This is one of the posts where I feel like, as the responder, I’m at a disadvantage. Jeremy has been fuming for weeks now, compiling evidence for his post, and I am sitting on the couch oblivious to his angst, and now I have to post. Premeditated irascibility is an advantage.
So, off the top of my head, here are my pet peeves.
1. Crying. I’m not talking about someone tearing up after winning their first Grand Slam or an amazing athletic achievement. I’m talking about getting knocked out of a tournament, not performing as well as you had hoped, and crying about it. As Tom Hanks said in League of Their Own, “there’s not crying in baseball!?” Only, apply that to any sport or competition. It’s okay to be pissed, upset, disappointed, etc. But, Do. Not. Cry.
2. The Fox transformer football icon. It’s not cool, even my five year-old son who loves Transformers thinks it’s lame. Ditch it.
3. Grunting in tennis. While I fully support an athlete doing whatever they need to do in order to perform at their best, when you’re still grunting as your opponent is hitting the ball, or the female spectators are thinking “I’ll have what she’s having”, I think it’s gone a little too far.
4. Olympics coverage. In the past, we have one channel broadcasting whatever event they think will bring in the most viewers. While I understand that there are people who have put an inordinate amount of time into figuring out how NBC is going to garner the largest audience who are probably incredibly good at doing so, I also know that there are many of us who are not that thrilled about watching hours of footage on Apollo Ohno or three weeks of figure skating. I propose a change. Throughout this latest Australian Open, DirectTV has offered six channels of tennis footage and it has been awesome. A viewer can watch all six channels at once with a running score under each shot, or pick one to focus on. Don’t feel like watching women’s tennis but want to watch the Open? DirectTV is your answer. It’s also answered my Olympics coverage issue. NBC, or whoever is airing the Olympics. Might I suggest you do something similar? Let those of us who want to watch something other than figure skating have that choice! And I’m not talking about showing Bode’s run and a heartfelt vignette about his youth and adolescence in a cabin in the white mountains and then cutting back to the fascinating coverage of Sasha Cohen’s pre-skate ankle taping. Give us a chance to watch an entire event, or at least show all the American competitors. Call DirectTV, figure something out. You’ll make more money.
5. VS (or the channel formerly known as OLN). For those of you who do receive this channel, you know how amazing it is, despite the terrible name change. Bull riding, bike racing, hunting, it’s got it all. Anyone interested in watching competitive road biking, has done the annual pilgrimage to VS in order to check out their amazing coverage. For some reason, this channel gets in disagreements with DirectTV and DishNetwork and the like, over contracts, pricing, what have you, and I randomly find that while I have sought out the package that includes both NESN and VS, that package no longer includes VS because of some dispute between VS and my carrier. I would like to say, after years of this repetitive bickering, FIGURE IT OUT. Also, please stop letting another channel carry the bike racing on Sundays. The coverage is not nearly as good and it’s annoying to settle for lackluster coverage.
6. Crossover. Just because you are an amazing athlete, it does not mean you can subject us to your writing, acting skills, or the like. Think of how much better off this world would be without The Rock’s latest movie The Toothfairy, or any of his movies for that matter, the badly written autobiography’s (even a ghost writer can’t help most of these), or Shaq’s album. The only exception I can think of is the Foreman grill – perhaps the best way to make a grilled cheese ever.
As for the toweling off, while I’m not a Roddick fan 90% of the time and I agree that his overuse of the towel is needless, I do get why one would use extensive towel time when playing Federer on one of his tears. You need to take time between the points because once he’s on fire, you’re five games down in a set in no time. Towel off between each point. It’s your only hope.