Old news, yes, but fascinating as a historical footnote.
You gotta love Christmas downtime.
Our fingers are allowed off the digital pulse for the briefest of windows. The world grinds to a semi-halt in the corpulent haze.
It’s a time to turn down screens and connect IRL.
So it’s odd, then, that the WSL chose to drop a film showcasing the most crucial moment of the 2019 campaign, smack in the middle of holiday season.
While you were ripping into your Chrissie presents and/or bongs, the Gabriel Medina Sound Wave episode was released.
Gabby mic’d up at the Rip Curl Meo Pro Portugal and (allegedly) uncut.
You won’t see no asterix ‘round here.
History is what it is. Italo won the damn thing.
But, the world title outcome coulda been a whole lot different if the Caio interference decision went the other way.
Drama unfurled on the beach at Peniche like the sail of an Iberian galleon. Gabby and his crew were straight pissed.
The WSL was steadfast in its avoidance of the controversy beyond an official statement.
An opportunity to put human emotion on centre stage, raw and honest and true, was sidestepped.
Reach and engagement, the twin pillars of E-Lo’s content strategy, went begging.
But given the timing – this mid-holiday, post-title dead zone – it’s about as meaningful as a Christmas card in July.
Like, it’s still interesting.
No individual other than R.K. Slater is able to capture attention or clicks like Gabe.
And, unlike the open book approach Kelly takes to public life, Medina is still as mysterious to us as the giant squid. His life outside comp appearances is rarely documented, especially in the English-speaking press.
The opportunity to dive alongside him is a pure treat.
The video itself?
It’s a well edited, well-paced production. Heaps less weird than Kelly’s.
Ever wonder what Charlie’s actual role is? Training? Tactics? Moral support? Waterboy?
It seems like a bit of everything.
But, the whole thing now ranks as nothing more than a footnote. On this, the other side of the 2019 world title race, every heat is ancient history.
And, despite a genuinely interesting peek at the inner machinations of the Commissioner’s camp, don’t expect to learn anything new about the altercation.
The world still spins.
The WSL bumbles along.
Producing, as Longtom said, brilliance in spite of itself.