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NY Times journalist irked by "Agassi" final

Tennis Fool
09-13-2005, 05:46 AM
This is an interesting article, although I disagree that MaryC and JMac were "pro Agassi" (DickE, obviously). They were just commentating the match as I think many of us saw it.

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September 13, 2005
Adjectives Tangled in the Net
By RICHARD SANDOMIR
In the third set of the United States Open men's singles final Sunday, CBS's announcers seemed to be forecasting doom for Roger Federer against Andre Agassi.

Maybe, John McEnroe said, Federer's conditioning lagged behind Agassi's, or he couldn't keep pace with Agassi's service returns. Federer was "tight," he was not attacking Agassi's serves. Federer, the 24-year-old Swiss superstar, was off his game, McEnroe said, but Agassi was playing sagaciously, Dick Enberg said.

"Goodness," Enberg said, "we haven't seen Federer this error-prone in a long time." Federer, McEnroe added, "is having transmission problems."

The temptation for Enberg, McEnroe and Mary Carillo was to play the Agassi card.

Agassi, the geezer of the final, the underdog with the bad back, had pumped up CBS's and USA's ratings, so why not ride him like Seabiscuit?

It was an easy position to adopt. Agassi has made the transition from brat to statesman, from Canon rebel to family man, and from longhair to no hair. And while Federer is the superior player and a classy gent, we don't know him quite as well and we didn't watch him mature on court and in commercials.

But Agassi, the Las Vegan, the philanthropist, the workout fiend, the greatest service returner in tennis history, is the better tale.

Who knew if this was his last match, or at least his Grand Slam final finale?

Even as Federer picked up his game, CBS's voices seemed less willing to give him as much love as he deserved. He might have "dialed back into his sweet rhythm" (Carillo), but moments later he "lost a little pop on his serve" (McEnroe).

After Federer came back from 2-4 to tie the set at five games each, McEnroe called him too "conservative," and Carillo said he was still letting Agassi dictate the pace.

A backhand error by Federer then prompted McEnroe to declare: "It's been a long time since I've said this, but Federer's choking." Could he be serious?

Agassi went ahead by 6-5, but even Federer's easy game to push the set to a tie breaker did not fully persuade Enberg, McEnroe and Carillo to diagnose that Agassi, 35, might be tiring, wilting, tightening or even choking. (Later, McEnroe called Agassi "irritated.") Only after Federer's 7-1 tie-breaker victory and the start of his fourth-set dissection of Agassi did some overdue praise start coming - Federer was finally attacking Agassi's serve, he was the game's greatest ball striker and a great guy.

"He played a great three sets," McEnroe said of Agassi, who was behind by 0-4 in the fourth. Yes, Carillo reminded him, "but he only won one of them."

Still, the more effusive praise was for Agassi's effort.

Again, the approach was understandable - an easy, but lopsided, stance to take. Agassi was Jimmy Connors redux, the guy making a surprising run in the face of Federer's greatness and the type of star that networks find irresistible.

Agassi, after all, possessed a 44 Q score among tennis fans, according to a March survey by Marketing Evaluations, the company that puts out such scores.

The Q is a gauge of how well known and well liked a celebrity is, and in the tennis world, Agassi has more Q than anyone but Serena Williams (49) and more than double Federer's 21. But among a broader swath of sports fans less familiar with tennis, Agassi's Q is a 17 and Federer's an 11.

Henry Schafer, the executive vice president of Marketing Evaluations, said: "When it comes to tennis players, they tend to be narrowcasting to their own world. Outside the realm of tennis, they don't transcend their sport."

The "Agassi" final produced a 6.2 preliminary overnight rating, double last year's, when Federer defeated Lleyton Hewitt, underscoring the need for star power like Barbra Streisand's erstwhile Zen master's.

Kim Clijsters's romp over Mary Pierce on Saturday night produced a 3.1 overnight, a 24 percent increase from a year ago. Each overnight rating point equals 761,564 TV households.

