Maybe I’m just a sucker, but I love stuff like this. Maybe not so much for the end result, where Robbie Maddison ends up making the jump and the whole thing seem easy, but the preceding build-up and faux drama that comes with the whole presentation. How real — or maybe better put, how difficult really? — the jump and free fall are is little more than just a part of the whole deal.
I would imagine Evel Knievel would scoff at the advanced equipment Maddison and other daredevils like him use, but then again, how much of an act was Knievel, too? Hard to say. Of course, the terrifying crash at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve in 1967, which left him in a coma for 29 days, leaves no questions about exactly what could go wrong. And Maddison’s busted left hand after the landing made it pretty evident that this wasn’t easy.
Anyway, Maddison set a world record for longest jump last year on New Year’s Eve, and I hope he does something else again next year. Sure, it’s campy, kind of outrageous, overblown and I’m sure there’s a good chance something could go horribly wrong on live television, but that’s what makes great TV.
It’s better than Dick Clark.
(Note: There is much better video out there on the web of Maddison’s 2009 jump if you want to look for it, but I chose this one because it leaves out the unfortunate f-bomb that the ESPN broadcast failed to eliminate. When better video comes along without that, I’ll put it here. To make up for this, here is Maddo’s jump from 2008 New Year’s Eve and the jump Rhys Millen tried to pull off in the truck preceding Maddo this year.)