|Tennis on TV|
Logos and Symbols and Ads . . . OH MY!
What's on TV? All the news that's print to fit!
Blah, blah, blah: Broadcasters!
The Fans: Loonies and assorted Nuts!
1. On-court Logos There is such a ruckus about the corporate logos that appear all over the court background, the net, etc! Folks, if it weren't for the advertisers paying to display those symbols and ads on the courts, we probably wouldn't be able to see the games on TV, and the players wouldn't get the monetary awards/prizes to entice them to appear at those events! Every sport has a slew of symbols and logos and ads plastered all over the place, but we don't notice them because we've grown accustomed to them! The only problem that I have is with the computerized logos that appear on the court itself, which only the TV viewer sees. I don't mind so much that it appears between points, but it is horribly distracting while the point is underway! Most of the time, the studios are mindful enough to remove the computer ad as soon as the server prepares to serve, but some wait until the last split-second when the ball is hit before they remove the ad.
Lob up to the top!
2. Coverage There's never enough tennis on TV for my taste, but the few matches they do show tend to be boring, and are either blow-outs or too close, and we only hear about or get fleeting glimpses of the best matches. And why waste air time by showing the warm-ups, especially during taped events? I realize that little is within the broadcasters' control, but some effort could be made to improve which matches are shown (or how much of them are shown) during a taped event. During one particular televised event which was interrupted nearly every day by rain, they replayed the SAME match THREE DAYS IN A ROW, even though there were a few other matches they could have chosen that were just as entertaining (after seeing a match once, anything else would have been better!).
Lob up to the top!
3. The Announcers I hate it when announcers feel that they have to fill every second with mindless blather! (and it's so much worse when it's scripted mindless blather!) Unfortunately, that's true of virtually every televised sport, but do we really have to be reminded about a player's management or personal woes every fifteen minutes? I don't have any favorite broadcasters, per se, because they all tend to fall victim to that medical malady: Acute I-Love-the-Sound-of-my-Own-Voice Syndrome (there ain't nothin' "cute" about it!) Or, in laymen's terms: "Somebody, help me! I've just been accidentally inoculated with a phonograph needle!" (ask Mom or Dad if you don't know what a phonograph is!) I like Dick Enberg and Mary Carillo, because they have a very good knowledge of the game, and they talk to you not at you. Plus, they simply sound good! Tim Ryan has a clear, strong, alto-tenor voice, and seems to know when to keep quiet! Cliff Drysdale and Tony Trabert are also very good announcers. I used to like Bud Collins, because he was articulate and colorful, in a Howard Cosell way (who I also liked), but they've relegated him to minor excerpts during Wimbledon, and not much else. John McEnroe is too full of himself to bear. For example (as if you needed one!) he rambled on and on and on for about an hour during his Tennis Hall-of-Fame induction speech (which was supposed to last only about ten minutes!), and viewers wound-up seeing only 10% of the game, which started after the speech, because they ran out of air time! I doubt that any future tennis broadcast will ever allow a live speech again, no matter who makes it! On the other hand, his brother, Patrick, is more laid-back, except when he gets too distracted or involved with the match, and then he sounds as disoriented as the Lucas brothers, whose now-gone tennis careers have pushed them into broadcasting (much to my dismay!). Though I respect and like her, Pam Shriver's voice is just too whiny! Mary Jo Fernandez is okay, but she's too much of a sychophant, tending to agree with everything the other broadcasters say. The key to any good broadcaster is to give the viewer/listener some background information BEFORE the match begins, analyze points AFTER they occurred (that's what replays are for!), fill-in genuine lulls with color (i.e., the blather!), and then give us a decent recap following the match. During the other 50% or so of the match, a good announcer should just SHUT-UP!!!!!
Lob up to the top!
4. The Fans It's bad enough being subjected to ugly, half-naked men during other sporting events, but seeing heaps of flab at tennis events is horrifying! If you have never been subjected to sitting near an unclad, sweating man, who forgot to use deodorant or cologne (or worse, uses too much!), then you cannot imagine how disgusting it is! I would love to carry a spray can of deodorant with me, and blast every slovenly jerk I see, but I'm sure it would only trigger a fight, even if I meant it as a jest (which I don't)! I believe it is incumbent upon the ushers at all sports venues to disallow nakedness, for health reasons, at the very least, if not on aesthetic grounds! (have you ever been sweated on by a reeking, 350-pound behemoth?) I also loathe the various cutesy make-up that fans put on, such as painting their faces and bodies to resemble a particular player's country's flag. I've always wondered what these fools do before and after that player's match! "Hey, fella! Why is your face painted like that? Oh, it's a flag? For which player? Didn't you hear? He defaulted! Geez, you must really feel like an ass!" And then there are the idiots who feel it necessary to make bizarre noises or ring bells or pound drums all throughout the match! I always turn down the volume of my TV when that happens, which means that I can't hear the broadcasters or the commercials (maybe there's a plus side to this!). I know this is an extreme point-of-view against the few fans who make life miserable for the rest of us, but tennis has a certain decorum about it, that shouldn't be ruined by motley characters whose only desire is to be viewed on TV! It is also interesting to draw a parallel between fan misbehavior, and our ever-increasing, lawless society: It is always the few who crave the attention and act with impunity with little or no regard toward the feelings of others, because they know they will get away with it.