"We knew you were a Flim-Flam man whose stock in trade was smoke and mirrors but all could have been forgiven and forgotten if you'd given us something. Anything."
I hate to kick the man when he down, but in this case he’s lightly symptomed and well, I know it’s being said all over the internets, but I think it’s passed time for someone to come out in print and say: “Time to go Elo”.
When you announced the Tour restructure I said I was all in, a true believer.
And I was.
It was great to see a blueprint for bold action on a moribund Tour. When the schedule was released and it was disappointing, allowances were made.
Even the Ikea Finals Day at Trestles could have been approached with an open mind.
Yeah, the corpo-speak meant we had to scrape the bottom of the barrel when it came to summoning up the goodwill to give your leadership a fair go. We knew you were a Flim-Flam man whose stock in trade was smoke and mirrors but all could have been forgiven and forgotten if you’d given us something.
But you blew it, cuz.
And when you blow it big-time and can’t make it right it’s time to exit stage left. Give someone else a go. Give Starkey a go, while there’s still something there for him to salvage from the burning building.
We finally realised the key(s) to understanding the relentless corpo-speak. Well, for one, it was a smokescreen to cover your lack of understanding.
But more importantly, it was never really meant for us, was it?
It was all communication meant to placate Dirk Ziff. Because that is all money-men hear all day long. And you needed him far more than you needed us. Still do. You needed him soothed, that strong sense of responsibility is to him, not us. The Tour had no income, no assets; only a money bags with incredibly deep pockets.
No doubt the times have been challenging for you. Incredibly challenging, yes. That remains the truest thing you ever said.
Maybe the only true thing you’ve said.
But in a sense, if this does prove to be the fatal blow, these times have saved you from an even more agonising and drawn-out failure. The pivot to story, which you staked your leadership on was a failed gambit, almost from day one.
You served us up a bland gruel. Mighty thin. So thin, you could read a newspaper through it, as your fellow Okie Woody Guthrie sang on Dustbowl Blues.
Covid killed the story pivot and forced the hand back to the core business of deciding world champs. Even allowing for the fact that in the ensuing nine months you couldn’t come up with maybe the easiest mark in World Sport – getting together a bunch of top surfing talent on an island with surf and filming the result- the response was weak.
A Pacific Ocean filled with Islands and surf and zero Covid beckoned. That could have set the tone for a generation, maybe the masterstroke the sport has craved since the first Man on Man event at the Stubbies in ’77.
Instead we got drivel at Cabarita, a series of comps so boring and low consequence that even hard-core fans could barely be bothered tuning in.
For an Organisation that has played the “abundance of caution” card so long and so hard and made so much of it’s prepared-ness to resume top-line sport in times of the Covid it’s very, very hard not to trade in schadenfreude.
Literally, what the fuck?
Did you break protocol?
Come clean man, for once.
You’ve got to give us a little more. Suspending production?
Whats the story?
Is there a plan to get competition back on?
What is it? Is there X process that takes Y amount of time? Then give us X and Y.
Dribbling out info to the useful idiots at Stab ain’t gunna cut it, no matter how much positive spin they give you. The Whole World is watching, you need to come up with more than a goose egg day after day when people know Pipe is pumping.
If you don’t know what is going on, if the paperwork really is screwed beyond belief then you got to say something.
You have to. Silence and self-pity won’t make the grade.
Every minute this drags on without a resolution after you crowed about this Covid plan just makes the sport look worse and worse. It makes us feel like the proverbial half-sucked cock at a wedding, if I could be so base.
And that’s fine by me.
Ziff’s famous rising tide speech at the Watermans Ball has been over-taken by events. We can tell stories better than the Wozzle, Vlog better and if Ziff dumps the Woz in the incinerator someone will pick up the ashes and, phoenix-like, something new will emerge.
This plan of yours, to start the Tour off in North America with the ‘rona running as rampant as methed up stormtroopers across the Russian steppes. It seems, um, reckless.
And you found a loophole by retro-fitting the permits for the Pipe Masters as a film shoot, not a sporting event.
That could have come across as a masterstroke, but I doubt we would have ever found out because this new found zeal for transparency is only skin deep. Instead it looks sneaky and what precious little trust we had in you has been discounted.
Doesn’t sound like there was a great deal of excess goodwill to count on on the part of the Honolulu pen pushers either. They sound pissed Eric.
You wouldn’t be the first Haole run out of the Islands, and you wont be the last.
These are proud people and this is their culture you are whoring out.
To be fair, we all whore it out.
At the least, you have to make a decent fist of it.
You blew it Elo.
Time to get off the bus, Gus. Make a new plan, Stan. Drop off the key, Lee, and set yourself, and us, free.