Author Topic: why isnt tennis so mainstream?  (Read 5843 times)

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Offline hummer23mm

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« on: December 19, 2004, 01:24:28 PM »
wh yisnt tennis as mainstream as baseball and soccer?  why are only some people interested enough to appreicate our game?
Mike

Offline Tennis4you

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2004, 01:35:19 PM »
Shoot, baseball and soccer you can play for a loooong time.  But the popular sports like Football are tough to get pick up games when you are 40 and take those kinds of hits.

It drives me nutz to see that some people think Tennis is a pansie sport.  Tennis was ranked (by ESPN.com) to be the 7th hardest sport to play.  See link.  http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills

I think that people like to sit on their couches, have beer and pizza and watch sports that they know they can not just go out and play.  But tennis on the other hand, you can play that as long as you are fairly healty.  I love going to the clubs and seeing 85 year old hit the ball, I hope I can do that too when I am that age!  But an 85 year old playing football, we all know better.

If you get interested in tennis and just watching it and not playing it, it is because you do not wish to try it out, or is it that you are just too lazy?

Tennis is also a VERY hard sport to learn.  For starters, most people get confused with the scoring alone.  Although to us it all seems like common knowledge.  I remember when I first started goofing off with the some friends and hitting some guy told us we have to serve it into the opposite service box.  I didn't believe him.  :)

It is also an expensive sport to play, court time in the winter, racquets, balls, shoes (which last me 2 months).  They all play their role.

Last but not least, most players to get good need to take lessons.  And that costs money too.  I have only met one player that taught himself and he beat me 4 out of 5 times, at least, simply amazing.

Anyways, those are some of my theories.  I get a lottle personal on the lazy couch potatoe thingy, but I am a hyper ball of energy wound too tight anyways and I am just waiting to go hit some balls.  4.5 hours left till I hit the court tonight for some dubs!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline MC ill Logic

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2004, 11:08:38 PM »
That list is nonsense.  How is football and basketball ahead of tennis?  What position are they talking about?  A lot of those two sports is simply about being born fast and quick and very little to do with skill compared to tennis.  Football and basketball players are known to gain tons of weight in the offseason because not only might they not be staying in shape in the offseason, but they might not even touch a ball.  

Same with boxing.  The champion of the WORLD might gain 30 pounds between fights, doing no road work and nothing in the boxing gym.  If a tennis player didn't touch a racket for 6 or 12 months at a time, they would come back and get their asses handed to them.  

Basketball, boxing, and football have the superior athletes, but I completely disagree that they require "more" than professional tennis.  

Tennis, gymnastics, sport tae kwon do, and figure skating, I respect these sports way more in terms of what they require from their athletes.  I agree with the list in that I think Hockey probably requires the most of all the team sports.

Offline Arcforce

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2004, 11:47:54 PM »
Bleh, stupid stereotypes, simply put. I faced the same scrutiny that I played a "sissy sport" when I did gymnastics even tho half of those ignorant idiots didn't even know that gymnastics is by far the most physically demanding sport for guys. Tennis isn't quite as physically demanding but compared to other sports, is pretty complex IMO.

I think that its becoming more mainstream, tho. Slowly but surely..

Offline Tennis4you

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2004, 07:32:12 AM »
Well, they will think differently when they try to fight you and you do a back flip over them, a summersault passed them and them round house them in the nutz!

I did gymnastics when I was younger.  U can impress a girl if you can do a back flip.  :)
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Offline kungpaobenji27

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2004, 12:32:06 AM »
Thing about tennis is it will never be as mainstream as football, baseball, hockey or basketball in the US/Canada.  I don't have a problem with that.  I'm just pissed that Golf has better coverage than tennis does.  

I think it has a lot to do with how the game of tennis is marketed in the US.  I like Andy Roddick but I think he is overmarketed and it is often done so at the expense of the international talent.  In golf, Tiger Woods deserves all the praise and attention he gets but he isn't marketed at the expense of other great golfers.  So if Roddick fails to make the finals of a certain event, the marketers spent so much time putting their eggs in one basket that ratings will definitely go down.  When Tiger fails to advance far in a major, ratings won't be as high for the final round but that doesn't mean viewership will crash like it does in tennis.

