1.25.2007

Racing Furiously


It is only fitting, but also painfully obvious, that Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will be facing each other in the Australian Open Women's final. The two stars have maintained more top-of-the-world status than any other females in their sport in the past ten years; and top-of-the-world status is of the real heavy "nobody to thank but me" variety in non-team sports. Sharapova, Serena, Federer, Tiger, Lance Armstrong, and on and on have the type of juice that Bean Thousand sometimes dreams about.

The other reason why a S.Williams/Sharapova final is so fitting is that no two female athletes have come under more scrutiny, within their sport, for being on top of the world. So much attention was paid to Sharapova's "star" after she won Wimbledon, and with every ad campaign, slinky dress, and public appearance, pundits began making faulty attributions that all of this "fun" was inhibiting her from winning another Grand Slam. That tennis experts even included "Kournikova" in conversations about Sharapova's work ethic is sillier than comparing Yao Ming's work ethic to Yuta Tabuse's because they're both Asian. And Serena, well, the lambasting of her has been all too well-documented. All the time that she takes off, the tournaments she pulls out of at the last minute because of "injuries," the kicking it with Keyshawn, and her stunning ESPY appearances--people feel that she "owes" the sport something, giving her a harder time than Robert Smith or Tiki Barber, and SHE hasn't even retired yet. (Not even to mention the fact how much her being "out of shape" has gotten discussion during this recent tournament).

Bottom line is that because of the looks + skill=superwoman quality that Sharapova and Williams embody, they have been taken DOWN, with the public trying to establish some direct correlation between this very superhumanness and the two women's "failures" or "imperfections." It is fundamentally upsetting for humankind to witness such lofty humans. Superhumanity makes us uncomfortable because it suggests inequality, class differences, injustice. Superhumanity, even moreso than witnessing a pitiable group of "sub"humans goes directly against some idealized notion of perfect egalitarianism. The solution to resolve this discomfort? Dehumanize the superhumans. Bring them to our level. And this very procedure is starkly rearing its head, as we speak, within our beloved Association.


For evidence, look no further than at this, and this, and this. Whether it's telling Melo how to behave, Jerry Sloan imposing a curfew, or Stern banning players from nightclubs, this is all part of the increasing dehumanization of STARS throughout the league. Included should also be the new technical rules, which Forevers Burns touched on earlier this week. While none of these pieces of news are too shocking or out of the ordinary (well, maybe Stern's club ban), they are nonetheless interesting for the distinct manner in which they dehumanize. Psychologist, Nick Haslam, has a compelling theory of dehumanization, which suggests that
dehumanization comes in essentially two forms: denying people uniquely human attributes (e.g. moral sensibility), which posits humans as animal-like, or denying people human nature itself (e.g. agency), positing humans as objects or automata. I suggest that the type of NBA-wide dehumanization going on falls somewhere in the middle, constituting a mass infantilization of ballers.

Stern raised the age limit but more and more is treating players like children. The synthetic leather ball fiasco actually constitutes an underrated example of this. Players were denied a SAY. a CHOICE. Rationality, desire--these core human qualities were not necessarily denied, but rather they were ignored, and that angered the hell out of the players. The players didn't give a fuck about how the ball bounced or how it came off the glass, they just wanted to be included in the decision; treated like the adults that they are. Stern's nightclub ban and Sloan's curfew are far more simple, denying players agency over their own lives and lifestyles, demonstrating a grand distrust in these players' very decision-making competence, their rationality. And the new tech rules, as Forever Burns documented quite well, prevent the expression of emotion. Whining takes on a more literal meaning, and players are punished accordingly, again like children.


If superhumanity discomforts us, please at least allow them be human.

39 Comments:

At 1/25/2007 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you on everything but the new tech rules. I can't understand why the freedom to whine like a little bitch is so important. There's nothing, nothing that impairs my enjoyment of an NBA game more than seeing a player (usually Rasheed Wallace or Tim Duncan) look like he's literally about to cry over a call he didn't get. I mean, actual tears, just like a real, live 6-year-old girl. And with those guys, it happens about 20 times a game.

I never played past high school, but I honestly don't understand why anyone would even acknowledge the refs. It would just never enter my mind. I guess there are circumstances where you might want to talk about something, but when the ball is live? Jesus.

