Monday, 6 July 2009

What the hell is so exciting about Wimbledon?

I could live to be a thousand years old, and I will never understand it. Incidentally, what a terrifying prospect a thousand year old Rob Wade would be, eh? I’d be the same verbose geek you know and love, but with a millennia of cynicism behind me. If you think my movie rants are bad now, imagine how they’d be after seeing the movie industry inevitably run out of ideas and resorted to franchise remakes. Fast and Furious 37: Uranus Drift anyone?

Firstly, a warning: I have NEVER seen the appeal of Wimbledon. When I was growing up, the key rivalry that I remember was Agassi-Sampras, where it seemed to be between those two players for the win every year, with the odd win for another player. Even then, I found myself unable to get excited about Wimbledon, even with the appearance of Tim Henman among the players striving to get to the final. Two main reasons clouded my vision, thinking back on it: I was far more interested in professional wrestling, simply because I always admired the athleticism and the colourful characters. Secondly, Tim Henman did the typical English thing and failed at the key juncture. Say what you like, but it’s true of our football team and our tennis players, at the very least.

Anyway, I was watching Wimbledon the other night on my PC, while working on a review for Emotionally Fourteen (it’s this website I contri…oh wait, you’re on it – never mind). It was Andy Murray, the last hope of British tennis against a really good player from another European country, I think it was Switzerland.

The match started at 6pm. I seem to recall that back in the good old days, Wimbledon used to finish at that sort of time. What happened to those days? I remember when the BBC used to provide programming on a regular basis, with no reality shows. Hell, I’m old enough to remember when Eastenders was only on twice a week!

Anyway, this tennis match was the first to use the new roof system they’ve installed over Centre Court, as there’d been worries of a thunderstorm at some point in the evening. Bearing in mind that it was based in the United Kingdom, and that it happened on a day of the week, the risk of the weather turning was understandably high.

The match lasted until twenty to eleven. Interesting that they decided to show the news AFTER the match was over with. I can see BBC Television explaining that one away in my mind:
“Well yes, we appreciate that dozens of people were killed by violence in Iran, and we get that thousands of people either died from swine flu or lost their jobs today. Frankly though, we have nothing but contempt for the public, charging them ever-increasing fees for ever-diminishing original programming, so we’re going to leave them watching a bouncing yellow ball for a few more hours.”

Let’s just put that in perspective: A game of TENNIS lasted nearly five hours. For a bit of explanation of why I find this baffling, allow me to elaborate. All you have to do to win a game of tennis is score 4 before the other guy/girl scores 4. Six games to a set, 3 sets for a win (2 sets for women’s tennis). That means that all you have to do is score 72 points before the other player (48 if it’s women’s tennis). How the hell can 72 points last five hours unless each point lasts 4 minutes? And why the fuck would anyone still be watching if each point lasted 4 minutes?

Oh yeah...

1 comment:

  1. also as a child, i remember the excitement of watching the simpsons pn bbc2 at 6pm (long before the days of me having sky).. and with a hard day at school, what better way of unwinding with your dinner than a bit of simpsons..

    i digress, there is another reason to hate wimbledon.. reason 3.. they always cancelled those simpson re-runs during its dominance on both bbc1 and bbc2.. i hated it.. there was nothing to watch with my dinner than fucking tennis... its scared my life, and it is a vivid memory of mine, getting really frustrated at sue 'ronseal' barker and the announcement of 'were seeing this through to the end'...

    bollocks to this said i when i was 11! it was during the wimbledon television dominance that i discovered how flammable sheds really are...