Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - TWBARFs and Other Issues
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TWBARFs and Other Issues 12/21/2007 - 4:31 PM

Howdy. The office is all but abandoned, and New Yorkers are fleeing the city in droves to get an early start on the Christmas holidays. Don't know what y'all are doing, but Lisa, Cowboy Luke and I are going to spend the weekend with our friend Paul, in Washington DC. He's just back from almost two years in Iraq (he's with the State Dept.) and we have a lot to catch up on.Rockcenter

I plan to take the little cowpoke to the mall in Washington, one of my favorite places on the planet. I am a big fan of the Memorial to the Korean War; maybe I'll write about our visit next week.  Then, on Christmas Eve, we'll drive over to Easton, Md., to spend the holiday with Lisa's dad and stepmom. I'll be back in New York on Wednesday, but will have a Christmas Eve post for you (as well as one over at ESPN).

Meanwhile, there are a few odds and ends I want to tie up. And for tomorrow, I will publish a post that will enable some lucky reader to sample some succulent, prime steaks from the ranch operated by former doubles standout Alex O'Brien's family. So drop by tomorrow to check that out; if you win, you might be able to get the steaks in time for your New Year's celebration - and if you don't win, you might want to order some steaks anyway!

So. . .

There was a lot of talk earlier today in the Pete and Roger post about whether or not the recent Asian exhibition matches were "fixed" (in order to provide entertainment value), and I want to clear up a few misconceptions I found in those enthusiastic posts. I know how exhibitions are fixed; I've been in rooms when people have discussed it. I think you need to know how it's done before you start making accusations or drawing inferences or conclusions.

Usually, the agreement is to make the match "competitive", meaning that whoever wins the first set allows the opponent to win the second. The players usually tread water for most of the third, but it is always (in my experience)understood that, as the end of the match draws near, all bets are off. That is, there is no pre-determined winner - just a pre-determined degree of closeness in the match. That's what fixing an exo is all about - making sure the customers get sufficient "entertainment value."

Personally , I think it's preposterous to think the exos were fixed, and I'm surprised how many people buy into it, and don't see how badly that reflects on both Roger and Pete. On the whole, I also think that TWBARFs (Those Who Worship Before the Altar of Roger Federer) often make Federer less appealing to the rest of us, because they are so shrill and defensive on his behalf. Sorry folks, but some of you reallyl asked for it.

Okay, let's move on:

I had a call yesterday from Kris Dent, the ATP's Corporate Communications Director. He called from home (in London), in the evening, while chasing around his toddler, who was taking his (her?) first steps. The ATP folks read my recent ESPN post, in which I awarded them Dumbest Idea by a Major Sports Organization honors for their plan to name future tournaments for the number of ranking points they represent (1000s, 500s, and 250s). Chris basically said the ATP has  made no decision in that regard yet, nor has it canned the "Masters" concept. In fact, present-day Masters Series events may very well end up being called something like, "Toronto Masters Series 1000" (as opposed to "Toronto 1000").

"Whatever the new brand identity will be, we will want them (fans) to know how the event in question affects points and rankings," Kris told me. "We've been looking at the car industry and how that works. People seem to know the difference in designations like 250, 500, or 1000 when it comes to cars, so that's something to look at. And with numbers, there is no language problem. They're easily understood."

I understand what Kris is driving at (heh-heh) but, as I told him, I find it very hard to imagine that you can use the name of an event to explain how the tour and rankings work, unless you have a really streamlined tour and ranking system (which is not the case). That is, you will always have to know going in that the tour has different level events if you're going to understand that a 1000 and a 500 are different, no? How are you going to have a name that gives the proverbial "casual fan" that level of built-in information?  I just don't see it.

However, I will say that the ATP isn't just casting about, trying to come up with a solution. They are doing due diligence, with market research and surveys. That may leave you cold, but it is how people do business these days. As Kris later wrote to me:

We have undertaken considerable consumer research over the last 18 months and it is clear that many do not understand how the tennis season works or how our tournaments relate to each other.  The research has also told us that the Tour would be more understandable to fans if tournaments were linked to their winners ranking point levels of either “1000”, “500” or “250”.  We continue to undertake research and consult on the final identity and the final decisions will be approved by the Board in 2008.

I don't know, maybe I'm stupid, but (without having done any market research) it seems to me that something like the Miami Masters Gold, the Hamburg Silver and Sopot Bronze intuitively tells us a lot more than Miami Masters 1000, Hamburg 500, and Sopot 250 - especially if we have no prior knowledge of how the tour values different events, or how it awards ranking points.

Here's something good, though. Kris promised that he's going to try to set up an exclusive TW Question-and-Answer session with Etienne de Villiers himself. That is, you will be able to submit questions to Etienne (perhaps even live) and he will answer in real time. I'll keep you posted on that.

BTW, I will say this for the ATP - they acted swiftly and transparently to kill that stupid round-robin experiment, and in the end it was a "no foul, no harm" situation.

The third call I had was from Chris Widmaier, the US Open's head PR guy. He wanted me to share a few items of cheer pertaining to US tennis with you all for the holiday season, and I figured why the hail not. So here they are:

1-  All-Time US Open Attendance Record: The 2007 US Open final attendance total of 715,587 far surpassed the previous all-time high of 659,538 set in 2005.  US Open attendance has grown by more than 100,000 since 2000.  Total attendance of all pro tennis events in North America topped 2.8 million.

·  Record-Breaking Viewership for US Open Series:  US Open Series television viewership topped 46 million for the first time, more than doubling in the four years since the Series launch. In total, 121 million viewers tuned in to the US Open and US Open Series tournaments.

·  Fastest-Growing Participation of any Major Sport Since 2000:  More than 25 million Americans are now playing tennis.  This increase in participation has fueled the four best consecutive years of growth for industry sales since the 1970’s.

·  All-Time High USTA Membership: More than 720,000 members for the first time in history.

·  United States Wins Davis Cup: The U.S. captured its first Davis Cup title in 12 years.

Well, this is all good news, especially that bit about the improving numbers for viewership of the US Open Series. I have always been a big fan of that "Series" approach, which brings to mind something else that Kris Dent told me: The ATP believes that by moving the year-end championships back to London (they will be held in London's 02 arena starting in 2009), it will revive the fall European circuit - making it, in essence, a Fall Indoor Series culminating with a big celebration of the game.

That's good news, too.


