The ‘Big D’ – and I Do Mean Dallas

Last weekend I made the 4 hour and change drive to Dallas for the Supercross race.

Well, it’s in Arlington, but they’re called the ‘Dallas’ Cowboys, right?

AT&T Stadium, where the Cowboys play and Supercross is held, is an amazing venue. If you ever find a reason to go see an event there, do it!

Supercross is the only thing I’ve seen there, but it’s spectacular.

Just driving up you’ll be amazed at the size of the place. And the first time you go inside you’ll be a bit taken back by the size. It’s crazy just to think of the engineering to keep a place like that standing.

@SkyCooperTulsa photo
@SkyCooperTulsa photo

Arlington Supercross is held every February. We’ve been lucky enough to have awesome weather the last two years and it’s been quite warm.

The races are inside, but the pits are outside.

@SkyCooperTulsa photo
@SkyCooperTulsa photo

For those who don’t know… The pits are where all the trucks used to haul the bikes and team gear are parked. Before the races, the pits are open for fans to walk around and meet riders and get a close-up look.

It’s pretty cool to watch the mechanics make adjustments on the bike 5 feet in front of you.

Another side note… Supercross bikes are dirt bikes on steroids… They look normal, but are built to perform at the highest level. The bike is rebuilt from the frame up every week, so every time the rider gets on it, something is different.

That’s why adjustments are so frequently needed. Could be as simple as a handlebar angle or as involved as a suspension adjustment.

Back to the races…

This was my 4th year to see Supercross there in Arlington, but the badass factor never wears off.

It starts with opening ceremonies.

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The lights go down, the big booming voice comes over the speakers saying “Arlington… ARE YOU READY FOR SUPERCROSS??”

Fireworks explode and rock music pulsates through you. It’s freakin’ sweet. By the way, it doesn’t matter how high up your seats are, you can FEEL the fire from the pyro like you’re standing directly in front of it.

Then a handful of the most popular riders are introduced… They take a ride around the track waving to the crowd.

All of that after the national anthem, of course. I challenge you to see that giant flag held by military servicemen and hear the anthem without feeling pride.

@SkyCooperTulsa photo
@SkyCooperTulsa photo

Once racing starts, you realize how hard it is to divide your time watching the actual bikes on the track and watching that HUGE screen in the stadium. I found it’s best to watch for real when the particular rider you’re watching is near you, then look at the screen when they’re far away.

Let me talk more about the stadium itself…

When you’re not out in the seating area, or the ‘bowl,’ you’d think you’re in a hotel.

The bar areas are super nice. It’s hard to describe, but it’s very classy.

I saw a video the other day from a guy, I guess he works for FELD or something. He was going all around the stadium and showing places I had never seen… It would be cool to take a tour or something to see every room.

Speaking of special access and rooms…. I got to hang out in the TV broadcast booth!

I have made buddies with Ralph Sheheen, the guy who calls the Supercross races on FOX Sports. He called in and did my podcast before this season. It was fantastic.

So I tweeted him when we got there and said “hey, I’m here… It would be cool to say hi.”

We had never met in person, but he was gracious enough to invite me up to the booth.

Turned out our seats were very near the booth anyway, so it worked out great.

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We spent about 15 minutes in there chatting with Ralph and Jeff Emig, his broadcast partner and former Supercross champion.

Those guys have my dream job, by the way.

@SkyCooperTulsa photo
@SkyCooperTulsa photo

I would LOVE to broadcast those races each week.

One day… Maybe….

So thanks again to Ralph and Jeff for letting a piddly little local broadcaster in to see the where the big dogs play – it made my day.

Moving on from the race and the venue… Let’s talk Dallas, Arlington – or just Texas in general.

I’ve been to the area many times now, but the small town kid in me is still impressed every time.

Downtown Dallas is several times the size of downtown Tulsa and that always looks cool to drive though.

I have never been to the Fort Worth side either. I have it on good authority that it’s ‘cooler’ than Dallas.

I always notice how nice the roads are in Texas… What the hell, Oklahoma? I know it takes money, but they’re obviously doing something there that we just aren’t.

