8.22.2006

Signifying hoopers



To anyone interested in furthering the discussion of Free Darko's unique aesthetics of sports, I recommend you take a look at David Foster Wallace's cover story on Roger Federer in this past Sunday's PLAY, the New York Times sports magazine. An accomplished youth tennis player himself, Wallace expounds on the beauty, or even the sprituality, of Federer's game. While Rafael Nadal seems to me to be a more "freedarko" player, I was struck by Wallace's focus on the aesthetic quality of Federer's game: "Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a prime venue for the expression of human beauty." That sentiment seems not so dissimilar from Shoals's comment yesterday that basketball players' expression of style reaches its highest form in winning. Although basketball is different from tennis in many ways, most saliently that it's a team sport, the fact remains that, especially in today's NBA, if one's game is tight enough (in Wallace's language, so transcendently beautiful) the victories will come.

And while I'm directing your attention elsewhere on these internets, do peep Free Darko's first contribution to the esteemed Chicago Sports Review, with Dr. Lawyer IndianChief writing under an alias. After all, DLIC is to basketball what DFW is to tennis.

48 Comments:

At 8/22/2006 1:24 PM, Blogger T. said...

Hmm. I never thought I'd see the words "Swiss" and "workhorse" concurrently in a sentence.

Good piece, but weren't Eddy and Tyson supposed to be the stars of the Bulls? They just never made it to that status. Maybe collectivly a Eddy Chandler could've done it.

 
At 8/22/2006 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nadal Free Darko? You jest, surely. The man is the evolutionary endpoint of defensive tennis, with the speed, endurance and reliability of groundstroke to repel any attack over any period of time, and thus a total lack of incentive for creative attack.

This year's Roland Garros final was a classic case. Federer glowed in the first set, playing irresistable tennis. Once he went off the boil his mistakes won the game for Nadal. The match's outcome was decided, and was always to be decided, by Federer.

As for Federer, the doubt I have is that he plays the way he does every time he steps out, which can take some of the "ooh" out of watching him.

For FD in tennis, I say look to the likes of:
- McEnroe, J
- Safin, M
- Philippoussis, M

 
At 8/22/2006 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a tennis fan, you guys are kidding yourselves if you think that Nadal is more freedarko than Federer. Nadal is very very good, and certainly has style and flair and muscles, but Federer is less about watching sport and more like watching an aesthetic experience.

It's hard to say what current NBAer is dominant enough to even begin to approach this, but I would say that Kobe has had a few moments, and if Tim Duncan or KG were better (again, requiring an increase in the talent of the best in the league is the extent of Federer's virtue), they could probably roll as well.

But maybe FDness is not the same thing as Federer since the power and inevitability of Lebron and Wade's power and gravity-defiance seem to exist (certainly within their own minds) on a more traditional win-loss continuum. To Federer, it appears as if that's NOT why we play the games. I'm not quite sure why Roger plays, but it's probably best expressed in some Zen koan. Anyway, maybe I'm misinterpreting the intent of your blog, but it seems to me as if Federer's transcendence in sport as aesthetic is so freedarko as to make all other comers obsolete or that he is just on some completely other shit.

 
At 8/22/2006 2:06 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i don't really follow tennis, so maybe i am totally off on who is freedarko. federer strikes me as a tim duncan type (but better, as you say) in that he's a master technician, but very distinguished and polite off the court. i kind of saw nadal as duncan's KG, but it sounds like nadal is perhaps more like an alonzo mourning or karl malone, in which case he is NOT freedarko.

mcenroe, though, definitely.

 
At 8/22/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Recalling my youth, I don't know that there's ever been a tennis player that more embodied my concept of a rebellious, stylish, yet fully capable and amazing athlete (Before Free Darko: B.F.D.) more than early-stage Andre Agassi (avec flowing hair, hot pink shirts, knowing smirk). Too obvious?

