GOAT Talk: Good or bad for tennis fans (Please read through)

Does all of the GOAT talk increase or diminish your enjoyment of tennis?


  • Total voters
    37
  • Poll closed .

RaulRamirez

Legend
I'm searching for some introspection (without partisanship) here. My question: Has all the GOAT talk increased or diminished your enjoyment of tennis?

I don't have an easy answer to my own question, but will say that I have been a tennis fan for a long time, among several sports that I follow.

Clearly, as a fan of the sport, I was not drawn to it because I wanted to say that I was a fan of the "greatest". I love playing and following tennis, and have enjoyed a boatload of players over the years. For whatever reasons we become fans, I have gravitated more to some than others; whether this is based on playing style, personality or other factors, it's hard to always know why.

In this particular era, the GOAT talk is so prevalent and at times so heated, that it seems to detract from simply enjoying the actual tennis...which seems to be the whole point of being a fan. It also contributes to a weird all-or-nothing mentality, where we don't appreciate the careers of "non-GOAT" contenders or presumed ATGs.

On the plus side, GOAT talk is almost inevitable, as many of us like to make lists and compare. It can add an extra layer of drama to majors, race to #1, etc.

So without declaring your own rankings, what do you think? Has all of the GOAT talk diminished or increased your ability to simply enjoy tennis?
 

TripleATeam

G.O.A.T.
I enjoy it. I don't like seeing my favorites lose, but that's irrespective of the GOAT debate. In all other scenarios, I just like seeing a good match between two players, and it adds in a layer of extra tension if it can impact something greater - something with the ability to last through tennis history.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
There is different kind of GOAT discussion. Some increase my interest, some decrease it, a lot.

The first kind is thoughful and respectful discussion on the achievements of differents players, how we can weight their achievements in different context, etc. I like these because it leads to think differently about tennis players and is a great way to learn about tennis players from the past. It helps people to appreciate what rivals accomplished and enhanced the awesomeness on everyone. These discussions have a limit though, in that once you have discussed a lot, you have to wait several years for new informations that could make you look at past datas in new ways.


The second king is far more prevalent is it's only players bashing and discusting. "Federer is a mug, he only vultured slams against the weakest field ever!". "Ok but then Nadal's claim to greatness is by beating a mug a gazillion time, so that makes him a clown too, and the rest of the field is still far below Federer, so they are super clowns, and Djokovic beating Nadal is only impressing because Nadal has so many slams, most of them at RG where he played at best one RG winners who were only there because of the weak competitio in the first place, so actually nobody achieved anything noteworthy because the tour is build of journeymen, chokers, millenials who can't focus because of smart phones, vultures, and vultures' vultures". And it has been this way for a long time because clown Fed and super clown Safin and Hewitt asserted themselves on Sampras which prove he was a clown too and so on and so on and so on.

And it's really hard to stay on this board when 98% of discussion are of the second kind, whoever is the target of mockery and spite.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
It doesn't diminish the enjoyment of tennis, it massively diminishes the enjoyment of discussion of tennis.
Thanks for giving the first reply. I appreciate your line of distinction, but wonder what the carry-over is from discussion to viewing, and vice versa.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
There is different kind of GOAT discussion. Some increase my interest, some decrease it, a lot.

The first kind is thoughful and respectful discussion on the achievements of differents players, how we can weight their achievements in different context, etc. I like these because it leads to think differently about tennis players and is a great way to learn about tennis players from the past. It helps people to appreciate what rivals accomplished and enhanced the awesomeness on everyone. These discussions have a limit though, in that once you have discussed a lot, you have to wait several years for new informations that could make you look at past datas in new ways.


The second king is far more prevalent is it's only players bashing and discusting. "Federer is a mug, he only vultured slams against the weakest field ever!". "Ok but then Nadal's claim to greatness is by beating a mug a gazillion time, so that makes him a clown too, and the rest of the field is still far below Federer, so they are super clowns, and Djokovic beating Nadal is only impressing because Nadal has so many slams, most of them at RG where he played at best one RG winners who were only there because of the weak competitio in the first place, so actually nobody achieved anything noteworthy because the tour is build of journeymen, chokers, millenials who can't focus because of smart phones, vultures, and vultures' vultures". And it has been this way for a long time because clown Fed and super clown Safin and Hewitt asserted themselves on Sampras which prove he was a clown too and so on and so on and so on.

