The One-Name Litmus Test

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ohplease, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Bill Simmons (aka ESPN's The Sports Guy) recently described something called the One-Name Litmus Test. His usage was in the complete idiocy of trading Shaq, but I got to thinking:

    Jimbo, Bjorn, Boris, Andre, Pete. Martina, Chrissy, Steffi, Monica, Martina, Venus, Serena.

    Was Lendl ever Ivan? Was McEnroe ever simply John? It's Courier, not Jim - nor is it Roger, Kim, or Justine.

    Interestingly, justified or not, we've also got Andy, Guga, and Goran. Obviously, part accomplishment, part something else. Still, it's interesting, and more than a little telling, who's made the leap - and who hasn't.
     
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  2. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I'm not sure what you are saying that this test evaluates?
    Intimacy?
    In terms of fame, I think more people know and can equate the name "Mcenroe" with tennis than any of the 1st names you mentioned.
     
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  3. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    yes but his nickname was Mac
     
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  4. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    Guga would most likely be Guga anyway: here in Brazil the first name and the nickname matter a lot more than the last name... It works this way for football (soccer) players, basketball players, volleyball players, etc. Oddly though Sa and Saretta don't really follow the rule.
     
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  5. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    No tennis player has or ever will be famous enough to qualify for the "one name test."
    Out of the recent players you mentioned only Venus & Serena have that sort of first name recognition(partly due to the uniqueness of their names) McEnroe had various nicknames from the media during his career, "SuperBrat" "Big Mac," though it was used even more in relation to Mark McGwire.
    I heard commentators call Sampras "Pistol Pete" which of course was first used for Pete Marovich.
    None of those names you mention are as famous as Shaq in the US, it cracks me up to hear anyone refer to Roddick as "A-Rod," He could sweep the 4 grands slams next year & will never be as famous as the real "A-Rod"
     
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  6. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Don't forget ME on that list. I've made the "leap". Me and Madonna, the original one-name wonder, hang out at the Starbucks on 6th Ave., drinking joes, al fresco-like.
     
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  7. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    Phil, go back in your hole.
     
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  8. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    The name Agassi passes the one-name test IMO. Ask a sports fan who they know is a top pro tennis player & even a non-tennis fan will say "Agassi" & hs TV commercials help the recognition factor. (in N America anyway) I'm not sure if Federer would roll off the tongue of European fans the way Beckham does but probably not.
     
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  9. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    You don't think any South American player will know who "Guga" is? I think the lack of recognition for tennis players spans mainly North America, but in South America, Europe, Asia, & Australia, their top tennis players are national heroes, and are known by virtually everyone.
     
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  10. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    We can only speculate, awright. But I have my doubts that many tennis players are 'national heros' in other countries. They may certainly be more famous than their american counterparts, but to compare a South American tennis player to any South American soccer player is kind of like comparing the US's 2 "A-Rod's"

    I've been in London during Wimbledon, and trust me Henman's fame and popularity is a fraction of the soccer players there.
     
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  11. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    I have heard american people refer to Ferrero as Juan Carlos.
     
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  12. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    I wouldn't be surprised if they're confused and think he's Juan Carlos, the King of Spain. .
     
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  13. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Don't have one, @wright. You, on the other hand, have been missing in action-which is a nice break for all of us. By all means, please try to STAY MIA some more.
     
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  14. K!ck5w3rvE

    K!ck5w3rvE Hall of Fame

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    Andy? Have a look on the boards and you'll find a lot of people referring to him as rod-dick. Not me, but others.
     
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  15. PJVA

    PJVA Rookie

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    I am not sure what your one name theory really means. For one thing players who have a common first name such as "John" would not very likely be called by that because there would be too much confusion. There are no other players named "Venus", "Serena", or "Steffi" so it's pretty easy to call them by their first name. In fact in the case of Venus and Serena there would be confusion more abiguity if they were called "Williams" instead of their first name.

    You make the case for Andy Roddick....but some people call him "Andy" and some people call him "Roddick". Likewise with Roger Federer some use his first name and some use his last name. Maybe it depends on how much the speaker likes the player he's talking about. Or it may depend on who the listeners are and if they were already informed tennis fans or not.
     
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  16. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    Touche, Phil, touche. Anything I can do to make your days pass by a little faster.
     
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