Monday Quick Hitter

While I was watching NBC’s Sunday Night football last night, Al Michaels did a nice, unobtrusive promo for this week’s golf event.  He spoke about it for a moment while a small graphic of the top ten appeared on screen.  I don’t know if they ran any actual commercials; I assume they did, but I don’t think I saw one.

I also watched some of the U.S. Open tennis finals on ESPN last night between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.  Federer holds the record for total career wins in tennis’s grand slam events with 17.  I suppose you could call him the “greatest of all time.”  I don’t follow tennis all that closely, so maybe they already do.

The point: I was struck by the complete absence of any fawning over Federer by the ESPN announcing team.  They covered Federer like — golf fans may find this hard to believe — any other participant in a sporting event.

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15 Responses to Monday Quick Hitter

  1. JoseyWales says:

    from Golf Channel.com:
    Lydia Ko birdies final two holes, shoots 63 to win Major at age eighteen…66 comments.
    Tiger Woods officially commits to play Frys.com Open…444 comments.

    Welcome back Lanny.

    • lannyh says:

      How many of those comments are “nobody cares” comments? How many of those comments are in response to “nobody cares” comments? GC is trolling, of course.

      I guess the real question is — and each of us must decide for himself — am I more interested in the 66 comments about a serious golf topic or about the 444 comments made by mindless cretins arguing with each other, saying the same things they’ve said for the past six or eight or ten years?

    • lannyh says:

      Hey, I just went and scrolled through maybe 50 comments. Not a one was about frys.com. It was all people arguing with each other about the same things they’ve argued about every day for five years. I saw a few comments about the number of comments!

      If you take the on-topic comments, you will wind up with — this is my guess — exactly zero. Another guess of mine is that many of the comments are made by Golf Channel themselves. If they type in, “Obviously Tiger is the greatest of all time because…,” that will compel ten or twenty people to object.

      At a certain point, you have to accept that it’s a forum for bored, not-so-bright people, and that it is tediously repetitive.

      I don’t even click on those mindless Tiger Woods articles any more. What’s the point? And I don’t really care if they write those articles because I can avoid them. What I don’t like is when you click on a “Spieth looking to improve game” article and it mentions Woods gratuitously. The TV coverage is horrid, but it’s the only game in town if you want to watch a tourney.

  2. Ken says:

    Federer gets a lot of “GOAT” mentions, but so does Nadal who has 14 majors and surpassed Federer as a player a long time ago. Now Djokovic is at 10 is getting “GOAT” mentions. Like golf, it’s too focused on the present. Pete Sampras gets barely a mention anymore and he had 14 majors.

    Kind of makes you realize that declaring “greatest evers” isn’t so easy. Who talks about Borg and Connors anymore, yet they were certainly amazing players in an era full of them. Rod Laver mere won the Grand Slam twice.

    On the women’s side, it’s all Serena now. Margaret Court still leads her in majors 24-19 with Steffi Graf at 22. How often is Court’s name even brought up now? I can’t help but think that being black is a factor with Serena, who is truly an awesome player. But Evert and Navratilova both finished with 18 majors and now they seem to be off the “greatest ever” list, even though playing against each other for so long reduced both of their individual totals. (If Monica Seles hadn’t been stabbed, she’d have won a lot more than 9.)

    • lannyh says:

      Margaret Court seems now mainly known for the Bobby Riggs match.

      For me, the tennis players that come to mind are: Rod Laver, Connors/Evert Era, Bjorg, and Federer (I suppose). Oh, and Billie Jean King. And even Navratilova. The Connors/Evert era really stands out for me because they coincided with tennis becoming the national pastime for a year or two. All the free, public tennis courses (like at high schools) stayed jam-packed. Jogging and tennis were practically mandatory. (I love thinking back to old eras like that, when something or other — video arcades, CB radio — became massively popular for a while. Sometimes I wonder what kids today will look back on. Will they look back on the Social Media Era? World of Warcraft Era? Extreme Sports Era? Maybe Harry Potter Era.)

      • Ken says:

        Hopefully some things, like Facebook and fantasy sports, will someday be looked at as a weird historical oddity.

        I was a tennis fan and player starting in the late 70s; I still play here and there. I actually don’t remember seeing or hearing about the Riggs-Court match at the time, though I know that they played and Riggs won. It seems most people remember only Riggs losing to King.

      • lannyh says:

        Amen to fantasy sports! I hope the year we first look back at fantasy sports as a weird historical oddity is 2016! It annoys me that most people can legally bet on fantasy sports, but not on direct game outcomes. I mean, at least have a contest where people pick 20 games against the spread and the top result wins.

        I watched Riggs and Court and got a big kick out of it, being a proper young male chauvinist at the time. I regularly read Sports Illustrated at time, and I’m sure these matches in detail. (Submitted: I think I got more out of reading the articles in SI than kids today reading “Tiger Woods Rockin’ Awesome green shoes in this selfie!”) I was looking forward to the Riggs-King spectacle like you wouldn’t believe. But, alas, I had to work that night!

  3. Kris says:

    Is NBC attempting to acquire the rights to every sport known to man? It seems like they air a wider variety of live sports than ESPN. I must say, NBC is the master of cross promotion.

  4. Bird says:

    I thought Federer was fawned over, almost in lockstep with the pro Federer crowd. The announcers only started to flee the “F” ship when he was down 5 – 2 in the 4th. They then frantically attempted to scramble back on, as their boy won the next two games. “Comeback” was mentioned at that point.

    • Ken says:

      I didn’t hear it so much as fawning from the announcers, but they were no doubt rooting for Federer along with the crowd. I thought that was very unprofessional.

    • lannyh says:

      I never once heard them claim tennis needed Federer, or that all tennis fans were for Federer, or that Federer was about ready to click and we could look forward to him winning two or three grand slam events next year, etc., etc. They must have said those things when I was flipped over to football.

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