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Rice, Rice, Baby January 30, 2006

Yeah, yeah, yeah… we promised our editor lost of posts to hype up the new blog name, but now that we’re over at gonzorangers.com, we do whatever we want. And what we want to do now is sweat Travis Rice.

If you missed the X-games snowboard slopestyle this weekend, you missed a bit of snowboard history. Shaun White, who is barreling through this year’s competition circuit en route to Torino, was nearly unstoppable on Saturday. His opening run in the finals was totally flawless and completely unreasonable — at one point he linked a huge cab 1080 with a switch backside 900. The bar was so high that everyone else in the contest was playing for second place.

Everyone except for one guy.

Rice, who qualified first and therefore earned the final run of the day, could have played it safe, stomped the astounding run that he nailed in the qualifier (which he later referred to as “pillow talk”) and surely sailed on to a solid pay day and a silver or bronze medal.

Rice at the X-Games:  More air aware than GodInstead, he went for it. Coming in super hot to the final booter in the course, Rice hucked himself through a monster double rodeo 900, but just missed the connection on the ground, skidding out on his heelside edge and onto his butt. Rice’s double rodeo 9, which was basically a slightly dumbed down version of the double inverted 1080 that he nailed for a video part in last year’s Absinthe Film Pop, is the most exciting and original thing we’ve seen in the sport in years.

So, remember this during all the hype of the Torino games: When Shaun White is grinding his way to fame and Olympic gold, Travis Rice will be in a remote corner of Wyoming, or a helicopter in Alaska, outrunning avalanches, flipping and spinning over giant back country booters, chuckin a tweed, popping a noodle, and in general being the best rider on the planet.

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