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ESPN 2 Commentary Prompts Strong Reader Response

Sometimes I get angry, and it comes through in my writing. This was the case when I wrote the editorial on Saturday concerning ESPN 2’s coverage of Anaheim III (Round 5 of the AMA 250 Supercross series). I was at that race (I didn’t just watch it on television), and I felt that ESPN’s coverage was very biased, and failed to give Kawasaki and Ricky Carmichael the credit they deserved.

Our reader’s responses were equally emotional (some of them). Although largely in agreement with the position stated by MD, there were a few readers who strongly disagreed with our position. Here are the unedited responses we received:

  • I love this motorcycle daily site and especially the editorials of yours. I’m with you 100% on your analogy of the comentating of ESPN. Complete bullshit. Power to my 2 favourite offroad riders, Ricky and Shane.
    Jack Peters

  • Hit the nail on the head with that article. Cheers, James Haddon

  • I couldn’t agree more. How about the coverage you get, all your shown is McGrath no matter where he is, 1st or 15th and they stay with him for about 80% of the race.
    Even after Ricky passed Jeremy they stayed with McGrath and when Ricky pulled away nothing was said. Then in the interview McGrath said, the track was easy and I just didn’t have a quick enough pace. Even he can’t believe he got caught and left behind on a so called easy and fast track. It seemsthe attitude of the ESPN 2 announcers is that it’s McGrath’s race to lose. It’s time ESPN 2 gave Ricky the credit and respect he desrves. Thank You Rob&Alma Palmer

  • Thanks for the article on the MC/ ESPN2 conspiracy. I too, am
    tired of the MC excuses and not giving RC the credit due to him. Although I do respect MC`s
    talent and titles, I dont think he would have won all of them if he had been
    pressured like he is now by RC. Keep up the good work and see ya at the races. Chris Morgan

  • congrats on a well written and ballsy article that states what everyone is thinking but is hesitant to say. don’t get me wrong-i’d like to see mc whip rc, but i see it the same way you see it. good job, too bad for mc tho….

  • You got to be kidding me about that last post. You got a few things right…

    RC does ride on the ragged edge and thats his style, He does have all those Nat wins rideing that way. This is not the Nats this is SX. That rideing style is going to take RC down and he won’t win the championship because of it. It works outdoors because there is more room for error when you make a big mistake.

    You can easily see it even after this last race at Indy. Jeremy is not worried at all. He knows one of these weekends RC is going to screw up and make a huge mistake. If you can’t see that coming then this page needs to stick to its street bikes.
    My .02, Jeff Syslo

  • Great article man! I went to Anaheim for the Ricky Reel In, and I too
    watched this morning’s ESPN sicophant special. I agree, MC is the greatest
    this sport has seen; however, Ricky out-rode McGrath plain and simple. These
    clowns who would hold McGrath on a pedestal obviously have not checked this
    evenings 250 main results from Indy. I am glad that there is a chance that
    MC will have to EARN the title this year. Especially after the post race
    comment by McGrath when he said ” my hat’s off to Ricky coming from behind on
    a fairly easy track”. What happened in Indy? Can’t wait to watch and see
    what these clowns and the “King” have to say for themselves. Best Regards, D. Reichert

  • I just had to write to you and defend Davey Coombs. Everything Davey has written in Racer X is always top-class, professionally and also for entertaining purposes. I haven’t checked out ESPN but if you would had read the whole racerhead article you would had noticed that Davey defintely has respect for Ricky Carmichael. Just check the part marked below.

    And have you wondered why Davey was visiting Ricky? To show respect to the fastest rider at the moment. What Davey does on television may also be a little bit different than he really means. You know, he has an audience that he has to please by trying to give a little bit of more excitement to the already exciting SX-series. It is the US, you know.

    And you judging David Baileys expertise… I think he knows a few more things about motocross than you.

    To me it seems like you have a problem with your “collegues”. I guess you don’t like it that they are more successfull than yourself. I hope this doesn’t sound too negative because I like www.motorcycledaily.com and I will also use it in the future.

