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NBC airs Shaun White’s vulgar exchange with coach

As Shaun White began to close in on a gold medal in the halfpipe finals at the Winter Olympics on Wednesday night, NBC aired an exchange between White and his coach Bud Keene that got a little f****ing vulgar.

From Yahoo! Sports.com:

At first there were whoops of celebration. But then things got a little R-rated.
Keene: What do you want to do?

White: I don’t know, man. Ride down the middle?

(Chorus of noes.)

Keene: No, have some fun.

White: Drop a double mick?

Keene: Yeah, drop a double mick at the end. Do whatever you want and [expletive] send that thing. Make sure you stomp the [expletive] out of that thing.

It went downhill from there if you can read lips, at which point NBC announcers Pat Parnell and Todd Richards apologized for the language and defended it by saying that a lot of energy was running through White and his coaches. The apology was necessary (even if it did draw more attention to the curses – they were tough to hear without rewinding), but NBC was apologizing for the wrong people. They shouldn’t be apologizing for Bud Keene; they should be apologizing for the network showing it in the first place.

I agree with the Yahoo! Sports article. NBC screwed the pooch by airing the dialogue. It’s not Keene or White’s responsibility to clean up their language when they’re having what should be a private conversation. Unless they’re giving an interview and they drop a couple of F-bombs on everyone, then they shouldn’t be criticized in this situation. They’re adults and some adults talk this way. NBC should have planned ahead better.

Staying on topic: White is freaking awesome. He is snowboarding.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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X Games 15 Preview

X Games

XG15 is under way in Los Angeles.

ESPN previews four different events

Skateboarding: “A confluence of factors makes this year’s Street competition one of the most fascinating to date. To begin with, there’s Ryan Sheckler. Arguably the most recognizable skater on earth, Sheckler comes to Los Angeles hot off a Dew Tour win, and the prototype for competition dominance. But a sagging economy has lured hardcore street skaters who normally focus on producing film segments to take a shot on the sport’s biggest stage. Can guys like Mike Mo Capaldi, Darrell Stanton and Nick Dompierre establish a new competition benchmark? And can any of them stop 15-year-old Chaz Ortiz from making the whole field look old?”

Moto X: “In an event known for big names, perhaps none is bigger than James Stewart. The 23-year-old motocross superstar is on pace to shatter the all-time record for Supercross wins, but first he’s making his first pit stop at X Games. James is known internationally not just for his dominance, but also his breaking down of racial barriers as the sport’s first African-American champion. The X Games gives Stewart the opportunity to test his newfound acceptance of his own fame with a whole new fan base.”

BMX: “Now that Dave Mirra has joined the Action Sports Retirement Tour (otherwise known as the Rally America Championship), it would seem he’s ready finally to cede the X Games BMX stage to other riders, except he’s still competing in both Park and Big Air and remains a gold-medal threat in both. He’s already the most decorated BMX rider in X Games history; will he pad his lead at XG15?”

Rally: “Travis Pastrana has won two of the three X Games Rally events, and his healthy lead in the 2009 Rally America Championship indicates he’s driving as well as ever. The flip side of Pastrana’s consistency is Ken Block, who’s considered the fastest driver in North America, but with a reputation for recklessness that has cost him wins in the past. In six Rally America championships this year, Block has won twice, finished second once and failed to finish three times. Whether or not he can finally break through for X Games gold after winning two bronzes and a silver in the past three might be the most fascinating question at XG15.”

ESPN also has coverage of the ever-elusive front flip, marketing guru Ken Block, 15-year-old skateboarder Chaz Ortiz, supercross star James Stewart and BMXer Van Homan.

You can watch a well-made trailer right here as well.

The Los Angeles Times has also run a series of stories detailing the this year’s events.

On risk, injury, and death

On James Stewart’s debut

On women’s skateboarding

On Jake Brown’s aerial displays

Lastly, I think James Stewart sums up the excitement of the events perfectly in this quote:

“The average person always thinks soccer, football and basketball players are the toughest athletes. But man, I think the guys that come to the X Games are probably some of the most gnarly and talented athletes in the world.”

You can catch the games all week on ESPN and ESPN2.

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