This is what I took away from Shaun White‘s recent appearance (10/29) on the Late Show with David Letterman.
He was promoting his latest video game. It’s for skateboarding. I know nothing about it. I just know that Shaun White is a better product than the Olsen twins—and they had that tied up for a really long time.
Anyway, White was his usual affable self on the show (probably a skills set stemming from having had a sponsor since he could walk or some such thing), encouraging people to give snowboarding at least three days if they are going to try it, telling Dave to just give his seven-year-old kid a helmet and let him loose, and getting stoked.
Yadda, yadda, yadda, news from months and months ago and then down to it:
“I just tell everyone: give it three days, you know and really commit to it. And if it’s not your thing, then you know, walk away. But you don’t have to do what I’m doing to have a good time.”
Letterman senses free lessons.
“But now wait a minute so you’re saying, if when we finally get some snow and I get a guy like you or somebody to teach me how to snowboard, it’ll take three days?”
“Ahh, I would say at least give it three days… you know, you gotta give it a couple days.”
It turns out that Letterman senior and junior and have been alpine skiing for a two seasons now and Dave is considering the switch because, “the people that I’ve talk to that have switched to snowboarding say they’re never looking back. That it’s so much more fun than alpine skiing—and why is that?”
“There’s something about it, there’s kind of like a flow to the sport.”
On the other hand, “You know when you’re a beginning skier like me there’s nothing scarier than that sound of a snowboard sliding on ice behind you, and you’re just waiting to have your pelvis shattered!”
There are few things as cringe-worthy as the phrase ‘shattered pelvis.’
They moved on to White’s third board-related activity: surfing.
“You know, every time I see one of these surfing documentaries—and by God I’ve seen them all—everybody talks about the stoke.”
“The stoke,” repeated White, nodding wisely.
“Yeah. And I wanna be stoked.”
“I could see that, I could see that,” stroking his chin as Letterman continues to rile himself up.
“But you know what I’m talking about? I think there’s something missing in my life. I’m 63—I don’t think I’ve ever been stoked!”
Despite all this curiosity about being stoked, however, Letterman remains reluctant to set his kid loose on a skateboard.
“Aw, just give him a helmet and let him go.”
“Will you come up to the house?”
“I’ll come help you out.”
“Least I could do.”
“So you’ll come up to the house.”
“I would love to.”
“I’m talking about tonight.”
Wah, wah, waaaaah. White did not seem too confident about that timeline, but in my dream world, Harry Letterman got a skateboarding lesson from Shaun White just in time for terrorizing people on Halloween.
Postscript: Amar’e Stoudemire’s Top Ten (reasons he is excited to play for the New York Knicks) was pretty amazing.