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Monday, August 4, 2008
Who's bigger -- Shaun White or Ryan Sheckler?

By LZ Granderson

CARSON, Calif. -- I was at a friend's house when the 5.4 earthquake hit last week.

It was the strongest tremor here in 14 years. But I could tell from seeing people watering their lawns and trimming bushes some 15 minutes later that the earthquake meant more to folks outside of the state than it did those who felt it.

But that's L.A.

Here today. Gone in an hour.

It's partly why I believe new Dodger Manny Ramirez will do extremely well here. He's a guy who always seems to be up to something new, and you have to be up to something new to matter in Hollywood. Or at least it seemed that way this past weekend, as I combed through the X Games crowd to get a read on who fans felt was the man of the moment -- Shaun White or Ryan Sheckler.

Of the 50 people I spoke to, 20 had no idea who White and/or Sheckler were.

At the X Games!!!

Now granted, some of my lab rats were either parents dragged there by their kids or scantily clad women handing out free T-shirts, but still -- it's the X Games. Not knowing the names White or Sheckler is like going to see "The Dark Knight" and not knowing Heath Ledger.

In any case, I was so amused by this little experiment that I decided to share a few responses that stuck out. God bless all of them for letting photog Joshua Duplechian take their picture to boot.

Shelbi Carter
Shelbi Carter, 18, Leitchfield, Ky. Who is the man right now, Shaun White or Ryan Sheckler?

Carter: Shaun White is and always will be. He's the greatest. Wow, sounds like you have a thing for him.

Carter: Yeah, you can say that. Are you a better pick for him than Sasha Cohen?

Carter: That'll be up to him to find out.

Jeremy Duenes
Jeremy Duevnas, 14, Orange County, Calif. Who do you like more, Shaun White or Ryan Sheckler?

Duevnas: I don't like either one of them. Well, who do you like?

Duevnas: I like amateurs. So if they're not sure if they'll be able to buy dinner, you like them.

Duevnas: Yeah, pretty much.

Steven Flores
Steven Flores, 17, San Fernando Valley, Calif. Who owns L.A. right now: Shaun White, Ryan Sheckler or Manny Ramirez?

Flores: I'll have to say Manny Ramirez. Why?

Flores: Because I don't know who the other two are.

Steve Miller
Steve Miller, 40, Los Angeles Who owns L.A. right now, Shaun White or Ryan Sheckler?

Miller: Oh, Sheckler. Do you watch his show on MTV?

Miller: I do watch it. I have kids so I have to. Don't blame the kids.

Miller: Yeah, you're right.

Heidi Wendling
Heidi Wendling, 35, Minneapolis Who do you like more, Shaun White or Ryan Sheckler?

Wendling: I'm going to have to say Shaun White. Why?

Wendling: Honestly? Yeah.

Wendling: Because I think Sheckler's a little punk and I hate punks.

Robert Ziemann
Robert Ziemann Jr., 9, Long Beach, Calif. Why do you like Ryan Sheckler?

Ziemann: He's my favorite skater. That's good enough for me.

Sayre Peralta
Sayre Peralta, 21, Seattle Who owns L.A. right now, White, Sheckler or Manny?

Peralta: I'd have to say Manny. I was at the Dodgers game last night, and the energy in the place was just crazy. What about White?

Peralta: Oh, Shaun White is very cool. He's a great athlete, probably the best X Games athlete because he can do so much. And what about Ryan Sheckler?

Peralta: Who is that?

Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams, 41, Los Angeles Who owns L.A. right now, White, Sheckler or Manny?

Williams: Manny, without a doubt. This city is essentially a Latino town, and they offer up a lot of support. He's like an institution here. But he just got here.

Williams: It doesn't matter. Everybody already loves him. Until someone else comes around.

Williams: Exactly.

Brian Bernfeld
Brian Bernfeld, 15, Miami Who do you like more, Shaun White, Ryan Sheckler or Manny Ramirez?

Bernfeld: Manny. I'll always love Manny. He helped the Red Sox win two World Series, and it's kinda heartbreaking to see him go.

Shannon Tolbin
Shannon Tolbin, 12, Los Angeles Who owns L.A. -- White, Sheckler or Manny?

Tolbin: Sheckler is so cool and he gets all of the girls. Does it bother you that all the girls like him?

Tolbin: I don't care. I'm only 12. My bad.

LZ Granderson is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and a regular contributor to's Page 2. He can be reached at