TFS (The Factory Spectator)

Interview with Moto News-Steve Bruhn

8/23/00 Debbie Matthews

WSMX DEB:     Hi Steve, 

SBroon:              Hey what up?

WSMX DEB:     Finally opened my own personal MN acct Whee !!! 

SBroon:              Cool

WSMX DEB:     Things are looking good for 2k1.   I'd like to do an interview with u for the site. You up for it?? 

SBroon:             Sure 

WSMX DEB:     Who is Steve Bruhn??? What should we know about the creator of the first true online MX mag?

 SBroon:             All you need to know is send money.  (laughs) 

WSMX DEB:     What prompted you to start TFS ? 

SBroon:              Hey is this the interview? Doh!? 

WSMX DEB:     Little slow off the gate ,,,eh...no wonder you took up journalism. (laughs)

SBroon:             Ok, TFS just happened. I was flying to races and my friends thought it was funny when I drove     into the pits in a rental car just to watch. 

WSMX DEB:     So who is Steve Bruhn really, underneath the super journalist cape? 

SBroon:             Just a failed racer with no life! I guess my racing career took off when I quit racing and started watching.

 WSMX DEB:   You aren't getting shy on me now? 

SBroon:             Who Moi? 

WSMX DEB:    What is the best and worst aspect of your job? 

SBroon:             Best is being at the races, and trying to cover each one better every time. There is always a ton of cool stuff to try like different photos, or ways to pry info out of the team people. The worst is bozos who get in the way-"Don't stand here, don't park there. Photo people have to go in that gate.... Every track seems to have people who don't know what they are doing and I just have to tell them .  I do this every weekend, I know what I'm doing... 

WSMX DEB:     Yeah, it's hard sometimes, with different security people and officials every week. 

WSMX DEB:     Who do you feel are our sports greatest ambassadors and why? 

SBroon:             We don't really have enough people who have the luxury of working like an ambassador. People at the races are there to race, or support a specific team or company. The sport hasn't figured out how to create and use a strong PR base. People like Davey Coombs at Racer X really stands out, but he is a rare find. 

WSMX DEB:     Yes, DC is definitely a stand out, with his new mag format and being unafraid to be cutting edge.

WSMX DEB:     What did you think of the Sept issue featuring an article on the Women's MX movement? 

SBroon:             Yea, Racer X is a full-blown pro-racing magazine. Before we had to put up with cranky magazines that most race people really don't like. The women's article was great! Women's racing has never been stronger I think, and its not slowing down. I was just at Loretta's and was impressed both classes had full gates with very fast riders. 

WSMX DEB:     What are your personal and professional views on women in the sport? 

SBroon:             Both personal and professional are the same-Women's racing is good racing, and its a real part of the sport, even if it takes a life of its own. 

WSMX DEB:     The AMA recently opened a women's section to the Hall of Fame. This is an important step in recognizing the contributions and love of the sport made by women. Have you had a chance to view the museum and if so, what are your thoughts on the addition? 

SBroon:             I would have to go to Ohio right? That is a scary place! No sorry haven't seen it. 

WSMX DEB:    Scary because it's home to the AMA or because it's Ohio ? LOL 

SBroon: Ohio.   It is an amazing state, e-mag regulars all know every trip I take through Ohio reports the state is practically shut down with "out of order" signs on everything. The place seems to be falling apart all the time. (laughs) 

SBroon:             I'm not making this up! I went to the national at Troy once and stopped at a Taco Bell. The people working there were confused, they had a crowd of angry people with orders screwed up, then I ordered just a drink and the ice machine was broken, and the drink mix screwed up. I gave up and left and the door was broken off the hinges and just leaning on the building....(OK back to racing) 

WSMX DEB:     Do you think Women's MX will ever have a true pro series and status...complete with their own sponsors, teams, and fans?

 SBroon:             To be honest a pro series status will depend on its economic result. Forget about motocross is a men's sport that women can do too. The bottom line is factories make a sport out of racing that sells bikes. If women bought more bikes than men, you have your answer. 

