“What are we going to do this New Year’s Eve, Brain?”
“Same thing we do every New Year’s Eve, Pinky. Try and take over the world!”**
Okay, maybe not. But for the past several years, my New Years Eve weekends have been very much the same, and in so many ways absolutely unique. That’s thanks to a Red Bull/ESPN collaborative called “New Year. No Limits” and a little football game called the Rose Bowl.
This year’s NYNL event was held at the San Diego Harbor and featured motocross rider Robbie Maddison and snowmobile rider Levi LaVallee attempting to set simultaneous world-record distance jumps. (LaVallee accomplished his goal, besting his own WR by more than 50 feet. Maddison came up short, but will surely be back for another try.)
For the fourth time in five years, I spent my New Year’s Eve covering this event–this year, from a pirate ship parked in the SD Bay, thanks to Red Bull communications director Jordan Miller–and rang in the new year with tons of friends at the after party. The jump, I should mention, was aired live on ESPN and a huge success–which, in my opinion means both riders landed safely on the other side of the jump. The rest is superfluous.
The next day, I wrote a column about the jumps, and what they mean for the future of distance jumping for ESPN.com. You can read that story here.
On Monday, I headed to Pasadena for another exciting Rose Bowl, this year between the universities of Wisconsin and Oregon. We expected a high-scoring shootout from two of the nation’s most potent offenses, and man, they delivered. If the game went more than three minutes without a score, we’d start fake yawning in the press box and pretending we were losing interest. Time of possession was virtually meaningless in that game, considering it took Oregon less than a minute to score on more than one occasion. It was the type of game where you hate to see either team lose.
BTW, as I write this, I am three-for-three in my BCS picks. (C’mon Clemson!) You can read the BCS preview/picks column I wrote for the year-end issue of ESPN The Magazine here. (Warning: To do so, you have to be an Insider.)
Next weekend, I’ll be in Anaheim for the kickoff of the 2012 Supercross season and then it’s off to New Orleans for the BCS title game re-match between #1 LSU and #2 Alabama. As tough as it is to beat the same team twice in a season (Florida-FSU II in 1996, anyone?!), I’m taking LSU. The Honey Badger don’t care!
**Hopefully you got the reference to my favorite college-years cartoon show. I wasted many hours watching those guys on Animaniacs. I even started writing an episode that I never finished and sadly have no idea where that notebook ended up. (Pre-computer days!) If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click HERE.