February 19,1999 -- Four-time ISF World Halfpipe Champion Terje Haakonsen, of Norway, says he will not be playing in the 2000 Super Bowl.

One year ago, Haakonsen announced that he would not be representing his country as a player on Norway's World Cup team either, in spite of the fact that he's a damn good soccer player. Citing the World Cup Soccer Organization as "corrupt," and likening its members to "the mafia," Haakonsen's withdrawal from the World Cup meant about as much as his absence from the 1997 World Heavy Weight Championships match against Evander Holyfield. "I would have beat his ass and the world knows it," Haakonsen said. "Holyfield and Tyson were just fighting for second place."

Since then, the NFL's internal strife and further probing into the Miami site selection process have only solidified his resolve. Like the site selection process, Haakonsen says, the selection of football teams to play in the Super Bowl is just too strict. "Why should I have to play on a professional football team just to play in the Super Bowl," says Haakonsen. "If I want to play in the Super Bowl they should let me. I'm a great athlete."

Case in point for many football players is the NFL's decision 33 years ago to put the two winningest teams in the Super Bowl ." Intense lobbying by various Pop Warner teams went unheard. Even the NCAA has been unable to overturn the NFL's decision to only allow professional football teams in the league.

Why was this such an unpopular decision with the athletes?

"It's like saying someone can't race a Ford Pinto in the Indy 500," says Burton Snowboards' owner and founder, Jake Burton. "It's just not right."

And how about this? Haakonsen's absence from the last year's World Cup Soccer finals was never even mentioned by the on-site announcers. They never mentioned that the event was going on without the great Terje even though they were forced to mention his signature move "The Free Kick" several times during the finals.

During the World Cup Soccer finals, Haakonsen went surfing, and then up to Alaska to freeride powder for the upcoming IMAX release, Extreme.

When asked where he planned to be on Super Bowl weekend in 2000, Haakonsen replied, "I don't have any plans. I'll probably just be sitting around at home trying to come up with a few more events that I can boycott. Like maybe Wimbledon, the Kentucky Derby, and any other events that want athletes to actually show up and perform in front of a crowd. I've found it's much easier to to put out press releases saying I'm not going to be at an event than it is to actually go and compete. Here at home I have no chance of losing. You can't lose if you don't compete. I learned that the hard way at last year's US Open."


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