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Spiraling Joys 01/18/2009 - 9:00 AM

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By Pete Bodo

Well, the bit is in, it's time to cinch the girth and get ready to ride; it's likely that by the next time I post, the optic-yellow pills will be flying and somebody will be pumping a fist and screaming, "Come on!"  I have two bits of housekeeping to take care of first off:

1 - Tennis.com's exclusive, live coverage of the Australian Open will be provided primarily by two staffers on the ground in Melbourne as I write this: Abby Lorge, our web mistress, and Tom Perrotta. Many of you remember Tomahawk's long-dormant String Theory blog from Grand Slams past. Well, it's up and running again, and it will be a good place to go for original, exclusive material from the tournament.

2 - Tennis.com will be providing an automatic daily newsletter from the AO. It's free, and you can sign up for daily delivery here.

This year, I'm going to try to catch more of the action on TV, which is an oft-broken promise I make myself because, well, I guess at heart I'm not a TV guy. I get edgy and restless when I'm just watching television; I start gnawing my fingernails (an unfortunate lifelong habit), then I jump up and suddenly, 10 minutes later, I've got my head buried in the walk-in closet and I've got the vacuum cleaner taken apart because the belt that drives the power roller snapped (something like 19 months ago) and must be replaced.

How I can spend so much time sitting around writing without experiencing similar urges or fears that I'm going to explode if I don't do something is a mystery to me. But one thing is for sure; I've been spoiled by purty near a lifetime spent watching more live tennis than is anybody's right to hope to see. But in all truth, any sports on television is something I rarely "watch." It's more like something I experience as background music, or some other ambient condition.

But this year I'm going to be more patient, attentive, and amenable to getting sucked into the electro-transmission of light waves flowing and melding in the black box to form the image of Roger Federer, or Jelena Jankovic.  BTW, did you see that item in the news the other day, about how we're getting closer to the day when concrete objects (including human beings, I presume) can be rendered invisible by bending light rays? Maybe I should paying more attention to all this Star Wars crap that has cowboy Luke so mesmerized. This breakthrough will take pay-for-view to a whole new level, I predict.

Sitting here at the farm, with a green piece of ash hissing as the wood stove boils out the moisture inside the log, I'm thinking about fans (as many of you know, I loathe what is commonly known as "bracketology") and the exquisite torture they'll be putting themselves through over these next two weeks.Two-hundred and fifty-six players will sally forth in quest of the men's and womens' singles titles, and only one man and one woman's mission will be a complete success. That gives you a rough idea of how perilous it is to be a fan.

I've often written that, to my mind, there are two kinds of fans out there: general tennis fans, for whom the game overshadows the transient individuals who play it (even though those fans have their heroes and villains), and those who sometimes seem more enamored of specific individuals than of the game in general.

I suppose that's true in all sports, but in tennis the pool of fans who attach their devotion to a single player (or players) is much greater - this is why you still find the occasional outlier who bangs his fist on the virtual table in a place like this and says something like: tennis ain't been the same since the days of McEnroe and Connors! He has a point, of course, but it's the self-evident one: nothing is ever the same as it was 10, 20 or 100 years ago. That's what happens when your interest is rooted in individuals, not the enterprise itself.

Team sports are in many ways much easier on the fan. Every day, I see guys wearing nylon New York Giants red, white and blue windbreakers, or OSHA-certified hard hats modeled on the Giants' helmet, complete with the logo. These guys are willing to sit in Giants' stadium in freezing rain in December, so you know they're committed. Yet very few of them are first and foremost Eli Manning fans - what they are is Giants fans, and if Manning happens to wreck their dreams, they're more than happy to throw him under the bus. Oh, they like some players more than others, but their allegiance is to the institution (the Giants), not to one or another of the people who, at any given time,  happen to play on the team. This is a liberating and generous mandate for the fan, because it allows him to be a fan as well as a critic. Nobody questions the Giant blue blood of a fan who boos a missed tackle by Antonio Pierce. How often does your typical Novak Djokovic fan boo when Nole blows a passing shot?

