The boy from Copacabana made us believe before crashing to earth and joining his ilk. But oh how we smiled along the way!
And it was a very fun run, was it not? Matt “Wilko” Wilkinson, the boy with stringy brown hair and amusing wetsuits. The boy with a crooked tooth’d easy smile. The boy who cracked under pressure in Trump-like fashion and suggested one of his detractors, the esteemed Fred Pawle, “deserved a flogging” for calling him a yobbo. Or maybe it was because Mr. Pawle also said that Wilkinson “isn’t pretty.”
But he isn’t and that is his joy! He is not cut from granite or from a hunk of Krypton like our dear Kelly Slater. He is cobbled together with mud and clay and little bits of discarded straw like the rest of us.
Having him sit atop the Jeep Leaderboard (look Joe Turpel! Your dull hammer is working! Jeep Jeep Jeep leaderboard!) for all these many months and through all these many events has been… well, it has been an inspiration.
And now a rightful champion, Medina or John John, will go and wrest the yellow jersey from Wilko’s imperfect hand but what will he do?
Will he cling to his precious like a Gollum, crouched in a corner, baring his teeth to all who come near? Will he relinquish easily and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that he can go back to being a light-hearted clown prince once again?
Will he realize that being a clown prince is not his stock anymore and emerge from his yobbo cocoon to strike a blow for the rest of us?
Can Matt Wilkinson win it all at the end?
(no, but fun to think anyhow!)