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Posted by Ruth 12/22/2007 at 10:32 AM

Papo: If the ATP made it clear to all of the players -- and I mean very clear via memos etc -- that they were not to bet on tennis in any way, shape, or form, I think that the ATP's reaction/penalties are just fine, even relatively mild IMHO. Even though betting on matches not your own might be considered harmless, the fact that players have such easy access to each other would, I'm sure, make the practice of betting on other players' matches less than desirable.

However, if the ATP was wishy washy in their directives about players' betting on tennis before these infractions occurred, that would be a different story. I'm not sure about when the betting by the two latest players occurred; but if they bet after the first player's case was aired, they deserve to have the book thrown at them -- hard!

Posted by Annie 12/22/2007 at 10:53 AM

I've quite enjoyed Pete Bodo's writings in the past and was surprised to hear that in a lot of circles he's not taken seriously as a journalist. But saying a fan groups vocal defense has made a player unappealing and saying they deserved it is bottom of the barrel stuff. Can you at least excerise a bit of effort to not let various vocal fans comments influence your writing in the future? I mean as a tennis journalist who writes every few days on a blog where people comment constantly I would have thought you would already be doing that, but apparently not.

Posted by GVGirl(Fed KAD but I don't worship him) 12/22/2007 at 10:54 AM


Thanks. I knew Fed KAD's woiuld enjoy that one.

Posted by rudy3 12/22/2007 at 10:55 AM

In the midst of Rafalove, EtV is coming here to answer questions from the tribe. Guys got cajones!

Hey Pete, I've got a feel good Washington Mall story, just right for the holiday...

Last year we had a performance in Baltimore. So we took a day to take the train to DC, for a walk on the Mall. Now while we live in Texas, most of my boys were born in Mexico, Central or S. America, or Asia. And since trains and snow are foreign, the day glistened with adventure...

We took the train to Penn Station...and the kids thought we had arrived at "The Mall" *shakes head at the memory*..."No this is not THE mall, this is a shopping mall"..."Oh"...So out we go...

It was snowing, and not that pretty fluffy Colorado snow, but that sleeting, wet to the bone, driving mess. But when will you ever have a chance to see the White House again, we were intrepid...
First stop Capital the time we got to the White House, I had some disenters in the group, they were ready to find the nearest was cold and wet!!!!!!!!

For some reason several of us starting running to the Lincoln Memorial...then we slogged up the to the top and Vicente from Guatamala said..."Is this Hercules?"

Then to my surprise and delight they all became awed and emotional as they stood on the spot where Dr. King gave the famous "I Have A Dream". They couldn't enough pictures of themselves standing on the spot, looking out to the Capital. I have never been so cold and warm at the same time...

Happy Holidays to all !

Posted by Sam 12/22/2007 at 11:18 AM

rudy: That was a wonderful story!

GVGirl: Your new moniker is great too.

"Tim, what did you do, enroll in one of those 12-step quit the Kool-Aid programs?"

Tim is just behaving for the holidays. ;-)

Posted by Jay 12/22/2007 at 11:20 AM

I think I'm gonna...BARF. This post is awesome. You know if they're finding me on my obscure web page, that the BARFs are pretty fracking crazy. Ostensibly, they are trolling the internet looking for what they perceived to be negative information on Roger, a daily dose of Roger Porn, and that is more than a little sad. I'm curious as to what point our heroes stop being HUMAN BEINGS. What is the catalyst? The whole schmabob would be a good sociological experiment for AmyLu, or some other overworked grad student with zero time on their hands. I'm busy.

Because Roger doesn't exhibit the strong, in-your-face personality traits of someone like, say, Andy Roddick, it seems to me that it's easier for BARF-prone people to look at him through rose-colored bifocals. That's just silly. Change your prescription (i.e., your perspective) once in a while!

Posted by angel 12/22/2007 at 12:10 PM

I agree with you Pierre let's call the greatest players 'Federer'

Posted by Ruth 12/22/2007 at 12:23 PM

Thank you for that lovely story, rudy3.

Posted by vanfan 12/22/2007 at 12:23 PM

I think the TWBARNs are giving the TWBARFs a run for there money.

I like the idea of categorizing the different tiers in the universal language of Gold,Silver, and Bronze.

It seems to me that both tours are permanantly stuck in a state of flux. I just wish they would pick something and stick with it.

Posted by steggy 12/22/2007 at 12:45 PM

Annie: Who'd you hear that rumor from, other journalists?

Posted by Snoo Foo 12/22/2007 at 01:07 PM

The ones nobody could figure out were Myskina and freaking Mary Pierce! How could she have been so cute? does this mean when Andre gets older he's gonna look like her? Or wait... vice versa...?

Posted by Jay 12/22/2007 at 01:17 PM

Oh my God, Lindsay D's toddler pic is just creepy. Her features haven't changed in 28 years!

Henin and Roddick were the most unfortunate-looking. Still true for one of them.

Posted by temes 12/22/2007 at 01:26 PM

Mary Pierce! Not in a million years could I have guessed he was Mary Pierce. Poor boy.

I guessed Myskina though a few times for the other hard picture.

Posted by WHY? 12/22/2007 at 02:16 PM



Posted by VE 12/22/2007 at 02:46 PM

Um, this is a blog, not a piece of news writing. Pete is more than entitled to share his opinions in such a format. Being a journalist does not turn your blood into a truth serum where everything you say or write has to be 100% opinion-free.

Posted by 12/22/2007 at 04:12 PM

"I would imagine that marieJ, had she not been hampered with slow connection and an un-wireless keyboard coulda been a dominant "TW Poster of the Year""

had to lol at this jbrad :)
actually my connection was good... but the compu was from the neandertal ages see 2000... now i'm in a cyber with spanish keybord and that's making me slow !!
the new compu is really easy going to use... but tks for thinking i deserved another poster of the year award...

ok off to dinner... well not hungry since i had hot fudge chocolate with "porras" kind of breadstick fried donuts ! heavy on the stomach :p

have a "buon nadal" just like me ;)

Posted by marieJ 12/22/2007 at 04:20 PM

4.12pm was me oups !

TWBARF : excellent !
EdV here ?

i hope i does not bring the langue de bois or he'll get TWBOOED ;)

catch you qnother day !!!

Posted by Mitch 12/22/2007 at 04:39 PM

Pete, I dont get it, I thought since starting my campaign for President of the TWBARF association, I'd actuallly been downing double shots of KA... but dont you worry, I'm as relentless, snarky and difficult as ever, and when I win the election you'll get an earful worthy of Sean Hannity on any assaults of TMF's fashion, fashionista friends or other hot button topics ..

til then, ho ho ho, happy holidays, as Sam said, Ill be a perfect angel ...

by the way I think the whole reason this site rocks is because Pete IS opinionated (and of course dead wrong some of the time..hehe), which we all feed off of and enjoy ... this place aint for the weak hearted lol

Posted by Tim (for TWBARF prez) 12/22/2007 at 04:42 PM

my friend visitng here wants to post on TW and get me in trouble but I said no, no no!