But tennis isn't a team sport (even Davis Cup in certain ways fails the smell test). Only those who are fans of the game in general are given latitude for dissent when it comes to the players, but they also are denied the heart-wrenching agony and the spiraling, concentrated joy experienced by fans of specific players. In some ways, those who resist - or keep in perspective - the siren song of personality issuing from each player are realists; those who do not, the diehard fans and KADs, are romantics.

I've often wondered, why would someone live and die by how Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal did on a given day? What's in it for them? Why make that investment?

Fans Not to get too heavy about it - okay, I'll get all heavy about it - I think having a specific, overwhelming favorite, while a narrow and in many ways unforgiving undertaking, gives the fan a way to express and perhaps experience unconditional love. And that's something most of us have spent at least portions of lives hunting. The born-again Christian will understand what I mean; the secular parent will also know -all he has to do is think about how he feels about his kid. We feel good about ourselves when we love unconditionally; we also long to be loved unconditionally, at least partly because it allows us to, well, get away with stuff. But by entering into this kind of relationship with a hero, we stake a partial claim to his or her conquests. When Ana Ivanovic wins, I win too, because I love Ana and this win is my reward for it - unconditionality be damned.

At some level, it's risky to transfer powerful emotions and loyalties to someone you don't know, or know only in his or her limited context as a tennis pro (that is, at some level, a machine. Because anyone who does anything "professionally" is just that, and the lengths to which players go - think Venus or Serena Williams - to try to demonstrate that they aren't "just" tennis players shows it.) How do you know that Janko Tipsarevic really is a "good" person -  because he has a Dostoyevsky quote tattooed on his arm?  Hey, maybe at heart he's more like Raskolnikov, an axe murderer!

We'll never really know how justified our love is, but isn't that moot, when the love we're trying to give is unconditional?  Besides, expending unconditional love on a tennis player is only risky in theory - unlike, say, expending unconditional love on a girlfriend, or spouse. It isn't like any of you guys are going to have to run out for milk because Jelena forgot to pick it up on the way home. The problem with being a uber-fan is that there's only one way to express that unconditional love (or to even show if it really exists, which really means that you have the capacity for giving it), and that's by loyalty.The fan who doesn't understand or accept that is on his or her way to becoming a stalker. And while loyalty to an institution, like a team, leaves you free to criticize anyone who appears to be an impediment to the success of that organism, you can't really do that with an individual. You're in for a penny, you're in for a dollar. Every tennis player out there is an institution unto himself, and his wins and losses are an open and shut case in which the glory or blame is undistributed.

The down-side of unconditional love is also the true test of the effort:  It's easy to give when you get something in return, but what do you do when you get nothing in return? That almost never happens in tennis, where everyone lives to fight another day, and those upon whom we're most likely to shower our unconditional love tend to be the ones who pay us back in spades. There's a reason the world is crawling with Federer and Nadal fans, while a Vince Spadea or Igor Andreev manages only a bemused "well done!"  now and then. We are, after all, human, and our urge to express and/or experience unconditional love is neatly offset by a considerably more rational desire to see a return on our investment. This explains the gallows humor and wry resignation exhibited by so many fans of Marat Safin. Being his fan is like giving money to that irascible but adorable con man, cousin Charley. It's just the toll you pay for being in his good graces.

Well, I won't go on. I want to finish the book I'm reading (A Terrible Glory, James Donovan's scrupulously researched retelling of the Battle of the Little Big Horn) before the tournament begins. In many ways, the early days of a major event are like one of these epic military battles - there's a lot of smoke and noise, the sheer chaos makes it hard to draw conclusions about anything, and even the most momentous surprise is likely to be long-forgotten by the the beginning of next week.

Feel free to treat this as a pre-Crisis Center post, and talk about whatever moves you on the even of  2009's first major. See y'all a little later.


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Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 03:54 PM

Master Ace,

I'm sorry to hear you didn't get DC tickets. :( But please do give us a report on the goings on outside the arena.

Other than Christopher, do you know of anyone who is going?

Jackie,

Thanks for the lesson. I really do need to get serious about becoming techie tangi someday. :)

Posted by afwu 01/18/2009 at 03:55 PM

Aussie Open Women's Doubles Draw:

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/wddraw.pdf

Serena and Venus play Kuznetsova and Petrova in the 1st round!!

