Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Dressing Roger
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Dressing Roger 06/22/2009 - 4:06 PM

Weenie by Pete Bodo

Mornin'. Wimbledon is underway, right? Everyone is getting back into 14-days-in-the-tennis-hole watching mode, warming up that right-handed move to the bowl full of orange food (How can Cheetos be bad for you if they're just crunchy air?), the faster-than-Twitter skitter on the keyboard or (if you're lucky enough) the remote. . . It's time to warn the neighbors - that scream or bellow they're going to hear is not you killing the cat, it's you agonizing over the fact that Agnes Szavay just had her serve broken to go down a set and a break!

Given all this, it's really strange to recognize that for a handful of people, Wimbledon isn't just beginning - it's already over. The Wimbledon website doesn't provide scorecards (although you can find those ever valuable if not entirely convincing match stats), so I'm not entirely certain I've got this right, but judging by the scores I believe that the first player to lose at Wimbledon was Petra Cetkovska, who was beaten in an hour and seven minutes in the first match of the first day on Court 5 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-2, 6-2.

A moment of silence for Petra, please. Her Wimbledon of 2009 is over before it ever really began, and certainly long before it began for most players and the lion's share of tennis fans. I've often thought it must be an awful bummer to be out of Wimbledon an hour into it, and that's probably one good reason to keep doubles and mixed on the program. It affords downtrodden players the opportunity to hang around and savor the unique atmosphere at Wimbledon, and to bask in their glory as top tennis professionals in tennis's equivalent of the fur trade's legendary Rendezvous. If it weren't for doubles, all of Monday night you might be hearing the plop-plop-plop of bodies falling into the Thames from any of London's picturesque and historic bridges. Fog or no fog.

Cetkovska is a 24-year old Czech, and she's only escaped the first round at a major twice in eight attempts, although one of those occasions looks almost like a career run: She got to the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2008, which makes you wonder if those were all live bodies she elbowed out of the way - especially because her favorite shots are the volley and serve, and her surfaces of choice are hardcourt and grass. Hmmmmm. . .  you could forgive Cetkovska if she went home, looked in the mirror, and hissed, "Petra, I don't even know who you are anymore."

But while it's fun fooling around with these details, let's remember that Cetkovska is (or has been, according to ranking) one of the best 50 women tennis players. . . on the face of the earth. Which gives her a degree-of-distinction I certainly can't match, even if you can. So I'm glad she still has doubles, although it isn't what you would call major comfort - she has yet to win her first doubles match at a major.

But hey, the doubles doesn't really get going for a few more days and, given the customary Wimbledon rain delays, Petra might have locker room privileges for at least two or three more days - plenty of time to for her to take advantage of the perks offered to main draw players, and to be accosted by giggling school kids with their autograph books as she makes her way through the crowds jammed into the walkways while carrying her giant racket bag and looking tres cool in her predominantly-whites. She may also get to rub shoulders in the player's mess with her favorite player, Roger Federer, whom she likes because, in her own words, "He's a great player and a good person."

Federer may be a great player and a good person but his latest fashion statement once again suggests that he wants to be taken for some kind of a swell - which is probably not even remotely close to the truth, but if Roger can't control the message, who can?  This latest get-up is something you expect to see on a cruise ship host - check that - someone playing the part of one in a campy television show. It's distressing that Federer, who (admirably enough) claims to love "tradition" should be party to what amounts to a grotesque parody of it. Who's he trying to be, Big Bill Tilden - or some Don Ho cut loose on the greensward?

What's most surprising to me is that Roger doesn't seem to get it. I suspect that the Nike designers and marketing folks must come to him and fill him up with a bunch of hooey about what an "ambassador" he is for all things traditional and he goes all weak in the knees and capitulates to one cockamamie fashion disaster after another. The 14-time Grand Slam champ and budding fashionista turns commercial chump and, like some unsuspecting kid brother, lets his sister and her friends play dress-up with him. What next, lipstick and mom's pumps?

I bring this subject up partly because it has deja vu written all over it, and I'm not just talking about the ongoing process of Roger's dandification. Remember Andre Agassi's early years? Nike dressed Andre up in a series of Bozo the Clown outfits, driven by what probably was a similar urge to overstatement. In context, this goes by the name of client positioning and identification, and unless the client in question is very savvy, the drive to secure him in a niche - and the existence of a niche takes over the process.

In Andre's case, the niche was colorful young rebel, wreaking havoc on a game for old men and ladies prancing around in white. We saw where it led (hot pink spandex running leggings under charcoal gray shorts, among other things) The only thing Nike didn't do in its effort to capture "market share" among mall rats was pass out a free pack of cigarettes with every shirt they sold. And all that hurt Andre among those who didn't see through the ghastly commercial realities of it all.

In Roger's case, the niche is proud and unapologetic snob (or what that talented rebel caught and re-educated early enough could become, kind of like Bob Geldof). And in any event, it's a different, older and wealthier demographic. Roger seems to be standing up to be counted as a lucky, privileged Porsche-driving, mummsy-loving, polo-watching, country club dandy.

Why would anyone want to be portrayed as either of those creatures, you might be inclined to wonder, and are there enough of either type to warrant dumping so much Big Money into these campaigns? That's where it gets a little tricky, but also strategically nuanced. I noticed in the comments the other day that someone remarked that you can't even buy half the stuff you see Roger swanning around in, so what's the point?

I have to confess that I personally never went out to try to find an R/F manpurse, or a blazer with the astrological signs and laurel wreaths all over it, but doesn't it make sense that the stuff isn't available? I mean, if every Tom, Dick and Harry could go out to Target and pick up a Roger Federer Wimbledon blazer, what would that do for Roger's snob appeal, or the underlying theme of these campaigns, which is that he's Roger Federer and you're not?

On the other hand, if you really identify with The Mighty Fed, and have made your peace with the idea that you are not now, nor ever will be, be mistaken for a guy as classy and steeped in tennis tradition as Roger, you can express your fan-love and low self-esteem by scurrying off to the Nike store to buy a really nice $40 white t-shirt with the RF logo on the chest (and it's even bigger than that annoying polo player on the Ralph Lauren shirts, woo hoo!). That ought to be good enough for you, because like we said - he's Roger Federer and you're not.

To some degree, Nike must have been paying attention when its prized tennis client was hobnobbing at all those fashion shows with Anna Wintour. Nobody wears those bizarre costumes you see models parading on the catwalks either, right? They're "art", right? None of you regular folks need to buy or wear that stuff; the t-shirt or, if you must put on airs or want to get closer to the flame, $65 tennis polo ought to be just fine.

Tiger Well, I think it's great that Roger is trying to be mindful of tradition and all that, but we've passed the tipping point on that one. And while I'm not a big golf fan, it seems to me that Nike came a lot closer to getting it right with that other budding immortal, Tiger Woods. Every time I've caught a glimpse of Tiger on a golf course, he's been dressed in really appealing and completely appropriate gear - stuff that's elegant in a streamlined, sporty, functional way. How come Nike declined to dress Tiger in Bobby Jones-style knickers, with a cabbie cap? Could it be that Tiger just said, "No way!"

Roger may enjoy all this elaborate role-playing in a harmless way; down deep he probably thinks it's really cool that he can go out there looking so Brideshead Revisited and still leave opponents bleeding from the eardrums. But I think these costumes really send an awful, reactionary message, and can't help but think that Roger's being naive. It may be cool to look like an utter weenie and then kick buttski left and right, rubbing the dirt of your greatness in everyone's face. But at the end of the day, too many people are going to see Roger's kit and think: Guy's a heckuva tennis player, but he looks like such a weenie. I guess that's still what tennis is all about.

