It is that time once again, and I’m seriously not looking forward to it. The X Games are coming to fascinate the minds of so-called extreme viewers and spectators of the sport spectacle of the century. I won’t be one of them though.

True, my interests involve skateboarding, BMX racing, mountain biking, surfing and snowboarding, all so-called extreme sports. However, I refuse to be referred to as an extreme athlete. And it is an insult if you refer to me as such. So why such an aversion to the extreme moniker?

It is not the gross commercialism that permeates the forum. After all, I am a consumerist/capitalist who owns 15 skateboards, two mountain bikes, four BMX bikes, three surfboards and three snowboards, a mountain board and a skimboard. Yes, that’s a shitload of toys, but they are used on a regular basis. Could the problem be image? Maybe. I can’t be part of the extreme clique because a) I have no tattoos, and b) nowhere is my body pierced. While I think these look great on other people, on me it would look like a dork trying to look cool.

The consumerism thing does come into play when the talk shifts to video games. I think they’re cool, but I’m just not into them. Maybe it is my slow hand-eye coordination or my ADD. Maybe it’s just me.

Major props to Matt Hoffman and my old friend Tony Hawk for getting video games named in their honor. But I’d rather be outside in the warm California sun doing the sports I love in 3-dimensional space rather than in a 2-dimensional format such as a video game.

Then there’s the lack of historical knowledge by the average extreme enthusiast. Before the X Games, there were many big skateboard contests with plenty of events, big crowds, media coverage and spectators. The only thing missing was the huge corporate sponsors, an all-sports channel such as ESPN and the video games. But it wasn’t the freak show the X Games currently is. Ask the modern day extreme enthusiast to name you some of the legends that put skateboarding on the map, and you will come up short on answers.

Bicycle motocross (BMX) has been around since 1972, but it just never got attention. And besides, what we see for the most part at the X Games is not BMX. It is dirt jumping, park and street riding, which are more of a freestyle event than racing. In BMX racing, the goal is to make the main event, along with seven other riders, and may the best rider win once the gate drops. Riders are not scored on style but are rather by their finishing position across the finish line. There was a BMX bike series called “King of Skateparks,” which dates back from 1978 up to 1986. In this series of contests, we saw all kinds of cross-up tricks out of the bowls along with no-handers and 360s. And the first ever backflip was done by Jose Yanez back in 1985.

One sport that has truly benefited from the X Games is snowboarding, with the inception of “boarder-cross.” But the drawback is the snow park crowds that flock to the lifts in an attempt to duplicate what they saw on the X Games. Personally, I’m a backcountry guy who loves the speed, the solitude and the rush of cutting through trees rather than the trendiness of the snow park. It’s the “you can buy what you’re not” mentality that has me irked. Nobody is forbidden from trying these sports, but participation must be done in a way that doesn’t put you in the way of those who have been doing them long before the X Games came to life.

As you probably figured out by now, I won’t be attending the X Games. I might watch some of the events on the television in the late-night highlights.

I do respect the athletes involved in the X Games, not as extreme athletes, but rather as talented individuals out to earn a paycheck for a skill they’ve worked hard at. They’ve all come a long way, and their performances show this. They truly are athletes in every sense of the word. Just leave the “extreme” moniker out of it and we’ll get along just fine.

Henry Sarria is a longtime Isla Vista resident.