As you have all seen this week James Stewart Jr. AKA Bubba, FMOTP, Baby Chicken, and Boogie at one point, is BACK! He posted on Instagram twice in one week and the word is that he has made his own podcast called “Bubba’s World” and the first episode dropped today. C’mon, bro, what else would it be called? Personally, I named him Bubba Dog just now (not to be confused with my son Bub Dog), so I would call the podcast something with that in it. He’s earned his dog name and to me he deserves one more than anyone else. Here is why.
I blame Bubba Dog for getting me into this wonderfully awful sport. Look bro, jump off of my balls, I love this sport so much and live for it everyday, but it sucks a lot. It especially sucks when riders get really hurt. Stewart has been injured so very bad, so many times. As his self proclaimed number one fan I was there through all of the ups and downs. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
When Stew turned pro I was 11 years old and I was into team sports at that time in my life. My dad, Big Rick Dog, pushed hard for me to really get into motocross because that was his deal since the 1970s. I tried it on a P-Dub, a KX60 (not a typo, it was a 60 then), and to be honest it spooked me. I hated the feeling of racing because I was literal trash and couldn’t figure out how to make that little green machine sing. So, I quit. Until this 16-year-old phenom comes along and starts scrubbing shit and starts making racing exciting.
I was hooked. I saw one Supercross race in 2002 with him in it and I was back in the game. That summer I told my dad I wanted to go to Kenworthys for the National and to watch Stew. Two moments stand out to me about James from that race.
Kenworthys had a pathway where the riders had to exit the track after the finish line and it was next to the start straight, right next to the fence line. So fans could just reach out and grab the riders if they wanted. Well, Big James, Sonya, and this little dude are walking that path next to where I was on the fence. I ask the kid if he was “little Bubba”. He just looked at me and goes, I shit you not, “No, I’m big Bubba”. That little kid was none other than Malcolm and I’ll never forget that interaction. The other thing that stood out to me was that when my dad and I were walking back to his truck, the pits were adjacent (Author’s note: Slaw, that’s another word for parallel, you idiot) to the track and I saw Stew standing there outside Kawasaki truck and I called out and asked him to sign my program. I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure it was Jeremy Albrecht who came over to the fence and searched through to the right page for Stew to sign it. It sure sounds like a J-Bone move. I still have that program and they misprinted his number as #257.
What’s funny is that I would only see Stewart ride a 125 one more time in person and never at a Supercross. In 2003 he raced the West Region and in 2004 he would get a concussion and sit out the night program at Indy. I was bummed. Kenworthys was rained out twice in 2003 and my dad had never thought to drive to RedBud. I told you bro, I was Stew’s biggest fan and can recite most of his career by heart.
Ever since that epically hot July day I have studied this sport and seven year later I would start contributing to Vurb and here we are today. Once I landed this gig in 2009 I stopped being a super fan of anyone until recently with Chiz and now it’s Har Dog, Ash Dog, Dozer Dog, and Star Dog. James will always have a spot in my Squad if he ever wanted in. Malcolm as well. I owe James a lot for getting me into this sport.
I honestly hope that James sticks with this pod. I’ve heard they are a lot of work. I’m scared to get my hopes up. I’ve seen this many times with him. He will hype something just to do it once or twice and then he will go back to living his life. I don’t blame him, however I’d love to hear the truth about how he felt about certain situations in his career without sugarcoating anything. At one point James went from everything is fun to quiet and reserved. At the end of the day he doesn’t owe us anything, but the old school fan in me wants to see this go for a long time.
Welcome back, Bubba.
Main image: Red Bull Content Pool