They Call Him Norby

Words Cam McRae
Date Sep 30, 2014

Dear Red Bull,

First of all I need to tell you that mountain bikers love what you do for our sport. We know that Rampage would not exist without you. It takes balls to put on an audacious event like Rampage and, while you aren’t perfect, you generally nail the important points. So thanks for that, for the riders you support and for everything you do for mountain biking. Before we get into the meat of this shit sandwich I want you to know that we appreciate you.

The impetus for this letter, as you may realize, was the disaster created by the announcing duo for the 2014 Rampage webcast. That wasn’t handled well. In fact it was demeaning. And embarrassing. Disgraceful even. The chosen announcers insulted the intelligence of the audience and the competitors, and did a disservice to the sport of mountain biking. The magnitude of the fail was so great that I feel I should add the word travesty. Strong words are needed to get this point across. Now don’t get me wrong; they may not have been knowledgeable, prepared or articulate, but at least they were sloppy. But their most grievous offence was bullshitting us the whole time, pretending they had some clue about the event unfolding in front of them.

gully

Todd Harris and Kenan Harkin on Gully approaching the Red Bull Canyon gap: “Oh, and he decides not to!” They thought he changed his mind. The viewing audience had just seen Gully’s GoPro course preview to confirm that he wasn’t hitting the canyon, but even without that we all knew because he has never hit one of the two canyon gaps at Rampage, and he didn’t during qualifiers. They were pretending they knew where he was going but they didn’t have a clue, and to cover they tried to suggest he had changed his mind.

I realize that being an announcer is difficult, and doing colour for an event like the Red Bull Rampage presents unique challenges. It is the only event of its kind in mountain biking. In skiing and snowboarding there are tours that follow the sort of big mountain events that Rampage was modelled after. There are top tier events and smaller local comps but in mountain biking there is only one. And because of that, to many of us, it’s sacred. The challenge is that announcers can’t cut their teeth on lower profile events because there is nothing like Rampage.

norbys

One of my favourite moments from Kenan Harkin was when Kyle Norbraten was starting. We hear the start announcer calling his name and number and then he says, “Norbs on course.” Kenan Harkin either misheard that or was continuing to just make shit up saying “Norby as they call him, is a strong competitor, he’s a big guy he can really flick that bike around.” Followed at the end of his run with “Excellent job Norby!” It’s likely that there are those who actually call Kyle Norbraten, Norby, but considering there was an entire internet meme starting two years ago stating ‘Norbs got Robbed’ it’s pretty unlikely someone told Kenan he’s known as Norby.

Because Rampage is so unique it means the details must be nailed. And I have come to trust Red Bull’s judgement about the broad strokes and the details. Everything I’ve heard suggests Red Bull isn’t a top down company with blowhards in suits calling the shots just because they can. Red Bull hires experts who have the ability to prevent the debacle that the 2014 Rampage announcing duo created, but either nobody spoke up or nobody was listening.

mcgarry

“This guy’s about 6 foot tall.” Kenan Harkin talking about Kelly McGarry who is 6’5”. It’s not his fault that he’s not an expert about mountain biking, but that’s just sloppy.

To be fair Todd Harris wasn’t a complete disaster. He didn’t go over his head often or pretend to be an expert, but he did mistake Mitch Chubey for Kyle Norbraten. Sloppy yes, but an easy mistake for someone who doesn’t know Rampage, and a forgivable one. But he was shocked when Gully took the line he was planning all along; the line he rode twice in qualifying. Harris could have been a good sidekick for someone knowledgeable. Someone who wasn’t a complete fraud. I can’t cut any of the same slack for Kenan Harkin who seemed to be in charge of colour commentary. He was making stuff up left and right. And doing it badly.

I’m not saying these two get the blame entirely either. Maybe they were tapped at the last minute to do a job they didn’t want to do. Perhaps they didn’t have time to prepare by getting to know the equipment, the riders and the lines they were going to take (if they had the time they certainly didn’t make use of it). And maybe someone told them to pretend they knew something about Rampage and mountain biking when they clearly did not. They may also be stellar gentlemen with much to recommend them in life, but that didn’t help them here. Figuring out to who to blame isn’t my job, but the truth about the finished product must be told. Maybe you shouldn’t take the blame either, Red Bull. Maybe this seems so unusual, so unlike the way Red Bull events are usually run, because NBC was able to bully you into allowing Kenan Harkin and Todd Harris to crap all over your event. Even if that is the case and the blame doesn’t lie with Red Bull, or with the announcers themselves, the end result wasn’t bad. It was horrendous. And only you, oh mighty Red Bull, have the power to make sure it never happens again.