Posted by Rosangel 12/22/2007 at 05:13 PM

It might not make Roger Federer less appealing in an objective sense, but some of the stuff that gets spewed in his so-called "defence" definitely makes him less appealing as a topic of conversation. He's already by far the most-discussed player on this board, so the subject is virtually impossible to avoid unless you exile yourself from al such conversations. All the extreme TWBARF stuff just makes it more difficult to do conduct those conversations, especially if you're not his greatest fan, and probably even if you are one of his biggest admirers - it crops up at times when all you are trying to do is maintain a balanced outlook, and have an interest in discussing questions beyond fandom and who's hott and who's nott.

I'll say again (I am so tired of discussing this subject it hurts every time it's raised, but I've been called out on it twice this week) - I am pretty indifferent to Roger Federer as a personality, while respecting his achievements, having followed the game for many years. This says nothing about Federer, and something about me, but not all that much, given that I don't actively dislike him and admire him in a professional sense - just am not a "passionate fan", but an academic observer who is a passionate fan of another player - and a big fan of a number of others too. Having to deal with the reactions to that indifference from some of RF's more extreme fans at various times -these are some of the most ridiculous, cringe-worthy sporting discussions I've had the misfortune to be involved in on this site. Why does anyone even care how I "feel" about Roger Federer? Being a big Rafa fan does NOT automatically translate to disliking TMF, and I am weary of having to repeat this. Any distaste detected on my part when discussing TMF is pretty much down to the ongoing behaviour of some of his fans, and probably past bad memories as well. Not most of this fans - but there are a few. Many of RF's fans I count as friends, and some have been very generous in accepting me, with whatever strengths and weaknesses I have here - even in cases where we have disagreed in the past.

I do not think there are anything like the same number of fans of other players in TW who cause the same discomfort for non-fans. Passionate fan of Rafa I may be, but I'm also a big fan of everyone being a fan of whomever floats their particular boats without quibbling over the reasons why.

Anyone who missed the fact that the whole light-hearted RNKAS idea was meant to be an "organisation" within which most people could agree on at least one thing (that Rafa doesn't have misaligned knees) wasn't paying attention - it was all about unrealistic criticisms which most of us could see didn't make sense, but which made others on the site feel uncomfortable when a certain amount of venom was delivered while attacking the fans of the player concerned. It was meant to be about rationality and positive enjoyment of the sport, not an endorsement of any kind of blind fanaticism (which is why RNKAS is proud to count many fans of other players among its virtual members). I think passionate fan-dom is a great way to follow a sport, but I prefer it to remain rooted in some kind of reality that respects other people, and doesn't misrepresent the point of view of the object of the feelings of fandom.

All I'm really saying is that being a fan can be a great and positive thing - it is for me - but personally, when it comes to discussions and arguments, no-one ever won me over with anything less than a reasoned, respectful case, and I wouldn't expect to win anyone else over in a different manner. I'd know how to twist the facts, but I'm as contemptuous of this approach in myself as I would be in others - satisfaction is about approaching the "truth" (whatever it is - it has many facets) - not about trying to manipulate others. I was pleased to see that at least one person responded to me on the Pete and Rog thread in a serious and thoughtful way way after being challenged (thanks, CfR), because that's the way I'd prefer to conduct these discussions, even if we all don't agree.

Posted by Rosangel 12/22/2007 at 05:15 PM

Oh, what the hail....I was going to censor myself, but it's too late now, I've pressed the "post" button".

Posted by Rosangel 12/22/2007 at 05:16 PM

Tim: BTW, I don't think you're eligible for TWBARF prez. Sorry, but you're not irrational and venomous enough to qualify:)

Posted by Ryan 12/22/2007 at 06:12 PM

Geez, this post really brought out the snottiness in some people. Can I get some concern trolling?

Posted by zonie 12/22/2007 at 06:22 PM

I usually only lurk while at work, but I just wanted to say that I agree wholeheartedly with your post. I feel bad when you or other fans of any players come under attack for their personal views. I have never read anything from you which was derogatory toward any other player or fan of other players.

There are many, many decent fed fans on this board, but I do not see any reason not to call out those that cross the line.

Posted by Sam 12/22/2007 at 06:36 PM

Player of the Year 2007, according to Tennis Server:

Posted by Tari 12/22/2007 at 07:10 PM

This is really an unfortunate piece, I think. One, because some fans of any player really, take things to far to the point that it prompts Pete to complain about them in such a way. And two, because it is just Fed fans that are singled out. Granted, the ones that "cross the line", so to speak.

I still think it was unnecessary to name some fans of Roger's this way. It implies to me that they are the only fans that "bow at the altar" of a player. I disagree. But whatever. I'm not going to join in on the name calling.

Posted by rudy3 12/22/2007 at 07:19 PM

Well said, Roseangel.

Posted by Ruth 12/22/2007 at 07:26 PM

I'll just echo what zonie said,

"There are many, many decent fed fans on this board, but I do not see any reason not to call out those that cross the line."

And thanks, Rosangel, for not censoring yourself. Your points are well taken. I've said (perhaps too often) how I was a Fed fan pre-2003 and suffered being teased -- on the NYT tennis forum for years -- because, even before he won that Wimby match with my beloved Pete, I kept saying that he (Roger) would make the final of or win a Slam "very soon."

However, because of the attitude of those who may rightly be called TWBARFs, I sometimes feel constrained about talking about myself as a Fed fan. It's as if, for some folk, if you don't participate in unadulterated worship, you can't seriously be a fan of Federer. (And heavens forbid that you should claim to like Nadal as well as Fed! That's just not possible, they say.)

It's funny...for a year or two, while I was a regular poster at NYT, I was an occasional lurker at a Venus and Serena fans site which was run by a young man from my birthplace, Guyana; and even though the typical poster there was around 16 to 22 years of age and really loved V&S, I never saw the kind of stuff that I've seen spouted here and elsewhere, supposedly in Roger's behalf, by some presumably older and more mature Fed fans. Enough, people!

Yes, TWBARFdom really shouldn't have a negative effect on Pete or anyone else's reaction to Roger because it's not his (Roger's) fault; but, unfortunately, it can and it does.

Posted by steggy 12/22/2007 at 08:21 PM

Ros, I have two questions.

