Actually seven men plus one fictional TV character came in ahead of Federer on ask.com’s poll of the most influential men of 2009. And the fictional character was deemed the most influential of all!
I still can’t wrap my mind around the idea that a pretend character on a TV show is considered more influential than all of the living breathing men on this list. How insulting is that to men? If I had a penis I would be cussing a blue streak right about now.
Don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal of John Hamm. For a short guy, he is actually kinda cute. But he didn’t win the damn poll, his character, Don Draper, did. Having never actually watched a single episode of Mad Men (my TV is permanently glued to the Tennis Channel, sorry), I have to take people’s word for it that something that this character represents is apparently far more appealing than any living breathing man, including Federer. And so the line between TV fantasy and reality continues to blur…
The seven men ranked ahead of Federer were: Steve Jobs (of Apple fame), Michael Jackson (currently experiencing a resurgence of fame that he would have probably killed for while living), Simon Cowell (of American Idol fame and the most honest critic I have ever seen), Mark Zuckerberg (who invented Facebook), Barack Obama (currently enjoying a spectacular series of failures if SNL is to be believed), and Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world.
I have no quarrel with this list, especially as my darling Usain is at the top (I choose to ignore the stupidness about the TV character). Usain very much deserves all commendation. I don’t even mind that he beat Barack Obama. No offence to Barackians but I’m still pissed off that he involved himself in that Olympics nonsense. Yes I think he has more important things to focus on at this time. Let Oprah and his wife plead Chicago’s case, my President should have been otherwise occupied. But I digress.
So back to Federer and his position in the rankings of influence. He was ranked in the Top Ten of the most influential men in the world in 2009. I can live with that. Here’s the excerpt from the poll justifying why:
“Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer set a number of records in 2009, further cementing his reputation as the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport. He reached his record seventh consecutive Wimbledon final in July, defeating Andy Roddick to rack up his sixth Wimbledon victory. Roger Federer also broke the record for most Grand Slam final appearances, which now stands at 20, and set the record for most Grand Slam men's titles with 15, surpassing Pete Sampras. His victory at Wimbledon helped him regain the No. 1 spot in the Association of Tennis Professionals' ranking of top-seeded players, knocking Rafael Nadal out of pole position after 11 months. Roger Federer captured his first French Open title in 2009, and became the first male player to appear in at least two Grand Slam finals a year for six years running. Some of the honors he's received over the past months include the ESPY Best Male Tennis Player and Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Awards, and he was voted ATPWorldTour.com's Fan's Favorite for 2009. To top it all off, the Swiss Maestro has earned over $50 million in prize money during his career, making him the top-earning tennis player of all time.”
Below Federer, the also-rans included his good pal Tiger Woods at position # 30, Kobe Bryant at # 33, and LeBron James at # 42. Lance Armstrong came in dead last at 49. (I have a friend who will be thrilled with this result).
The only other tennis player to appear on the list was Andy Roddick. He was ranked the 35th most influential man in 2009. And guess which was the only match mentioned in the synopsis about Roddick, explaining his appearance on the poll? You guessed it -- his finals against Federer at Wimbledon.