zink

I’m not proud of this but I did agree with Kenan Harkin once, regarding Cam Zink’s first run . He said, “I don’t think personally it’s enough to take over the lead.” I didn’t think it should have scored higher than Rheeder’s first run either. How Rheeder’s first run wasn’t in the 90s is a mystery still. In my defence Harkin back-pedalled after Zink’s score was announced saying “now I see what the judges are lookng for.” In his post-run interview Zink did a great job on camera shedding light on his mental process throughout his run as well as serving up some profound insight into fear and how it affects performance. An example of what could have been if a knowledgeable commentator had been chosen.

Talking heads can get by without being experts, if they have experts to consult. But when they pretend to be experts, and editorialize about a sport they clearly know dick about, the bed has been shat upon. And that happened repeatedly. Harkin actually has action sports cred. He was a pro bmx rider who could “consistently perform a 360 backflip” before anyone else according to Wikipedia. So he knows a nac from a suicide, and I guess he figured that was enough, but that background just makes his performance harder to forgive. He should know how it would feel to have some jerk-off roadie posing as a bmx expert for a major televised event. There is no shame in not knowing about a sport you haven’t covered before, but pretending to have all the answers is unforgivable, particularly when you haven’t done anything to prepare yourself.

harkin_and_harris

The exchange below set the stupidity bar high. Particularly because they both, as professionals, must have known the question was coming and should have prepared for it. Todd Harris: “Ken, let’s talk about these bikes. I mean these things are technological masterpieces. What are these guys running as far as wheels. I mean mostly carbon fibre?”  Kenan Harking: “Uh yeah. They got a carbon fibre. Some aluminum frames out there. Lots of travel in the front and rear forks. Ya know just a few years ago some of these actual lines would be impossible with the technology but I would basically say they are dirt bikes without engines.” Nailed it. Harkin managed to channel your grandma describing your dh bike.

If we had been watching on NBC I could understand this colossal blunder. Broadcasting Rampage to those people who still watch cable TV could be a challenge if both announcers were mountain biking insiders. Idiots would have been okay there. But for the webcast? In skate, bmx and moto there are fans who no longer participate in the sport and many who never have. A massive percentage of the audience for the Rampage stream are knowledgeable, experienced and talented mountain bikers. These are not casual riders; they are the real deal and a majority would qualify as experts. In fact I’d wager virtually all of those viewers were people who know more about Rampage and the riders competing than Harris and Harkin.

tomvs

Kenan Harkin on van Steenbergen: “He’s the only rider that I’ve seen attempt a front flip over that Canyon Gap.” He wasn’t sure if anyone else had tried it, but virtually everyone watching knew it was a first. This was one of the few times he hedged his bets by acknowledging he didn’t know enough to equivocally state it hadn’t been done. For once he didn’t pretend, but he should have known.

Right off the top of the broadcast you hear Kenan Harkin say that Ramon Hunziker is a downhiller. If you look at Ramon’s bio on Redbull.com you can read that he was a downhiller before his 18th birthday, when he began to focus on slopestyle. Now he’s almost 30. But that’s only the last 12 years. And to learn that you would have had to read beyond the second sentence of his bio. Clearly too much preparation to expect for a fringe sport.

chubeycrash

Kenan Harkin’s insight into Mitch Chubey’s missed flip. “That’s what happens when you don’t judge it correctly.” Captain Obvious would be proud.

In his intro to Rheeder’s run Harkin says “you don’t hear about a lot of slopestyle guys making the transition to such dangerous terrain.” Oddly though if you look at the leaderboard, Andreu, Zink, Semenuk, Strait and Rheeder all have backgrounds in slopestyle. Not exclusively, but it’s where all of them made their biggest mark early in their careers. In fact all have been on the Crankworx slopestyle podium and three of them have won it. So you don’t hear about it because you haven’t been listening. At this point everyone in the audience knows that he’s pulling sound bites directly out of his ass.

