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Ode to the OZ..Bob Osborn
Scot OM Breithau...
post Jan 23 2005, 10:06 PM
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I sit here at the airport to head home after attending the Sundance Film Festival, and “X-Dance” where I was blessed to be able to see the premier of: “Joe Kid Stingray” with the Producers/ Directors; Mark Eaton and John Swarr; their families, a theater full of BMX enthusiasts and my dear friend Bob Osborn. After the screening I was introduced to the crowd and gave a wave and sat down quickly. Yes, as most of you know, I could have talked on and on about the film, the history of BMX and more….BUT, I did not want to detract from Mark and John’s awesome accomplishment and deserved limelight. To be honest, I regret it… Later, I applauded John and Mark; giving them their due recognition and praise, but I did not take the opportunity to thank my good friend and mentor: Bob Osborn, the Wizard, the almighty OZ..!!!!
The film chronicles our sport: BMX and Freestyle in its early days and touches on today’s sport… It will benefit BMX in a multitude of ways for years to come. Oz was given SOME credit for his contributions, but it would take another whole film to properly demonstrate his widespread positive influences, dedication to the sport, its riders and the industry as a whole.
Harry Leary, Stu and myself make mentions in the film of Oz’s impact, but since the film covers so much, I think a great deal from our interviews and those of 20 other riders were clipped to keep it fast paced and “Tight”. For myself, I must say :”Thank you Bob.. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for helping me to focus and concentrate on my business and racing careers as a young man. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to express my creative writing talents, nurturing and motivating me along the way. Thank you for pushing me during tests to jump further, smack berms harder and push not only the bikes to the limit, but myself also. Thank you for making me a hero through your magazine, giving me coverage and exposure. Thank you for working with me in the early FMF days to create ads, and promote my team and products. Thank you for all you did to spread the word and “Image” of SE Racing; capturing the same energy, product excellence, and concept that ran through my viens… You gave 100’s of Pros their image, name and livelihood Oz. YOU made MEN out of wildeyed KIDS like me and countless others. Without you, the names Stompin Stu, Greg Hill, PK Kramer, Turbo Harry, Utterback, Bronco Beckering, Bubba the Blaze Hayes, The Lumberjack, Pistol Pete, the Pattersons, Toby “Hollywood” Henderson, “Big Daddy” Eric Rupe, “The Kos”, Jammin’ John Piant, Greg Esser,, The Jackel, RL & Buffy, Bob Haro (There would be NO Haro Bikes without your influence and drive), Eddie Fiola, Dr. Air Josh White, and SO MANY MORE would not be as revered, popular and famous… That says NOTHING of what you did to push the ABA, NBL and the IBMXF into the national spotlight..and the AFA in Freestyle, the introduction of “StreetStyle” and so so so much more… you unknowingly spearheaded the legitimacy of BMX!!! YOU were a major force in “Putting BMX on the map”… THANK YOU!
I made some bad decisions in my life, ran from emotional issues and paid the price. Here today, my life is as good as it gets. I feel blessed to have shared such vibrant and exciting moments with you, but most of all Oz, I must thank you for your 28 years of motivation, encouragement, guidance, friendship and unconditional love… YOU ROCK OZ!!! Soooo I guess that is what I would have said Oz.. Hear me????...
In saying this, I ask the other true Old Schoolers.. were you as profoundly & positively affected by Oz and BMXA as I was?
Love ya.. C-Ya..
THE OM of BMX..
Your friend, Scot
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VAbmxdad
post Jan 23 2005, 10:10 PM
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AMEN SCOT!!!! Nobody could have said it better than that, nor could anyone better have said it. You, Stu, Greg & the rest were our heroes back in the day for what you did, but Oz was the one who brought it to us in living color every month. The rad pics & cool captions elevated you guys that much more. Yes Oz, thanks for all you have done for the sport. And thanks to the OM, Stu, Greg, & the rest of you for being such great racers to look up to & for being such cool regular guys nowadays. I look forward to meeting all of you at the Rock.

[ January 23, 2005, 11:17 PM: Message edited by: VAbmxdad ]
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MyGJS
post Jan 23 2005, 10:22 PM
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...pause to catch my breath...wow Scot, very well put! Oz through the mighty BMXA showed me what hard work and dedication can accomplish. During those teenage years of trying to find a place to feel comfortable, BMXA was the beacon that shined showing me I was a part of something big. I was a local rider, but I knew I was a part of a collective unique group of guys. He delivered my heroes in true human form every month. This many years later I still get charged hearing from all of you. I cannot wait to go to Rockford just to shake his hand (and yours) and say thank you.
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Randy
post Jan 23 2005, 11:04 PM
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Well said Scot!

Without BMXA and the vision of Bob, BMX riders would have been subject to boring articals, unfocused photos, lame editorials and biased news....not to mention TV stars on the covers of our magazines.

There is simply nothing better than reading vintage issues of BMXA in the bathroom....that's a compliment.
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pk ripped
post Jan 23 2005, 11:05 PM
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Well said Scot, I couldnt agree with you more about OZ. You guys are a class act. Thank you.
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mcam
post Jan 23 2005, 11:08 PM
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Well, they say laughter is the best medicine. And man, without Oz's great captions, I wouldn't have laughed as much as I did...

Who can forget the (something like) "Twenty Percent Down, and Eighty Percent Financing...This Dude Is About to Buy the farm". I still laugh at that.

I still recall articles, tests, interviews and race coverage from BMXA'a back then, and I dont own one copy at all nowadays. That says something for the impact the magazine had on me.

It was the magazine that got me into a sport, when other sports held no interest to me, and gave me the best feeling and times (apart from the marriage to my great wife, and the birth of my two fantastic kids) ever. I still recall the excitement of the gate dropping, and getting air over the jumps, and the cheering of the crowd. Those are special days to me... And it all started from a copy of BMXA.

Oz, that was sure some thing you gave us Rock on
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Greg Hill
post Jan 23 2005, 11:28 PM
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Scot,

That was excellent!!!! How can it be said better, it cannot. Bob Osborne is the man! His passion for BMX is what made it possible for everyone to know about BMX. I really believe my career would of been dismal without Bob and his magazine. I am in a position where I can absolutly tell you that BMXA was the motivation for me to make it in BMX..Especially having my sister date and marry Stu and seeing his pic all the time in the mag. Everyones goal was to "get in BMXA" if you got the mag and your pic was there you were STOKED bigtime. OK...I better go before I get all emotional...

Love ya Scot!!

Thank you Bob, you are
"the absolute commander of BMX"

GH
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Reilley1
post Jan 23 2005, 11:42 PM
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Those of us ancient enough to remember Oz before BMXA through BMX News and Bicycling Magazine owe a great deal to the Wiz cause he made us realize that we were not alone in our craziness. Kids from all over the country shared the rush of early BMX. I have said it many times, and I'll say it again: thanks. And I'll repeat what I said before we knew Bob was really in our mist: Oz, no matter where you are, you will always be numero uno in my BMX heart.
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Namza
post Jan 23 2005, 11:43 PM
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Hailz OM! Your write-ups makes me wanna promote BMX more and more. Cheers OM, OZ and everyone else. You all rocks!!
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Code Blue
post Jan 24 2005, 12:34 AM
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There are just a few things in life better than to receive such worthy honor and praise from your peers!

Scot your words concerning Oz ring very true indeed!

Oz, You were the eyes and ears for our generation. You were our gateway to the world of bmx, a world that you made alive with words, phrases and pics that we 'that younger generation' could totally relate with. It was as though you made the pages come alive for us!

The Vin Scully of BMX.
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