Observations From My Couch
APRIL 4, 2007
When the RXC guys realized that I didn’t go to the Dallas Supercross, they immediately decided that I was fired. When I promised to write an observations column doing what most Supercross fans do—listen to the webcast—they relented and said I could keep my job. Yes!! Now I can keep the back-bacon rolling in.
DISCLAIMER—Announcing Supercross races is very hard and I could not do it. The announcers are very talented and we all need to remember this. The following is all in fun … kind of like my career as a mechanic.
.35—Jason “J-Wag” Weigandt (the SX king of all media) introduces us to his colour analyst, the 1985 World Supercross champion Jim “Hollywood” Holley. As usual, Hollywood sounds like he won the Showcase Showdown right before the show. Man, he is so excited!
1:23—Hollywood says that after watching Stewie go through the pack to win last weekend, he couldn’t wait to go home and watch it on Speed TV. Which is cool, except the race was on CBS. Wonder what he thought when he turned on the tele to watch SX and got Chop Cut Rebuild?
1:33—Holley says that Chad Reed actually learned from last weeks race. What could he have learned? That he might never beat James Stewart ever again?
Ryan Morais lost some points to Townley and Lange in Dallas but he's still in the driver's seat.
photo: Allison Kennedy
3:54—During the pre-race interviews, Ryan Morais says that he can’t believe he is up by ten points in the series, that it’s a dream come true etc., etc. Every time I read or hear an interview with Ryan, he sounds like Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions.
4:34—Morais says that he would “love to have fast lap times, but it doesn’t work out that way.” Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2007 East Coast Lites champion!
7:00—First commercial break. We get an ad for the Las Vegas SX that does not have the “voice of God” announcer; Live Nation needs to pay that guy whatever it takes to do voice overs for everything. I would follow this guy off a cliff if he told me to.
13:49—The guys are talking about Paul Carpenter when a massive bang is heard in the background. We’re in Dallas so somebody check on Stewie and the grassy knoll for Larry Brooks!
14:18—Carpenter is in the opening ceremony parade lap. This used to be a pretty big deal, to be selected for this thing, until this year when it seems that everybody gets to be in on it. You wonder when Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s gets his chance.
16:52—J-Wag tells everybody that Moto XXX has stopped telling Josh Summey what place he is in on the pit boards. But he never mentioned that I have already told you faithful readers that fact two weeks ago. Hey, Wag, did you hear Anna Nicole died?
20:45—Darcy Lange says that its okay the track is muddy because he is from Canada. Someone tell him the track is muddy, not covered in snow with polar bears roaming around.
Darcy Lange has one more chance (two including Vegas) to pull off a win and cap off an amazing AX/SX season.
36:40—J-Wag tells us that, due to the bad weather, the Alessi’s had to all come in on separate flights. Can you imagine the stress? Oh god, they couldn’t travel in their usual pack, are we talking about people or zebras?
40:41—Motoworld Racing’s Sean Hackley is racing his first race of the season and promptly goes out and holeshots the heat and leads for a while. This Supercross thing must be pretty easy, huh Sean?
46:18—The guys tell us about a Scott goggle contest where the winner gets a trip to Las Vegas and, wait for it, $150 in spending money! Wow, that’s great, except for the cab ride from the airport to your hotel will pretty much do it for your one-fitty.
47:45—J-Wag tells us that the best thing about staying at the official hotel of Supercross in Las Vegas is the fact that all the top riders will be there too. Do you really want your kids to see their SX hero throwing up in a potted plant Sunday night?
48:15—J-Wag and Holley keep calling heat one winner Darcy Lange, “Lan-ge” and Erin Bates told me its “Lang”, I am not sure what it is either, but I will go with the girl that grew up in the same province as him.
48:50—Lange thanks everybody on the podium but his long time mechanic Ian Woods.
49:20—Holley tells us that, in his day, they gave the riders points for winning heat races. He forgets to remind us that they also used to ride woolly mammoths.
49:47—J-Wag says that in two weeks we will be in “beautiful downtown Detroit.” He isn’t even giggling when he says it.
55:05—Snocross god Tucker Hibbert wins the second Lites heat. Maybe the track is covered in snow. Or maybe I’m drunk and I didn’t hear that.
55:54—Ryan Dungey is pointing to his bike as if there is something wrong. I will give the rookie the benefit of the doubt, but the quickest way for your handlebars to come off during the next race is to gesture to your mechanic in front of 50,000 people that he screwed up.
57:49—Hibbert says he got the start and “hung on for dear life” to take the win. I must have skipped that part in Gary Bailey’s moto-x school techniques.
