supercross
Tough questions at the Glendale SX post-race press conference.


Chris Cooksey

My day in Glendale:

I arrived around 9:45am with plenty of time to pick up my credentials and head through the pits looking for anyone willing to chat. At Jimmy Albertsons's truck I stopped to see if he was alright after his crash last week. While Jimmy wasn't there his wife Georgia Lindsay Albertsonwas willing to give me the scoop on his health. Jimmy was sore but ready to put it in the Main for her, it was her birthday. On my way to the track walk I glimpsed the BMX dirt jumping practice, it's crazy how big those guys can go on bicycles! From there I headed towards the tunnel and happen to catch @Vince Friese’s mechanic hanging out by the MotoConcepts truck. I took the opportunity to ask him about all the drama surrounding Jason Anderson last week. He couldn't believe how much negative attention the stiff arm got him. Somebody once told me he was a bouncer for a Death Metal band, so I asked. He laughed and said he toured with a “rock band,” not Death Metal. We both had a good laugh that nobody mentioned the aggressive move by Malcom Stewart in the corner before the “incident.”

At the track walk I noticed a tall guy with a Rocky Mountain team shirt and realized it was Benny Bloss. I am 6’4 so when someone is taller than me I usually notice, Benny is a nice kid. He has raised his handlebars and is using a slightly taller seat this year, let’s see how this helps him in the East Coast 250 Class. He agreed and nodded when I told him us tall guys have to stick together, then I snapped a photo of him towering over Cooper Webb (you can find the picture in the gallery I posted). On the track walk I watched as Marvin Musquin eyed up the whoops, clearly concerned with the size. I had a quick chat with Tony Alessi about his appearance on the PulpMX show and I assured him he came off likable and we laughed at his “50% less crazy comment.” At the tunnel I ran into Big James Stewart. I told him it was good to see him back at the races. As I left the stadium I ran into another old friend, Roger Larsen with Seven. Roger is the guy putting together everything for Malcom. We talked about the untrue rumors, mainly www.weedfinder. com reported as their title sponsor and yes I asked him about James. Roger didn’t know what James was planning, or at least he didn't share the plan.

From the press box I watched the night’s action and had the opportunity to mingle with Jason Thomasand his VIP’s. The press box was definitely buzzing after Eli demolished the field! Next, things took an unexpected and unscripted turn. After the race concluded and fans headed for their exits, I followed SX regular reporters Jason Weigandt and Jimmy Holley to the press room (truth be told I was nervous as I am new to media coverage). Walking into the press room felt like being at a night club and going from the VIP room to the Platinum room with upgraded benefits. The riders made sure to display their respective energy drinks and appropriately adjusted their hats to represent their sponsors. I chose a seat front and center and that is when the fireworks went off!

My first question was to Austin Forkner. I thought it was not fair that he had such high expectations placed on him as a rookie. I asked him if it was a relief to get his first podium. He answered very eloquently and my confidence grew, now the 450 guys were up. I didn’t want to ask a cookie cutter questions which would elicit a cliché answer. I wanted to ask a tough but fair question. Literally, everybody had said the series was over after last Saturday with Ken Roczen horrific crash. With Eli Tomac previous arm pump struggles most people assumed Dungey would run away with the title. I genuinely wanted to know if Chad and Eli felt disrespected by the fact that fans had “unofficially” crowned Dungey and if that idea provided any extra motivation. My question was simple; “Chad and Eli, did it fire you guys up last week after the [Ken] Roczen injury that pretty much everybody kind of crowned Dungey at that point? How did that make you feel?”

Chad answered as if I asked him if he was happy Ken got hurt, which is not at all where I was going. When I tried re-directing him to the question; “I wasn't asking about Ken, were you mad that everyone crowned Dungey?” (It's hard to hear this follow up because after you ask your question you pass the mic). At this point Dungey jumped in still responding to Reed’s perception of the question, but to everyone’s surprise answered with emotion he is not known for. I always knew there was more to Dungey than the “ahh shucks” interviews he typically gives. He looked me in the eyes as he gave his response about how terrible Roczen’s injury was and how it could happen to any one of them at which point his wife, sitting behind me, clapped and whispered an unflattering comment.. Even Weigandt, sitting next to me, thought the question was fair and was perplexed by the answers given.

I had several take-aways that night. First, when the press conference concluded I might as well have had the plague the way the riders looked at me! The second take-away, I don’t mind. I don’t script my questions, I ask what I want to know and what the fans want to know. I also have great respect for the industry, but I’m not worried about being bros with the riders. If the riders take the question out of context, so be it. The Supercross podcasts and message boards are having fun with the press conference. They saw a glimpse of the person Dungey really is and not what he wants you to think. If you don't want tough questions asked then don't have a press conference. You can check out my question at

Since the press conference most people liked the question and enjoyed a real answer. Others have questioned my credentials and to them I say:

• -Worked in the industry for over 20 years
• -Raced AMA Supermoto in 2003 and 2004 with a couple top 10 finishes
• -Made Arenacross main events in 1997
• -Held an AMA Pro Liscense in 2007
• -Obtained a Bachelors degree in Communications from ASU (home of the Walter Cronkite
• School of Journalism).

While I can’t attend the entire SX series live, I’ll see everyone again in Seattle. Maybe by then we can unofficially crown Dungey champion!

