I don't know what Marion Bartoli's father is like, but do you really want to celebrate Richard Williams? He did a lot of amazing things for his daughters, but he's also a little loopy, I think. Remember when Venus was booed at Indian Wells for bailing on a match with Serena, and Richard Williams said: "It's the worst act of prejudice I've seen since they killed Martin Luther King"? I'm positive that the Williams family has encountered their share of racism, but that seems insulting to a lot of people who have suffered actual brutal acts of racism.
Although, what do I know -- maybe a mild smattering of boos at a tennis tournament is the second-worst act of racism in the last 40 or so years, next to that horrifying murder. Whatever. The point is, tennis is better than college football.
6. Because no coach is bigger than the player or the program.
Why is this good or bad for either sport?
7. Because as cute as Ian Johnson and Chrissy Popadics' story is, they'll never match Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf's.
Here I'm just going to have to straight-up call bullshit. Johnson and Popadics, you'll remember, are the Boise State football player and cheerleader, respectively, who got engaged on national TV when Johnson, basking in the glow of his winning score in the Broncos' insane overtime fumblerooski-laden Statue-of-Liberty-Play riddled 43-42 victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, dropped to one knee and popped the question. It was the most hilariously wonderful and American and college-y thing I have ever seen. (They later received death threats due to the fact that Johnson is black and Popadics is white, and persevered, ["You take it for what it is — the less educated, the less willing to change," said Johnson, level-headedly] which makes me love them even more.)
Anyway, that's their story.
Graf and Agassi were two famous multi-millionaire tennis players who met after they both won a tournament and got married, and they have cute kids, and it's very nice. That's their story. How is that better than proposing on TV right after you score a touchdown to upset a massive powerhouse and win the Fiesta Bowl and finish a 13-0 season?
8. Because they don't name college football stadiums after jazz icons (Louis Armstrong), AIDS and human rights activists (Arthur Ashe) or world-class, world-changing feminists (Billie Jean King).
It maybe should be noted that Ashe and King were also...tennis players. Which maybe is also a reason they named tennis stadiums after them. And Armstrong lived near the site of the stadium. It's not like when they build a new Centre Court at Wimbledon they'll name it "John Lennon Stadium" just because he was a cool dude who was pro-peace. And I'm not the guy to ask -- and too lazy to research -- but I'd bet some of the people that college football stadiums were named after were decent people.
9. Because the NCAA would never invite eight "wild card" teams to play in their "tournament" the way the USTA did with players like John Isner and Donald Young at the Open.
Again, I hate to rewrite your article for you, but the fact that you put "tournament" in quotes indicates that you know that there is no championship "tournament" in college football, and that this is a sore spot for a lot of people, and maybe you could have just said: "Tennis has tournaments to decide its champions," and maybe that would be a stronger argument, since: who the hell are John Isner and Donald Young?
10. Because even though more people will watch Virginia Tech at LSU on Saturday, nothing in that game will match what will happen in the three matches on Super Saturday.
So, the #10 reason that tennis is better than college football, is that the theoretical like "goodness" of three future tennis matches will outweigh the theoretical "goodness" of a future college football game.
Strong. Strong argument.
12. Roger Federer plays tennis and no one in college football is close to being that good.
How might one person playing a team sport display the same talents as one person playing an individual sport? How might one do that, Mr. Scoop, sir, if you please? You know why eggs are better than lucite? Because eggs can be made into omelets and there's nothing involving lucite that is as good as omelets.
13. The on-the-court postmatch interview between Andy Roddick and Justin Gimelstob.
Didn't see it. It sounds amazing, though. Thanks for the excellent description.
15. Because Dick Enberg, John McEnroe and Mary Carillo are better than anyone except the GameDay crew.
So: tennis is better than college football because tennis's announcing A-team is better than any college football booth team except for college football's studio A-team. Take that, college football!
18. Of the next superstars in both sports (Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina and Brian Brohm of Louisville), even if or when Brohm gets picked No. 1 in the 2008 NFL draft, del Potro will have a better career.
Let's count the number of weird assumptions made here in #18.
1. Brian Brohm is the "next superstar" in football.
2. Juan Martin del Potro is the "next superstar" in tennis.
3. There is a logical method one can use to compare the as-yet unplayed careers of football QBs and male tennis players.
4. When that method is applied to Brohm and Juan Martin del Potro, at some point in the future, no matter what happens, it will show that del Potro's career will have been "better" than Brohm's career.
21. No boosters.
Yes. Thank you. Tennis is notoriously calm and nurturing and "move at your own pace"-ish and "whatever's best for you, dear"-ish when it comes to the young people who show world-class promise. No one ever puts undue pressure on young tennis stars. No kids are ever rushed, nor is money ever dangled in front of 12 year-olds, nor are there any like companies or anything who attack barely-pubescent kids with $$$. Huge ad-in, for tennis, here.
22. Because you won't get four football games this season as drama-filled and intense as Ferrer/Nalbandian, Peer/Vaidisova, Santoro/Blake or Wawrinka/Korolev have already played in the first week of this year's Open.
I will take that bet.
23. Because women receive equal pay. (Oops, there are no women in college football.)
Oops! Equal pay was just instituted, like this year, I think, in the slams. Until last year, 2006, the top prize for men at Wimbledon was higher than the top prize for women. Isn't that kind of lazy sexism in 2006 -- in a sport that has been played by both men and women forever -- a worse mark against that sport than the fact that football is a sport played only by men?
That is one tortured, long-ass sentence, but you get what I mean.
24. Because challenging calls and instant replay is less corrupt. (I mean, it's more accurate, more cost-efficient, requires fewer cameras, is less time-consuming and leaves less room for human, alum, corporate, Vegas, referee error.)
There is one thing a replay has to show, in tennis: was the ball in or out? One thing. That's why they can have like lasers that announce it instantly. There are many many other things that refs have to look for in football. Feet in? Possession? Ball over goal line? Guy out of bounds and then came back in? Knee down? Mascot interference? Cheerleaders hot? Mascot hot? Did coach come off sidelines and punch player in face?
25. There may be B.S. in tennis, but not BCS.
Weird. Weird ending.
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