Did James Stewart grow the sport??

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3/19/2018 7:30 AM

I know, another Stewart thread but bear with me................

When James Stewart burst onto the scene last decade, a lot of journalists and commentators said James would be great for Motocross, as a black athlete, he would open our sport up to a whole new demographic and attract them into MX and Supercross.

Did this happen in America?

Did you notice a lot more Afro American families racing at local tracks, or in the stands spectating at a Supercross?

Now that James has retired or no longer a championship contender, have the numbers of black racers or families involved started to fall away?

Please be respectful in answering and refrain from any racist comments, I just genuinely interested to know if a role model can have such a positive impact on our sport.



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3/19/2018 7:35 AM

Yes yes and yes.

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3/19/2018 7:38 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2018 7:50 AM

I know he sure made it more interesting for me. The same way Tiger got me tuned into watching golf. Have you been following golf this year? The crowds supporting Tiger are phenomenal.

As far as bringing minirities into the sport I don’t think it did much. I was reading in other threads about NASCAR being such a rednect sport but I tell you I see a lot more blacks at a NASCAR race than I do at MX/SX races. I can honestly say other than Malcolm I did not see 1 black at the last San Diego SX. Local tracks, it is very rare to see any minorities.

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3/19/2018 7:45 AM

Macgrath, RC, James, Reed and Pastrana moved the needle for the sport for 15 years. But now that all those guys (except Reed) are gone the effect is almost gone with them, common folks don't know any riders beyond them.

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3/19/2018 7:47 AM

Don't know if he grew it, but he most certainly was the catalyst for a new direction in riding style and bike set up. RC was the last "old school racer" and everyone since is from the school of James Stewart!

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3/19/2018 7:49 AM

I believe James help bring the sport to being a live broadcast on FOX Sports. James was pulling a ton of big media when he was on his game, and I think that decision makers at FOX took notice of him and the sport at that time.

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3/19/2018 7:52 AM

He certainly increased the attention around the sport. He brought in that Nike sponsorship, and I remember a lot more crossover from mainstream sports than ever before. We still get NASCAR types hanging around, but I remember Jordan and DeMarcus Ware coming around while Bubba was racing.

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3/19/2018 7:54 AM

Me and my Pops Black Americans, Followed sx way before james was on the scene.. My first race was in 88 as a 3 month old baby... my dad was riding and racing back in the 70s and told me about the BRO show, and a few other locals who were ultra fast.

Did we notice alot more brothers and sistas at the races when james came along hellyeah, as bad as this sounds, it was pretty neat, because when i was little... we didn't see any others of the same demographics at races... like the mcgrath years etc, I can only recall seeing one other little black kid at the races like once then (mc era), and we had raced bmx together.

I have not noticed a fall in numbers who ride, My cousins and other family members ride and one works for yamaha.
There was an increase in numbers on the local scene specifically milestone and elsinore when james was in his prime.. But i cant speak for now, as i don't go to the tracks enough to know or see who is there.

( Did he make an impact for minorities, My vote is yes) Because before he was on the pro scene at all... i had to deal with "Why do you like a white sport" etc from my hispanic & blk friends.... Then when james started winning the whole " I thought you were the only black person who did that speech".... blargh

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3/19/2018 7:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2018 8:04 AM

visser62 wrote:

He certainly increased the attention around the sport. He brought in that Nike sponsorship, and I remember a lot more crossover from mainstream sports than ever before. We still get NASCAR types hanging around, but I remember Jordan and DeMarcus Ware coming around while Bubba was racing.

Actually, Nike started with Dungey as an amateur and was signed to him from the moment he went pro. Dungey was the first one signed to wear the Nike boot, while James had just gotten a casual apparel and shoe deal with them...then bailed on the second year of his Alpinestars contract (which I asked recently about, and was still a sore spot...) to get into the Nike boot...which was developed around Dungey.

Stewart joined Nike in '09, Dungey joined in late '05.

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3/19/2018 8:05 AM

I know lots of people who began following Supercross purely because of James Stewart.

Sadly few of them have the same enthusiasm for Motocross which is the purist and more superior form of the sport, as we all know... wink

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3/19/2018 8:13 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2018 8:15 AM


I knew about Bill Blair 359, and he ride well.

Nice dude.(The other rider take the wrong way)

The last videos are from his son Bronson, they are from a few years ago, I do not know if they will continue in MX
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3/19/2018 8:17 AM

I think it was his personal magnetism that helped bring more attention to him, and the sport. And the incredibly flashy riding style. Who was riding like that?

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3/19/2018 8:19 AM

slipdog wrote:

Don't know if he grew it, but he most certainly was the catalyst for a new direction in riding style and bike set up. RC was the last "old school racer" and everyone since is from the school of James Stewart!

