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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 rafadoc 01/18/2009 at 06:38 PM

sblily...I am watching it on TC but it is also on ESPN2 here in central time zone anyhow. Good luck:)

Posted by beth 01/18/2009 at 06:39 PM

now - on to Pittsburgh and the Ravens
I realize that Ray Lewis is one of the premiere linebackers to ever play the game
and generally speaking I like linebackers
but he is a thug - and I cannot cheer for him -so there
besides I love Troy Polamalu so I am hoping he comes through big today

hugs to Sam - and here's a beer to help ease the pain
'slides beer down the bar to Sam - wherever he may be "

does anyone have a link to all the player party pics?

Posted by rafadoc 01/18/2009 at 06:40 PM

Sherlock-thanks for the validation....he *boldy* picked Murray right off the top so I was ready for that but geez-do your homework dude. Rafa isn't tired, or banged up.
*thickens skin*

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 06:42 PM

I'm getting a dog show too. Ugh.. hurry up 7:00!

Posted by C Note (Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?) 01/18/2009 at 06:42 PM

Hey Justin. Have some self respect and shave before you go on camera. Schmuck.

Posted by sblily (Vamos Ferru!) 01/18/2009 at 06:42 PM

beth - agree with you re: Polamalu. Love the way he talks about his wife. :)

I'm "meh" on Pittsburg generally, but I guess they're the lesser of two evils here, as I would rather NOT have a Super Bowl decided by a score of 6-2.

Posted by VE 01/18/2009 at 06:42 PM

Well, clean break between football and tennis season

Posted by jbradhunter 01/18/2009 at 06:44 PM

Wait. What? 20 minutes to OZ?
Shnitzle!
I'm at Books A Million waiting on my sister!

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 06:45 PM

Although watching this is making me want one of those pug dogs. They are cute. Now they are showing the Rafa of dog shows.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 06:45 PM

AM, you're killing me. :)

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 06:45 PM

Although watching this is making me want one of those pug dogs. They are cute. Now they are showing the Rafa of dog shows.

Posted by beth 01/18/2009 at 06:45 PM

sblily - yep - he seems to be a man truly in love
and that is nice to see

I also like that in spite of his fierce warrior image on field
that he is a truly gentle soul - by all accounts of those who know him

my tivo guide shows tennis coverage on ESPN 2 to begin at 4 pm - pacific time

Posted by izidane-Oz09 or bust, it's hereee! 01/18/2009 at 06:46 PM

Sblily
TTC has the previews. Does this mean Pac time zone doesn't get ESPN prev.s

Posted by rafadoc 01/18/2009 at 06:46 PM

lol C Note-what look is he trying to rock, exactly?....and neither guy can pronounce "Rafael"...and Justin says Rafa is run down again.....oh well...I need to lighten up.... a lot, evidently. *looks for nice bottle of red*. I will quit bitchin' now:)

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 06:46 PM

rafadoc,

I'm in your time zone and ESPN2 has a dog show on! Grrrrr. I was wondering about the "rafa is tired and banged up" stuff, too. I don't know how Justin stays employed. Can't TC find someone else? I'll bet he's cheap. That's it!

Posted by raul 01/18/2009 at 06:46 PM

less than 15 minutes to go wooooooooooo

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 06:47 PM

ShamWOW!!!

Sorry. I'm getting antsy.

Posted by katada 01/18/2009 at 06:47 PM

Watching the AO preview on Tennis Channel, very interesting, there comments. Given Nadal Q the though one of all and Murray Q the most easy one.

Tennis Channel is given Federer to win, and also they think that the only guys that can upset Murray is Federer or Nadal. But over all they believe that Murray will go all the way to the final.

On the womans side they are given to wim one of Williams sister with Venus as favorite.

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 06:48 PM

ESPN Classic is where ESPN preview show is located.

Posted by adicecream 01/18/2009 at 06:48 PM

Tangi, I'm with you on Justin. There is no one else???

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 06:48 PM

OK, I've solved the mystery. The ESPN preview is on ESPN Classic here.

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 06:49 PM

Tangi, he comes cheap, that made me laugh! ;)

*waves at Beth*

Sherlock, time to cash in on your earlier assertion... you'd root for Rogi when he's no longer the top dog, so what say you now? ;)

Posted by rafadoc 01/18/2009 at 06:49 PM

Tangi-it is on ESPN2-did you try that?

