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The most boring sporting event on Earth
The Sydney Morning Herald ^ | July 9 2003 | Edward Richards

Posted on 07/08/2003 9:55:22 AM PDT by presidio9

It's tough luck for Mark Philippoussis, but otherwise a great relief all around that it is over for another year. Wimbledon fortnight, that is - the most boring sporting event on Earth. Two weeks of wall-to-wall tedium, the only excitement coming when they pull the covers over when rain stops play.

What brings people to it? After all, unrelieved boredom does not exactly come cheap. A seat can cost you as much as $175, while souvenirs such as baseball caps (especially designed to be worn backwards) can cost $45. A towel could set you back about $70.

One reason for Wimbledon's popularity could be that British people lead such exciting lives, always zinging about - here, there and everywhere - that a good dose of tedium is just what the doctor ordered to slow them all down a bit.

Then again, it could be that they are more interested in having first-hand experience of such never ending tennis soap operas as At Home with the Dokics; or perhaps checking out whatever bizarre attire the Williams sisters have shoe-horned themselves into for the day's match.

There is one really entertaining thing about Wimbledon fortnight: the chance to eat strawberries and cream. It is simple, uncomplicated fare. A serving will cost you about $5 for 10 strawberries, so it is sort of reasonably priced.

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A bit of trivia: About 27,000 kilos of strawberries are scoffed during a Wimbledon fortnight. If we subtract two rest days, and assume that they sell strawberries for six hours on every play day, then punters are downing strawberries at the rate of about six kilograms a minute.

Meanwhile, back at Centre Court, we are forced to ask if anything can be done to make grand slam tennis interesting. Apparently not. But here are some suggestions for spicing it up a bit:

1. Use smaller racquets. Something about the size of a ping-pong bat should suffice, and each player only gets one per match. If it is broken, players must use their hand, or whatever else they can find.

2. Penalise players who serve aces.

3. Wash players' mouths out with soap and then send them home if they question any line call or the umpire's decision.

4. Make the nets higher - say, about three metres, and in the form of a hedge or a brick wall so that players don't know what's coming at them.

5. Have two balls in play at the same time for singles matches, and four for doubles matches to keep them all on their toes.

6. Or play two different singles matches at the same time, on the same court.

There may be another answer. The name of the club that runs the tournament is The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

What if they just concentrated on the croquet? Two weeks of retired vicars playing knock-down, drag-out, winner-take-all croquet with strawberries and cream thrown in - now that would really get your pulse racing.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: flanders; swann; wimbledon
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The only interesting thing about tennis has the initials AK.
1 posted on 07/08/2003 9:55:23 AM PDT by presidio9
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2 posted on 07/08/2003 9:57:11 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: presidio9
OK... you know the rules... where's the pictures?
3 posted on 07/08/2003 9:57:19 AM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Free Miguel and Priscilla!)
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To: So Cal Rocket
Just wait...
4 posted on 07/08/2003 9:59:09 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: presidio9
I can't stand to watch tennis on TV, but I got dragged to Wimbledon once and LOVED it! We had center court 3rd row seats and saw Conners play Pernfors like a cheap fiddle. I went back the next year too, but didn't get seats nearly as good.
5 posted on 07/08/2003 9:59:19 AM PDT by Grig
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To: presidio9
I was once forced to go to a soccer match by the prospect of dating a girl who dug soccer. My only regret was that I couldn't find anything sharp enough to break the skin on my wrists.
6 posted on 07/08/2003 10:00:02 AM PDT by SoDak
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To: SoDak
Ahhh.... the things we do for love (lust)...

I actually went to an Air Supply concert...
7 posted on 07/08/2003 10:01:16 AM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Free Miguel and Priscilla!)
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To: presidio9
>It's tough luck for Mark Philippoussis, but otherwise a great relief all around that it is over for another year.

Everything isn't
for everyone
. Screw this stuff.
I love Wimbledon.

Sure, I wish they had
some kind of roof. Sure I wish
rackets were smaller.

But I'm not relieved
it's over. Hell, I miss it,
and all I can do

is get ready for
the US Open next month.
(My only complaint

is that so many
women haven't raised their games
to match the Williams'...)

8 posted on 07/08/2003 10:02:22 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: So Cal Rocket

9 posted on 07/08/2003 10:03:40 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: So Cal Rocket
I actually went to an Air Supply concert...

Eeeeeewwwwwwwwww.....

10 posted on 07/08/2003 10:06:34 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: SoDak
I'll take soccer over tennis any day, and I'm no soccer fan.
11 posted on 07/08/2003 10:06:37 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: presidio9
Or play two different singles matches at the same time, on the same court

I would pay money to see some professional players play a match like this.

