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Ancient Blood Feud: Kelly vs Adriano!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Is Kelly and Adriano's ancient blood feud, thought to be long dead, alive and well?

Three weeks ago, the Brazilian Adriano De Souza mounted a wonderful and brave charge to win the Pipeline Masters and the world title. When you saw his trembling lips, didn’t it make you want to put a biscuit in his mouth and peck away the crumbs?

As Rory Parker, BeachGrit’s man in front of the webcast, wrote, “A decade of trying, constant shit talking from every direction. Head down, made it happen, never let the naysayers get him down. And that’s something. I catch a tiny amount of shit online compared to the guy, and you develop a thick skin, but sometimes shit makes it through. Easy to let the public ruin your brain, the fact that he didn’t is impressive in itself.”

Does sport get any better? The unfancied and unpretty Adriano De Souza, throbbing to his own pulse, galloping to victory?

But Adriano was gifted approximately 15 hours at the summit of the surfing world before the spotlight was turned off and aimed at Kelly Slater and his new wave pool.

“Worse still, though, is poor Adriano de Souza. Hours ago, literally hours, he was on top of it all. He was champion of the world, the first ever Brazilian Pipe Master too! He had etched his name into the record books and could sit back and be lauded for a hard-fought year. Except he couldn’t because when he woke up this morning the lauders were glued to computer screens not watching his year’s highlights but ogling Kelly Slater’s magnificent wave.

Chas Smith opined, “Kelly Slater is an absolute master of stealing the spotlight any time it drifts, slightly, from his handsome face. He was mad at me for having a cup of coffee and not talking about him and so he released a perfect video that is burning the Internet down.

“Worse still, though, is poor Adriano de Souza. Hours ago, literally hours, he was on top of it all. He was champion of the world, the first ever Brazilian Pipe Master too! He had etched his name into the record books and could sit back and be lauded for a hard-fought year. Except he couldn’t because when he woke up this morning the lauders were glued to computer screens not watching his year’s highlights but ogling Kelly Slater’s magnificent wave.

“I want to be frustrated but he is so good at it, so utterly masterful, that all I can do is stand, mouth agape, like everyone else. Oh, my mouth is not agape at the wave. It scares me in a way that I cannot explain. Like, really points to the end of the world somehow.”

Of course, it doesn’t matter what people call you unless they call you pigeon pie and eat you up. But do you think Adriano taking the world title determined the timing of the wave pool clip, and that it snatches a glimpse of the shadow in Kelly’s feelings towards Adriano?

Let’s examine the evidence. Do you remember, four years ago, at the Hurley Pro when Adriano was in the worst temper? Watch!

I’m certainly not a world expert at body language, an expert at nothing except online shopping if truth be told, but it does seem that Kelly fudges when the interviewer Mitchell Ross asks for the causes of the event. Do you like it when Kelly likens Adriano’s intemperance to a chemical imbalance due to his “passion”? I do!

Do you watch this old clip and think, is there something there, in light of recent events?

I do now, but only because shortly after Kelly dropped his wave pool clip a BeachGrit reader screenshot this exchange between a Kelly Slater and another surfer. The reader couldn’t verify the authenticity of the parties involved, but it makes for interesting reading.

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Do you wonder, is Kelly and Adriano’s ancient blood feud, thought to be long dead, alive and well?

Did the kernel of civility between the two just break?

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