Once the entire viewing audience had established that neither mic holder knew Rampage from the Super Bowl it got really bad. Several times during the broadcast Kenan had the audacity to speculate about what the judges would think about a run, trying to pass himself off as an expert. Each time induced more cringes than the last.

chubey

Mitch Chubey announced by Todd Harris: “Roberts Creek Canada, 28 years of ago, this is Kyle Norbraten.” . And then—-dead air—-. “Out of Langley Canada, 25 year old Mitch Chubey is set to drop in.”

I could go on and on about the errors and idiocy perpetrated by Kenan Harkin, but I’d prefer to let those be revealed below and on social media. And in the captions accompanying this article (how could I resist?).

Normally I wouldn’t bother commenting on something like this, but Red Bull’s support and coverage of mountain biking has earned my respect. Those in charge obviously listen to riders, and they usually go beyond what is expected to do the best job possible. Those people have done a great job taking over the coverage of the DH World Cup, in particular by retaining Rob Warner. Smoothing out some of Warner’s rough edges without neutering his incomparable style is a remarkable feat, and it shows how astute the people in your employ can be. It’s clear Red Bull listens to feedback and rarely makes the same mistake twice. So I’m giving you feedback with confidence that someone will listen.

cam_mccaul_brad_jay

I’m not sure if  Cam McCaul was available but his bro Tyler (seen here at left with Brad Jay after Szymon Godziek, between them, had finished his run) was around. Cam McCaul may not be as slick or polished as Kenan Harkin but he’s funny, intelligent and he’ll never spew bullshit.

Red Bull has used some excellent commentators in the past. My favourite recently has been Ryan Meyer, but Cam McCaul also does a great job. Without experts of their calibre it’s impossible to do justice to the webcast of Rampage. Frankly I couldn’t care less about the bored 65 year olds watching on NBC but I know they are important to the Red Bull marketing plan. So do what you want there.

But for the love of red Utah dirt, please never, ever, ever, EVER subject the fans nor the riders, to such embarrassing, uninformed, manufactured Americanized bullshit  for the Rampage webcast. Please do not betray the hard-earned trust you have earned from us with your steadfast support of the sport we love. We know you are much better than that.

Yours Sincerely,
Every English Speaking Rampage Fan


Norby Got Robbed! What were your favourite lines from Harkin and Harris?

Trending on NSMB

Comments

rider420
0
Rider420  - Oct. 2, 2014, 5:19 p.m.

Fuck yeah those guys were jackasses! They should be promoting biking, not chastising riders for riding after being injured a year ago. And backflips are not "easy". They clearly are not mountain bikers and know very little about what this event means for the culture. I'm surprised Red Bull doesn't vet their commentators better

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tree
0
Tree  - Oct. 2, 2014, 5:22 p.m.

Maybe Red Bull can't find any legit riders to commentate who will say "Polaris Razor Hip" and "GoPro Stepdown" every few seconds.. Full BullShit.

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the-chez
0
The Chez  - Oct. 2, 2014, 9:32 a.m.

I love how neither of them noticed Zink had a blown rear tire. Hmm. Maybe that's why he just floated the rest of his run? Mayhaps? Kyle Zink had a great run though!

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jrbones
0
JrBones  - Oct. 2, 2014, 9:25 a.m.

And I'm pretty sure when Kyle Strait tire tapped the rocks it was not on accident!

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Oct. 2, 2014, 11:59 a.m.

I thought so too and it was a great move.

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spokestoke
0
Spokestoke  - Oct. 2, 2014, 4:25 a.m.

Ok, the commentators were douche bags! Commentators are douche bags. You guys are arguing like you're talking about wheel size

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dan-hall
0
Dan Hall  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:49 p.m.

cant even tell you how glad i am this was written

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reid
0
Reid  - Oct. 1, 2014, 6:35 p.m.

Beyond getting so many comments wrong and using vague catch-phrases constantly, they also missed a lot of opportunity to give the audience relevant info about the sport of mountain biking and rampage itself. Just imagine commentators who could give you actual details of the rider's background or explain some of the unique history of Rampage because they know - not because they read bullet points off their notes.

My theory of why they were chosen is Redbull hit a crossroad - go left and choose guys who haven't announced such big events before but are experts in the sport (Meyer, Schley, Only MTB guys, injured Mccauls?) or go right and choose experienced announcers who don't know a mountain bike from any other 'machine'. Right is arguably the safer route and seems to be the usual choice for covering action sports. The best solution I see is one person from each camp OR different commentators for the stream Vs NBC.

I did sort of enjoy trying to keep up with all the shit they said…. one of my favourite things was how they somehow fit "Polaris Rzr jump" and "GoPro step down" into every guys run several times.