 
At 1/25/2007 1:57 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i've come to the highly suspect conclusion that sloan's curfew is preferable to the club ban thing. at least that's non-discrimanatory, and can be spun purely as protecting assets. the thing with the clubs gets way too much into controlling image and making judgment calls as to which scenes are morally acceptable.

 
At 1/25/2007 1:59 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

forgot to say: keeping them inside may make players look like helpless children, but that's better than painting them as wayward, clueless adolescents whose danger lies exactly in their misguided agency. denying everyone their agency beats trying to step in and selectively regulate it.

 
At 1/25/2007 2:03 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

I don't know... Isn't it important for the STARS to exist within the team? Even in basketball, where a player can take over a game like no other sport, you're still a part of a team. You have to obey your coach, you have to work with your teammates. Sloan's curfew isn't infantilization, it's an assertion of control. It's a reminder that the coach is in charge of the team.

The players obviously can't have unlimited say in the governance of the League. That would be ridiculous. Even baseball, notoriously the sport where the players have the most power, has limits. Even in baseball, teams and the league can and do enforce rules on the players with minimal player input. As a good example, the strike zone changes from season to season, and players complain every year, to no avail.

 
At 1/25/2007 2:09 PM, Blogger Stumbleweed said...

I agree with you on the Sloan curfew vs. club ban thing, Shoals. As weird as it makes me feel to agree with a curfew on anything...

And I'll never understand why people get so up-in-arms over complaining after calls. The majority of the time, it's a legitimate complaint because NBA officiating is so consistently horrible. I really don't understand it -- if I want anything eliminated form the game, it's all the damn touch fouls that often slow the pace of the game to molasses. The game doesn't slow down because Sheed is complaining (the refs usually just go on with their business or dish a quick tech) it's slowed down because there are a ton of calls being made, many of which are just bad.

It's a lesser of two evils thing -- the bad officiating (including the new tech rule that seems to have fallen to the wayside) wastes a hell of a lot more time, causes players to pick up fouls that can lead to them fouling out in key moments, they get ejected for complaining about BAD calls, fans lose out on seeing their favorite player, the pace is killed, etc. etc. I just don't understand the mindset of anyone who is more perturbed by a 'Sheed-faced, arm-waving momentary distraction than they are by the horrible officiating that causes it and the consequences that follow from that. Maybe I'll never understand.

 
At 1/25/2007 2:10 PM, Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

For me, the absurdity of the whining=tech rule went to a new level on Sunday in the final minutes of the Mavs-Heat tilt. Mourning & the rest of the Miami bench had been cheerleading Miami's attempt at the comeback in the 4th, & then Howard hit a shot to stop a Miami run. As he headed back down the court he was T'd up for "taunting" the Miami bench. The replay showed he still had his mouthguard in & maybe said 4 or 5 words. It was an absurd moment: players on the court are forbidden emotional game expression, yet the players riding the pine can hoot & holler, jump & shout, fist pump etc? Even sillier, to make the no taunting rule fair, the bench would have to sit on thier hands all the time - a proposition so redunkulous even Stern wouldn't implement it.

 
At 1/25/2007 2:16 PM, Blogger Stumbleweed said...

And I'm not expecting anyone to argue in favor of bad officiating and against player demonstrations (because that's not the dichotomy, and I sort of set it up that way in my last comment)...

But I think it's crazy not to recognize that problem when you talk about the complaining issue and the tech rule. Going back to the ground floor -- if the rules hadn't been set in a way that makes the game so hard to call, if refs were subject to more oversight (oversight that sees the light of day, just like the players are subject to), and if the refs were actually better at their jobs, the complaining probably wouldn't have become as entrenched in the game as it is now. Yeah, it's chicken/egg theoretics there, but it's not like the complaining arose from the blue for no reason. Officials make bad calls and players have gotten those bad calls changed to good ones in the past through similar demonstrations -- what can you expect from them? If the refs hadn't set that precedent, it probably wouldn't be an issue at all.

 
At 1/25/2007 2:25 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

the whole myth of "figuring out how a game's going to be called" needs to go, to. players talk to refs both so they can figure out what's okay and so they can influence this emerging pictures. if refs were credible, competent, and had the respect of players, fans, and the media, then it could be assumed that there was no such thing as "figuring out" how to call a particular game.

 
At 1/25/2007 2:57 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

Stumbleweed: If you stop calling all the hand checks, it will quickly turn into the knock-down game of the late nineties. I believe the league is trying to go another way, and would rather have more stoppages if it means more flow while the ball is live.