In the big picture, Roger Federer deserves to have a better image than that, and tennis certainly could be better represented as a sport that transcends all the socio-economic associations and stereotypes Federer's recent costumes conjure up. Roger, you're being used. Man up, call and ask Tiger about it.


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Posted by JohnC 06/23/2009 at 03:38 AM

@eric
"if you prance on the court like a ninny"

Well, I guess you constitute living empirical proof that Bodo's perspective has some traction among some segment of the population, at least in the US.

I suspect these anxieties are closely related to other concerns, such as Obama wanting to "turn America into France" (oh, and remember Liberty Fries), and the disdain for effete Europeans in general.

And maybe the failure of the US to produce a tennis player that is more than resumé padding for Federer is further fuelling the fires of envy.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/23/2009 at 03:45 AM

Rafadoc:

Thanks for a kind, considerate and clarifying post. Note my post at 2:51 about the difference between actually being arrogant/condescending/etc. and "begging to be seen as arrogant" or, to use the other phrasing, "coming across as condescending."

I cannot indeed deny that I will come across as condescending on some occasions; what I trust is that the thoroughness of my explanations will be examined and given a fair hearing, so that I will ultimately not be thought of as condescending.

Mcakron:

You hit on something very important and timeless.

As a basketball referee (which I was for 6 years earlier this decade) as well as in my capacity as a football columnist, I have also found that the more I explain a position, the more other people get angry at me. Debates--especially the most intense and controversial ones--are so packed with emotion, deep feelings, and very specific grievances on all sides that anyone who attempts to deconstruct all arguments only winds up magnifying the antagonisms for everyone.

However, I respond to that reality not by shying away from mediating/interpreting, but by trying to mediate and/or interpret even better. It is sad and lamentable that being an explainer should create more trouble than the absence of an explanation. The bias against length that plainly exists in human communications, be they written or spoken, is something I will always try to fight against. Again, this does put me in a minority position, but I feel it's necessary...

Posted by Roger That 06/23/2009 at 03:46 AM

I hope Roger's arrogance knows no bounds. Just to get a rise out of some of you!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/23/2009 at 03:51 AM

PSpace at 3:15:

When did I say that the "much ado about nothing crowd" was wrong?

I only explained/deconstructed, in what was openly and frontally acknowledged as a subjective/speculative (i.e., non-objective) post, the reasons I saw as supporting my line of thinking and the "much ado about nothing" line of thinking.

I will venture to say that it is plainly true--yes, a fact--that Pete was mentioning a number of serious and important issues in this piece. However, such a statement of fact does not mean that the "much ado about nothing" crowd was or is wrong. I said in a much earlier post from the evening that the two sides were talking on different levels in what was a very layered, multi-tiered debate.

Both sides were right within their own frames of reference, but failed to see the issue in similar terms.

The "much ado about nothing" camp wasn't wrong, and isn't wrong, but it did fail to see some of the concepts and purposes Pete was trying to animate. That's not being wrong, though.

Limited, yes, but not wrong. I myself am and have been limited in my own right, too...

*Announces that I have to go to bed, and that any subsequent comments will be read and, if need be, responded to in the morning and/or when today's (Tuesday's) Wimbledon action concludes*

*plops down, exhausted*

Posted by englishwoman 06/23/2009 at 03:56 AM

VC, you wrote:

"Over here in the UK we're looking at this seemingly terribly important issue as a non-issue."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6558121.ece

Englishwoman, this sort of article appearing in the mainstream media, with sportwriters taking the liberty to take pot-shots at Federer bothers me. That's why I'm hoping Federer wins Wimbledon convincingly and stuffs all this fashion analysis down their throats. I mean, on a blog like this, it's all very well speculating all day, and picking Federer's fashion choices (and associated ramifications) apart, but I don't like it when every man and his dog in the press considers himself a fashion authority and ignores the actual tennis."

This article is still very much tongue-in-cheek and it's good old British irony falling over the edge into sarcasm. Fed gets a lot of flak generally from the press over here (mainly because of Murray at the moment - everthing's bordering on manic.... no, it's actually fully-blown manic). The man in the street, the Wimbledon crowd, other forms of the media like TV, don't seem to see it that way. Comments on the outfit are passing; appreciation of his tennis is permanent (and unharmed).

There is an assumption here, by newspaper journalists in particular, that we think and breathe the same as they do, that we ALL think that Murray will win Wimbledon, that we ALL want him to despite any favourites we normally have. This is NOT true. By the same token, this particular writer - while basking in the self-satisfaction of writing a pithy piece - is assuming we're ALL in agreement about the pretentiousness and ridiculousness of the outfit and, by implication, that Roger has made himself a laughing stock. We're not, and we don't draw the same conclusions, not because it is or isn't pretentious or ridiculous, but because it's irrelevant. I don't know what it's like the rest of the world over, but there is a growing tendency here NOT to believe everything we read in the papers, whether it's about politics, weapons of mass destruction or something as trivial as tennis and fashion.

Posted by Djerkovic 06/23/2009 at 04:07 AM


Of course you know what the expert-psychologists say

the most homophobic men are probably the

least secure about their masculinity.

probably latent or repressed homosexuals.

Colors and objects have no inherent gender but only 'utility' or lack thereof

People project onto them their fears and stereotypes.

So pink is for gays when people of all stripes can look good in it.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/23/2009 at 04:11 AM

Pete Well Roger walking out on the hallowed centre court in that "Military Style Ensemble" reminded me of some eighties flash back,was he here to play tennis or hey did he come to the wrong stadium.Maybe looking for some Rock Concert to attend.

Methinks honestly "Bring Back The Cardigan" please.Miss A. Wintour were you and Nike actually the creators of this ensemble.

I remember Roger playing on this centrre court in a s/final yes pont tailed and all.Now with 14th Grand Slam titles behind him and going for a record 15 he has truly been through all the fashion circles.Yes folks Fashion just goes round in a circle.

Miltary Style Jackets Sgt.Peppers and the Beatles still going strong.

They say clothes maketh the Man? indeed they do.Though sometimes we shouldnt judge a book by its cover thats how the story goes.

Is Roger trying to make some kind of statement here? who really knows.Take the clothes away he is the 5 time Wimbledon Champion.

At the end of the day does it really matter what he wears.

I think the most important thing on Rogers mind at present is to reclaim that title from last year.

Posted by m&m 06/23/2009 at 04:13 AM

Good God, Roger looks like circus performer in that costume/outfit, not a tennis player. He needs to get over himself!

Posted by Pspace (Lestat de SW19) 06/23/2009 at 04:14 AM

MattZ, ok. I'm too tired to pursue this as well. And, since I belong to the "much ado about nothing" crowd, there's been far too much ado from my end. I see that there are larger issues, but imo, there shouldn't be. Thanks for taking the time to explain your POV, and it's unfortunate the discussion got to where it got over a non-issue to me.

Posted by Jimbo 06/23/2009 at 04:16 AM

This article continues to bug me, despite a good night's sleep. It is not as if Federer is playing in these clothes, he simply walks on court (and does American television broadcast it?) and warms up in it. He doesn't wear this outfit for all the slams, just Wimbledon which, not coincidentally, is the only slam with its own dress code. What a ridiculous thing to get worked up about, not least by someone who is very perceptive about the actual game of tennis (and it is these comments that draw me to his blog.)

