Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Poor bastards

Even with all the high drama happening at the World Cup today, not to mention all the political drama in the US and a fairly wimpy little earthquake north of Ottawa, easily my favourite story of the day has to come from the marathon tennis match happening at Wimbledon. Because of a quirk in the way grand slam tennis is played (actually, it might be just at Wimbledon), you can't win the fifth set on a tiebreak. You clearly have to be up two games to win. So because of that these two poor doomed bastards have been trying to beat each other for 10 hours with no end in sight. It's 59-59 in the fifth set. When I first heard the match was going on, it was 46-46 and I thought it was a joke. The fifth set alone, at more than seven hours, is longer than the previous longest tennis match in history.

By all accounts it's not great tennis, but hell, there's something oddly compelling about this. I mean, neither one of them wants to be the answer to the trivia question "who lost the longest tennis match in history." I respect that. But man, neither one of them is going to want to crawl out of bed in the morning, knowing what's facing them.

However, my favourite part in all of this wasn't the match. It was the blog reporting of Xan Brooks of the Guardian. It starts off normal, as Brooks reports on the different matches happening that day with a bit of snarky flare. But as the drama between Isner and Mahut dragged on...and on....and on, it absorbed more of his time. And his sanity. Brooks seriously starts to lose it towards the end of this thing. In case you're wondering where he starts togo crazy, it's when he suggests both players have turned into zombies and have been snacking on spectators to keep their strength up. It's marvelously loony stuff.

I've been seeing more of this sports blog reporting lately. I don't know if it's a new thing or something that's been going on awhile and I'm only now noticing it. But it's big during the World Cup, with newspapers like the National Post, New York Times and The Telegraph and Guardian in England doing it for pretty much every game. I guess it's their way of helping people at work cheat - if you can't watch the game on TV or streaming video, you can follow the updates on the blogs. And as Brooks is illustrating, if you do it right, it can not only be brutally funny, but also keep you up-to-date as to what's happening.

I have to admit, I'm tempted to tune into Brooks tomorrow just to see what he does next, however I suspect I'll be too busy. But perhaps after work I'll swing back and see if he's still nuts...or if the game is still going on.

Last Five
1. City of lakes - Matt Mays*
2. Molly Ban - Alison Krauss
3. Epitaph - Hey Rosetta!
4. World War 24 - Ryan Adams
5. We got the beat - The Go-Gos

1 comment:

SRD said...

The guardian live blog of the football is great. Much quirkier than their news live blogging. My favourite clip from yesterday:

Chinwaggery: "Paul, just one of the ways that the Guardian's World Cup liveblogs outclass all the others is in having the confidence to refer to Buridan's Ass with the assumption that readers will understand what you are talking about," parps Anthony Pearsall. "But I suspect that some of my fellow Americans are indeed wondering who Buridan is, and what's up with his or her ass? Keep it real, bro, I love you." Google it. But make sure you spell it right or who knows where you might end up ...