Indeed, I hope they don't pay him much....Lord.

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 06:49 PM

Do I have ESPN Classic??? ARGH!!!

Dogs, dogs, dogs ...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 06:50 PM

Sherlock please dont die on my yet! I need you in the trenches ok? dont worry have triple supplies of our fave Nestle Crunch Bars in stock for the next two weeks,have no fear.

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 06:51 PM

One final comment on the Djoker.

You folks remember what ensued after Fed lost to Murray in Doha? (Well, what a rhetorical question. Of course you do.) When asked about Murray's prospects of becoming No. 1, Fed basically said he hopes Andy will have earned a Slam title before reaching the summit. And as some of you will recall I defended his comment 'cause, to repeat, I read it less as "Look, Murray's gonna have to win a Slam before he can be compared to Rafa and me" than as "I hope he can win a Slam before then, you know, to continue the great tradition of the ATP." Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I rather doubt that some of you Fed KADs who agreed with me would've been as lenient had the "offender" in question been Djoko.

Look, all I'm saying is that you be as fair to Nole as you are to Fed or whoever happens to be your fave. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 06:51 PM

Some of these dogs don't even look real.

Posted by C Note (Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?) 01/18/2009 at 06:51 PM

Rafadoc -- He's ridiculous. Everything he's saying is either "duh" or flat out wrong. No insight whatsoever.

I like Corina though. I know I shouldn't, but I do. Probably because she's an AnaKAD.

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 06:51 PM

"Can't TC find someone else? I'll bet he's cheap."

Tangi, truer words were never spoken about Gimelslob. :)

Jackie. :) Go Shamwow!! And made in Bismarck's country, right??

Posted by gauloises (potito starace for ao 2009) 01/18/2009 at 06:51 PM

Four minutes left to go - is this the end
That message on your stereo ... four minute warning!

Posted by rafadoc 01/18/2009 at 06:52 PM

Tangi- d'oh! you said you tried ESPN2...sorry. Glad you found it!

Good luck Jackie!

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 06:52 PM

Agreed, CNote. That's just one of the reasons CL calls him Gimelslob.

Hi, adicecream!

Posted by gauloises (potito starace for ao 2009) 01/18/2009 at 06:53 PM

OK, apparently my computer time and TW time are verrry different things ...

Well, that probably means I should smoke a cigarette.

Posted by Ndesque 01/18/2009 at 06:54 PM

tangi - I'm in the East.

TTC's preview is more of a draw analysis, while ESPN has the 'memorable moments, records, historic' stuff covered.

6 mins. left till A-Rod's on.

Is Ginepri in the draw? Whose quarter?

Posted by Sherlock 01/18/2009 at 06:54 PM

Siggy, he he he. Good memory. :)

Unfortunately, he's still favored by many, including moi. That was the fine print in my declaration. :)

Posted by rafadoc 01/18/2009 at 06:54 PM

C Note-I like Corina too...she had great and insightful comments about the women's draw.

Posted by Rachael 01/18/2009 at 06:54 PM

omg the snooker is goooooood. but I hope it ends soon. aslong as Selby wins the next two frames, obv.

I should be focused on tennis.

Posted by beth 01/18/2009 at 06:54 PM

Pete - love this article
as a fan of Marat - I can tell you it is a very hard thing to do
but , well I have one more year to try and make this "love " work
before he heads back to Moscow or the Himalayas or wherever he is going upon his retirement

now - just one more little factoid about the Arizona cardinals
I believe that if - and that is a big if - they win the Super bowl
Matt Leinart will be the only qb in football to have a Heisman , a BCS championship
and a Super Bowl ring - even though he will be wearing that ring while holding a clipboard :)

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 06:54 PM

LOL, Sherlock. Yep. But ShamWOW's nothing without the guy!

Yeah, I gave up. Now I'm invested in the dog show.

Posted by C Note (Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?) 01/18/2009 at 06:54 PM

LOL. Gimelstob puts "not my money, but my reputation" on Federer.

Luckily for him, his reputation ain't worth much anymore.

Posted by Annie 01/18/2009 at 06:55 PM

here we go peeps! Slammin' with the Twibe! My first major on the Rez! 7 minutes and counting...

Monica: if you're still around, there is a post all about the suicide pool and if you havent made your first pick by the time the first day begins then it's too late. so for funsies, why don't you play unofficially and see how you do? Each day you go to the OOP on the TAT site and pick a player you think will win. just one player. you try to do this right through to the final. but the trick is you can't pick a player more than once. So you're not gonna pick Fed in the early rounds. anyway see how you do armchair-swimming.