The defending champs, the Bondarenko sisters, play Robeta Vinci and Gisela Dulko in the 1st round.
---------------------------------------------------------
Aussie Open Men's Doubles Draw:

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/md/r1s2.html

As I looked upon the men's draw I did not happen to see Erlich/Ram who are the defending champions.

Davis Cup Stars Lopez/Verdasco play Cerretani/Starace in the 1st round.
----------------------------------------------------------------

3 HRS AND 5 MINUTES UNTIL AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2009!

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 03:55 PM

Aussiemarg,
Did you check your e-mail to see if TAT has replied? You may have to click on link provided to confirm registration.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 03:55 PM

Crazyone thanks anyway

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 03:57 PM

Master Ace yes I just did that,no reply.also went back to TAT to see if I could get through for my picks,still get same message

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 03:57 PM

the Eagles need to get better in the Red Zone. My god.


Posted by afwu1216 01/18/2009 at 03:58 PM

aussiemarg:

I had the same problems with TAT trying to register for SP also, I finnaly gave up. I would not have time to do SP anyways. Hope it works for you.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 03:59 PM

Hang in there, Crazyone. Long way to go. Though we just got bailed out on that holding penalty. Otherwise, we were punting.

Crap. Another bloody field goal attempt and no touchdown. Grrrr.

Thanks, NP. Very interesting. We've talked about Pancho before, haven't we? I think we share a fascination for this tennis history stuff. :)

Posted by siggy, whole 01/18/2009 at 04:00 PM

NP, merci, I like keeping my head (glorious locks or no) on my neck at all times, ya know!

*waves at Tangi and Jackie the social director*

Crazy and Sam (who must be at a bar), they play 4 quarters, so hang in there!

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 04:03 PM

Afwu,
Erlich is still out with an injured shoulder. Ram is playing with Max Mirnyi.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 04:03 PM

AWFU 1216 thanks I dont feel so bad,whats wrong with this site too hard basket if you ask me,didnt have this trouble before,oh well I am another one in OZ could win $5000 but really why this hard.


Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:04 PM

Sherlock, it's not the scoreline that worries much as much as the overall poor play and failure to utilize gifts (like the turnover on the turnover, that call). The Cardinals have really come to play, while the Eagles don't seem to have any intensitiy.


Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 04:08 PM

Power back on - nice to be able to thaw out while glued to TV set for the night.

Paying 4 month old bills be damned!

Didn't realize ESPN2 would actually be showing AO at 7:00PM EST - what a surprise - probably 'cause Roddick is playing early - but who cares - at least they're on.

As noted - nice to see so many old ...err...experienced posters back to enjoy the first GS of the year - long time no read - but hope everyone is in good health and a happy place.

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 04:09 PM

Yes, Sherlock, but Pancho fascinates me more than the others. What a charisma, though he certainly could be an ass.

NP, siggy.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 04:10 PM

Hello, siggy! Hope you feel better soon. Are you lurking even when you're not posting?

Jackie ... here's how a commenter responding to the "roundtable" series described your hubby: "He’s like a little yorkshire terrior - looks so harmless, but he won’t let go easily and could cause damage with those little teeth of so much grip!" Do you like? This comes from a fan, BTW.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 04:12 PM

Crazyone, agreed. Not sure if it's Cards offense is playing so well, or our defense playing like crap, but they're just moving the ball at will.

The Cardinals, the Cardinals!!!, are actually running the ball against the defense.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 04:12 PM

Hi, Flyer! Glad your lights are on and the bills are paid. Is Rog gonna take this thing?

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 04:13 PM

When are the Eagles going to cover Fitzgerald? 2010?

Cardinals 21 Eagles 6

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 04:13 PM

Flyer I just have to say what a great movie "Doubt" gee I can relate to it so well,I went to very strict Catholic boarding school around that time,regardless if you are Catholic religious or not,the questions it brings up,Meryl Steep Legend,also Phillip Seymour-Hoffman fantastic,also Amy Adams as the naive nun,I shed tears in the end just like Meryl,made me come out thinking more! I would recommend this film to everyone.great drama,funny moments as well.

