McEnroe and Tennis's Popularity

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Metzler, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Metzler

    Metzler Rookie

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    Driger is right that McEnroe is not responsible for the tennis boom. That peaked in 1974-5, fueled largely by the great Laver-Rosewall WCT matches of winter 1971 and spring 1972. Jimmy Connors's arrival in 1973, along with Bjorn Borg, also helped. Country clubs were talking about paving over golf courses for tennis courts, there were long lines for public tennis courts, and tennis on TV was like NASCAR now, sometimes second only to football. This can all be checked at any University library with back newspaper files or a back set of Nielsen TV logs - World Tennis and Tennis magazine issues are also useful. Lots of it is not yet archived on the web.
    By 1977-8, articles were already appearing about what happened to the tennis boom. A lot of the problem was conlicting playing circuits and confusing TV schedules including pre-recorded matches You could see Marty Riessen vs. Cliff Drysdale simultaneously on three channels! McEnroe, if anything, was partially responsible for the decline in popularity with his disruptive whining. His 0.0 rating on his talk show points out that he just doesn't fly with anybody but a few passionate fans who love to hear his worn-out act over and over like a bedtime story.
     
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  2. splink779

    splink779 Guest

    I saw an epsiode for McEnroe where they taped an interview with Tom Hanks without the audience for some reason. McEnroe actually sounded like a normal person, he didn't seem akward and uncomfortable as usual.
     
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  3. driger

    driger Banned

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    in fairness john was a tennis genius. and he did bring a lot to the game. althought, i think tennis popularity peaked in the 70's . watching the same player in two differents finals, at the same time, on different tv channels, was common. as were primetime winner-take-all challenges matches. and everybody was playing. but i think john's behavior, althought bringing attention to the game, was not necessarily always good attention, much like the piston-pacers fight in basketball. its one thing to be a personality play with your heart and soul, and have it spill out during the match, it another, to act like a basket case. tennis would have been better served and john would have stayed on top longer, if his energy were more focused on the match, and less on berating his surroundings. and all a lot of unfair labels were hung on tennis players as a result.
     
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