One, why on earth would you want to censor yourself? You're on no pedestal, and have no need to retract or hide your opinions. If you think that Federer looks about as tasty as a pile of asphalt shingles, well, it'd be your full right to say it out loud, and proudly.

Side Note to Question One: Oh, I understand about appearances. It certainly looks a bit odd to have the person who is pumping out CC entries being a full-bore FederHater. Leads plenty of stupid people to think "Gee, if she hates Federer, does Pete hate Federer too? And should I leave, and never come back, since these two people at the helm hate Federer so much?" Thankfully, however, TW doesn't need or want that kind of stupid visitor. Hence why the three that wandered onto this thread were basically ignored by the rest of us.

Two: How do you figure than fan worship is in any way rational? Fans of all players, by nature, are irrational and unobjective.

(this is just in general, not directed to anyone in particular)

Some stupid git (with a caps lock problem) up in the thread asked why Pete hates Federer. Pete doesn't hate Federer. Pete just doesn't think that Federer hung the sun and the moon. He's seen too many players of the same caliber come and go over the past 40 years to get worked-up over the guy, is all, I'm guessing.

Posted by steggy 12/22/2007 at 08:25 PM

Tari said:

"This is really an unfortunate piece, I think. One, because some fans of any player really, take things to far to the point that it prompts Pete to complain about them in such a way. And two, because it is just Fed fans that are singled out. Granted, the ones that "cross the line", so to speak."

One of the reasons why I think we should all participate in a fanTroll day, is due to your second point. Give everyone a taste of their own crazy medicine, in a friendly way, be they Fed, Nadal, Safin, Lewis, Borg, or whoever fans.

Posted by Tari 12/22/2007 at 08:36 PM

Well, I'm glad you got that point, steggy. Thanks. :) Unfortunately, I think the fanTroll day would be too much fun, and too much damage to the harmony here all at the same time! ;-)

I too, understand how fan behavior can color my opinion about a player that isn't my fave already. However, when I recognize that is what is happening, I try to filter that out on my own.

Posted by Sam 12/22/2007 at 09:06 PM

"we should all participate in a fanTroll day"

Ooo, where do I sign up? ;-)

Posted by CL 12/22/2007 at 10:22 PM

fan troll day?? And how would we tell that apart from any other day here at 'fan minus common sense and common courtesy=troll/troll is in the eye of the beholder' world? Unless of course we all wore disguises. Where do I order my muscle t-s and pedal pushers? Or maybe a little extra Argentinian 'plushness'? (Though, truth to tell, I do pretty well in that 'area' on my own.)

Posted by Rosangel 12/22/2007 at 10:45 PM

steggy: why would I want to censor myself? Sometimes I write something that I read back and think "no, it needs more thought", or "no, the balance isn't right; it'll come across as more emphatic/less nuanced than I mean it to be". I censor myself a whole lot more than I used to. It's not just about the CCs - also that there are many people who are on this board who are not "in my sights"so to speak", who I don't want to offend. I try to be balanced. In this case - if it was my choice, which it emphatically isn't, I'd spend very little time thinking about Federer. But the academic side of me accepts completely what he has achieved, and as a "detached self", I can't help but respond to that.

Also, I'm tired of being attacked as a Federer-hater. Because it has never been true. What I have disliked in the past is the inability to express a heartfealt opinion wiithout being trashed by someone who makes that ridiculous assumption. Just because I don't think he's "hott" or respond to his personality does NOT mean that I disrespect what he can do on a tennis court.

All that doing the CCs and various tournament/statistical posts means is that more people who read this board take some note of my fan point-of-view (from experience). I do those CCs in a completely neutral way - and I wouldn't be "rooting" for anyone in them. I've seen no reason not to treat my efforts with the same degree of professionalism I would in my "real job".

But I do stand by the assertion that there are more fans of Federer who ruin things for other people, than of any other player. Perhaps only because it feels easier to do so with a player who wins so much. And also, because of sheer weight of numbers.

Also - on fan-worship being in any way rational - well, I can only speak for myself. I'm a huge Rafa fan, but I gain nothing from being unrealistic about what he can/can't do. And I have the kind of mind - I'm sure anyone who has met me and talked to me for a while would completely confirm this - that just won't ignore the facts as I see them, favourable or otherwise to what I'd prefer. That's why I have spent my career gathering facts, synthesising and dissecting them, and coming up with published opinions on them. And am paid pretty well to do so. And, in the industry I work in, anything that's less than balanced and fair is vulnerable to legal challenges, so there's one more incentive apart from the fact that as an analyst, you lose all credibility with clients as soon as you start writing unbalanced rubbish that looks like misleading rather than informing. Intelligent readers would spot that kind of thing a mile away in my real job, and I'd assume in TW as well, from experience.

So, more recently, if I say something that looks controversial here, it's usually because I've given it considerable thought first. Including the wording.

Posted by Ryan 12/22/2007 at 10:53 PM

It's too bad that we've descended into conversations about conversations about Federer, rather than just conversations about Federer. The same way that Madonna went from being famous for her music to being famous just because she's so ridiculously famous.

Also, I feel that Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin have become the same way.

Posted by ndk 12/22/2007 at 11:17 PM

So.... I don't think Pete B. dislikes Fed. I've actually loved some of his articles on Fed in the recent past... I think he gives Fed his due (aside from the WM badges :-))... I think the whole TWBARFs came from the accusations that Fed threw the match and let Sampras win.. As a Fed fan, I find that accusation much more insulting than being called a TWBARF...

Posted by Sam 12/22/2007 at 11:24 PM

ndk: Please do not post rational thoughts like that. Thank you.
Also, you're not a TWBARF. ;-)

Posted by steggy 12/22/2007 at 11:25 PM

Ros: I can't recall anyone ever outright accusing you of being a Federer-hater. I *can* recall plenty folks asking why you don't like the guy. That's easily answered (you've done so repeatedly), and there's a world of difference between being "ehh" over a player vs. hating their guts.

On the topic of fan-worship, I think the problem is that you see yourself as a rational fan, by virtue of habit and occupation. That's fine. Problem is, almost every single other person here that is a fan of Player X is irrational in some way or another. I'd be willing to bet money that most people here think you're not a rational fan of RN, though they might agree that you're rational (aka apathetic) towards other players.

Note: irrational does not mean crazyTroll. There's varying degrees of fanboy/girlishness. I would say "irrational" is a normal level of fan behavior.

For the record, I'm reluctant to call you a rational fan, just based on the RNKAS and however many hundreds of rules that you took the time to write up. It did become more than a little ridiculous, however I'll admit that it remained lighthearted.

