If a library was a sport, it would be tennis.

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by equinox, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    #1
  2. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    I think in a more specialized fanbase, tennis is okay. Probably less casual fans than in the past, but I bet there are more serious fans today. I have seen a resurgence in people playing last 5 years. I'm curious what USTA membership statistics demonstrate, though I know this is not the only stat to reate to recent popularity.
     
    #2
  3. aldeayeah

    aldeayeah Hall of Fame

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    Unsurprisingly, tennis is doing fine in Spain. Although padel tennis is becoming more popular (many new apartment blocks are being built with a padel court).
     
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  4. viduka0101

    viduka0101 Hall of Fame

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    yeah right, because there aren't many top American players the sport has gone downhill
     
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  5. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Today, tennis is not as popular as it once was in the US and probably in some other countries such as Australia and Great Britain (traditional tennis powers). In the late 1970's there was a huge tennis boom. Yet, in the last several years, the USTA reports somewhat of a resurgence.



    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45569-2005Jan28_2.html
    (2005 article)

    http://www.sptimes.com/2005/06/19/Sports/Can_tennis_get_a_seco.shtml

    http://www.gemtennis.com/2010/07/06/tennis-participation-at-all-time-high/

     
    #5
  6. Markov

    Markov Semi-Pro

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    It's looking alright here in Europe. Tennis is getting a decent amount of exposure in the media, and everyone knows who Fed and Rafa are. I think the popularity issues were at their worst during the 90s and early 2000s. Guys like Sampras, Hewitt and Roddick are relatively unknown to people here where I live. There were also a lot less casual players then than there are now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
    #6
  7. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    There are far more tennis fans than ever before...China ring a bell?
     
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  8. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Big-tummy-coke-for-breakfast-cheeseburgers-for-lunch-and-mcdonalds-for-dinner-all-in-front-of-the-TV-american, only cares when someone they identify with is winning everything. They probably liked cycling a lot because of Armstrong, swimming a lot because of Phelps...

    Tennis is doing fine, just not in America.
     
    #8
  9. zasr4325

    zasr4325 Professional

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    I love Padel! Play it all the time when I'm in Spain, and its actually quite tiring if you do singles instead of the more conventional doubles.
    With regards to that article, it came across as a very ignorant and arrogant journalist who doesn't know much at all about tennis. I can understand why it might not be so big in America at the moment, with the lack of top mens players, but it seems to be doing quite well over here in Europe (well I can only speak for Spain and England, but i think its doing alright overall). Here in the UK, there was a HUGE turnout for the World Tour Finals last year and this year, and TV coverage for the majors is usually pretty good. And I remember walking around the local town in Spain during the Olympics final in '08, and literally every bar was crammed full of people watching Nadal Gonzo. Plus, whenever I'm there, every person I speak to seems to know a lot about tennis, and not just Nadal (like the British and Murray), but rankings, who won the slams, etc. Also, the tennis scene in Spain is probably one of the best I've seen, as all the juniors and people playing seem to really love the sport. But in the UK, whilst there are substantial funds at our disposal, there doesn't seem to be the same enthusiasm for the game as in Spain. Maybe because British kids just naturally tend towards football (soccer), they would only play tennis because parents push them into it. The weather in Spain is also a big factor, as it kind of promotes outdoor activities. Whereas the UK, (and I imagine some parts of the US too) needs indoor tennis centres for true all year round playability, which are obviously more expensive to erect. But I'm sure interest in tennis must be quite high now on a global scale, what with guys like Federer and Nadal winning so much, combined with their famous rivalry. Its only because that interest hasn't quite peaked in America (because none of their players are winning) that we get articles like this.
     
    #9
  10. tuk

    tuk Rookie

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    Exactly :)
    they (US people) don't care about soccer either, does that mean is dead?? nop!!! :)
     
    #10
  11. sennoc

    sennoc Guest

    Tennis in Poland.

    What?

    Where?
     
    #11
  12. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    You mean the hordes of *******s and *******s? What does 'serious' mean in this context?
     
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  13. rainingaces

    rainingaces Legend

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    What about the underhandtards?
     
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  14. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    I think he's referring to us Underhand.
    Do you not have any work to go to?
    Hypocrite warning.
     