63:51—During the first Supercross heat race, the guys are talking about Josh Demuth making his debut in ’07. They say he was in Australia racing and hurt his hand and came back and is working at a dealership. WTF? Why is national number 35 working at a dealership? Can we get somebody to look into this? I’m sure he is selling lots of bikes, after all, if a guy with a neck tattoo tells me to buy a Vulcan 750, I pretty much will, as long as he doesn’t beat me up.
66:00—Robbie Reynard is back! The child prodigy comes back from his latest injury to race Dallas but promptly dislocates his shoulder pulling his choke out.
67:34—They are talking about Demuth punching a clock and how he has to train after work hours. Then J-Wag says that everything is bigger in Texas, even the hours after work? Huh? Maybe the AMA should test everybody for drugs.
69:46—I have no idea what J-Wag is talking about, but this cross club thing sounds pretty cool. If I join, can I help with the fuel testing?
69:55—Chad Reed wins the first Supercross class heat race. But does anyone care?
71:46—40% off SX hats right now people!!
76:24—Stewie is out front in the second heat (big surprise) but it sounds like Tim Ferry and Ivan Tedesco are having a great battle for second. J-Wag is saying that James looks like he is on flat ground when he’s going through the whoops. That fact alone should make for an exciting main event.
79:12—The guys say that something is wrong with Stewie’s bike; he is just idling around and just doubled the triple. He still wins the heat and nobody is quite sure why he slowed down so much at the end. Maybe he was so bored, he tried to ride the last few laps with his eyes closed just for fun?
81:23—One of the good guys of the sport, Joe Oehlhof makes the main for the second week in a row. Joe recently switched to Kawasaki after struggling with his KTM for the first half of the season. I guess the addition of a linkage agrees with Smokin’ Joe.
83:10—Stewie talks about a jersey that he gave away “Anytime I can help anybody it makes me feel good,” he says. Hey James, I have a way you can really make yourself feel good and help out 19 guys on a Saturday night. Stay home!
85:37—The guys have their boss, Mark Abernathy on for an interview, this should be pretty hard hitting. Mark spends the next 10 minutes telling me how something called Monster Jam is great. If I would have told you in 1993 that Damon Bradshaw would never win a major title and end up driving a monster truck, would you have had me committed?
Ben Townley has done the impossible. He's come back from a first round DNF to score 1-1-7-2-1 finishes and put himself in title contention. If he wins in Detroit, he wins the title.
85:54—Hollywood tells us that a great benefit of using the “official hotel of Supercross,” is that you specify how many nights you are staying, smoking room or not, and you can even chose the size bed you want. Whew! That’s a relief. I hate it when Holiday Inn makes me stay for four weeks in a broom closet.
93:17—Nick Wey is in the booth! He is telling the guys all about his recovery, his new baby, his season and how he has been ignoring my calls and text messages for the last month and a half. Man, he really must have taken that C+ hard.
96:14—Nick tells us that the reason James slowed down there at the end is because he wanted to have the second fastest heat so he can pick his gate after Chad. After getting cut off last week by Reed, he wants to line up so it doesn’t happen again. Good call by Nick on this inside bit of strategy.
103:15—The Lites LCQ goes off but I miss it because our pizza arrives and I am tuned into the Leaf game, which I don’t care to talk about.
105:20—The Supercross LCQ is, once again, stacked. Kevin Windham, Heath Voss, Ryan Clark, Eric Sorby and Jeff Gibson are all in it. Sorby takes the lead and KW is way back. Sorby wins it; block passes Terry Boyd and gets in Reed’s way in the staging area.
110:20—KW, Clark and Voss all fail to qualify for the main. KW is saved because of the provisional rule. Man, if it wasn’t for that dumb rule, a lot of heavy hitters would be watching mains from the sidelines this year.
113:30—Kyle Lewis gets the Racer X gas card and tells everyone that he won the Dallas 125 class in 1948.
115:50—Mike Beier joins the crew. He and Hollywood go way back and start talking about racing in Europe on concrete with wooden jumps. Holley says that it was great because you could take somebody out and just blame it on the slippery concrete. Somewhere in Alberta, Ross Pederson is smiling and nodding.
124:20—Damon Freaking Bradshaw is on!!! They are talking about his monster truck racing and he sounds really happy with his life at this time. After the interview, he crushes Jeff Stanton’s rental car on his way home.
129:10—J-Wag calls out Hollywood because on his script of questions for the MMI award, at the end, it says, “Great job.” He asks Jim if he has to remember to say “great job” and Jim says it’s because of the cookies that the guy sent up earlier. This is why I should just stay home and listen to these guys. This ranks high on the unintentional comedy scale.
