10 years ago, society would have viewed the extent of today’s social media as nothing short of pervasive—we wouldn’t have been wrong, either. This form of media invites others into our lives, while simultaneously allowing us control over exactly what parts of our lives that we want to be perceived as our identity. Here’s a picture of a pizza. I love pizza. Here’s a picture of a bike. I love to ride bikes. Any notion of pervasiveness requires a willingness from the user to partake, to control this perception. And for this reason, certain, how to put it, digital behaviors are startling, especially when it comes to professional cyclists. Behold:
By all accounts, this should be the Golden Age of fandom. Anyone with a phone has unprecedented access into the unscripted lives of their favorite athletes. The curtain has been pulled back, and we can finally gaze upon the visage of athletic heroism, epic climbs, and elbow rubbing with the true legends of the sport. Instead, social media is more like a weird sideshow of Europeans behaving badly, or in the case of Filippo Pozzato’s Instagram, a year’s long queue of duck-facing selfies…a lot of duck-facing.
Now, “Pippo” Pozzato is no slouch. He’s been pro since 2000, rode for Mapei-Quick Step, won stages in the Tour, wore the Italian National Champion’s jersey, and even won Milan-San Remo in 2006. Contrary to this, he’s probably better known for having some pretty bad tattoos, an unruly mane of hair, some questionable race tactics, and now, for having a penchant for weird selfies.
A smarter man than myself once said that we should hope to be judged by the content of our character. And while I’m hesitant to judge anyone, I highly doubt that Paolo Bettini is behaving in such a manner at this very moment. If this is how you wish to be known, Filippo, I beg you to remember that the internet is forever. FOR-EV-ER.
Then again, this behavior was most likely pretty boiler plate on the Fassa Bortolo squad.
To be fair, though, the past was the past. So, if I’m going to throw salt, it might as well be mined from the Lampre vault. Lucky for Pozatto, and all his bro’iness aside, I can tell that Filippo is probably just having a bit of ol’ fun, unlike a Lampre rider before his time, Santambrogio, who’s just kind of sad at everything.
Regardless of whether we view these antics as bad behavior or just a good time, it’s important to note that both are rather pandemic…
No matter how many Grand Tours you’ve won.
Believe me there’s way more.
Photos via instagram.com/pippopozzato