My point is this: Had Campbell won in ’98, he’d belong to that category of damned-with-faint-praise world champs, like PT, Hardman, and CJ Hobgood, stamped with all those flaccid adjectives like “consistent” and “determined. ” Surf cynics right now would be shit-talking his championship, or at the very least saying that a World Tour capable of putting Mick on top without an event win in 1998, rather than Slater or Occy or Sunny, was a World Tour too lame to matter.
Forget what you know about the modern World Championship Tour for a moment and picture this: an international surf contest with no bracket formats, no elimination rounds, no priority rules, and no big prize purse—just 24 surfers thrown into a single heat to scramble for scores.
He’s the feisty little fucker with the wide grin, a smart mouth, and an even smarter right hook (used it to take out Andy Irons with a single punch in a blink-and-its-over post-heat brawl in France in 2000), who fell steadily down the ratings after his big title shot, dropped out of sight for a couple years nursing a bum back and raising a 25-pound beer gut, then returned in ’07, fit as a flea and surfing better than ever, for a three-year WCT encore.
Read more here: Surfer Mag