To the Extreme: Alternative Sports, Inside and Out by Robert E. Rinehart, Synthia Sydnor

By Robert E. Rinehart, Synthia Sydnor

Insider and outsider narratives at the essence of contemporary "extreme" activities.

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Most people can identify with all the heroes on ESPN. ”36 In other words, on television, the icons/heroes have taken on generalizable, more mainstream, status; in the magazines, they are more niche types. How does this difference possibly reflect any kind of reality? In many ways, it doesn’t (while simultaneously creating new reali- Dropping into Sight 37 ties and new approaches to old realities). For the most part, the images—of products, and now athletes as products or representations of brands—are media imaginings, images that have become almost caricatures of the athletes themselves.

It is incredible, first of all, that an idea so inevitable as ice skating on dry land could have taken so long to come to market. After decades of suffering through clumsy, inefficient rollerskates, and despite the centuries that ice skating had been around and prospered, inline Arlo Eisenberg is one of the most recognizable personalities in aggressive inline skating. He is a former X Games gold medalist, has served as the editor for the sport’s most influential publication, Daily Bread Magazine, and co-founded Senate Wheels, the leading manufacturer of aggressive skating accessories.

We have become consumed with our success, and are so eager to keep it going that we have lost sight of how we used to measure success. The television producers are defining rollerblading now; the corporate sponsors are. Our parents are defining rollerblading. What was once an alternative to football is fast becoming a replacement for it. The focus in rollerblading is moving away from the personal goals of the individual and quickly moving toward winning championships and training to win championships.

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