October 15, 2012

Baumgartner’s jump was out of this world

by Dan Bilicki In: Uncategorized

This might sound completely odd, but I was in awe of what I watched Sunday afternoon and it had nothing to do with football.

No, I was tuned in on my laptop watching some guy named Felix Baumgartner make history in one of the craziest ways possible. I’m sure you’ve probably heard about it by now after the many commercials and the Red Bull sponsorship tie-in, but Baumgartner flew up in a balloon literally to the edge of space and then jumped.

For those who’re counting, that was a jump from about 128,000 feet in the air. Well, you can barely even call it air at that point. That’s well past the point where you need an oxygen tank to breathe and the fluids in your body could boil. That sounds pleasant, doesn’t it?

Well, what Baumgartner did was simply amazing. He set three world records in one jump – highest free fall, highest manned balloon ride and the fastest free fall. Just how fast was he going? Well he became the first human to ever break the sound barrier without vehicular assistance.

But really, why was this jump so interesting? Why was I sitting on my laptop for almost two hours, much of simply watching a guy basically just sitting there, occasionally talking to the ground control base? I’m not actually sure, but damn it was riveting.

My guess is that it was because the potential of the whole idea was so great. How many times in our lifetimes will we ever see something like Baumgartner’s jump again? Maybe once, but probably never.

Also, how could we possibly know what to expect? Something like this has never been documented before, let alone broadcast live on TV and the internet.

Of course, there’s also the potential for disaster. Something could definitely have gone wrong and the millions (?) watching live could very easily have seen somebody die live on TV at 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.

But, whatever reason it was that you watched the Red Bull Stratos jump, it was certainly worth it. And definitely better than flipping the channel to TSN to see the Argos lose.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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