Within a few hours the final at J-Bay, Mick Fanning’s shark experience turned the internet world upside down. It was everywhere. It still is, in fact. I’m tired of writing about it–not because I’m tired of the subject, but because I’m literally tired from writing about it. The subject, no matter what your thoughts on what it was (shark attack, or shark encounter?) is unprecedented. There has never been a shark (insert your thought on it here) in a final on a live webcast. That shit is mind-blowing. And people want to look at sharks. Discovery wouldn’t make Shark Week, otherwise. I wouldn’t have bought my nephew that shark book, otherwise. Sharks sell. So do their fins. That last part is fucking horrible.
In the span of around four terrifying seconds, Mick Fanning went from a person that was famous in the surf world to a person that was famous in the world. Memes popped up everywhere. Every news outlet (and TMZ) picked up the story. Facebook had it as their top story for a good while. Mick was more popular than Barack Obama on Google. Think about that for a second: a surfer was more searched than the leader of the free world.
Now the story has changed a bit. It’s grown legs, as they say. Julian Wilson’s heroics entered the fray, along with the WSL’s safety team and a whole bunch of shark haters/lovers. Mick Fanning originally said he might not compete anymore. Red Bull got a hold of the Shark Punching White Lightning the day after his boxing match to get his thoughts on a few things and clarify a couple of others. And since it’s only been a few days, nothing is all that clear… except one thing. Mick Fanning won’t be surfing on July 19th ever again. “I’m not thinking about whether I’ll go back at the moment,” he told them. “We’ll see how I feel. I’ll never surf on July 19 again, though.”