Monday, September 11, 2006

More Flushing.

Scoop's latest offering from Flushing Meadows, the third in a trilogy, stumbles out of the gate ("There is a mural outside of Arthur Ashe Stadium. A live mural."), but then finds its feet and - mirabile dictu - isn't half-bad. At least until the last few paragraphs, when Scoop makes a welcome return to form and serves up the following gibberish:

But the thing that bookended this entire tournament was the division of dominance from Federer and the importance of seeing Agassi one final time. How both play probably the most significant roles in sports. How it's never very often we get to see the strong side of both simultaneously.

What was Agassi's tourn to begin was Federer's to fin. In the span of two weeks the two most important players for two different reasons summed up the game of tennis in the Open Era. No other sport has had this happen. Not like this.

Oh, Scoop. I knew you wouldn't disappoint. I had faith, Even in the midst of your semi-coherence, I knew that something like this was just round the bend. Thank you! "How it's never very often we get to see the strong side of both simultaneously." Priceless! "never very often"? "the strong side"? It's drivel like this that makes Scoopwatch possible - nay, necessary!

As for the rest of that first paragraph - "the division of dominance from Federer," "the importance of seeing Agassi one final time," "both play probably the most significant roles in sports" - who knows what any of this means? Who cares? There hasn't been nonsense this sublime since Edward Lear.

As for the second paragraph, I'm going to hazard a guess that Scoop is trying to say that the opportunity to see the two most important players in the modern era - one bidding adieu to the sport whose popularity he helped create; the other exercising his dominance over today's game - was unique in sport. Not so fast, Scoop. Did you miss Jack waving farewell to the crowd on the Swilken Bridge at St. Andrews the weekend Tiger won his second Open? Jack, along with Arnold Palmer, did at least as much to popularize golf in the age of television as Agassi did for tennis. In fact, I'd argue that Borg, Conners, and McEnroe did more than Agassi to seduce American fans to tennis. Even among his own generation, I'm not sure that Agassi - despite his flash and salesmanship - is more important than Sampras.

So, thanks Scoop, for living down to expectations. I never doubted you didn't have it in you. Those two paragraphs, plus a few of the usual headscratchers - "Title IX" (Where'd that come from?), your drooling over Sharapova (what's the inverse of jungle fever? Tundra fever?), the gloriously puerile "She is pretty … good at tennis," the overhyping of a random unknown (in this case, an unranked 18-year old Canadian who lost to the number 10 junior in the world), the repeated, unoriginal Yoda references - redeem this column as Scoopworthy.


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