We need a modern-day Spider Sabich

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by SecretAgentMan, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. SecretAgentMan

    SecretAgentMan Putting on skis Pass Pulled

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    There is currently an "embarrassing" lack of male-skier role models for young male skiers. Young male skiers need male-skier role models to maintain and increase their interest in skiing.

    Skiers older than I am tell me that they grew up idolizing Stein Eriksen and Jean-Claude Killy. My idol in the early 1970s was Spider Sabich. In the late 1970s my idols were John Clendenin and "King Jack" (Jack Taylor). These skiers were all over the media. Male-skier role models = world-class male skiers + media coverage of these skiers.

    All I see on Pugski.com are posts about Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin. Have you guys heard of Bode Miller? Rumor has it that you are going to change your name to Vonn/Shiffrin.com and make your official song I Am Woman.

    SecretAgentMan's message to the ski industry: We need a modern-day Spider Sabich. My message to Pugski.com: We need more posts about male ski racers and male freestylers. Sons. Sons. Sons.

    The Kaiser's birthday was 2 days ago. Did Pugski.com wish him a happy birthday? Hmmmm.

    Happy Birthday Franz from SecretAgentMan.

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  2. graham418

    graham418 Out on the slopes Skier

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    If you're going to bring up Spider, What about Billy Kidd?
     
  3. Dakine

    Dakine Getting off the lift Skier

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    Your point is good.
    The US Men's team is so out of it that a Swede is the role model for American skiers.
    I don't see the situation improving under Tiger's lukewarm leadership.
     
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  4. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    How about if we concern ourselves with 2018/2019? This is a non issue. Plenty of athletes to look up to. Unfortunately few/no male Americans. Unless you count a handful of young ones and a couple of older ones. Boys do look up to Ligety, Nyman, and Ganong. And they are well aware of the strong young guys.

    I would say that every decent male U14, U16 and U19 knows the entire top 50 of world ranking in every discipline. Just so happens that we are in a bit of a crater with the men, now, while we have the two “best ever” on the ladie’s side.

    Every young male knows who Hirscher is, who Svindal is, etc. HK was mobbed by kids in Aspen while there to train a week ago. Biggest and oldest ski club in the country. Spider is the distant past, even there, truth be told. Town that has as much race history as any. Spider was “the guy who was shot by his French girlfriend.”

    And obviously they all know of Bode. I have known Bode most of his life. He’s a generation younger than me. Not many use role model when describing him. Many other superlatives, for sure.

    I heard one of his former coaches talking to a group of the best U16’s in the country. He said that Bode probably could have had twice as many wins and three times as many podiums, but he did it his way, and the wins were not important. He also subtley implied that wins do matter...stopped short of bringing up medals.

    Happy birthday to FK, BTW?

    Who is the Swedish role model! Must be spacing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  5. Dakine

    Dakine Getting off the lift Skier

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    I did the spacing...Norwegian,,,
     


  6. Thread Starter
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    SecretAgentMan

    SecretAgentMan Putting on skis Pass Pulled

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    Billy Kidd was a great slalom skier. Super skilled. Hansi Hinterseer. Hansi was a great skier and phenomenal athlete in his prime. If Hansi grows up in America playing football he is a starting NFL quarterback almost as good as John Elway was in his prime with the Broncos. I've never taken a ski gate in my life so how do I know so much about ski racers? I have my sources. Not Franz Klammer. So ... Spider, Billy, Hansi, Franz. We need male-skier role models.

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  7. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    Tiger's "Luke warm leadership" {which some might say is generous}, and the challenges and problems that the USST is working through are probably not going to be solved by more allegedly strong role models, like those of yesteryear. Just a semi informed hunch. All I am going to suggest on this topic.
     
  8. Jwrags

    Jwrags Aka pwdrhnd Skier

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    From the title I was wondering why we needed a young ski racer to be shot in the bathroom by his French singer/actress girlfriend :huh:.
     
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  9. Talisman

    Talisman Getting off the lift Team Gathermeister

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    Ah yes the golden age of skiing, Andy Williams' former bride gets wrapped up in a tawdry incident involving firearms and murder. I miss this aspect of our sport and the '70's.
     
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  10. sjjohnston

    sjjohnston Booting up Skier

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    Am I the only one who thinks it odd that a discussion of past/present US male role models has (until now) made no mention of the only guy who won three overall World Cup titles? Nor his brother, for that matter. I think Phil managed something like nine times as many World Cup podiums as Sabich did.

    They were, of course, boringly free of sexy-dangerous amours.
     
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  11. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    ...because it's a lot more beguiling glamorous than the Bill Johnson story :nono: :(
     
  12. Bolder

    Bolder Getting on the lift Skier

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    It's not just skiing -- the sports/media world is so fractured, plus the rise of social media, that the traditional sports "heroes" are few and far between. Freeskiing has just as many if not more fans than alpine racing. And stars are programmed to be completely inoffensive, so even Vonn/Shiffrin are pretty much sponsor billboards who can ski really, really well.

