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February 28, 2013
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The webcast is as good as the real thing

VAIL - One of the greatest things about the Burton US Open is something you won't see if you're watching the event live at Golden Peak.

The webcast, hosted by Jack Mitrani and Henry Jackson at burton.com/uso, allows you to watch the event live, and learn a great deal about what it is you're watching along the way.

The camerawork at the Burton U.S. Open has been incredible, and coupled with Mitrani and Jackson's witty banter, the webcast to snowboarding fans is like watching Monday Night Football and listening to Jon Gruden.

Following the live broadcast, Mitrani and Jackson host a show called "The Boardroom," which is snowboarding's answer to post-game show.-

On Thursday, The Boardroom featured Louie Vito, who talked about the Olympic Qualification process for halfpipe snowboarders.

"I think Americans have it best because for our Olympic qualifying we have the Grand Prix which is sanctioned by FIS, but not necessarily ran by FIS, it's ran by USSA which is great," Vito said. "I think, as an American, we luck out with having our qualifying be a Grand Prix FIS, I don't really do a World Cup unless I have to. As an American, I don't mind doing the Grand Prix, but if I had to go do World Cups day in day out, it definitely wouldn't be my favorite contest to look forward to."

Jackson points to that interview as an example of a void that's being filled with "The Boardroom" and Burton's webcast.-

"Trying to follow the sport, you don't really get much access to snowboarders," said Jackson. "So we get them on to speak their minds on certain things which are really relevant in the sport."

Mitrani says he always knew this element had been missing from snowboarding, and the way it was being followed in the media.

"You see a basketball game and then see sports center afterward, you get to learn all little bit more about these athletes rather than just watching them in the competition," he said.-

But while their format follows the same basic format as a post-game roundtable-type show, viewers will likely find it more entertaining.

"The webcast allows us to be a lot more loose," Mitrani says.-

And by loose, he means funny - their commentary, and The Boardroom show is absolutely hilarious.

During Stale Stanbech's halfpipe run on Thursday, (Mitrani and Jackson affectionately refer to him as stale sandwich), we heard Mitrani's ability to weave interesting facts in with humor.

"As you can see he's very flexible," Mitrani said as Stanbech performed a huge "stiffy," straight-legged grab. "He takes training very seriously. I've trained with him over in Norway, he can out-squat me. And me and Chuck Norris trained for three years and Stale still can out squat me."

And the Chuck Norris jokes came rolling in.-

Masters of the new media, Mitrani and Jackson watch their Snapchat and Twitter accounts like hawks during the broadcast, shouting out the best submissions.

"Chuck Norris built the Vail halfpipe with his thoughts," was one. "Chuck Norris looked at the snow and it just parted to make the pipe, like the red sea," was another.

Then Danny Davis chimed in. Davis was a special guest during the live halfpipe commentary along with Mitrani and Stanbech on Thursday.

"Actually, Chuck Norris came in with a Swiss Army knife and carved this halfpipe," Davis joked. "They gave him a big cube and he came in in a half hour and made it."

Getting big-name snowboarders like Davis, who won the quarterpipe event at the Burton U.S. Open in 2006, comes easy to Jackson and Mitrani with their connections in the industry. Mitrani, a multi-time Burton U.S. Open competitor who has a fourth place Dew Tour superpipe finish to his credit (in 2011), is old friends with a lot of competitors like Davis. But he himself is now-officially-retired from the competitions scene. -

Perhaps for a move on to broadcasting, for which he has an obvious knack.

And that knack may be-inherited.-

"I grew up watching my dad sell jackets on TV," says Mitrani. "He was funny, and so I've always had a loose sense of humor and get some of my humor through him."

Follow Jack Mitrani on Twitter at @jackmitrani, and check out his and Davis' videos at-http://www.youtube.com/user/frendsvision. Follow Henry Jackson on Twitter at @Jacksonshole, and check out his show Jackson's Hole at www.redbull.tv.


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The VailDaily Updated Mar 1, 2013 12:08AM Published Feb 28, 2013 11:25PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.