Introducing Sophie's Choice!
Would you like to know something that drives me really crazy? I will tell you. It drives me really crazy when organizations, companies, leagues draw up arbitrary rules then become bound by them like God himself dictated the terms.
Like, did you know Amazon workers are forbidden to drink anything other than water while working? No coffee, tea, boba tea, anything but water. Employees are fired over the offense. The middle-managers shrugging their shoulders and telling heartbroken ex-Amazonians, “Nothing I can do, man. My hands are tied.”
Also like the World Surf League’s injury wildcard rule and let us read commissioner Kieren Perrow.
We truly appreciate and understand the value of being on tour and take this process very seriously. As it has for years, this process includes an independent medical review board, which assesses the applicants based on severity of injury and the impact it has on the surfer’s ability to compete at the Championship Tour level. In the case of 2018, all three applicants were deemed to have severe injuries that prevented them from competing in multiple events. From there, we apply our technical criteria and career achievement factors – which include World Titles, career results, prior year ranking, and ranking at time of injury. While all three have strong cases, we have determined that Kelly Slater (USA) and John John Florence (HAW) will receive the WSL wildcards for 2019 and Caio Ibelli (BRA) will be the first replacement for the tour – not something we guarantee to a third applicant most seasons but is deserving in this case.
Bullshit, all of it. Kelly and John John were both selectively surfing over the course of the year and while I don’t doubt their injuries, the severity of them compared to Caio’s is… chuckle-able at best.
Now, I’m not saying that Caio Ibelli should be let in over Kelly, who did more selective surfing than John John.
I’m saying that the World Surf League should simply do away with the “injury wildcards” altogether and call the two available spots, “Sophie’s Choice” (after World Surf League CEO Sophie Goldschmidt not the early 1980s tear-jerker). Of course the WSL wants eyeballs. Of course Kelly and John John bring more eyeballs than Caio. Wrapping the decision in arbitrary “injury” gauze is a silly affectation since the League made the rule in the first place and could very easily change it and should change it for next year.
It’s probably also racist.
Once it becomes Sophie’s Choice then Dane Reynolds can also come back on tour.
And Bruce Irons.
And The White Fijian.