I’m in total agreement with Patrick Willis‘ skepticism. Can you imagine seeing the 49ers’ right tackle paddling out and catching multiple waves? Me neither, although I wish video existed of this surf session so we could see for ourselves. Screw Laird Hamilton getting towed out on a jet ski, or even Kelly Slater precisely carving up waves en route to his 12th World Championship. (Did you know Slater turned 40 on Feb. 11? Insane.) I want to see Mr. “I kick ass for a living” get barreled, or at least see his large, 6’5″ frame cruise to the shore in the whitewater.
Surfing is as humbling an endeavor as one could try (except perhaps for golf, for wildly different reasons). It doesn’t matter how strong you are. Nobody’s ready for the first time they try paddling through an oncoming wave instead of duck-diving — only to end up dislodged from the board with a stomach full of saltwater.
It got me thinking: who else in Bay Area sports would be among the unlikeliest of candidates to tackle North Shore? Here’s a Friday list for your consumption before I head out to Ocean Beach … before normal February weather returns:
1. Bartolo Colon, Oakland A’s
We start with perhaps the most obvious local pro athlete on the list. Here’s a little known fact about Colon, who recently joined the Athletics as a part of Billy Beane’s recent “We have some really big jerseys to fill, so why the hell not” signing spree: besides times when he lies down or sits in a really high chair, both of Colon’s feet have never been off the ground at the same time.
2. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
Dylan McKay might have been one hell of a drunk surfer back in the day, but in real life it’s actually extremely hard to keep one’s balance on a piece of fiberglass-coated foam pushed by thousands of pounds of rapidly moving water while intoxicated. Feel free to invite Seabass on your surfing excursions if you want someone to sit around and guard your stuff, but don’t expect to see any Red Stripes left in the cooler when you paddle in.
3. Andris Biedrins, Golden State Warriors
This is less about body type, more about attitude. At this point, I can’t imagine Biedrins doing anything in his off-time besides sitting in a chair facing the wall, staring blankly, wishing he was free from his NBA prison. He’s one of those guys who’d go to Hawaii with friends, and when everyone else heads out to the beach he’d complain about being too tired and stay behind to watch Night Court reruns on the 27-inch Magnavox TV from 1992. Like I wrote last night, Biedrins needs a change of scenery (and maybe some Prozac).
4. Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants
Surfing is physically strenuous, but it also takes a carefree attitude and outlook to become one with the ocean. Just ask Barry Zito, brah. Huff isn’t too tall or big to surf — he’s too rigid. He’s got a bad back, he always seems like he’s pissed off about something, and in the water he’d constantly be fighting against nature. After one time getting rolled up in the whitewater, Huff would be out of there in an instant, cursing his whole way back to the hotel bar.
5. Anthony Davis, San Francisco 49ers
He’s got a few things going in his favor: he’s young (22), fairly agile (for a guy over 320 pounds) and fearless. But surfing North Shore isn’t like Cowell’s in Santa Cruz. We’re talking massive waves at times, and Davis (I’m guessing) is an oversized grommet. Davis is also massive, which means he’d need one of the most buoyant longboards available, and even then getting up twice would be a challenge. Davis maintains he was up for it though, and who are we to question the guy who tried to rip Ndamukong Suh’s head off?