And it's really hard to stay on this board when 98% of discussion are of the second kind, whoever is the target of mockery and spite.
Yes, also a good distinction. I still think that respectful discussions are possible here.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
There is different kind of GOAT discussion. Some increase my interest, some decrease it, a lot.

The first kind is thoughful and respectful discussion on the achievements of differents players, how we can weight their achievements in different context, etc. I like these because it leads to think differently about tennis players and is a great way to learn about tennis players from the past. It helps people to appreciate what rivals accomplished and enhanced the awesomeness on everyone. These discussions have a limit though, in that once you have discussed a lot, you have to wait several years for new informations that could make you look at past datas in new ways.


The second king is far more prevalent is it's only players bashing and discusting. "Federer is a mug, he only vultured slams against the weakest field ever!". "Ok but then Nadal's claim to greatness is by beating a mug a gazillion time, so that makes him a clown too, and the rest of the field is still far below Federer, so they are super clowns, and Djokovic beating Nadal is only impressing because Nadal has so many slams, most of them at RG where he played at best one RG winners who were only there because of the weak competitio in the first place, so actually nobody achieved anything noteworthy because the tour is build of journeymen, chokers, millenials who can't focus because of smart phones, vultures, and vultures' vultures". And it has been this way for a long time because clown Fed and super clown Safin and Hewitt asserted themselves on Sampras which prove he was a clown too and so on and so on and so on.

And it's really hard to stay on this board when 98% of discussion are of the second kind, whoever is the target of mockery and spite.
Pretty much this
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Yes, also a good distinction. I still think that respectful discussions are possible here.

I had very interesting discussion here when I joined, but most interesting posters have either left the board (I did for a while, and in any case post a lot less than before), fled to the old pro section where hardly anything new happens by definition, or became so bitter after years of trollish aggression that they themselves became trollish. Trolls are dominant here. They can take a **** on any bud of an interesting discussion and bring it to death.

If you see a respectul discussion, please notice me.
 

Azure

G.O.A.T.
To me goat talk is detrimental to the players actually. I have a feeling that they are highly pressurized into breaking records so much so that they are unable to play freely. Look at Serena. She goes on to play quite strongly until the finals only to breakdown in the finals. I feel that Federer had a lot of pressure in 2009 for instance. It was not until he got the 2009 RG that he played a bit more freely. More than the chit chat here that can be conveniently ignored, the players are under tremendous pressure as they continue to shatter records.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
To me goat talk is detrimental to the players actually. I have a feeling that they are highly pressurized into breaking records so much so that they are unable to play freely. Look at Serena. She goes on to play quite strongly until the finals only to breakdown in the finals. I feel that Federer had a lot of pressure in 2009 for instance. It was not until he got the 2009 RG that he played a bit more freely. More than the chit chat here that can be conveniently ignored, the players are under tremendous pressure as they continue to shatter records.
Good point, but has it filtered down to your own enjoyment of watching tennis?
 

ibbi

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for giving the first reply. I appreciate your line of distinction, but wonder what the carry-over is from discussion to viewing, and vice versa.
Well, I can watch tennis without issue. Streaming of all courts makes it very easy to watch all kinds of players. But when you come somewhere like this to discuss it and 98% of threads revolve around 3 players it gets pretty boring after a while.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
nothing against goats, but bulls are bad.

Goat-on-cow.jpg
 

PerilousPear

Professional
No effect. Sometimes, people are wrong and they're allowed to be wrong. Nothing I say will change their opinion, so it's no use getting worked up over it
 

EdSWright

Professional
It doesn't diminish the enjoyment of tennis, it massively diminishes the enjoyment of discussion of tennis.
The obvious flaw in the whole debate is that to be the greatest you'd have to be almost unbeatable. Federer was so unbeatable that he let his rivals win 35 slams. Nadal let his rivals win 36. Djokovic, 39. These are really the greatest stats in the history of the sport? Why are we even discussing it?