Airwaves

Fox's Saints-Panthers broadcast Sunday produced no rating from the hurricane-ravaged New Orleans market, but it recorded a 10.1 in San Antonio, where the Saints will play three games, and a 4.0 in Houston (where it competed against the Texans-Bills game on CBS), one of the cities where many Gulf Coast evacuees were moved.

E-mail: sportsbiz@nytimes.com



Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company Home Privacy Policy Search Corrections XML Help Contact Us Work for Us Back to Top

Scotso
09-13-2005, 05:58 AM
Enberg is the most annoying commentator ever. He doesn't know much at all about tennis, he only serves to yell "OH MY!" after a good point (or one that ends in a foot long error that he thought was good) and to give the score (much of the time, the wrong one).

Get rid of him, thanks.

Scotso
09-13-2005, 06:01 AM
Serena has a higher Q than Agassi? :eek:

Oh and, Agassi's run was only surprising to people who don't follow tennis, don't understand rankings, and don't realize what a draw is.

nobama
09-13-2005, 06:03 AM
I don't know how you can say they weren't pro Agassi. I knew they would be unless it was a complete blow out like last year. I didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it was because I know both John and Mary are huge fans of Roger. It was quite obvious towards the end that they were disappointed in the outcome. I think it started when Roger took the third set after Andre had been up 4-2.

Federerhingis
09-13-2005, 06:03 AM
The New York Times is always a breath of fresh air in information. It really boasts true to the commercial that holds it as being the how to, where to , when to, all to of News papers in the East coast. Unlike the New York post, they really should get rid of this comical yet uninformative news paper, can you even call it that? There is certainly much more to the New York times than the mere 50 cent increase it boasts against the inferior New York post.

Nice article thanks for posting it! :wavey:

darnyelb
09-13-2005, 06:05 AM
I didn't think anything about the comments in the latter stages of the 3rd set, but I did think McEnroe/Carillo were suddenly laying it on thick when it was clear in the 4th that Federer was taking it. Was as if McEnroe was trying to make himself feel better watching Agassi lose by putting Federer on a pedestal all of a sudden.

Tennis Fool
09-13-2005, 06:09 AM
I don't know how you can say they weren't pro Agassi. I knew they would be unless it was a complete blow out like last year. I didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it was because I know both John and Mary are huge fans of Roger. It was quite obvious towards the end that they were disappointed in the outcome. I think it started when Roger took the third set after Andre had been up 4-2.
Well, my own opinion is that JMac really doesn't like Agassi (who was the person who thwarted JMac's 02 Wimbledon run?). Neither does PMac, for other reasons.

JMac likes competition though, and wanted a 5 set classic, not a almost-bagel 4th set after a good 3 sets.

Scotso
09-13-2005, 06:13 AM
JMac is one of the few American tennis commentators that isn't completely xenophobic. They've even sucked Cliffy into their "rah-rah"-Americanism.

JMac makes it quite clear that Nadal is his favorite player.

Tennis Fool
09-13-2005, 06:13 AM
The New York Times is always a breath of fresh air in information. It really boasts true to the commercial that holds it as being the how to, where to , when to, all to of News papers in the East coast. Unlike the New York post, they really should get rid of this comical yet uninformative news paper, can you even call it that? There is certainly much more to the New York times than the mere 50 cent increase it boasts against the inferior New York post.

Nice article thanks for posting it! :wavey:
No problem with posting. I have to disagree in that the editors did a shit job of hyping the US Open 2-time champ right after he won. These pro-Roger columns are just being printed for Tuesday's paper, like some angry readers called in wondering what was up.

BTW, NY Times is really a national paper. I'm not a native New Yorker, but know enough that the people here think of the Daily News and Post as the local papers.

nobama
09-13-2005, 06:17 AM
Well, my own opinion is that JMac really doesn't like Agassi (who was the person who thwarted JMac's 02 Wimbledon run?). Neither does PMac, for other reasons.