    You see, Ricky was not alone. He was sitting next to his locker, exchanging conversation with the other men in the small room with him — Jeff Ward, Johnny O’Mara, Greg Albertyn and Jeff Emig. The four great champions of the past had all gone to pay their respects to the latest supercross hero. Of course, this Anaheim was just one race in a series of 16, and Ricky still has a long way to go before he wins himself a 250 supercross championship,

    …but by running down Jeremy from an 11th place start, he had signaled to Jeremy, to these past champions, and to the entire supercross world that he was in this thing for the long haul. (i guess you forgot to mention this in your article)

    The men had come to offer their congratulations and maybe share a word or two of advice. Between the five of them, there were an astonishing 21 national and world championships in the tiny room.
    Yours Mikey

  • “in a way McGrath had never been beaten before” your words. McGrath has only won the last eight or so titles, its not like he cant overcome a challange. But I do hope Ricky wins it.

  • agree fully with what your article stated as I noticed those snide
    comments too.

    Another point I noticed was that during the race, Bailey and others stated
    that the track was NOT too easy, and was in fact quite tricky. However after
    the race Mc Grath said:”Ricky rode fast, ON A VERY EASY TRACK”.
    In other words, this was the reason RC won.
    When RC won the last round, MC Grath said it was because he had a bad start
    and RC “got away”.

    In an interview with McGrath, he was asked about the hype around RC. He
    stated:”What hype, I have won 72 races and he has won 2″.

    If MC does a block-pass all is OK, but if it is done to him, it is that
    person riding “dirty”.

    I think MC has to accept reality now that he is NOT God. I also think that
    MC is starting to get worried. Anaheim is his “home”. He only beat RC by
    9/1000 seconds in round 2 and then got his butt kicked there in round 5.

  • Great article Dirck. K

  • Dirk, you sound very perturbed in this article… I don’t recall you using
    “ass” and “bullshit” in your prior articles… I in no way want to discount
    Carmichaels victories but I have been following the supercross series for
    along time and there have been numerous people that have come from behind and
    passed McGrath… These people include: Emig, Windham, Tortelli, Lusk,
    Vuilliman and lately Carmichael and Larocco (and even more in other
    countries). I would love to see Carmichael win the championship (mainly
    because I sell Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki brand motorcycles and we cannot
    give Kawies away) this year and keep the fire lit under McGrath so he stays
    in the sport and does not retire due to boredom.. Keep up the good work with
    your web site and I will keep telling people about it… Later, -Dave

  • That is the best editorial I think I have ever read! RC is obviously the
    fastest supercross rider around right now. He deserves much more respect than
    I have heard Coombs and Bailey give him. MC is a great SX rider and will
    probably go down with the best record in history, but give RC congratulations, don’t give MC excuses

  • Do you drug-test the people who write for this website? Were you actually
    watching the same race at Anaheim as I did? Do you remember hearing me
    congratulate RC, someone I’ve known since age eight, as soon as he came in
    and said, “Ricky, I think something just changed,” meaning a new era of SX
    leadership? There is no McGrath conspiracy, real or imagined, but after
    winning 8 of the last 10 Anaheim races, then being passed with two laps to go
    by wild, wonderful Ricky after casing a double, I thought every single
    question, answer and comment by myself and David was accurate and fair and I
    stand behind it. Quit watching TV is you can’t understand it. Kind regards, Davey Coombs

    P.s. This is the first time I have ever seen or heard of your website. Man, you
    were spot-on with writing that Travis belonged in the 250 class back on
    January 9th, weren’t you? DC

  • Just returned from the race in Indy and although I am a true Mcgrath fan it
    was not a good night for Jeremy. It is still a great accomplishment to get
    2nd in any sx race, to Jeremy its just not good enough.