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 04:13 PM

The one thing I hope ESPN2 doesn't do is replay that horrible Andy Roddick moment from last year's AO. But I'm sure they will. Over and over again...before every one of his matches.

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 04:15 PM

"When are the Eagles going to cover Fitzgerald? 2010?"

I'm not watching the game or anything, but this made me laugh Master Ace. Sounds like things are not going well.

Posted by ptenisnet 01/18/2009 at 04:15 PM

aussiemarg
I can try to help you if you want. You can send me an email.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:19 PM

yeah this is a total disaster. I'm actually only half-watching this now, it's not close enough to hold my interest.

The eagles can't do anything on offense, while every single forking play the Cards try on offense works, no matter how difficult it looks. Reminds me of the French Open final :)


Posted by greenhopper 01/18/2009 at 04:20 PM

Sorry, I stepped to get groceries.

aussiemarg: The aseteroid is well fed, don't worry. It has been visiting the practice sites a little bit too.

Master Ace: I just saw the men's draw. I like Leander's quarter. A lot. I think they'll make the QFs. And by a stretch the SFs. Beyond that, am not too hopeful.

But wow, the top half is loaded. Youzhny/Zverev - Bhupathi/Knowles has got to be a cracker first round match. But, will we get to see it ? And Bopanna/Nieminen ???? Safin/Canas will get some TV timings, am sure.

What do you think about the draw, Master Ace?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 04:20 PM

Ptenisnet thanks so much,I have used my hubbys e mail,just waiting for him to get back to me,if any reply,if not I will send you a e mail thanks again.

Posted by greenhopper 01/18/2009 at 04:23 PM

hey, popsicle. We're in opposite camps, but I do like watcing your BFed play.
Other than Rafa, I like Mario, Kei, Tsonga, Gulbis and a few others. Among the ladies, JJ, Dinara, Mirza, and some more.
Who are your other favorites?

Posted by Ross 01/18/2009 at 04:24 PM

NP—
I saw Pancho quite a few times, including the first Hoad-Gonzales match—in a round-robin tournament at Forest Hills, shortly after Hoad won Wimbledon. He, along with Connors and Serena, were the fiercest competitors I’ve seen on a tennis court. I’m not much for inter-era comparisons, but if open tennis had arrived 20 years sooner, I’m sure he would at least be our greatest Wimbledon champion, and perhaps the ultimate slam champion.

Posted by ptenisnet 01/18/2009 at 04:25 PM

no worries am.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:26 PM

Sherlock: I give up.


Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 04:26 PM

Greenhopper,
I will have to do my analyzation of the doubles draw later today before I sign off at 6 PM TW today or tomorrow morning.

Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 04:26 PM

Ms Tangi:

Sure as hell hope so!

AM:

Glad you enjoyed "Doubt" - thought everyone did an excellent acting job - never got to see the Broadway play - so was excited when I found out they were making a movie. If EAstwood's new movie is showing down there - "Gran Torino" - catch that as well - predictable ending not withstanding - also enjoyable.

On Rogi's haircut:

Apparantly he told a reportor who questioned him on his shorn locks that as long as it wasn't so short he was bald - it suited him especially for the hot weather in Aussie land.


Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 04:27 PM

Ross thanks so much for your views on Pancho,again how lucky you were to see him play live,my dad also a big Pancho fan,also saw him play,said he was just a brillant player as well.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:28 PM

this is so ridiculous. so ridiculous.

great story for the Cardinals and Kurt Warner...but yeah.


Posted by siggy parked 01/18/2009 at 04:28 PM

Hi Tanji, thanks, it's just a small bug, enough to justify to self lying prone on couch, stuffing self with foodstuffs not recommended by the government, ya know? ;)

As for lurking, life's been a bit too hectic, I'd come in on a blue moon here and there.... so I know Jackie is the new social director (congratulations)! Having parked self here all afternoon today, I gotta say... gosh, so many new names!

And where are Otto, Tari, DMS, Svelte, mme Dailily and all others... and it's Slam Time!