Posted by Master Ace 01/18/2009 at 06:56 PM

Ndesque,
Robby is in Federer's quarter and he plays Berdych today.

*off to my HDTV*

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 06:56 PM

Thanks, Sherlock. :) Maybe I can start a "Stop Gimelslob Now" club? I can't believe Martina Hingis ever dated that guy.

Posted by Annie 01/18/2009 at 06:57 PM

MA: ciao for now. see you in the a.m.!

peanut: glad you're around.

now it's time for hubby to go watch football in the kitchen. i am taking over..

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 06:57 PM

Wow only 4 mins to go here in Oz,great weather too!

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 06:58 PM

Root for the German Shepherd, Jackie. Er, unless you're rooting for hubby, of course. That would be the Yorkshire Terrier. :)

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 06:58 PM

Oh dear... NP, when you lump people as "some of you Fed KADs"... dunno, something in me gets all bristly... makes me think an ad hominem attack is afoot or something... (yoohoo syd!) Well now, I feel like kettle to your pot, or is it the other way around?!?

Posted by beth 01/18/2009 at 06:58 PM

Gimelslob is probably cheap
ha ! in fact , I would bet if anyone wanted him - he could be had for free

but - who the heck would want him
that is the question


Hi, tangi! "waves back "

Posted by Ndesque 01/18/2009 at 06:59 PM

MA - Thanks. That one should be more than three sets.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

Melbourne Hot and Sunny 35 deg F.

Also A aussie got into Super bowl Well Done!

Posted by Rachael 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

tennis set to Katy Perry?
okay Eurosport...

Posted by Lleytsie (Ann Arbor = North f' Pole) 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

HI BETHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

hugs hugs ! am PERFECTLY ON TIME - welcome to Melbourne'

Posted by Jackie 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

LOL, tangi! I wanted the Golden.

TENNIS!!!!!!!!!

Posted by beth 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

tangi - she was engaged to The worm
I would say her taste in men is suspect at best

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

Ah, Martina N. agrees with Rog. You gotta win a slam before you can be a favorite to win a slam.

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

A CC is up. Everyone come play.

Posted by jbradhunter 01/18/2009 at 07:00 PM

I love iPhone
Waiting at a stoplight, posting on TW

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/18/2009 at 07:01 PM

Yeah have the A.O. on my tv

Posted by beth 01/18/2009 at 07:01 PM

Hi! Lleystsie
yep - looks like we have a good group for the start of the AO

Posted by Lleytsie (Ann Arbor = North f' Pole) 01/18/2009 at 07:02 PM

popsi - hI

ITS WONDERFUL to watch tennis again with you of ya !

Posted by greenhopper 01/18/2009 at 07:02 PM

dayum, there's a streaming link at channelsurfing.. that actually works!

Posted by Rosangel 01/18/2009 at 07:02 PM

There is a Crisis Center now open.

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 07:02 PM

siggy, lemme then stress that "some." I didn't mean to say all Fed fans are like that. Sorry if it came across that way.

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 07:02 PM

Jackie, dog show? ;) Where's vetmama? If rogi were a dog, he'd be... well, not a yorkie!

Sherlock, you, sir, are no gentleman, going back on your own words and splitting hairs, hmmmph! *tosses hair*

Posted by rafadoc 01/18/2009 at 07:03 PM

Gosh it is great to have tennis on TV...yeah! :) I am giddy.

Posted by rose 01/18/2009 at 07:03 PM

ppl lovely to c the beautiful day in melborne jus waitin for RAny to come to court to everyone enjoy tennis yaay!!!

Posted by sokol 01/18/2009 at 07:04 PM

Whohoo! Live tennis on my TV!

Posted by Lleytsie (Ann Arbor = North f' Pole) 01/18/2009 at 07:04 PM

i dont understand - verdasco - 3rd seed ? i havent even had a drink yet mate ?

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

Hey siggy, sorry I didn't answer your comment above, I had to step out. I'm definetly setting the alarm, but whether I'm able to actually stay awake depends on how much of a beatdown Roger puts on ;-)


So, are we there yet? :)

Posted by sblily (Vamos Ferru!) 01/18/2009 at 07:06 PM

*co-signing on jbrad's iPhone love*

Oh, Jeelbair and Mary C, how I've missed you!

