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"Is this sport or simply insanity?" Topic

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442 hits since 22 Feb 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Great War Ace Inactive Member22 Feb 2016 8:28 p.m. PST

YouTube link

We could call gladiatorial fighting "sport". It's not.

We could call a lot of utterly hazardous things "sport" and they are just stupid. Ruining your life at an early age.

Watch some of those "biffs", they are truly brutal.

The local bike shop had this video on while I was buying a new bike today. "I, don't, believe, it." That is still my reaction.

The balls those kids have, or had, heheh.

Neck trouble? Back trouble? Just the beginning of sorrows. Forget about middle age and being mobile and without pain. Etc….

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2016 5:46 a.m. PST

Competing for a Darwin Award


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2016 6:35 a.m. PST

It's just like professional wrestling. Those guys never get hurt.

Who asked this joker23 Feb 2016 6:54 a.m. PST

It is sport. It is a contest that requires some physical prowess. Stupid is as stupid does…but it IS sport. Same could be said for American football. All fun to watch but incredibly dangerous sports.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2016 7:55 a.m. PST

All contact sports have an element of danger AND damage
to participants' bodies that will not show up for a long

Even individual sport, such as ski-jumping, slalom,
equestrian cross-country/stadium jumping, etc.

And, oh yes, basketball.

Learned that years ago in a sports medicine course (two
years of most week-ends).

Great War Ace Inactive Member23 Feb 2016 8:19 a.m. PST

There are sports, and other things that start out as sport and morph into something else. This contest was cancelled (by "someones") for three years, because the riders were "taking too many risks", i.e. trying to outdo each other. I don't know the particulars of who cancelled it and why it returned.

The "outdo the other guy" is definitely a core part of this scoring system; much like downhill and snowboard contests where the runner picks his own way down and tries to wow the judges with tricks and excellence of form, etc. Yes, there are obviously impressive elements that anyone watching can see for himself. But the "form", the subtlety, is inescapably subjective. So the scoring "system" is flawed by human subjectivity and bias, and therefore vulnerable to "deals" and relationships, etc.

The thing that disturbs me most about this "sport" is the very escalation of it. "They" work the course over themselves, "improving" it, whatever that happens to mean to whomever. The end object is to find yet another radical approach to running the course to wow the judges. Taking risks is the very core of the game. So somebody is going to die, if somebody already hasn't. And looking at Wikipedia: it does appear that a maximum of three runs is about it for most of these boys (one nine, and a couple of fives and one seven).

Of course, you have to be invited, and so that plays into whether or not you get to keep trying. Something about that also annoys me.

Reading up on some of these guys: Cameron Zink mystifies me. He must be addicted to adrenaline, as ruined for the rest of life by this "sport" as a fighter pilot is by "the war". Despite his having a knocked dead gorgeous wife and little girl, he keeps competing, even when a doctor "forbids" him to ride. Wiki doesn't even mention his family, which I think is lame of somebody. The video focuses on Zink's family ties, and shows his wife in tearful expectation as she watches her hubby, one more time, defy serious injury or death, to get the "rush" and the score. He holds the world's record for longest backflip on a bicycle of 100' 3". Holy, crap….

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member23 Feb 2016 2:30 p.m. PST

"Is this sport or simply insanity?"

"Simply insanity" doesn't quite seem to do it justice.




Angry Single Speeder also made a good point about riders being caught between having to go big at this spectacle in order to make a name for themselves, or making the safe choice and remaining anonymous and un-sponsorable. And this is where the confluence of media, event, rider and sponsor come into play. This game is about huge page-views, visibility and the amount of times content with logos is shared. Podium shots don't mean what they do in road racing. It's about huge moments that shock and surprise, shared a million times over.

Let's be honest, Rampage is not a race or even a real competition. It's a spectacle, a way to get awesome footage. A marketing event. It's un-judge-able. There's no way judges can possibly parse any ride by watching varying edits shot at different camera angles by a live production team and comprised of different tricks of varying difficulty performed on different man-made and natural features. Even in competitions where athletes perform the same tricks on the same surfaces (like, say, figure skating or bull riding), judging is largely garbage.

Anyway, back to the point and the human being that started this discussion. I wish I had more concrete information on Paul's ability to move his legs. I have a photo of him sitting with physical therapists surrounding him. I'm hoping they are there for a reason, and that reason is there's hope for him moving, walking and, if he so chooses, riding again.

nazrat24 Feb 2016 7:37 a.m. PST

They are VERY athletic, but it's far from a sport to me. They are huge idiots doing terribly dangerous things (just like extreme rock climbing, base jumping and the like) and then us being told what a "tragedy" it is when one of these fools die or are crippled in the inevitable fall/crash.

KTravlos Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2016 3:25 a.m. PST

Some people are just adrenaline junkies. I rather they take it out this way then hurting others.

Same thing with violence junkies. Create a system to let them take it out on each other rather than the rest of us.

Michael Walzer in his book Just War Theory made a important point. If the violent activity is totally voluntary (not participation due to economic need, not participation due to social stigma social enforcement, not participation due to state enforcement, not participation due to the use of threat of force to participate) then morality is inapplicable. Though one could ask how voluntary is something that we are pushed to do by our physical and biological make-up. But that opens a big discussion about free will.

Great War Ace Inactive Member25 Feb 2016 7:06 a.m. PST

It seems to me that Cameron Zink is the poster boy for the topic of addiction to this "sport". He has a clear choice before him: wife and child, or continue until he's either ruined or dead. He will decide which he prefers: his addiction or his family life. (And unending boredom, feeling like a half-life, in the "shadowlands", instead of pumped and fully alive. That, of course, is the biology talking, and not the clearly correct decision to live for others and not yourself first….)

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