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vash
0
vash  - Oct. 1, 2014, 6:20 p.m.

"Szymon Godziek, a polish big mountain rider…" The guy rode dirt and slopestlye all his life, this was the first time for him to ride freeride/downhill, so he is anything but a big mountain rider.
Hearing "mostly carbon fibre" and "rear forks" were also hilarious.
I hope next year will be better. I think using a rider as one commentator (like Kurt Sorge in 2013) is a wise move, because a rider knows the tricks, the equipment, etc.

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SneakyB
0
Gord SB B  - Oct. 1, 2014, 5:25 p.m.

Thanks Cam! What Pete R said!

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finishthepint
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George  - Oct. 1, 2014, 1:49 p.m.

"manufactured Americanized bullshit"

did you just figure "hey since im on a rant here, might as well throw in some america hate"? I thought thought the article was excellent otherwise…

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 4:05 p.m.

I don't hate 'America' George, and perhaps I should have made that point in another way. But I have watched sports and other television in other countries and nowhere have I seen announcers who approach things the way announcers working for the major US networks seem to. Over-hyped, simplified, homogenized and reduced to the lowest common denominator so everyone can understand. Americanized like Walmart, Fox News and the Kardashians. That's what I meant by Americanized. If it offends you I'll happily change it. And I apologize.

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finishthepint
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George  - Oct. 1, 2014, 10:28 p.m.

I understand what you meant and often find myself saying the same. It's just frustrating being lumped in with all the bad things about america and it ruined all the head nodding i was doing while reading the article since it came seemingly out of nowhere. No need to change, especially after the explanation.

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wesu
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wesu  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:38 p.m.
  • I guess this is where he got Norby from?

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gorby
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Gorby  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:20 p.m.

Defensive writer is defensive.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:29 p.m.

Indeed. This is charged for me because it's something I care about. If not I wouldn't give a rat's ass.

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tex-avery
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tex-avery  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:19 p.m.

THANK YOU! I agree with every word dude. NBC commentators are not worthy of a red bull live stream. let them do their thing on TV where none gives a dang and knows better anyways. But give the proper job to proper people. This was so annoying and the worst rampage coverage ever. Really bummed about it

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brian-stoody
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Brian Stoody  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:08 p.m.

Was waiting for this article to pop up in media before rampage was even over! SO agree especially all the disrespectful stuff and BS'in ;"theres some carbon and lots of forks travel front and rear"

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gerry-creighton
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gerry creighton  - Oct. 1, 2014, 11:23 a.m.

Damn dude. Kyle's nickname according to other posters was "Norby" in the past, maybe "Norby" is listed on the bio sheet they were working from? That's not the fault of the guys calling the event. The webcast wasn't without some mistakes but have you ever tried calling a live event? Not easy at all, I've heard stories of so called experts freeze up when given a mic. Todd and Kenan are pros that have to call a run while working with info on 35 riders and try it sound interesting to the non mountain bike crowd. The carbon frame comment seemed to catch Kenan off guard, he knows mountain bikes. Maybe they were planning on using this webcast footage for a later NBC broadcast? If that's the case then the guys need to call a generic event and assume that people don't know what is going on. I know Kenan personally and know that he still rips on a bike as noted in this shot just taken the week before the event…https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak- xfa1/v/t1.0-9/33478_1598052267125_7501527_n.jpg?oh=897dcaa72a00ab936737f5145d52fbac&oe=54C9B63C&gda=1422485020_d3aeeb78f5e67308e148d6b3628322a8

Keep in mind that we don't know all that is going on behind the scenes. I didn't see you mention the numerous times any rider would start down the ridge line and disappear from camera view but the production team took a couple of seconds to switch to another camera. That is more annoying to me.

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boomforeal
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boomforeal  - Oct. 1, 2014, 10:56 p.m.

a week before the event eh? red bull must pay these guys in peanuts, can't afford a bike from the current decade…

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gerry-creighton
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gerry creighton  - Oct. 2, 2014, 5:26 a.m.

My bad…shot was taken a few years ago.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 3, 2014, 10:29 a.m.

I'm certain Kenan could destroy me on a mountain bike. That is a sick table!

