Sunday, January 13, 2008

Surfers Threaten 'The American Way'


PRINCETON BY THE SEA, CALIF. -- -- Mavericks, a rock-studded, once-secret surf spot named after a dog, looked for all the world Saturday like the Super Bowl of big wave riding as thousands of people streamed to this fishing hamlet to see two dozen surfers challenge one of the world's most dangerous breaks.

The event was broadcast on a large-screen TV at the beach with a ride-by-ride announcer, including instant replays, and at the Giants baseball stadium by the bay in San Francisco.

As the contestants took breathtaking drops and carved long lines across thundering waves, the area just to the south of them looked like McCovey Cove when Giants slugger Barry Bonds was chasing the all-time home run record. In addition to a flotilla of 50 party boats, there were several kayaks, spectator surfboards and a Coast Guard cutter.

Organizers said 250,000 people watched the contest on a Web cast and more than 1,000 paid to view it on the big screen at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

At the end of the day, the contestants chose the experience over money. "The sun was shining; there was no wind and plenty of swell. You could ask for nothing more," said the winner, Greg Long of San Clemente, who received $30,000.

"As we paddled out for the finals and were sitting there, we decided we would take the first through sixth-place money [$57,000] and divide it," he said. "The camaraderie was beyond anything I had experienced."

Not only is $57 large chump change for 1st through 6th place in a competition watched by 300,000 spectators, then the damn commie surfers decide amongst themselves to split the money!

I used to be a surfer, and I understand this sentiment, but the kind of idealism that puts love of the sport over love of money could ruin the runaway greed capitalism of sports, a microcosm of runaway greed all across corporate America!

And the reason that would be a bad idea is.......?

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