June 04, 2004

An Unbearably Loud Tennis Racket

My God, what a pun. I could almost just leave it at that.

I have only been in Britain for a little over a day, and already I am sick to death of Henmania-- not, sadly, a widespread frenzy about female chickens, but rather a widespread frenzy about British tennis player Tim Henman. For those of you living outside these tiny isles (and therefore, quite rightly, completely unaware of who Tim Henman is), let me explain:

Every year, about this time, the British public goes slightly mad, because Wimbledon, that great British sporting event, is almost upon them. The sad thing about this great British sporting event is the conspicuous lack of great British sportspersons who take part (the last time a British man won Wimbledon was-- this is true-- almost seventy years ago). As a consequence, Brits will latch on to any vaguely competent and/or charming British tennis player that comes along, and elevate him to an almost godlike status; even if (and here's the annoying part) he's not even any bloody good!

. . . As is the case with dear little Tim. I'm sorry, Britain, I really am: but he's just not a great tennis player. He has no finishing power (a trademark Henman move is to win the first two sets and then go belly-up for the rest of the match); he's never won a major tournament; he's never even been in the final at Wimbledon!

And yet, every year, without fail, the media trots out all this guff about what a star he is, and about how it's "his year" (he's a little like the Chicago Cubs of professional tennis, except that they have actually won something in the past). What's particularly amusing is the way the press continue to justify these claims, even after years and years of losing, LOSING, LOSING!

For instance, the BBC came up with this intriguing (if convoluted) points system whereby Henman is actually ranked the second best player to have appeared at Wimbledon in the last ten years (Agassi, on the other hand, who has actually won Wimbledon, is ranked fifth under the same system). In a similar vein, this article claims that while Henman may not be a winner in the, you know, technical sense of the word, he is still a "winner" (in the twee, Disney sense) for making the most of his talent.

In short, I am tired of hearing about how great Tim Henman is. Please stop.

On a completely unrelated note, I saw the new Harry Potter today. It is laaaaame. Most of the film consists of the young 'stars' swanning about looking like spokespeople for United Colours of Benetton, spouting awkward dialogue from the sloppily adapted script. The boon of Daniel Radcliffe's looking like Harry Potter is slowly being eclipsed by the fact that he doesn't seem to be a very good actor, especially compared to Emma Watson who (all inappropriate sexual innuendo aside, for a moment) gives easily the best performance out of the bunch. Poor show.


At 5/6/04 12:46, Blogger sean said...

It would be cool if he was actually a Hen Man, though, don't you think?


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