There have been some interesting hands dealt in recent WCT wildcard stakes. Less than two weeks ago, Dane Reynolds and Cam Richards went tweet-for-tweet in their quests for a card into the Hurley Lowers Pro. Social media went berserk, Dane won and you’ve probably heard enough of that story. But just yesterday, in the dreamy blue waters of Tahiti, another wildcard crusade took a turn for the unusual. It came in the form of a flying fist.
In the Billabong Pro Tahiti trials, Jamie O’Brien was in pursuit of measly 3-point ride as the clock struck :30. A wave — an opportunity — arose and Ricardo dos Santos was having none of it. He too needed a score. Jamie O and Ricardo dos paddled-battled, with Ricardo getting the deeper end of the stick. Both surfers caught the wave and stood up and Jamie, in a bout of frustration, punched Ricardo in the face.
Jamie Foxx did not tweet about it.
Neither surfed walked away with the wildcard. Jamie later apologized, both personally and publicly, and Ricardo graciously accepted.
Some zealots might shout that this was a senseless act of violence literally at the hands of J.O.B. Others might scrutinize and stereotype R.D.S. for his paddle-battling. Some may even applaud this as the foundation for a bridge of the evidently close gap between MMA and surfing. But we are just happy that Brody Jenner didn’t get involved.