But suppose for the sake of argument that Federer was gay. And camp. But played exactly the same game as he does now. Are you saying that you would ashamed or offended that such a person was also a great tennis player? I think deep down you would be, and I can't help feeling this just shows what a culturally limited individual you are. The world has moved on (akár magyarországon is, ahol melegek vannak, nem buzik!)

Posted by Djerkovic 06/23/2009 at 04:20 AM


'MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING'

i was the first to say that on page one

now after 8 hours, the Jurassic Homophobes

are still not done with their doctoral dissertation

"on the cultural ramifications of Roger's fashion on the tennis public."

what a waste of words, uttery pathetic!

Posted by JohnC 06/23/2009 at 04:24 AM

"They say clothes maketh the Man?"

Actually, the saying is "manners maketh man" (William of Wykeham, 1324-1404, bishop of Winchester and chancellor of England), which fits Roger perfectly as an outstanding champion off the court as well as on.

Unless you were thinking of Mark Twain:
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

Posted by chinns 06/23/2009 at 04:32 AM

OK. who is Bodo to criticize about fashion!?...Roger is Fabulous! Deal with it!...who cares if you cant, anyway!

Posted by englishwoman 06/23/2009 at 04:34 AM

I continue to be amazed that this blog has generated more discussion than one concerning the finer points of tennis. And, by doing so, it's threatening to do exactly what it was dreading. Thank goodness this place is visited only by a pinprick of the world's population. Attach significance to matters where significance is intended, not stuff that means diddly squat to the "perpetrator" and 99.999999% recurring of the known world. LOL

Posted by JohnC 06/23/2009 at 04:46 AM

@englishwoman

A few problems:

1. Bodo is pushing the argument that Fed's clobber does have broader and negative siginificance for the image of tennis. This requires an answer.

2. In making that argument, he raises broad issues about the role of masculinity (as he conceives it) and sport that are indeed of broader import.

3. The issue of American attitudes to what is now seen as a European-dominated sport,and therefore the future of tennis in the US, has also entered the mix.

Admittedly Roger's outfit provides a pretty thin thread (pun intended) to hang this all on, but that's the blogosphere :)

Posted by maleeha 06/23/2009 at 04:50 AM

Pete,
Usually i love your articles and insight but this one suggests a serious lack of insight into all that is trendy and high fashion. Tiger woods looks my sensible grandfather on the court where as Federer looks hip, fashionable and confident. To mistake a man's metrosexualtiy for "pansy-ness" or "weeny-ness" is ignoranst and sexist.

Posted by Matt 06/23/2009 at 05:12 AM

I dont know why I waste my time hoping you'll write something worth while.

Posted by May 06/23/2009 at 05:15 AM

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I first started posting here during Wimbledon 2006 and I thought then I would never see anything worse that that Jacketgate. Boy was I wrong.

I don’t believe people actuality construct high-flying theories over what is basically an amusing sideshow. Come on, it is so obvious that for Roger this is no more than a kind of role playing. Why begrudge him his fun? And to say that harms tennis popularity? Who needs the kind of fans who will be turned off one of the best tennis players ever because of his frigin’ warm up outfit? (For the record, I was just as stunned by the negative reactions to Rafa’s pink shirt, which I personally found gorgeous on him)

And I am just a lowly female, but I would run away screaming from a guy dressed like Tiger in this picture. Fed’s getup seems fine and dandy to me, he can certainly pull off this somewhat-Edwardian Officer-and-Gentleman look. But even if I loathed it, I would never think to condemn the ‘morality’ of his choice. For goodness’s sake, we are speaking about tennis players' clothes, not the Iran election!

Posted by jules 06/23/2009 at 05:18 AM

>>that scream or bellow they're going to hear is not you killing the cat, it's you agonizing over the fact that Agnes Szavay just had her serve broken to go down a set and a break!

Actually, it's Sharapova(or the De Brito girl) hitting a shot!

Posted by Rich 06/23/2009 at 05:35 AM

Oh my god pete!!
All this fuss! You are pathetic!

Posted by englishwoman 06/23/2009 at 05:39 AM

JohnC:

To 1. Fair enough. But I question the fact that he's pushing it in the first place. I find it hard to believe that a safari jacket here, a piece of gold piping there, seriously puts under threat the good image of tennis (if it was ever good, at least recently, in the US). He's making an issue out of something that clearly means a lot to him, but perhaps not a lot to others.

To 2. Masculinity. Hmmmm. Male sports stars tend to be pretty masculine, certainly the ones who take part in the "power" varieties, in which I would include tennis. They demonstrate their "masculinity" the minute they start playing the game, irrespective of what they wear on/off the court or the pitch. David Beckham used to wear golden footie boots. Did it impact negatively on football? I don't think so. Bodo's having trouble accepting the idea of metrosexuality. It's here, and it's no doubt here to stay. I'm not sure why you think it's of "broader import" when all that seems to be of concern is how it impacts on tennis. The wider world really doesn't have an issue with it.

To 3. True, and I think that's the nub of it, to be honest. In Europe, there are no such delicacies about men using moisturiser and wanting to look "nice". And yes, tennis is much bigger over here than over there. And he's worried it will downgrade the game even more because it's all very emasculating in his eyes. I just doubt that, with US interest in tennis being virtually nil, this will make any difference - negative or positive - to that very basic fact.

Posted by mridul1 06/23/2009 at 05:42 AM

Mr Bodo!
I thought you write more about tennis as a sport rather than fashion. I guess that now that Federer is performing satisfactorily to your disappointment you have switched over to his outfit. Should Federer fail to deliver you will get food for your writing

Posted by Chamath 06/23/2009 at 05:48 AM

Nice try Pete, but your attempt to disguise unprofessional fashion criticism under the guise of some kind of philosophy on the importance of egalitarianism in tennis just hasn't worked. If you don't like the outfit, just come out and say it without justifying it with all this 'sending the wrong message for tennis' nonsense. Roger may represent tennis, but he is still an individual player, entitled to represent his own aesthetic values, and I really don't think they are as snobbish as you claim. Plus, if anything this new one is actually less old-school and 'dandy' than his previous jackets / cardigans.

Saying that, loved your last few posts!!!!

Posted by EtherEel 06/23/2009 at 06:00 AM

Bodo --- just shut up already.....

Posted by Francella 06/23/2009 at 06:16 AM

Federer look like a homosexual......not that there's anything wrong with that...but he otta just come on out.

Posted by Ishtiaq A Ch 06/23/2009 at 06:25 AM

Fedy lookzzzz niceeee in thatttt....keep up feddddy

Posted by Corrie 06/23/2009 at 06:52 AM

I think Tangi's comment that if briefly wearing clothes onto court that are over the top to some of us ( and even some of us like them, apparently) is the worst Fed can do, compared with the scandals, violence and even illegal goings on in some other sports, then he's pretty lily white (with or without the gold stuff).

Here, we've got footballers engaged in group sex romps which turn out to be rapes by another name. If Fed starts dong that sort of thing, then maybe it would warrant pages of outrage and long Bodo posts.

Posted by Caroline 06/23/2009 at 06:52 AM

To englishwoman - I'm an Englishwoman too and wanted to thank you for everything you've said. I do understand (sort of, but absolutely not the weenie bit unless the chaps I was at Wimbledon with yesterday are pretty unrepresentative) where Pete is coming from, but I wish that people could understand that it isn't meant to be a joke, but it is meant to be FUN. Presumably Roger doesn't do it anywhere else because it is just very appropriate to the English tongue in cheek tradition. I purposely saying English rather than British.

