Monday, April 11, 2016
Keep Firing, Assholes.
Matt Hayman won Paris Roubaix yesterday, and hours later, Danny Willet won The Masters.
Who made that man a gunner? I said ACROSS her nose, not UP it.
I guess it's possible you might know the name Matt Hayman if you follow cycling closely enough, A veteran, almost 38 years old, who's ridden and finished 15 Paris Roubaixes. A big fella, lots of power, a cobble basher and journeyman, and capable of delivering a top 10 - but usually just a domestique for some of Orica GreenEdge's other, more talented riders. Certainly not the type of guy you'd think would outsprint Tom Boonen for the W after 260K of badassery.
Gunner's Mate, First Class, Phillip Asshole.
And Willet? Even if you're a golfer, which you're probably not considering you're reading this blog, but if you are, you also probably haven't heard of him. He's 28, only playing in his 2nd Masters Tourney, a largely unknown British kid who'd just had his first child and barely even showed up to The Masters. He was literally the last guy to show up on Monday before the tournament began. Capable of beating Jordan Spieth from 5 shots back on the back 9 on Sunday and wearing the green jacket? Oh hell no.
But - much to our collective bewilderment - that's exactly what happened.
In both cases, the underdog went unwatched, and suddenly became the top dog when the best of the best failed to deliver for one reason or another. Boonen admitted to underestimating Hayman. Cancellera crashed badly enough to be lucky to say he even finished. Sagan got caught out in the chaos and the mud, despite hucking his meat right over Fabian's bike and further into history as arguably the best bike handler to ever race in the Professional Peloton. Spieth, like Rory McElroy the day before, just plain fell apart in the same way so many of us do when we play golf and the goddamn ball just won't do what you tell it to for a few minutes. In the unlikeliest of scenarios, Sunday unravelled for the big names, and the smart money lost.
And really, I think that's why so many of us watch these sports. Not for all the times that Spieth wins (which he certainly will) or the 110 or so Victories that Boonen has chalked up in his career - but for the days like Sunday, where against all odds, the guy who is most like us wins.
Because in the absence of actual, winning level talent - which so very few of us have - sometimes sheer volume is enough.
Keep Firing, Assholes.