Why Tennis Sucks: Too Much Grass In The Game

Why has pro men’s tennis largely fallen out of favor with the American viewing public?

2010 Wimbledon Court Wear Marks

Technology.

1980 Wimbledon Court Wear Marks

To illustrate, brilliant financial blogger Kevin Kedrosky recently compared the court wear marks from the 1980 Wimbledon Final and the 2010 Wimbledon Final. (The result of weeks of use leading up to the matches.)

As you can see, even without all the distracting graphics I added to the image, in 1980 the players were all over the court. In 2010, they quite clearly hugged the baseline. The pattern of play in ‘10 was vastly more predictable than it was 30 years ago.

But if the players aren’t markedly better athletes today than they were in 1980, why the difference? Read more…

Insane Tennis Rants Good For The Sport, America

Despite a pair of unlikely champions in Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro, USTA officials have to be wearing their happy pants over the success of the U.S. Open. CBS got a 2.4/5 Nielsen rating for the men’s final, up 41.2% from last year. ESPN also got great ratings, and the economy failed to dent attendance.

The tournament, however, will probably be most remembered for the maniacal ranting of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, the former who inspired the product pictured above as seen on last night’s “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.” But was Serena’s profane outburst a bad thing? Depends on how you look at it. Read more…

Week In Review: Shawne & Tila Get All Choked Up

Shawne Merriman & Tila Tequila have had quite the memorable week, haven’t they?

Shawne Merriman Tila Tequila

• Bengals QB Carson Palmer is worried that someone’s going to die in the NFL. Meanwhile, other Bengals QB Jordan Palmer has no worries about big brother’s USC squad beating the Buckeyes.

• Sounds like Danica Patrick will be racing over to NASCAR next year.

Melanie Oudin had a great run at the US Open, although she could have done without the hotel eviction & her parents’ impending divorce.

• In the meantime, Novak Djokovic entertains the Flushing Meadows fans with his impression of John McEnroe - only to have the real deal come down & serve the Serb a lesson in an impromptu match.

Read more…

Novak Mimicks McEnroe, Tennis Match Breaks Out

Novak Djokovic delights the Monday night US Open crowd with his manic impression of John McEnroe - only to have Mac come down & reclaim his honor in an impromptu tennis match.

John McEnroe Novak Djokovic

• A Kansas community is burned by the cold-hearted hazing of a high school football player slathered in Icy Hot.

• Kentucky fans are fuming at John Calipari because their coach dared send a Wildcats jersey to President Obama.

• A whole lotta football kicked off this weekend - even the lingerie variety.

• Ex-Notre Dame QB Blair Kiel is arrested after going on a drunken warpath at an Indianapolis Indians minor league game.

Read more…

You Can’t Be Serious! Djokovic Impersonates Mac

Besides being a pretty good tennis player, Novak Djokovic has done quite well in performing impersonations of some of his courtly colleagues, such as Maria Sharapova. And after defeating Radek Stepanek on Monday night, Novak decided to entertain the US Open crowd with some mimicry of John McEnroe.

Novak Djokovic John McEnroe

(Novak [L] doesn’t seem too focused, as McEnroe doesn’t take too kindly to Djokovic’s joking)

However, unlike Djokovic’s previous targets, Johnny Mac didn’t take such tomfoolery lying down. In fact, McEnroe came down to the court to confront Djokovic - and served up a challenge to settle things once and for all.

(Video after the jump.)

Read more…

It’s Just Not A Real Tennis Fight Without McEnroe

Quick story from my younger days. I was at a two-week tennis camp once back before 7th grade, but for whatever reason I was a good two years older than all the other kids there. It was just beginner-level stuff, even for me, so nobody was any good at all, just zero talent on the court. Anyway, one of the kids there was this simply dour ball of sadness. He seemed allergic to things like the sun, using his legs, and smiling. One day, some kid hits a tennis ball toward him, it bounces a couple times, then hits him in his prodigious stomach. He runs off crying, as if it hurt (again, it was hit by a 9-year-old), and we all had a good laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all. We then spent the next 15 minutes hitting tennis balls at each other’s backs and laughing because it never really hurt. Then I - again, by far the oldest one there - unloaded a point-blank shot at this little kid, got him square in the back, and he actually started crying for realsies. I felt kind of bad.

