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ESPN to celebrate New Year with stupid human tricks

(Credit: Watchdog)

Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday for many, many people, especially males, for whom football and eating trump Christmas churchgoing and gift-giving any time.

New Year's Eve is another holiday fraught with far more social baggage than Thanksgiving, for anyone without interesting plans is assumed to be a loser.

Enter ESPN, which again is offering viewers a perfectly acceptable and interesting way to usher out the old year: By watching a guy attempt a back flip in a truck.

"My body can be broken, but my mind cannot," said the aforementioned guy, Rhys Millen.

Click below for the entire news release, which explains it all to fans of this sort of thing better than I could.ESPN’s popular New Year’s Eve show of a year ago will return with two familiar faces and two thrilling events. "Red Bull: New Year No Limits" will once again feature motocross star Robbie “Maddo” Maddison attempting a jump unlike any other while Rhys Millen will seek redemption for the successful truck flip that eluded him last year. "Red Bull: New Year No Limits," hosted by Joe Tessitore, will be televised live from Las Vegas immediately following the network’s coverage of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (approximately 11 p.m. ET) on ESPN/ESPN HD. Also, the show will be simulcast live on ESPN360.com.

“Last year’s success was proof positive that ESPN and Red Bull created anticipation television on a night that should always have it in abundance but didn’t,” said Joan Lynch, ESPN vice president, content development. “Robbie and Rhys are amazing athletes guaranteed to put viewers young and old on the edge of their seats.”

The Attempts

Having broken the world record for a motorcycle jump (322’ 7.5”) during the 2007 telecast with a leap over the length of a football field, Maddison will attempt a more finessed, but equally challenging, jump this time. He will attempt to ascend with his bike more than 120 feet high to land on the top of the 96-foot-high replica Arc de Triomphe in front of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. Upon completing the jump, he will then freefall 50 feet off the Arc to a ramp.

“I had some doubts last year whether or not I could jump a football field,” said Maddison. “But as I practiced, I got more and more confident and realized I could pull it off, and I did, twice. This year, the doubts are way bigger; the jump has never been done before, but I’m confident in my ability and I believe that as I start training, the dream that seems impossible will become a reality.”

Expected to join his history-making colleague, Millen will seek to accomplish the first back flip of an off-road truck in a location TBD. Millen’s feat demands the truck travel a distance of 80 feet at a height of 50 feet to complete the rotation. During his last practice before the 2007 telecast, Millen overshot his landing, resulting in injury, damage to his vehicle and his withdrawal from the event. Millen is recovered and more determined than ever.

"Last year we attempted what was before then thought impossible," said Millen. "Laws of physics and vehicle dynamics were pushed to the limits with success, but failure came in one small miscalculation. My body can be broken, but my mind cannot. This year, people will witness the first ramp to ramp back flip in an off-road truck - ever!"

Telecast and Ratings

In addition to featuring the jumps, athlete profiles and the live ball drop from Times Square, this year’s telecast will examine the physical demands placed on the athletes’ bodies. By using body mapping technology, viewers will see the physical toll Maddison and Millen have experienced honing their skills and why they are uniquely suited to perform such unimaginable feats.

In 2007, ESPN’s New Year’s telecast delivered a 3.7 rating for more than 5 million viewers and 3.5 million viewing households. The 90-minute special culminated in the world-record breaking motorbike jump by Robbie Maddison over a football field erected in the parking lot of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

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