Posted by greenhopper 01/18/2009 at 04:29 PM

Master Ace,
Looking forward to your analysis.
Did you manage to get tickets to the USA-SUI Davis Cup before they were sold out?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 04:30 PM

Fler saw the shorts on that before "Doubt" looks a great film as well,my hubby will want to see that one,there are so many good films on at the moment.

I want to see Milk with Sean Penn,love Sean think he is a wonderful actor.

Posted by Christopher 01/18/2009 at 04:30 PM

"Since you're so sure that "he unquestionably makes more excuses for his bad losses than the other players at his level," I'll just ask you one simple thing: Give me just three instances where Nole has committed this "annoying" sin and I'll admit you have a legitimate grievance. I want full articles or transcripts, not your own paraphrases or quotes taken out of context."

NP-- Here is your "one simple thing." There are plenty more, but I'll just leave you with some of my favorites. Also, since this was a topic from the last thread that I doubt others are interested in, this is the last I'll have to say about it. Refute away in the comfy knowledge that I'll let you have the last word.

http://tinyurl.com/84r8cd
http://tinyurl.com/9ehff2
http://tinyurl.com/4fvsjn
http://tinyurl.com/7fn3qu

Feel free to just read more of his press conferences after losses and compare the to Rafa's under the same circumstances (as that was the main comparison I made yesterday).

And just to be clear, I think Djokovic is a spectacular tennis player and fully expect him to win multiple slams. I enjoy watching him play tremendously. I also think he's a whiner. (Similarly, I think John McEnroe is the most talented player to pick up a racket and would probably watch him play when he's 80. I also think he's a jerk.) Oh, and just to show I'm not totally bias towards my favorites, Rafa is a FAR more gracious winner and loser than Fed. There, I said it.

Go Roger!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:32 PM

that was the first stupid play I've seen from the Cardinals.


Posted by VE 01/18/2009 at 04:33 PM

We look like absolute garbage...another NFC Championship Game, another loss.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:34 PM

but it's followed up by brilliance.


Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 04:35 PM

AM:

Can't disagree there - I alos would like to see "Milk" - but it's in limited release here and I'd have to do very outta my way to catch it.

This really is a crap day for the Eagles - as the Giants are out of it - I was hoping to see the Eagles take it all.

Oh well - that desire is a pale ghost when compared to my tennis hopes - so I'll keep the emotional anst painfully alive for the AO as shrug shoulders at the outcome of the footsie ball season.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 04:35 PM

Well wonders never cease Hubby rang they have e mailed me just have to got and activate the link,then I can go and put in my picks Yipee,thank god I say!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:36 PM

oh well. In team sports there's always a next year, unlike in individual sports...


Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 04:37 PM

Gosh, must be half time, talking films! Anyone saw I've loved you so long? Kristin Scott Thomas is understated elgance personified, the whole time I was watching her (mesmerized), I was thinking to self, hmmmph, exactly the kind of acting that will not win you awards, but so goooood you are!

Slumdog, I would've liked a lot more if my expectations hadn't been so inflated by all the hype (wonder if that's how some people feel about my Rogi?).... Doubt and Frost/Nixon on my radar now.... Oh, and I loved Bolt, I have a feeling I enjoyed it far more than my 4-year old niece did!

Posted by VE 01/18/2009 at 04:37 PM

Amen, crazyone, but are we really going to be much (read: any) better?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 04:38 PM

Cristopher we are both on the same page there!

Posted by djatns 01/18/2009 at 04:38 PM

Pete

Enjoyed your comments and made me reflect on my KADs and how they came to be. It's all in the eyes for me.

I too cannot sit still for complete matches; even in person. that's what got me to volunteer at cincy b/c i could see so many matches without actually sitting down. I have set aside the australian open as my time to go through boxes of old family photos while watching.... between espn360, espn and tennis channel coverage something will be accomplished. MLK day helps on that front too.

and new to suicide pool so expect to see the loser's lounge but hope not day 1.

sun is setting here so it is getting close.

Posted by Just a Note 01/18/2009 at 04:38 PM

Hi All,

NP, Ross: Just in case you haven't seen:

http://tinyurl.com/8x6or7

on Pancho G. from SI Vault. Read this just a few weeks ago. Very sad; I had no idea.

