What happened to TagTeamDucati

TagTeam

Home
Race stories
Rider profile

PhotoPages
Tracks
Videos

- What the hell happened to TagTeamDucati this year -
July 31, 2007

To understand what happened to our race effort this year, you have to understand politics. And let me start out first by saying, I do not understand politics.. Let me also say that perhaps I don't understand the entire state of California. I'm not saying it's a bad place. I'm just saying I don't understand it.


In NY things were just as complicated. Just as challenging. But the difference there was when you had a problem with someone, or when someone had a problem with you - the two of you dealt with it face to face. Most times things worked out pretty well. But if they didn't, then you called in the reinforcements. Sounds normal right? Well it aint normal here. In this part of the world someone could have a huge problem with you and you might never even know it. Instead of hearing from them, you'll hear from the authorities. And the freakiest part of this place is the guy who called them on you might even wave to you as he drives by - almost like he has no idea why you're being interrogated..?!!

Now don't get me wrong. Nobody called the cops on me, and nobody broke any laws. But the shit definitely did hit the fan after I posted our "07 round-1" race report on the Bay Area Riders Forum. You see, I always post our stories there. In fact it was that forum where I learned the value in sharing our race stories in the first place. You could even say it was the Bay Area Riders Forum community that inspired the creation of this entire web site. If you've read any of our race reports you probably understand that I don't pull any punches when it's crunch-time. I tell it like it is - no matter how much it hurts. In my eyes you can't share only the good and none of the bad without ending up sounding like a used car salesman. And our round-1 this year, was very bad. You can read the story on BARF, and all the responses to it
- HERE -

If you have a hard time understanding it, don't take it personally. People have been misunderstanding me for ages. That is mostly my fault. What it basically says is our team had monumental problems leading up to, and during that first race weekend (and when I say "Team" I am including myself). The problem with that is, and was, when any one member of a race team screws up - or when the whole team screws up, it's always the rider who gets left to deal with the consequences. And let me tell you first hand, sometimes those consequences can hurt for a very... long... time.
(if you're lucky)

So I did just what the story says I did. I left the racetrack that fateful day. But I left with the best intentions I could figure. My idea was that a big impact needed to be made in order to spark some positive changes considering everyone's future, and in order to get things re-focused. And from what I saw go on all weekend long, we had two options for a "Big Impact." One, I get hurt pretty bad. Two, I leave. Both options in my eyes would definitely spark 'something.' So then I thought ahead about a week. I imagined how I would feel lying in a hospital bed again with my legs wrapped around my ears. My answer was, "Pretty damned pissed off at myself for not seeing the signs."
That's why I left that day.

Now when you read the story, if you follow down eleven posts from the original story you will notice my response to a few readers asking, "What does this mean? Where are you going from here?" THIS is where 'California' really got me good. It was in this post where I quoted a classic line from a scene in one of the the Little Rascals episodes where either Stimey or Buckwheat answered a question about where he was going by saying "I don't know, but I'm on my way" - while he was speeding out of control in his home-made wagon (at least that's how I remember it happening thirty years ago).

I thought of this quote as an up-beat, innocent and effective way to convey my very similar feeling about where I suddenly found myself headed. After all I really didn't know - even though I myself had set these wheels in motion (just like in that scene I quoted from the Little Rascals). To add to this post, since I am a completely visual person, I searched for a picture of this very scene but had no luck. Then I searched for a picture of at least the character (my best guess at the time was Buckwheat). This is where everything went south. Perhaps my ignorance has preserved the childhood innocence that I still sometimes possess, and perhaps that makes me a fool. Apparently in California it definitely makes me a fool because my posting of this picture got at least 'someone' really pissed off..

Buckwheat

If this were NY, I believe I might have been approached by this person one-on-one explaining their grief. And if I had been, surely this would have been resolved in an instant. But no, they did not post a comment on the Bay Area Riders Forum about it (where they saw it). No, they did not send me a personal message through BARF. And no, they did not send me an email about it (all three avenues of communication are available to any reader on BARF). You know what they did instead? They wrote a letter to Michael Lock at Ducati North America (excuse me?) and accused the following:
"GoGo is a racist."

Now I can only speculate on how someone could get 'this' out of 'that.' But the fact of the matter is it doesn't help me to understand it, to fight it, or to counter it. In fact I think fighting it would only fuel the fire of racism, instead of helping to PUT IT OUT. Hopefully someday the sickness of racism will slowly fade away and we will all be in a better place. But until then I believe that my being misunderstood might have 'soured' all that we had built-up until that point. In a few short days after those four words rang out at DNA, all links to this web site and to the library of stories that DNA had me create for them, were taken off of DucatiUSA.com. And you know what, I don't necessarily blame them. Racism is a word that no one wants to be connected with. And quite ironically actually, I don't feel any differently about that fact than anyone else. I believe the foundation of racism is based on fear. Fear that someone else might be better than yourself. I'm not afraid of that. In fact on the contrary I live every day well aware that the vast majority of our society already is better than me.

--------------- Update: 8/09/07 ----------------

Ok so I did it. I got that DVD set of the Little Rascals in the mail today. I also found the long lost episode that my thirty year old memory recalled, and then referred to in the infamous "Racist" post. I was a little concerned that the innocent memory of mine might be off, but once I watched the scene again I felt reassured. Watch the clip and judge for yourself. Then tell me where the racist lies.

The Little Rascals DVD set can be purchased at TheClassicTheater.com


------------ Updated again: 4/20/09 -----------

And then consider this entire scenario as one big pile of Donkey doo. Forget the racisim, forget the mystery emailer. Forget DNA had anything to do with this at all. Consider instead, that it was all just a hoax. Just a way for one struggling man to deflect DNA's criticism of both himself, and of his dealership. It has been brought to my attention in the years since, by some key people who were inside the circle at DNA at the time - that Buckwheat had nothing to do with this at all.

Go, figure...



- BACK -