A Quick Chat with CJ Hobgood

4 01 2010

Everyone loves CJ Hobgood. Photo by Jimmicane

Clifton James Hobgood has seemingly been a permanent fixture in the top 10 ever since his first season on the ASP World Championship Tour when he was named rookie of the year. Even though he finished seventh in the ratings, he calls 2009 his “worst year on tour” because he didn’t win an event. Balance may be the best word that sums up CJ today. At the moment he is juggling an ex-wife, a newish girlfriend and raising his daughter Genevieve. In 2010 CJ will embark on his 12th year on tour. I had a quick chat with him about what’s going on in his life and his dry sense of humor took over.

How does it feel to be back at home after another long season?
It’s like Florida out there (on tour)! Feels like home.

I heard you rent a room in your brother’s house on the water?  
Room or house however you say it, but yeah it’s on the water and my bro’s the landlord. But I pay on time.

You have a daughter. How difficult is it raising a little girl when you are away from home so much?
It’s not easy raising a child period, but it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do.

How long have you been on tour now? Wasn’t Bobby Bowden in diapers your rookie year?
Me and Sunny (Garcia) started the tour at the same time. Ah, am I a senior citizen on tour I guess. But, hey, I’m from Florida. Everyone’s old here.

At the midpoint of the season you were second in the world and in title contention. Are you happy with your results in 2009?
No. Last year was my worst year on tour. I didn’t win a contest.

What are your goals for 2010?
To win a contest and hopefully have the most points.

Is there a lot more pressure to get results early with the reshuffling of the deck so to speak at the midway point and whittling down of the top 44 to 32?
Change is always good, but with the changes some people will get the shaft and some will benefit…just the way it is. To win a title you will have to get results all year so hopefully that’s the case.

Are you happy with the new direction and changes on tour this year?
I’m happy with changes. It keeps it interesting for an old man like me.

You and Damien kind of lead the charge with web sites/blogs to connect with the fans. Now it seems every surfer has one. But you guys do it all yourself right?
It’s this program that me and Damien developed where athletes can have there blogs run for them. They just have to plug in some stuff on the back end and voila. So in theory… no.

Two of the Gudauskas brothers are now on tour. Are you going to show them who’s boss, give them a rookie hazing and let them know they have no shot at taking on team Hobgood as the best sibling duo on tour?
I already hacked their blog and sent their computers some viruses.

You and Damien are lumped together so much. How do you different in personality and opinion?
We’re the same person? Opinion? What is that?

Do you have another world title in you?
Yes sir.

For more on all things Hobgood visit The Goods Life.





ESPN Surfing Web Site Review Part II (Simple Jack Strikes Back)

21 08 2009

Simple Jake

Kirk Lazarus: Everybody knows you never go full retard.

Tugg Speedman: What do you mean?

Kirk Lazarus: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, ‘Rain Man,’ look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho’. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, ‘Forrest Gump.’ Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain’t retarded. Peter Sellers, “Being There.” Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don’t buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, “I Am Sam.” Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed…

“Never go full retard.”

I think someone forgot to give ESPN Surfing’s Jake Howard this nugget of advice. If they gave out an award for the best surfing web site, ESPN Surfing would certainly go home empty handed.

A little back story…

Two weeks ago I reviewed ESPN’s surfing blog. According to the official Nugable.com stats it was the second most-read post in this humble blog’s existence. In it I basically called Jake Howard the Caucasian version of Barry Bonds. I actually wrote “If Barry Bonds was sheet white and wore a corn husk toupe he would look just like Jake Howard.” This was the accompanying image.

barr_jake

Then something happened. Perhaps Mr. Howard reads Nugable. I don’t know. But sure as shit, he changed his mugshot photo on the blog.

Jake Howard

Now he looks like Simple Jack Jake from ‘Tropic Thunder” for chrissakes. This shit is just too good to be true.  And to top it off he fired back with this attempt at humor. In it Howard states “we here at ESPN take our surfing seriously.” I think that’s kind of special considering the surfing community doesn’t take ESPN seriously. As Bill Simmons would say; the unintentional comedy factor is off the charts.

It gets better. You know that pre-teen Vietnamese heroin kingpin who holds Simple Jack hostage “Tropic Thunder?” It looks like ESPN has hired him too.

Ito

Since then the ESPN Surfing crew has posted a month-old video of Kelly Slater on SportsCenter. Call me hard to please but one would think since ESPN owns the site they would have posted it a little sooner…like the day after the interview.  I think Transworld even scooped them on this a day before. When you have 5 dedicated writers and Transworld Surf scoops you, it’s time to reevaluate things.

Their latest post is about love-starved sharks that listen to Barry White. I’m not kidding. They also have mini-blog dedicated to a hurricane that should produce epic surf along the Eastern seaboard. Man those Right Coasters must be hurting for waves. Good for them. Then they posted a fantastic video of a surfing juggler they stole borrowed from the Hobgoods blog. And the kicker is a piece about a Disney-owned wave pool contest in Florida. Way to wave the Disney/ESPN rainbow flag guys. I can’t wait to see what ESPN has planned for professional surfing. It’s going to be “special.”