It wasn't an excuse. From what I remember people really belived that. The problem was the track builders in most cases didn't. It's also quite hard to build a track with multiple lines where riders won't recognize that one is obviously faster in 95% of the cases and will ride it.That first part sounds like the excuse 4x made for itself for 10 years.
Imho the future would be enduro if it didn't require a ton of space for the track. It's an even bigger problem than DH races though I bet tracks are cheaper (the feed won't be)
As for the Lopes hate I think he worked on it quite hard on his blog too. I may not be a fan of him as a person but I admire his bike skills and fitness. Like him or not he is one of the best.