12 posted on 07/08/2003 10:07:47 AM PDT by ConfusedAndLovingIt
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To: theFIRMbss
My only complaint is that they haven't figured out a way to get Anna into a finals match. Preferrably in some sort of form-fitting outfit. You can keep theose she-males.
13 posted on 07/08/2003 10:08:03 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: theFIRMbss
Game, set, match
14 posted on 07/08/2003 10:15:17 AM PDT by rattrap (Looters and Moochers and Zealots, OH MY!!!!)
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To: presidio9
>You can keep those she-males.

(I used to live on
the north side of Chicago.
A lot of she-males

(transexual men)
are a darn sight hotter than
WTA players...)

15 posted on 07/08/2003 10:17:28 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: theFIRMbss
Aparently you have not seen post #9.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/942345/posts?page=15#9
16 posted on 07/08/2003 10:19:00 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: SoDak
Soccer is better than ice dancing!
17 posted on 07/08/2003 10:21:05 AM PDT by razorback-bert (White Devils for Al-Sharpton 2004... Texas Chapter)
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To: So Cal Rocket
Ouch, you win.
18 posted on 07/08/2003 10:22:19 AM PDT by SoDak
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To: presidio9
What brings people to it? After all, unrelieved boredom does not exactly come cheap.

LOL! I was thinking of yacht racing. It's a pick 'em.

19 posted on 07/08/2003 10:22:24 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: So Cal Rocket
I actually went to an Air Supply concert...

Oh, maaaan. I hope it was all finally worth it.

20 posted on 07/08/2003 10:22:26 AM PDT by martin_fierro (A v v n c v l v s M a x i m v s)
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To: presidio9
What brings people to it?

Nothing boring about watching Andy on the courts ... nothing!

21 posted on 07/08/2003 10:23:33 AM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: theFIRMbss
Thank you, sir! No one even had to ask for a photo this time.
22 posted on 07/08/2003 10:25:36 AM PDT by AngryJawa
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To: So Cal Rocket
I sat through a marathon DVD session of AbFab. It doesn't get much worse than that.
23 posted on 07/08/2003 10:25:46 AM PDT by LanPB01
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To: presidio9
>Aparently you have not seen post #9.

Of course I did, but
for every one Anna, there's
two dozen of these...

24 posted on 07/08/2003 10:26:07 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: presidio9
Are we talking baseball per chance?
25 posted on 07/08/2003 10:26:41 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: SoDak
I was once forced to go to a soccer match by the prospect of dating a girl who dug soccer.

Well was it worth it? Did you get lucky?

26 posted on 07/08/2003 10:26:42 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: presidio9
Soccer is still the cure for insomnia for me.

No one is even close to second for boredom.

Well, maybe golf.

27 posted on 07/08/2003 10:28:58 AM PDT by Taiwan Bocks
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To: presidio9
But here are some suggestions for spicing it up a bit:

1. Use smaller racquets. Something about the size of a ping-pong bat should suffice, and each player only gets one per match. If it is broken, players must use their hand, or whatever else they can find.

2. Penalise players who serve aces. ...

Actually, I am now definitely bored by men's (and increasingly, women's) tennis, in large part due to it having become so much a "serve and volley" game. I think there may be a very easy cure for this, which will not greatly affect the tennis I play, or that of anyone I know, which I came by this weekend while watching a while. Simply put, shorten the service line (the line crossing in the middle) by a foot or two (30-60cm, for the euro-types) from 21ft from the net to, say, 19 or 20ft. That will force the real heavy servers to take some pace off even their first serve, and end the overwhelming dominance of that aspect of the game.

Yeah, sure, those huge 120+mph serves are impressive, but there is nothing more after that. This simple (and cheap) change could rejuvinate the professional game.

28 posted on 07/08/2003 10:29:04 AM PDT by AFPhys (((PRAYING for: President Bush & advisors, troops & families, Americans)))
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To: So Cal Rocket
Air Supply actually had concerts? And people went to them?

Wow...

29 posted on 07/08/2003 10:29:06 AM PDT by Allegra
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To: Semper Paratus
Nope, must be why I'm still bitter at soccer.
30 posted on 07/08/2003 10:31:14 AM PDT by SoDak
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To: So Cal Rocket
where's the pictures?

Serena Williams
- aceing her game both on and off the field.

31 posted on 07/08/2003 10:31:33 AM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: So Cal Rocket
OK... you know the rules... where's the pictures?

Since he didn't actually NAME her, he only needs to post a silhouette...

