Chicken sacrifices etc.
I’m deep, man. Deeper than I thought I’d be at this point in my search for the viciously disappeared former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan. Way deeper. Out here, meu almofadinha.
Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted Logan to get fired, and for my sins the World Surf League did it. Fired him without mercy while he was in Brazil which meant I had to go to Brazil, a country I’d never been, in order to find him.
My mission was simple. To make sure he was ok or could at least breathe with the ball gag in his mouth, yeah, but also find out why. What manner of non-compliance he committed in order to be met with the most torturously terse press release in corporate history.
“The World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately.”
That’s it, that’s all, besides the other garbage the grocery clerks wrote about Chiefs of People and Purpose and Chiefs of Legal.
In the weeks since, I’d desperately tried to put the pieces together but nobody knew nothing and Dave Prodan, the World Surf League’s Chief Strategist, wouldn’t crack. I’d have to get beyond his timid, lying morality.
Knew I’d have to come to Brazil to crack it.
I’m north and east of Sao Paulo, now, where the winter sun beats hotter and the Atlantic laps brutalized shores. I should have come before. Should have come when Gabriel Medina won Brazil’s first title in 2014. Should have come when Adriano de Souza won right after him in 2015 except Kelly Slater forced me to forget. Should have come in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 when Medina won, Italo Ferreira won, Filipe Toledo won but I’m here now and a grande atração.
Did you know that Portugal moved its capital to Brazil in the 1800s? Sailed it straight from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro and settled it for fourteen years?
Here’s a rumor for you, drawn from multiple sources and pieced together with order and progress. World Surf League owner Dirk Ziff ain’t dumb. He knows that Bailey Ladders is not exactly a “vector of success.” Knows off-brand digital wallets aren’t “synergies of achievement.”
But think about it, cara esperto. He brought Logan in to head up the new WSL Studios but what did the studios make?
Folded after a couple of press releases yet the Oklahoman with the wetsuit of armor was promoted. Promoted all the way to the top spot where he continued to utterly and publicly fail. The Ultimate Surfer? The Trestles Final Five? Introducing Covid to the Hawaiian Islands?
Do you think Dirk Ziff is that dumb?
No, irmão. He ain’t that dumb. He had a plan and that plan both was and is pools. Specifically, the new Kelly Slater Surf Ranch almost finished in Abu Dhabi. I’ve got it that Ziff is selling the whole shooting match to a gulf (Persian not Mexican) interest that will disappear the “annoyance” of lousy forecasts, waiting periods, inability to monetize live crowd all while using the World Surf League’s notable sport/greenwashing ability.
He needed Logan to fully tank this current iteration, this weird hold over from the Association of Surfing Professionals days which was held over from whatever Bronzed Aussie Ian Cairns dreamed up.
So it all goes to the Middle East.
But it all belongs in Brazil.
It has smacked me in the jaw since I’ve been here. Brazil is the natural home of competitive professional surfing. Smacked me and smacked me hard.
They have an appetite for weird niche here. Like dance fighting, foot volleyball, serious innertubing. Gabriel Media is as famous as soccer players. Tens upon tens of thousands pack the beach to applaud air reverses. Death is wished upon referees, competitors, judges who “get it wrong.
On broadcast television.
They care here unlike anywhere else. Care while producing the best crop of current and upcoming surf talent. Really, the only crop of current and upcoming surf talent, if we pause and be honest.
Ziff should move his capital to Brazil, like Maria I of Portugal did, but won’t and isn’t. Logan was needed to make a mockery out of it all. The perfect clown but what did he do, specifically, to be vanished so heartlessly and where is he now?
I think I’ve figured that horror out too, pessoa legal.
I’ll give it to you, tomorrow, if you still care.
But first I’ve got to sacrifice a chicken.