 
At 8/22/2006 3:05 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

re: anon 1:56, kobe and duncan are both so accomplished that their technical perfection becomes its own art form. duncan, though, just ain't art. lebron throws the notion of technical perfection out the window, since he comes up with new forms of integrity on the fly.

i don't really have the energy or freedom to get into a wade debate, so i'll leave it at this: he's none of these three options.

 
At 8/22/2006 3:20 PM, Blogger BasilDukeLee said...

I buy the notion that athletic beauty, or any other type, is parasitic on the aesthetically challenging; beauty as defined by a resistance to seamless, conceptual regularity. You have an individual (an artist, or athlete) giving form to that which naturally resists it. This tension shows up to us as beauty. By this account, the artistic genius is really just an exceptional form-giver. He takes a dangerous, unruly impulse and subjects it to human manipulation, delicately refraining from snuffing it out entirely by exerting too much control -- striking a near impossible balance in the process. The brilliant athlete does the same -- channeling abilities that can't even be conceptually accessed by mere mortals, and not stopping here, gives them a public face, or temporarily intelligible form. When we watch such a performance, or see a great work of art, we sense this tension in our experience -- the sense that humans can indeed impose form on what had always been seemingly imperceptible, but the limits of this form too remain on display.

In other words: Nadal = no way, for similar reasons as Wade. Too much form-giving such that the mystery/risk/danger beneath is killed off in the process. And, at least in this forum, their cures are far worse than the disease.

 
At 8/22/2006 3:24 PM, Blogger "rem" said...

Nadal may qualify for now as FD material mostly because of the style not in his game but in his still yet unfulfilled persona

he is teetering on the edge of the abyss, an abyss of ho-humness(?) as the spectators begin to tire of his on the court photogenic appeal if he can turn his game over to total and utter domination he may tilt the balance back towards ultimate FDism

 
At 8/22/2006 3:26 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm just not buying wade as a great giver of form. he's at once minimal, erratic, and repetitive, hardly the core values of bountiful actualization

 
At 8/22/2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Bob from Wonthaggi said...

I think you're onto something with that tension Basil, and I think this goes to why basketball is and perhaps must be the perfect canvas for the FD-inclined of the sporting world. Games like football lack the possibility for a single player to dominate and turn the fates of his team. On the other hand, individual sports like tennis lack the conflict inherent in a single player dominating a team contest. At the end of the day, Fed is responsible only to himself, but J.R. Smith has to answer to his teammates and whichever coach is shaking his head at the time. If Nadal shows flair (perish the thought) then that's well and good. He's not going to be benched for the rest of the season and then traded twice in a month.

 
At 8/22/2006 3:46 PM, Blogger BasilDukeLee said...

But, "minimal" to me implies a rigor of form; repetition communicates the false confidence that comes with an excess of clarity; while his erraticism just seems irrelevant.

 
At 8/22/2006 4:20 PM, Anonymous mike said...

Just throwing it out there: a tennis player embodies FD if and only if he plays serve and volley.

The serve and volley is the most assertive form of tennis, and the act of putting away a volley allows a player's creativity and individuality to shine. Counterintuitively, it is also the least repetitive from the persective of what is required from the player charging the net.

McEnroe, Sampras (yes, even Pete), Becker, the oft-forgotten Edberg, etc.

 
At 8/22/2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Kirk Krack said...

As a former high school tennis player and fan of DFW's thoughts on tennis, I'm psyched you guys chose this topic to discuss. Wallace's ruminations on elite tennis competition in Infinite Jest, and the long piece he wrote for Esquire on Michael Joyce that is collected in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again were the first pieces of sportswriting that conveyed the level of dedication and "mental toughness" you actually need, on top of unbelievable individual talent, to succeed at a high level in professional tennis. Those pieces are add a lot to the context of his Federer article, and I recommend them, even for non fans. Also, as a disclaimer to the rest of this, they also demonstrate how incomparable a team sport like basketball is to an individual sport like tennis. To illustrate this point somewhat, it may help to understand Shaq legacy as that of early career Agassi: they both coasted by on unbelievable natural gifts. You have no idea how heralded Agassi was. The attention given to him is why I know that, at one point in like 1987, Agassi declared he would only be "training" at McDonalds. Likewise, Shaq showed up to training camp out of shape for like a decade. Agassi only became the player he will be remembered as when he took the michael jordan route. Who knows where he might have been if he never met Brad Gilbert or got divorced from Brooke Shields. Nowhere is my guess. Shaq has 4 rings and is widely considered the most dominant player of his era.

