Monday, January 16, 2006

Favorites, Sportsmanship

I love my spectator sports: not football, baseball so much, but golf, tennis ... Getting only broadcast shows, I sure don't spend much time these days with the TV, but thanks to DSL and to I follow the Reuters dispatches.

I love my sports favorites, mentioning names now and then: here, at (temp. offline) ... And now that the Australian Tennis Open has commenced, I'm noticing something about coverage, and also noticing something about my noticing. The reporters favor the favorites. Serena Williams gets pushed by an unseeded Chinese player, and the report focuses on Serena choking, not on the unseeded player playing well.

Nothing new there, right? Except that I noticed that I wasn't minding nearly as much as I used to. Perhaps it has something to do with the information age so much increasing exposure. Sports personalities have learned much better manners. Now they're not just tennis players, they're public speakers, actors, models: stars, with responsibilities. Good. We see far fewer tantrums from the frustrated favorite, granting no praise to the winner, whining only about their uncharacteristic slip-up.

Even John MacEnroe has learned to behave a little bit as a commentator, as a legend, and as an occasional masters competitor.

And maybe it's because I no longer feel responsible for educating the world.

2006 01 22 I love how the Australian Open is going: and today I welcome this gracious comment from Andy Roddick, just defeated by a Cypriot newcomer, especially apropos of the above: "I didn't play that badly today. I think I would have beaten most people today but let's give credit where credit's due, he played a great match."

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