Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In search of Rafa’s belly-button

Right about now Spain is feeling all kinds of wonderful. And my Venezuelan abuelita is probably turning over in her grave that I dared to go against Paul the Prognosticating Pulpo and voted for a giant-toppling Netherlands victory. If she were still alive she would probably slap me upside the head with a chancla. And I would deserve it too. I mean who roots against Spain when you have watered-down Spanish blood flowing through your own veins?

Well actually I didn’t root against Spain. I rooted for the Netherlands. It’s not the same thing. Besides, anyone who has been reading this blog recently knows that I have had giant-toppling on the brain. I make no apologies for that.

I had an insight recently that this obsession with giant-toppling must be because I may be unconsciously preparing myself for Federer’s decline. Not that I expect this to happen overnight but, like every human being, you get to a point where you start realizing that your best years are behind you and that whatever good happens in the future is just a sweet bonus. Why else would Federer be caught dead out in public with Mirza looking all kinds of horrible in a bikini? I am so embarrassed for her that I refuse to reprint the photo. Let me just acknowledge my anticipatory grieving.

But I digress.

I really intended in this entry to focus on why La España must be feeling on top of the world right about now. And actually, if she is honest, La España would admit that her good feelings actually started when her supposedly clay-loving compañero won Wimbledon and ascended to the top of the rankings, all while relying on his only good knee.

Although I am beginning to wonder whether  Rafa may have taken a page out of Mr. DampAss’ PR book and may be guilty of spreading misleading missives about the status of his health. Remember when Sampras vomited on court only to turn around and spank the butt off the original Spanish export, Alex Corretja? But again, I digress.

What I really intended to write about was the location of Rafa’s belly-button. I was inspired by reading about a recent study led by a Duke University professor named Andre Bejan who concluded that the location of the belly-button is the key to understanding sporting success.

Bejan and his colleagues set out to understand why Black sport-persons seemed to be better at running while Whites did better in the water. They examined over 100 years of sporting records and came to the conclusion that it all came down to the location of the “ombligo” (or belly-button for those of you not lucky enough to have had a Venezuelan abuelita).

Bejan at al explain that the ombligo is the center of gravity of the body. In runners of African descent, the navel is apparently located higher because runners have longer legs. For swimmers, the belly-button is located lower because Caucasians generally have shorter legs but longer torsos than Africans. In fact, Black belly-buttons are generally located three centimeters (1.18 inches) higher than white belly-buttons.

I have no idea if this has any relevance to World Cup which came down to two white teams and an octopus. But I can’t help but wonder if it applies to Rafa. Maybe Rafa flummoxes everyone on the tour (except Söderling on a good day) because of the location of his ombligo? Is it high? Low? Does it matter? 

It may not. But I personally intend to spend the next few months scoping out the shirtless pictures of as many male tennis players as possible in order to settle this issue once and for all. My intentions are purely scientific of course. 

In keeping with the empirical nature of my inquiry, I would first need to measure the exact distance between the top of the pubic hair and the navel. Then I will use SPSS to determine if there is a statistically significant relationship between navel location and tennis ability. Of course, in keeping with the option of qualitative research, it would help if I could also examine some of my subjects personally. After all, it's not as if I intend to hire any research assistants.

31376, PARIS, FRANCE - Sunday May 31, 2009. Rafael Nadal (Spain, pink shirt) lost for the first time in Roland-Garros, beaten by Robin Soderling (Sweden) in 4 sets. French Open 2009, Internationaux de France 2009, held at the Roland-Garros stadium in Paris. Photograph: Juan Soliz, PacificCoastNews.com


TennisAce said...

I have been reading your blog and making my views known here for a little under 2 years and this is the first time that I am going to give you a virtual slap.

How could you a woman who is a psychologist and who has actually had children ever print something like that about Mirka? I expected this kind of thing from chauvinistic men and magazines that pander to what a woman should look like, but I never expected this from a woman and indeed from one who is a fan of a certain player with a buxom body who is not afraid to flaunt it.

