The time is ripe to dissect the GOAT debate and how it relates to being a Fedophile (click here for more on the term.) After all, one of Roger’s main GOAT rivals, Pete Sampras, holds the record for six consecutive years at No. 1 (not to be confused with consecutive weeks at No. 1, a record Roger owns) and as early as this Sunday, Rafa will destroy Roger’s hopes of ever besting this undeniably GOATy achievement.
Fedophiles are passionate about the GOAT factor. If you don’t know what GOAT stands for, you are a casual Fed fan, at best (but please, keep reading!) GOAT stands for Greatest of All Time and no Fedophile will be satisfied until everyone from Bjorn Borg to Barack Obama recognizes Roger Federer as the sole and eternal holder of this title.
It’s such an important Fedophile characteristic, that it’s possible to categorize these fans based solely on how they think about the GOAT debate. Remember, fellow Fedophiles, that I don’t mean to tease or ridicule, but to categorize and understand! To the outsider this might be confusing, like trying to tell the difference between Catholics and Episcopalians. “What does it matter,” you ask, “as long as you worship the same God?” Heathen!
FLAT EARTH FEDOPHILES
This group of Federer fans is defined by their limited world view – Roger has been the No. 1 player since the dawn of time and to speak of a strange, parallel universe where Fed doesn’t have a “1” by his name is taboo. Hard line Flat Earthers fear change to the status quo like Pete Seeger fans feared Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival. When people mention Roger’s slump, Rafa’s unbelievable 2008, or that Roger can’t realistically be No. 1 when he’s seventy-five years old, Flat Earthers will accuse you of being a Rafafile, a tennis ignoramus or a hater of all that is right and good in the world. Irrational, stubborn and ungracious? Yes! But to paraphrase the great Stephen Colbert: “Reality has a Fedofile Bias!”
An example from rogerfederer.com (all examples are post Rogers Cup): Dear Roger, I dont know, whats up. You are best. Please start practice (toil) and you win US Open, Olympic games and so on. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
FAMOUS FLAT EARTHERS: This is a populist group, represented mostly by people who leave defensive comments on blogs or tie up the BBC’s phone lines to complain about anti-Fed commentators (click here). The recent letter writer at the Down the Line! blog is a flawless example (click here) as is Marion Bartoli. I’m starting to suspect that Roger may be the most famous Flat Earth Fedophile of all.
This is an elite, high-minded club, who obscure their obsession with the GOAT designation by playing Devil’s Advocate or paying Rafa his due when he does things like win Roland Garros and Wimbledon back-to-back or win 100+ matches in a row on clay. Real or wannabe tennis “experts” often fall into this category. Historians will always point out that three of the four majors were played on grass whenever some old geezer goes on about Rod Laver winning the calendar year Grand Slam twice. These Fed fans will appear thoughtful, knowledgeable, even agnostic in their personal beliefs, but don’t let them fool you. They’d walk from Basel to the Burj Al Arab on their bare knees if it would get Roger that 15th slam (or an illusive French Open title, if you’re of the John McEnroe sect of Fedophile Historians.)
From rogerfederer.com: Hi Roger, I guessed the passion to win has gone. It looks like from the day you lost the Aussie Open, winning a tournament now is almost impossible. The question is…can you turn things around? Many of your fans believe you can but so far its all ended in false hope. Do something roger or else Halle will be your last win…
These fans don’t give a hoot about ranking points or Rafael Nadal. They declared Roger the GOAT in 2005 and will continue to believe even if Stockholm is the next and last tournament the man ever wins and Rafa goes on to win 20 Grand Slams as Brad Gilbert has started projecting. Think Flat Earthers without the self-flagellation and overriding sense of doom.
From rogerfederer.com: DEAR ROGER!!! REMEMBER THAT MOST TENNISISTS OF THE WORLD WOULD BE HAPPY TO WIN AT LEAST ONE GRAM SLAM OR MASTERS TITLE IN THEIR LIVES. YOU WON THEM MANY. SO YOU ARE THE BEST!!! LOVE YOU!!!
FAMOUS UNCONDITONALS: Mirka, Lynette and Robbie Federer, Gavin Rossdale
So what do you think Fedofiles, did I leave anyone out? And where do you fit into the GOAT debate? I think I’m a wanna-be Historian with strong Flat Earth tendencies.