The hardest part about writing this piece was knowing that I'd probably get on well with Kenan. I'm sure he's a great dude who gets thrown into these situations regularly and has to wing it. Without being a fan of Rampage over the years it would be impossible to fake it, and impossible to know that you couldn't fake it. I'm sure he's trained to act like an expert even when he knows he's not and on network TV I'm sure that goes over fine. For the livestream at least one expert was the only option.

Kenan was the voice of the problem but it wasn't his fault entirely I'm sure. As I mentioned he couldn't have known he was incapable - it's in the category of things we don't know that we don't know - but there is a long list of people who should have known better. And they tossed him to the wolves.

I also agree with you that the broadcast team did a sub-standard job of knowing where the riders were going. They missed important parts of several riders' runs - including Semenuk.I know that would be tough with a new venue and having someone decode and prepare the filmers and the heli for their lines would have been very challenging. Not to mention someone choosing the best camera location for a given line on the fly during a live broadcast. That issue wasn't the focus of my piece, nor an area of expertise for me. I do however know a thing or two about Rampage having seen five of them live and having covered the others extensively.

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domwrap
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domwrap  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:12 a.m.

Agree with your article, the commentary was horrible. While we're here nit- picking though, I do believe you couldn't care less.

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thecarl
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thecarl  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:03 a.m.

As onlymtb pointed out, instead of highlightin recent accomplishments like coming off of a win at bearclaws, they would rather talk about their most recent massive injury. It just makes mtb sound like a bunch of evil kanevils sending for a couple of bucks.

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michelle
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Michelle  - Oct. 1, 2014, 8:31 a.m.

Well said, Cam. I'm no expert, but this was hard to stomach on Monday.

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grant
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Grant  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:43 a.m.

I would say the biggest mess of the webcast was the announcers verbally
penalizing the riders who avoided the canyon gap and rzr booter and
announcing it like they were playing it safe by avoiding these features.
Rampage is a big mountain event with a huge emphasis on technical
lines. Any spectator new to the sport watching the broadcast would be
left thinking that some of the best riders in the world were
uncomfortable out there and not performing as they didn't hit the
uncreative wood features. This was a reoccurring issue throughout the
entire webcast and definitely disrespectful to the riders who took the
extra time to plan in more natural hits and creative lines.

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craw
0
Cr4w  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:43 a.m.

Why can't the community provide its own commentators? I get that NBC/Red Bull has to have their hand in things but wouldn't it be better if the commentators were qualified and actually satisfied the target audience? Imagine if commentators made those kind of obvious errors in the NHL or Nascar - they'd be out of a job, probably dead in a parking lot somewhere. But we're just happy to have coverage so we accept it.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 1, 2014, 3:44 p.m.

Good point. Some of the bigger games of rugby league and aussie rules in Australia had a parallel, and independent commentary by "Roy and HG" broadcast on radio, but based on the TV broadcast. Many aussies will know what I mean, and it was brilliant as far as I was concerned. Almost all network TV related stuff is pretty bland lest face it and this was a great way to do away with the crap TV commentary. Maybe NSMB.com could do this themselves. There'd be no copyright infringement.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 2, 2014, 10:34 a.m.

I like that. We were doing the closest rendition we could of a live twitter follow-along, which was fun for us and some followers seemed to enjoy it. I like the idea a lot of an alternate commentary - obvious logistical challenges aside. You can bet we'll be thinking about what/how to do something like that for next year.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 3, 2014, 4:15 p.m.

Glad to hear it, and I appreciate your openness to the idea. When the time comes I'll be paying attention here.

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Pedro404
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Petr Polák  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:34 a.m.

Well Kyle did call himself Norby in the Coastal crew segment in Kranked 8 , so that didn't bother me, but otherwise I agree that the announcers were terrible.

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0
uncle duke  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:52 a.m.

i looooove that video!! norby norbs whatever.. the commentators need help. stoked to see kyle get a top ten at rampage!

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 8:14 a.m.

Petr and Bobby - I made the point in a caption in my article. If you are going to try to correct me you could at least take the time to read what I wrote. And you are missing the point as a result. Norby or Norbs isn't the point. It's just the title I chose.

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bobby
0
Bobby  - Oct. 1, 2014, 8:38 a.m.

I thought the article made good points about a glaring / obvious issue with the quality of the announcers. Reminded me more of NFL football more than Mountain Biking (hollow, useless commentary).

But you need to reread my post. I gave no judgement, no comment about the article as a whole, it's title and didn't make a 'correction'. I merely provided support to 'Norby' being truly legitimate as I had seen it in the video. You read a lot into my post that simply wasn't there.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:25 a.m.

