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Tennis - Emotion, Intellect, Personal Investment And Religion

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sirfredperry
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lydian
amritia3ee
Josiah Maiestas
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Henman Bill
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Post by hawkeye Thu 16 Feb 2012, 5:44 pm

Saw this excellent comment by Nore Staat in the Announcement section of this site. It was made in response to the announcement that a certain "toxic" article had been removed. Hope you don't mind Nore Staat but it made be think and I thought others would find it worth furthers discussion so I brought it here.

"Some have difficulty separating their emotion from their "intellectual" thinking. Some seem to have an emotional and personal investment in tennis as a spectator sport. This is to some extent how professional sport makes its money, generating or exploiting this emotional / personal investment of the individual, the consumer, the spectator, the fan. It seems endemic within sport, particularly teams sports, e.g. football. Sport is big business and this forum probably wouldn't exist
without it.

It is interesting to contrast and compare the issues raised by the emotionally commited "fan", in particular their sense of "fairness" and their sense of how the sport "should be played". These latter considerations can generate qualities that are found in religion - righteousness accompanied by defenders of the "faith". Of course you
don't have to be emotionally commited to engage in the debate."

These are some of the questions I was left pondering

Why is it so difficult to sometimes seperate emotion from intellect? This makes it very difficult to discuss a players weaknesses or strengths without hurting the feelings of others. It also means some feel so attached to certain players its almost "love" and some dislike certain players so much its almost "hate". From an intellectual perspective this is strange indeed...

Why do we invest so much time and energy to a sport? Why are we here discussing it? Are we being exploited in any way? Or are we just being distracted from other more important things?

And finally Tennis or sport a religion! Thats a bit strong isn't it?


Last edited by laverfan on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Corrected 'Relgion')

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 16 Feb 2012, 6:23 pm

I'm not sure it answers the question, but it's a good read, if only for putting the whole thing in perspective

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/magazine/the-thrill-of-defeat-for-sports-fans.html

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Post by laverfan Thu 16 Feb 2012, 6:29 pm

If 'religion' in a very narrow sense is the path from 'human' to 'god', there are myriad ways to get from point A to point B.

Tennis, as a sport, reflects the 'win' (='god'), then many 'styles' (='path's) exist to get to such a win.

Tolerance of a specific 'style' (='path') and mutual respect for such 'paths' to be equivalent can lead to enjoying the 'journey' and the goal ('god', 'win').

There can be many wins and many paths.

But enjoyment of a sport, like tastes in music, differ, and need not be 'fanatical' to the extent of 'defending the faith' (or a specific player).

Does Nadal really need a 'defence'? No. A 606v2 article with such 'defence' is perhaps a 'provocation', similar to a 'physicality' discussion. Both 'divide' and hence flows the 'defence' of 'faiths' and raised fingers and voices.

Life is short, enjoy Tennis (or whatever sport or 'religion' you choose).

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 16 Feb 2012, 10:14 pm

The inability to separate emotion from intellect might have had some value for a cave man but in the modern world that in itself is a lack of intellect.

Associations to sports fans do have a link with underlying tribalism related to other things such as race, country and religion in my opinion. All such tribalism is more of a bad thing than a good one, and shows a lack of intellect. It's clear that many posters on tennis forums are infected with this attitude.

They decide on the answer first and then look for evidence to support it, which is the wrong way to do it. It's backward.

As a football/soccer fan, I can confirm that
This is to some extent how professional sport makes its money, generating or exploiting this emotional / personal investment of the individual, the consumer, the spectator, the fan.
is true for football. I am quite certain that ticket prices and total revenue would be lower in football if it was for the entertainment value alone.

In tennis much less so. A high proportion of people there do not really care who wins much of the time and are just there for a day out. The majority of people actually attending a tennis match are not big fans.

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Post by djlovesyou Thu 16 Feb 2012, 10:32 pm

Perhaps you'd like to give us a few insights hawkeye, as you tend to be one of the more 'emotionally' involved when it comes to players, be it love or hate?


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Post by Josiah Maiestas Thu 16 Feb 2012, 10:38 pm

Tbh i just watch and comment on tennis to pass the time. OK
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Post by hawkeye Thu 16 Feb 2012, 11:07 pm

Henman Bill

You always appear able to give a rational, detatched and "intellectual" view. Do you have any favourite players or indeed football teams? When watching do you tend to root for one player or team to win? Or do you just enjoy the entertainement and have a "let the best win" attitude?