Yellin' John McEnroe
(YELL YELL YELL I AM JOHN MCENROE I AM CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED TO LOSE MY MARBLES AM I TOO CLOSE FOR YOUR LIKING ACTUALLY I DON’T CARE HOW CLOSE I AM YELL YELL)

I tell that story because it’s how I learned that it can actually hurt to get hit by a properly whacked tennis ball - it just takes a concerted amount of effort to do so, and there’s just about no way it can happen by accident. In World Team Tennis’s Eastern Conference (whatever the hell that is), the Washington Kastles and New York Sportimes decided to get into the “hit tennis balls at each other” game. During a match. Not for the purposes of entertainment. And with John McEnroe in attendance as a coach. Commence high-decibel madness in 3… 2…

Read more…

Serena Williams Spits Bile Twice at French Open

Serena Williams doesn’t understand why her life is so full of emotion, you know? Why so much drama?

I’m like one of those girls on a reality show that has all the drama, and everyone in the house hates them because no matter what they do, like, drama follows them. I don’t want to be that girl.

Serena Williams at the 2009 French Open

(”This… is a forearm. Do not make me smack you with it.”)

F’r'nstance, why would her French Open opponent today (Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez) totally lie about being struck by a ball stuck by Serena and be all mean and steal a point that should have belonged to Serena? Why would she do that? And why would Sanchez say it was “stupid” that Williams claimed that was “cheating”? Serena doesn’t want to call people cheaters!

Read more…

John McEnroe Loses $2M In New York Art Scam

We can only imagine that John McEnroe had a hard time believing the caller on the other end of the line was serious earlier this week. Why? Not just for punchlines. This call brought word that his investment in a New York art gallery was at the center of a fraud investigation.

louis salander art fraud

(The man who scammed McEnroe & others)

According to REUTERS, McEnroe is among a handful of victims taken for a ride by 59-year-old art dealer Lawrence Salander who has been charged with an even 100 charges of grand larceny and securities fraud. Somewhat ironically, McEnroe was invested in two paintings called “Pirate I” and “Pirate II”, all while the man who convinced him to invest was a bit of a pirate himself.

Read more…

Brog: Kidd To Give Gold To Casino Owner’s Wife?

Dan Bickley has some very weird news today out of Beijing. The ARIZONA REPUBLIC columnist (via AZ SPORTS HUB) reports that Jason Kidd told him he will give his (sure) Gold Medal away to the wife of a Vegas casino owner.

Jason Kidd Joumanna Kid

(Joumana Be Kiddin’ Me!)

More specifically, Elaine Wynn. She’s the wife of billionaire Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn.

Now, if this were Charles Barkley, I think we’d all know the reason why. With Kidd, it’s going to hard to pin down.

So does Kidd own the Wynns money? Is Mrs. Wynn the sufferer of a terminal disease? Is Kidd paying off a debt incurred by some NBA Wives Charity event? No, no and no (apparently). Read more…

Bitter Blake Berates Beijing Foe For Bad Ball Call

James Blake is furious with Fernando Gonzalez, after what the American racketeer considered to be an unsportsmanlike move by his Chilean counterpart during their Olympic semifinal match on Friday. During the third and final set, Blake hit a ball that went long but appeared to glance off a lunging Gonzalez’s racket. However, the umpire ruled the point for Gonzalez, and he went on to win the game to even the set at 9-9.

James Blake at Olympics

Blake was bitter at Gonzalez after the match, complaining that he should have admitted that the ball hit his racket, and conceded the point.

Read more…