    #14
  15. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    I'm Spartacus. No I'm Spartacus. I'm Spartacus.....
     
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  16. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    They are doomed.™
     
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  17. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    Now those are serious fans right there.:shock:
     
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  18. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register...in the Sacramento Bee?
    Is this some sort of joke. Is this the Biggest Tool thread?

    Does Miller enjoy posing as a journalist/commentator?

    Ooooh, clever turn of phrase there with the Navratilova's body of work / Kournikova's body at work gambit. Learn that in English Comp freshman year at Chico State?
    Not that there's anything wrong with Chico State.

    Is this tool trying to get all Sally Jenkins on our asses [from the famous '94 'Is Tennis Dead?' SI piece]

    Tennis is big in my neighborhood. I hear it's doing well in the US.

    Of course, I wish more US kids played DI college tennis, and I wish our Davis Cup team did better, and I wish more American kids played a varied, all-court game like Federer. Does that mean tennis is on the way to extinction?

    The only people who lose interest in tennis are people who can't spell a Slavic, Latin or otherwise 'foreign' name. That's the real issue here.

    Oh, and 'journalists' who can't actually write. Or go to the library. Or play tennis.

    EDIT:
    Jeff Miller of the OC Register: you've got unresolved childhood issues. There I said it. Email me if you want to talk about it, Jeff. I'm here for you. I'm a tennis player who is also a writer who still occasionally goes to .... a library.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
    #18
  19. rainingaces

    rainingaces Legend

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    Right, I hear a chant coming.

    We love you underhand we do
    We love you underhand we do
    We love you underhand we do
    Oh underhand We love you
     
    #19
  20. zasr4325

    zasr4325 Professional

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    [​IMG]
    This came to mind :). Also, well said
     
    #20
  21. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    This is worse than Petković's "dance". Seems like I have to set some membership standards for my fan club...
     
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  22. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    I like libraries :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    what a poorly written article, first and formost because whats so bad about a library? belitting literature in your e-article is real clever...

    Im sure you can find plenty of people in American who don't know whose playing the conference finals next weekend, the top teams in the NBA conferences, etc., its all about who you ask. this whole article is basicallly they guy saying he knows nothing about tennis. good for you guy..I dont know who you are. so I guess you are a library. whatev

    the AO is on! Im an American college student running on Australian time! dont tell me tennis is dead *****
     
    #23
  24. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    ^That was funny^. Very well done. You too, yellowoctopus.

    LOL, man, good stuff.
    He could've said newspaper instead of library, hahaha.
     
    #24
  25. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    I know nothing about basketball. I know that the Newark Jets are playing someone for the NBA playoffs, but that's it.
     
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  26. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    I say we all email complaints to the editor about this...
     
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  27. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Oh no you diddnnnt!

    I will have you know that I drink diet coke! :mad:
     
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  28. zasr4325

    zasr4325 Professional

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    As far as I'm concerned, baseball only exists in films, everything in it happens "at the bottom of the ninth" (whatever that means; to be honest it could just as easily be the ninth hole), and the only person I know of is some guy called Baby Root, or maybe Le Bronze Jim or Bronco Favour or something. Therefore, NOBODY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD cares about baseball and only nerdy weird people on obscure forums (...) know anything beyond my pitifully small knowledge of the game. Because I'm a self obsessed writer, and I'm so far up my own bottom I can't see the fields for the corn (pieces).
     
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  29. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    I have no idea about basketball these days..i followed it when jordan was big in the Chicago bulls..won some titles in the 90's..scotty pippen and denis rodman come to mind...I know Lakers were good in the eighties and recently with kobe bryant...but i don't know other players and who won NBA last year.
    OH DEAR>>BASKETBALL MUST BE DYING.
     
    #29
  30. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    I know Babe Ruth at least

    and Le bron James from the New York Patriots (is he hockey, basketball, soccer, or baseball?)
     
    #30
  31. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]
     
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  32. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    It's made from horse urine. Enjoy it!
     
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  33. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    Almost every male between 18 and 30 in my country knows who Federer and Nadal are and some of them even know the name of our national male #1. Not bad.

    Like in everything if the americans have some kind of crysis they think it isn't an american crysis it's a worldwide crysis.

