<
>

Just plain crazy

Glenn DeLong is jerked to a halt at the end of his training run from the jump tower. James Overstreet

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Glenn DeLong is absolutely crazy. He seems normal at first glance, a quiet young gun on the Elite Series just trying to live out his dream on the water, but make no mistake, he should be institutionalized.

He used to be professional motocross rider but was forced to quit after a small crash that "broke my pelvis, snapped my femur off, broke my tibia and fibula, and broke my wrist in a crash in Gainesville, Fla."

It would seem that such a crash would help a man put things in perspective, maybe force him to pull back on the throttle a little bit. But no. The man flocks toward danger like it's the last woman on earth.

So when the group pulled up to the 34-foot tower (a specific height that is supposed to be just above the horizon to simulate a leap out of an airplane at 30,000 feet), DeLong's mouth stretched ear-to-ear, but it wasn't a happy-go-lucky grin, it had a sinister look to it.

Half the group said "no way," and the other half reluctantly strapped themselves into a very unflattering harness and tried to hide their shaking knees. There was a short — very short — debate about who would go first. DeLong volunteered before anybody could bow out. The rest of the group tried to act disappointed and agreed to let him have the honors.

He climbed the three flights of stairs like there was a cash prize for the first person to the top. After he was hooked up and given the go ahead, he leaped out and began the short freefall before the pulley system caught him and sent him toward a group of soldiers awaiting his arrival at the bottom of a hill. As he slid down the wire he went spread eagle, gave the "rock on" symbol with his hands, and shook his head wildly with tongue out leading the way.

With the show officially stolen, the rest of group just pathetically fell out of the tower and spun awkwardly to the finish.