130:50—J-Wag and Hollywood are talking about Progressive Insurance’s web video “How They Roll.” It’s basically some riders talking about how they borrowed a bunch of nice cars from a buddy the day before the camera crew showed up. I can’t wait to see Josh Hansen’s “How They Roll” from the local Jack in the Box in a few years.
133:00—Darcy Lange takes the lead! A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, buddy!
135:10—Ryan Dungey passes for the lead and Canada sighs and starts watching Don Cherry.
137:20—Still distraught over having to fly by himself, Mike Alessi is way back. Dungey goes down and the PC guys are 1-2. I think Mitch Payton could even turn me into a top five guy.
142:40—Hollywood says Ben Townley misses a shift and “couldn’t get it up.” Too much information, Jim.
144:20—Townley wins the Lites race, DL gets a podium and Morais keeps his points lead by three over BT. Should be a battle in Detroit, inside and outside Ford Field.
145:50—J-Wag says that Mike Farber is frantically doing the math in the title chase. Either that or he is giving himself a sobriety test for the ride home.
146:06—J-Wag once again tells us how great downtown Detroit is, how we won’t believe the revitalization of it. Somebody please check to see if he is employed by the Detroit tourism board. This is getting ridiculous.
146:50—Hollywood goes on and on about how great it is for BT, how everybody is happy, how the race was great. He throws it to J-Wag … and he promptly plugs the Rockstar U.S. Open of Supercross coming up in October!
148:10—Dungey says that he put Makita Suzuki on the top of the box. Uh, Ryan, there are two spots that are higher then you. They must use different podiums in Minnesota.
155:40—Townley is on the headset with the guys and thanks what seems like every single person in New Zealand. He says that Darcy kind of put it inside a bit, and that it surprised him coming from his teammate. Uh, oh a Canada / New Zealand war! Can you imagine these two war-mongering countries going at it?
161:40—The Supercross class takes off and Andrew Short grabs the holeshot and leads for a lap.
162:30—Stewie is in the lead and jumping something that no one else is. Shocker!
After his performance at Indy, I guess practicing starts are off Stewart's weekday to-do list.
165:40—The guys tell us that Reed is catching Stewie, and they sound sober. The battle for the final podium spot is on also between Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short and the unstoppable juggernaut Tim Ferry.
166:40—Ivan Tedesco continues to crash this season, this time he goes down over the finish line with Jason Thomas.
169:00—Lap ten and Ferry moves into third. I knew the unstoppable juggernaut would get the third spot. If only Kawi would give him the same bike as Stewie, he would be winning. Bastards….
173:10—Four laps left and Stewie is pulling away. J-Wag says Reed is going to have to put his head down. If he does that, how is he going to ride?
175:10—Tedesco and Grant Langston are in 14th and 15th spot. Aren’t they supposed to be the future of the sport?
176:20—Stewie wins again but is so busy pumping his fist and thinking of how crazy his pimp’n’ho party during the off week is going to be, he allows Reed to get to within a second of him at the finish.
178:20—Holley asks what Rotto does for Stewie and J-Wag says he is his man-friend, with no reference to me. You know he didn’t pull that out of thin air. I need to contact a lawyer….
181:20—Chad Reed gives a candid podium speech for once. He says that the track is great and he thanks Live Nation and Clear Channel. Todd Jendro bangs his head against the nearest wall. Hey, at least Chad didn’t say it was his dream to come and race in “Ameriker”.
181:30—Terry Boyd gives Reed props because he was “bruised, battered and could barely walk into Anaheim 1” Terry, for the last time, he hurt his shoulder, he didn’t come back from Iraq.
181:40—Terry continues his Dan Rather-like interview by asking if Chad is going right into outdoor testing during the break. That’s a relevant question except CHAD ISN’T RACING OUTDOORS THIS YEAR. I’m just waiting for him to ask him how his Yamaha of Troy bike is working for him.
181:42—Chad laughs and says that he is glad that part (outdoors) of his career is over. That sound you hear is the NPG falling out of their chairs.
183:50—Stewie says he’s tired and going on vacation. Man, I wish he would invite me to his house this week. Can you imagine the things that will be going on in Haines City this week? I am trying to confirm that Joe Francis has already landed his plane there.
185:40—Tim Ferry says he can’t wait to get his works bike out on an outdoor track this week in California. Yeah, because his SX season is going so bad…. He also doesn’t thank me for all my support that I gave him tonight, typical ungrateful rider.
OK, that’s it. Now all I need to do is order my Bar-To-Bar video, get my SX hat, book my Vegas SX hotel, enter the SX contest, and order my Monster Jam tickets!
Chad Reed put in a very good ride in Dallas and nearly caught Stewart on the final lap.