32 posted on 07/08/2003 10:32:58 AM PDT by null and void
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To: presidio9
Where's John McEnroe when we really need him?
33 posted on 07/08/2003 10:34:22 AM PDT by Destructor
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To: NYer
Gross.
34 posted on 07/08/2003 10:37:00 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: presidio9
The only interesting thing about tennis has the initials AK.

Tennis is a lot more interesting than golf. Actually tennis is VERY interesting to watch because of its speed.

35 posted on 07/08/2003 10:39:08 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (He who laughs last was too dumb to figure out the joke first)
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To: So Cal Rocket
Air Supply. Now that's a blast from the past. Haven't thought of them in years. Yet for a while in the early 80s, they racked up something like a dozen straight top 10 hits. All of them a variation of "Lost In Love." Their music still gets played in dentist's offices (I guess it makes the drill seem not so bad.) Can't imagine them in concert. Was the show as flat as their scientifically crafted pop music?
36 posted on 07/08/2003 10:41:14 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (Back in boot camp! 249 (-51))
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To: presidio9
A sport is only as exciting as the players who play it. Tennis has no compelling stars right now.
37 posted on 07/08/2003 10:41:27 AM PDT by veronica (http://www.petitiononline.com/KN50711/petition.html - Confirm Daniel Pipes to USIP ......sign this!)
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To: NYer
I want watch ANYBODY who's too stupid to which way to wear a hat.
38 posted on 07/08/2003 10:44:56 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Crom!)
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To: PJ-Comix
Actually tennis is VERY interesting to watch because of its speed.

Sure. That's why J'ai L'ai is the most popular spectator sport in the world, right?

39 posted on 07/08/2003 10:45:13 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: theFIRMbss
Ah......

The Ball girl......

Actually "curling" is pretty boring and quite frigid too; Hillary's favorite sport......

Tennis would be more more exciting if they used JaiLai raquets and had to wear 4" heels and things......
40 posted on 07/08/2003 10:45:13 AM PDT by autoresponder (. . . . SOME CAN*T HANDLE THE TRUTH . . . THE NYT ESPECIALLY!)
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To: presidio9
Oh....I thought this was about golf.
41 posted on 07/08/2003 10:45:41 AM PDT by wimpycat (I'm an expert at being annoying. I'm a kid sister.)
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To: Destructor
"Where's John McEnroe when we really need him?"

I'll send you video of my kid when he was two -- same thing.
42 posted on 07/08/2003 10:46:25 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Crom!)
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To: autoresponder
Curling! Exactly what I was thinking. Now THAT's boring
43 posted on 07/08/2003 10:48:38 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Crom!)
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To: autoresponder


things = thongs



( so sorry, not looking at keyboard at time )


44 posted on 07/08/2003 10:50:27 AM PDT by autoresponder (. . . . SOME CAN*T HANDLE THE TRUTH . . . THE NYT ESPECIALLY!)
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To: SamAdams76
To tell the truth... I have absolutly no recollection of their concert (other than it sounded like they played the same song for 90 minutes).

HOWEVER... there were two saving graces to this concert:

1. The warm-up band was a new rockabilly group that had just formed, by the name of "The Stray Cats"

2. The after-concert festivities were... ummmm... fun!
45 posted on 07/08/2003 10:50:43 AM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Free Miguel and Priscilla!)
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To: presidio9
This guy obviously has never watched golf.
46 posted on 07/08/2003 11:04:27 AM PDT by WhatHappenedtoAmerica
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To: Taiwan Bocks; SoDak
Q: Why do so many people around the world play soccer?
A: So they won't have to watch it.
47 posted on 07/08/2003 11:05:31 AM PDT by bourbon
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To: presidio9
Sure. That's why J'ai L'ai is the most popular spectator sport in the world, right?

Actually I live right in the heart of Jai Alai country and can tell you that while Jai Alai can SEEM boring, the MOMENT you bet some money on it, Jai Alai becomes the most exciting sport imaginable. I know since I will go into a frenzy after placing my Quinella bets. Try placing a bet on Jai Alai sometime and you will see how incredibly exciting it is.

48 posted on 07/08/2003 11:06:07 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (He who laughs last was too dumb to figure out the joke first)
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To: PJ-Comix
Actually a bar I go to in NY took bets on curling durning the olympics. Made it exciting as hell. That's not the point. Speed does not necessarily make a sport more or less exciting.
49 posted on 07/08/2003 11:16:20 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: WhatHappenedtoAmerica
Agreed. I thought tennis was interesting until I began to understand golf. If you have to ask, you don't understand.
50 posted on 07/08/2003 11:17:11 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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