I wish two things would change about how a game is called: one, imagine how fast games would be if refs called intentional fouls every time a player actually fouled intentionally. There would be no more "giving" of fouls at game's end. And really, if a team has earned a 7-point lead with a minute and a half to go, is it really within the spirit of the game to give another team the chance to luck out a win?

Secondly, I wish refs would ignore more flops. Like, all of them. They know when guys are diving. It would be much more interesting if a ref could watch a dude tumble, and then say to him, "You flopped there. We all know it. Cut it out."

 
At 1/25/2007 3:10 PM, Blogger Stumbleweed said...

That would be called the Ginobili rule. And it would make basketball amazing. There's nothing that I hate seeing more (especially as a Nuggets fan) than an amazing play getting called back because some second rate defender managed to slip into the lane at the last minute to draw a 'charge'. It's so dangerous to the players too -- it's pretty much ridiculous that nothing has been done to curb that garbage.

In other news, does anyone have a .gif of Ginobili getting nailed with that forearm form Artest? I need a new avatar.

 
At 1/25/2007 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with your hypothesis, shamedly so. Watch Baby Boy and watch as you are baptized in neurotic questions about the nature of your affections for certain wacky outofcontrol manbabiezz

 
At 1/25/2007 4:24 PM, Blogger Gladhands said...

What about the part where 'Melo does need to start acting like a grown man?

 
At 1/25/2007 6:04 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

I absolutely agree with some of the people in this thread talking about how intentional fouls and excessive free throws really ruin the game. I hate that in today's NBA if a guy has a shot at a dunk the other team will foul him, even if he's a 90% foul shooter, just cause it's less likely for him to hit both free throws than it is for him to throw it down. It's smart coaching, but it's a loophole and it bogs down the game and eliminates a potentially exciting play and replaces it with dead time and free throws.

People intentionally trying to draw charges, people intentionally hacking, people fouling on the perimeter cause they have a foul to give, people flopping and hoping for an offensive foul, people fouling cause they're out of time and are hoping for missed free throws to get back into the game, people fouling players away from the ball because they're poor free throw shooters (hack-a-Shaq). All that stuff sucks and ruins the game. I hate that the league and the refs reward players who are trying to get fouls called. I think the league should have an intentional foul call which is penalized like a flagrant foul (type 1) with 2 free throws and possession, and if you get more than one in a game you get ejected.

The league is always trying to figure out ways to raise scoring, well there you go, that'll do it right there.

As for controlling what the players do on or off the court, the owners should just be allowed to put something in the players' contracts that would let them write up their employees (the players), and after a certain number of write-ups they could fire them and terminate the contract with no further payout. The league could have an impartial judicial body of some kind rule on what incidents would be legitimate write-up candidates (to prevent teams from faking it to slough off some unwieldy contracts or something similar). That way if a team gets fed up with repeated incidents involving a player they could void their contract and the player would know he'd be entering free agency with a reputation as a head-case. Odds are this would satisfy the owners, the fanbases who get sick of their stars acting like morons, and the players might even like being freed from an environment they weren't happy in.

 
At 1/25/2007 7:47 PM, Anonymous maxo said...

In regards to the Synth-Ball fiasco, one should look at how the NHL has handled their new uniforms/pads. They did it right.

Reebok worked with the players and the league to figure out how to change the pads to accomplish the goals they laid out (faster play / more padding in certain areas / some other stuff i probably don't know about because I don't follow hockey). As a result, the new pads have been met with, as far as I've read, a very positive response from the players in the nhl

 
At 1/25/2007 8:00 PM, Anonymous jr said...

Freedarko could only benefit by doing more tennis-related posts. Serena Williams is not only killing everyone, she's like Shaq coming back 30 pounds heavier and unable to move well and still killing everyone, by which I mean the 97 Russian teenage girls in the top 100.

Federer is like the Wilt Chamberlain of tennis but it's even more impressive because he doesn't overpower anyone. He (and Martina Hingis) are the duo of crafty, beguiling Swiss players who make everyone look bad with artistry. Being Euros they can probably also shoot the 3, although Federer's defense is about 100 times better than Dirk's. Meanwhile the Americans (Andy Roddick, Davenport and Capriati of yesteryear) are stuck trying to crush everyone with brute force and the fiery Spaniards/Argentinians (Nadal and minions) run everyone ragged and introduce a personalized flair and kick ass on clay. All of this merely proves that national properties in sports are indeed transitory.