And Darren! And Cliffy!

*squees* Tennis is back y'all! I'm so excited!

And yes, I too love the Sham Wow guy. Endlessly entertaining in a cartoon character way.

Posted by izidane-it's hereee! 01/18/2009 at 07:06 PM

Tadaaa!
Get Cahill into the studio!

Posted by rose 01/18/2009 at 07:07 PM

oh no i have to put up with the ivanovic match they aint showin RAndy here!!!
*sobs*
but have to say anna looks ok to me hope it'll b staight sets win!!!

Posted by vetmama 01/18/2009 at 07:07 PM

Jackie
I know you like the cut, I miss those locks!
Although, damn he looks handsome in that picture, even without the hair.:)

jbrad
I just got an iPhone and I'm truly in love!
Especially now that I downloaded the Pandora ap and can listen to any music I want, anywhere. Jeje.:)

Posted by vetmama 01/18/2009 at 07:09 PM

BTW, here I am siggy!

I just tried to email you about an hour ago...did I have the right address?

Posted by Christopher 01/18/2009 at 07:09 PM

It begins!

Just wanted to say good luck to everyone, for their favs, their suicide pool picks, etc. TW makes the experience of watching these events so much better. Thank you Pete for giving us this space!

May the man and woman win!!!

And may Roger Federer be the best man!!!

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:10 PM

Let this be for SIGGY, whom I miss for a hundred years!!!! Ha-ha! How are you????

Posted by Syd 01/18/2009 at 07:11 PM

Greenhoopper!!! THANK YOU for the link!!

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:11 PM

HI NP, Lleytsie, Vetnama, Christopher, and all posters!

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:12 PM

Hi Syd, and GH too!

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 07:13 PM

Hi, Ren. I think everyone is moving over to the new thread.

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:13 PM

Faith, faith, faith, faith, faith, faith, faith, in THE god of tennis!

Posted by vetmama 01/18/2009 at 07:13 PM

syd
Where oh where did the curls go? :(

Just think, in some hair salon somewhere, they got swept up and thrown in the garbage. Too sad.

Posted by Christopher 01/18/2009 at 07:13 PM

Um, that would be "May the BEST man and woman win!!!"

Not a good beginning for me!

Posted by Syd 01/18/2009 at 07:14 PM


* And may Roger Federer be the best man!!!*

Drinking to that :)

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:14 PM

Hi NP. Thank, but is there a new one? We haven't even reached 1000 posts?

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:16 PM

LOL Christopher!

Posted by Annie 01/18/2009 at 07:16 PM

Ren: crisis center post is up. it's a new day for tennis down under! good to see you.

Posted by Syd 01/18/2009 at 07:16 PM

Vetmama:

Word.

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:17 PM

Go Venus, Go Federer!!!!

Posted by siggy 01/18/2009 at 07:17 PM

Awwww, Ren, you are too sweet! A hundred years, and I call myself hyperbolic! ;)

Sher, beatdown by our Rogi, I'll drink to it! *clinks bubbly*

Vetmama, I'll send you an email so you can check! Rog with shorn locks, it's like he's a new dog, no? ;) Hopefully a new and an improved one (on 2008, that is)!

Posted by NP 01/18/2009 at 07:17 PM

Ren, I think this thread will be open for off-topic chats, but if you wanna talk ongoing tennis the new thread is where you should be.

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:18 PM

Thanks Annie! Howdy?

Posted by Ren (d' kindred soul) 01/18/2009 at 07:27 PM

OH Siggy!!! You haven't changed a bit!!! ha-ha! And I love that!

Posted by Monica 01/18/2009 at 07:28 PM

Hi Annie and thanks for that info but i also was not sure whether i'd be able to log onto a computer each day and whether i'd be disqualified or dumped off if i did not and ptenisnet was nice enough to confirm this. maybe i'll just kind of play on my own like you suggest. i would have picked Roddick today. enjoy the tennis - i'm feeling so nervous and excited at the same time!

Posted by sarah 01/18/2009 at 08:05 PM

Annie

I do not at all appreciate your calling my statements 'ignorant'. That's really rude.

You say you were welcomed here and that no one said anything about your posts about a certain player's sexuality (I remember those). Of course they didn't -- because you were not commenting on the remarks made by a member of the Twibe. I referred to Rosangel's remarks and was lambasted for questioning her.

