"At the end of the day it’s good to eat humble pie!"
With Filipe Toledo’s win in Brazil we are now officially… wow I was going to write halfway though the 2018 World Surf League Championship Tour but we’re only three events in. Three! Can you believe it? I mean, I suppose we’re really four events in if we count Margaret River as an “event” and I think we should because it was certainly action-packed and the perfect set up for Founders Cup in Lemoore, California where neither shark nor dolphin swim.
There are, of course, many intriguing storylines.
-Will Julian Wilson hold on to win his first ever world title?
-Will Filipe Toledo, instead, swoop in and claim his first of many crowns?
-Will the upcoming Lemoore Classic be as dull as the just passed Founders Cup?
-Will Uluwatu shine in the spotlight?
-Will John John Florence continue his subpar performance and who is to blame?
Let’s break this last intriguing storyline down.
-Maybe no one is to blame.
-Maybe John John is to blame.
-Maybe John John’s coach Ross Williams is to blame.
Hmmmm. It is rude to blame Ross, certainly. He does not tie on the boardshorts nor does he paddle into waves BUT he is coach and, as such, his entire job is to make John John win. Ross addressed these concerns on Instagram and let us read.
Johns had a couple poor results this year but it was never due to a lack of effort or will. Despite all the talk, some warranted and frankly some due to just laziness in my opinion, John has been surfing with the same conviction and froth as the last two years. All these amazing surfers go through their dry runs. It happens. He had a couple insane rides in his heat today but honestly I was happier with how well he built to his aggression. He fought hard for a couple scores which led to him putting the hammer down. Funny how much John gets scrutinized against his own potential. He’s had some of the most aggressive and progressive rides this year and some decent heat totals. Just a couple sloppy heats in the mix to give him those bad results. It’s a testimony more to the level of the tour. Everyone rips. At the end of the day it’s good to eat humble pie. I think it’s made his fire even stronger. He will continue to draw different lines and push the sport with integrity. Hoping it will inspire the yarners to do the same.
A fine post but I have a few more questions.
-Why is it funny how John John gets scrutinized against his own potential?
-Which of the talk is warranted and which is lazy?
-Is it really good to eat humble pie?
-What’s a yarner?
Most pundits have buried John John’s year, concluding he is too deep down the rankings for a comeback. The World Surf League’s own official mouthpiece seems to agree, suggesting people should be worried. Ross seems unperturbed but being a coach ain’t easy. The NBA’s Toronto Raptors just fired theirs after he won Coach of the Year.
A heavy burden. An unbearable weight.