Editor’s Note: Hurricane Irene’s approach has caused the Street League Skateboarding Championship to change its schedule. As Rob Dyrdek noted at the time of taping the video above, Street League WAS slated to air LIVE on ESPN2 on Sunday, Aug. 28. The event instead will be conducted today at 3 p.m. at Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center. It will air tape-delayed on ESPN2 on Sunday from 5-7 p.m. ET.
Talking to skateboarding king Rob Dyrdek, who visited Bristol recently to promote Street League, makes me reflect on my brief flirtation with the sport.
The year was 1986, and I had a giant Sony Walkman with the bulky headphones and The Beastie Boys Licensed To Ill jamming between my ears.
I wore the original red, white and black Air Jordans, which had no air in them, rode freestyle bikes with pegs, tried and failed at every trick I saw my friends do.
I was in the uncharted waters of East Scranton (Pa.) Intermediate School.
Sixth grade in the 80’s cool.
It was also around this time I became aware of what trailblazers like Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi were doing on skateboards.
I wanted to skate. I was terrible at it, like dangerously terrible, and years later was informed by my parents that they never bought me a skateboard because, in their words, “I would kill myself on one.”
Dyrdek, however, was not as skate challenged as I was.
In fact, he won his first skate competition at the age of 12 and became a professional skateboarder at the age of 16.
Fast forward to 2011 and you’ll see that Dyrdek is not only still a professional skateboarder but he’s a television star, marketing whiz and filmmaker as well.
Meanwhile, I’m currently dealing with two ruptured discs in my back that occurred during a failed yardwork experiment.
Alas, our paths collided recently when he visited to talk about one of his many successful projects, Street League Skateboarding.
What Dyrdek didn’t know is that he would finish his day at ESPN looking more like me than either of us ever thought he would.