I am a huge tennis fan. One of the saddest things I experienced upon entering the “real world” was that, when you work a 9 to 5 job, you can’t stay home during the day and watch early round coverage of the majors on ESPN. But, now that I’ve left the real world and returned to academia (and classes haven’t started yet), I can suddenly watch lots of tennis again.
The thing about this, though, is that if you watch for awhile, you notice that the same things happen again and again. Players have the same rituals, announcers make the same comments, and familiar controversies rear their heads repeatedly.
One way I’m pretty sure this would seem a little less tedious is to play a US Open drinking game. Although, if you took a drink when each of the following things happened, you’d probably be wasted in less than a set. But I guarantee, you’d have a lot of fun.
A few caveats: I don’t get the Tennis Channel, so this exclusively refers to ESPN/network television coverage. Also, I really like everyone on ESPN’s team, and I look at most of these things as lovable quirks. Really.
Nonetheless, take a drink when:
A commentator mentions that Wozniacki is dating Rory McIlroy. Take a second drink if he or she questions whether Wozniacki’s new romance is distracting her/contributing to her recent decline.
You see someone famous in Roger Federer’s box! (Anna Wintour, Gavin Rossdale, etc)
A commentator wonders if Roger will ever win another major.
A commentator ponders over the declining state of American tennis.
A commentator puzzles over the chaos of the women’s game.
The Williams sisters don’t even pretend to care about the pre-match interview.
A commentator laments the shrieking epidemic in women’s tennis. Something must be done!
The cameras cut to Roger’s box and Mirka is shown texting/looking utterly bored.
A commentator mentions that Djokovic is on a gluten free diet. Who knew?!
A commentator mentions that Fish lost 30 pounds (oh, and hey, did you know he’s the new American number one?)
Brad Gilbert mispronounces a word or makes up a word entirely of his own creation.
Andy Murray adopts a surly or defeatist attitude.
The commentators note that Williams sisters have many interests beyond tennis.
John McEnroe jokingly says “you cannot be serious.”
Anyone on the ESPN team refers to their colleagues by their nickname: P Mac, Cliffy, BG, Killer, Pammy, etc.
Brad Gilbert refers to any player by his or her nickname: Dr. Ivo, Shazza, the Djoker, etc.
In the event of a rain delay, they show the 1991 Connors/Krickstein match or the 2001 Sampras/Agassi match in which no one broke serve.
In the event of a rain delay, the commentators question the lack of a roof/wonder when the US open will get one.
Rafa adjusts his underwear.
A commentator says that a player needs to “dig deep.”
A commentator mentions that Maria Sharapova’s serve is shaky. Take a second drink if that commentator is Pam Shriver and she refers to it as having “the yips.”
Andy Roddick makes a sarcastic comment to the chair umpire.
Pam Shriver conducts an awkward whisper-interview with a courtside celebrity.
The Djokovic family wears an article of clothing with Novak’s face on it.