I am a journalist, by the way, and an avid tennis follower. I have a right to my express my opinion (whatever you may think of it) and ask for a response (which Rosangel gave, and I appreciated).

I explained clearly why I thought the comments might be inappropriate (and I was unaware that she was a volunteer, which does make a difference.) If you have a similar journalistic background, then possibly you are in a position to condemn someone for making "ignorant comments." But my feeling is that you are unaware of the fine distinctions being made about journalists making highly personal remarks on their own website's blogs. Policies and style do vary.

Posted by Nancy J 01/18/2009 at 10:48 PM

Well, Pete, I'm one of those who has bestowed "love" on a player -- (as you know) I'm semiKAD for Chrissie Evert to this day. Yeah, my favorite days of tennis where the early Slims years, and the 80's (I was bored during the Graf/Seles years). But, I also love the game, and saved and saved my pennies as a young teen to see the Virginia Slims. I wanted to see Chrissie, of course, but I also loved Rosie Casals (a wonderfully entertaining player in her day), Billie Jean King, Dianne Fromholtz, Jimmy Connors, Vitas Gerulaitis, and others.

But I've always loved ChrissieE best. Part of it is that she is the player that I first saw play the game. Being 11 in 1971, I wanted to see another kid play against the pros on what I was told was a huge event. She was my introduction, and I'll always love her best. Even if she is a political conservative and my leanings are liberal. That's were the "unconditional" ENDS! ;)!!

Strangely, I've become recently enamored of a player that I disliked in her heyday -- Stefanie Maria Graf. I guess I disliked Graf because a few times she took Chrissie to the cleaners, but mostly because it was difficult to relate to her as a person. I think that more than any other sport, because it's individual, I do find that I have to relate to the player on a personal level to really root for them. The more I learn about Graf and her triumphs over her family issues, the more I admire her as a person, the more I've been looking back at her game. She was pretty spectacular, but I preferred her in her vulnerable years -- that's when she showed her stuff as a human verses being a tennis machine.

I tend to latch on to football teams where I like a player too. For instance, I'm broken hearted that Donovan McNabb isn't going to get that Super Bowl ring this year, but glad that Kurt Warner may! I could care less about the Arizona Cardinals overall -- hell I live in LA! But I always dug Kurt.

I've always watched different players along with my favs, and while I may not be passionate about the players that I don't dig personally (like Andy Murray, who I hope drops dead, but will probably be number 1 at some point), I still watch'em. Heck, sometimes rooting against a player I hate is more fun than watching a player I love. Plus, I develop new loves -- like Jelena Jankovic!

I don't think it's unhealthy unless it takes over your life. That's not happened for me -- well, except in the 70's when I collected all tennis magazines from the US and UK and anywhere else, and all things Chris Evert, plus WTT. But then, it was a great hobbie that kept me out of trouble.

I find that being semiKAD is alright! It's better than alright, it's fun. Had I not been semiKAD, I would not have saved for two years to attend the US Open in 1992. I would have watched it on TV instead (as I do now). But no, I had to see Chrissie play a major. I dragged a friend along all the way from Los Angeles to New York, and even though she wasn't really a fan, she said it was one of her most fun events ever (we got to see Johnny Mc pull a crazy during a night match). I'm glad to be a lover of certain players -- although, I'm not unconditional.

Posted by Nancy J 01/18/2009 at 11:21 PM

"Now I know why I never post here. If you're not part of the exclusive club and god forbid question someone who is you get attacked as not being "civil". Good grief."
---------------------------------------

Someone wrote this in the previous thread.

People who post a lot here do tend to know each other and develop relationships, but still in general strive to be civil to new folks and differing opinions. I consider myself a welcome member of the tribe (hope I'm not wrong! LOL), even though I only post during events, and I don't know a lot of the people who have started posting in the last six months, so I don't always get the insider jokes.

Still, this board is VERY much more civil than the Tennisforum for women (formerly WTA forum). Someone on that board dropped the "f" bomb on me because I opined that Serena is still not at optimum weight! That's a tough crowd! These guys and gals are light weight in comparison. LOL

One thing -- lots of us do drink the koolaid, ie. favor certain players -- and love to tease about the players we don't favor. It's not meant to be insulting, at least not when I do it, but rather all in fun and just another way to get into the game.

Welcome to the boards, Sarah. It's sometimes interesting to have someone come aboard and stir things up a bit.

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