“These guys are good, T.J.”
“Yeah, but they’re not from Detroit.”
–Aspen Extreme, 1993
It’s a great moment at the start of a very bad movie: two buddies are at the top of a steep mogul trail in Aspen, Colorado, waiting for their turn to show what they can do. If they make it to the bottom in one piece, they have a chance to become ski instructors at Aspen and make lots of money. Everything about this is absurd, of course. Like I said, it’s not a great movie. But then one of the buddies, Dexter, looks over at the other, T.J. Dexter is clearly intimidated by the great skiers around them: “These guys are good, T.J.” After all, these two guys have probably never skied a trail this steep before. They’re wearing jeans. Their home ski area? Mt. Brighton, Michigan — “200 feet of landfill.” Here at Aspen, they’re out of their league in just about every possible way.
But they do have one ace up their sleeve. Just as it’s their turn to go, the other buddy, T.J. — the more confident of the two — lowers his goggles. “Yeah,” he says, “but they’re not from Detroit.” Game on. They jump over the edge. Guess who’s ripping down the moguls, passing everyone, and throwing double helicopters like an early 90s Johnny Moseley? Guess who makes the Aspen Ski School? The guys from Detroit.