Archive for June, 2011

ANW3 Finale to Air on NBC on August 22

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

NBC announced it will air the season finale of American Ninja Warrior 3 on Aug 22nd in primetime. Sort of curious since I don’t think the ten American finalists from ANW3 have even competed in Sasuke yet!  I doubt that NBC would publicly slot it in there if they weren’t confident that the next Sasuke would be filmed and produced prior to that date.  But then again, what the hell do I know?

Anyway, G4 starts their airing of the series on July 31st, so set your DVRs.  Or in the case of those on DirectTV, ask your friends to set their DVRs so you can go over to their houses and watch it.  I think this is good news for the prospect of American Ninja Warrior 4 happening in 2011…if NBC likes the numbers of the season finale, it may push for ANW4 to happen sooner rather than later, and they’ll have plenty of time to coordinate a fall (Oct or Nov) ANW4 to happen in order to make the next Sasuke that will probably happen in the beginning of 2012.  All this would mean that ANW4 would air sometime in late winter or early spring.

Man Down

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

My good buddy and longtime Ninja Warrior training partner Ron Friedman unfortunately got his first significant injury in all our years of training when he fractured his foot in parkour class this past week.  He tried an ill-advised front flip off a rickety stack of pads and landed awkwardly on his foot, resulting in an avulsion fracture that fragmented a piece of his bone off his foot.  Ouch.  He’s been resting up, keeping it elevated and icing it periodically, but his foot still looks like something that floated up on the beach after several days at sea.  All freakishly discolored and swollen.  Big fat bummer.  But ninjas are bound to periodically hurt themselves training to the extreme of their abilities, so this is part of the package I presume when one trains to pretend to be a ninja and run around on obstacle courses.  Get better soon Ron!  Click “Like” to channel some healing energy his way!

American Ninja Warrior 2 Marathon on Syfy

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Just found out that the Syfy channel is going to have a marathon and show all 10 episodes of American Ninja Warrior 2 (which originally aired this past December) this Thursday, June 16th.  For those of us on DirectTV that didn’t get to watch this past season since DirectTV dropped G4, this is a great chance to get to see this competition with a lot of phenomenal performances and competitive drama.  Syfy is part of the Comcast/NBC group, the owner of G4 and American Ninja Warrior, so this is another example of how the synergy of that recent marriage is providing this silly little obstacle course competition that we all love much more exposure (remember that the finale of American Ninja Warrior 3 will be aired on NBC in early fall).

American Ninja Warrior 3 to Air in July

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

G4 just announced that American Ninja Warrior 3 will air in July.  I’m excited to watch the ten Americans make their assault on Mt. Midoriyama, I think there are some incredibly determined, strong, and skilled competitors in that group who have a real chance of being the first American to summit the world’s hardest obstacle course. I’ll be rooting for them hard, particularly for a couple of guys I’m buddies with, and hoping one of them can take down that prize of glory and a $500k endorsement deal with K-Swiss. Remember that the “finale” of American Ninja Warrior 3, meaning when the 10 Americans compete in Japan, will be shown on NBC (and not G4 where all the previous episodes will have been shown).

Death by Wetuple Steps

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Venice Beach and walked around the American Ninja Warrior 3 obstacle course was that the Quadruple Steps had much steeper steps, and the distance/spacing of the steps had been changed to create a bigger jump between the second and third steps.  I wondered to Ron whether it was going to make it harder this year for some competitors.  Personally I wasn’t worried, I’d blasted through the Quad Steps easily in ANW2, I felt I could do the same here even if they made it a bit tougher.

So Ron and I anxiously awaited the Day 1 morning runners (we were scheduled to run on the morning of Day 2), and sat in the stands rooting people on and studying their attempts.  In that morning session, I think only 2 people out of probably 40 runners fell on the new Quad Steps, and we even talked at lunch about how the Quad Steps were too easy if 95% of the early runners could get past it. I felt pretty good about my chances of finishing the course, they had removed the Spider Wall which had been my nemesis in American Ninja Warrior 2, and the only thing that I believe stopped me from finishing last year. It was inexplicably gone, to my enormous relief, and watching the runners on that sunny Monday morning made me feel that I had a great shot at finishing the course and standing on top of the Warped Wall in victory.

Then in the afternoon I received my first clue that things might go otherwise.  A 400lb sumo wrestler, some guy that is North American champ I believe, did a run.  And when he fell, he created a massive water displacement effect that splashed and wet the bottom part of the four quad steps.  Suddenly after that all sorts of people began to fall on the Quad Steps, and each time they did they further wet the steps with their splashings.  People I thought would have no problem getting through the steps, semifinalist caliber runners, guys who had gone to Japan, were suddenly eating it on the Quad Steps, and you could feel panic go through the competitors who were starting to realize that the rug that covers the Quad Steps does an impression of black ice when wet.  When I started to see runners who I know are better than me fall was when I started to worry in earnest.

Ron and I finished the day suddenly nervous about running on the wet Quad Steps, and the forecast of rain for that night and the following morning when we were scheduled to run had us sweating in our Five Fingers.  Of course, it rained all night and the following morning, and we stood in the cold rain for four hours before we were given our shot to run on a totally wet obstacle course.  It was a killing field on the soaking wet Quad Steps.  Maybe 1 in 5 guys were still able to get past the obstacle, and my hats off to these ninja studs, but a good 80% of the runners in the Day 2 morning opening group fell on the “Wet-Uple Steps”, including my sorry ass.  Including my buddy Ron who fell right after me (and the three guys who fell right in a row before me, and the three other guys who fell in a row after Ron).  It was a big fat bummer for a lot of people. A lot of dreams died in quick wet succession.

But, hey, this is a TV show and “the show must go on” even if it is sleeting or snowing, as the competitors in Ninja Warrior Japan have routinely faced, so I am hardly the only competitor who has suffered at the random whim of Mother Nature.  Plus, Ninjas aren’t allowed to complain about weather.  I just hope they let me run again in ANW4…gotta start training!

P.S. Mad props to Jaggard227 over at the G4 boards for minting the term “Wetuple Steps” (oops…Jaggard227 just informed me that the minting credit should go to RiderRingeru on the boards!)