WSMX DEB:     Do you feel support of Women's MX helps the sport, and how?

SBroon:             Sure. The more people interested and racing the better. 

WSMX DEB:     What do you think needs to happen in the sport for that level of acceptance besides bike sales...as far as the public is concerned ? 

SBroon:             I think women's racing is already taking its own identity and acceptance. Web sites for women's racing, riding school's for women, and things like that help the women's racing define itself. Its working already. 

WSMX DEB:     What do you think needs to happen to elevate the entire sport of MX to the next level where it is seen as a prime time sport by the masses and outside corporate sponsors and media? 

SBroon:             Media outside of motocross racing is very, very stubborn. It could be the only way to deal with them is an overthrow, toss the bums out! You can have the coolest photos and call a paper and they just say "We don't cover that." 

SBroon:             In a way the web is a bit of an overthrow. People chose what they want to see, not what editors think people want to see. Motocross on the web is booming. 

WSMX DEB:     What or who do you attribute the success of the women's motocross movement to? Is it just time and socially accepted or have individuals or companies helped to shape it's destiny? 

SBroon:             A movement won't start without people pushing it forward. People like yourself that worked for years promoting women's racing got it here. 

WSMX DEB:     Thank you. Thank you very much. But a lot of men and women have risked a lot to put it on the map. People like Ed Youngblood, Kerri Klied, Kasey Rogers, Kitty Budris to name a few. You know, a lot of people don't realize that I raced the first women's national ever...1974....There's a history lesson...(laughs) 

SBroon:             That's heavy duty. I had a bicycle in 1974. (laughs)

WSMX DEB:     Lets not overlook your contributions Mr. TFS...I believe you were not only the first online mag, nut also the first online mag to cover women's racing! 

SBroon:             Thanks, yea we were the first ever all web magazine. TFS emag debuted in January 1998 with a magazine format. I covered the WML races you promoted that were held at the Nationals. 

WSMX DEB:     Seems to me I remember meeting you there on the starting line while I was still racing and creating the women's current race format .

SBroon:             1997? 

WSMX DEB:     Actually, I started the program reformation in 1994 with some local test programs, then in 95 with the MTEG SX/Truck series-where we coined the phrase-Stadiumcross, and 96 I created, organized and managed the national program.

WSMX DEB:     I'm going to give you a list of men and women riders...can you give me your assessment of their best traits and weaknesses? McGrath, RC, Bau, Gonzalez, Patterson. 

SBroon:             Mean question! OK. McGrath, he has won more races than anyone. It's hard to find a weakness there, he definitely has it together. RC is wild and is all raw speed and guts, he has had more than his share of days on top-but just about all his bad days have been mud days or 250 Supercrosses. 

                        Stefy is a remarkable rider and has all the confidence she needs, if I were her coach I would have her spend three months getting ready before trying a Supercross again. I didn't get to watch Gonzalez race except for the crossover events at Anaheim recently. I don't know Patterson real well, but I know she is very strong and smart. She takes riding lessons from my high school racing buddy Ricky Palmer, who is a very good instructor. I haven't seen her screw up yet! 

WSMX DEB:     Ok, weeks ago, we had some fun, and I said RC and Pastrana would win the nats, you had different riders-Roncada and Tortelli,,,,now that there are only 2 rounds left...care to revise your picks ?? lol.... 

SBroon:              Ask me again in three weeks.  (laughs) 

WSMX DEB:     Well, that's about it...any parting shots ??? 

SBroon:            Here's one.. I remember last year when Sarah Whitmore won Women 12-15 at Lorettas, she got her #1 plate and goofed around with it like it was an item on "Price is Right" or something. It was pretty funny. The guys are all so serious. I think that image says a lot about the whole women's racing movement. It's racing but its your own version. Keep it that way and it works. 

WSMX DEB:   How did you like being grilled ? 

SBroon:            Interview was fun, thanks 

WSMX DEB:   Thanks Steve for the great interview...your support and contributions to the sport are appreciated!