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Post by laverfan Fri 17 Feb 2012, 12:11 am

HE...

Some very interesting reading here.

We define EI as the capacity to reason about emotions, and of emotions to enhance thinking. It includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.


http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/EI%20Assets/Reprints...EI%20Proper/EI1999MayerCarusoSaloveyIntelligence.pdf

http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/EI%20Assets/Reprints...EI%20Proper/EI2004MayerSaloveyCarusotarget.pdf

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/critical-thinking-and-emotional-intelligence/485

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Post by laverfan Fri 17 Feb 2012, 12:17 am

Henman Bill wrote:The inability to separate emotion from intellect might have had some value for a cave man but in the modern world that in itself is a lack of intellect.

I would say emotions, like fear, enhanced the cave person's intellect to form social and communal bonds, which are at the root of 'civilizations'. The primeval drivers were emotions, rather than intellect.

Intellect was non-existent for a cave person. Once such a social network of cave persons was formed, then the delving into intellect and intelligence, the ability to reason started to be examined and understood.

Just my 2p. Wink

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Post by amritia3ee Fri 17 Feb 2012, 11:16 am

laverfan wrote: No. A 606v2 article with such 'defence' is perhaps a 'provocation'
Provoke who exactly?? Nadal haters Laugh Laugh

At the end I think the right decision was taken to take out the thread. I was trying to defend Rafa, as I do, but it was just turning into a platform for haters to launch vile messages of hate. Sad

Of course I think most people who know me on this forum, even a bit, would know that I did the thread to defend Nadal. I certainly did not want to provoke any professional player, or any fans at all, and I think unless you are new to this site you would know that I was doing it to defend Nadal, not for any other reason.
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Post by amritia3ee Fri 17 Feb 2012, 11:22 am

Lydian wrote:
For me, this site has always had an anti-feel against the one player in question. Yes I'm a fan of the guy, although I like tennis at large from the 80s, but its almost non-stop against him on here. Its led to me posting less and less in recent weeks - not because I'm offended by the player I like being attacked but because I'm just tired of seeing the same arguments relentlessly pedalled which all combine to lower the threshold of others piling in. Sometimes it seems like its "open season" on here to keep attacking the one player.
(This was taken of the other thread)

Yes unfortunately I absolutely agree with you here Lydian. Sad They might as name this tennis section ihatenadal.com because thats the way it feels like.

For a tennis forum to be healthy you need balance, people from both sides. After even you are saying that you are posting less and less in recent weeks, how many active regular Nadal fan posters will there be? 2? 3? At a max. Sad
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Post by lydian Fri 17 Feb 2012, 11:54 am

Yes amritia, I feel this forum has made it difficult for people to admit they like Nadal...there is almost a feeling that if you like Nadal you cant like tennis(!!), or that to use the above posts language you're some sort of caveman who doesnt appreciate flowing, attacking S&V-type tennis. But people need to understand that you can like Nadal, and like others with very different styles. The type of tennis I personally play is nothing like Nadal's game...I have a SHBH, attack the net, prefer faster surfaces. But it doesnt stop me from appreciating the skills set and approach to the game he has. Nor does it stop me appreciating Federer or Djokovic, or many of the others. But the tennis-snobbery on here that the game can only be played on fast surfaces with S&V, and flat hitting has been significant at times. Nadal is a product of the environment...like all players are, to attack him for his brand of tennis is ridiculous. If people dont like current conditions, attack those...play the ball, not the man. That's all I'm saying on this now.

Anyway...emotions and intellect. People can be emotionally intelligent as LF has discussed above, being aware of theirs and others emotions around them....but I'm not sure this is intelligence per se...perhaps emotional awareness. Some people are just terrible at judging others emotions. Intelligence is usually defined as the ability to solve current problems from past experience and creative thought. Emotions dont easily fit into this type of definition. Also when we engage with sport, it appeals to us at levels that may be below conscious emotions. Sport is akin, or derived from combat...fight and flight mechanisms. These basic systems operate within us almost involuntarily...many of us react to high adrenalin situations in ways we cant control....our emotions may have little to do with our response, but may follow our response. So I dont necessarily agree we can separate them...we can control behavioural reponse to stimuli but not our primordial fight/flight reactions which watching sports tap into - for when we watch sport we put ourselves into the players 'comabt' situation. We feel the pressure they are under, and the importance of win/lose.

