A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Friday, June 20, 2008

News and Notes from the Sporting World

A. Interleague play doesn't really bother me as a concept. Neither does the Wild Card. I don't think either of these things dilute the purity of the game. I think they make watching the games more exciting.

B. I, too, am excited about the Cross Town Classic, and predict the White Sox to take 2 of 3 this weekend. The other team just has too many fucking injuries.

C. Check out this Slate article detailing how batshit insane Kevin Garnett is. It shows video of him breaking down and weeping during a 2005 interview while talking about how much he hates losing
as well as his delirious/inexplicable postgame interview after the Celtics won Tuesday:


D. The Sports Guy wrote a column for ESPN The Magazine talking about how he doesn't care about tennis anymore and why:

"Once a successful mainstream sport, tennis now matters twice a year—during Wimbledon and the U.S. Open—and even then it's not like America shakes with Racket Fever or anything. The mainstream media still cover tennis, and the ratings for majors are still okay. But when was the last time you watched a big match from start to finish? When was the last time you attended one? When did you last have an argument about something tennis-related that didn't boil down to "Who do you think is hotter?"

Unlike golf, another time-sucking sport that appeals to a specific audience, tennis lacks a Tiger to keep it relevant. When tennis develops its own version of Tiger—first Pete Sampras, then Roger Federer—the guys do almost more damage than good. We see the best tennis stars as the Ping-Pong player at a family gathering who destroys all the uncles and cousins, and eventually kills everyone's interest in playing Ping-Pong for the day. Golf is a sport that hinges on luck and timing, streaks and slumps, and the quirks of different courses. So it's almost inconceivable for a golfer to dominate as Tiger has. But for Federer to dominate, it's completely conceivable. And boring.

Beyond that, a transcendent golfer may stick around for 40 years, and we're aware of this, so it's only natural for us to get more attached to him. We've known Tiger since he was crushing kids as a little guy, we knew him when his father passed away, and we'll know him when he's wearing a bad hairpiece and obliterating the Champions Tour in 2033. By contrast, a great tennis career always unfolds the same way: Guy kills himself for a few years getting to the top and staying there; guy gets bored; guy starts sleeping with actresses/models; guy drops in the rankings; guy makes a brief resurgence; guy loses hair and retires; guy disappears forever. This has to have happened 47 times since I was 10. I'd argue that we haven't attached ourselves to Federer because we know another Federer will eventually come off the assembly line. Because one always does."

A fair point. I still, however, may be one of the few die hards left in this country and am genuinely excited about the start of Wimbledon. Am I strange for still getting worked up about this sport?


Blogger Jefe said...

One thing about Wimbledon...Brad Gilbert SUCKS sooooo much. Not only is he a misogynist, he's just a total conceited idiot. And he antagonizes the other announcers.

11:42 AM


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