In the video above, Roll The Tape hosts (L-R in thumbnail) Treavor Scales, Christine Williamson and Gary Striewski react to a sampling of the footage culled from ESPN’s archives.
With the premiere this week of 10 episodes of Roll The Tape, the new series on ESPN+ that uncovers the most absurd and sublime highlights from the ESPN archives, Front Row decided to check in with a few of the people featured in the old tapes.
First up is Bob Pereyra, the Godfather of Street Luge and the sport’s first X Games gold medalist in 1995. He helps explain street luge in an ESPN2 segment from that same year, which is shown in Roll The Tape Episode 8, debuting this Thursday (see photo gallery below).
What do you remember from that 1995 segment on ESPN2?
I remember every second. There are times I wake up from a dead sleep in the middle of night out of breath, heart racing, because of those times and that day! Most people haven’t really seen the street luge racing we created. They’ve just seen the TV version. There was a glimpse in that feature of what street luge could be. We were lucky to survive that day.
How did you get started in street luging? How did you become the “Godfather of Street Luge?”
It was a simple dare to bomb the hill where my brother died in a motorcycle accident. We took turns crashing until we made it to the bottom. We were standing on the skate, but after a crash, I decided to finish the run sitting. It turned out sitting was more fun. It was faster and safer. Then we progressed to laying on the board. That’s all it took. As for “The Godfather” thing, a TV announcer called me that at the 1996 X Games, and it stuck.
What is your greatest achievement or accomplishment in street luge? What has meant the most to you through the years?
It’s hard to explain in a few words. There were moments in every day that could be a movie. When we first thought of what street luge could be, a lot of it has come true. There are pockets around the world that still street luge. We have had races in the most amazing places, and I have letters from fans who send pictures and tell me their stories. I was blessed enough to have the freedom to create something, which is a gift I’m now able to give back to anyone with a desire to be a badass.
What are you doing now?
I’m a grumpy welder fabricator in the entertainment industry. I make stuff people ride on in amusement parks. I’ve had some injuries from the sport, so I walk funny. I hurt every single day, but it’s all worth it. It’s not something I look to for attention, but I do get recognized. I’ve realized what we did was something special, something that touched the world.