Not Reed, and probably not Canard. It isn’t looking so good for Barcia or Millsaps either. In fact, Feld Entertainment, with the help of the FIM, may have lost too many cogs to continue along with this grand machine they have put together with the “#Who’sNext” propaganda. They have purposefully left out James Stewart’s name in all broadcast and mentions, and very nearly done the same with 4-time and current Champion Ryan Villopoto. This is all part of their ploy to hype the next new wave of competitive racing that has really yet to take form in the 450 class. Maybe they should hype the tiddler class as a way to save some face. We all understand enough of advertising and marketing in a common sense sort-of-way to realize they have their reasons for pursuing the season as they have. However they believed the season would turn out, I think they could not have seen this coming. They can blame it on the riders and the riders can blame it on the tracks, but realistically the majority of the blame will be place on the show promoters and more recently, the governing bodies. #Who’sNext might not be so much a year for unparalleled parity in the racing field as much as a year for rioting against the machine/the man, or whatever else you want to label the keepers of SX. No matter what it will be a year to remember, but for which party is the real question?
Mistake 1– The # is dead. The # is dead! If twitter and the rest of the world haven’t killed it already SX on Fox Sports 1 and Monster Energy Supercross has. I understand the demographic they are targeting, but it is as they say, “too much of a good thing becomes bad”, and it has. Three rounds into the season and it is practically a running joke, and if you listen to The Pulpmx Show then you already know this is true. It is too late to right the ship completely and I believe it would be a mistake to abandon the mantra of the series; however, they can at least tone down the repetitiveness of it on broadcasts.
Mistake 2– Stop avoiding past players who are absent by choice or by penalty, and acknowledge the gaping hole left to be filled. Instead, they choose to ignore two great competitors in the hopes that all who need to be informed on the situations have been and no one else matters. What happened to informing the masses? Increasing SX knowledge and building storylines that hit home emotionally with the audience is one great way to ensure someone, not only takes interest in one night of racing, but possibly a season or more. Build up the loss of these two men and highlight what it actually does to the sport and the fans. It doesn’t have to be a shot at USADA or the FIM, just the truth about what happened and why. Have you not watched modern TV programming? People love drama and scandal!
Mistake 3– Stop modeling after Nascar when it comes to TV coverage. Emotion is the key to anything competitive or entertaining, but there is a balance. The racers can be emotional (yes, even Mike Alessi), the fans can be emotional, and the announcers can even be emotional. In fact, the more emotion they all have the more intense the racing will be and the more amped up the fans will be. Maybe not to the informed fan, but the rest of the world needs the announcers. They need knowledge, they need timing from them, and they need passion and visceral emotion at times. These integrated components connect them to the entertainment; they are the key to the expansion of this sport. It seems like they push for a chemistry between both Fro and Ralph that is calm and boring. We don’t need wrestling announcing going on here (sorry Weege), but we need something more passionate. I believe Ralph and Jeff do a good job doing whatever it is they are asked to do, but I think they need to ask them to do something different. Just raising your voice when someone crosses the finish line doesn’t make it any more exciting. When you listen to them during the broadcast it seems like they are reading everything from a script instead of seeing and reacting. A reaction to a pass attempt by Canard on Reed that goes wrong could have been exciting, but if you listen it seems like it is just part of the script. If an informed fan thinks that way how do you think a new viewer feels?
Mistake 4– Why are potential season altering calls being made rashly? In a motorsport, pick any one of them; the black flag should be reserved for severe cases. The quotes produced by the officials seem to be stuck on the word “malicious intent”. That could be used with any block pass made by Tyler Bowers, Josh Hansen, Cooper Webb, or (hold your breath) Justin Barcia. This year in particular has been full of somewhat rough riding and in every instance has provided the most awe factor of the season. Would I rather see them slug it out for several laps or the entirety of the main event? Of course, who wouldn’t? But us fans will take whatever we can get for excitement and this year has produced little in the form of real racing, apart from this A2 round in the 250 class. Either way, the officials have severally hurt this sport for the season by taking out Chad Reed from Championship contention. Was he reacting to a silly move by Trey? Yes. Was his move equal stupid? Yes. Was he a threat to any other riders or did he show that he really wanted to hurt Trey? No. He was pissed, he has done worse than that before and never does it appear he is trying to injure another riders, just get payback or going for a win. Something should have been done after the race when all parties were cooled down and every statement was taken into account and every angle scrutinized in that special SXMO they are so proud of. #Thanksforeliminatinganothercontender.
In all honesty I have been disappointed with the progress made by the people who put on the show. They claim they are looking out for the best interest of everyone but it appears even they are unclear on what direction is best for racing. Protect the show and riders, but don’t hurt both in one rash decision. #Who’sNext is now down to #backtothree. Last year it was Villopoto, Stewart, and Roczen, with Dungey coming on down the stretch, and even that became a two man show…then a one-man show by season end. This season was supposed to be parity at its best, now we are down to three. Millsaps, Barcia, and Canard have been their own undoing for the most part, and it is still early, but it looks bleak for them. Roczen, Tomac, and Dungey seem to be setting up for a long season of consistency and taking what they can get when they can. Reed has been pushed aside by the governing bodies and now we are back to last year. Only difference is Roczen is more experienced, Tomac has replaced Stewart as the fast but unsure if he can win-on-this-particular-night dude, and Dungey is himself, always there. Same story just a different year. #ThanksFeld.