Also, just saw ESPN Classis has a 1 hour preview of the AO starting at 6p. Hope everyone has fun.

Posted by Just a Note 01/18/2009 at 04:38 PM

Hi All,

NP, Ross: Just in case you haven't seen:

http://tinyurl.com/8x6or7

on Pancho G. from SI Vault. Read this just a few weeks ago. Very sad; I had no idea.

Also, just saw ESPN Classis has a 1 hour preview of the AO starting at 6p. Hope everyone has fun.

Posted by Just a Note 01/18/2009 at 04:39 PM

Sorry for the double.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 04:39 PM

Sorry, Crazyone and other Eagles fans. I am just stunned by the play of our defense. Is this the same "D" that stuffed Dallas, Peterson and the Vikes, and the Giants last week? Ugh.

Somewhere, Sam is dying.

Still a long ways to go, and Warner is capable of giving us a couple turnovers, but we've got to start playing some "D" and getting some pressure.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:40 PM

well...the Phillies won a championship eventually...so it'll be the same for the Eagles. It can take 20-30 years, but that's possible in team sports...

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 04:41 PM

Ross, I can certainly buy that, given that Pancho was No. 1 for six or seven years. What a shame that his name is all but forgotten these days.

Christopher, you may choose not to respond in the comfy knowledge that you let me have the last word, but that doesn't mean your Rafa comparison was apt. Rafa has been playing with his left hand virtually his whole life, whereas Nole picked up his new racket only a few weeks ago. And I wasn't referring to your putative bias towards your faves, but against Djokovic. I'll check out the links to see if the bias is real.

Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 04:44 PM

Siggy!

Gawd - someone else who loved "Bolt" - so glad to hear it - everyone I told to go see it thought I was a nut case.

Posted by katada 01/18/2009 at 04:44 PM

Does any one knows about Donald Young? And that doubles pair Erlich/Ram? haven't seen then together in a very long time.

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 04:44 PM

jan, I actually refer people to that article often and have linked to it a few times here on TW. Thx anyway. Always good to see what a great player and a fascinating personality Pancho was.

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 04:45 PM

Greenhopper,
No. Please see my post to Tangi at 3:31 PM TW for explanation.

Posted by greenhopper 01/18/2009 at 04:47 PM

Ah, sorry, Master Ace. :(
Hope you have fun being a part of the atmosphere from outside.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 04:48 PM

Katada, great question about DY. Does anyone know anything? I thought I heard that he lost the wild card tournament, but did he not play the qualies? I didn't see his name there.

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 04:49 PM

Katada,
Please see my post at 4:03 PM TW for situation on Erlich and Ram

2 hours to go before the start of the Australian Open and to participate in TAT suicide pool. Suicide pool for ATP and WTA will close at 7 PM TW.

Link to ATP suicide pool on TAT

http://tinyurl.com/7q523t

Link to WTA suicide pool on TAT

http://tinyurl.com/7scbjr

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 04:49 PM

Flyer!! Rogiphilia and Bolt-love, we are positively kindred spirits! ;) What time is it where you are when Rogi plays Seppi tonight? Call me addled, you are in the Philippines, no?

Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 04:53 PM

Siggster -

I'm from Jersey - so I expect Rogi the Great to be playin' about 5:00 AM - crack of dawn time!

Posted by Ndesque 01/18/2009 at 04:54 PM

Young isn't playing AO, but apparently has entered a challenger that starts January 26. No injury cited. Weird.

Posted by Just a Note 01/18/2009 at 04:54 PM

katada: So glad you're here.

Thank you so much for the fantastic translation you did on the RN article in "elmundo". (1/11, @2:29p) I thoroughly enjoyed the interview and am amazed at your skills.

And based on some of the comments I've read since then, I'm happy to hear you're feeling better.

Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 04:56 PM

Aw - ishkabibble - it's snowing again - I refuse to go and shovel twice on my Sunday - and the first night of the AO.

REFUSE!

Posted by Or 01/18/2009 at 04:56 PM

Ugh, I've just been browsing through the mother ship.

