As a shameless promotion of how I make a portion of my meager existance I offer this opportunity to NHInsider readers:
The Stihl Timbersports competition on ESPN II is put on by Stihl, Germany and the world's top chainsaw producer. I work for Granite State Lumberjack Shows in the summer on the production crew of the traveling event. (As several other washed up old competitors do.) It takes about 125 people to put the whole thing on from camera crews to timers and even a pre-event promotion team.
This year the series will begin Sunday the 17th, and play all the shows in a row, ending with an event in Germany. I did not work on this event but did the first time it was held.
I am not sure if my mug will be on any of the shows but I am the cut-off guy in blue chainsaw chaps who trims the tops of the springboard poles so they will hold the chopping wood. I also trim (perfectly) each log fixed in the bunks after each heat of every type of competition in the show. I have to do this (perfectly) with a small cabal of competitors and critics watching my every move. My cut is the basis for each line drawn on the log by the judge. If a competitor misses his cut and goes over the line and disqualifies, I am the first guy the six foot five 280 lb guy may want to blame. No one else on our crew is pushing for my job for some reason.
Once in a while I am asked to talk with the local reporters for their stories about our event. My favorite trick is to ask the reporter to come over to the competitor tent and "talk" to a competitor. Then all I have to do is ask them to shake hands with one of the guys such as Mike Forrester, a logger from Oregon. You can see the expression on the reporter's face change completely when Mike's gnarly, calloused, paw engulfs their hand up to the wrist. Then they "get it".
One of my friends from the Czech Republic, Martin Komárek, won a Bronze medal in Germany which I am pleased to see. This young guy was inspired to win the whole North American event his first time over here. It was very important to Martin to win for his country, being the only competitor they send. This was a next to impossible task as he did not have the training the Australians, Kiwi's, Canadians, and US competitors have. So Martin would sit in the tent, devastated and inconsolable after each loss. He is one of those naturally, super-strong guys who will do well now that he has crossed the win threshold.
This lumberjack competition is similar to politics in that I can trim a thousand blocks of wood perfectly and in obscurity. But if I am off the slightest bit I become the center of unwanted attention.
Watch the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series Broadcasts on ESPN2
(All times are Eastern Standard Time)
Date Day Time Airing
12/17/06 Sun 1:00 - 1:30pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
1:30 - 2:00pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
2:00 - 2:30pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
2:30 - 3:00pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
3:00 - 3:30pm 2006 Round 2 from Decatur, Alabama
3:30 - 4:00pm 2006 Round 2 from Decatur, Alabama
4:00 - 4:30pm 2006 Round 2 from Decatur, Alabama
4:30 - 5:30pm 2006 Finals from Stillwater, Minnesota
5:30 - 6:00pm 2006 World Championship Finals from Stuttgart, Germany
12/18 Mon 3:30 - 4:00pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
12/19Tue 2:30 - 3:00pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
Tue 3:00 - 3:30pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
Tue 3:30 - 4:00pm 2006 Round 1 from Dubuque, Iowa
Tue 5:00 - 5:30am 2006 Round 2 from Decatur, Alabama
12/22 Fri 2:00 - 2:30pm 2006 Round 2 from Decatur, Alabama
Fri 2:30 - 3:00pm 2006 Round 2 from Decatur, Alabama
Fri 3:00 - 4:00pm 2006 Finals from Stillwater, Minnesota
12/24 Sun 12:30 - 1:00pm 2006 World Championship Finals from Stuttgart, Germany
*Airdates schedule subject to change.