I don't know if anyone else here is old enough to remember Dan Maskell, who was the BBC's tennis commentator for decades (before John Barrett). He was a contemporary of Fred Perry and absolutely of the less is more school of commentary. He was superb. When Andre Agassi first came on the scene and everyone was 'taken aback' by his kit, Dan Maskell was asked what he thought (he must have been 80 at the time). Everyone was expecting a sort of harrumph, not in my day response. Dan said how much he enjoyed that AA was different, having fun and making waves. He then related what a stir it had caused when he and Fred Perry had turned out in Oxford bags (loose and very fashionable in the 30's trousers). It's not new!!

Posted by Or 06/23/2009 at 06:53 AM

From what I've heard, Jmac gave the vest his approval, saying he liked it.

Can anyone confirm?

Posted by jakegorospe1980 06/23/2009 at 06:54 AM

Bodo, you are one bad fashion commentator.. well you are old and old fashion, you wouldnt understand that anyway.. plus remember Agassi and whatb you call the clown outfit? roger is not andre, and another, roger will not play on that jacket,...duuhhh??? its just a jacket for crying out loud. what is important is the win, the game, the determination.. the jacket and all are perks and bonus.. you get to have that, you get to endorse such things when yoyu become big in the game.. you are feeding and putting words about roger with the jacket alone.. roger likes sophistication, class..whats wrong with that? is he not entitled? and if he brings a wealthy upper class persona with his fashion, roger is still down to earth, he has a foundation, he is the ambassador of the sports, he is UN amabssador for poor children.. in those aspects BODO, roger needs to make money to give back more money for his foundation.. you just dont get it, he is not high and mighty with those expensive clothes.. its a matter of taste.. and if your taste is so bad, then i feel sorry for you, i really am

Posted by Rich 06/23/2009 at 06:56 AM

pete!! all this fuss!

still pathetic

Posted by Joey Asher 06/23/2009 at 06:57 AM

Nice post Pete.
You make an important point about personal branding. People don't just pay attention to what we do and say. They pay attention to how we look. Ever if you're Roger Federer, people will judge you based on how you look.

Posted by jakegorospe1980 06/23/2009 at 07:09 AM

you are a sport commentator. commentate on the sport, on the athlete.. leave the fashion critique to the more qualified people..like vogue and the likes.. its one thing to say your outfit is bad, and blowing things out of proportion just because of a jacket and purse worn by man is another.. maybe i have it with you pete bodo, you commentate, predict and analyze things.. but more often than not.. you are turning to be on the wrong side of history.. im sorry my frined but thats the truth.. maybe you need a change of prescription.. on your glasses i mean

Posted by Stork 06/23/2009 at 07:12 AM

I think dressing the way he does affects most people more positively than negatively.

There is no question Roger is manly. He is not soft in a metro sexual way at all. He is simply more in touch with himself than most people. He can be manly in a stylish way.

Snob. Is Roger a snob? What is a snob? (please look it up)
Federer is not a snob. Everybody knows that except perhaps non-tennis watching citizens.

What is wrong with (1) looking good and (2) putting up a show for the people?

Must he wear a frumpy tracksuit or a clean/plain kit always?

He has already been through that stage. He has worn everything. In fact most of his current tennis outfits are "elegant in a streamlined, sporty, functional way".

Why can't he put on a show for his fans & public?

This brings me to why someone would be uncomfortable with what Roger wears.
Maybe macho?

What is wrong with it? It is completely harmless and fun and the kit makes him feel good. It does not change perceptions of Roger to the people/fans who know him.

Roger loves the suaveness and sophistication. He is a diplomat at heart. He likes to be appreciated. Everybody does.

If you have worn something of quality (which happens to be pricey) you will understand. It empowers you. It makes you more confident in your abilities. Other people sense this change and deep down they are affected by it. They want to feel that power. They want to be like you.

Think about it.

Is his wearing what he does demeaning tennis and making it seem as a snob sport? Purveying that age-old cliché that tennis is for the rich?

I see nothing wrong with being stylish as long as it is not a catalyst to being/becoming a pompous snob.

I think Rogers’s outfits generate more interest in the sport from all across the board than most other things in tennis. Some of his outfits may be a bit "high-fashion", but what is high fashion but being creative and we all know how creative Roger can be with a tennis racket in his hand.

Roger has not only pushed the tennis boundaries, but now he is pushing the perceptions of what tennis players should/could ware. And people are following. Tennis players and fans alike.

By wearing what he does, it crystallizes, condenses and focuses Rogers talent and ability into something even higher, pertinent and influential.

This makes Roger even more of a role model, an inspiration, a vision. It makes you want to be better yourself.

Why? Because he can back it up. He backs it up by the way he plays tennis and the way he interacts with fellow players, fans, media and his family and friends.

He has taken the Tiger Wood's model to another level altogether, and attached another meaning to it.

This is the essence of being a role model.

Posted by jakegorospe1980 06/23/2009 at 07:18 AM

fed is like a maniquin on the malls, you can almost fit them with any clothes.. and still look outstanding. people are entitled to their own remarks rergarding thiis one, opinions are free.. but to go to the very center of the issue.. federer is not wearing the jacket or the purse or the bag when he is in play.. its just accesories.. he wears them like a few minutes then ....whhhab back to the shorts and shirts stuff.. its the quality of play that counts really, not the clothes or purse or whatever type of car they are driving.. pete said about roger conveying a rich wealthy person image with his fashion.. really? is he really? tennis is all about grace, finess and sophistication.. in the olden days when tennis was just a game of the rich and elite, people who played them generally. originally exudes class, grace, finess and sophistication.. .. bottomline, its the kind of person within that really resides in Roger that matters, no matter how elite you think you are because of his fashion sense, Roger is known by all as a down to earth individual, jolly funny, fun to be with.. generous kind and humble.

Posted by jakegorospe1980 06/23/2009 at 07:28 AM

pete bodo the worst fashion critique ever.. since when did you have a degree in fashion? huh?have you been into fashion shows? have you been into commercial modelling ever?...wake up dude.. its the 21st century not the stone age or ice age.. for you to over analyze the clothes is totyally not for you.. you arte mean, harsh, one sised, subjective, bias.. and totally uncool.. you are not meant for this pete, we put up with some of your columns, and more often than not.. you get it wrong.. fist your predictions, they are the worst ever, bookies and sports gamblers dont listen or read to whatever insights you have plainly because you are not reliable.

Posted by Andrea Teti 06/23/2009 at 07:28 AM

Isn't coming out in a military-style jacket during the Iranian protests a bit tasteless?