JMac likes competition though, and wanted a 5 set classic, not a almost-bagel 4th set after a good 3 sets.Oh please, they've been proping up Agassi all summer. With the exception of the finals he played against Rafa and Roger he was always the clear favorite according to the commentators. Where do you get the idea that JMac and PMac don't like Agassi? I certainly haven't gotten that impression watching his matches on tv this summer.

Tennis Fool
09-13-2005, 06:18 AM
JMac is one of the few American tennis commentators that isn't completely xenophobic. They've even sucked Cliffy into their "rah-rah"-Americanism.

JMac makes it quite clear that Nadal is his favorite player.
So true. He also thinks of Hewitt as his incarnate (albeit a much softer version). He really was getting upset with those foot fault calls on Hewitt. I thought he was going to jump out of the commentators box and start arguing with the ump :lol:

Federerhingis
09-13-2005, 06:19 AM
No problem with posting. I have to disagree in that the editors did a shit job of hyping the US Open 2-time champ right after he won. These pro-Roger columns are just being printed for Tuesday's paper, like some angry readers called in wondering what was up.

BTW, NY Times is really a national paper. I'm not a native New Yorker, but know enough that the people here think of the Daily News and Post as the local papers.

Yes its an edgy journal, but rarely politically incorrect! Always succint and exquisite in writing.

Tennis Fool
09-13-2005, 06:21 AM
Oh please, they've been proping up Agassi all summer. With the exception of the finals he played against Rafa and Roger he was always the clear favorite according to the commentators. Where do you get the idea that JMac and PMac don't like Agassi? I certainly haven't gotten that impression watching his matches on tv this summer.
JMac hasn't liked Agassi since they both were on tour together. Like I said about the '92 Wimbledon, among other matches. He says the obvious nice things you're supposed to say about Agassi, but he doesn't "rah rah" over him like, say Nadal, or how MaryC "rah rahs" Roger ("watching Roger is like watching music").

PMac doesn't like Agassi for not being on DC.

TenHound
09-13-2005, 07:11 AM
PMac doesn't like AA for not being on DC.

You're simply wrong - Agassi played on the latest DC.

I listened to almost the entire match on mute 'cuz I knew they'd be all AA all the time. Just like @Wimby finals they're all AR; in Paris last yr. they were -JMac was - 100% for Gaudio. I can't listen to it, so I Always Mute them. There is no "home team" in tennis. To assume that someone wants AR to beat Roger @Wimby just 'cuz they're American is absurd. They should be reasonably neutral.

sierra91
09-13-2005, 07:16 AM
Enberg is the most annoying commentator ever. He doesn't know much at all about tennis, he only serves to yell "OH MY!" after a good point (or one that ends in a foot long error that he thought was good) and to give the score (much of the time, the wrong one).

Get rid of him, thanks.
In addition to Enberg's cluelessness about tennis and his annoying habit of talking nonsense not only between points but continuing on after points start (usually the most important ones), he showed how truly idiotic he is when he interviewed Kim during the trophy presentation. She said something about coming back after her injury and Enberg asked her where she was last year during the Open. HELLO ... she was in at Flushing Meadow sitting in her ex-fiance's box. Talk about an awkward moment. :rolleyes:

If I were a betting person, I'd lay odds that the reason Enberg isn't gone is he threatened to bring an age discrimination lawsuit and the networks kept him on because they didn't want the bad publicity. But if he ever did sue and the case went to trial, all the defense lawyers would have to do is play tapes of Sunday's final and the jury would return a complete defense verdict. :yeah:

senorgato
09-13-2005, 07:54 AM
If anyone bothered to listen to all broadcasts in all the matches, the commentators tend to root for the underdog. One of the most evident matches was Mirza vs. Sharapova. If you didn't see the score, the way they were gushing over Mirza's ability, you'd think she was demolishing Sharapova.