Federer had the best shot out of all 3, and that was to retire shortly after 2007 with his aura of invincibility intact.
 
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ibbi

G.O.A.T.
The obvious flaw in the whole debate is that to be the greatest you'd have to be almost unbeatable. Federer was so unbeatable that he let his rivals win 35 slams. Nadal let his rivals win 36. Djokovic, 39. These are really the greatest stats in the history of the sport? Why are we even discussing it?

Federer had the best shot out of all 3, and that was to retire shortly after 2007 with his aura of invincibility intact.
Are you... Trying to turn this into another GOAT discussion thread?:cry:
 

EdSWright

Professional
I am a fan of tennis because I’ve enjoyed playing my whole life. I enjoy some players more than others but the discussion of tennis is diminished like another poster said
Same. Was also taught that after a match, win or lose, you shake hands and move on with your life. If only ego-leeching fans could do the same.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
Same. Was also taught that after a match, win or lose, you shake hands and move on with your life. If only ego-leeching fans could do the same.
Not that I've ever played sports on THIS level, but sometimes, it's harder to get over losses as a fan than as a player. It is a weird duality, although it's not one that should excuse incivility toward others.
 
The GOAT debate has certainly encouraged a juvenilization in the way people talk and behave on TT, and that is a shame.

The broader GOAT debate, though, as it has played out in tennis writing and broadcasting, has actually grown my enjoyment of the game. It's made me countenance great players from the past more than I would have otherwise. It's also made me more appreciative of the modern game, which gets criticized unfairly.

I've been encouraged to leave the current ATP / WTA bubble. Even though I am still of the belief that it's almost impossible to compare the different eras effectively, spending more time assessing the past and watching old matches has been a delight.

It's definitely caused me to change tact on how to measure a player's greatness, even in the current Era. I think the number one thing for me has been a newfound appreciation of dominance statistics, even if they were only achieved within a single season or on a specific surface, because of limitated expectations some players put on how much time they could devote to tennis before there was as much money in the game.

One of the highlights of watching old matches is being reminded of the sheer amount of mental rigour the great players employed and the different ways the "brain game" manifested itself in the pre-data Era.

The onus was on a player having to figure things out during the match, sometimes with very little Intel. Old players deserve so much credit for the mid-match strategic adjustments they made and how much strategy went into crafting each point.

Stating the obvious here, but in the last 10 years, thanks to Serena, Roger, Rafa and Novak, I have a newfound appreciation for players like Evert, Laver and particularly Connors and Rosewall.
 

EdSWright

Professional
Not that I've ever played sports on THIS level, but sometimes, it's harder to get over losses as a fan than as a player. It is a weird duality, although it's not one that should excuse incivility toward others.
I get that, but you have to self-assess from time to time and remember that it's just entertainment and a game. Even Don Quixote popped his own bubble in the end.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
The GOAT debate has certainly encouraged a juvenilization in the way people talk and behave on TT, and that is a shame.
Exactly, well said. I believe the mods should delete all the endless GOAT threads, since there's always an agenda behind every one of them and they are tediously repetitive.
 

EdSWright

Professional
Exactly, well said. I believe the mods should delete all the endless GOAT threads, since there's always an agenda behind every one of them and they are tediously repetitive.
I don't understand the agenda though. What's in it for the rabid fan when they belittle others or latch without restraint onto their superhero? It's sad. It's ill.
 
D

Deleted member 688153

Guest
It greatly diminishes it IMO. But there's only so much you can talk about if discussing only tennis.
 

Antonio Puente

Hall of Fame
I'm searching for some introspection (without partisanship) here. My question: Has all the GOAT talk increased or diminished your enjoyment of tennis?

I don't have an easy answer to my own question, but will say that I have been a tennis fan for a long time, among several sports that I follow.

