A surf journalist on an epic quest finds a mythical non-surfing WSL fan after being mistaken for oft-married skateboarder Tony Hawk, gets mildly depressed before having the ultimate revelation!
I will prevail.
Elation reached 70 miles outside of Oklahoma City and I thought, “So here we go!” The Volkswagen, new throttle body installed, sped along the 40’s at a comfortable pace, though dread clawed at the edges of my already frayed psyche. Tractor-trucks or tractor-trailers depending on your regional preference outnumber cars 20 – 1 on this stretch of beggar, rumbling, rumbling, swaying. Driving was like kicking a boogie board into a SUP-exclusive slab, if such a thing exists, and trying to poach a few turns.
But there I was, anyway, glad I hit Weatherford, Oklahoma, I saw a sign celebrating it as “home of astronaut Thomas P. Stafford.”
Thomas P. Stafford?
Never heard of him, no, and if a minor league astronaut is so famous, Oklahoma City’s Erik “ELo” Logan would surely be so praised outside his home?
Who has a better story? One of the twenty-four people who flew to the moon or the boy with Spielberg-induced fear of the ocean overcoming all obstacles, through the aid of a magical suit of armor, to rule the competitive professional surfing as CEO of the World Surf League?
Erik E. Lo. Logan, it goes without writing.
Punctuating my instincts, a glorious rainbow spread across the skies, crowning Oklahoma City like a halo as if to say, “This is where you find your pot of gold. This is where the legendary non-surfer WSL fan shoots out of the ground like wheat or anything that grows in Oklahoma.
The hour of the white knuckles scare passed and there I was. Oklahoma City. Welcome to the above. Except there was no sign but… maybe it’s etched in people’s hearts? I checked into the Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown hotel, ready to pounce, the phone buzzing violently in my pocket.
Expect. Why was it buzzing violently?
I checked and, if you can even believe it, it was a message from Logan himself.
“OK ? !”
The epic quest had clearly taken on a life of its own.
“I am here!” I answered. “Epic Quest!”
He told me that the Skirvin, the oldest hotel in Oklahoma City, is haunted and “So go to Norman.” I have to see Barry Switzer.
But let me pause the story here. I assumed that Logan knew I was in Oklahoma City due to public interest in my epic quest, also wondering if such a myth as the non-surfing WSL fan existed. But how did he know that Barry Switzer is one of my all-time favorite coaches?
A beacon in my young life?
For the illiterate, Barry Layne Switzer, born October 5, 1937, coached at the University of Oklahoma for sixteen years, winning three national championships and then, in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, winning the Super Bowl. He’s a legend, boasting one of the highest winning percentages in college history, and also one of only three coaches to have won both a college national championship and a Super Bowl.
But that doesn’t make him one of my favorite coaches of all time. He’s one of my favorite coaches of all time because he recruited Brian Keith Bosworth out of Oklahoma and The Boz absolutely reigned supreme.
I can’t afford to stay here anymore, but Brian Bosworth broke the mould. He played with a Mohawk, got arrested for shooting steroids, took off his jersey to reveal a shirt that read “NCAA: National Communists Against Athletes” when he was suspended.
Read his biographylike I did in elementary school, for inspiration.
Back to the story, I sat there staring at my phone thinking, “If I could actually meet Barry Switzer from an ELo hookup, I couldn’t have fun doing the WSL for at least a week.” And what a power move. What a flex boss. Logan had mopped the floor with me once on a podcast. This, this right here would kill me again. I’d be mush in the hands of Switzer, spooned, eternally sealing the wall of positive noise in the service of his CEO, or at least for a week or forever.
Logan sent me photos of him and Barry Switzer, proving his bona fides, which made me swoon, and then delivered on his promise, having a group chat with me, Switzer, and Switzer’s wife, Becky, with a nice introduction.
Maybe end in Norman, Oklahoma, home to the University of Oklahoma and Barry Switzer? The home of the non-surfing World Surf League fan? Absolute end to my completely eroded credibility?
How late it was, at that time, and I didn’t expect the Swiss to be up at such an hour, but I was mortified that Erik “ELo” Logan wiped the floor with me again. . You don’t become a Great American Tale, or the CEO of the World Surf League, without skills, I guess.
I tossed and turned all night, checking my phone as soon as I woke up.
” I do not know you. It’s my handbag! »
“I have no idea what those last two comments are, I didn’t write them. Barry is at the lake, I’ll send him this request. Hope all is well.
“Dogs can’t look up.”
“Cats always look down.”
“Mice never frown.”
Barry Switzer’s wife’s number was apparently correct. Apparently Barry Switzer’s number now belonged to a prankster who revealed, “I’ve had this number forever and I always get calls for Barry AND Becky. Have you all shared this number at some point? We are all married? I need tea.
To which Mrs. Switzer replied…
“Totally strange. Stop all messages for me.
I punched both Mrs. Switzer and the stranger, begging the former to meet her husband and shake hands with Brian Bosworth. Beg the intruder if he or she knew anything about competitive professional surfing.
Neither responded and although I’m slightly mourning the outcome, I’m equally thrilled that I can now continue the fun forever or at least a week.
As an aside, I asked the fraternity boys down the street, the worker bees eating late at the restaurant, the hotel front desk staff, the man who almost hit me with a car they had already heard of competitive professional surfing.
The shared answer was “no”.
And Barry Switzer may be just a bowl of Oklahoma dust in the wind of my dream, but I’m racing towards Memphis, Tennessee and Elvis Presley’s Graceland.
Land of Grace.
I will prevail.
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