Further, even considering DFW's article, I'm surprised you guys picked Federer as a FD type, since his style and dominance does approximate most closely a Tim Duncan, as Recluse said, or your characterization of Wade in the 06 playoffs. Federer is perhaps the only currently dominant professional sportsman that one could compare to Tiger Woods, but of course he's way more boring, especially compared to the "new" post-Earl Tiger. Further, Federer's so good, that he gets ALL the attention, very much the opposite of your Gerald Wallace/Josh Smith fascinations. (case in point, the level of obsession DFW has with the few "tiny perks of live viewing" he scans Federer for). In that regard, I actually don't think what you are all on about in this aspect of your blog is the consistent production of aesthetic perfection (else why not endless jordan as GOAT rehashes, or even one?), but rather spectacular incidents. Some like Amare condense them better than others. Wallace's detail about Federer is a bit like reading an old-school basketball fan raving about what makes Tim Duncan so good. At some point, you're just like "fuck, who cares?" (But i'm just guessing here at your purpose, because although i've read a long time I don't think I've seen a singular statement or divined a coherent worldview of "FD." This isn't a criticism, really. You've gestured in too many different directions, but you've also kept me reading. Deleuze your shit to that.)

Anywho by way of all that, my list of "FD" tennis pros starts with anyone who ever flipped the bird on court, foremost among them Ilie "Nasty" Nastase, who used to use his middle fingers to call for balls. This is a man whose antics forever overshadowed his jaw dropping potential, and represents a perfect Arenas analogy, where, if there truly was a "powers that be" conspiracy that favored the plain = marketable "Right Way" over flashy if erratic showmen, Nastase's considerable infamy in the tennis world vs. a reputable legacy could be proof of it. Plus he had the freshest adidas model of them all. I wish they kept those instead of the Stan Smiths.

Anonymous 1:50 is right saying Mark Phillipousis. Although I don't know where FD squares with D Miles/Kwame, who I see as the closest comparisons. Dude was the landlord of "only a big serve" games, and definitely did not meet his endlessly predicted potential.

Next up would be Goran Ivanisevic, who was basically a slightly-older version of Mark Phillipousis who won Wimbledon in 2001 as a wildcard entry. Goran is best compared to a Flip Murray or John Starks in the "streaky gunner" category of pro tennis.

Finally, Jimmy Connors, especially late-career US Open Jimmy Connors, where he kept making improbably comebacks alongside hilarious wisecracks. He always had the sense of humor about himself that Macenroe lacked. I don't have an nba comparison for Jimmy Connors. In fact I think I've lost the whole thread of this critique. Oh yeah and I don't follow tennis anymore because Federer is so ceaselessly dominant, so I can't add any comment about the contemporary game.

 
At 8/22/2006 4:29 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'd just assumed we meant flowing, dynamic form, or else HOLLA AT A PEJA!!!!!

having a vocabulary is different from repetition

erratic in tone, not content. that one didn't make much sense.

world, meet 9-5, office-sharing shoals. no meat, just marrow.

 
At 8/22/2006 4:53 PM, Anonymous Bob from Wonthaggi said...

A teenage Philippoussis dusted Sampras at his peak in the 3rd round of the Aussie in '96, and Pete walked off the court with this "don't I get a go?" look on his face. I remember sitting at home thinking I would never see such a perfect game of tennis. I still haven't. Dude just swung for the bleachers on every serve and every groundstroke he could clap eyes on, and didn't miss. Sampras played neither well nor poorly; he just didn't matter.