Posted by jakegorospe1980 06/23/2009 at 07:29 AM

and yor fashion sense? i dont think we tennis fans would like to see.. see yeah grand pa

Posted by ROGER IS THE BEST 06/23/2009 at 07:38 AM

Roger is looking perfect and his outfit is really wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!
Roger is going to win wimbledon :]:]:]

Posted by yello fuzzy's songbook 06/23/2009 at 07:40 AM

Roger Federer is Overdressed Again
Sung to the tune of
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band


http://tinyurl.com/najxnf
(above is a link to the music, it works much better
if you follow along with the actual song)

Around 27 years ago today
a great champion came our way
His game became the classic style
he was at the top for quite a while
unfortunately we have to view
what the hell he's wearing each year
Roger Federers overdressed again

Roger Federer dressed in the dark again
we hope he doesn't grab his robe
Roger Federer had on backwards pants
they wrote about it in the Globe
Rogers wearing Gucci, Rogers got a handbag
Nikes dressing Federer again

He likes his initials on his cap
with gold trim on his gear
He's such a metrosexual
next year he'll be in pantaloons
and a matching cardigan

Roger really does like to show
But Mirka really needs to tell him 'NO!'
dressing like Siegfried & Roy's pal
what he's wearing makes our eyes go 'ow!'
when he's trying on the harem pants
at Wimbledon there is a chance
Roger Federer overdressed again

Posted by Sarah 06/23/2009 at 07:42 AM

It's interesting. The people who are stating that "nobody should talk about it -- you're paying too much attention to it" are the same people who are talking about the importance of Fed's brand. If it's a "brand" then it's important.

It's clearly important -- Deeply Important -- to Roger and Nike for him to be dressed that way. They've gone to some effort to accomplish that look. Is it just that the only talk about it should be compliments? Or any one who doesn't like it should just be silent and look away, embarrassed?

I liked the blazer of a couple of years ago. Thought the cardigan was a bit strange looking but okay.

But this year, that jacket . . . it just looks preening and tasteless and affected to me. That's not Federer -- I didn't think he was preening, tasteless, and affected. But the clothes sure add to that image, and I think it's a mistake to do that.

And . . . all of us are allowed to express opinions on the clothes -- that's clearly what they're their for! If they excited no interest at all, then they wouldn't be meeting Nike's objectives.

Good post, Pete, and glad you wrote it.

Posted by Ade 06/23/2009 at 07:53 AM

Agree Pete! Both him and Sharapova looked ridiculous. And why was Sharapova all dressed up anyway? She only won the 1 crown 5 years or so ago, she has slipped way down in the rankings, not to mention she is just Sharapova. It's like who is she? That's what I ask everytime the sports world makes a fuss over her. I don't get it. ESPN showed her match rerun instead of live coverage. And the outfit/jacket makes no sense when there are plenty of other players who have more slam trophys than she does. With her case, like Serena so nonchalantly said the other day. "sex sells". I guess she is right because that is the only thing that sells with her.

And as for Roger, yes, next time he should show Nike where to put their outfits.

Posted by Hina 06/23/2009 at 07:55 AM

rofl, great one Pete, though I did cringe at you calling The Great One a weenie!

I suppose Roger is trying to showcase how special Wimbledon and tradition is to him, but his costumes are getting increasingly bizzare - though I kinda liked the herringbone last year. But yes, it is exceedingly difficult for me to introduce Fed as a spiritual experience to a tennis-newbie when he is dressed like he belongs to Leopold's generation!

Posted by TennisFan2 06/23/2009 at 08:14 AM

yello fuzzy, LOL, I've had Sgt. Pepper in my head since yesterday.

Pete, looks like you've done your job - six pages and counting on what some say is much ado about nothing.

Posted by skip1515 06/23/2009 at 08:15 AM

Even as someone raised in a family that owned a clothing store, who grew up with WWD in the house (Women's Wear Daily), and whose mother blames his fashion consciousness on her having bought me matching Buster Brown and Tighe outfits (look it up), I come to this discussion with some conflicting attitudes about fashion and Pete's take on Federer's wardrobe.

After growing up around fashion, and working in clothing stores, fashion is important to me and something I both enjoy and find to have some importance. Yet, I've found two things to be true:

1. The primary goal of the fashions of the younger members of society, especially the more street-oriented fashions, is to distinguish younger folks from older folks. Oftentimes this morphs into styles that are almost purposely distasteful to the older set, in order to establish more firmly that they are *not* supposed to like that look.

2. Without a doubt there are underlying socio-political, meta, and high art undertones to the fashions of the day. More so in some places (England) than in others (America). When all is said and done, however, IT'S JUST FASHION. (Apologies for all caps)

Pete, this was well written and enjoyable, and you get points for sending readers to the OED to check on the use of the word "swell", as well as driving me to investigate dandyism further. (Who knew Baudelaire was so fascinated by it?)

When I remember that my 2nd sport of choice (though taken up much later in life) is populated by men who wear tight spandex clothing and shave their legs (Lantern Rouge, where are you when you're needed?) and who ride 150 miles a day, at average speeds of about 20 mph regardless of the hills, and who do it for 3 weeks straight, then I cannot help concluding that the perspective of this post runs contrary to what I take as your opinion about our lives in general, Pete:

What matters is what we do, not what we say or how we look.

If you play like one of the top players of all time, and you compete like one of the top players of all time, then you are one of the top players of all time and damn what you wear.

In for a dime, in for a dollar, Pete.

Posted by TripleF-FedFanForever(Sergeant Pepper Fed's Lonely Hearts Club!) 06/23/2009 at 08:16 AM

My first and last comment:

Wish everyone here (especially here) took that attire of Roger for what it is: A Ten Minutes Worth Pre-match Show!

He walks in. Removes Jacket. Knocks the ball. Goes back to the chair. Comes back to play serious tennis. Hopes to win this title to get his #1 back - the one, er, yep, he held consecutively for how many weeks?

Everyone walks in with a Jacket of sort. Roger had a funky one. May be likes it. Nobody gives a hoot.

PS: Why would Nadal carefully chose those sleeveless Ts and that capri pants of his (never mind the bandana) to play in it? Know why? He liked it. Wore it confidently to a point where we all started missing it in AO this year. Leave them alone.

Posted by GE 06/23/2009 at 08:21 AM

My favorite tennis player of all time is a girly man? Starches his underwear? Waxes his eyebrows? Please say it ain't so!
Actually RF looks great in this getup, but it does not belong on a tennis court. Nike, you can do better.

Posted by TennisFan2 06/23/2009 at 08:25 AM

From Steve's latest post (taken from the London press):

"Kidd then goes on to speculate that perhaps next year Federer will bring a chihuahua on court with him in his golden bag."

;-)

Triple F, you are so right but the Fed jacket was just what we needed to muse about on Day 1.

Posted by englishwoman 06/23/2009 at 08:31 AM

I don't know why I'm still commenting about this, but I'll have one last shot :-)

Sports are theatre, and gladiatorial ones like boxing and tennis are high drama affairs. Boxers come into the arena snarling and punching the air, dressed in all sorts of glitzy stuff from gold lame dressing gowns to silk-tasselled boots. Tennis players, on the other hand, usually slouch on, sagging under the weight of their various racquet bags and accessories holdalls, wearing baggy shorts, oversized shirts and scabby-looking bandages covering old wounds and injuries. If Roger - and Rafa in his fuchsia pink, for that matter, and his erstwhile pirate pants - can perk it up a bit, what's the big deal?! The boxers divest themselves of all the bling once the bell goes; Roger removes the dodgy clobber once the umpire says "play", and reveals possibly the most classy gear I've ever seen him in. Nobody rants about the boxers looking like Patricia, Queen of the Desert, letting the side down, casting doubt over their own masculinity and that of their sport. I honestly fail to see the difference.

Posted by roger 06/23/2009 at 08:56 AM

this article is a crap ...... u pete BODO find some another work

Posted by tina 06/23/2009 at 09:02 AM

It only just occurred to me that this monstrosity of a tennis bag might soon do double-duty for diapers. But personally, I wouldn't even put my dog in a bag with that much gold lame.