You heard it here first; Roger Federer will replace Steve Nash when he retires and lead the Suns to 8 consecutive seasons as Champions of the Universe.

 
At 1/25/2007 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jr-

if you look in the archives you should be able to find some discussion of Federer as an almost complete incarnation of FreeDarko in tennis, although it's in the comments section. Nadal, despite his dress, was judged very un-FD due to his boring ass-groundstrokes. Also, I would characterize Davenport as a female, albeit limited athletically, Federer. You're reaching too far with your regional descriptions, IMO.

 
At 1/25/2007 8:21 PM, Anonymous Nyam said...

I actually think that there should be more charges. Although they might lower scoring, basketball was meant to be a simple game of passing around defensive threats and using your dribbles and steps wisely. There should be more charges called because frankly I see the current situation leading to a league that has travelling=4 steps, or two sets of dribbles. Maybe this is all rant, but if you made it this far, i'd like to say

Gael Monfils=Boris Diaw

 
At 1/25/2007 8:57 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

I think calling charges is fine, it's just that the need to accentuate it is the problem. It's like the player is thinking, "that guy backed into me, I need to fall down now because it's a charge." If refs had some leeway in their judgment in terms of punishing floppers, it would take away that part of the game and allow the athleticism to shine through. You could even make it like soccer, where you warn a guy for flopping, and if he does it again, you can yellowcard him. In hoops, maybe the second flop would be a one-shot technical, not unlike defensive 3sec.

As far as intentional fouls, I don't remember if they still have that, or if they just threw it out in favor of the flagrant system. I just say make it like the system in college: an intentional is two shots and the ball back. But actually call it anytime you think they really meant to foul, like if it's the end of the game, on a breakaway, anything like that. None of this crap that there's a "proper way to give a foul," as if making it appear a certain way erases your obvious intent. Just call that an intentional foul, too. If a guy is racing with a breakaway and a dude hacks him to prevent the layup, he meant to do it, plain and simple.

wv: ukytc--the kentucky wildcats are totally crippled

 
At 1/25/2007 10:02 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

This is going back to the discussion concerning LeBron last week and whether he's following in the footsteps of Shaq or not, but in addition to the apparent malaise he's displaying this year, I now see rumors that he's gonna turn "The LeBrons" into a movie and on top of that he has a toe injury? What's next, a feud with Kobe? I think he should just reverse the numbers on his jersey and go all in.

WV: rfsntqyr - Reef's not queer? I guess that answers the never-asked question of whether he's both a King and a queen.

 
At 1/26/2007 1:31 AM, Anonymous Aaron said...

Entirely irrelevent question that occurred to me tonight whilst watching TNT:

What would the Suns be like if they had J-Kidd instead of Nash? They'd be a better team, right? I'm not the only one who believes this, am I?

 
At 1/26/2007 2:45 AM, Anonymous jr said...

anon 8.14

Federer is (to my thinking) the ultimate postmodern tennis expression of FD. However lacking an equivalent on the female side I'd be more inclined towards an amalgamation of the Willams' sisters athleticism, ferocity, and penchant for big shots with the loopy win by frustration geometric tenacity of Hingis.

The regionality is a kind of reference to the ubquititous stereotype of the "Euro" vs. the American athlete (or the white possession receiver or the fiery Latin shortstop). After watching the Bulls (who make me nervous even when leading by 15) hang on against the Mavs tonight I feel that I can safely state that Federer plays much better defense than Dirk.

 
At 1/26/2007 7:50 AM, Blogger adam8000plus said...

Aaron: Really? Better? Why?

 
At 1/26/2007 9:13 AM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Quick change of topic, I wanted to direct your attention to John Thompson's KG interview on NBA.com:

http://broadband.nba.com/cc/playa.php?content=video&url=http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/nba/nbacom/tnt/inside/tnt_inside_070125.asx&video=blank&tab=tntchannel&nbasite=nba

Unless KG is an even more skilled self-marketer than Kobe in the way he deals with the media, then this really makes me hope Garnett ends up winning a ring somewhere after he finally gets traded by the Wolves.

