Taking another leap of faith

We admit to watching Robbie Maddison try to break his neck on ESPN on last year’s New Year’s Eve TV programming. He didn’t, and we were OK with that.

Still, ESPN knows a good party buzz device when it can profit from it.

The next edition of the “Red Bull: No Limits” stunt tour takes place Wednesday night when Maddison again tries another crazy jump on his motorcycle, plus Rhys Millen tries to do something that he couldn’t last year.

After the warmed-over Chick-Fil-A-Bowl on ESPN — at about 8 p.m. our time — Joe Tessitore will come on live from Las Vegas to introduce this latest stunt stint.

Last year, Maddison jumped the length of a football field — 322 feet, 7.5 inches — in the parking lot of the Rio hotel. This year, he’s going to try to go more than 120 feet high and land on top of the 96-foot Arc de Triomphe replica in front of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. He’ll then freefall 50 feet off the Arc to a ramp.

Then he’ll live to tell about it.

“I had some doubts last year whether or not I could jump a football field,” said Maddison in an ESPN press release. “But as I practiced, I got more and more confident and realized I could pull it off, and I did, twice. This year, the doubts are way bigger; the jump has never been done before, but I’m confident in my ability and I believe that as I start training, the dream that seems impossible will become a reality.”

Millen is going to try to do a back flip off an off-road truck that’s traveling a distance of 80 feet. He overshot his landing last year, injuring himself and had to pull out of the event.

“Last year we attempted what was before then thought impossible,” said Millen. “Laws of physics and vehicle dynamics were pushed to the limits with success, but failure came in one small miscalculation. My body can be broken but my mind cannot. This year, people will witness the first ramp to ramp back flip in an off-road truck – ever!”

In 2007, ESPN’s New Year’s 90-minute telecast did a 3.7 rating for more than 5 million viewers. More info: www.redbullnewyearnolimits.com.

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