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December 06, 2001

Outtakes with Mat Hoffman

Dan Patrick flatlines with Mat Hoffman.

DP: Give me the list of injuries you've had, head to foot.
Mat Hoffman
Hoffman gets air.
MH: Jeez, I've had like 14 operations and 50 broken bones. Last March, I was knocked out for three days. I actually flatlined once. You can say I've challenged medical science on several occasions. But, I've always felt in order to experience all the pleasures and successes in life, you have to be willing to take all the pain and failures.
DP: Sure, but the family jewels are okay?
MH: My wife just had a baby, so there's your answer. But the whole time we were trying to conceive, I was thinking, "Oh, man. This is going to tell me if I really messed myself up."

DP: What X Games events should be in the Olympics?
MH: None. The X Games are our Olympics. I think there would be a major culture clash. You'd have the gymnasts training 12 hours a day, and then you'd have us bikers riding when we want, following our own rules. Wouldn't be a good mix.
DP: Plus they do drug tests.
MH: Dan, that's so lame to assume X Game athletes do drugs. Athletes are athletes, you know. Maybe some do, but the majority of us are just into our sport.

DP: What kind of car do you have?
MH: I have this sweet 1960 Cadillac I've had since I was 17. Before people really worried about fuel economy, they made art on wheels.
DP: So you don't need speed in a car?
MH: Once in a while. I rented a new Ferrari in Germany two months ago with Tony [Hawk], and drove like 300 kilometers an hour (about 185 mph). I never realized driving could stimulate such an adrenaline rush.

DP: Do you like your action figure?
MH: My first one looked like Pee Wee Herman.
DP: They didn't confer with you on the look of the doll?
MH: They did, eventually. I told them that the skin tone was way too light. But they've got to sell through the ones they've already made. So I'm stuck with Pee Wee.

DP: How important is music to your sport?
MH: Totally important. My favorite band is Fugazi. And of course I listen to a lot of all-time classics: Jawbreaker, Game Face. All those bands have similar values that bikers have. I really like Tom Waits, too. He was a real pioneer.

DP: People say you're a pioneer.
MH: I just followed my own vision. I didn't try to adapt. I just go where my heart leads me, whether it makes sense to anybody else or not, you know?
DP: Don't I know it.

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