Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lindsey Jacobellis: American Hero

This blog decided it'd write an editorial comment tonight. Let the complaints and dissents begin now.

The subject of this editorial is Lindsey Jacobellis. At this point, she is fairly well-known as the girl that showboated and cost herself a gold medal in Snowboarding - Cross. It would be very easy to take this opportunity to pile on, as is the common reaction. But this blog will say it: PunCity would have done the same thing. To err is human, and that's pretty much what Jacobellis did. What was extraordinary about Jacobellis was that she handled an obviously trying situation with class and dignity. It would have been easy for Jacobellis to go into seclusion and refuse to speak to the media. Instead, she answered questions head-on, displaying surprising maturity for a 20-year-old.

"I was caught up in the moment," Jacobellis said in NBC's studio just hours after the gaffe. “I was having fun, Snowboarding is fun. I was ahead. I wanted to share my enthusiasm with the crowd. I messed up. Oh well, it happens.”

Realistically, how could you not get caught up in the moment? Jacobellis wasn't just winning, she was blowing the field out. Even after wiping out, she was able to stay reasonably close to the eventual gold medalist (Tanja Frieden) and well ahead of the bronze medalist (Dominique Maltais). Snowboarders have a tradition of showmanship, so trying a "backside method grab" (or so this blog hears) wasn't too great of a reach. This is especially true in Jacobellis's case, since she is experienced in the halfpipe, where stunts like the method are rewarded.

This blog would also argue that it's just as likely she'd have fallen if she had taken the jump normally. Even though she landed on the edge of her board, there's a reasonable chance that this unfortunate landing would have happened without the method.

Getting back to snowboarding's history of showmanship, this blog thinks that Jacobellis was faced with an interesting paradox. Because snowboarders rate style as paramount, Jacobellis could either attempt the stunt, risking a loss and media fallout; or not attempt it, all but ensuring victory but most likely losing credibility within the somewhat "anti-establishment" snowboard community for not taking the "golden opportunity" to gloat and show off a trick.

In the end, the decision is really a microcosm of snowboarding in general. While Jacobellis and snowboarding receive the most gain from taking the "establishment" route (blandly sliding to gold in Jacobellis's case, and fitting in with other winter events by accepting the Olympics' invitation); there is a segment of the population that is alienated. Interestingly enough, in both cases, the alienated group consists of long-time snowboarders, those that believe snowboarding should not be hyper-commercialized and easily digestible to the masses. This segment of snowboarders believes that above all else, snowboarding should be fun. Based on Lindsey's reaction, this blog thinks that she is of the "fun above all" mindset, and this blog isn't about to fault her for it.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think someone's got a crush on Lindsey.

- Moike

5:02 AM  
Blogger Alabama said...

Hey nice blog and I quite agree with you. Well said, indeed. I have seen the clip over and over again and I just don't see where she was "showboating" at all. Sometimes ya just fall, ya know?

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got no problem with the showboating either. I mean, they are televising these events so we can be entertained, and she was attempting to entertain us even more with that extra stunt. Not showboating would be like a low-scoring, defense-filled NBA All-Star game. People don't want to see that.

Dank

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to play sports. Then I realized you can buy trophies. Now I'm good at everything.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think she should have not shown off because now she looks like a donkey! HEE HAW!

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of 10AM today, Lindsey "Dive Bomb" Jacobellis has received only 1.8% of the vote on ESPN's Page 2 Hottest Female Athlete Poll.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/features/hottestWomen

If she would have gotten the gold, maybe that precentage would have been above 2%.

I wish she would have just raced a smart race, and didn't show off, so I wouldn't have to spend three minutes of my day writing about "Dive Bomb" Jacobellis.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it is a story of her life she is always coming up short. Nice link Donkey! I think she bet on herself to come in second. Conspiracy theory she was on the take.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dive Bomb

Here is the link for you Donkeys

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you have a hit counter?

I request a hit counter.


Casey Counts Em Down

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Casey Can't Post HMTL Links

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that your only hits come from Dankalicious, Mookie, and a few people at work, but I agree, a hit counter should be in place.

Protests begin.....

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need a hit counter seriously. Casey Kasem says you should.

I think we are getting off track regarding athletes show boating when they should be humble. If they would eat some humble pie they would not end up looking like a donkey. They are turning off the average fan. If I wanted to watch a bunch of donkeys I would watch Nascar.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last post was Awesome.

Smooth up in ya

Boyz

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mookie = Moike

Dankalicious = Dank

Donkey = B. Kind

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy trying to post links is a donkey.

HEE HAW!

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still no site counter.

"Hearmenow, u iz de most cleverest students in America - some of u iz probably brilliant at counting - ye know...1,2,3...4.... I could continue...easy."

11:16 AM  

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