The problem with Federer is that he hits for the lines all day long, which for any other player would be true FD - taking his life in his hands every time. Only Federer hits 'em so regularly, the gambit is not live. Gambling is no rush if you know the house always loses.

Goran is a funny one. He never had the game to totally dominate, except on grass, but he was such an emotional roller-coaster, you never knew which of the 3 Gorans would arrive.

Marat Safin, now, is the most compelling parts of Scud and Goran all rolled into one. If he's on - really on - Federer might be the only guy going around who can beat him, and even then on a really good day. Even more than Goran though, you can bet on Safin imploding at least once each match, and once that happens he's a dead man walking.

The serve-volley theory of FD tennis is tempting. Following your serve in is the true Achillean bargain; you won't live long, but you will live or die in glory, and its a brave and increasingly rare breed that will take that river dip. Even Sampras was really a fairweather serve-volleyer - once the surface got slow he was more than happy to stay back. Henman, Rafter, Krajicek, Stich, Edberg, Becker, Cash, McEnroe.

Guys like Agassi, and at his best Hewitt, make the rule though. Baseliners in the true sense of the word. Your Musters and Nadals are as far behind the baseline as Edberg was in front of it, and should have no claim on the term.

 
At 8/22/2006 5:12 PM, Blogger Kirk Krack said...

I agree with Bob, and I wish I hadn't missed his earlier comment about the applicability of basketball as a sport to the FD concept. Only ice hockey might apply but there's too much equipment in that sport to fully observe the full humanity of personal flair.

I like Boris Becker here too--but I would hesitate before including all serve-and-volleyers. First because their style is outdated; it was built to dominate only one surface, grass, but tennis is so much more than that. Serve-and-volleyers favor the old world, the idea of tennis as a country club sport, the rich. If you're looking for true flair, it has to shine through outside statistical abberations like variable playing surfaces. Nobody in the US plays grass, nobody learns on grass. And while I'm not saying Michael Chang could ever be FD, someone like Yevgeny Kafelnikov had certainly better.

As well, though strangers to mention on this blog, what about women players? I see Mary Pierce and the Williams sisters as being the clearest cut stylistic-dominators, and none have a "high risk" serve-and-volley game. The "Not" here would be Martina Hingis.

 
At 8/22/2006 5:15 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Bob from W,

Good point about the true baseliner: the guy who stands ON the baseline (and steps in when returning serve) is a sort of dominance and imposition of the will similar (though still deficient in some way, IMO)to the S and V. He is saying: I play here and you cannot move me back.

BTW, I think the most helpful insight you can give a non-tennis person watching tennis is this: whoever is closest to the baseline (or inside of it further) is controlling the rally. That player is dictating the speed and pace of play, while the other player is playing defense.

 
At 8/22/2006 5:32 PM, Anonymous Bob from Wonthaggi said...

I think grass-court tennis' fragility is its very appeal. A commitment to play like that is a gamble that you will be good enough at it that, even though its not the money bet, you have the hands and creativity to make it work. I disagree,, too, that its a one-surface trick: Rafter won two US Opens on a serve-volley variant (with that kick serve it could hardly be called classic serve-volley), and was probably better on hard than grass.

I think we skipped the women because they're just low on FD right now. Pierce and the Williams' are bigger and stronger than anyone else out there, and win, when they do, by that. There is no gamble or flair there for me. The Williams sisters get bonus marks for being all over the place off the court, but it doesn't cut it for mine.

You're tough on Hingis. She plays the antithesis of all the other top players out there - a ball movement game going after the lines at every opportunity, despite being manifestly underpowered physically. She's McEnroe a little further from the net, but without the emotion, and in an era where its no longer cool to dink.

Novotna was FD. I will brook no argument. Those Wimbledon finals. Sabbatini was FD.

