Memoirs Of A Team Manger With Ryan Dewitt
TO SELL SKATEBOARDS COMPANIES NEED TO PEPPER THEIR TEAMS WITH ECCENTRIC CHARACTERS WHO’S OFF BOARD ANTICS CREATE THE KIND OF HYPE THAT IS EASILY MARKETED. THE DILEMMA FOR THE TEAM MANAGER IS THAT THE SAME ECCENTRICITY THAT FUELS BOARD SALES MAKES THE TM’S JOB ALL THAT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. BELOW ELEMENT’S RYAN DEWITT TELLS A FEW STORIES ABOUT THE GREAT TERRY KENNEDY THAT ILLUSTRATE ONCE AGAIN THE JOB OF TEAM MANAGER IS NOT AS APPEALING AS IT APPEARS.
I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you about some of my experiences with Terry Kennedy. When I first started working for Element, Terry was fairly new to the team, he was about 16 and completely out of his mind. The stories I’m about to tell drove me absolutely insane when they were happening, but after I got a chance to re-tell them a few times I realized how funny they were.
The first of many of these stories takes place while we were on a trip to Canada. Terry and I had gotten in to an argument over something and it was bad, really bad, he was really mad at me. This uneasiness went on for a few days until Terry finally exploded. We were in a fast food restaurant and he snapped. He screamed at me and stormed out to the van. When I got out there he had already punched the dash of the passenger side completely in. When he saw me coming he got out of the car. Beaming at me, he took off his shirt and started to circle me. He was yelling at me and circling like he was about to fight me. All of the sudden, he grabbed his board and hucked it into the middle of the street into traffic. As he was yelling at me, a mini van stopped in the traffic, the sliding door opened up, and a hand reached out grabbed Terry’s board, the door closed and they drove off. Needless to say, Terry was on the earliest flight out the next morning.
Shortly there after we turned Terry pro and of course I took Terry to the Tampa Pro that year. He was totally down for skating in the contest. He assured me of it. So we went out and did the Tampa thing. When it was Terry’s turn to skate his run the announcer was calling his name and of course he was no where to be found. Then I spotted him up in the bleachers overlooking the course, so I went to coax him into skating his run. I remember he was wearing some kind of crazy NASCAR leather jacket with logos all over it, and I’m like “Come on Terry, we came all the way out here, lets do this, just go out and try.” No response, he’s just looking down. After a bunch of begging and mini pep talks, he had finally had enough, he stood up, let out some kind of primal scream-growl-yell and threw his board from the upper level bleacher onto the empty course below and then he walked straight out of the contest. The entire crowd became dead silent and stared at me. That was fun.
One time his Grandmother called us and asked if we’d buy her a new washer and dryer.
Another time we were out at Bam’s house filming for Viva La Bam. Terry was driving around Bam’s front yard on this 4 wheeler ATV completely out of control. He had never been on one of them before. It was really scary to watch. Bam had his brand new Audi parked on the grass and inevitably Terry went speeding toward the car, slammed on the brakes, and went in to an uncontrollable slide. He runs head on into Bam’s new Audi and he goes head first over the bars. Terry jumped up and looked at Bam as if he had just sat on his Grandmothers white couch with muddy pants. The look of pure fear on Terry’s face was priceless.
And finally, this last story was completely embarrassing at the time but yet hysterical afterwards, I was flying with Terry when he was really young. On this trip Terry was sitting next to a businessman, lip-synching whatever he was listening to and gesturing like he was shooting at the poor guy and other weird shit. This poor guy would be pinned in next to Terry with nowhere to go while Terry was the star his own rap video, which the set was the airplane.
That is just the tip of the iceberg, there are countless more stories and episodes, I just thought of these off the top of my head. Terry is one of the funniest people I know, but in the heat of the moment I wanted to kill him. Looking back though, they are some of the best stories I have.