What if Surfing had a Ryder Cup?

Surfing doesn’t top many charts and isn’t close to important in terms of money which I’m thinking of this because I am sitting here with a friend who is very strong minded like myself, and we both agree hands down that Surfing, with its world wide athlete base is lacking something. Surfers are one of the most unique groups of people on one of the most heterogeneous tours on earth. Men and women from oceans, beaches, countries, and upbringings all over the world compete for the same goal on different stages each event. These same people travel and develop life long friendships while chasing that common goal, no matter the almost snowflake-like paths they have taken to reach there. Ok wait that sounded pretty bro. More or less just Tarentino’d this story but with an adverse result. I digress.
My strong minded friend many of you may know or at least have read something strong minded of his, which you probably didn’t agree with. Jimmy Wilson. The difference is Jimmy is right a whole lot more than I, but both strong minded none the less, and nothing short of passionate about what we believe in. For lack of using derogatory terms. Back to the story. James Cane and myself were sitting around watching ESPN as Team USA just blanked Mexico 2-0, and with a little heyoooo from Honduras having secured their spot in the 2014 World Cup, a world stage, fighting for their country, against guys that on other pitches, under different circumstances may be “their boy”, “teammate”,  or the “so glad he’s on my team” guy that you suit up and do battle with throughout a season. The difference is, on this pitch, under these circumstances, “that guy”, is not “your boy.” Hell he’s not even “your friend.” He’s whatever country he represents on that garment, with those colors, for that flag, he’s “Them.”
In the name of sport people, that is it. The Olympics are obviously a prime example here, not modern day olympics, the old Olympics. Not way old Olympics, the Olympics that went down sometime between when it was 14 nations and 241 athletes in 1896 and the highly diluted 10500 competitors from 204 nations of 2012. Somewhere in there. Where I am going with this is you don’t need to be in the Olympics to win for your country. There are only a few sports that seem to understand that and one of them is about to dilute their side bet in the near future by attempting what surfing has hopefully already figured out. Some sports just don’t need an Olympic presence. By that I mean golf. Which has the aforementioned Ryder Cup.
ryder-cup1 Ryder Cup - Preview Day 2
The reason I keep returning to the Ryder Cup is because golf, like soccer, and surfing, heck even sailing, has its tours, leagues, or seasons where players from multiple countries compete on teams as teammates, or travel on tours competing for a prize. The competitors while from different countries and cultural backgrounds travel together, play together, practice together, train together, learn together, sometimes live together. But for that one period of time every 2 or 4 or however many years your side bet comes along those friends and teammates become the proverbial “Them.” And anyone who has ever competed for anything they truly want, whether it be a slice of pizza or a World Cup knows, beating “Them” for “Us” is the best sauce on earth. There is and always will be winners and losers. Look at the sales numbers, Nielson ratings, or any scale of GDP-like numbers anytime an event like the World Cup, Ryder Cup, America’s Cup, President’s Cup, or shit why not the Olympics is up on deck. People love their countries, I know I do, and people love winning, god knows I do, but the one thing that is clear as day…when it comes to losing something of that magnitude, it’s “Them” that goes home early to train for that next season with their “friends.” Not “Us.”
Surfing, you can call it The Ripko Cup, you’re welcome.



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