    Tennis is doing very well in europe and know the americans are getting their backs kicked in the pro tours because as most of their pro athletes their tennis players don't have the best work ethics and the right mindset for sports.

    Their mainstream sports besides basketball don't instigate great physical capabilities (football, baseball, hockey..) whereas europeans usually have soccer, basketball, handball, volleyball and a lot of other sports that develop the abilities of their youngsters.

    This doesn't mean that americans can't have great athletes.

    This is the bare truth. Sorry if you can't handle it.
     
    #33
  34. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    So how's things going in Switzerland, dude?
     
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  35. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    LOL
    I'm not swiss. I'm Portuguese Mr. Underhand.
     
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  36. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    Ok, Mr. THESEXPISTOL and who did the survey among 18 to 30 y/o Portuguese males on tennis?
     
    #36
  37. david93

    david93 Rookie

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    Best post ever :D:D
    You got a point..
    The football(soccer ._. )-example someone gave here is accurate, too..
     
    #37
  38. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Obesity is certainly a problem in the US, but it's a growing problem in certain European countries as well. Terrible diets and also general inactivity are big problems that are certainly not restricted to the U.S. though. Even the United Kingdom and Germany have obesity rates above 60%. The US is at 74% per this study cited.

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/07/worlds-fattest-countries-forbeslife-cx_ls_0208worldfat_2.html

    At the same time, in the US there are also many elite athletes. Look at the Olympics for example, which country tends to win the most medals at the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics? So, it's not as if the U.S. can produce elite athletes. Then look at professional sports, high school athletics, and college sports in the US. It's misguided to think that the US does not have a great sports culture. It's just that the biggest and most popular sports in the US are different than the ones in Europe and the rest of the world. Soccer is a prime example. I don't think many outside the U.S. appreciate just how "big" pro basketball, pro football, and pro baseball are here in the US. They dominate ESPN coverage for example. Every major city spends hundreds of millions on sports venues. So many youngsters grow up playing those sports, just as their fathers did, so those other sports have very rich histories here. In the same way, many Americans have a difficult time appreciating just how big pro soccer, pro cricket, and now pro tennis is in other countries. This is all relative and also cyclical. Overall, no nation has won as many major tennis titles as the U.S. It's not even close, though of course, countries like Spain and France are making great progress and are now producing great players at an astounding rate. Yet, tennis is not a "dying" or "dead" sport in the U.S. It's just not as popular overall as it was in the late 1970's for example, when it reached its apex as far as that goes (total players, focus on the pros, general interest). Yet, it has made a resurgence here especially after 2003, so there is a rebound. The U.S. has the facilities and resources to crank out many top players in the future, so I don't think there's any doubt that there will be top players once again from the U.S. The Bryan brothers, the Williams sisters, and Roddick may be the "old guard", but it's just a matter of time. As a final point, notice how many European players enjoy staying and training in the U.S. So, yes tennis could be better in the U.S., but let's keep things in perspective. The U.S. is not only filled with overweight and lazy folks, though obesity is a huge problem. There are many folks with such issues, but let's not paint with only a broad brush. There are also plenty of phenomenal athletes with abundant resources and great training environments as well.
     
    #38
  39. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    I've done it. The study has choosen 5000 males between 18 and 30 all of them from different cultural, religious and social backgrounds. The margin of error of my study is 6,9%.

    Just kidding :p

    I know because when someone knows i play tennis they always talk about Nadal and Federer and know how well is Frederico Gil doing.

    Portuguese love sport in general. The problem is that we're only 12million, but for a country of our size is plain astonishing what we've accomplish in sport.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
    #39
  40. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Did anyone suggest there's only fat people in the US? The problem is lots them only giving a damn about their own nationals, not that they are fat.
     
