to lay low this week and do normal stuff like mow the lawn. I was going to ignore the blog for one more week.

But how do I NOT blog something like this?