Offline 10usnut

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2004, 04:07:47 PM »
Another reason I think tennis isn't as mainstream as it is considered a game of the rich (implying snobs).  For example, think about all the private tennis clubs out there with their hefty fees (why just look at the costs associated with indoor courts).  IIRC, I believe the game was originally played by royalty and  it still has that "air" about it.  

Secondly, tennis, unlike basketball or baseball wasn't developed in America.  We Americans like to take pride in sports that "we've" come up.  I remember in gym class going over how great Dr. Naismith was for coming up with basketball.

Finally, for the most part, tennis is boring to watch unless it is a heated clash (think gladiator) (at least to me).  Fans are not allowed to make noise during points and such.  Tennis is much more of a personal battle than your team sports (except for national events as Fed Cup and Davis Cup) so it's hard to get fans involved.

Having said all of that, it's a great sport when someone stumbles upon it and begins to appreciate all that it offers.  It's been a great adventure for me and I can't wait to go play in a few minutes!!!

Merry Christmas All,

chris
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Offline hummer23mm

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2004, 04:30:33 PM »
lol people should give it a try before insulting the game.  tis really annoying, and as scott has said, its the 7th hardest sport of all according to espn.  people judge it to fast.  for all the tennis haters, i just wanna stick a racqeut in their hand and put them in front of andy roddick's serve.  that would be beautiful.
Mike

Offline Jeffro

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2004, 08:04:36 PM »
I think its a generational thing too.  A huge section of the population is getting into their mid to late 50's.  Most of the baby boomers have moved from the more physically demanding sports, like tennis, to golf.   Easier on the old bones.  I can remember when tennis was huge back in the late 70's/early 80's.  I was just a kid, but I had started to play and it was hard to find an open court in my little hometown.  They had doubles tournaments at least twice per month during the Summer months.  Now, they can't even find enough people to play any tournaments at all.
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Offline kungpaobenji27

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2004, 11:34:24 PM »
Well if tennis comes off a snobby rich sport, then how is golf so popular?

Offline 10usnut

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2004, 10:12:18 AM »
I put tennis and golf in the same boat numbers-wise. Anyone know of any stats to support/disprove it?  In my opinion, golf costs way too much for the benefit one gets from it but I'm cheap (pc term = "frugal") so take it with a grain of salt.  Do you know of any Basketball country clubs ;)
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Offline Tennis4you

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2004, 10:37:08 AM »
Amen to that yo!  I barely consider golf a sport.  If you can get in a golf cart and drive to the ball to swing something once then I am suspicious.
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Offline kathyk

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2004, 03:11:46 PM »
Way too much of a sport's popularity is due to the herd mentality. Back in the 70's, tennis was all the rage. Then some other fad came along. Plus, you have your perrenial macho sports. (I enjoyed the post about gymnastics -- so true!)

Tennis does suffer a bit from its old label of a "country-club elitist" sport. Few realize that very many tennis clubs have a "Tennis, anyone?" motto and very low fees, existing only to break even while bringing tennis players together for leagues and round robins + (if necessary) an indoor facility in the winter.

Another thing that hurts tennis a little is that it is a "skill" sport, like golf. That is, it takes quite a bit of practice to get good enough to keep the ball in play. It isn't like baseball or basketball -- that you just go out and play to have fun right away without any instruction. In fact, one in every three tennis shots goes out even at the highest levels of the game. This is why they wanted to introduce a bigger ball. The idea was reduce the frequency of error 15% in hopes that more people who try tennis would stick with it.

Kathy K

Offline Tennis4you

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2004, 03:40:11 PM »
I will do anything to reduce my errors by 15%.  OK... well, almost anything...
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Offline MC ill Logic

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uh
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2004, 08:48:43 PM »
Another problem with it being considered a rich man's sport is that the sports stars are looked at as being people born with silver spoons in their mouths.  I don't think most of working class America likes the idea of cheering for rich guys wearing shorts and hitting a little fuzzy ball.  