I never saw the Federer fans as being TWBARFS, either, fwiw. The crazyTrolls are the TWBARFS, not the Federfans here. Unfortunately I think the Federfans at TW might feel as if they've been lumped into the same category as, gee I dunno, Victorus (or whatever the heck his name was), who gang-posted over at Steve's the other day.

Finally, I've always kind-of shook my head in amazement at those people who prefer to wade in the "just the facts, ma'am" tidepool while sitting in a den of opinion sharks.

I worry about people falling to fact in the face of opinions, for the sake of "getting along" or "harmony". TW is a place built on firm and often opposing opinions. If people agreed all the time (and you can't help but agree when it comes to empirical evidence), there'd be nothing to discuss/argue over/bat shoes around at. Over time, that'll kill a discussion forum.

And, you know, I can't think of anyone here that I've disagreed with from time to time that I wouldn't buy a drink for. And I'll gladly admit that I'm probably the loosest, craziest cannon out here, most likely to hold a grudge and carry it for ten years or more..

Posted by DMS 12/22/2007 at 11:28 PM

Merry xmas, and happy holidays Tari...and Ros...and the rest of le you in le tribe...while I always enjoy some good consternation, I must say "traversez-le"...these were exos...I could care less if Roger lost to Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang...have some eggnog and revoir...

Posted by ndk 12/22/2007 at 11:29 PM

Sam- me rational? How many Sam Adams have you had this evening?

Posted by steggy 12/22/2007 at 11:31 PM

Ryan: I missed the memo about Madonna. Really, Confessions was one of her better albums since she decided to have kids and become British..

(Nothing kills a sexpot popstar's career quite like childbirth.)

*extenuating trashy circumstances, but still.

Posted by Sam 12/22/2007 at 11:39 PM

ndk: None tonight. ;-)

Ryan: Better than someone who's only famous for being famous, sans talent. See Hilton, Paris.

Hey DMS - happy holidays!

Posted by Sam 12/22/2007 at 11:52 PM

" If people agreed all the time "

Then it would be like a player fan site ...

Posted by Sam 12/22/2007 at 11:57 PM

Just a heads up - former player Alex O'Brien is current on the "Beef" thread answering questions.

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 12:00 AM

steggy, I've had the experience more than once here of being attacked by a Federer fan (never a fan of any other player) who repeatedly chose not to understand my P.O.V.. Then, to add insult to injury, even some well-known people on this board picked up the points that were made in the attacks, and by their statements made it clear that in their view that I'd been a party to that same unbalanced discussion (as opposed to the attackee). A rational discussion was never conducted on the original subject.....and I looked back and thought "I should have known better". Better than to have even brought the subject up. Not that I didn't want to discuss it - just that having a rational discussion proved difficult (in fact, at the time, failed).

I'd say in general that "wanting someone to win" doesn't equate to irrational. It's actually a human and likeable trait, as long as (key point) it's not out of control. On a forum like this, it's tough to distinguish sometimes - but there's no need to throw insults if the difference is unclear, because it's a very big difference between being a positive fan and an irrational one who looks and feels like a troll. Even there, I think we have to give some leeway. Different situations bring out alternative traits in many people:)

I don't see the regular Federer fans on this board as being the TWBARFs either. Each is an individual, first of all. In fact, I feel I can detect (sometimes) how some of them hold themselves back from states of irrationaility over their favourite's performance, which tells me that they have rational perspectives too. Many of them don't strike me as being anything other than passionate fans - which I can relate to. Where it gets difficult is when discussions get detached from reality. I felt that Pete's original comments were directed elsewhere - not at most of the regular posters here.

Now, if I'm ever in Houston again (my job has occasionally taken me there) I'll hope to buy you and Birks a drink.

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 12:07 AM

DMS!: Where have you been recently? Happy holidays.

Posted by steggy 12/23/2007 at 12:17 AM

Ros, you said: "On a forum like this, it's tough to distinguish sometimes - but there's no need to throw insults if the difference is unclear, because it's a very big difference between being a positive fan and an irrational one who looks and feels like a troll."

First, I must've missed when people attacked you. It's a shame, and it shouldn't have occured, let alone be continued.

See, I don't think it's good to throw insults at all. Insulting a player? Oh geez, that's fine. But insulting one another is bad form. Bad form that I've done from time to time, and I got smacked like I should've.

Perhaps the difference in our opinions is that I do not see irrational (and thus, all) fans as being negative. They're almost always positive, actually. Almost scary-positive. Hyper-cheerful positive, even.

And while yes, I agree that Pete intended his comments to be directed elsewhere, at others, it didn't quite come across that way. Tari took issue with it -- and she's a fairly good bellweather -- and too many folks came out saying that they weren't TWBARFS, which means that they thought they were being called such. *shrug* It'll all be trivial stuff over time (I hope), but it's worth noting.

You're always welcome in the CatHouse whenever you're here (you work for C****, right?), and while we're not big drinkers, we gladly drink water (Birks is on blood pressure meds and has the tolerance of a worm, so no alcohol for him) and copious amounts of Coca-Cola. :)

Posted by ColbertFederer 12/23/2007 at 12:40 AM

i have been a Federer fan ever since i heard an interview with Carlos Moya where he was asked, who is more intimidating to play against Sampras or Federer? And he said definitely Sampras. He said before a match against Sampras when you were in the locker room with him, he wouldnt look at you or talk to you, and it was intimidating. And then he said that before a match against Federer in the locker room, Federer talks to you and is joking around and laughing and smiling, so its not very intimidating to play against him. So i think that is why Federer has a lot of devoted fans that defend him so passionately because he's such a genuinely decent and good guy. And it is also pretty rare that a nice guy finishes first so often.

Posted by Or 12/23/2007 at 03:50 AM

Rosangel -

Just wanted to say that I totally understand why you don't like Roger, because no one can tell why they like or dislike a player. There is no reason behind it, it's like love, one day it strikes you and you are doomed.

Had you said you hated him, I would probably have issues with that, because there's no denying (even if you are Andy Roddick, LOL) that he's a nice guy.

But you really don't have to be his fan, the answer "I'm just NOT" is a perfectly good one.

The problem with Pete's post is that I spent several precious moments defending him to the guys over at RF.Com about a week ago (Oh, Pete doesn't HATE Roger, etc...) and all my hard work has probably gone to waste now.