Rog cut his hair way too short.

http://tinyurl.com/a6gk3h

http://tinyurl.com/a8g8jb

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 04:57 PM

Ooooopsie, Flyer, what Jersey and the Philippines have in common, I haven't the foggiest notion why I associated you with the Philippines! *hangs head, red-faced* Well, we are in the same time zone, what do you say, we stay up and root for our man in action! ;)

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 04:58 PM

Or: honestly, it looks fine without the gel (did you see the practice photos on C Note's blog?). And it was a bit too long, this way he'll have time to grow it out to perfect length. Which will happen soon enough. This is USO 2006 length. Hopefully we'll have the same results here :)


Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 04:59 PM

Thanks, Ndesque. Choosing not to play the AO. Weird indeed.

Eagles, Eagles, Eagles. :( The left tackle doubles down on the end and leaves the all-pro safety Wilson free to crunch McNabb from the blind side. Hello, McFly?!?!?!

Posted by Just a Note 01/18/2009 at 05:00 PM

siggy @4:37p: Have you ever seen "The Valet"?

http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/04/20/movies/20vale.html

I liked KSThomas in this but I really like Daniel Auteuil who plays her husband. I found it to be a very funny movie.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:02 PM

Sherlock: I've stopped watching. It's just too painful, and not that interesting of a game. It's too easy for the Cards.


Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 05:02 PM

siggy - you from the Philly (USA) area?

Or do I also hang head?

Can't decide if I'll stay up all night - have loads of work and a meeting tomorrow - or if I'll go to bed early and get my arse up at say 4:30 to prepare for the sweating palms and irregular heartrate. Have to leave house latest at 7:00 AM for work - so my window of Rogi viewing is limited depending on when the master hits the court.

But - I will be there for the beginning of the match at least - so will abso - F - inlutely join you then.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:02 PM

Or: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/apphoto/photo?sportId=850&photoId=2125426


Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 05:04 PM

Thanks for the photos, Or. I'd adore him, bald or hirsute... but I must say, this particular do makes him look... so dashingly debonair.. but also... so-establishment! I really miss the giggly Rog.... *sighs* Also... his nose looks particularly prominent, and it's not exactly Roman patrician, pffft.

Posted by afwu1216 01/18/2009 at 05:06 PM

USA TV ALERT
--------------------------------------------------------

Australian Open Preview Shows:

6:00PM TW time:
Preview Show on Tennis Channel
Preview Show on ESPN CLASSIC

Approx. 1 hour and 56 minutes until the start of Australian Open 2009.
----------------------------------------------------------------

Roddick vs Rheinquist on Rod Laver Arena and Ivanovic vs Goerges on Hisense Arena.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 05:06 PM

Flyer,

Why don't you get up early to watch Rog instead of staying up? That's my plan. I think. And you gotta hire a shoveling neighbor kid. I'm begging you. :)

siggy,

I just saw the Frost/Nixon play a few months ago with Stacy Keach as Nixon. Excellent. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

Otto's around all the time! Just not today. Tari disappeared more recently, DMS has been gone forever, the others since summer, maybe? It IS amazing how this site keeps growing. I always wonder how many posters there are.

Posted by Ross 01/18/2009 at 05:07 PM

jan--
Thanks for that amazing article. I'm surprised I hadn't seen it before. I knew Pancho was an sob, but wow!

Posted by Or 01/18/2009 at 05:07 PM

Crazyone -

Humf, the long hair looked good on AND off court, and I hate the gel-ly look.

Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 05:09 PM

Tangi - as always you are the voice of reason!

BTW - there are NO nice little kids around here who would ever think to shovel someone's snow - they all just walk by laughing as I puff my way thru the white stuff.

Posted by katada 01/18/2009 at 05:11 PM

Master Ace, Thank you as always you are the the inform guy here, sorry that I didn't read it before asking the question, may apology. They were the defending champions.

Just a Note, thankyou for your kind words, glad that you enjoy the articule about Rafa at elmundo.es. Is not that easy to transalate, but every time I can and find and articule I will take the time so every one here will know about it. Hugs

Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 05:11 PM

Will wonders never cease?

Eagles just nabbed a looooong pass - a comeback in the offering?

Posted by Christopher 01/18/2009 at 05:13 PM

"Rafa has been playing with his left hand virtually his whole life, whereas Nole picked up his new racket only a few weeks ago."

