The Story of the Fat Chance
The story of “Fat Chance”…when I heard it for the first time I couldn’t believe it, so my brother and I asked “Fat” if he wouldn’t mind putting the story in writing for all of the alliance readers. The story was almost more like a book when I received it, so I decided to cut it down to a manageable size. The story starts when “Fat” finished high school. He was working for a marine Wholesale store in SLC, UT when he received this call from Randy at Marine Products Pro Shop…and the story begins…-JM
He said “how would you like to work for a real boat store?” That’s when I knew it was on. I took the job and right from the beginning I knew this was the life for me. Marine products was a small but still epic shop to work for back in those days. Randy had been working there since he was 16, and only 3 years later he bought the joint, and that’s when business really took off. Not only did Randy teach me everything I know about the industry but he really became a second father to me, helping me through stuff most bosses don’t seem to care about. With Randy’s help, I managed to network into a pretty decent job where I met some of my best friends. One day Randy transferred a call over to me, and it was Tony Finn who was just starting Wake Tech. He said he wanted to send me a board to try and since I was really the only one working for MP at that time and backing skiboarding, I accepted. The day my big air showed up I knew they were on to something, but still had no idea how big it was going to get. I went to worlds in Dallas Fort Worth that year and hung out with a lot of the first and most influential pros. The wake tech team, lead by Rich Goforth, climbed out of an old van towing an inboard and for some reason I was reminded of th classic film “Fast Times at Ridgemont high.” It was there at the World championships that I met Byerly, Gator, Tony, Jimmy, and all the others. I could tell that those guys were living the dream, and I wanted to be like them. Gator (who was turning 16 a couple weeks later) had his dad asking Tony Finn which boat to buy for his birthday? The mastercraft or the nautique. I thought “wow, this kid is turning 16 and getting a sick b-day gift”. Anyway, that trip was amazing and I came home with some interesting memories like slalom skiboarding. Did you ever hear of that? It didn’t make it very long.
Then, at a boat show in ’95 I was entertaining the boys; Byerly, Billy McCaffray, and Cobe Mikacich. We were at the local watering hole drinking hellish amounts of “not” beer when Byerly and I got into a conversation about mobe’s. I wasn’t really backing that whole mobius thing at the time mostly because I couldn’t do em’, but what I said was somebody needs to throw a switch stance front flip mobe and I’ll start backing the mobius. It also wouldn’t suck if the trick was named the “fat chance” because nobody could really consistently land them and I figured it was a good way to get some history in the sport that we all knew was going to explode. So About 3 months later I get this call from Billy McCaffray and he said “fat, I’m riding with Scott and he just landed the gnarliest trick, a switch stance front flip mobe”. I replied “wow! What the hell is that all about?” I had completely forgotten our conversation at the bar and was really perplexed. He then reminded me of the discussion at the bar and explained that Scott named it after me. The rest is history.
For the last 12 years I have had hundreds of people tell me “no dude that trick is named because nobody can land it consistently.” I always just replied “cool”. I never gave a rats ass if they knew the history, just as long as I knew the legend himself and I knew the story. It’s been really funny over the last couple years having the new pros who know the history respond the way they do to actually meeting the fat chance. I’m just a regular guy who loves the sport, the industry, and the people. It just so happens pete rose and I have tricks named after us that neither one of us can stick. Oh well, at 36 I’m not gonna’ try. I still talk to Byerly once or twice a year and love the fact that so many others participate in the same sport I call work-fun.
Livin’ the dream,