Posted by Tari 12/23/2007 at 08:45 AM

Or: Yeah. I know how that is @ People there would have to read more often here to get the full context. Most of them don't, so it's pretty futile. ;-)

I'm so done with this topic, though. Only problem is, as Lleytsie-Fan alluded to in the next post over, the acronym is here to stay.
And it's ugly. And it's reserved for fans of one player only.
Oh, and some here are happy to have it around. *sigh*

On to Christmas thoughts (which oddly don't fit in with the spirit this thread at all):

Merry Christmas DMS! *hugs* to you. And Merry Christmas to all, if I'm not around tomorrow...

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 10:48 AM

Tari: I don't have a problem with the TWBARF acronym, based on the "Pete and Roger" thread. But in all fairness, similar terms could be applied to fans of some other prominent players.

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 11:20 AM

steggy: the one thing I'd say about the whole RNKAS thing is that both AmyLu and I were always aware of how "ridiculous" it could look. That is, really, the whole point of RNKAS:) - kind of a joke at our own expense. Or, to put it another way, there was a degree of rationality behind the apparent irrationaility.

I actually don't work for C***** any more. When I go back to work after the current break, I'll be working elsewhere.

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 11:27 AM

Or: Oh well, at least you tried to defend Pete there ... From the few times I've been on, I get the sense that Pete could say "the sky is blue", and some fans would take that as a slight against Roger. ;-)

Posted by zonie 12/23/2007 at 11:42 AM

Sam, Or and Tari,

I do not mean this in any inflammatory way at all, but just wondering. Do Fed fans in general feel that Bodo does not like Federer? I never felt that Bodo is a diehard fan of his, but I always got the impression that he really admires his skills and what he has achieved.

I ask only because fans of different players always pick up on different things, to which other fans may be oblivious.

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 11:50 AM

Hi zonie: Good question. I can't speak for Fed fans in general, but my feeling is (and has been for a while) that Pete doesn't flove Federer but has a great deal of respect for his achievments.

Posted by creig bryan 12/23/2007 at 12:01 PM

What truly amazes me is the fact that no matter how many times (over the past year and one half), that you've explicitly said you don't dislike TMF, there have always been those who simply (and I do mean simply) do not understand, and cannot fathom other shades and hues and nuances. This rampant polarization of opinion is the bane of logical reasoning, and thus, the weak link in society, humanity.

And, there is a huge difference between mindsets of the creators of RNKAS, tennis poems and limericks, all paying fanatic homage to one or more specific players, and the mindsets of those who foolishly attempt to defend their tenuous stances (er, players) by zealously attacking all opposing opinions.

Thus, the BARF portion of TWBARF applies: When exposed to these toxic troll droppings, the physiological reflex is nearly unstoppable.

Keep Smiling

Posted by Tari 12/23/2007 at 12:04 PM

zonie: I really don't know what Fed fans in general think. We are all so different, even here at TW. My thoughts are in line with Sam's, though. And his comment about fans of other players is dead on. We would be waiting in vain if anyone here thought we'll see as ugly an acronym in any other direction IMO, though. And truthfully, I would not welcome it then, either. I think it's devisive.

Maybe I'm just extra-sensitive, wouldn't be the first time. But what's done is done. We have a new acronym here at TW. Cheers. :)

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 12:11 PM

*hugs Tari* You know, you could always come up with similar acronymns for fans of other players if you'd like. Maybe during one of the upcoming fanTroll days. :-)

On another note, I wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. I'll be online throughout the holidays, but I know that some posters may not be around much or at all the rest of the year.

Posted by zonie 12/23/2007 at 12:23 PM

Sam and Tari, thanks for your replies.

I can see why the acronym bothers you, eventhough I am sure it is directed at only a specific subsection of fans.

I agree that fans of other players have exhibited uncalled for behaviour. All fans, myself included, sometimes get too emotionally involved with our players and can lash out at others.

Also, there are certain behaviours, or certain types of fans which I think have gained more relevance since the widespread use of the Internet. I would term these cyberbullies. Thankfully this board does not see that behaviour often since it is well moderated. Unfortunately, these types of fans will attach themselves most often with those players who give them more 'weapons' so to speak. In this respect, Federer will attract most often these types of fans, followed by Nadal, Djokovic, etc.
It is pretty hard to beat on other fans, yielding solely the achievements of, say, a Robredo. This is not to say that the majority of fans of any of the top players are not genuine fans, but there always seems to be this ugly subset, which seems to spoil it for true fans.

Like Ruth mentioned previously, I cringe when I feel some Nadal fans go over the line, since I feel it hurts other fans and does Nadal no favors.

But as I mentioned before, I think the vast majority of Fed fans are quite decent, and enjoy interacting with them on this board.

Posted by Tari 12/23/2007 at 12:28 PM

Thanks, zonie. :) I really appreciated those thoughts of yours. I agree with you. I enjoy the passionate fans of other players as well on this board, and I don't consider any regular poster here to be anything but decent and more. I'm very pleased with the group here, and feel a friendship to all here, really.

Posted by zonie 12/23/2007 at 12:33 PM

Thanks, Tari.

Have a Happy Holiday all.

Posted by Tari 12/23/2007 at 12:35 PM

And btw, I consider myself a TWBARFF. Yes, I've created a new acronym. I am a fan of Roger's fans. I have met some amazing people through his website and here at TW that are fans of Fed. I am a fan of theirs over and above anything I feel for my favorite tennis player - easily. Those that I know are a terrific, warm, friendly, compassionate bunch. I'm blessed! :)

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 12:42 PM

Well said, zonie. This type of fan behavior from some people is not that new - back during the mid to late 1990s, I used to post on the newsgroup. In 1995, the year of the big Sampras-Agassi rivalry hype, the worst offenders were Agassi fans. Agassi had just beaten Sampras in a close match in Canada, and I said something to the effect that it was a close match and that I could see Sampras turning the table the next time they played. The vitriol that was spewed was unbelievable, including one guy who sent me an expletive-laden e-mail.

Posted by 12/23/2007 at 12:45 PM

Tari- right back at ya. :-)

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 12:48 PM

TWBARFF - cute, Tari ;-)

Posted by zonie 12/23/2007 at 12:49 PM

Funny you mention that, Sam. As a follow up to my post, I have to add that top players also are targets of some of the most ardent haters. I have never seen as many threads pop up on different boards as when Fed loses a match.

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 12:55 PM

The other side of the coin regarding RF is that as well as being frequently defended, he's one of the players who is most liable to be attacked by trolls (or, his supporters are).