The thing about the old Andre styles, including the most egregious example, the legendary "Hot Lava", is that the whole "image is everything" campaign turned out to be untrue. First off, the image portrayed wasn't really what Andre was about as a person, even if he was a product of Vegas. And secondly, his first Slam was won in Wimbledon whites. Looking back on his career now, Agassi's "image" is far from the first thing that pops into my mind.

Posted by ha rod 06/23/2009 at 09:03 AM

ladies N gents..what in God name is wrong with u people..i guess someone membrane need evaluation..,is what RF wearing affecting is new game beside is no HOMO..yet again..this franchise business.."ol boy RF will born soon"anti RF

Posted by Mark 06/23/2009 at 09:13 AM

I disagree comepletely with Pete on this one. Firs of all, Federer only does this at Wimbledon. It's not like he struts out in this type stuff at every grand slam - just Wimbledon. He's won 5 titles and absolutely loves the tournament and tradition. Nike has played into this and so you have him strutting his stuff in these outfits that no one else is going to wear. Who cares? So he's having fun with it. He's making millions in endorsements with Nike and he's simply having fun with it. I personally think it's great for players to be individuals and be different. Obviously Pete doesn't like the fact that that the guy is more metro-sexual and is not afraid to spiff it up a bit. I say do what you want, wear what you want, and tell anyone who doesn't like it to kiss off.

Posted by Mike 06/23/2009 at 09:39 AM

Pete can be a good insigtful writer, but this is kind of snarky, irrlevant, too long, etc. Leave that stuff to the tedious bloggers.

Posted by M 06/23/2009 at 09:47 AM

Pete- I do love it when homophobia masquerades as journalism. Focus on tennis, not what the players are wearing. Does Fed's jacket make you uncomfortable? Is the hue of Rafa's shirt distressing? Christ - is this the most important thing to discuss? Sad.

Posted by roGER 06/23/2009 at 09:48 AM

Alas in tennis, we have the Federer style or (yawwwwwwwwn) the Sampras style.

The Samprass style is rather cruelly but accurately nailed here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jun/23/tennis

- roGER

Posted by tom 06/23/2009 at 09:48 AM

honestly im a federer fan but man he is a arrogant snob the outfit sort of shows the truth

Posted by Barbie P. 06/23/2009 at 09:50 AM

Bodo, you must have way too much time on your hands. You care THAT much about a tennis costume? As a TV viewer, I give it only passing notice. He takes off the jacket, he plays. It's the PLAYING I pay attention to. And I fear your long-winded diatribe smacks a bit of homophobia...

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 06/23/2009 at 09:52 AM

well to be quite honest after reading all this--and Pete's little departing remark about heading out for an emergency fridge repair was LOL worthy--Id love to see Fed win No. 6, cry his eyes out, don his perky white vest, comb his hair and 'prance' around Centre Court like a 'weenie' with the golden Wimby Cup for the 6th friggin time, the all time Grand Slam title holder...

to all those cringing over Rogie damaging the sports reputation, I have some advice: Stop clutching your pearls and get over it, thank God we dont have some bland one-dimensional, model chasing, slobbish bore as the GOAT, Federer is someone everyone in some way can relate to, thank god for that

Posted by Liwa 06/23/2009 at 09:57 AM

After reading all the comments I just want to articulate why this article made me feel uncomfortable.

I don't believe it was meant to be homophobic but was highlighting the elitist image projected by Wimbledon through the prism of how Nike dress Federer to fit in with that brand. To that extent I agree with Matt Zemek: the elitist, country club image of the AELTC does limit the scope of tennis here in the UK and I'm sure that extends to the US as well. (Although, since Federer has long been branded as the 'establishment' figure I don't see why we'd expect him to be an iconoclast; Nike tried that with Agassi and to a lesser extent Nadal.) I don't particularly like the 'weenie' thing but would ordinarily ignore it as just Pete's style.

However, the reaction to Nadal's pink shirt had already made me deeply uncomfortable. Many comments in this forum since it was unveiled and especially after Rafa lost have been homophobic, or at least read as such. This has poisoned the atmosphere and throwing another 'effeminate' log onto the fire will encourage people with unsavoury views to continue to air them.

Posted by Sharman 06/23/2009 at 10:05 AM

He IS gold material and fits the part well. He's a tennis star of the highest caliber and looks as fine as his stats. Running out of important stuff to write, Bodo?

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 06/23/2009 at 10:07 AM

Pete's smart he knows darn well this will set off a firestorm...

speaking of ESPN crew harrassing Fed, CHris Fowler likes it, Mary Carillo hates it, THey love Shriekie, in the end, seems like a fun topic and the its back to the court... what's the harm?

worst of all, grass has turned to clay, and no one seems to notice...a clay court painted green, slower than Roland Garros...

Posted by rafadoc 06/23/2009 at 10:07 AM

Matt Z:Thanks for the feedback. Appreciated and yes, I read your clarifying post. I think we are on the same page. :)

Posted by Rafterfan 06/23/2009 at 10:26 AM

The real Bodo rears his ugly head! He's like the Perez Hilton of tennis.com. What's next, a photo with scribblings of 'ew' on them? Grow up, Bodo.


Posted by TripleF-FedFanForever(Sergeant Pepper Fed's Lonely Hearts Club!) 06/23/2009 at 10:33 AM

[well, one more comment then]

The rock stars - especially the salt-of-the-earth American ones - talk about the daddy-that-wasn't-there and lament about the Mom who forced veggies on them when they were 5 (talk about childhood anguish) and drive their custom-made Porsche from their sanitized suburban homes to the organic food store (you are hungry if you sacrifice and so suffer on hard drugs) and then prance around on stage in weird costumes while belting out some grunge melancholy about life in the fast lane and how bourgeois sensibilities ruining the subtleties of Art...yep, Religious Experience for most of the followers. It's show-biz folks. And I don't even want to talk about the NBA, NFL and MLB ignorants...

The best tennis player there is, arguable that ever was, decides to wear a custom made jacket...everyone wants Tennis per se to be kept at par with "peoples" folksy level. Oh puhlease!

To: Peter Bodo
CC: Sane TWibes

Respected Sir

Yes, that man is Roger Federer. And we are NOT. This includes me, us, and YOU Mr. Bodo. And there's nothing wrong with that. Every 127 players (even Rafa most times) out there on every Grand Slam the last 6 years can be heard muttering He is Roger Federer and We Are Not. That's what sports and everything else is. Repeat the above for Rafa Nadal. Heck, apply it and repeat it for Mardy Fish. Rings true.

Note: Roger am sure muttered He Is Sampras and I am not. Sampras am sure muttered He is McEnroe and I am not. Hemingway did mutter He Is Mark Twain and I am Not. Even at that level. Happens. I am sure Hemingway would have wanted to "buy" a Cezanne or two (the way he stood in Louvre looking at Cezanne's economy in brush strokes). People like what they see, and if they adore and respect, they want to buy it. Wisen up Sir.

Thank you.

Posted by Dave D. 06/23/2009 at 10:38 AM

One thing explains Fed's fashion faux pas: The dude is SWISS.

I once bought a pair of shoes in Lausanne. The salesman said they would be good for dancing. I said I liked to dance. He said, "What dancing do you do? Do you like the disco or the rock and roll?"

The Swiss live in a fairytale land where any modern cultural gesture can only result in a bizarre attempt to replicate (or unintentionally parody) the real thing. Kind of like Japan, but in the middle of Western Europe.