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  41. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    It depends on whether we are talking about casual fans or players. In terms of casual fans, I do think that competition from other sports does play a part in that fact that there is less "tennis awareness" (per capita) in the US than in many other countries these days. In terms of elite tennis players, competition from other pro sports here also plays somewhat of a role. This is related to general fan interest as well of course, since young fans later become great players with the right training and environment. I don't think it's only a "nationalistic" attitude though. That is a part of it certainly. The U.S. is not unlike many other nations. If there are top players from the U.S. involved, then the general level of interest would improve. For example, would tennis be as popular in Spain right now if there was no Nadal? Probably not. So, it's not surprising that the Sport is not as popular as it once was in the late 1970's when McEnroe, Connors, Evert, Navratilova (became a US Citizen) and were at the top along with Borg. Somehow, even the Agassi-Sampras rivalry did not produce the same electricity, but perhaps that was because tennis had been on such a steady decline here during the 80's until they came along at the top.. Post 2003, there has been renewed interest, probably due to the epic Federer-Nadal rivalry which has once again raised the profile of the Sport.
     
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  42. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Ha. This is the opinion of the well respected Sports Authority Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register. (Consider the source).

    Taking Jeff's premise: can you name the #5 US Mens tennis player in the Golden Age of Tennis, say 1977? It was Dick Stockton. Stockton, Dick... How many OCR readers knew that name in 77? My guess, close to zero (similar to those that know Michael Russell today.
     
    #42
  43. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    lol. nba playoffs are in april-june, new york jets lost in the nfl conference championship today
     
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  44. Tony48

    Tony48 Legend

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    Wow, what a poorly written article. His name is MICHAEL RUSSELL, but Russell Michael.

    EDIT: LOL....nevermind. I kept reading and the name switch was intentional.

    EDIT: Read the whole thing and still think that the article is pretty dumb.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
    #44
  45. FiveO

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    I disagree. Tennis in the 70's in the US was a completely different animal. In the 70's the tennis publications and general sports pages would print not only the International rankings but also the US rankings. Your example of Stockton
    as the US #5 is way different than Michael Russell in that Stockton also finished world #10 and was as high as #8 in 1977 having won three WCT events that year and r/u at a 4th. He was also 3-2 v. Connors that year, 4-2 if a def. is counted. Far from a Michael Russell class player.

    Prior to that in 1972, he was an NCAA champion which was also something tennis fans paid attention to in that through the 1970's that kind of result in college boded well for professional success (good to outstanding) down the road, i.e.:

    NCAA Singles Champions:

    1963 Dennis Ralston Southern California
    1964 Dennis Ralston Southern California
    1965 Arthur Ashe UCLA
    1966 Charlie Pasarell UCLA
    1967 Bob Lutz Southern California
    1968 Stan Smith Southern California
    1969 Joaquin Loyo-Mayo Southern California
    1970 Jeff Borowiak UCLA 1970
    1971 Jimmy Connors UCLA 1971
    1972 Dick Stockton Trinity (Tex.) 1973 Alex Mayer Stanford 1973
    1974 John Whitlinger Stanford
    1975 Billy Martin UCLA
    1976 Bill Scanlon Trinity (Tex.)
    1977 Matt Mitchell Stanford
    1978 John McEnroe Stanford

    Great things were also expected from that other guys on the list, they all posted promising wins but never really broke through. But American fans new their names and came to expect big things from NCAA champs at that time.

    Also Americans were better showcased at that time in that the biggest most successful International series was WCT, a Lamar Hunt (co-founder of the old AFL, now AFC of the NFL and former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennis, Pro Football and Soccer Hall of Famer) with access to major TV network TV exposure. In the 70's many more American players moving down the pecking order were household names.

    5
     
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  46. Expired

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    Not dead, just not advertised as much. I'd say Baseball is worse off than Tennis. I don't know anyone that watches Baseball anymore. Golf is also dying, since most people only start playing because of their job or they are old. Hockey never really got a good run, because it's so boring to watch and you need ice. (I played roller hockey, but there isn't anything once you hit 18)

    The main sports are basketball and football, because they get the most coverage and most bars/restaurants have something for game night. They also seem to be the most popular in high school, since games are easily watched. I don't think I ever knew when our baseball team was playing, or where. Basketball and Football everyone knew where and when, even if you didn't like sports. There is also more college recruitment for the two, and it's inexpensive to play. You just need one ball that's under $20.

    I guess the main reason Football and Basketball are so popular, is because those are the first sports we're introduced to. In 7th grade, those are the two options for sports. Those are also the only two options that most coaches push. I don't think I ever heard any coach up until senior year of high school say anything about soccer, tennis, or baseball.

