I loved the X Games. And I too, laughed at the co-opted and failed commercial attempt at the Gravity Games.
The X Games was the purest of sport. I grew up with a number of close friends who boarded (I helped them shoot videos in Philly in the early 90s). It was an awesome culture that produced some of my favorite people. They represented in so many ways the best of those times. Diversity. Individuality. Freedom. Creativity. Self expression. And the music. Man. The breadth of music was as diverse as the colors represented on their boards and clothes.
I remember when Tony Hawk landed his 900. It was an odd event because it was also a little contentious. People protested that he met trying. But he landed it not to win an award or the competition, he landed it to land it.
Because he had written a list of tricks he wanted to land and this was the last one on the list.
He finally nailed it. It was a remarkable land. It was celebrated. And he also didn’t get credit for it in the context of the games. It was also an oddly Tin Cup moment but if it had played out well, for the trick itself and what it meant to the game, and not the awards.
Here he is. At 52. Landing a 720. Once the gold standard. Still a gold standard for anyone at 52.Tony Hawk has been around. His video game celebrity peaked when he was in his 30s! Think about that. When asked where he’d been, he paused and said, well, I never left.