Not quite sure how the separation of emotion from intellect is relevant in this discussion...we cant control how we instantaneously react to fight/flight...but we can control our behaviour...but I'm not sure our emotions purely drive/control our behaviour...its more complex than that I believe.

So when we watch tennis and its a nail biting 5th set I dont think we can control to any great degree how we feel about the situation...our adrenalin-based instincts make us feel nervy, euphoric, calm, etc...once the match has died down we then rationalise the outcome better...but again is this emotionally led? Interesting discussion.
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Post by legendkillar Fri 17 Feb 2012, 12:26 pm

If this article was written by a well balanced and impartial poster, I would commend the sentiments.

I am more concerned by 'thinking' of certain posters. There are very few impartial posters and I mean very few a count on one hand list. There are those who actually look at the whole game of tennis as a whole and actually comment on the WTA and it's players too. The ones that comment on their area's of interest are pretty much well versed.

I would point out that with Nadal detractors, they actually provide better arguments with stats and facts than the Murray detractors of this world.

There's a call for tennis to be discussed. So why not discuss it than actually complain about the lack of sensible content.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 17 Feb 2012, 12:30 pm

How do we choose the players we follow, I wonder?
With football, say, it's a bit easier - we can like the team we're living close to, or the team we started liking when we grew up - and the advantage there is that we can stick with that all our lives. We're supporting an entity rather than a person and it doesn't have to ever change.
But 15 years ago, no-one was supporting Fed or Rafa and in 15 years time no-one will be again.
How do we choose who we follow? Same nationality perhaps, but probably not often. Style of play, looks, character of the player, seeing the player play in real life early in the career perhaps, all come into it, so it's not entirely abritrary, but essentially we are just picking a stranger to support for a few years without any real attachment to them until we decide to create one.
It's makes watching more fun, I guess, to have someone to root for. (I often pick someone at the start of a match).
What is interesting is the strength of that (effectively artificial) attachment once it has been made. It can become a huge personal investment and engender huge emotion, despite the fact that if we were to take a step back and put it in perspective, it's just some person we never knew existed until fairly recently and will never actually meet.
So while it can be great fun to support a player during a match, I would hope that 'intellect' could step in once the match is completed and, win or lose, it's not that big a deal, certainly for the fan, if not the player.
The same applies when posters attack your favourite player - that's just one stranger saying something bad about another stranger - it's not that big a deal, it's not personal. Nothing to get that upset about.

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Post by laverfan Fri 17 Feb 2012, 12:38 pm

amritia3ee wrote:
I was trying to defend Rafa, as I do, but it was just turning into a platform for haters to launch vile messages of hate. Sad

Does Nadal need defending? If so, why? Wink The messages of hate are to a specific player, not to you personally. Is there no separation between the 'player' and 'you'. Is that an emotional identification?

A 'fight' escalates, while a 'debate' is 'debated'. There is a difference. One 'defends' because one feels 'attacked'.

amritia3ee wrote:Of course I think most people who know me on this forum, even a bit, would know that I did the thread to defend Nadal. I certainly did not want to provoke any professional player, or any fans at all, and I think unless you are new to this site you would know that I was doing it to defend Nadal, not for any other reason.

HE is referring to such 'religious' defence of a specific player. Does he need it?

Are you going to defend a specific player on every forum where he gets this type of treatment? Laugh

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Post by newballs Fri 17 Feb 2012, 1:06 pm

I guess tennis lends itself nicely to a modern mass spectator event in an arena with gladiators fighting it out till the end. Of course in Roman Times that often meant the death of one of the combatants whereas nowadays they towel themselves down and live to fight another day. Furthermore tennis always has a result - the victor and the vanquished and that separates it from the likes of football where 90 minutes of blood, sweat and tears can still leave you where you started wondering what all the running around was for.

The personal investment comes from liking a particular player because of their game/personality/looks and following their progress in the big events they compete in. This can all get a little bit obsessive though - at one extreme think Seles being stabbed because of her threat to the deranged German fan's idol Graf and her dominance of the game.