Some suggested troll acronyms:
TWBURPS = Those Who Beat Up Roger's (or Rafa's) Passionate Supporters
TWBUMS = Those Who Bully and Undermine Most Supporters
TWPRATs = Those Who Pick on Roger (or Rafa) All the Time

And for some regulars:
TWSLuRPS = Those Who Simply Lurve Roger's Primacy at Slams
TWBURGERs = Those Who Believe Ultimately Roland Garros Eternally Rafa's

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 12:58 PM

I honestly didn't see zonie's post before posting - it takes a while to think up acronyms while drafting. Synchronicity or what?

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 12:59 PM

Hmm, I guess that makes me a TWSLuRPS. ;-)

zonie, Ros: Nice mind-meld.

Posted by zonie 12/23/2007 at 01:05 PM

Hi Ros. Je, je, Burps, Bums and Prats. I wonder if highpockets could concoct a poem with your acronyms.

Slurps and Burgers. I have a sudden urge to run out to Sonic and get some breakfast.

Posted by Tari 12/23/2007 at 01:06 PM

Thanks for those, Rosia. :)

I want to come up with something that makes up the acronym TWBELCH, but don't have time. Perhaps ptenisnet will pop in and
help me out while I'm off visiting family today.

Have at it, people. :)

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 01:16 PM

TWBELCH = Those Who Believe Expressing Loudly Can Help

Posted by 12/23/2007 at 01:17 PM

ThoseWhoBelieveElephantsChaseHats...though not much there to do with matters of the Tribe....hmmm

TennisWorldsBestEnthusiastsChuckHaters? Charm Hazelnuts??...

....back to the drawing board.


Posted by CL 12/23/2007 at 01:19 PM

That was me at 1:17.

Very good Sam - cuts both ways though.

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 01:19 PM

CL: Thanks.
I knew that was you. ;-)

Posted by Tari 12/23/2007 at 01:41 PM

Add a bloody mary, a la jb-style zonie! Mmmm...

Posted by Schwab 12/23/2007 at 02:01 PM

Hello:) Had a family gathering last night and the party ended at 5:30 AM EST this morning so I am up catching up the threads from Friday at noon EST.

Posted by Happy Holidays 12/23/2007 at 02:19 PM

I actually like the indirect slam on Mr. Federer. How better to
attack him than by attacking his fan base. Great..

Posted by steggy 12/23/2007 at 03:15 PM

good morning, (tennis) world.

Posted by Or 12/23/2007 at 03:22 PM

Sam - I think I said as much last week, this is fan behavior everywhere, about any topic in the world.

Frankly, the tennis-related fights I've seen can't hold a candle to fights among soap fans, for example, or Harry Potter fans (Remus and Sirius as a pairing, does this pairing has roots in the book, discuss....)

This is all... so darn tame.

I once had a cyber stalker with - count them - 18 different aliases who used to follow me from one soap message board to another, in different names, bashing my favorite soap actor and trying to get a rise out of me. I had her banned from 3 message boards and it still took me 6 years to get rid of her, she was pretty sophisticated nut.

Though I gotta say, I can't imagine what TW would have been like if it was the eighties and Tennis rivlaries were going strong. The guys are too darn nice in those days.

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 04:07 PM

Or: Oh, I probably missed it with all the threads we've had. ;-)

That's crazy about the cyber stalker!

Posted by jb 12/23/2007 at 04:15 PM

heehee - I love the new acronyms! its puts the TWBarf's in perspective. TWburger? TWBECLH. Of course - I's so bad at arconyms that I won't remember any of the dang things. sigh.

I can definately tell its tennis break - as we've nothing to discuss but discussing talking about discussing tennis. While I think Pete posted this out of sheer exasperation re: the humourless, blinded posts from some of the fans - I honestly don't think he dislikes the Fed. I dunno - I've always thought he liked fed, has respect for his game and what he's acheiving, but doesn't feel the need to constantly post about how fabulous he is.

I also think its quite clear that TMF - by virtue of being TMF, draws both the crazy defenders and crazy detractors. Rafa also draws the same lightning, and imo, has as many TWBarf's, TWBarns? as Fed does. And as many detractors too.

I mean look at the RNKAS, which started as such a fun society with kickin' parties. It has somehow been 'taken over' and morphed into a Rafa kad group. I was sad to read, (in no uncertain terms mind you) that the main membership requirement was now being a Rafa kad etc. Granted, that wasn't from the high brass, but still, it made me reluctantly give up my membership. As while I am absolutely on board with defending the not-knock kneedness of Rafa, I aint a KAD. I like the guy, but he's certainly not in my stable.

Anyhow. I just feel bad that my fellow fed kads are feeling bad about the barf-ness.

Er, last point... I guess I don't truly understand the cosmic implications that are / were being read into with these exos; which seems to have started the entire thing. And the idea that the matches would be 'fixed' by pete n roger is fairly insulting to both men, imo. They're both incredibly competitive creatures and there's NO freakin' way, imo, that they would be capable of switching off that competitiveness, playing in front of huge crowds. I mean for heavens sake, I have an ex athlete pal who refuses to lose at beer pong 'cause she gets too caught up in it! And that's BEER PONG for heavens sake! Which she never played professionally.

Steggy - "sitting in a den of opinion sharks". floved that. SO nice you're posting again!

Posted by Ruth 12/23/2007 at 04:21 PM

I think that most of us can easily tell the difference between passionate fans of any player and those who bow before the altar of any player. Pete's creation of the TWBARF acronym was a very human, I'm-really-sick-of-this-____ reaction to the recent appearance of people (or a couple people using different monikers) who fit the acronym's description to a T.

I doubt that those regular TW commenters who don't fit the TWBARF profile have anything to worry about. And I'm quite sure that, if commenters objecting to something Pete said about Nadal or any other player appeared next week and posted stuff that was similar to the nonsense that was posted here, Pete would have no trouble creating a suitable acronym for those individuals. He's pretty smart that way!

I think that it is really sweet that Tari feels bad about Pete's calling out the people who fit the TWBARF profile; that's just how Tari is. I, on the other hand, usually get the urge to punch out those commenters who, in their ridiculous attempts to support one of MY faves, say things that are just plain stupid and embarrassing. I really don't care what they're called.

Posted by jb 12/23/2007 at 04:31 PM

lol - ruth - I'm with you on the punching thang, though i typically just tend to just groan now....

and before I forget and people do get caught up in the holidays - I'd like to with the entire TWibe a happy, safe and hopefully relaxin' holiday.

*raises cup of eggnog*

Cheers all!

Posted by la boheme 12/23/2007 at 04:56 PM

I've turned to opera as my primary passion during this tennis hiatus in December. However, in checking in to see what's happening on this board, I find the sturm und drang in these posts (and acronyms) is almost as melodramatic (and sometimes as silly) as the shenanigans on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

I sense, though, that underneath the discussion of acronyms (and Pete's post)lies more than a tinge of hostility. So, I'm returning to Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna at the Met until we have some real tennis to occupy our minds.

