Here we are on a sleepy Sunday evening, dinner finished, laundry folded, the last embers of weekend dying out, when a neighbor comes knocking. "60 Minutes is about to run a segment on surfing," they say, reminding me about a news show I frankly assumed had stopped airing years ago.
Flick on the TV and sure enough, there's perfect-haired Anderson Cooper, possibly a robot not sure how to tell, perched on a stool, introducing…Garrett McNamara and his relationship with Nazaré.
G-Mac, in 2018? Why, I wondered.
Honestly, not quite sure. This would have been a wonderful segment to run 5 or so years ago when G-Mac was wearing Mercedes-designed life vests while riding Mercedes-designed tow boards. Ruling the European big wave scene.
But I can't quite put my finger on what G-Mac has done lately to warrant this kind of press. Until that is, Rodrigo Koxa is shown accepting an award for Biggest Wave Ever Surfed, for a monster Nazaré hammer, nudging G-Mac from his pedestal as previous record holder.
An introspective G-Mac then wanders around the charming town of Nazaré, hands in pockets, wondering what happens now, also explaining that he just doesn't care about tracking down the biggest waves in the world anymore. His awful wipeout at Mavs a couple years back has shifted his priorities, you see. He's got a child now too.
Oh, also, they drive Cooper out into some pretty big surf on the back of a jet ski. They tip the ski over, Cooper tastes the Atlantic, his hair unmussed.
What's interesting about all of this though, is that once again, a mainstream interview is more compelling, more deep-diving than one done by a surf media rep. The genuine disbelief of Cooper has a lot to do with it. He asks the mundane questions we wouldn't think to ask about being afraid, and pointing out the absurdity of a life chasing giant waves without any irony or fear of not looking cool.
It's a damn good interview, is what I'm saying. Give it a look.