Do such obsessives (I'm talking here about hopefully milder forms of such obsession) trawl internet forum sites simply to post at length about their idols and those they dislike? Absolutely, because it's necessarily the more fixated individuals who believe their views deserve an audience. Of course there also the seasoned WUM who will post something just to enjoy the effect it has on other forum members especially those who can't tolerate any criticism of their idols.

Is such worship of sporting heroes healthy? Well unlike war (or older gladiatorial events) no-one usually ever gets hurt by it. The players themselves can make a very nice living from the game and their fans can enjoy their ups and downs quite often just from the comfort of their sofa or wherever they hook up their internet connection. I do wonder though what some of these high paid superstars would think if they ever checked up on site such as this one with some of the more outrageous opinions voiced. My guess is they probably wouldn't be that surprised given the fact that any involved in tweeting must have experienced an amount of over the top adulation or abuse anyway.

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Post by laverfan Fri 17 Feb 2012, 1:19 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:How do we choose the players we follow, I wonder?

1. Depends on what is available, access and ease of access.
2. Newspapers (and media).
3. Social discussions, cafes, bars, etc.
4. Interest
5. Emotional identification.

JuliusHMarx wrote:With football, say, it's a bit easier - we can like the team we're living close to, or the team we started liking when we grew up - and the advantage there is that we can stick with that all our lives. We're supporting an entity rather than a person and it doesn't have to ever change.

Even when there is favourite team, there may be specific players, whose career is followed closely.


JuliusHMarx wrote:But 15 years ago, no-one was supporting Fed or Rafa and in 15 years time no-one will be again.

Exactly. Hence a bit of emotional 'detachment' is highly recommended.

JuliusHMarx wrote:How do we choose who we follow? Same nationality perhaps, but probably not often.

In Tennis, it is easier to cross patriotic fronts, compared to your example of Football.

JuliusHMarx wrote:Style of play, looks, character of the player, seeing the player play in real life early in the career perhaps, all come into it, so it's not entirely abritrary, but essentially we are just picking a stranger to support for a few years without any real attachment to them until we decide to create one.

I would say Lydian is 'rationally' attached to Nadal, as an example. He can distinguish between sporting and non-sporting elements.

JuliusHMarx wrote:It's makes watching more fun, I guess, to have someone to root for. (I often pick someone at the start of a match).

I would much rather see a good tennis match, then favour a player over the other, but I play the Picking Game/Suicide on another forum, hence I do have to pick a player. Wink

JuliusHMarx wrote:What is interesting is the strength of that (effectively artificial) attachment once it has been made. It can become a huge personal investment and engender huge emotion, despite the fact that if we were to take a step back and put it in perspective, it's just some person we never knew existed until fairly recently and will never actually meet.

It is also, what I as a person, would like to accomplish, given available choices. To me, a professional sportperson, has made conscious choices, which allow him/her to excel at what they love, despite the hours of practice.

JuliusHMarx wrote:So while it can be great fun to support a player during a match, I would hope that 'intellect' could step in once the match is completed and, win or lose, it's not that big a deal, certainly for the fan, if not the player.
The same applies when posters attack your favourite player - that's just one stranger saying something bad about another stranger - it's not that big a deal, it's not personal. Nothing to get that upset about.

If a each match was treated as an individual and discrete event, it would be easier. When people start talking about records and career accomplishments, such discreteness is thrown out of the window and a career is seen as a continuous timeline. Should I mention a specific h2h? Laugh


Last edited by laverfan on Fri 17 Feb 2012, 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Corrected typographical error.)

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Post by amritia3ee Fri 17 Feb 2012, 2:01 pm

Parera=Jesus :hatoff: :hatoff: :hatoff:

Laugh
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Post by amritia3ee Fri 17 Feb 2012, 2:02 pm

We need a:
:hatoff: and :facepalm: smiley.
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Post by lydian Fri 17 Feb 2012, 2:53 pm

lol...indeed LF...and I think some others are emotionally attached to Nadal from a negative standpoint.

At the end of the day these people's results do not affect our day to day lives (unless we were betting money on them!) so we have to keep a sense of perspective. I think sometimes people try to live their own dreams too much through players/role-models (in all sports), and then the boundary between emotional and rational gets very blurred because they ascribe so much importance to what those players/teams do.
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Post by newballs Fri 17 Feb 2012, 3:28 pm

Lydian nothing wrong with supporting a favourite team or indeed individual tennis player. As you say though a sense of proportion in these matters is all important as the old cliche goes "it's only a game".

