When you think of spoiled brat tennis stars in need of anger management classes, the one that usually pops to mind is John McEnroe. Remember those days of chair-slamming, profanity-lobbing, racquet-smashing excitement on the courts? He was disrespectful and inappropriate and degraded the integrity of the game yada yada blah blah ... but he also made the game so edge-of-your-seat suspenseful! You never knew when that timebomb was going to blow and it kept you watching. We loved it and hoped for it just as much as we do when the hothead tennis star of this generation, Andy Roddick, has one of his freak-outs. Like yesterday ..
Roddick having a conniption about water on the court at yesterday's U.S. Open:
Pretty good, right? And this isn't even his best work. The fact is, tennis needs some good drama to liven things up and get people to show up to the games once in a while. Did you take a look at all those empty seats in the background while Roddick is going off on that poor ump? You wouldn't see that at a hockey playoff game or a soccer match. There, even if the game itself turns out to be a real snoozer, at least you can watch the fans beat each other up.
Don't get me wrong. Tennis is a great game that can be intense and exciting. But it's also an elite, restrained, non-contact sport that's been struggling for a spot in the sports-crazed US fan psyche in recent years.
And of course we can't forget that modern day tennis players are strong, focused, powerhouse athletes who drink adrenaline for breakfast. Of course they are going to blow once in a while and become YouTube sensations. It is what it is and it's not that big a deal, especially if no one gets a racquet in the face. Now that would definitely cross the water-soaked line.
Image and video via ViralVelocity/YouTube