Things got real heated behind the WSL desk a few mornings back. Punches were very nearly thrown. For a moment I thought Joe Turpel was going to have to step in and break things up.
In the floral blue and white corner was 1989 world champion Martin “Pottz” Potter, who as a surfer was considered progressive, even radical — who was once described by Surfing Magazine as possessing “the ineffable air of cool” — but who as a commentator has regressed into a bastion of conservatism and safe, efficient surfing. It would not surprise me greatly to learn he has the judging criteria tattooed on his forearm.
In the cream corner was the dashing Strider Wasilewski, sporting a buttoned-up polo shirt and heavily-gelled new hairstyle. His middle name is Rasberry, which for some reason seems appropriate.
It was in fact a rematch of an only marginally less vicious bout that took place a few days earlier during the Women’s Pro, following the news of John John’s injury. This encounter followed a similar pattern, Pottz saying all this free-surfing is bad for the sport, Strider having none of it.
“I’m not saying hold back, I’m saying just tone it down a bit,” backtracked Pottz in response to Strider’s objections. And I’m not saying Pottz is wrong, just that he’s talking shite and Strider remains undefeated.
But perhaps the matter should be resolved once and for all — on the Morning Show, over 12 rounds, with Joe Turpel commentating.