Posted by Betsy 06/23/2009 at 10:49 AM

I think this article would have been much more effective if Bodo had made it more clear that he was talking about class elitism and not homosexuality re Roger's outfit (e.g. using a term like "weenie" is not helpful). Along the lines of the argument commenter Matt Zemek was making (although ironically he sounds elitist with his doctorate-level English!). Although I'm not sure that Bodo WASN'T trying to bring homophobia into this. Anyway, I think men in pink are fine (although Rafa's yellow accessories made it an eyesore), but men (or women) in gold foil or piping or trim just screams "I'm rich and you're not"

Posted by tennis 45 06/23/2009 at 10:58 AM

I agree with Cosi he wear the stuff for two or three mins. and its off. Let the guy have fun at Wimbledon! And beside he not playing in it.

Posted by W 06/23/2009 at 10:58 AM

Bodo, Roger is allowed to express himself through fashion the same way you're allowed to express yourself through poor writing and reporting. He's a 14 time GS champ; he's clearly found the formula that works for him, that makes him successful. If he's ever lacking ideas on the court or off, I'm sure you'd be the first person he'd call. Given your overwhelming authority on fashion, pop culture, sports, and all things appropriate, this course of action only makes sense.

P.S. Your borderline chauvinist and bigoted comments, representing a major tennis publication, do the sport a far greater disservice than any coat that Fed has in his closet.

Posted by lois 06/23/2009 at 11:05 AM

Thank You Carrie, you are so kind. I donot mean to insult anyone
but I don't like Rogers clothes but sometimes I don't care for Serena's either or the new Rafa look (as much as I Love him).
You try to enjoy the game, however, the commentators drive me mad,
they either keep bringing up someone that's not there (injured,
or whatever), I wish they would Stop With the Bad Mouth. Or beating the subject off time over and over again exspecially Drysdale and the other Mac. Too be fair some player do take a little too far (DJoke and even my Rafa and a few more) but they need to give the players maybe 30 sec. instead of 25 because it is a much more physcal game than when they played in the old days.
Unless the want some HEART ATTACKS on the court also some of them have BREATHING PROBLEMS, give it a break guys. I mean no harm but
they are playing in England, I am sure they want Andy Murray to win (since they have had no Champion of their own). I don't think we had better fill in the blanks on the win side until it is over,
naturally they will be rooting for thier man. Last put not lest, BRAD please be quit, your guesses are always wrong and you speak out of line. Thanks If You Don't cut me out again.

Posted by fedfan 06/23/2009 at 11:09 AM

This post by Pete certainly has aroused a lot of interest. I have to admit that my negative reaction was most probably due to my North American old person's prejudices. Gold lame, like leopard skin prints ,was almost morally suspect in the aesthetic frame of reference I was brought up in. I don't think that Roger or Nike need to consider American sensibilities in designing his attire, but, like Pete, I would like for tennis to get the support and respect it deserves in the US. One aspect of the gold lame that hasn't been mentioned is the bling-bling aesthetic of American pop stars, although it doesn't seem to match up well with what we've heard of Roger's generally understated personality. So, it's hard to know where Nike was going with this outfit.

Pete in his admiration for Tiger Wood's look, might be just be operating from a traditionalist's view point which finds it unseemly for a man to be noticed for his attire in any way but for appropriateness and proper fit. Tiger always looks very pressed and immaculate and thankfully has not yet succumbed to the tubby middle-aged man look that so many golfers have.

In terms of 'manliness' and its affect on a sports' popularity in the US, it is laughable that golf would be more popular. As a sport ,I put golf only a bit higher than poker or bowling in terms of the 'manly' effort involved. Tennis is a much more demanding sport. My beloved father gave up tennis at 50, but was able to play golf until 90, and he always insisted on walking the course, because otherwise 'it wasn't exercise.'

Posted by Shawn 06/23/2009 at 11:19 AM

He's the greatest tennis player of all time.

Let the guy wear what he wants...

Posted by yello fuzzy 06/23/2009 at 11:35 AM

plum colored hair!

Fashion! turn to the left
Fashion! turn to the right
Oooh, fashion!
We are the goon squad and were coming to town
Beep-beep

David Bowie

Posted by Robert Burke 06/23/2009 at 11:45 AM

Mr. Bodo...

Once upon a time you wrote articles that moved me. This is no longer the case. I do not understand what it is that you have against Roger Federer. Maybe he said something rude. Maybe he didn't recognize you at a mixer or something. But just when you have criticized him on everything you can come up with, low and behold you have now reduced yourself to criticizing his outfit... ENOUGH ALREADY !!! Move on!

Posted by Charlie Mueller 06/23/2009 at 11:50 AM

"What next, lipstick and mom's pumps?"

In one of Pete's recent columns on Federers "dogfight" qualities and the description of his play using an Italian idiom, Pete betrayed his aversion to the "girly man" side of Federer.

Frankly I do not know what a "girly man" is besides a newer way of calling someone a sissy or a fag... and the "lipstick and pumps" comment kind of seals the deal in terms of a "bias" revealing an ugly head.

Professional sports, mens in particular, is full of forays into fashion and bling; along side old fashioned and totally outdated homophobia. Roger, if you follow his interviews, takes it, not seriously. A way of having some fun and poking the ribs of Wimbledon just a little? Has he not been doing this for several years?

Not a very nice aspect of Pete's world view in my opinion. I could ascribe harsher words to the overarching gstalt of it.

Posted by neil 06/23/2009 at 12:11 PM

i love rogers outfit so shut up Bodo or should we call u BOZO!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jace21 06/23/2009 at 12:17 PM

If you agreed with this post, then you must not know that ths is rogers idea and the way he dresses has transform the sport. If anything it has made the sport become more popular.

Their are plenty of guys like nadal to show how intense the sport is and when its game time roger will show you hes a beast but still have class not like football plays. the Way he dresses just make the sport better then the rest and more kids will want to play it. Especially in the U.S. which shows a significant increase of tennis recreation sports being play in fact its number one in America.

Posted by Alexis 06/23/2009 at 12:29 PM

LOL! Tell me how you really feel, Bodo! For goodness sakes, it's just an outfit to walk onto the court with! Equating this with the garb that Agassi actually played in back in his denim shorts/neon tights/long hair "image is everything" days is just ridiculous! Roger's 'playing' garb is about as simple and classic as can be.

I think all of Roger's Wimbledon 'walking on court' outfits have been kind of fun. Since I grew up in a Navy family, I really enjoyed the outfit yesterday. It reminded me of my Dad's dress-whites. Very "Officer and a Gentleman". And who better to personify that than the best "Tennis Player and a Gentleman" we have. The vest was kind of a surprise but was fun.

And personally, I think you using the term 'weenie' says more about you than Roger.

Anyway, I don't much care what Roger wears, because his tennis is 'all that'. GO ROGER!

Posted by tourneur 06/23/2009 at 12:36 PM

"And the thing that disturbs you is only the sound
of the low spark of high-heeled boys."

Posted by niloofar 06/23/2009 at 12:38 PM

personally I don't like the outfit,but all this fuss about it is more than disrespectful.I don't know why ppl have taken it so seriously.it only sends one message to me,that Fed likes to do sth unique and is confident to. 'I' don't like the outfit but it's Wimbledon,a formal tournament! stop making a big deal about it. the only part I'm sorry about is that these ppl are gonna make a good fun of him if he loses,and he does not understand this.yeah Pete,the part I agree with, is that he's naive.

