The X-games: the not-so-special Olympics

Published 2:19 am Thursday, January 13, 2005

By Staff
Lee Weyhrich
A few days ago I was watching a preview for the Winter X-Games on ESPN.
I love watching the X-Games, partially because they make me realize that whoever created these sports was about as bright as a birthday candle on Neptune.
The other reason I enjoy them is that I have participated in even dumber sports.
Most of these dumb sporting events were invented by my cusin Kenny.
Kenny came up with incredibly stupid and dangerous ideas and I did them. That said , we can go back to how it is Kenny and I invented several extreme sports years before anyone knew what ESPN stood for.
The idea of extreme sports competitions is to do a ridiculous stunt better than anyone else who is willing to do that ridiculous stunt.
As 7 and 8-year-old boys, doing stupid things better than the other guy was our life.
I rode the bus to Kenny's house every day after school. My mother would usually pick me up between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. which meant we usually had two to four hours to find dangerous things to do.
One of our first experiments with an extreme sport was the Tonka truck luge. Old Tonka trucks were made well enough back then to support the weight of a little boy and propel him down hills at half the speed of light.
This sport was made even more extreme by the fact that our downhill course ended abruptly with a stream known to be inhabited by water mocassins. Besides the mocassins the stream was full of Alabama mud water which meant we faced death at the hands of our mothers when we got red mud all over our nice school clothes.
Perhaps our greatest achievement, though, happened when Kenny's dad was late coming home from work and we were able to prowl around his workshop for our latest project.
Within a few minutes we had a three-foot-tall bike ramp made out of a two-by-four and a stack of rusty paint cans.
Since he built the ramp, Kenny explained, the honor of the first test belonged to me. Being too dumb to know any better I accepted the honor.
I got up speed, hit the low end of the ramp and propelled the ramp two feet backwards.
Not quite proud of my accomplishment, Kenny set the ramp back up, and decided that a real man should be the one to try it (since none was available an eight-year-old had to suffice). He made the ramp taller and dug a little hole to keep the ramp from flying backwards.
Kenny made two passing runs, just like Evel Knievel, got up speed, stopped, and asked if I wanted to try it again.
When I said no he made two more passes, circled around and hit the ramp wih all the speed a little kid could muster. His bike literallly fell of the high end of the ramp.
The front wheel bounced and the bike flipped, landed on the back tire, and bounced again. Kenny, bike and all made three full bounce-flips, landed right-side up and coasted for a good yard. Kenny looked over his shoulder at me with a shocked look on his face, lost balance, and fell over.
Till this day I have yet to see any professional extreme athlete repeat his performance.
If you watch the previews on ESPN you will actually see one sport we invented. We called it "I wonder how well bicycle brakes work on ice," but ESPN gives it some silly name like winter motocross.
Like I said those people are about as bright as a birthday candle.

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