If you agreed with most of my points why did you only talk about the one thing you could call me out for? I guess it's the internet. But I made that point as well. To save you scrolling I'll paste this for you. "It’s likely that there are those who actually call Kyle Norbraten, Norby, but considering there was an entire internet meme starting two years ago stating ‘Norbs got Robbed’ it’s pretty unlikely someone told Kenan he’s known as Norby."

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lt
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LT  - Oct. 1, 2014, 10:13 p.m.

Back in the day (circa Kranked 8) Kyle sometimes did go by Norby… but that didn't really stick. These days (6 years later), he goes more by Norbs… although when he hangs out with his BFFs they come up with all sorts of nicknames for him. While I'm glad you're geeking out on old vids to try to ensure correct journalism, try trusting the guy in the industry (who worked with Norbs and is still friends with him) before nit-picking articles 🙂

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alexwebb4
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alexwebb4  - Oct. 2, 2014, 9:46 a.m.

The NFL comparison is interesting… could we get Dennis Miller to commentate Rampage? My head would explode with awesomeness…

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bobby
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Bobby  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:32 a.m.

Here is a video of Kyle Norbraten calling himself Norby:

watch?v=iUeZMGrLAhY

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 1, 2014, 8:14 a.m.

While it is informative that you were able to find Kyle refer to himself as Norby, as Cam mentioned above, that is NOT by far the key thrust of the article. Also, no one calls him Norbs (anymore, at least) so for a commentator to come in and claim an insider's knowledge, as he did over and over, was egregious.

Try this out: you meet a stranger who immediately starts calling you by some variation of your first name. Not a version he heard your friend use, not how you were introduced. He just takes it and runs with it, speaking in loud tones that imply he knows all about you. Now imagine that stranger is paid to get your nickname right, as well as the other stuff. Not kosher.

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eric-neustadter
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Eric Neustadter  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:27 a.m.

I'd to see some old school vet's from the sport cover it. Get the early days north shore guys that started freeriding in to commentary. Go back to the Kranked films and pull some vet's that put in their time and can respect what these guys do.

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craw
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Cr4w  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:46 a.m.

I feel like NSMB would be a good place to have try-outs.

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davo
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Davo  - Oct. 1, 2014, 4:46 a.m.

This has to be a joke, get over yourself mate. It was fantastic they streamed it and they have a long hair don't care image to uphold in the broader extreme sports industry and these commentators represented that. To try and call out a commentators for nick naming a rider norby is ridiculous, get over yourself. Commentators create nickname s for sports personalities all the time and this one wasn't even a stretch. Great job red bull and to the bloke who wrote this maybe ballet is your sport.

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mammal
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Mammal  - Oct. 1, 2014, 6:29 a.m.

You clearly didn't watch, or don't follow the sport.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 7:57 a.m.

And you clearly didn't read what I wrote because you missed the point. Got the title sorted though. Many people don't read much beyond the captions on the web but I made that point in the captions. Have a look. Norby vs Norbs wasn't the issue.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:28 a.m.

There was no long hair don't care attitude. Whatever that is. And what's wrong with ballet? Are you trying to suggest something about my sexuality?

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jprime
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jprime  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:59 p.m.

Nope!

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klankilla
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RV  - Oct. 1, 2014, 2:18 a.m.

Jesus guys its just TV. I watched live and wasn't a fan of the commentary but at least they were streaming it for us. This rant is over the top. Not sure anybody is listening.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - Oct. 1, 2014, 6:29 a.m.

Sadly, this is true. The commentators weren't put there to bring enjoyment to the educated sport insiders, but to make Grampa John able to sit and stare to the TV through the whole feature presentation. This is common practice among the TV industry. It makes the outsiders feel less stupid by patronizing them. Take the whole X Games scene for a bigger example.

Now from my gut, I truly hated them. When they went on that diatribe about the "all carbonz" thing I honestly thought they were joking…

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 8:24 a.m.

Luis - we weren't watching on NBC. I can't see any reason the educated audience for the live stream needed to have the same announcers as the uneducated NBC audience.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - Oct. 1, 2014, 8:44 a.m.

Cam, it's all about minimizing expenses and maximizing revenue these days. Why would they hire two sets of commentators when one would do in the network's opinion?

