X Factor Appeals to the Youth of America

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If you’re one of the legions of Southland parents dismayed because your Little League all-star/Pop Warner wunderkind/goal-scoring dynamo you were so sure was on his way to becoming the next Derek Jeter/Michael Vick/Landon Donovan is more interested in jumping up and down a curb on his skateboard than playing with balls, well, better learn to deal with it.

Action sports are cool; your sports ... they [remove as if by suction].

According to a recent study of sports participation by American Sports Data Inc., snowboarding, with a 51% increase, and skateboarding, up 49%, were the two fastest-growing sports in the U.S.

Upside: At least skateboarding is safer than the traditional organized sports. The group’s 2002 study of sports injuries -- surprise, boxing led the list -- revealed that a participant was much more likely to be injured while playing tackle football (second), hockey (fourth), soccer (sixth), softball (seventh) or basketball (eighth), than skateboarding (22nd).


Upside II: Your kid probably won’t swoosh his way to a LeBron James-like endorsement contract, but consider the case of Mitchie Brusco, of Kirkland, Wash.

Brusco, 6, still shares a bedroom with his sister, but “Little Tricky,” as he’s known, can careen up and down ramps and slide down rails on his skateboard with uncanny skill. When he competed in the 2001 Gravity Games in Cleveland, he already had a shoe deal.

Yep, got his skate shoes free ... but his mom had to tie them.

Trivia time: Who replaced American icon Joe DiMaggio as pitchman for Mr. Coffee?

A lotta shakin’: Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press in Minneapolis thinks Major League Baseball should quit trying to appeal to the current generation of “twitchy kids.”

“The sport isn’t nearly violent enough for youngsters who have been brought up on hand-held video games, staccato lyrics and five-second video clips. They don’t have the attention span for it

Life lessons: A sampling of David Letterman guest Roger Clemens’ “Top 10 Things Baseball Has Taught Me:”

* “I look sweet in tight pants.”

* “The best practical joke? Tell a teammate he’s been traded to the Devil Rays.”

* “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose ... well, it didn’t when I was on the Red Sox.”

Feel the burn? Ever sat in your golf cart with a beer and a hot dog, wondering what it would do for your waistline if you walked the course instead?


According to, a golfer who walks 18 holes carrying his bag travels an average of 5.9 miles and burns 1,811 calories.

A rider walks about 2.3 miles and burns 895 calories.

Trivia answer: Olympic bronze-medal winning snowboarder Chris Klug.

And finally: Jim Guerinot, a producer of extreme-sports shows, describing his target audience to the Village Voice: “It’s the in-between boy. He’s not into girls yet. And he’s not thrilled with cartoons. He’s gone from playing with G.I. Joe to lighting him on fire.”