Saturday, January 16, 2010, at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, there was a supercross race. Specifically Round 2 of the AMA / FIM Supercross Series.
During that night, there was a lot of drama, which is great for the sport of supercross worldwide. The 250 West Lites division put on a great 15 lap main event, with Jake Weimer ultimately winning. There was a lot of close racing, and it was exciting and fun to watch.
In 450 Supercross, there was drama starting in the heat race that had James Stewart and Kyle Patridge. Both went down hard. James is the defending AMA Supercross Series champion, and it was ‘different’ to see the ‘champ’ laying on the ground for a while, not moving, and then walking so slowly, and obviously in a lot of pain off the side of the track (eventually getting a ‘ride’ back to the pits). I don’t know exactly what happened to Kyle … I don’t know him personally. I hope he is OK.
More drama later in 450 Supercross. James Stewart came out to race the LCQ to try & get into the main event, and get points towards another Supercross Title. He did win the LCQ, but from my perspective, he didn’t look ‘right’. He looked like he was hurting.
In the 450 Supercross Main Event, more drama – two ‘youngsters’ (for 450 Supercross) were leading – Ryan Dungey & Ryan Villopoto. They would finish in that position after 20 laps – Dungey winning the race, taking over the points lead, and Ryan Villopoto finishing second.
Chad Reed and James Stewart crashed – into each other. Many people have said it was James’ fault. Many people have said it was Chad’s fault. Again, in watching from my perspective, it truly looked like it wasn’t anyone’s fault, but racing – a time & place where two competitors on two racing machines, both battling as hard as they can, trying to occupy the same place at the same time on the race track. Occasionally, it happens.
I’ve never raced a supercross. I’ve never won a supercross. And I’ve never been a Supercross Champion. Both James Stewart and Chad Reed have won plenty of supercross races, and both are two time AMA Supercross Champions.
Racing is tough. It’s physically and mentally demanding. Really tough. And EVERYONE seems to have an opinion on what happened in Phoenix, on the track, off the track, press releases, quotes, etc. And my question to you: how the heck would you know what’s going on to comment? Have you ever been in THEIR positions in life?
OK, I say that ‘tongue in cheek’. You can, and should comment. It’s good. Go for it! Give your opinion!
But don’t say what Chad Reed was thinking or doing, or what James Stewart was thinking or doing. None of us know. And we’ll never know for sure, because we are not them.
And please don’t bash either one of them for who they are, or what they did, or didn’t do. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And you don’t know. Only THEY know what they are, and were thinking. How would you feel if they came to where you work and were trying to do your job to the best of your ability and they called you a ‘baby’ or, as I’ve seen lately, much worse?
We know of Chad Reed and James Stewart because they are successful professional athletes, and public personalities. They have probably benefited from that in ways that we never will.
But there is another side to that coin. Everyone in the sport watches and (over) analyzes what they do. They are in the spotlight. Almost everything they do is in the spotlight and ‘analyzed’. They have responsibilities and pressures that we don’t even know about. Again, I think it’s unfair to bash them personally, or to comment on what they might of been thinking.
Rise above it! Be the best! Be a fountain, not a drain! : )
Applaud them and appreciate them. Because supercross is a tough sport…and they won’t be around forever.
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