Day two of the 15th anniversary of the X-Games had to follow up a remarkable day one. Big air skateboard was taken to new heights as 720's were attempted over 70 foot gaps and the magnificent but highly tricky 900 was also attempted on the mega ramp.
Bob Burnquist had everything to lose as the two-time defending champ looking for an epic three-peat, which only big air pioneer and legend Danny Way has accomplished (2004-2006). Way was scheduled to compete, but he injured himself while practicing for the new contest, big air rail jam.
He clipped his knee and had to pop it back in.
Way stated he was icing it and tending to it diligently hoping to make the big air rail jam on day two. Jake Brown has competed in over 10 straight X-Games and had yet to earn a gold medal.
Brown had a dark cloud over him as he had lost to Bob Burnquist two years in a row (2007-2008), one of which included probably the nastiest fall in X-Games history and produced a SportsCenter center classic highlight that is still shown two years later.
Brown put it all on the line. He attempted to pull off the 900, the move made famous by Tony Hawk in 1999 at the X-Games. A handful have pulled off the 900 after Hawk did, but none have ever even thought of trying to nail the bad boy on the mega ramp.
Despite having the scariest fall in his life Brown went for it twice, but failed both times. He and Burnquist were tied for last place coming into the fifth and final run. Brown captured the gold after Burnquist fell trying to cross the gap with a japan air with a sort of judo twist to it.
Way missed his event and many were doubtful he would even be ready to compete in day two's Big air rail jam. The man who was on crutches would not be denied and geared up and showed up for the new event. The rail jam is the same as the skateboard big air, except the addition of a curved rail over the gap.
The skater's score isn't focused on the tricks pulled across the gap and on the mega ramp, but it's solely based on the tricks done on and across the rail. It was highly dangerous as one's testicles were a mistake away from being lost.
Danny Way clearly wasn't 100 percent, but that didn't stop him from chasing the gold. Way has had 13 surgeries, and eight of them were on his knee. Way looked ready to call it night after numerous bails, holding his knee after every fall. With the odds against him, Danny found a way and won the gold at the first big air rail jam with a switch 50-50 grind across the curved red rail.
Andy McDonald failed to win a medal on his 36th birthday. Maybe Brown and Way's determination was too much to be denied the gold medals. Way is a true warrior in my books.
There were talks of torn ligaments, torn ACL, broken ankles amongst other injuries and the man Danny Way did it.
The Moto X best trick was another anticipated event with a stacked core of competitors including the returning Travis Pastrana and the two-time champ going for the three-peat, Klye Loza. New trick rumors surrounded this event, especially Pastrana's 720 Corkscrew.
I know he loves what he does and he loves his mother, but why does he put her through these heart-stopping moments with these stunts?
Pastrana's double back flip was only three years old and he was at it again. Speaking of double back flip, Scott Murray also returned to Moto X best trick this year to do the double back flip! Again!
Please note the sarcasm there.
The Moto X best trick was always something to look forward to, but many weren't satisfied with this year's best trick. Loza retains the gold and earned the three-peat with the same move he won with last year, the electric doom.
I was very confused with the judge scoring all night, most notably in the BMX big air competition. Anthony Napolitan pulled off a double front flip for the first time ever in BMX big air across the 70-foot gap. He did it again the following run. Kevin Robinson won the gold for the event with a big no-handed back flip followed by a big no handed flair on the mega ramp.
K-Rob earned that medal, but how didn't...why didn't Napolitan get a medal? He finished in fifth place, and I was stunned. In the Moto X best trick, the same thing happened again. The event went from promising to bizarre.
Pastrana had everyone praying for his well-being when he went for another dangerous stunt. He was fully prepared for the 720 corkscrew to say the least. Pastrana hired an Olympic gymnastic to help train him to better use his body muscles as he was going to properly use multiple muscles and strength to pull off a 720 on a motorbike.
Everyone awaited history, but number 199 failed.
It was a difficult trick, and would have been fantastic to have seen it nailed. Pastrana opted to not take his second run. Just like Napolitan, we witnessed another highway robbery.
Blake Williams pulled off a sight to see. He performed a 360 Indian air with a cliffhanger and followed up with a no handed landing, and didn't win the gold.
Then there was a guy who wasted both of his runs not doing any trick at all on both of them. I don't know if he got cold feet, but it's the X-Games, not some local town competition, go hard or go home. I wouldn't be surprised if SportsCenter rips this guy.
Lastly, there's Scott Murray. Three years were wasted on this guy, someone out there could have been the next big Moto X star. Three years in a row, he failed to do the double backflip, a move that Pastrana pulled off three years ago and now does for warm ups.
This reminds me of the NBA All star dunk contest that Nate Robinson won after he tried the same dunk about thirty times. Murray just can't do the back flip and needs to be replaced with a better biker, plain and simple.
Murray shook his head after wasting six runs in three years. Loza might have had a new trick, bu his wrist was bugging him, so he played it safe. We're only half way there, days three and four remain in X-Games 15.