 
At 1/26/2007 11:49 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

Re: Kidd in Nash's shoes: I still think Kidd has the best court vision and passing ability (two different things, by the way) in the league. However, the Suns offense also depends on everybody (except one big guy sometimes) being able to shoot. Kidd doesn't have the pure stroke that Nash does.

 
At 1/26/2007 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was with ya right up to the 'punishing whininess' bit- when we have the chance, we all punish whiny adults, just as much as we punish whiny children. We might not spank adults for it or send them to timeout, but we ostracize, gossip, and (when we have the choice) we refuse to promote and sometimes even fire whiners. The NBA's only tool to do this is the T- so I have no problem with them using it.

[Tangentially, this is where I lost the thread on the previous behavior post too- whininess is universal, and universally irritating. It isn't "black" or "white". The clothing guidelines are a much, much better example of the bleaching of the league, and should be decried for the institutionalization of racism that they are.]

 
At 1/26/2007 4:00 PM, Anonymous paper tiger said...

i look to be a day late on this twig of the discussion, but i hesitate to indict the "banned clubs" stuff because it doesn't strike me as all that different from other contractual shit. i mean, it's common for players to be disallowed from riding bikes, playing pickup, skiing, etc. if stern can show that ten cats got shot at club x last year, i.e. it's a dangerous place, is banning players from going really that different from telling jeff kent he can't "wash his truck" anymore? i know the problem lies in the subjectivity of it all, and that it'll play out so that melo can't hit his baltimore spots, while matt harpring can still have his way. but if it could be done somehow objectively, infantilization aside i think it's defensible. obviously, though, it's problematic at best, and i agree that the fell swoop of a curfew is more fair.

 
At 1/26/2007 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just talking out my ass here, but I'm guessing clubbing is substantially less dangerous than, say, riding in a car, or having sex with groupies, neither of which are (yet) banned by the NBA. The safety argument doesn't hold water. Infantilization or closet racism seem to be plausible alternative explanations (especially given that, honestly, at least some of the players act like infants at the clubs, probably making infantilization seem like a reasonable option to their employers.)

 
At 1/26/2007 7:28 PM, Anonymous paper tiger said...

yeah, obviously my "defense" of it would be predicated on some demonstrable level of danger, something which i'm not saying has been or could be staked.

and, as with my comments about stern conflicts the other day, "physical danger to the player" vs "publicity danger to the league if a player got into shit." only one could be publicly voiced by the league, but one is clearly more important to them than the other.

 
At 1/26/2007 8:12 PM, Anonymous D-Wil said...

I'd love to hear what older NBA head have to say on the "establishment ban" topic and all the recent Sternian edicts.

And I gather that's what bothers me most about most professional sports, including of course, the Association. Where is the perspective of people like J. Havlichek, Hal Greer, B. Russell. Earl Monroe, Moaes, Rick Barry (the ex-communicated one), etc.? Where is their input, their perspective in these matters? And lastly, why aren't they tapped to actively mentor young pro ballers?

I do feel (sadly) that Cubes got it right when he said yesterday that "the League is about Stern."

 
At 1/26/2007 9:32 PM, Anonymous Nyam said...

Did anyone just see the end of the pistons/wizards game?????

1. Chauncey Billups=good
2.Flip Saunders=terrible
3. Antawn Jamison

 
At 1/26/2007 10:57 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

Serena just dropped a train on Maria. Total evisceration. Maria almost cried halfway through the second set, and I think I heard Serena talk junk as she was swinging at a service return (which was a winner). Reduced the girl to a puddle.

wv: csbsuazy--Patrick Swayze's family name before Ellis Island.

 
At 1/27/2007 1:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats that shit... love S. Williams she does her thing. On to other legends mentoring guys in the game i think the problem with basketball is that a lot of the guys who could be mentors all have some serious flaw that makes them completely unsuited to impart any wisdom on the younger players in the league.
As much as we loved seeing Jordan dominate the league would we want to have anything to do with a Michael Jordan outside of basketball... every story of him ever done paints him as a basketcase and then somehow relates it to "thats why he's the best".
Maybe the new crop of stars will be able to give something back to the league but a lot of the older players are probably helping the league by staying away from the younger stars.