Davenport is the "Not".

 
At 8/22/2006 6:01 PM, Blogger T. said...

At the risk of making weak analogies (as FDites were once accused of vis-a-vis toltalitarian dictators) - I'd only mention that Ivan Lendl is most like Tim Duncan - techincal perfectionist with a flaw (free throws for one, Wimbledon for the other) - and yet without a personality in a league of personality.

Also, I think Goran Ivanisevic gets a bunch of FreeDarko points for celebrating his win by wearing a Champion Drazen Petrovic jersey on his return to Croatia.

 
At 8/22/2006 6:01 PM, Blogger Kirk Krack said...

It's interesting, your take on the women's game seems to exclude the "storyline" aspect off the court--in my mind, it is the subtext of this blog that the players intereactions with these makes up the predominant appeal. I picked Pierce and the Williams sisters because they brought a power game to women's tennis where it didn't really exist before. This took on prevailing societal gender roles, and perhaps reassigned them to a degree--and that's an aspect of flair that the typical FD blog post isn't covering. And is also something Hingis never did, having nearly the opposite game and attitude of her namesake, who I also include.

I feel that it is relevant to the matter that my choices addressed the sexualization of the women's version of the sport because, by and large, that is what defines the sport to its audience. While I agree that Sabatini, the epitome (and perhaps pioneer, after Chris Evert) of the "sex symbol" women's tennis player, is FD (because she won), Kournikova and even Sharapova are not. No court results; too eager to embrace rather than buck or subvert prevailing narratives, respectively. If Davenport found a way to win without succumbing to the pressure (which was great, and the focus of her narrative in the 1990s) that she lose weight.

BTW Bob, thanks: it's so rare I get to discuss tennis with anyone let alone someone so knowledgeable. word.

 
At 8/22/2006 6:03 PM, Blogger Kirk Krack said...

oops:

...that she lose weight, then she would be, in my opinion.

 
At 8/22/2006 6:06 PM, Anonymous aug said...

I know absolutely nothing about tennis except for the pictures i've seen of maria sharapova.

Great article, DLIC. A very well written read on probably my favorite nba team(besides the magic since i was raised in orlando). The bulls couldn't be a more exciting team to follow though. The main reason i like them is because they have an entire team made up of engigmatic, budding stars. They play great team ball, and are well disciplined. Once their offense comes around(which it will once kirk comes back with his fiba confidence and THABO STEPS IN) they're going to be a fun team to watch. I know that the fact that they're seemingly starless and have a defensive mindset gives them 2 big free darko strikes, but i always found them free darko as hell. They have a lot of interesting players, filled with potential, hopes and dreams. Not to mention i'm obsessed with Thabo. He's a slightly shorter scottie pippen without the MJ, which if you remember 94, is a force to be reckoned with. The defense, the passing, the ball handling, and blinding athleticism will allow him to play the 1, 2 or 3 and he's going to finally give them a good slasher. I've been sleepless since the magic picked redick over thabo and ronnie brewer. I'll get over it soon, but as soon as i watch the magic struggle with 4 backcourt players under 6'5, i'll probably be back in my slump.

 
At 8/22/2006 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the last post got me thinking about fd-ness of other sports, and this post is proof i wasn't the only one to feel those effects. my sport to apply the fd metric to was soccer. although the bunch of 0-0 and 1-0 games probably trigger off thoughts of anything but style, i can think of few team sports that allow the individual expression of style as much as in soccer. interestingly enough, i also believe that 'right way' soccer, in contrast to 'right way' basketball, is required to have style and a little flair, a necessity, in fact. after all, they do call it the beautiful game. this comment might be a little fanboy-ish, but i think im on to something

 
At 8/22/2006 6:47 PM, Anonymous anon 6:46 said...

also: being a huge bulls fans, thanks for the great bulls article

 
At 8/22/2006 7:30 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

Anon 6:46, I disagree regarding the "right way" in soccer being the FD way.