Thanks, Chris Cooksey

#supercross

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I started reading, and I was "ahh, your the guy that asked that question"  because I have seen the video and it only shows the riders responding. Honestly my first thought, and I think I saw this on the FB post was "who crowned Dungy?" No one I know or read about. So your question "everyone" is massively presumptuous and that is how the reactions from the riders were framed. How can anyone be crowned when there are 17 races, and one slip up like KR had is a game changer?  Maybe you should actually think through your questions ahead of time instead of asking off the cuff, and please don't speak for "the fans" let them speak for themselves.  I am a fan, and my thoughts were that Roczen came out smokin' and clearly made himself the favorite, but all it would takes is one slip up to change everything. Well guess what. Even before Tomac's win it was pretty clear that there are still several contenders for the "crown". Until someone has enough points they can stop racing the title is undecided. 

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Mr. KaToom, the fans did speak.  Were you in a social media blackout after A2?  Maybe your internet bill was past due? Anyway DMXS opened their show "unofficialy crowning Dungey" along with many, many social media posts from fans.  

I had many seasoned journalists thank me for asking the question and told me it was nice to have someone ask something beyond "setup".  Thanks for the information Captain Obvious, everybody knows it's not over until it's over and that is why I wanted Chad and Eli to respond to the haters.  Unfortunately Dungey had obviously been reading message boards because there is no way he got that mad from one question.  Enjoy my articles, they will keep coming.

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2 minutes ago, Chris Cooksey said:

Mr. KaToom, the fans did speak.  Were you in a social media blackout after A2?  Maybe your internet bill was past due? Anyway DMXS opened their show "unofficialy crowning Dungey" along with many, many social media posts from fans.  

I had many seasoned journalists thank me for asking the question and told me it was nice to have someone ask something beyond "setup".  Thanks for the information Captain Obvious, everybody knows it's not over until it's over and that is why I wanted Chad and Eli to respond to the haters.  Unfortunately Dungey had obviously been reading message boards because there is no way he got that mad from one question.  Enjoy my articles, they will keep coming.

Wait, isn't social media just ThumperTalk? I need to get out more!

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man I get it, the question was worthy and chads response was gracious but not focused on the exact point of the question, you tried to redirect back to your intent but the moment had passed, I think dungey felt slighted that you asked a question about him in front of him but not too him and that's ok as well, it makes one think "I am sitting right here!". Bottom line any questions that elicit a unrehearsed answer are good questions and in todays sponsor controlled environment authenticity will be harder to capture.

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I think the question was poorly timed. The reactions of the riders might have been different if the question was a couple weeks later. When that injury was not so fresh in the riders minds. Dungey`s reaction is what you would expect from anyone whose job has a high risk of injury. In all sports i think the media is very insensitive to the emotions of the athletes. The guys are not machines, they are living breathing humans with emotions. This sport is unlike most in the fact that most of the riders are very friendly towards each other. Non of them ever wish any harm or injury toward the other. Motocross and Supercross are every bit the gentleman`s sport that golf is.  

 Most media live in there own little bubble far, far removed from reality. The context of the question is what i am sure most fans thought, but would never ask. Fans are sensitive to the feelings of these guys, as opposed to the media who does not care and is just trying to keep a job. By the way your an idiot to think a small portion of fans on social media speaks for all of us. You speak for yourself and its an insult to us fans when you say you speak for us. The media never has been or never will be an extension of the fan. If most of you guys where gone, the fans would not even notice. 

Edited by Heb
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Heb.  The writer asked a question that was misunderstood and then reacted to under that same misunderstanding.  It is not his fault for asking nor is it the riders faults for answering the way they did.  You speak very passionately about this article and that's great you care so much. But so does the writer who wrote it. His question was not malicious or derogatory it merely was not understood. Chill ma'am 

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If the question where not malicious then why the need for the writer to take a shot at dungey for his reaction? Ripping dungey for being humbled by how quickly a riders year or career can end is typical of how low class most of the media is. 

Edited by Heb

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Sniping at the riders. Not good. Sniping at the TT posters, meh. Sniping Dungey's wife in print, incredible fail. You are in for a rough ride as a journalist, especially in this business, if you attack (even ever so gently) family members of the riders.

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2 hours ago, LSHD said:

Sniping at the riders. Not good. Sniping at the TT posters, meh. Sniping Dungey's wife in print, incredible fail. You are in for a rough ride as a journalist, especially in this business, if you attack (even ever so gently) family members of the riders.

 Hey wait a minute, TT posters only fit in the "meh" bucket? :ride:

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Yeah, as far as damage goes. But talking about any dude's wife, bad form and will get CC blackballed post haste.

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I might as well have had the plague the way the riders looked at me! The second take-away, I don’t mind. I don’t script my questions, I ask what I want to know and what the fans want to know.

You should script your questions. Why? So you dont make an ass of yourself. You can ask a tough question without coming off as a jackass and making yourself part of the story.

Prefacing the question about Roczen with "We're all sorry to see him out, but, Are you relieve to not have to race against him further?"  Same question, no assholery though. Weege probably saw your context, but everyone else...it flew right past.

 

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I didnt see anything wrong with the question... was in plain english. Reedy didnt get it and didnt answer it properly. Too many snow flakes reveling in their constructed outrage. Drama queens!

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You bet your ass they're glad he was injured..RD had to act with that emotion to keep from smiling,but you can't hide the eyes from smiling:naughty: "Oh! Why I never!"..please:rolleyes: ..Tomac took the other route and half closed his eyelids like he had just smoked a big fatty looked down and spoke as bland and as monotone as possible to cover up for his excitement..Why can't they be honest  ":foul:yeah! I'm glad he's injured,he didnt need to get injured that bad though,a navicular bone in the wrist would have been good enough for me..poor bastard"

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