An uproar burst forth upon the seas of gentlemanly internet discourse this week when a SkateboardMag blog revealed a photo sequence of Anthony Pappalardo, known professional, plying his trade with a couple of ollies. “Foul” cried thousands, claiming that not only could they ollie themselves, but that neither ollie was particularly big or dangerous. Both of these statements are true, but uncovering the deeper, more long-winded truth requires a trip through time.
It was once the year 2000. Flying cars were commonplace, personal credit was freely available and Anthony Pappalardo was executing nollie heelflip frontside noseslides while making “urban” pants choices. But today the clock has rolled back, erasing years of economic growth and trick progression. Ollies are back. Cruising on a 70s-inspired skateboard is the choice of dreaded granolas and professional shoe endorsers alike and the most popular show on television wallows in the hair-grease and flop-sweat of philandering 1960s ad executives.
Christopher Colombus, in an apocryphal story that dates back even further, once strutted into a state dinner when a hater (of some description) stopped him, perchance to hate. The gist of it was that CC was not that hot of an explorer, and that the West Indies would’ve been inevitably found by anybody who pointed their boat far west enough, et cetera. Colombus famously ice-grilled the guy and then told them that he bet anybody he could make an egg stand on its end. After others tried and failed, Colombus squished in one end of the egg and stood it up, declaring “now that you’ve seen me do it, it would be easy for anyone.”
So too with Pappalardo? Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that Brooklyn woodshop. Someone on the Slap board said something to the effect that after watching the bonus footage on the “Prevent This Tragedy” DVD they were pissed at the blatant lack of effort APO seems to be putting forth, and after about 10 minutes of fast-forwarding, I saw the point (don’t ask me the time stamp, but he makes a couple half-hearted ollies onto a slanted plank on a hill, and bails an ollie).
You could make the argument though that there’s plenty of pro-types who’ve made their bones and sailed into their sunset years on a raft of coping slashes, frontside rocks and more recently switch 360 flips. Pappalardo may be pushing it as he retains a youthful look despite his hospital-patient pallor, and a pro model shoe may be kind of gratuitous, but I think he could still turn it on if he wanted to (citing the nollie 360 flip recently spun on Epicly Laterd). Does the fact that it’s a conscious decision make it more gratuitous? Or simply boost the level of his hustle?