The Right Way in soccer is the modern trend towards big and fast players with an emphasis on results, the move away from 4 forward to 4 defenders. The Right Way of soccer is catenaccio and the 1-0 win. Although I do think people like Gallardo overstate the case a bit; it's definitely a trend, especially in the case of youth soccer in the United States.

As a further example, Pele and Maradona aren't FD for similar reasons as to why FD doesn't talk about Jordan or Bird. Hagi, Larsson and Stoichkov would be great examples from the 90s of what I feel would be "FD" players, as for current players, I would pick out Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Pablo Aimar and Edgar Davids.

 
At 8/22/2006 7:49 PM, Anonymous Derrick McKey said...

Logorrhoea, from the Greek. These comments are much like David Foster Wallace's prose. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I wanted to read these comments, but I couldn't. They're just too freedarko-ing long.

 
At 8/22/2006 9:32 PM, Anonymous Carlos Destrroyo said...

I hardly watch tennis, but Marcos Baghdatis did catch my eye during the Australian Open. As some unseeded underdog, he advanced past Andy Roddick and a couple of other big names to the finals, and gave Federer a good match until he messed up too many times.

He played smooth, dribbled the ball between his legs before each serve, and had a large, loud cheering section that he played to on occasion. Seems pretty FD.

 
At 8/22/2006 9:55 PM, Anonymous josh said...

remember aaron krickstein? he was the ultimate FD

 
At 8/22/2006 10:48 PM, Blogger T. said...

Zarko - I think your current football player roster misses what I feel is an essential part of anyone's freedarkoness - and that is the emphasis on potential. Amare, Gerald Wallace, even Agent Zero are celebrated not for what they can do. . .but for glimpses of what they will do.

With that in mind, current FreeDarko players might be guys like Lionel Messi, Asamoah Gyan (Africa:football::Europe:Basketball), Theo Walcott, Toure Assimiou, and Aaron Lennon.

 
At 8/23/2006 12:13 AM, Blogger spinachdip said...

Zarko - I have to disagree with you on "the right way" soccer.

The "right way" soccer fans criticize Brazil for winning the World Cup with three central defenders and just one out-and-out strikers, and bemoan Boring Boring England for the kick-and-chase. Results matter, but results without flair is considered cheap.

Who's Free Darko in soccer? Europeans and South Americans are too easy (though I think Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Tevez come close). I'm thinking Clint Dempsey - trapped in MLS, absolutely fearless, a country kid who grew up on hip hop and Maradona.

 
At 8/23/2006 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Natasha Zvereva in women's tennis was what you might call quite FD (awesome skills/potential, mostly a headcase)
also not that it matters to any of you folks but a sport with huge amounts of players that show FD like qualities is Aussie Rules football!

 
At 8/23/2006 4:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's "Shoals'", not "Shoals's."

 
At 8/23/2006 8:34 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

wow, some of y'all are serious tennis heads! thanks for the knowledge. i have to admit i don't really watch much tennis and know only who is winning a lot of tournaments and who is wearing muscle tees and clamdiggers, thus my misidentification of nadal as potentially freedarko.

even without a nuanced understanding of tennis, i have always felt goran ivanisevic was pretty freedarko. he's even from eastern europe!

krick - i think DLIC might argue that michael chang is freedarko.

also, anon 4:18 - i think that depends on whether you think shoals is plural. i view it as his name, and in that case, strunk says to use the 's. so, fuck off.

 
At 8/23/2006 10:10 AM, Blogger Kirk Krack said...

The only thing freedarko about Michael Chang I can imagine is when dude switched racquets and started busting 120+ mph serves. Cuz stepped his game up and yet, even announcers made fun of him and the improbability of the situation. Dude was like 5'7".

Otherwise, I think there's a scene in the movie Wimbledon that sums up Chang's game perfectly: nobody can believe they have to play this 17 year old whose only game is that he gets everything back, always.

