Proud member of Rowdy Nation
- Dec 28, 2016
I can only speak for myself and to my preferences and tolerances. One can't expect consistency across a group of individuals who are critical but often for different reasons.
I only came to regularly watch Supercross (and MX in general for that matter) in the past 4-5 years. It caught my eye because it was fun and digestible, and then it stuck with me because I appreciated the "true contest of skill" and "hard, brass knuckle racing" in your words that I witnessed. I understand that SX was conceived as a way to make motocross more accessible and stuff it into stadium venues that more casual fans would attend and enjoy.
There are many different formats of motorsports that I accept and enjoy. I grew up on grass roots short track oval racing with its heat and feature races. I'm fine with pretty much any method as long as it is an honest race that seeks to be a meritocracy. It was interesting to read recently that IndyCar's current management is seeking to eliminate "randomness" from its races, and avoid freak circumstances that don't result in the best teams and drivers winning races. While I have several criticisms of how that series is run, I applaud this approach as a guiding vision.
What I object to is when racing promoters seek to do just the opposite in the name of increased entertainment. Races aren't close enough, so they grasp at shortcuts that create the illusion of closer racing and increase the randomness factor. Championship battles aren't close enough, so they do the same there and change the format to ensure a closer but less genuine competition. There are ways to manage a league or series to increase competitiveness and parity. Manipulating the race events themselves to pretend the competition is closer is not an acceptable way to do it IMO, and this is what raises my ire. I'm fine with shorter races, longer races, races on ovals or any design of course (I'm totally fine with the NASCAR Charlotte roval experiment, for instance). Just don't make rules on the track that are specifically designed to artificially 'bunch things up'. That's BS.
Rumors have circulated for several years that a Chase-like format was coming to Supercross. It hasn't happened yet. If it does, I will be dismayed and critical, and it will significantly diminish my interest in the series. If they were to tire of dominant riders winning races by large margins and sought to 'spice up' the action with unnecessary race stoppages, I'd tune out. Feld Motor Sports has been criticized as race promoters because they are viewed as being more about the show than the race. However, with regard to Supercross, they have been restrained regarding what takes place on the track itself. As you say, when the gate drops, the actual racing is pretty damn pure.