Sweet fancy Moses, NP, I was obviously JOKING about wanting to see Rafa JOKINGLY say after a loss that he "played left-handed." As I said, it would funny.

You may not agree with me, but you would have to think me insane to make that as a real comparison rather than a joke!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:14 PM

Or: that's an argument against using the gel, not the haircut. Anyway it'll grow out soon.

Wow, we actually scored a touchdown!!!! Miracles never cease. Now we need the defense needs to step up.


Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 05:14 PM

Eagles scored on a McNabb pass to Celek.

Cardinals 24 Eagles 13
4:08 to go in 3rd quarter - still time for Philly to come back

Key play: McNabb pass to Curtis on 3rd and 19.

Posted by yello fuzzy 'foaming at the mouth' 01/18/2009 at 05:15 PM

WWhhhoooo HHooooo Let the games begin!!!!!

looking forward to spending the next couple of weeks with everyone...
my picks:
I would love for Venus and Tsonga or Rafa
but i think Serena and FADErer will win

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:15 PM

ok kids, time to cover Fitzgerald.


Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 05:17 PM

Katada,
That is okay.

Since there are preview shows, time for me to hang around is 20 minutes. At 5:40 PM TW, I will be off TW until tomorrow morning from my day job.

Hope your favorites do well for the next 2 weeks.

Posted by Flyer 01/18/2009 at 05:17 PM

Gotta go - till later everyone.

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 05:20 PM

Just a note, merci for the link, no.. have not seen that film, it's on my list now!

Flyer, no, not Philly but close... I live in the DC suburbs, and thanks to Obama, we have 2 whole days off, yay! So tonight (and tomorrow, too), I was looking: a) attend in person inauguration party whose admission ticket includes 4 drinks... and get mauled in the melee; b) attend a private get together... with flowing free drinks and stimulating company; or c) lounge on my couch, stuff self with junk food and drool at Rogi gracing my tele screen. Weelll! That said, I feel for you, having to leave Rogi at 7:00 to get to work, eeeek!

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:20 PM

Master Ace, I hope you have a really enjoyable time watching the Australian Open.


Posted by rudy3 (electricity is for wimps) 01/18/2009 at 05:21 PM

Come on, the Cards are gonna win this game...no way no how would the gods of war allow Philly fans to have a World Series AND Super Bowl Champion in the same decade, let alone the same year.

Vamos Rafa!

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 05:24 PM

greenhopper!

Can't forget your question. My other faves. Well, nobody rises to the level of Rog, of course. Murray and Santoro (for their variety). Lopez, Gasquet and Haas have nice games. Your guy is always fun to watch, of course. JJ, too! We're definitely in the same camp there.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:25 PM

yello fuzzy, you're not on the Mandwagon?


Posted by roadrunnerz 01/18/2009 at 05:26 PM

Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!

What happened to Fed's beautiful hair????

First Roddick's brush cut, now this?

*sobs*

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 05:30 PM

Eagles scored on a McNabb pass to Celek but Akers missed the extra point

Cardinals 24 Eagles 19 0:49 to go in 3rd quarter

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:30 PM

oh-kay Akers. What was that?

Oh well, doesn't really matter. 5 point game!

DEFENSE, DEFENSE.


Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 05:31 PM

Well done, Eagles. Unless the Cards get some big plays, I think they're toast. The Eagles "D" has woken up, and Warner's going to be seeing a lot of green in his face for the next 15 minutes.

Posted by TENNIS.com 01/18/2009 at 05:32 PM

Well, well. It seems we have a ball game.

I, myself, would have gone for two after the last TD. But now there's a lot of time to play, and a lot of sweaty palms in Phoenix.

Posted by yello fuzzy 'foaming at the mouth' 01/18/2009 at 05:33 PM

crazyone
I f#rt in his general direction...
I'm just kidding, Murray would be my pick, and is my second pick to win. But I am hoping FADErer will rise to the occasion, his comments about all the Murray talk could be a motivating factor.

Posted by crazyone 01/18/2009 at 05:33 PM

wow, the Eagles have 165 yards this quarter, and the Cards have one.


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