WF4EVER
09-13-2005, 09:26 AM
This article expresses what I believe and have felt for a long time. I wish the commentators would do their job and report the match instead of acting like they're being paid by one player to support them and report favourably on them. It is so evident how partisan they are when you hear the obvious disappointment in their voices, or you don't hear their voices at all, when their fave loses.

As for that underdog bullshit, are we still using that sad line to fool people? Bullshit is what it is.

It's like I said after the Federer/Nalby match. If Agassi had demolished Nalby like Federer did you'd have never heard them say how disappointing the match was. They'd be screaming their asses off saying how great Agassi is.

I've watched many a WTA match in the US where the crowd was cheering like hell for the 'underdog', especially at a set down because the crowd wanted a third set. This shit never happens to a Williams sister or a top ranked non-American. WHen people like Lindsay and Capriati are beating the shit out of their opponents the crowd cheers like mad, they never spur on the opponent so they can get a third set for their money. Give me a damn break. This is bullshit and it will never change.

The Americans are as partisan as partisan can be unless you're a Williams.

Billabong
09-13-2005, 11:16 AM
If anyone bothered to listen to all broadcasts in all the matches, the commentators tend to root for the underdog. One of the most evident matches was Mirza vs. Sharapova. If you didn't see the score, the way they were gushing over Mirza's ability, you'd think she was demolishing Sharapova.

LOL I also noticed that:lol:

amierin
09-13-2005, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the article. I have today's Times and will read it again. If you listened to the commentary and didn't watch you'd swear Agassi was ripping Roger a new one. And I did like how Mary gently reminded JMac that Agassi won only one set of the "three great ones" JMac was going on about.

Re the Post vs the NYTimes. People who read the Post always say it's because of their "great" sports coverage. IMO the Times has the best sports coverage and writers, period. Their photo's are second to none.

I was a little surprised at the Selena Robert's column on Hewie though. That was personal and I'm surprised it got printed.

mangoes
09-13-2005, 01:03 PM
Serena has a higher Q than Agassi? :eek:

Oh and, Agassi's run was only surprising to people who don't follow tennis, don't understand rankings, and don't realize what a draw is.


That I will believe. I've encounted people that it took a sec for them to figure out who Agassi was, but I've never had to explain to anyone who Serena was.

mangoes
09-13-2005, 01:06 PM
This article expresses what I believe and have felt for a long time. I wish the commentators would do their job and report the match instead of acting like they're being paid by one player to support them and report favourably on them. It is so evident how partisan they are when you hear the obvious disappointment in their voices, or you don't hear their voices at all, when their fave loses.

As for that underdog bullshit, are we still using that sad line to fool people? Bullshit is what it is.

It's like I said after the Federer/Nalby match. If Agassi had demolished Nalby like Federer did you'd have never heard them say how disappointing the match was. They'd be screaming their asses off saying how great Agassi is.

I've watched many a WTA match in the US where the crowd was cheering like hell for the 'underdog', especially at a set down because the crowd wanted a third set. This shit never happens to a Williams sister or a top ranked non-American. WHen people like Lindsay and Capriati are beating the shit out of their opponents the crowd cheers like mad, they never spur on the opponent so they can get a third set for their money. Give me a damn break. This is bullshit and it will never change.

The Americans are as partisan as partisan can be unless you're a Williams.

I completely agree. Hell, if you listened to McEnroe's commentating during the match between Kim and Venus, it was downright full of hatred for Venus from McEnroe. I thought that was sick.

boliviana
09-13-2005, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the article. I have today's Times and will read it again. If you listened to the commentary and didn't watch you'd swear Agassi was ripping Roger a new one. And I did like how Mary gently reminded JMac that Agassi won only one set of the "three great ones" JMac was going on about.

Re the Post vs the NYTimes. People who read the Post always say it's because of their "great" sports coverage. IMO the Times has the best sports coverage and writers, period. Their photo's are second to none.

