Feb 5


Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Photo: USPresswire (click to enlarge)

Traditional sports are great, but the extreme sports are definitely the real thing, too.

I have been very lucky to have been snow-skiing out West several times in my life, including visits in recent years to Whistler Mountain, Canada (where the Winter Olympics are about to go down) and the Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado area (where the 14th Winter X Games just went down last week). These places are beyond words in beauty, but are now not just resort get-a-ways. These places are now also home to some of the top athletes in the world - the extreme sports athletes of snowboarding, skiing and snowmobiling.

Traditional sports are great, don't get me wrong. Football and baseball are what keep me going. On top of that, I am a soccer fan, so with this being a World Cup year, I am especially excited. But let me tell you folks, there is a new game in town that is here to stay, and that is the extreme winter sports. They are fun to watch, and the talent and risk involved is captivating entertainment.

Last night, when unable to sleep as most nights, I was able to catch a replay of last week's X Games final in the snowboarding and slopestyle events. Short story long is that I couldn't cut the TV off from 3 am to 6 am (missed it live last week out of town) as I was so deeply into what I was watching. In the slopestyle event, back and forth went Bobby Brown and TJ Schiller. They kept one-upping each other jump after jump after jump before 10,000 plus bundled up fans halfway up Aspen Mountain (try like 6,000 feet elevation) kept going wild after each trick ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2WonCIlulM ). It truly was one of the funnest hours of sport I have watched in some time, and to cap it off, event winner Brown pulled a slow turning back flip trick that was so smooth in execution it gave me chill bumps and sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy (Must watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD3MrzQI20M&feature=related  )!!

I cannot name the tricks, but history was being made before our eyes as the crowd FREAKED OUT continuously as these guys nailed tricks that had never been pulled off before. Their jumps took them close to 70 feet in the air while traveling 100 plus feet down the mountain. The scale is why I brought up that I have seen these obstacles in person at these places, and I'm telling you these guys are REAL athletes, with major balls for the risk they take with the air they get.

In the following event, Shaun White, the "Flying Tomato"  -  the most decorated snowboarder of all time - put on a show after crushing his face in a warm up jump in the super pipe (  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLPI9Xf4XVo ). He isn't just a name and a publicity stunt. He is the real deal. And he can get "big air" like I have never seen. On his first run since crushing his face in the warm up, he went for a similar trick and absolutely nailed it.

What sets White apart to me when watching the super pipe final runs, was how high up off the walls he gets. He can pull off these unreal tricks because he has the air and the time to do it in...

So yeah, I cannot breakdown tactics or trick names or much else. But I will say this: the X Games are fun to watch, and I know for a fact that what they are doing takes almost as much in the underwear as it does in between the ears or in bodily skill. These tricks are equally frightening as hard to do...

This generation still loves its football and other traditional sports, and that is good. But make no mistake about it folks, the X Game type sports are here to stay and rightfully so! TheTopFan is 100 percent behind the X Games and the extreme sports, and I encourage you to watch them and respect them. They are the real thing, not just a bunch of hipped out kids trying to be cool...

The Olympics start next Friday - MAKE A POINT TO WATCH THEM!!!

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