Saturday, June 11, 2016

Companies I will no longer support


I gotta give it up for Dominika Cibulkova.  Girlfriend has always been short on stature but big on guts.  And while just about everyone -- including Serena Williams, Sharapova's longtime nemesis -- has  been pussy-footing around Sharapova as if her shit don't stink, Cibulkova had the guts to call it like it is.  According to excerpts translated from a magazine in Bratislava, Cibulkova was quoted as expressing surprise "that most of the reactions" to the discovery of Maria's cheating "were so diplomatic, because everyone’s opinion is actually totally different".

I believe this to be true.  I believe that most professional players on the tour, including many of those who gave diplomatic responses, think that Maria Sharapova's entire tennis career has been characterized by cheating.  That her entire career has been one long multimillionaire lie.

But if one were to judge from the majority of interviews, everyone ends up sounding soooo f**king supportive.  Poor Maria, crippled with health conditions that required her to take a performance-enhancing drug. For TEN YEARS!!!!  Puh-lease.  And double steups. No, make that a fricking triple.

Monday, June 6, 2016

When is it time to let go?


Serena and Roger have been messing with my heartstrings for a minute now.  I’ve invested a lot in them emotionally over the years.  Full disclosure – I went through a brief blip of disappointment after meeting Serena in person and experiencing her as kind of dislikable.  But I promptly got over it at her next match upon realizing that my disappointment was my problem because Serena really had no reason to give a crap about me or my excess of feelings.  In other words, I had to get over myself – and I did.  And went right back to an appreciation of the amazingness that she is. 

But her recent loss to GarbiƱe Muguruza – along with other close calls – have left me wondering if it’s time for me to move on and re-invest.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Serena should retire any time soon.  I want her to keep playing for as long as she feels healthy and motivated.  I’m only wondering if, as a fan, I should continue to expend the amount of emotional energy I have in the past.  Is it time for me to hang it up, like I did with Steffi and both Martina’s before and after Steffi?  There comes a point in fandom when you need to face facts and find new passion.

In many ways tennis fandom is like a good marriage ending in a healthy divorce.  The love will last forever – that’s a given – but passion needs to be expended elsewhere.  In many respects, my silence (as a writer) over the past year plus has been a form of anticipatory grief.  My faves are getting old.  Serena and Roger seem to be on their last wind.  And really, I can’t handle it, which is why I want to run away and immerse myself in the bosom (or pants – I’m not gay) of a new tennis love.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Does tennis really need a commissioner?


It's been more than a tad annoying having to watch all of those ads featuring John McEnroe as a  self-styled Tennis Commissioner.  And I may have remained in my self-inflicted hiatus from writing if this hadn't succeeded in thoroughly annoying me enough to challenge me to write about it.  It's hard enough having to deal with it raining rope in Paris, but having also to tend with this buffoon is asking just too much of this Chick.


Somebody has clearly paid a whole lot of money to make sure that Johnny Mas has been annoyingly ever-present during TV coverage of Roland Garros 2016, acting out various scenarios in which a tennis commssioner is seen handling a number of different situations. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to shame Johnny Mac for his shameless self-promotion. Frankly, his self-advertisement seems as American as Donald Trump.  


My only worry is that while the US seems hell bent on electing a President it so does not deserve, I do not want the same for tennis.  And nothing convinced me more that Johnny Mac is inappropriate for this role than his half-baked take-down of Maria Sharapova.  A true tennis commissioner -- male or female -- has both cojones and courage.  He or she is more than a half-assed politician seeking to find a way to suck up to sport's top-earning female while pretending to dress her down.