Posted by Pete 06/23/2009 at 12:55 PM

Since a few of you asked:

1 - reference to Tilden: purely based on the way he looked (check the photos)in his tennis whites, of which Roger's costume is more a parody than a tribute. And Tilden was the first-stage GOAT, so there's the connection.

2 - It amazes me that use of "weenie" elicits such tsk-tsking. A weenie is a type, just like the testosterone ape is. Both are human beings. I've known gay weenies, but some of the biggest weenies I've know have been hetero-weeenies. Weenie-ness is blind to sexual orientation.

3 - "lipstick and pumps" Matt was right. It's a big sister(s), litle brother thing, but feel free to inflate it with your own psychic preoccupations (email JohnC, it could be the start of a beautiful thing)

4 - I liked Nadal's pink shirt, said so right here in print. But lest you think I'm trying to justify myself or weenie my way into your favor, let me add that I described it as "aggressive" pink. So call my homophobic if you find that contradictory.

5 - Homophobia: Tim will tell you that I have never, ever had a fear of owning, renting or living in a home. That should settle it.

6 - In many posts, I like to wrap serious or semi-serious issues in light foil. Hate to sound preachy and all that.

7 - I could set my watch by how quickly anything even remotely controversial brings out the anti-American hostility and aggression, often wrapped in an Andy Roddick context. I am so glad that someone bought "freedom fries" into the equation. Now that's relevant! I thought it especially amusing when Nam1 pointed out that Asian people (this was in response to the theory that this outfit was intended to impress the Asian market instead of a dried up American market) that contrary to what many of you may think, Asian people also know ridiculous when they see it.

8 - Many posters could have saved their proverbial breath and some tortuous reasoning and wild accusations if they simply typed in the comment box: "I worship Roger Federer, who can do no wrong in my eyes and whose genius prohibits not just outright criticism but even having a little fun at his expense, so I hate this post."

9 - I am gay

10 - I predict that if Roger gets to the final, he'll don that gear and come riding into Centre Court astride an elephant

10 - Just kidding about no. 9, but I wouldn't have a problem with it if it were true.

Hope that answers some of your questions. Enjoy today's tennis.

Posted by chuckle 06/23/2009 at 01:03 PM

Hey Matt Z - can you interpret Pete's post for me??? I'm far too dumb and simple to understand what he means here! What is the significance of the numbered iist? Who are "the few?"

So. Many. Questions!!!!

Hurry - PLEASE! Ruminate on what all of this means for we foolish, myopic simpletons!

Posted by Olu Jasen 06/23/2009 at 01:15 PM

Who cares what Roger wears, this is a tennis tournament where you are expected to wear white, who cares what type of white you wear, Just play well and WIN!!!

Posted by TripleF-FedFanForever(Sergeant Pepper Fed's Lonely Hearts Club!) 06/23/2009 at 01:16 PM

I am laughing so hard #7 and #8 - all by myself risking looking like a loony - so hard...hope I don't make typos here.

Yes, chuckle

Let's roll the obnoxious at-times-holier-than-thou Matt Z interpretive analysis and vibes. High time.
(I have to say, Matt, at times, write very well - if only, if ONLY he eases his foot off the pedal a bit).

Posted by Mike 06/23/2009 at 01:19 PM

It's fun. The fact that someone would go on to this length criticizing the outfit is strange.

On another note, please stop bringing up golf, in any form, in the same breath as tennis. Golf is a game like checkers or bowling, while Tennis is a sport - nuff said.

Oh and also...has anyone started an online petition to have Gimelstob barred from being a commentator?

Posted by Fanola 06/23/2009 at 01:24 PM

TripleF: Chuckle's "Hurry - PLEASE! Ruminate on what all of this means for we foolish, myopic simpletons!" to Matt Z is the funniest line so far.

Posted by Ruth Engeli 06/23/2009 at 01:25 PM

What stupid comments..... Roger Federer dresses incredible, he is European and they dress more fashionable than the US in their "logo" t-shirts and baseball hats.
Even the spectators in all the European Countries dress more fashionable.

Posted by Grant 06/23/2009 at 01:26 PM

"contrary to what many of you may think, Asian people also know ridiculous when they see it."

You have clearly never seen a Korean pop video in your life.

Posted by Russ 06/23/2009 at 01:27 PM

Roger's best fashion accessory is his Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Posted by TripleF-FedFanForever(Sergeant Pepper Fed's Lonely Hearts Club!) 06/23/2009 at 01:30 PM

Grant

Exacttttly!

Especially the "homage" of it in the Flight Of The Concords episode. One of the funniest pieces I have ever seen.

Please please please watch this clip (you can forward the conversation a bit at the start)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZKnW6CPJVQ

Posted by Pete 06/23/2009 at 01:31 PM

Russ, is that something he slips into his athletic supporter (I just had to write it, shame on me!)?

Posted by Sam 06/23/2009 at 01:35 PM

Word, Russ. ANd LOL, Pete.

Posted by Michael 06/23/2009 at 01:38 PM

Lol, dude ur reading too much into it, i really doubt fed waste his time thinking about what message he comes across, he signs a contact, Nikes sends designer or watever u want to call it, to come and give him all these gear, and he probably just go "oh yea sure ill wear that, watever" i doubt his gonna sit there worrying about "what message will i bring...." i think he'll have his focuz on somthing just abit more important than what he wears, hmm how bout beating petes record and his upcoming newborn just to name a few. just alittle bit important more important than what he wear, dont u think? ... lol

Posted by Pete 06/23/2009 at 01:41 PM

Michael, to everything, turn, turn, turn. . .

Posted by Russ 06/23/2009 at 01:44 PM

Pete: Yup. He needs it for Wilanderular support. ;)

Posted by TripleF-FedFanForever(Sergeant Pepper Fed's Lonely Hearts Club!) 06/23/2009 at 01:44 PM

I stand corrected: #10 is the funniest. Imagine that. Just imagine that. Wouldn't that be lovely? And *traditional*?

PS: I am sure Pete (is this the Bodo man?) woke up, took some funny pills today. Yes Pete, that's what that Cup is for. Stuff it in and forget about it!

Posted by Sam 06/23/2009 at 01:49 PM

"Tim will tell you that I have never, ever had a fear of owning, renting or living in a home. That should settle it."

Too funny, Pete!

Posted by Pete 06/23/2009 at 01:54 PM

Yeah, Triple F, I figure any dead-ender crazy enough to still be hanging out at this thread deserves the best of what little I've got. Hey Sam!

Posted by Peter 06/23/2009 at 01:58 PM

Is it not boring to see a match like Soderling/Muller just serving as many aces they can to keep up with each other?
Muller doesn't even seem to be fit enough for anything else.
Just make the balls a little softer, allow just One serve, set a serve speed limit or something. This is going towards serve war more and more each day. I also play tennis and it's so boring to meet some one who serves like Pim-pim.
Also, more players should be able to make a living on tennis. There are probably more hockey players in Sweden that also earns more than top 100-200 tennisplayers.
Maybe distribute what the top ten earns down the ranking down to nr 1000 as only top 200 can live on tennis. Nadal can probably buy the island, Mallorca, he lives on. Regards, Peter

Posted by Russ 06/23/2009 at 01:59 PM

Pete: And you forgot two things in #10. He'll also bring his own flag (complete with fancy RF logo) accompanied by a smooth blend of "Simply the Best", "Still The One", and "Break My Stride". Oh, and perhaps a little bit of "Believe", just to keep us guessing.

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