I don't understand this at all. You think CR, RV, RD etc are a catalyst of James Stewart's riding? You think RC was the last "old school racer?" What do you mean by that? Riding style I presume? RC had an extremely flashy riding style from what I can remember. Please explain because this comment makes zero sense to me.

Back on topic, I think James helped the sport a lot. He brought a lot of good attention to it. I think a huge reason why we had full gates 15-20 years ago is because of James Stewart and Travis Pastrana. Guys like Carmichael and McGrath had much better racing careers than those two but they brought the outside interest.

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3/19/2018 8:21 AM

He did have a good run there for a few years .

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3/19/2018 8:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2018 8:33 AM

slipdog wrote:

Don't know if he grew it, but he most certainly was the catalyst for a new direction in riding style and bike set up. RC was the last "old school racer" and everyone since is from the school of James Stewart!

agn5009 wrote:

I don't understand this at all. You think CR, RV, RD etc are a catalyst of James Stewart's riding? You think RC was the last "old school racer?" What do you mean by that? Riding style I presume? RC had an extremely flashy riding style from what I can remember. Please explain because this comment makes zero sense to me.

Back on topic, I think James helped the sport a lot. He brought a lot of good attention to it. I think a huge reason why we had full gates 15-20 years ago is because of James Stewart and Travis Pastrana. Guys like Carmichael and McGrath had much better racing careers than those two but they brought the outside interest.

I agree with RC being the last of the old school riders, for riding style. Highly noticeable in Supercross more so than Outdoors, RC got away with murder year in and year out that's why he is the goat. But for riding style everyone stole something from James from the States to the GPs. Plus he was a good interview and decent at promting products, I remember.m when Red Bull came out with new flavors and he had just won something and before talking about the race he opens the can drinks from and talked about how good it was. You don't see that anymore.

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3/19/2018 8:40 AM

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3/19/2018 8:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2018 9:10 AM

I think his overwhelming talent and speed has a greater impact than the color of his skin. He has a great personality and is always an interesting interview. Who would you rather see on late night TV..James Stewart or someone like Ryan Dungey, Jason Anderson, or even Eli Tomac.

There is this weird obsession with "growing the sport" that I'll never understand. Our sport is what it is. For a casual fan it is very boring. Today's world likes drama...and unless you are following the podcasts or read stuff on here you wouldn't even know about hardly any of it.

The rider's and their agents should be working on interviews for late night TV. Highlight the unique sides of our sport. Jumping a motorcycle is amazing and something we take for granted.

I honestly think the aggression and sprint speed we see in Arenacross would have a better chance of appealing to more people. People aren't going to sit and watch 3 hours of racing....2 of which don't even count for anything.

Feld/Fox Sports... should be doing a better job of giving real back stories of these riders. Not the fluff pieces of them making eggs with their cats. Actually Racer X, Transworld, Vital etc could do more. Throughout the week there is rarely a story I care to read on most of the pages. There's the highlights, post race interviews/conferences and maybe some technical tidbits. I enjoy all of those but there is rarely an individual story on a particular rider. I can't imagine every weekend for every rider goes super smooth. We need a narrative.

Being a Monday you will get more race results, but if I'm doing the content for these sites, Results is one page and you can scroll through it all..I don't need the entire homepage dedicated to that. Give me something to read or listen to that is worthwhile. And stop trying to force me to buy a magazine..that ship has sailed.

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3/19/2018 9:09 AM

Photo
This actor that I do not remember the name, I know that as an actor I like it, and seeing it in this photo caught my attention, I only knew about Steve Mcqueen.
I'm sure he did not get influenced because he's before Bubba, maybe the influence was Steve Mcqueen.
In one way or another this being involved in the MX has to be by a bad influence laughing
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3/19/2018 9:23 AM

ruy wrote: Photo
This actor that I do not remember the name, I know that as an actor I like it, and seeing it in this photo caught my attention, I only knew about Steve Mcqueen.
I'm sure he did not get influenced because he's before Bubba, maybe the influence was Steve Mcqueen.
In one way or another this being involved in the MX has to be by a bad influence laughing

That is Sidney Poterre or something like that. Big time actor when I was a kid back n the 70’s I believe

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3/19/2018 9:40 AM

KennyT wrote:

That is Sidney Poterre or something like that. Big time actor when I was a kid back n the 70’s I believe

Yes, I remenber now, thanks, he is Sidney Poitier, yes very good actor, and very good movies.

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3/19/2018 9:45 AM

"Afro American" ?? good gawd....

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3/19/2018 9:51 AM

James is great, but I don't think he moved the needle regarding black moto participation.

