WORDS: Stu Gomez
Back in 2014, ESPN tried its hand at the tried-and-true game of SKATE competition formula with the (wait for it) “ESPN Game Of SKATE.” The X Games event featured an elevated stage—covered in Skatelite—at the ESPN headquarters, where an epic battle between Tom Asta and BATB 1 Champ Mike Mo Capaldi took place. This 15-minute battle was a mind-numbing display of flatground excellence, covering just about every trick in the book.
In retrospect, this ESPN match complements Capaldi and Asta’s BATB 11 match from last weekend perfectly. Both ended similarly: with all “legit” tricks having been exhausted, Capaldi resorted to the less common (read: circus) moves. After the match, Tim O’Connor picked Capaldi’s brain about his strategy for when to release his unique finishing moves.
O’Connor: When do you break out the weird?
Capaldi: When there’s nothing left, you just go for the weird ones. Otherwise it’s just disrespectful. You can’t just get weird right off the bat.
O’Connor: True sportsman; true gentleman.
It was a thrill to see Capaldi back in the arena for BATB 11. If you didn’t already know, he suffered a devastating injury shortly after this ESPN Game Of Skate competition while at Woodward Camp. (You can get all the cringe-inducing details of the nighttime golf cart accident here and here.) 4 long years of rehabilitation later, Capaldi rocketed through 3 rounds of BATB competitors only to land face-to-face with Asta for a redemption battle. You can’t make this stuff up.
While Capaldi won’t be competing in the Final Four on Friday, he will be hosting the event (along with The Nine Club’s Chris Roberts). When it comes to flatground, he’s an authority. Battle At The Berrics wouldn’t be what it is today without him.
— Chris Cole (@ChrisCobraCole) July 31, 2014