 
At 1/27/2007 12:45 PM, Anonymous jr said...

jesus, that Serena/Sharapova match inspired the same kind of detached horror/awe as a car crash. Halfway through the 1st set with Maria just getting killed she deliberately slammed an overhead shot at the net right into Serena's body and they showed this replay and Serena's face got all crazy and her eyes bugged out. After that it was twice as bad, so bad that the crowd stopped cheering and just kind of sat there stunned. Maria did cry when it was over, plus her asshole dad/coach left without even waiting for her to get the runner-up trophy. Serena was awesome and looks like she could dominate just by showing up, but fuck that was ugly...

...just like most of the Pistons/Wizards game. I'm still baffled as to how the Pistons only scored 16 points in the 3rd quarter since the Wizards really just can't defend. It wouldn't even have been close at the end without Chauncy (who else?) hitting a ridiculous number of tough, consecutive shots in the 4th.

 
At 1/28/2007 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DLIC, I agree with all of your conclusions, but not neccessarily how we get there. I don't believe it's because they are stars neccessarily that they are torn down, but because they are stars that pose a real threat to the image of an Anglo-male heterosexual centered "ideal". Williams and Sharapova are great examples of powerful non-Anglo women who scare a lot of people unconsciously, and so we tear them down. Similarly, the turning of humans into animals is a hallmark of how the media treats African-Americans across all areas of life. It is because of their achievements that they have the target on them, but these attacks are clustered more heavily by those who challenge the status quo: an alternative form of masculinity (Beckham), strong women (Williams), etc etc. These happen on a day-to-day basis to non-star insurgents as well, but because they're in the media spotlight we notice them more.

 
At 1/28/2007 3:30 PM, Anonymous amphibian said...

It is because of their achievements that they have the target on them, but these attacks are clustered more heavily by those who challenge the status quo: an alternative form of masculinity (Beckham), strong women (Williams), etc etc.

No, Serena and Venus get torn down because they are the Shaqs of the women's tennis tour - physically dominating, yet mentally inconsistent/lazy.

Beckham gets raves from a certain segment of the population and rips from another. It sort of balances out for a never-that-good metrosexual. Aside from his dead ball abilities, Beckham was always a step slower than the opposition and though he worked hard on the field, couldn't be counted on to make a defensive play. It was his good looks, media savvy and hot wife that made him the "icon" he is/was. At no point during the height of his career was he ever the best player on his team, much less the field.

 
At 1/28/2007 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet, we never see "news" commentators talk about Beckham's physical limitations, only bashing him for wanting to be a "Hollywood" star or commenting on his "metrosexuality".

I also never hear any "lazy" comments about white female tennis stars. Perhaps I'm not paying enough attention, but if there is that same level of criticsm it's not anything near the same level of vitriol of "SERENA THE PORKER."

In short, I just disagree with your entire premise. You want to argue that they're getting ripped on because there is something fundamentally wrong with them. I argue that we could say the same thing about hundreds of other folks, but we pick them because we are afraid of their success. Just because yours could be true does not invalidate mine.

 
At 1/28/2007 9:52 PM, Anonymous MegaPickles said...

Slightly off topic for this post, but I never know if I should comment on the most recent or refer to the post which is most congruous...

Check out the pic of Prince Charles playing hoops in Manhattan from today's NY Times:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/01/28/nyregion/29royal.xlarge1.jpg

Is this what Stern had in mind with the dress code?

 
At 1/29/2007 3:15 PM, Anonymous amphibian said...

And yet, we never see "news" commentators talk about Beckham's physical limitations, only bashing him for wanting to be a "Hollywood" star or commenting on his "metrosexuality".
I have seen several commentators mention Beckham's physical limitations long before as well as after the US transfer deal went through. However, they were not the nattering nabobs on Sportscenter and thus never reached you.

I compare Serena and Venus to John Daly. Possessing immense physical gifts, yet something in them prevents complete devotion to the game like Federer or Tiger Woods. This waste of talent to me is worth criticizing.

The mainstream media always takes the easy way out - eschewing true investigative analysis in favor of trite and fundamentally flawed observances/impressions. That's why Serena and Beckham get hated on - it's easier to write 400 words about Beckham's metrosexuality than an explanation/observances on the technical and mental minutiae that propels one side to victory in athletics.

 
At 1/29/2007 5:12 PM, Anonymous eauhellzgnaw said...

^^^^

Except Serena and Venus are not finished winning significant tournaments. They don't win as often as they used to, but still.

How can players who win, especially Serena, be considered a waste of talent? When they were wrecking shop were they mentally lazy or did this just happen upon them as they became more famous?

 

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