30 June 2009
I hate tennis.
It's boring and it's shit.
There - I just came straight out with it. I just served you a literary ace. No returning that one.
15- 'love' to Slippymark.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh. It's a popular enough sport, so I'll settle for I find it boring and shit.
Every year I dread Wimbledon coming round, with it's monopolising of the TV schedules, and the countries obsession with strawberries and cream, and the next British (not English anymore) superstars gallant, yet inevitable failure to lift whatever trophy they give out there.
I just don't get it. I'm sure there must be some pleasure in playing it - I know I never found it - but to actually watch it? I just find it tedious.
I like my sport to have a preordained end time. True, some football matched end up going to extra time, but you know it's going to be 30 minutes, plus possibly a few more for penalties, but never hours and hours and hours of 2 men hitting a ball back and forth.
It's played all year, at tournaments all over the World and the majority of the country doesn't bat an eyelid, yet once we're hosting it, it's stop everything (except 'breaking news' of a man who's already been dead for 4 days - how it can break any further I'll never know), because Tiger Tim or Morose Murray is on.
Be honest Wimbledon fans. When, other than now do you take the slightest bit of interest in tennis? Who did Murray lose to in the quarter final in this years Dubai Championship?
If you guessed nobody, because he withdrew through illness, please carry on enjoying your sport, but please don't try to explain it's finer points to me because I really can't be arsed.
If you guessed it was a trick question, and he wasn't knocked out in the quarters, or named another player -BOOOOOOOO! Shame on you! You know fuck all!
Now stop cluttering up my ears with tales of how 'exciting' last nights match was. The only time my pulse raced was when I thought Mrsslippy screaming from the living room was some kind of emergency, only to discover it was her reaction that 'Super Sizers go Medieval' had been cancelled as Murray was dragging his heels finishing off some fella I've never even heard of.
So not an emergency, but certainly a fucking tragedy.
There was probably a time when I would have heard of his opponent, back in the day when there were characters like Conners and Nastase. I couldn't care for the games, but the post match interviews were a bit more amusing.
Now we just have homogeneous serving machines who make Gordon Brown look like the life and soul of the party. Commentators bemoan the lack of British talent, and implore the Government to invest more in getting youngsters playing, but if Murray is the product of intensive training, then there's no way I'd let a kid of mine even look at a tennis racket, let alone pick one up.
If kids are interested in a sport, they'll play it themselves. They just need a role model. Look at the influence Beckham has had on getting girls and boys worldwide to play football. Every boy in India wants to play cricket like Murali Vijay. Who wants to be Henman or Murray? A posh boy from Oxford, or a miserable Scot?
You can force them to train and play, and you might get a result. China had unprecedented results at the Bejing Olympics, largely due to it's 'interesting' coaching techniques. Is this what we want of our children? An army of miserable automatons? Not me.
We may not win Wimbledon this year, next year, or for 100 years, but what does it matter? We don't have to be the best at everything. And even if we win, how much credit can you take for it?
None. It matters not a jot where the player comes from. It's a solo effort. They take the glory, not just whatever piece of the globe their mother happened to pushed them out onto.
So last night we had nearly 4 hours of Murray blocking up BBC1. It wasn't exciting and atmospheric. It was disruptive, and had all the atmosphere of a fart in a spacesuit.
Now center court has a roof, they can play for ever, long into the evenings TV. I thought the roof would be a good thing, as it would stop Wimbledon dragging on for weeks, and Sir Cliffaroke whenever the brollies come up. Now I'm not so sure....
I guess I should be grateful that the BBC, and 'tennis fans' up and down the country forget all about it as quickly as the strawberries turn and the Pimms goes flat. Two weeks and it's all over for another year.
Game, set and match.
Where as golf.....