 
At 8/23/2006 10:35 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

krack - the chang thing was sort of an inside joke because one of DLIC's most prized possessions is a pair of michael chang reebok pumps.

 
At 8/23/2006 11:30 AM, Anonymous Fujace Todd said...

Curious about the origins of the pseudonym "Sam Ada." Furthermore, apparently some of you live in Chicago and presumably ball there. I used to and played primarily at the Ray Meyer Center. Curious where you guys play, if you care to divulge that...

 
At 8/23/2006 3:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

everything is revealed:

BReclusEsq is right. Michael Chang is FD, if only for the fuzzy Reebok pumps. NOT THE NEW ALIFE VERSIONS, BY THE WAY.

Unlike all other FD members, I live in Chicago. I left my hoops-game back in a previous life. The Ray Meyer sounds ill though. The origins of the name Sam Ada are too deep for me to comment on right now.

 
At 8/23/2006 3:06 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Is serving underhand FD?

 
At 8/23/2006 3:13 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

Spinach - There's a difference between Right Way when it comes to fans vs. coaches.

Most NBA fans who aren't Spurs or Detroit fans are also not going to tell you how great their style of basketball is (with notable exceptions). Fans always want to see open and attacking play, to make a gross generalization.

What fans what doesn't have a huge impact on how teams actually play though.

 
At 8/23/2006 3:23 PM, Blogger Dan Laugharn said...

The Court Victory in white/green is my Holy Grail shoe.

 
At 8/23/2006 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bjorn Borg, losers.

 
At 8/23/2006 4:16 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

the white green court victory is the pair i have. copped a couple years ago from www.myspace.com/leaders1354 ...the SPOT

 
At 8/23/2006 4:59 PM, Anonymous aug said...

I've never been a fan of tagging things FD or not FD, but i've always lived my fandom by the FD notions before i heard of the site. That's basically how i choose my favorite players and teams to watch. Soccer is no different. They already hit on lennon, messi, walcott and some others, but when it comes to premiereship soccer, it's all about the foreigners. I love aresenal and their affinity for african and other non-english(non-euro too).

When i went about picking a premiereship team last year, that's what i was looking for. Aresenal and Chelsea had the most FD players, but unfortunately they're too mainstream and chelsea doesn't have a soul. Which sucks because what's not to love about essian, drogba, and the rest of the top flight african players. It's also the fact that the foreign born players there are exotic and therfore, a bit more exciting, kind of like the whole trend nowadays that all the new supermodels have really ambiguous ethnicity.

I ended up picking tottenham, and i was really pissed when simmons picked them as well. They do have a fun team to watch though. They're not super popular, but well supported. They have a variety of players with some africans, middle easterns, and guys from all over europe. I can't stand the teams with all english players. They also have some good young talent with unlimited potential in lennon and defoe. They're also not great, but have the potential to win a title if they go on a strong run.

 
At 8/23/2006 5:43 PM, Blogger T. said...

Aug - My freedarko asthetic only extends to basketball - which is why I chose a crap team like Man City to support. the psychology of choosing an EPL team is so different - misery adds to the experience. It'd be like choosing to be a fan of say, the Warriors.

Of course picking Spurs is like picking the Bucks. A lifetime of mediocore results.

 
At 8/23/2006 6:13 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

@ Dan Laugharn:

got my white-green Court Victory from this guy on Ebay Germany for approx 40$. In his Ebay shop he only has em in size 11 right now:

http://cgi.ebay.de/Reebok-Court-Victory-Pump-NEU-OVP-GR-42-Tennis_W0QQitemZ140022120773QQihZ004QQcategoryZ20872QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 
At 8/23/2006 10:44 PM, Blogger "rem" said...

To fulfill the ultimate FDism Sam Ada must remain a mystery

despite the lure of fame (it seemed like the CSR reined in the Chief aka DLIC and lacked a certain FDness {bumptiousness with flair...?}

 
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