Supercross has gotten some heat lately. So much, in fact, a new fan might think based on what's posted, written, and/or discussed online, that baseball offers more exciting action.
Apparently it's all that Ryan Dungey's fault. The other riders can't bounce him from the podium to save their life!
Dungey is indeed running away with the Championship this year and barring a significant crash or mechanical failure, he probably wraps up his second consecutive Supercross title a round or two early. Again.
He's got a 39 point advantage over Ken Roczen with six rounds remaining and has yet to end that record consecutive podium streak. He's like the Energizer bunny. He just keeps going and going and going. Jason Anderson in third-place is 53 points back from Dungey and he'll be out of the Championship running in a few weeks.
Ryan Villopoto made a mockery of the Championship race for years. Before him, it was James Stewart winning it three out of four years. Now, Dungey is too good and it's time to even the playing field. It's where the country is headed anyway so we might as well tackle every aspect of life and penalize those who work hard, right? Oh relax, the rumored Championship points chase coming in 2017 has solid arguments on both sides of the fence, so we're not here to debate the merits of wiping out the points for those in the Top 10 after so many rounds like they do in Arenacross.
Instead, we're going to find ways to make 22 guys opening the throttle on a dirt bike at the drop of a gate who hurl themselves through the air and bounce along a section of whoops risking the huckabuck and an eventual gnarly get-off even more exciting. So we came up with five ways to make Supercross more appealing and exciting.
1. Water Hazard with Alligators
Enough with the boring double jumps. Feature water hazards filled with hungry alligators. FOX Sports can broadcast the rolling "Alligator Cam" so if a rider makes a mistake and falls into the watering hole viewers won't miss a bit of the action.
A water hazard with alligator feature on a Supercross track heightens the intensity and brings in a more methodical approach to racing. The track walk takes on even deeper meaning as this is one obstacle no rider would ever want to hit the dirt anywhere near. If the "Alligator flag" waves during a race, riders would know someone made a mistake and is in trouble. If the Red Cross flag follows, then riders would know that mistake turned a bit grave. There'd probably need to be a special team in place provided a rider got knocked out and couldn't save himself.
2. 10 Foot Pit with the Option of Impaling Spikes
Similar to the alligators, a pit with an option of impaling spikes jutting out from the ground could be constructed in between jumps or anywhere on the track for that matter. Can you imagine a rider casing a jump, falling over and the ensuing frenzy as the weight of his bike slowly slides him back into the pit? The excitement shown on the "Pit Cam" would certainly go viral bringing even more fans to Supercross and an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm to this now boring sport.
No, no, no, no. We're not talking snipers with real rifles taking live shots at riders. This isn't a Stephen King novel. Paint ball guns! How sensational it would be to have one, two or however many gunners to take potshots at riders. Imagine Dungey out front like usual, coming off a jump as paint balls pelt his face and body. He'd need a whole stack of tear-offs to weather this new type of roost.
What's more, the fine folks at Feld could hold a fund-raising raffle for the sport and the winning fan(s) would get the honor of shooting the riders. That could put a real twist in the action as the race teams could possibly put money behind a "fan" who is actually a plant. That fan then shoots an opposing rider securing victory for someone else.
Landmines, or the more apposite track mines, present another gnarly obstacle that would pretty much end a rider's race instantly. We're not talking IEDs, here. Just a minor explosion that at worst would throw the rider off the bike and at best destroy the tire. So, the idea behind landmines ranges from a small area of track a la the sand section scattered with landmines, or upping the difficulty by peppering the entire track with landmines.
Watch Dungey (or any rider for that matter) get blown off his bike just as he reaches the checkers. Even better, if chance would have it, he crosses the finish line anyway! Now that is drama no sport could ever equal. So does he win? Does the bike actually need to cross or just the rider's body to make it official? That's what makes Supercross so special. Ramp up the tension further by locating the alligators right after the finish line.
5. Pendulum Swing Obstacle
Finally, the pendulum swing obstacles hilariously incorporated into all those rough and tough reality shows could easily transfer to the ultimate reality show - Supercross. Riders must navigate their way through a section of track that has some type of pendulums swinging back and forth. It could be large foam balls or the more scary looking hatchets. Either way, bona fide strategy comes into play as riders must decide whether to stop and go their way through, possibly losing valuable time, or just open it up and hope for the best.
This is just food for thought. No hurt feelings here if any or even all of these ideas get tossed out. We're just trying to get the ball, er, dirt bike rolling. However, if you do take our suggestions, the best approach would be to try them individually before incorporating two or more per round. Riders have enough to deal with already. And remember, safety first!
Written By: AndrewT