    "Role model" isn't something I'm concerned about -- 99 percent turn out to have feet of clay just like the rest of us.
     
  13. Thread Starter
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    SecretAgentMan

    SecretAgentMan Putting on skis Pass Pulled

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    I agree with your post word-for-word minus "really, really." "Vonn/Shiffrin are pretty much sponsor billboards who can ski well."

    I wonder how many people in America know what slalom skiing is? How many high school seniors in Trenton New Jersey class of 2019 have heard of Spider Sabich, Claudine Longet, Edelweiss ski area, the Red Onion?
     
  14. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Exactly what I thought when I saw the title.
    Wow, Aspen was really a hotbed of national cases back then. Claudine Longet shoots Spider. Then you had Ted Bundy escaping from the Aspen courthouse and later the Glenwood Springs jail in a snowstorm.

    Fear not. Despite decades of going to races and climbing up the hill to watch them, there are grandparents who still confuse slalom and gs. Let's not even get into super g.

    In other news, has Hirscher managed to name his 6 month old child yet?
     
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  15. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Marcus Caston has my vote. He is out of the race courses but shows well for what skiing is.

    Until we get another dominant male US or Canadian ski racer it will be tough top 20 won't do it in the marketing world. Another thought in today's media circuit it is kind of rough making a hero. Spider would not have survived the scrutiny (no pun intended) in the current facebook world, and very few would; Ligety had some problems, and Bodie had his misadventures.

    Someone outside of the World Cup spotlights might be the best hope to fill the role.
     
  16. Eleeski

    Eleeski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Recent huge names like Ligety, Rahlves and Miller aren't enough? OK, right now the women are the superstars. Perhaps that's a good thing. But eventually there will be some more USA men stars. And maybe some charismatic European men will have some support over here.

    Sport stars are fleeting and temporary. Hopefully they are able to age gracefully - for their sakes.

    Eric
     
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  17. sjjohnston

    sjjohnston Booting up Skier

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    In another forum, around the time of Olympics last year, a poster wondered (quite honestly, I think), "What do ski racers do in between Olympics?"

    I don't think things were enormously different in Sabich's day, though.

    I'm not sure what to make of the observation as to current high school seniors' recall of Spider Sabich. Other than being shot, why should they? He had 4 World Cup podiums almost fifty years ago. Okay, sure, he was very successful on the pro tour, but it was somewhat of a second tier. He got attention for being charismatic, but being dead cut into that. While the manner in which he became dead created a burst of notoriety, it was - by its nature - short-lived.

    I doubt more than one in a hundred teenagers could tell you who Joe Kapp was, and he was a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl around the same time Sabich skied his last World Cup race. The fact that ancient celebrity scandals aren't still interesting is neither remarkable nor objectionable (at least not to me).
     
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  18. Thread Starter
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    SecretAgentMan

    SecretAgentMan Putting on skis Pass Pulled

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    Spider Sabich is the coolest ski racer that America has produced. Case closed. 50% of the young male skiers skiing at Afton Alps on a typical Saturday in 1973 were wearing a hat and jacket like Spider wore because they wanted to be "Spide." They wanted to be Mr. Cool. Do you hear what I'm saying?

    Joe Kapp? Before the Steel Curtain there were the Purple People Eaters. If I recall correctly Dave Osborn had a place on Eagle Lake in the 1970s when I lived in Cloquet. Lonnie Warwick.

    Back to the point. Spider Sabich = The Paradigm.
     
  19. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Spider would not have done well in these days of U Tube Twitter and Facebook. 2 seasons he and his tech/ski valet would come up to Anchorage and get early season turns on the hill I taught at. He chose not to talk to anybody and was rather rude to the kids who hero worshiped the guy. That is rather a rough way to handle people in a small ski area day lodge. K2 marketing was a large piece of his fame.

    A guy like that would have his 15 minutes of fame, but just not the image our sport needs.
     
  20. sjjohnston

    sjjohnston Booting up Skier

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    "The paradigm" in 1973 means nothing today to anyone under 50. Tony Orlando and Dawn were big in 1973 too (okay, they weren't cool, but they were big ... Edgar Winter was cool, but you're not going to find any 18 year olds who can tell you who he was either).

    I'm not sure I agree with the premise anyway. I was 14, and I didn't consider Sabich to be all that. Killy, among no-longer-racing-World-Cup racers. Or Kidd. Gustavo Thoeni among the still-racing, though he was kind of light in the charisma department.

    But - to the underlying point, I think - I doubt you'd find many high schools in the US where more than a handful of seniors could tell you who Marcel Hirscher is.
     

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