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If you missed the video in which Bob Costas reduced slopestyle to something from the show Jackass, watch it here (along with Todd Richards’ response). Our friend Spencer Timkey had a few more things to say though. Take it away, Spencer.
I recently caught wind of some comments you made while appearing on “The Today Show” with Matt Lauer about the addition of slopestyle to the Winter Olympics.
“I think the president of the IOC should be Johnny Knoxville, because basically this stuff is just jackass stuff that they invented and called Olympic sports,” you said, all the while maintaining a facial expression that dripped contemptuousness.
“I mean it in the kindest possible way,” you concluded, as Matt giggled. Oh! Thank God. I was beginning to think you thought of snowboarders as hippies, dirtbags, stoners or any other tag mainstream society labels snowboarders.
But come now, Bob. Calling a premier discipline of our sport “jackass stuff” isn’t very fair. It almost sounds like you’re generalizing. You’re an alumnus of the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, which is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. Surely they taught you that generalization is one of journalism’s Cardinal sins!
Or maybe, Bob, you just don’t want to look at the facts. Let’s go back to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, when Men’s Gold Medal Halfpipe brought in a whopping 30.1 million viewers. Or the fact IOC president Thomas Bach continues to add snowboarding events to infuse youth and a ‘cool’ factor into the Games.
And let me get this right. Slopestyle, which is akin to a different discipline of skiing, is “jackass stuff” — but halfpipe and boardercross are not? That doesn’t make much sense to me, Bob. That’s like saying offense and defense are fine, but special teams? Totally ridiculous.
If you head to NBCOlympics.com, you’ll see that snowboarding is the third tab in, in direct line-of-sight as soon as the webpage loads. Obviously, the network signing your paychecks doesn’t seem to share your opinion on snowboarding.
Because you see, Bob, snowboarding is no longer a sport strictly for rebellious teenagers (was it ever really that?). Snowboarders are doctors, lawyers, engineers, moms, dads, grandpas and little kids.
You’re going to say something so egregious about snowboarding, but keep your mouth shut about curling or figure skating? Really? You can say whatever you want. That’s your right as an American. But to label one of the most difficult disciplines in the sport as you did is beyond insulting.
Bob, you’re one of the biggest names in sports journalism, and people respect your opinion and what you have to say. Labeling slopestyle and its addition to the Winter Games as “jackass stuff” isn’t fair to the athletes that have been training for the honor of representing their country. Nor is it fair to those of us that love snowboarding.
Will you say what you said to Shaun White’s face if he wins the Gold in slopestyle and you interview him again? Probably not.
I hope you feel as if you’re correct in your comments, and you feel absolutely no remorse. Because you’re right, Bob. We’re all just a bunch of jackasses.