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October 6, 2015

Making tennis interesting

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 30th 2005 1:29PM

With the US Open underway on USA and CBS, John McEnroe says tennis needs better public relations. He cites sports giants like NASCAR and the NFL that make sports exciting for fans. However, other than recommending multiple camera angels, McEnroe didn't really offer any suggestions. Luckily, I'm here to suggest ways tennis can be made more exciting:

1) One player must be forced to play without a racket

2) Every person in the crowd is allowed to bring one tennis ball, which they may throw onto the court to confuse the players

3) Each player will be followed by an instrumentalist who will provide a soundtrack for the player a la Peter and the Wolf.

4) Free tacos

Your suggestions?


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Forget about the point sistem the best grunt on a serve wins

September 03 2005 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually I love the shushing as it keeps fans civil, something other sports could definitely stand to have. Instead of obnoxious hooting, hollering and body painting would it be so bad to have a nice, polite round of applause? I think the key for American audiences is to try and focus less on talented players and try more to build certain players up into celebrities. Focus mainly on attractive women and encourage a few players to start throwing tantrums to attract more attention. This way even though people still won't care about the game (and I have to admit I don't, but I don't care for sports period) they'll at least watch for gossipy personal reasons. If reality shows have taught us anything it's that the actual content doesn't matter as long as there's something to gossip about.

September 01 2005 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No "shushing". Let fans be as loud as they want to. Does any other sport require that fans *not* cheer?

August 31 2005 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Kew

Well, taking it a little more seriously: different or wackier camera angles aren't going to make tennis more interesting. It's dull because so many points are won on serve, or on return of serve: three hours of men whacking 120mph balls at each other does not make for interesting TV. Longer, more exciting rallies are what's needed; and the way to do this is to slow the game down a little, by changing the ball or the rackets. And McEnroe should know well enough what else is needed: stronger personalities in the game, giving it more human interest. Wimbledon 2001 was interesting because of Goran Ivanisevic's underdog run for the title. (FWIW, I've always thought that BBC tennis coverage, particularly of Wimbledon, was excellent. This year was my first Wimbledon in the US and boy, the ESPN coverage _sucked_: the constant tickers crawling along the bottom of the screen really distract your eye away from the ball, the commentaries are inane, and the ad breaks keep cutting into the action. Gah.)

August 30 2005 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

1. Angry rottweilers instead of ballboys 2. Put a small time bomb in the ball. Who doesn't like high-stakes hot potato? 3. For every blown serve, a player must remove an article of clothing.

August 30 2005 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Instead of strings on the racket, spaghetti.

August 30 2005 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan Coble

Is it just me, or does that picture of McEnroe look like he is wearing depends? Or is that my grandpa's outfit he has on?? Hmmmmm?????

August 30 2005 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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