Plus, tennis players are looked at as being skinny pencil necked rich white guys, which is doubly bad for the typical insecure manly macho American middle class male.  Sure, he has no problem expressing his admiration for 6 feet 7 inch tall guys who can kick his butt but I don't think it's as easy for them to openly tennis players.  They see beefy guys tackling and hitting homers and dunking and they imagine themselves doing such heroic things, they are heroic vicariously, but I don't think most guys can relate to hitting a drop volley or a nice passing shot.

Another problem are boring, static camera angles, which for the most part have remained the same since 1778.  Sure they do cool stuff with the camera every so often but, still, for 90% of the match it's the same shot of the entire court from the point of view of the peeps in the nose bleeds.  Not very cool.

The scoring is also a problem, for TV scheduling, advertisers, and the casual fan, to which the scoring is incoherent.  There's nothing intuitive about tennis scoring and it turns off fans.

Also, people can't cheer for their "home team" in tennis.  And there are no jerseys and other identifiable logos that people like to wear around, promoting their affiliations and the game itself.
 
One of the reasons I think golf is more popular is that it's instantly more addictive than tennis.  Sure, you can play like absolute crap the first time but eventually you're going to get that little ball into the cup even if it takes 15 strokes.  So you get a sense of satisfaction every few minutes.  Tennis is hella fun, too, but the first time you play tennis is mostly about picking up the ball and laughing at the ball going over the fence and giggling at completely whiffing the shot.  It doesn't really get super fun until you start getting better.  Not so with golf, which is fun no matter what your skill level is.  

I'm bored.

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2004, 09:08:14 PM »
Dang...  I am still going with the couch potatoe reason, even though your theories sound better.  :)
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline kungpaobenji27

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why isnt tennis so mainstream?
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2004, 10:18:35 PM »
Golf can be more addictive than tennis but it's still in the same league as a "rich man's sport."  In other countries besides the US, Australia, and Canada, tennis like soccer is played by all rich or poor.  However, golf is played by mainly rich only from a universal standpoint.  Yet, golf at times is the introductory feature on sportscenter at times where as tennis (even during grand slams) is lucky to even make it during the first twenty minutes of the show.  The scoring and terminology in golf is still super confusing even though I used to play it often.

Offline MC ill Logic

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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2004, 11:51:21 AM »
All you really need to know about golf scoring is "how many times did you have to hit the ball before you got it into the little hole in the ground?"  2?  3?  5?  7?  10?  17???  Tennis is 15... 30... 45?... NO!  40... than deuce... what the hell is deuce???... ad in... ad out... deuce... break point... 3 to 2... 5 to 5... tiebreaker... and then the tie breaker is a whole 'nother counter intuitive scoring system.

And in golf if you have a good stroke, you can do a lot.  You have to learn basically one good stroke.  In tennis you have to learn several.  

And in golf you have these normal, even fat dudes playing, and I think the average middle class american viewer is more willing to relate to John Daly than Mardy Fish.  While the sports watching Joe Schmoe probably grew up playing or idolizing high school, college, and pro football and baseball players, they probably grew up thinking, in high school, that tennis players were pansies.  

Also, not enough of the big tournaments are played in the US.  Only the US Open is known to everybody and that's only once a year.  Competition on foreign soil doesn't seem to capture our imaginations as much as ones on our USA, with the exception of the Olympics, some heavyweight boxing matches, and the Tour de France, which people care about because Armstrong had cancer.  

It's okay, though, tennis is the second most popular sport in the world after soccer.

Offline thejackal

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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2004, 12:51:07 PM »
Get the camera 6ft closer and 2ft lower, or whatever angle they used for the Olympics.  It was amazing.
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Offline hummer23mm

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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2004, 01:51:37 PM »
yeah thats vey true.  the behind the player angle is grea.t  makes you feel liek you were there. you can really learn alot about thier movement and preperation from that.  they need to add more of that
Mike