If one had a pie chart of all motocross participants broken down by ethnicity, the black piece of the pie would be small. It would be about the same size of the "give it to charity" piece if you asked lottery winners what they are going to do with the money. That's a Mitch Hedberg joke, kids.

We should welcome everyone to the sport, but the sport is exclusive due to cost. Four-strokes made things exponentially worse and the sport cost-prohibitive.

The racer that made moto great was Jeremy McGrath. The sport exploded in the late 1990s, and many of us got into it because we wanted to ride like MC. JS7, RC, CR, DV, RV, RD, and the like rode that wave to make millions.

Also making millions are motocross promoters, OEMs, aftermarket companies, and such who rode the MC wave.

McGrath increased motocross GDP exponentially.




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3/19/2018 10:07 AM

I wouldn't say James, rc, and reed rode the waves. Rv and rd? Very much so. James rc and reed provided the drama. They never held back in interviews. They were charismatic. There was always a battle in the track with those 3. There was the reed stew rivalry where you expected something each week from them. All my friends that were into racing as casuals during the Carmichael James and reed years have slowly quit following. Sure rv and dung were dominant, but they were robotic in every interview. There wasn't really a rivalry. There was a little outdoors between the two but only for about a year since rv only had 2 full outdoor seasons on a 450

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3/19/2018 10:15 AM

Dirty Britches wrote:

"Afro American" ?? good gawd....

I agree. I find it ridiculous that a culture of this great country feels it important to self-identify their skin color with "African American."

We're all Americans (except for the illegals).
Why not just stick with AMERICAN?

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3/19/2018 10:33 AM

Dirty Britches wrote:

"Afro American" ?? good gawd....

ttugrad1793 wrote:

I agree. I find it ridiculous that a culture of this great country feels it important to self-identify their skin color with "African American."

We're all Americans (except for the illegals).
Why not just stick with AMERICAN?

That wasn't my point at all.

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3/19/2018 10:45 AM

James is/was good for the sport. Not just because of his race, but his personality, family values, talent, and dang he was exciting to watch. James was marketable, he brought in sponsors from outside the industry and got mainstream coverage. The sport is in desperate need of another James right now.

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3/19/2018 11:27 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2018 11:36 AM

ruy wrote: Photo
This actor that I do not remember the name, I know that as an actor I like it, and seeing it in this photo caught my attention, I only knew about Steve Mcqueen.
I'm sure he did not get influenced because he's before Bubba, maybe the influence was Steve Mcqueen.
In one way or another this being involved in the MX has to be by a bad influence laughing

KennyT wrote:

That is Sidney Poterre or something like that. Big time actor when I was a kid back n the 70’s I believe

Cant remember name of movie that pic is from , never came around theatres in my area so never as able to see it ... Bill Russell the basketball player was a moto fan back in the day , rode mx and tried to bring attention to it... Drag racer J R Todds dad Mario used to race back in early 70s and was one Helluva flat tracker ridin Buls and xr750 Harleys

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3/19/2018 11:31 AM

Braaaphole wrote:

James is/was good for the sport. Not just because of his race, but his personality, family values, talent, and dang he was exciting to watch. James was marketable, he brought in sponsors from outside the industry and got mainstream coverage. The sport is in desperate need of another James right now.

I'm not actually sure on the outside sponsor portion of your statement but I agree with the rest.

The sport does need another marketable personality. Anderson of a couple years ago was that guy. He is pretty buckled down now and I don't see him going back. Roczen last year was exactly what we needed. Confident with style and personality to spare. He will come back to that status again but never at the same level. Not because of any physical inability...more so mentally. While he is mentally strong..there is just no way to completely put those crashes out of his mind.

The only other rider who has tried to take a jab at making things interesting is Baggett. I like the guy, but when he gets mouthy it comes across like WWE or something scripted. I think he realizes there is value in getting your name out there...and clicking up podiums or top 5s alone isn't going to do it.

I hope in the coming years we have something between Barcia and Anderson. I think those two could make things interesting.

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3/19/2018 11:51 AM

I agree with the person who said the riders agents should be marketing them to late night TV for a start .
picture Malcolm and Weston in JGR polo's discussing the weekends racing and toss in a couple short segments of the racing action
follow it next week with another team and the same format , link in the Toyota / Nike / go pro / monster / red bull ETC sponsorships
show family time in the pit party area as well.
all would catch the eye of the TV viewer , then aim for prime time TV

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3/19/2018 3:33 PM

Dirty Britches wrote:

"Afro American" ?? good gawd....

Afro-American
[af-roh-uh-mer-i-kuh n]
noun, adjective
African American
From dictionary.....wink

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