I am aghast because clearly even self respecting women who should know better have brought into the stereotype of what a woman should look like and how dare you if you do not have the so-called perfect body go out in public on a private beach with your husband in a bikini? How dare you as a woman who has just given birth to 2 children and who travels the world with her husband providing emotional support ever think of parading herself in a bikini?

I am absolutely aghast that in this day and age that this stereotype of women still exists. As a buxom woman myself, I have allowed society to tell me that because I am carrying some extra weight I should not wear certain things. I thought that we had passed that stage now, but clearly we have not.

Tennis Chick, I am without a doubt ashamed to call you my virtual tennis friend.

TennisAce said...

And to compound the situation you make reference to the fact that the only reason why Federer would be caught dead with his wife looking horrible in a bikini is because he is in decline.

I feel so sad for this piece of writing that I am actually in tears. I am so mad at you. You should do better because you know better.

tennischick said...

Slap 100% accepted but two things in my defense:

1. The entire piece is intended as humor. Sometimes humor is offensive. Read anything put out by any successful comic.

2. When Mirka puts herself together to attend Federer's tennis matches, she looks great. If your body is imperfect -- and that includes 98% of the world -- the solution is to wear something that suits your particular body so that you look good. I stand by my view that she could have looked better because I have seen her look better.

Truly sorry to have hurt your feelings. That was not my intent. I hope you decide to re-visit my blog when you remove me from the dog-house.

TennisAce said...

There is a blogger out there by the name of CNote who has absolutely no love for Federer. She is humourous in a wickedly funny way and I love reading her blog, if only because she makes me laugh.

She published those pictures of which you speak and she used humour to describe the pictures. Only thing was, the only person she used humour against was Federer. She wondered how could someone with a body like his do so many amazing things on the tennis court. Most of those who commented made mention of the fact that he looked like their grandfathers and could not understand how a pot bellied athlete who does not look as if he knows where the gym was actually play the way he does.

Most bloggers will take pot shots at Federer. The ones that make fun of Mirka are the ones who are sent to the dog house.

I am sure you recall the writer (think it was Bodo) who dared to criticise Mirka and there was another one from the UK who made mention of her weight and who was villified by fans.

In some things humour should never be used. Mirka is a 30 something woman who just gave birth to twins who are not even 1 year old. As far as I am concerned she looks great in the bikini. She has a bit of a tummy but her legs look strong, her ass looks rock hard and tight and unlike many of those celeb wives that you see out and about she looks like she is having a lot of fun and even more importantly, her husband seems quite happy with her.

How many athletes do you know who are married to beautiful women, when was the last time you saw vacation pictures of them. I cannot recall seeing Tiger and Elin on vacation. Matter of fact I cannot recall seeing Elin smile. She is now the butt of jokes as per the ESPY's last night.

Never seen Sampras' wife smile. Steffi looks like she is constipated a lot of the times and the list goes on and on. As long as Federer and Mirka are happy together then I think she can wear whatever she chooses.

tennischick said...

Tennis Ace:
You're reading far more into a throw-away sentence than I either stated or implied.

Nowhere in my article did I comment on Mirka's physical size, shape, girth or lack thereof. I commented on the fit of a bikini. It fit her poorly and she looked downright horrible. Sometimes Mirka dresses in clothing that my abuelita would not have been caught dead in. This has always been true of Mirka, long before she had her babies. Another style or cut of bathing suit would have fitted her just fine. In fact I wish she would hire me as her personal shopper. I would have her looking hot for days.

My comment on how a piece of clothing fits a woman has nothing to do with the size or shape of that woman. If you cannot see the distinction between these two, then there is no point to continuing this exchange.

Humor is as personal in taste as is our choice of ice-cream. Me, I favor pistachio. Go figure. Enjoy CNote and her hilarious digs at Federer's pot-belly.