April 19-23, 2004
At first when I heard about the Game of BMX PIG, it seemed kinda strange. Other sports like snowboarding and moto-x had done it, and the judging seemed to be cut and dry. Some guys at the Toronto Metro Jam were talking about the Game of BMX PIG and how it would work. Some thought theres no way on Earth this kind of contest would ever work in BMX, and then there were others who thought it was the best idea ever. MacNeil Bikes Jay Miron was the go-to person for the event and was he ever pumping this thing up!
The Game of BMX PIG was run at Woodward with twelve teams of two, four days of qualifying, three teams each day, and on the fifth day the winners from each previous day moved on into the finals. The teams were:
Day 1--Team Primo:
Chad Degroot, Curtis Elwell (etnies flow) Team DK Bikes: Chris Doyle, Colin Winkleman Team Square One: Todd Wakolviak, Nate Wessel (etnies)
Day 2--Team We The People:
Dave Osato, Dustin Guenther Team Terrible One: Taj Mihelich (etnies), Garrett Byrnes (etnies) Team etnies: Mike Escamilla (etnies), John Heaton (etnies)
Day 3--Team UGP:
Scotty Cramner, Ryan Guettler Team Odyssey: Gary Young, Jim Cielinski Team MacNeil: Allistair Whitton, Dave Freimuth (etnies)
Day 4--Team Split:
Ryan Nyquist, Coli Mackay Team FBM: Ron Kimler (etnies flow), Shawn Arata Team Federal Bikes: Cory Martinez, Sandy Carson (etnies)
The whole premise of the Game of PIG is to make the opposing team gain letters for each of their failed tricks to spell out the word PIG. The way the rules worked for each day were: on the flip of a coin, the first team would draw a card with the name of trick to do from different categories of
tricks. There were old school tricks, basic tricks and the tricks that got progressively harder until you had stuff like 360 tailwhips, backflip tailwhips, double flips, etc. going down.
All the cards were thrown into a hat of sorts and mixed-up. It was totally the luck of the draw. So, team one had to do a trick from the card pulled, then they took off to look at a spot on the course where they thought that they could do the move and the next team in line would hopefully mess up, or just not be able to do it, period! Each team had the option to pass on a trick if they drew one they thought was too hard, but they could only do this three times throughout the day before they were forced to either do the trick of get a letter.
Each person in the teams of two could only go twice in a row before forcing his teammate to go. For example, if a team had a rider who could do flips but his partner couldnҒt and three flip tricks came up in a row (hypothetically), the teammate would have to try the trick on the third flip, or pass and use one of his three pass cardsӔ, or get a letter. The team with least letters at the end of the day went into the finals.
There were a lot of small grey areas on tricks or the way tricks had to be done. It boiled down to whoever drew the card each time decided the way the move had to be done, and if you didn't do it that way, you failed and got a letter. Sports like moto-x are kinda easier to judge for this game, because a guy takes off of a launch ramp, does his trick, then lands--pretty cut and dry. But with BMX, there are so many variants on tricks, that it makes it super-hard to judge, and it doesnt make things any easier when riders are playing it safe and taking things very cautiously so that they won't fail their given move. The whole thing was actually a customized game of HORSE, which most of guys just play with their friends. It was fun, as everyone was helping each other out, whether they were on the same team or not.
Day 5: The Finals
1st Place--Team Split:
Colin Mackay, Ryan Nyquist
2nd Place--Team DK Bikes:
Chris Doyle, Colin Winkleman
3rd Place--Team etnies:
Mike Escamilla, John Heaton
4th Place--Team UGP:
Scotty Cramner, Ryan Guettler
The finals were pretty drawn out, with a lot of guys really taking it cautiously. It went to around 34 or 35 card drawings. I think the only riders who really laid it on the line, tried super-hard and risked everything were the guys on the etnies team, Mike Escamilla and John Heaton. Mike pulled
some shit out of his ass that he hasnҒt done for years, mainly because he was forced to and didnt want to appear to be a pussy, but also because he wasnҒt afraid to risk it when it counted most. Mike pulled the best flair I have ever seen him do, as well as a bad-ass extended Superman (something he hasnt done for about eight or nine years).
John pushed himself super far a few times, also in the name of good sportsmanship and valid efforts. Mike definitely was the life of the party, as well as the comic relief for the whole event, and when Team etnies third place was announced, they exited the course by jumping the perimeter fence onto the surrounding roofs of some building that were nearby--definitely the highlight of the whole event, so much so that the TV crew made sure that it was captured on film. The finals did seem to drag on, but all in all, the event was fun and it was definitely a different approach to a televised comp. With some little tweaks here and there, the Game of PIG could grow to become a regular thing in BMX.