  • Sir, You couldn’t be more right. I saw the ESPN telecast yesterday and was pretty
    disappointed in the lack of respect and acknowledgment that Coombs and Bailey
    gave Ricky. Big up to you for pointing out the fact on a national forum.
    Thank you JKroto

  • While I normally love your straight forward style, I think you over reacted on the espn2 thing. keep up the good work though.

  • I am disappointed in Motorcycle Daily for the poor journalism in the McGrath
    conspiracy article. The level of commentary displayed in the article seemed
    more appropriate of a teen than an apparently professional journalist. “The
    reality is that McGrath got spanked at Anaheim III, and spanked pretty hard
    by a younger, more aggressive rider.” This quotation from your article
    demonstrates my point clearly. The word spanked, I doubt, is routinely used
    in journalism in this particular context.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care who is the better MX racer. I was just a
    little offended by the poor wording. I felt like I was back in high school. Sincerely, Ken Gadsdon

  • I’m not sure who you are trying to kid here but this conspiracy article is
    100% opinion on your part. Davey Coombs knows these riders in a more
    personal form than most people know. And, probably is much better friends
    with RC than MC due to his many Loretta Lynn’s championships and MC’s lack
    there of. If you have spent any time racing you know that making up time on
    someone is usually much easier than accually getting around them. MC got
    ‘passed’ in that race because of a mistake that caused him to not be able to
    jump a triple. Simple as that. Then because RC was faster, he was unable to
    keep up. As for your comments about David Bailey. This man knows more about
    mx/sx than possibly any other man in the stadium. RC was riding over his
    head and getting away with it. He was doing this because he knew he had too.
    Just as he has outdoors for years (like you said). I read these web sites’
    updates to find out what happened at the races, not to find out someone’s
    opinion or hear about what they think about the commentators. So lay off our
    tv crews. At least we have them to watch/listen to. R. Allen

  • What do you expect from a bunch of guys that use the term motoRcross…

  • Ed: The inevitable will soon happen. McGrath will be forced to pass the torch as
    he will be unable to maintain the pace of the younger, up-and-coming riders.
    The question is, to whom will he pass it? When TP moves up to the 250s next
    year, will he carry the torch once it is passed? I believe not. If RC stays
    healthy, I believe he can take this season as well as the future. My belief
    is he is simply faster than MC. Period. He has beaten MC on bluegroove and
    ruts. Many believed it would be years until somebody the likes of MC would
    come along again, even after MC had stepped down. Well, RC has arrived, and
    he can suck the goggles off TP. What do your readers think? Gentry Kramer

  • In regards to ESPN2/McGrath conspiracy, I am glad to see that someone is
    calling this out! I was furious at the end of the race of how this was race
    described. They didn’t even show the second pass (Carmichael had to pass
    McGrath twice on that lap), opting to show a few seconds of the crowd!!! If
    it were a live broadcast, it could’ve been an accident but it was televised
    a week later. It’s manipulation. In the last few races, I’ve really become
    discouraged with the coverage and with David Bailey because of this type of
    stuff. His commentary on McGrath’s pass on Vuillemin was ridiculous.
    Vuillemin came over to McGrath after the heat to apologize for hitting him?
    What planet was he on? This is an expert? ESPN must be trying to boost
    ratings or something of that sort. It was a great race and Carmichael was
    not out of control. People who didn’t have the pleasure of seeing the race
    in person missed an incredible race (one of the best individual performances
    I’ve seen in a long time) and unfortunately got a very biased and tainted
    view watching the ESPN2 coverage. The feeling at that race by the whole
    crowd was that the king was dethroned and the torch was being passed. I
    didn’t seem to get that feeling from the wins that Vuillemin had last year
    (by the way, you didn’t forget about those did you?).