BUT… There are some confusing highway interchanges down there and a LOT of traffic.

The whole city just makes me feel like I’m in a place that takes care of itself. Not that Tulsa doesn’t, but there are only a few spots here that make you feel that way.

And the food… I love to try new places – and I try to do that every time I go.

This time I finally made it to Kincaid’s Hamburgers.

@SkyCooperTulsa photo
@SkyCooperTulsa photo

This is a place I, again, have on good authority that it’s great.

We went to the location in Southlake, TX. I guess the original is in Fort Worth, but that would’ve been way out of the way.

@SkyCooperTulsa photo
@SkyCooperTulsa photo

REPORT: Kincaid’s is awesome. Absolutely go when you can.

@SkyCooperTulsa photo
@SkyCooperTulsa photo

I’m about done here… So I’ll close with this.

I plan to go to Dallas Supercross every year. If you know know something about Dallas or Arlington that an out-of-towner should know about, send it my way and I’ll try to get there!

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The Podcast Evolution

I started podcasting in 2011 with a terribly outdated desktop PC and a USB microphone.

Simply dubbed ‘The Skyler Cooper Show,’ I had no idea what I’d talk about. At the time, I hoped it would help me land a job in radio.

It may or may not have…

My inspiration to start the thing came from Adam Carolla. You know, The Man Show… Loveline… Most successful podcaster ever…

He started the same way I did, but with one difference. He had an audience!

Carolla’s buddy took a microphone to his house the week after Adam had been fired from his multi-million dollar radio gig in LA.

Adam’s audience found his podcast and it took off like THAT.

I thought I could fake it for a while and eventually my podcast would grow too.

Not so much…

Don’t feel bad… I had a small, yet loyal audience and it’s all for fun anyway!

My first episode was me and my ‘guest,’ my dear friend Sam Baggs.

It was, “Hey man, sit here and lets talk about stuff.”

He was willing, but I bet it was terrible dialogue. (We had no clue what we were doing)

I’m trying desperately to find that audio, as he’s been gone from this world for a while and I’d love nothing more than to hear his voice again.

As time went on, I upgraded the gear and I think I got a little better at creating somewhat compelling content.

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I brought in new guests as things progressed. My friends Michael, Kyle, Steven, Colbe, Patrick… They all took part at some point.

Then I started interviewing people I work with in radio. My dad even joined me for an episode.

After a while, a theme emerged. Most episodes ended up being me and my friends talking about riding four-wheelers and motocross.

I really honed in on analyzing the Monster Energy Supercross series.

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It’s my favorite sport and my buddies share my passion for it, so we could easily chat about it for an hour each week.

Even as we focused on supercross racing, I kept the name ‘The Skyler Cooper Show’ just because it would be a lot of work to rename the thing, build a new website, etc.

I always thought the generic name would leave the door open to talk about whatever I wanted. It did, but I’ve learned over the last few years that nobody is going to listen to some dude from Oklahoma ramble about nothing.

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Here’s the turning point and my reason for writing this…

Another year has passed and another supercross season is approaching. I’ve decided it’s time to make the move and dedicate the show to motocross racing.

So from this point forward, ‘The Skyler Cooper Show’ is no more. It was fun, kinda silly and a great learning experience.

Starting January 2016, I will host ‘Gate Drop Radio.’

This podcast will be 100% dedicated to motocross/supercross. Race results, analysis, opinion… That kind of thing.

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Yes, it’s a very specific niche, but there are other shows doing this with a lot of success.

I expect none of that success, but remember… I do this for fun!

If you’re into MX or racing at all, I hope you’ll give it a try.

The plan is to post a new episode after each race of the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season. I’ll call that a tentative schedule, as things change.

That’s the beauty of podcasting… I can do whatever I want!

 

I have partnered with GateDrop.com to make this possible. Gate Drop MX is a site with a passion for motocross, much like my own. Check them out for MX news from all around the world.

You can find Gate Drop Radio on there too, just click ‘Podcasts‘ at the top.

You can find the show on iTunes too, so head over there and subscribe!

Gate Drop Radio Facebook

Gate Drop Radio Twitter

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