Thanks, everyone for your thoughtful comments on my earlier post, especially regarding the LATimes article about performance enhancing drugs. Some people felt the piece was legitimate opinion, others thought it was mud-slinging. What we all seem to agree on is that Roger and Rafa are great champions until proven otherwise!
It’s been such a great week for tennis, that inevitably, there’s going to be some backlash. Click here for a real head-scratcher from CBS Sports, titled, “Ladies and gentlemen, tennis has left the building.”
I guess this is one of those “fact-pinion” pieces, where some guy has a hunch and just goes on and on about it. Here’s his opening:
It’s gone, and it’s not coming back. Tennis, I mean. There are too many sports, too many relevant sports, clogging our athletic arteries for tennis to have a chance. This past weekend of Wimbledon, a weekend some people are saying could save tennis, won’t save squat. It wasn’t a rebirth of a sport. It was a clot, nothing more, and now it’s gone.
This isn’t scientific research, but it’s something. After the epic Wimbledon final Sunday between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, I went to a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Cincinnati on Monday. I went to a Play It Again Sports in a Cincinnati suburb on Tuesday. And then because I was in South Florida for business on Wednesday, I went to a Sports Authority shop.
And in those locations, according to store employees, here’s the impact Wimbledon had on tennis sales:
None. Zilch. Love.
Uh, yeah, you’re right, that’s not really scientific (or journalistic!). And the funny thing is, all he needed to do was check out the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (sgma.org), to find a pile of free studies showing that tennis related sales and participation are increasing. And if people aren’t interested in tennis, anymore, why did November’s Davis Cup final in Portland*, Oregon, sell out in thirty minutes, and how did the US Open break attendance records with over 700,000 visitors last year? Heck, he could’ve asked me – I had a hell of a time buying grounds passes for the upcoming Open (for the first weekend, not the final) even though I went online the minute the tickets went on sale. (It would be nice if tennis were a little less popular!)
This piece includes other nonsense:
“With the exception of the French Open, which has eluded him just as severely as it eluded Sampras, Federer has had nobody to play with on grass or concrete. Now Nadal is ready, but the moment is gone. “
– Rafa’s been challenging Fed for the past three Wimbledons. He’s hardly an emerging talent or rival. And Federer has made it to the past three French Open finals – Sampras never made it that far. Also, why is the moment gone, exactly? Did Roger retire?
“Men killed off tennis, providing a mediocre stretch as the 20th century yielded to the 21st, and Federer finally filled the void all too well by winning as brilliantly as Borg but as boringly as Edberg.”
Yep, Federer is so frigging boring. No argument here.
“(Tennis is) so irrelevant, Andrea Jaeger’s admission last week that she threw the 1983 Wimbledon final to Martina Navratilova was barely newsworthy. Even if you did happen to see the headline, I’m betting you didn’t read the actual story. Jaeger didn’t throw the match out of greed but out of guilt, saying she felt terrible about interrupting Navratilova’s concentration the day before the final, when she’d barged into Navratilova’s flat after arguing with her father.“
– Actually, I did read the story (click here) and Andrea Jaeger’s “admission” was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard – borderline crazy. Martina has 9* Wimbledon singles titles, Jaeger has none. This story got the lack of attention it deserved!
Seriously, I love the attention tennis is getting, but hate the crap these tennis no-nothings are putting out, in the guise of real journalism. They have some learning to do. Makes me love the Bodos and Wertheims that much more.