  • Dear Sir, Your commentary regarding Davie Coombs is spot on, there is no
    doubt there is some bias. I am personally cheering for Jeremy because he is
    the King and has been the one who has brought our sport to the level it is
    experiencing today. We should congratulate RC for his achievements because
    of his exciting style and the hard work he desrves his time in the light. I
    see people of all cross sections of life who do not own a bike, or know a
    whole lot about the sport but yet they know who Jeremy is. So I think with
    that in mind possibly we love to see the competition but yet do not want to
    disrespect Jeremy because of his great importance to the sport. This is in
    no way a retirement speech for Jeremy, but I am curious as to whether those
    supercross venues will continue to sell out after Jeremy. Sincerely, Greg Hunt

  • Hi Guys, I really think you missed the deal with Ricky & Jeremy in the Conspiracy issue!!!I watch all the rounds on ESPN in Melbourne Australia and I love the commentary and being an ex Australian MX champion I think this season is awesome racing.My belief from my side of the fence is that these two guys are the best thing that has happened to the world of motocross/supercross.Please just let them race as they are both extremely humble and extremely talented,what we do as spectators and commentators has absolutely no bearing on these guys as they know what is involved to be as good as they are.Don’t spoil the racing with drama that is off the track! Thanks Grant Cramer

  • Thank you so much for finally coming out with the article I have
    been waiting to here. I am so sick of ESPN 2 announcers praising McGrath. It
    gets so bad ,I just want to turn my TV off, but I am a true supercross fan.
    Yes, He is a great rider but now they make excuses why McGrath has been
    losing. He doesn’t need excuses. Carmichael is just blowing him out of the
    water in lap times. For instance, Look at AnaheimIII, Ricky was a whole 11
    seconds faster in his heat race!!! It is like if someone bumps McGrath the
    slightest bit, the announcers say how that person is riding dirty. When
    McGrath has to ride from the back and bumps someone, David Bailey says what
    a great move it was. What does he think, It is okay for McGrath to do it but
    you better not do it to McGrath. After the races, McGrath is the first one
    Coombs goes to no matter where he has finished. I think you should give the
    winner his praise, even if its McGrath, Carmichael, or whoever. About
    McGrath, he can never accept he was just flat out beat, he always has to
    make an excuse where Carmichael has passed he made a mistake.(anaheim3 is a
    good example)It was obvious that Carmichael was just faster that night. Even
    if McGrath does the triple, Ricky still pulled a good lead on him in the
    final three laps to take the checkers. Both riders are great, but credit
    needs to be given where that credit is due. I am just sick and tired of
    those announcers ruining the whole race for me. Thanks, Ryan

  • What, are you jealous because you don’t have a magazine in print and aren’t on the floor? None of the true core people in racing have any respect for “The Trust” anyway!! You are a source of great amusement for all of us though…thanks!!!
    Want a clue………GET SOME DEPTH!!

  • I agree with you 100%. No doubt that McGrath is a good rider, and a lot of
    fans are there specifically to see him, but come on, Carmichael STILL isn’t
    viewed as a threat, even though he whupped up on McGrath.
    I listen to the EXPN webcast live, and the two guys that broadcast it are so
    pro-McGrath it makes me sick. When Jimmy Button was in the booth with them,
    he had to correct them quite a few times and tell them things like “I don’t
    know guys, I wouldn’t say that McGrath has pulled away, it looks like
    Carmichael is cutting the gap”. This is coming from Button, who is one of
    McGrath’s good friends and sponsors!
    Maybe it’ll just take time for Carmichael to prove himself. They’re probably
    thinking that he’s a one year fling, like Emig was.

  • After listening to the many excuses given from my friends that I race with
    locally about McGraths most recent defeats, it is refreshing to see some
    honesty spread across the web !! One of my closest friends is a devout
    McGrath fan and I know his wfe will be quick to show him this article, soon
    he will call and whine to me about McGraths hangnail or sore pinky to
    justify his loss. Way to tell it like it is !!! P.S. Taking nothing away from Jeremy of course, he is a great champion !!!
    Thanks, Brian W

  • excellent story ! i myself could not believe bailey saying that bullshit.
    infact ricky passed him after the triple.after jer passed him back.
    dont understand why they were dogging rc?