I was a little surprised at the Selena Robert's column on Hewie though. That was personal and I'm surprised it got printed.
if you want really good tennis coverage, the washington post does a much better job all around. the times only covers it for slams . . .washingtonpost.com is an awesome sight.

thrust
09-13-2005, 01:29 PM
Again, The NY Times sucks!! Agassi is one of the most popular American players of all time. Why wouldn^t a predominately American crowd not root for him? I am sure that an Englishman ever got to the finals at Wimbledon, the crowd would be very vocally supporting him. The same is ture in France, and Australia, considering only the Slam countries. Anyone who denies this, is a fraud. At the beginning of the broadcast John and Mary seemed sure Andre had little chance of winning, when Andre pulled ahead their tone changed then when Roger finally pulled ahead they changed their tone again. John adores Roger^s tennis and is a big fan of his. I thought the commentary was very fair.

R.Federer
09-13-2005, 01:44 PM
John Macenroe was surely for agassi, he was continuing with "Greatest Retuner" and other many great acolade for andre, and after the tiebreak has finished he basically shut up and did not want to talk more

tennischick
09-13-2005, 02:22 PM
Well, my own opinion is that JMac really doesn't like Agassi (who was the person who thwarted JMac's 02 Wimbledon run?). Neither does PMac, for other reasons.

JMac likes competition though, and wanted a 5 set classic, not a almost-bagel 4th set after a good 3 sets.
true or not, JMac was very pro-Agassi thruout the commentary altho' he did admit that Roger was the greatest player ever. Mary was more balanced IMO. nice article -- thanks for posting it.

Jimena
09-13-2005, 02:31 PM
Well, my own opinion is that JMac really doesn't like Agassi (who was the person who thwarted JMac's 02 Wimbledon run?). Neither does PMac, for other reasons.

I completely disagree. JMac has talked plenty of times about how great Agassi is, and what amazing personality he brings to the game, and it's obvious to me that he prefers Agassi whenever he plays. That said, he seems to really have a soft spot for Nadal, and he sees himself in Hewitt.

I don't like JMac. I think he's an ass, and most of his involvement in tennis has very little to do with the sport, and a lot to do with keeping himself in the spotlight. Bleh.

Blaze
09-13-2005, 02:32 PM
The whole game I didn't have problems with Mary or John because they were basically saying the same things they always say during Agassi or Federer matches. It was Dick who promted me to watch on mute.

"Oh my, what an awesome shot by the 35 year old American" did it for me. Even when they were transitioning to commercials you still hear him yelling.

RebelNYC
09-13-2005, 03:31 PM
The whole game I didn't have problems with Mary or John because they were basically saying the same things they always say during Agassi or Federer matches. It was Dick who promted me to watch on mute.

"Oh my, what an awesome shot by the 35 year old American" did it for me. Even when they were transitioning to commercials you still hear him yelling.


Ditto! "Oh My"......I really wish he'd just go away.........

kjo
09-13-2005, 04:01 PM
This NYT article is BS. I listened to the commentary and remember thinking that Jmac and the others weren't giving Agassi enough credit when he was dominating the match, instead they kept on yelling at Roger at how much he was missing, how his tactics sucked, how much he was choking, etc. To me this just reflected that they knew Rog was the superior player and so were shocked he wasn't dealing with Agassi more easily. How is that lack of respect to Rog?

tangerine_dream
09-13-2005, 04:02 PM
The Napoleon complex suffered by some of the extreme Federer fans here is very bizarre to me. What's with the constant whinging over who's getting more media exposure than the other? What normal person is even keeping tabs of such things? :scratch:

Next thing you know they'll be blowing up over how Roger didn't make this week's Jeopardy trivia question.

thrust
09-13-2005, 04:58 PM
McEnroe, I think, Likes Roger and Andre. I think he dislikes Connors, Lendl, and Sampras.

gillian
09-13-2005, 05:05 PM
Oh and, Agassi's run was only surprising to people who don't follow tennis, don't understand rankings, and don't realize what a draw is.