    Typically in 7th/8th grade we played basketball most every day. We would go out to the football field on dry days and play flag football, or we would play dodgeball on other days. If we had a day where he said, "Alright here are some rackets, we're playing tennis today." More people would have taken it up. We had 3 tennis courts that nobody ever used.
     
    #46
  47. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    It's amazing that the American sheeple watch football, a game that seems to mainly exist for the beer companies to advertise every 30 seconds during yet another break in the game, and which features 350lb freaks of nature with huge bellies to bump each other constantly while the QB looks like he's having relations with the center, players are arrested constantly, and everyone sounds like a moron with no education.

    I just can't understand why football is so revered, the actual playing time is like 2 minutes in a 60 minute game which takes 3.5 hours and approximately 645 commercials.
     
    #47
  48. Expired

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    It's well advertised and easy to follow..

    Football:
    Loud and energetic atmosphere
    Food and beer everywhere
    If you leave your seat you get it back
    You're a part of something, a part of the team. All your friends painted, etc.
    It's your home city/state which you love and identify with, against some other city.
    Bar/Home you have plays, tons of players, stats, etc. to talk about.

    Tennis:
    Quiet and often not energetic atmosphere
    Do they have beer? Never been to a match.
    If you leave your seat.. lol (for the good games)
    Not as much separation in tennis. Everyone usually roots for both players.
    There's no real way to connect with the players.
    Bar/Home what is there to say about two people you already know a lot about? Damn, look at Feds backhand. No ****...

    Unless you live in NYC, Melbourne, London, or Paris you're SOL.
    Chances of you getting to see top players are slim to none.
    In Houston we have the clay court championship, and the best we had last year was Hewitt and Querrey.. Why would I go watch that? WHY
    I want to at least see Fed/Nadal/Murray/Djok.. Or someone in the top 10. Just ONE of them.
    I would rather go play tennis than watch anything around here...

    Tennis is a sport that only players watch. Most of the time you already know the outcome of the match before it's started.
     
    #48
  49. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    oh that was the super-bowl? no wonder there was so much hype
     
    #49
  50. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I agree. Tennis fans are generally pretty lame. Except for college tennis and Davis Cup. Like you, I'd rather play than watch, but watching better players is a part of the experience of being a tennis player and fan...and while I respect your views (which tennis' organizers need to hear), I think you are missing out on some cool tennis. So, one by one, here are my responses to your points about tennis. Just one man's opinion here:

    They usually do have beer. $4 for a pint of domestic swill. WHY? Why? No thanks. I watch tennis for the tennis. I love it. The beer? I'll have a good beer with dinner after actually playing tennis and getting a good sweat.

    They have reserved seating for most stadiums in tennis. You can have a friend save your seat for the general admission seating.

    Yes, tennis fans are often non-partisan. Yes, it is an individual sport, so it is not like rooting for someone just because he has a contract with your home team. I'm fine with it. I root for Roddick bc he's from my country, but I root for Wawrinka or Federer bc they hit the Bh with the appropriate no. of hands. I root for Rafa bc of his intensity and wheels. I root for some no-name from a small college because I like the way he approaches the game. It's all over the place, and I realize that's not as easy as rooting for the local football team.

    No real way to connect with the players? Are you talking about tennis, still, or football? What kind of connection are you looking for? It's silly to compare the two, but, maybe you have never been to a practice court.

    What's there to say about two tennis players competing? A lot. You ought to watch a match with someone who likes tennis.

    Tennis has a TON of tournaments outside the slams. They often feature tremendous talent, almost up there with the top guys. Maybe you will go to one and enjoy it so much that you will be inspired to go to a slam or a Davis Cup tie. Have you ever watched a good college match? Or a futures tournament? Just awesome.

    Sounds like you want to watch the top guys in stadiums. That is a thrill. However, if you ever go to a slam, check out the practice cts or a 5 setter on an outside ct. You'll have a different perspective.

    I'm saying this after watching a lot of the action from Melbourne on tv. I wish I were there. Tennis is pretty hoppin' today. At least from where I'm sitting. Despite the sage words of Jeff Miller of the OC Register and the Sacramento Bee. Ninja please.

    Football? Tremendous athleticism and the teamwork on display, but I'm too busy with my own life and squeezing in some tennis and family time in each day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
    #50

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