Team Player

Everyone keeps emailing me the Couscous dustmageddon video to rant about on TEAM ROBOT, hoping that I say something about the slow mo or freeride flicks or whatever, but all I see when I watch the video is a team manager with loads of world-class talent on his team, with brand cachet and careers of their own just waiting to be promoted, and he took the juiciest web-friendly marketing premise and used it to promote himself.

On second thought, this might be a good backup plan for me. I’ve long said that my dream job is to be a cult leader, but being a mid-pack pro slash “team manager” might be even better. That way I can leverage someone else’s talent and speed to get myself free stuff and money. That’s almost better than the cult leader plan.

Don’t know why this career path didn’t occur to me sooner, as this is a story as old as racing: the older/slower/smarter racer-as-team-manager who uses team resources to promote himself. That’s all fair and good, mind you, as long as the other better, faster, and more recognizable riders on the team are getting a bigger piece of the limelight, but when was the last time you saw a sick front page Polygon UR video starring Andrew or Mick? Even Tracy hasn’t had a good feature role in a UR video since 2014, and this dust video is so girl friendly it’s a joke. Forget girls, you could take the UPS driver or the teens behind the counter at your local froyo place out to that dust, give them a bike, and make an entertaining video at 1000 FPS. This is a non-personality based video, with such easy conditions to convey speed you could plug and play with any of your team riders. You could have made this video with the team mechanics and it would have been good.

Maybe they weren’t around. Maybe they were busy. Maybe they didn’t want to. All of these are possibilities, but those obstacles could be overcome by one iota of effort, a moment’s thought, or one plane ticket.

And if any of you say “yeah, but Andrew gets tons of coverage in the UR World Cup vids,” you’re kidding yourself. No one watches those things. I watched the first fifteen seconds of the Queenstown one, and it felt like I was winning free time back, because I instantly knew I didn’t need to bother watching the UR race recaps for the rest of the season.

10 thoughts on “Team Player

  1. Yeah but I'm still trying to figure out if you yelled, “Sickkkkk” or, “Shitttt” after crashing in the second turn during qualies at Snowshoe. Either way it was awesome.

  2. Another brilliant point brought to us by Sponsel and easily transferable to 4 other sports I can think of off the top of my head.

    Listen up kiddos, #robotsarethefuture.

  3. Totally agree, except for the brand cachet. Polygon is a complete mystery to me…do they have US distribution? The only ads I ever see are the World Cup vids and the occasional weird asian off season video of jungle trails and Mick looking uncomfortable when he has to speak.

  4. Hey boss, This UR clip might not represent anything close to any actual mountain biking done by 99% of mountain bikers, but it looks cool. Not cool enough to make me want to go out and find the closest dust pit and shred it a new one though.

  5. Best vids in the bike biz. One of the hottest girls in mtb, plus the legend Mick Hannah. He's just saving it fot one big last race now.

  6. The last line, about gaining time back, genuinely made me emit audible laughter. You haven't done that for a while Charlie. Keep it up.

  7. Ah Charlie the jealousy doesn't really suit you. You do know that both Mick and Needles are injured and weren't available at the time this was shot, right? Or is that too much to effort for you and instead it's easier to just shoot from the hip and bash Couscous. One thing for sure, he may not be a great racer but he has qualified for World Cups and he was smart enough to start his own team knowing he still wanted to be a part of the WC scene but wasn't fast enough on his own to get support.
    Charlie if you were as smart as you think you could have done the same thing, but instead it's easier to poke fun at people and do nothing, right?

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