LOL. True, true and true.

AgassiFan
09-13-2005, 05:46 PM
Oh and, Agassi's run was only surprising to people who don't follow tennis, don't understand rankings, and don't realize what a draw is.



Likewise, Agassi's run wasn't anything special only to people who

A) aren't familiar with general principles of physiology relative to pro tennis.
B) do not understand the specific role the sciatic nerve plays
C) are intractable haters desperately looking for things to be annoyed by.
D) dishonest to diss Roddick, Nadal, Coria, Berdych, (surging) Blake, Ginepri

:wavey:
...

AgassiFan
09-13-2005, 06:12 PM
The Americans are as partisan as partisan can be unless you're a Williams.

Such brilliant and totally not-hipocrisy-loaded thesis. Bravo!

Tennis Fool
09-13-2005, 06:38 PM
Very interesting how different posters viewed the commentary as being "pro Agassi" or "Pro Federer"...

DDrago2
09-13-2005, 08:16 PM
Henry Schafer, the executive vice president of Marketing Evaluations, said: "When it comes to tennis players, they tend to be narrowcasting to their own world. Outside the realm of tennis, they don't transcend their sport."



Now this is an essential, and unfortunately largely true statement... People generaly see no metaphore in modern tennis players. That is probabbly not their's fault, but it is a real problem, I'd say.

AgassiFan
09-14-2005, 12:51 AM
Likewise, Agassi's run wasn't anything special only to people who

A) aren't familiar with general principles of physiology relative to pro tennis.
B) do not understand the specific role the sciatic nerve plays
C) are intractable haters desperately looking for things to be annoyed by.
D) dishonest to diss Roddick, Nadal, Coria, Berdych, (surging) Blake, Ginepri

:wavey:
...


Word.

pmhong
09-14-2005, 01:00 AM
I did agree with Mc about Federer missing too many back hand. Clearly, he was having trouble with that shot. I also agreed that Federer should have been more aggresive in hitting back the second serve. But "Federer is choking" was too much. Andre was playing really good. But I felt like Mc was patriotic and he wanted Andre the American to win the US open. I don't know if Mc doesn't like Andre or not, but clearly he wanted Andre to win on that day.

ktwtennis
09-14-2005, 01:26 AM
Finally someone says what I've been thinking all along!

Tennis Fool
09-14-2005, 02:05 AM
Finally someone says what I've been thinking all along!
Who? The journalist or the poster above you :confused:

Federerhingis
09-14-2005, 02:07 AM
Thanks for the article. I have today's Times and will read it again. If you listened to the commentary and didn't watch you'd swear Agassi was ripping Roger a new one. And I did like how Mary gently reminded JMac that Agassi won only one set of the "three great ones" JMac was going on about.

Re the Post vs the NYTimes. People who read the Post always say it's because of their "great" sports coverage. IMO the Times has the best sports coverage and writers, period. Their photo's are second to none.

I was a little surprised at the Selena Robert's column on Hewie though. That was personal and I'm surprised it got printed.


Indeed the NY times is definitely one of the best american newspapers. Not only is it informative but relatively unbiased. Please the post isnt worth the 50 cents they charge for it. How many times have I found my self rereading some articles on the post to make sure I wasnt seeing silly mispellings and completely non sensical sentences. Their editing is pathetic and their bias is plain corrupt and very distasteful.

AgassiFan
09-14-2005, 02:16 AM
Indeed the NY times is definitely one of the best american newspapers. Not only is it informative but relatively unbiased. .


Define 'relatively'.

The Times, like most mainstream media (and please don't refer to editorialist shit-stirrers and assorted Administration payrollers like like Rush, Hannity, etc
as counter-balance... apples and cucumbers), is visibly Left-leaning.