Thursday, September 06, 2007

Precision bombing

I've been watching the US Open, and I have to say, I'm sort of disappointed in the performances of my countrymen. How is it the most powerful nation on earth can produce such terrible tennis players? Those players from Europe, they're real tennis players. It's what John McEnroe refers to as "precision"- they can put the ball pretty much anywhere on the court they feel like. No so the Americans. This is basically a demographic of people who are able to win tennis matches only because they can hit the ball really hard, really fast. Does it matter where it actually goes? Who cares! "Overpower my opponent" is the only strategy in the American tennis player's vocabulary. Yoda says: Control, they must learn control! My dad thinks the whole experience is a metaphor for the Iraq War: just bomb the fuckers.

I have to confess some disappointment in the American crowds as well. They were really pulling for the Americans to win. That's nice. So patriotic. But are/were they rooting for Blake and Roddick and Williams 1 and Williams 2 because they think they're good tennis players, or are they rooting for them simply because they're Americans and heck, so are we? That strikes me as a silly reason to root for someone. I'll admit, in the Olympics I root for the USA because it's the USA. (Of course, I generally don't know anything about the athletes competing in the Olympic sports, so it's hard to root for them based on style and performance.) But tennis is about individual performance. It's a game that transcends national boundaries. And it's a game where, ultimately, we could use more volleys and less aces.


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