Why Motocross Deserves Mainstream Acceptance

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Why Supercross Deserves Mainstream Acceptance

“All you’re doing is twisting the throttle.” Such is a typical response from the general public when asked to describe the physical requirements of motocross. Little known fact: A study conducted in the late 1990s showed that motocross is the second most physically-demanding sport behind professional soccer.

Ever since Ricky Carmichael forced the competition to train at his level or face defeat, motocross racing has become a war of attrition. Why call attention to the fitness aspect of the sport? Because supercross and motocross still fails to garner the respect it deserves from the media and everyday sports fans.

With all 17 rounds of the Monster Energy Supercross season in the books, riders will now forgo a well-deserved break in favor of preparing for the upcoming Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series, which kicks off in three weeks at California’s Glen Helen Raceway. ESPN and Fox Sports will tell you all about NFL players and their arduous training regimen leading up to the once-a-year, 16-game season. What you won’t hear is how 80-plus motocross racers from around the world battled through 17 rounds of supercross over an 18-week period only to face an additional 12 stops on the summer-long 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross tour. Furthermore, each outdoor national consists of two grueling 30-minute plus two lap motos in race day temperatures that frequently breach the 100-degree mark.

Why Supercross Deserves Mainstream Acceptance

We keep hearing from event promoters that the problem with boosting exposure comes down to the fact that current motocross/supercross format is inherently anti-TV. To which we say: If Formula 1 and Nascar Cup Series races are allotted three-to five-hour time slots, why not grant motocross a similar courtesy? Sure, Nascar is on a different planet when it comes to overall popularity, but supercross in particular has experienced a significant jump in viewership every year for the past five years. However, the influx of outside sponsorships and broadcasting support one expects from increased awareness has remained stagnant.

Why Supercross Deserves Mainstream Acceptance

It’s time for the sanctioning bodies and event promoters of professional supercross and motocross (Feld Motorsports and MX Sports, respectively) to transform motocross into the F1 of off-road motorcycle racing. This means breaking ties with Monster Jam, reinventing the way in which riders plug their respective sponsors, and instilling a more family-friendly vibe at the races. Energy drink models dressed in leather are certainly fun to look at, but prevent the sport from receiving the credibility it deserves.

Why Supercross Deserves Mainstream Acceptance

Professional baseball, football, and basketball players are certainly talented in their own right, but don’t put their lives on the line for the sake of entertainment quite like motocross racers. It’s time for motocross racing to receive the mainstream attention it deserves.

Why Supercross Deserves Mainstream AcceptanceTell us why you love Supercross. Should it be televised like the NFL or any other major global sport?

 

  • William Connor

    Let’s forget the traditional TV format and use the FansChoiceTV model instead. “Televise” the racing live via the internet using the latest digital formats and offering a customizable experience. Do this for free to the consumer with support from advertising. Show adds on one side of the feed, have the ability to discuss live over social media the event, and allow users to select different video feeds or follow the directed feed with commentary. Then your audience is world wide. I watched the Daytona 200 this way and got to share that experience with fans from all over the world live for the first time, possibly in history of the event.

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    I think you hit on the main reasons motocross isn’t accepted by the public. When talked about professional football, basketball, and baseball it is the management and professional organization that has allowed them to become so popular. These are also sports people actually participate in – motocross is something you usually have to go out of your way to get your kids into and costs thousands of dollars a year to stay competitive, sometimes tens of thousands.

    Until there is an affordable and safe gateway to get kids and teens into motocross it will be a “club” sport for children who’s dads own yamaha dealerships and doomed to be broadcast on ESPN 8 ‘ THE OCHO”.

    • BobasBounty

      A lot of guys I grew up with started as BMX racers. Yes, at some point you have to step up to a motorized bike, but peewee age kids aren’t too hard pressed to get mom and dad to buy them an amateur race worthy BMX bike.

      • Nemosufu Namecheck

        BMX is really fun and I wish there would have been a track where I grew up. It’s a really rough sport for kids though. One of my friends has three boys that race every weekend and they get beat pretty hard for as young as they are. it isn’t uncommon to have multiple fractured arms and legs, or to have your face ridden over in a crash. Concussion injury seems to be higher than football. How long do most kids stay in the sport?

        • BobasBounty

          Good, we need to stop giving kids safety scissors and round paper! This may sound morbid to some, but I’d you escape childhood without a broken bone, you either missed out on a lot of fun or are a ninja.

          Most of my friends stuck with it until either high school sports required their time, they got a car and never rode a bike again, or they got old enough for the competition to get really serious and they weren’t competitive enough. Some did do amateur MX, and had local success.

