On the evening of March 30, Merle and Pat Butler of Red Bud, IL embarked upon the dropping of a certain brand of lifestyle hammer that in certain ways has never before been seen. After hitting a record lotto jackpot, they kept their heads down and stayed on the proverbial grind for nearly three weeks before stepping forward to acknowledge their lifestyle hammer of $110 million that has made them “rich forever,” in the parlance of Maybach Music Group. In purely lotto terms, this was the equivalent of Geoff Rowley segueing into a modest flatground line after completing his Clipper assault and briefly praising the Lord.
The behaviour exhibited by the lucky retirees stands in sharp contrast to other rapidly enriched persons including footballer Chad Johnson, whose urge to share his exuberance upon scoring points has occasionally included unique collabs with other species.
“On the highway, I hit a deer,” Johnson said Tuesday, insisting he was serious and that the animal wasn’t hurt. “I kept him. He’s at home in the garage. I’m going to use him for the celebration this weekend. He’s a prop. They might suspend me for the last game, but I think this one is worth it.”
France’s Bastien Salabanzi has not divulged capturing live animals for the purposes of hyping supporters, but he has staked out ground as among skateboarding’s biggest believers in one’s self and in the past has openly expressed himself in front of a live arena audience. Like Greg Lutzka’s happily snapping fingers and Bob Burnquist’s tears of joy, Bastien Salabanzi’s penthouse quarters on cloud nine have left a bad taste in the mouths of some and occasionally drawn fire from others.
ESPN: Why do you get so much grief for doing that?
BS: It’s skateboarding. The cool attitude is to do the gnarliest thing and make it look like you do it every morning on the way to go get the bread at the store, like the trick is completely normal.
I don’t really care. I don’t want to be someone else. It makes me happy when I land something. But I can understand from an outside point of view, maybe from someone who liked to watch skateboarding but never really did it hard they cannot relate to that kind of behavior. For example, a lot of people talk about John McEnroe, that the guy is insane and he goes mental on the court but at the same time people agree that he was one of the best that has ever played. I’m sure he doesn’t care his reputation is to be completely crazy. What he cares about is the number of tournaments he’s won.
Skateboarding’s rejection of big upping one’s self is rooted in a historic aversion to the sort of chest-beating that characterized the mainstream sports kids were supposed to be pursuing in the 80s and 90s when the sheen of televised vert contests began to recede. The country wasn’t trying to care about Jovontae Turner doing 360 flips and nollie nose manuals and generally dudes weren’t fooling themselves. All this stuff was going on in parking lots and around back of some department stores, and if you knew you knew, etc.
Is this mode of thinking outdated when our $15 million man Rob Dyrdek is finally getting around to starring in some tossed-off show he pitched to MTV five years ago and decks regularly outsell Louisville Sluggers? Have we become so coldhearted as to begrudge Billy Marks a moment of euphoria at the big Wilshire handrail? Did Forrest Edwards transcend the self-cheering debate when he cooly explained that his go-to tricks are “not gay”? Do yall realize this posting has incorporated so far three ESPN web-links?
It used to be humbler times, when a trick-namer such as Tony Hawk was gluing plies together by hand in the back of his Lexus as he stayed one step ahead of repo men and sought to put food on the table, or when bros were hopping fences to get at wealthier folks’ lightly used pools. Bastien Salabanzi recently skated a private park to try and qualify for a contest series where he could pocket some $1 million, and the idea of hiding his double-cabellarial flipping light under a bushel seems to strike him as outlandish.
What do you put the importance on?
At the end of the day I don’t want to be remembered as a cocky lunatic. I started skating in 1994. Today I watched the 12 minutes of footage from when I was a little kid and that’s when I was having so much fun and not caring about no industry or sponsors. I was just having fun and loving skating. That’s how I want to skate, to have fun and skating the way I want to skate like when I was 13.
I’m happy with the road I took and the way things happened; I don’t regret anything. But I do understand the people that find my behavior too much, at the same time I don’t care. I’m 26, I learned and I’ve evolved and think different. When I see my behavior at a contest from years ago I laugh so hard and think, “Wow, I was a little bit crazy.”