In the meantime, happy holidays everyone. Its only a short span until the fun starts in Australia.

Posted by Sam 12/23/2007 at 05:03 PM

Ruth: Great post.

Posted by FoT 12/23/2007 at 05:26 PM

Wow, I've been away for a little while and I come back to some serious discussion here!

Ros, I have always had the utmost respect for you so I don't think you really need to explain anything! I think it's great that we have fans of all players here on the board. That is what makes it exciting! You have always been fair. Same goes for all the regular posters here. I know at times I can 'go over the top' with my love for Roger, but I hope I have never offended anyone. If so..I'll apologize right now.

I also have enjoyed reading all about the RANKAS rules and all... It was fun! I love reading post from you, Amy Lu, Ruth, all the other posters that does not pick Roger as a favorite of theirs! lol! Of course, my main friends of Tim, Tangi, Tari, and the other Federer fans makes this place exciting for me too (although at times I have my doubts about Tari! lol)!

But I want Ros to know that I really enjoy reading her post and her editorials that she sometimes writes here. Keep it up and don't feel like you have to explain yourself because Roger isn't your favorite. It's oool! Just keep on doing what you do!

Posted by JR 12/23/2007 at 05:42 PM

I can't imagine what TW would have been like if it was the eighties and Tennis rivlaries were going strong. (Or)

Now that's really something to contemplate!

Posted by steggy 12/23/2007 at 05:58 PM

That thought just made my hair turn white, 30 or 40 years premature.

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 06:48 PM

FoT: well, you've certainly never offended me! Though I may be a competitor in terms of "numbers of matches of my favourite player(s) on DVD. My Rafa collection is well over 200, especially after he played so many matches this year. The rest of the collection is pretty big too.

Which reminds me: where is jbradhunter? I was going to report back on the Rafa/Richard exo that was recently played in Kuala Lumpur. While watching the recording, I concluded that although the guys clearly both wanted to win, there was much going on that was different to an ATP-level match. First, there was very little delay between points - no towelling off, adjusting of socks etc. Rafa's serving went completely AWOL at times - there was one game where he had serving yips almost comparable to Kolya in Bercy this year.

Although trying to win, there was definitely a sense that both players were going for their shots to try to produce spectacular winners - some of which came off (Richard's backhand saw plenty of action) , and some not - lots of UFEs, many of which were near-misses. It was quite interesting to see a Rafa who played aggressively (i.e. low-percentage stuff) on so many points. My particular favourite part was that he played two hot-dog shots after running hard to retrieve - and won both points with winners (one on a net-cord that whipped over) that left Richard stranded, which elicited a huge smile. So, it was worth watching just to see those. Rafa eventually won in three sets, and in the final game, when he served for the match, I think he hit four clean winners. As is usual for him, he probably benefited from being able to outlast Gasquet in the fitness department - Gasquet's defensive skills were pretty well tested.

The two players looked very relaxed together, both before and afterwards.

Posted by Ruth 12/23/2007 at 06:51 PM

FoT: Just for the record, my famous "five faves" among the men for the past three years or so have been Andy, James, Roger, Rafa, and Gonzo. (Women: Venus, Serena, Lindsay, Chanda, and Sveta -- to whom I gave Monica's place just weeks before we all heard that Monica might play next year!)

And--you're making me repeat it for the umpteenth time -- when, way back around 2000-2001, a couple of us selected six "newbies to watch" on the now defunct NYT tennis forum, my pick to win a Slam first was Roger (Ferero beat him to it); I've been a fan of Roger ever since that time, before he became TMF, I like to say.

And I refuse to allow TWBARFs to prevent me from liking the guy and being Fed fan just because I'm not a worshipper of him or, for that matter,of any player -- not even my only KAD, Ms Venus E. Williams.

Posted by la boheme 12/23/2007 at 07:03 PM

I just read Pete's tongue in cheek post regarding a coach for Roger. I think his tongue got stuck in an embarrassing position - there's some awful stuff relating to Mirka that's meant to be funny, I guess, but just reflects some really old style anti-feminism. See the following:

"I can easily see me lounging around on the couch with Mirka, watching DVDs (I've already called Netflicks and ordered "Terms of Endearment," "When Harry Met Sally," "Love Actually" …) and talking Coach, Gucci, Jimmy Choo. I aim to demonstrate that I'm much more than a typical male tennis coach."

I'm getting very tired of the ironic style of journalism that pretends to be making jokes, but really reflects some very hostile positions. When challenged, the journalist can say "I was only kidding, and you obviously can't take a joke". It's pathetic.

And, as to hero worship (regarding the acronym TWBARF), it seems that this board thinks Pete is beyond criticism or reproach.

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 07:12 PM

I have just realised that TWSLURPS could have been the acronym for Those Who Simply LAP UP Roger's Primacy at Slams.

TWBLIPs = Trolls Who Behave Like Infants in the Playground

Posted by Rosangel 12/23/2007 at 07:23 PM

The TWBLIPs are rather tautological, I realise....

Posted by steggy 12/23/2007 at 07:43 PM

la boheme: beyond criticism or reproach? Well, let's look at that a few ways..

One, we can criticize or reproach (AKA personally insult) the man and his thoughts, and be publically lambasted for it seeing as how Himself is more-or-less above the rules.

Two, we can question his thoughts, as we often do, and get measured responses and often insightful discussions.

I'll take #2 with mayonnaise and pickles only, with extra cheese.

Posted by steggy 12/23/2007 at 07:47 PM

Rosangel: Moderators needed on the Beef entry, starting from about 2 or 3pm today.

Posted by creig bryan 12/23/2007 at 07:47 PM


Your email still working?

Keep Smiling

Posted by steggy 12/23/2007 at 07:51 PM

creig: Good question. Haven't checked that account in four or five days..

(life is difficult managing twelve inboxes, two mailboxes, and six cardboard boxes)

Posted by Snoo Foo 12/23/2007 at 08:11 PM

"we can question his thoughts, as we often do, and get measured responses and often insightful discussions."

maybe you get measured responses, I ask a simple yes/no question at least 3X and get nothing but snark (and yet no answer), and my opinion is labeled preposterous. Lesson learned.

Posted by Pierre 12/23/2007 at 08:31 PM

Speaking of Christmas, what is everyone's favourite Christmas song?

Has anyone ever noticed that "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" are almost exactly the same song? I am serious, try singing them some time.

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