          • Nemosufu Namecheck

            I’m with you – you need some bruises to grow up right. Maybe I’ll let my son try if he’s interested.

            • BobasBounty

              Yea, another good (or bad depending on how you look at it) thing about BMX is that it’s usually a three season sport. I always hated that little league baseball, football, or whatever seemed to have a two month season. I can remember one year playing football, we practiced for two weeks, played five games, and the best record became the champs…. Seriously!

              A long season definitely fosters more dedication and holds a kids interest. It also means the parents are on the hook for longer, but if your kid would have played multiple sports it’s similar.

          • zedro

            Guess I’m a Ninja, with multiple concussions tho….

          • Mr. White

            I was more of about the stitches than broken bones. I didn’t start breaking bones until I got into skateboarding in my teens.

        • BobasBounty

          Good, we need to stop giving kids safety scissors and round paper! This may sound morbid to some, but I’d you escape childhood without a broken bone, you either missed out on a lot of fun or are a ninja.

          Most of my friends stuck with it until either high school sports required their time, they got a car and never rode a bike again, or they got old enough for the competition to get really serious and they weren’t competitive enough. Some did do amateur MX, and had local success.

    • Scheffy

      All this, not to mention what a kid participates in is dictated by what their parents fear. If parents have any prejudice towards motorcycles whatsoever because of Uncle Bobby dentist’s best friend’s camel-breeder losing everything but his torso and left pinky in a bike crash (one he probably brought on himself anyway, but I digress…), they just flat out won’t let their kid participate, regardless of how much they might actually want to. They’ll let their kids stick to cheap and “safe” sports like football. Concussion is harder to spell than broken wrist, so that means it’s less likely to happen, right?

      What with extracurriculars in schools slowly transitioning to pay-to-play rules due to dwindling funding, maybe moto will start to look more and more appealing at some point, at least on a cost basis. One can dream, anyway…

      • Nemosufu Namecheck

        You’re absolutely right. What would be a good concept of operations would be to have a motocross team that had 10-20 bikes and gear for people to just sign up for for the season like you would for soccer or baseball. Parents will pay for league fees and jersey but will seldom pay for bike, trailer to put the bike in, truck to pull the trailer, etc. As a parent you just want your kids in a sport, not every parent wants to turn into a pit crew (although I would love it).

  • http://batman-news.com Aaron

    It is still viewed as an “EXTREME” sport. Only kooks and outcasts would ride motorbikes in such a way. I think if one changes the way people see the sport, the sport will grow and build with the fan base. And yes, part of that is Monster billing it like a 1980′s monster truck show.

  • Justin McClintock

    Look at your average motocross racer. Now look at CC Sabathia and Prince Fielder. I think that just about covers it.

  • Jack Meoph

    I don’t understand why people keep looking to established media to “open up” and let fringe activities, like motocross, in. Motocross use to be on TV, when everyone and their mother rode a motorcycle, because they were cheap and people didn’t coddle their kids like they were made from Tiffany Glass. Those days are gone. The people who run these operations are going to have to suck it up, make the initial investment, and self produce their own programming to run on the web (or even start their own cable channel). All of the two wheeled operations, from road racing, dirt, drag, and the off the cliff stuff like hillclimb, need to pool their resources, get under the same tent, and sell the product as a collective. Until then, motorcycle “sports” will remain a fragmented and low volume product catering to a small, specific demographic.

    • zedro

      Yeah we need more multiple disciplines/diversity, for some reason I find arena/supercross dull to watch, but full size track motocross and hill climbs really exciting. I think the supercross format is overly manicured, it barely looks like anyone’s working that hard they are so good at perfecting the track. An outdoor track after 3 motos however chews and spits out even the most talented riders. And hillclimb destroys EVERYONE.

      • Mr. White

        Yeah, I have to agree with you. Supercross is like a manicured golf course. What I really love to watch is Endurocross. Way more brutal.

  • Piglet2010

    “Energy drink models dressed in leather are certainly fun to look at, but
    prevent the sport from receiving the credibility it deserves.”

    The same way the NFL and NBA lack credibility due to cheerleaders and dance squads?

    “A study conducted in the late 1990s showed that motocross is the second most physically-demanding sport…”

    What sports did they not consider? Hard to believe a Dakar Rally stage is less physically demanding than two motocross sprint races.

    • Paolo

      Oh man, I just posted the same thing SECONDS ago! Next time I’ll scroll down to read all the previous comments first.

    • Bluesceyes

      Umbrella girls.

  • Paolo

    “Energy drink models dressed in leather are certainly fun to look at, but prevent the sport from receiving the credibility it deserves.”

    Oh right, because NFL/NBA cheerleaders and MotoGP paddock girls are all wearing burkas, right?