Jim McNeil: Tragic Crash Reinforces Extreme Danger Involved in Motor Sports

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2011

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 6:  Jim McNeil competes in the Moto X Freestyle Final during the ESPN X Games on August 6, 2006 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.  (Photo by: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Nobody ever could have predicted that it would be Jim McNeil.

The 32-year-old FMX rider died on Sunday while he was practicing for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

It was completely unexpected considering McNeil has been involved in this extreme sport since the mid-'80s.

This is his life, the only thing he ever knew—and he died in practice?

It's a painful and cruel reminder that the world of motor sports is as risky a profession as any in the world. McNeil's death is the third in the last month, joining Indy Car driver Dan Wheldon and Moto GP racer Marco Simoncelli, to perish while competing in the sport they love.

Dying in practice really drives home the point that action sports are incredibly dangerous.

Doing back flips on a motorcycle while being elevated up to 100 feet in the air is absurd. It's an incredible spectacle to watch for fans, but it comes with a monstrous risk.

At what point to you value your life over entertaining thousands of fans?

I know, deaths in motor sports don't happen every day. These guys are professionals, and have pulled off mind-blowing stunts with the sort of ease that it takes for me and you to brush our teeth.

ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 29:  Jim McNeil practices for the Moto X event during day one of the Winter X Games at Buttermilk Mountain on January 29, 2005 in Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It's a catch-22.

Fulfilling their quench for adrenaline is like a drug addict having to get their fix, they'll go to extreme risks that may even result in death to get it.

The entire motor cross world has been reminded yet again that there is potential permanent consequences just for the sake of entertainment.

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