Clearly, as a fan of the sport, I was not drawn to it because I wanted to say that I was a fan of the "greatest". I love playing and following tennis, and have enjoyed a boatload of players over the years. For whatever reasons we become fans, I have gravitated more to some than others; whether this is based on playing style, personality or other factors, it's hard to always know why.

In this particular era, the GOAT talk is so prevalent and at times so heated, that it seems to detract from simply enjoying the actual tennis...which seems to be the whole point of being a fan. It also contributes to a weird all-or-nothing mentality, where we don't appreciate the careers of "non-GOAT" contenders or presumed ATGs.

On the plus side, GOAT talk is almost inevitable, as many of us like to make lists and compare. It can add an extra layer of drama to majors, race to #1, etc.

So without declaring your own rankings, what do you think? Has all of the GOAT talk diminished or increased your ability to simply enjoy tennis?

When Fed has a 6 slam lead, it enhances the discussion.

Following 40-15 and #19, it ruins the experience.
 
D

Deleted member 688153

Guest
Were Fed to win another two slams, GOAT discussions would be back in style like you couldn't imagine.
I can imagine it. It sucks now, and then it would suck but Fedr instead

"Fed is the GOAT"
Even a Fed fan like myself can admit that statement adds basically nothing to the discussion
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
My personal enjoyment? Definitely decreased. I dislike Novak but I recognize he, Rafa, and Roger are the three GOATs. Having a discussion about who is best seems natural, but the # of people who think one is GOAT and the other two thrived in a weak era or are a one surface player or whatever is insufferable.

It honestly makes me enjoy tennis less to see Rafa's latest USO, Roger's AO/W 17, or Novak's 2018 get written off by others as "cakewalk draw blahhhh"

But that's more the Internet than tennis, I just take a break from these forums when it gets to be too much
 

Antonio Puente

Hall of Fame
??
Either I'm missing your point, or you're missing the question I asked as the OP, and the intended spirit of it.

Are you looking for answer to your question?

When Fed had a 6 slam lead, I didn't cry or worry about it. When or if Nadal or Djoker pass Fed, Fed fans will have to get over it pretty quickly, because Nadal and Djoker fans will celebrate it the same way Fed fans did. Is someone expecting something different?
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
Are you looking for answer to your question?

When Fed had a 6 slam lead, I didn't cry or worry about it. When or if Nadal or Djoker pass Fed, Fed fans will have to get over it pretty quickly, because Nadal and Djoker fans will celebrate it the same way Fed fans did. Is someone expecting something different?
I don't know, and I never feel that I'm part of a fan base or representing anything other than my honest opinion. Really, I'm just after individual answers as to whether/how the mythical GOAT race has affected your enjoyment of tennis.
 
My personal enjoyment? Definitely decreased. I dislike Novak but I recognize he, Rafa, and Roger are the three GOATs. Having a discussion about who is best seems natural, but the # of people who think one is GOAT and the other two thrived in a weak era or are a one surface player or whatever is insufferable.

It honestly makes me enjoy tennis less to see Rafa's latest USO, Roger's AO/W 17, or Novak's 2018 get written off by others as "cakewalk draw blahhhh"

But that's more the Internet than tennis, I just take a break from these forums when it gets to be too much

Has it affected your enjoyment of WTA matches?

@Azure raised an interesting point in relation to Serena chasing her 24th.

Moratoglou's comments, Serena's own high standards, public expectation and also the limited window of time is a lot to bear even for a player renowned for coping with pressure.

It's clearly affecting her performance at the moment (hard to imagine how it wouldn't) and I think it has affected my enjoyment of quite a few recent major finals that have not been as close as they otherwise would have (not discrediting Halep, Andreescu and Co, who played brilliantly).

I'm not sure how often there has ever been this much pressure on a player who has already achieved this much. I will admit I'm guilty of it as well. I will be disappointed if Serena doesn't get it. It is probably the more sinister side of the GOAT issue with a player being weighed down by the public's fixation on numbers and superlatives.
 
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