Again, I'm in no way justifying the lamers who took charge of the broadcast. The corporate way of thinking has hurt everyone enough.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:07 a.m.

They already had two sets of commentators Luis. Why not use the educated ones for the stream?

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slimshady76
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Luix  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:09 a.m.

Ah, didn't get that part… beats me, but then again, it's commercial network television we're talking about, I guess you can't hope they would throw any kind of educated opinions there…

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team-robot
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TEAM ROBOT  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:30 a.m.

Also Luis, the "minimizing expenses maximizing revenue" thing is a total copout. We're talking about Redbull here, which spends more on events in a given year than the combined GDP of all the South Pacific island nations. Red Bull's expenses for events go something like this "buy everything you need to make it perfect. No, change that, buy two of everything." Great post Cam, and I guarantee you this gets read by the suits at big blue.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:41 a.m.

So what explanation could we come up with? Did they just screw it up? Was it one of those "Oops" moments? I'm still thinking NBC had a lot to do with the style of the transmission. They shaped it the way it would best fit their format when aired on TV.

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straightshot-mtb
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Straightshot MTB  - Oct. 1, 2014, 9:46 a.m.

And what's wrong with the uneducated audience having what we're deeming the 'right' announcers for the job? They'll learn far more about the sport, get a greater glimpse of the personalities involved, the language/jargon used and would no doubt find it more entertaining, given it doesn't sound bland like the rest of the boring commentary out there.

Growing up the most popular sports announcers were those that stood out from the rest of the pack, whether because of their enthusiasm, slightly different approach to announcing, or personalities and were incredibly knowledgeable of the discipline they were covering.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 1, 2014, 10:19 a.m.

Yes, we CAN hope. That's why Cam wrote this. Demand better. Make them listen.

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hail2thethief
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Hail2theThief  - Oct. 1, 2014, 11:23 a.m.

This was edited on the fly to be seen on NBC. What you saw on the stream will most likely be exactly what's televised.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 1, 2014, 8:22 a.m.

It was not TV, Rob. It was a live webcast in the middle of the day. The TV re- broadcast will be in a month and, as Cam wrote, is going to be composed of a totally different audience than the one that cared enough to watch it Live. Don't be content with average and don't let average be good enough just because you're grateful it's being streamed.

Let me make another point here: do you know why there are no NSMB vids from Rampage? Vital? That all Pinkbike did was Just the Tip and that was just for flavour? That's because NBC prohibited all other video coverage - we weren't allowed to be there. So you're stuck with what they can provide as well as POV cameras from the athletes. As spectators, you and I are getting shortchanged.

Hold your content to a higher standard, whether it's print, photo, or video. You're giving it your time, make it time well spent.

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connor
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connor  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:57 a.m.

Correction: The last photo isn't Hunziker, between Tyler and Brad. It's Godziek.

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kaz-yamamura
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Kaz Yamamura  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:34 a.m.

One thing they said that stood out was not only another stupid comment, but something that was quite disrespectful to the rider.

"[Lacondeguy] will either go big or go into the medical tent"

When is it ever appropriate to say something like that?

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Matt-D
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Matt Dennison  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:42 a.m.

I had to rewind that 3 times to make sure I heard it correctly

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Tom  - Oct. 1, 2014, 3:34 a.m.

Couldn't believe he said that, was expecting Aggy to pop the commentator with a rifle

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malcolmshouldleave
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Malcolmshouldleave  - Oct. 1, 2014, 10:09 a.m.

I took it as a pretty clear acknowledgement that the guys riding Rampage, skilled as they may be, are taking some huge risks to progress the sport. There's a very real element of injury at Rampage…

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hail2thethief
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Hail2theThief  - Oct. 1, 2014, 11:12 a.m.

Really? It's the ultimate complement! He's not the kind of rider that will take it safe. He's either going to go so big that he wins it, or he'll be injured trying to do so.

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boomforeal
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boomforeal  - Oct. 1, 2014, 10:39 p.m.

uh, have you watched a rampage event before? andreu played it safe at the last 3 events, finishing his runs each time and earning a respectable score - but this is the first time he rode to his potential

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kod907
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Kod907  - Oct. 5, 2014, 10:24 a.m.

you never call out a crash, that's as bad as calling "last run"

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boomforeal
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boomforeal  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:14 a.m.

well said cam

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 1, 2014, 12:06 a.m.

So glad you put this into meaningful words. Everyone else is just blathering about it on social media but this deserved real attention.

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