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Post by hawkeye Fri 17 Feb 2012, 3:42 pm

Have really enjoyed reading through all the comments!

Interesting links from JuliusHMarx and laverfan (further investigation into tennis and emotional intelligence is required...) and found the comments from newballs and JuliusHMarx particuarly interesting. Shame that legendkiller wasn't able to comment on the article as I feel he might have had something interesting to say...

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Post by laverfan Fri 17 Feb 2012, 3:45 pm

Lydian wrote:...and I think some others are emotionally attached to Nadal from a negative standpoint.

Yes, they are. I see that as a tragedy for the overall sport of Tennis.

newballs wrote:As you say though a sense of proportion in these matters is all important as the old cliche goes "it's only a game".

Apart from the Roman Gladiator circus, I would extend that to use Becker's (paraphrased quote) 'It is just a Tennis match. No one died'.



"I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons" - Yannick Noah

"Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility". - Billie Jean King



(Pretty sure I will get chastised for quoting Noah. Laugh )

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Post by djlovesyou Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:04 pm

Some of the hysteria stems from the fact that the fan finds the player very attractive, and this is the basis of their interest in the player. The fan in some cases gets so much into their fandom that they actually defend from the standpoint of being in a romantic relationship with the player.

This is often the case in Nadal discussions and also often the case the other way (although less so on this board). GJ (theaussiestud) used to go absolutely bananas every time someone said anything bad about Ana Ivanovic.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:14 pm

Noah also said "I'm sure this rain will stop eventually". That might have been another Noah though.

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Post by hawkeye Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:16 pm

djlovesyou wrote:Some of the hysteria stems from the fact that the fan finds the player very attractive, and this is the basis of their interest in the player. The fan in some cases gets so much into their fandom that they actually defend from the standpoint of being in a romantic relationship with the player.

This is often the case in Nadal discussions and also often the case the other way (although less so on this board). GJ (theaussiestud) used to go absolutely bananas every time someone said anything bad about Ana Ivanovic.

Do you think the more "attractive" the player the more fans they have? Or do you think its the more trophies they have the more fans they have? Or is it something else?

Someone mentioned they like to choose who to support at the beginning of a match as it makes it more fun to watch. How do you choose?

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Post by Guest Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:22 pm

newballs wrote:I guess tennis lends itself nicely to a modern mass spectator event in an arena with gladiators fighting it out till the end. Of course in Roman Times that often meant the death of one of the combatants whereas nowadays ...
You support the gladiators? In English footie one has the three lions logo and anthem ( http://tinyurl.com/7zcfhrs ), whilst in Rugby Union one has the British Lions.


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Post by djlovesyou Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:23 pm

I think that a lot of women choose their favourite male player on the basis of which one they fancy. Men the same with the women.

If Radek Stepanek had won a stack full of slams, he wouldn't be anywhere near as popular as Rafa, simply because of how he looks. Even if his game is actually quite entertaining.

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Post by laverfan Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:26 pm

djlovesyou wrote: GJ (theaussiestud) used to go absolutely bananas every time someone said anything bad about Ana Ivanovic.

He still does. The other player, he goes 'bananas' on is Soderling. Wink

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Post by djlovesyou Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:32 pm

Haha, but you can actually criticise Soderling and he'll respond at least half rationally albeit sometimes quite angrily.

He tends to get wildly insulting and personal if you dare saying anything about the lovely Ana.

I find Tennisforum very entertaining for this reason. Somehow discussion about women's tennis tends to be far more entertaining and humourous than the discussion about men's tennis. I think that might be to do with the quite even split between straight men, gay men and women who are on the forum.

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Post by Guest Fri 17 Feb 2012, 4:39 pm

Aside: Ivanovic means Ivan's offspring/ descendants
Djokovic means George's offspring / descendants.

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Post by legendkillar Fri 17 Feb 2012, 8:23 pm

Shame that legendkiller wasn't able to comment on the article as I feel he might have had something interesting to say....

Think you find I did.

I find it amusing however you try to ride the back of someone's impartial comment and proclaim your impartiality.

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Post by Manojchandra Sat 18 Feb 2012, 1:01 am

I have not read ALL the posts. For the record, I am an extremely keen Roger fan. But I, along with many others similar to me, have no problems with other players, including Rafa. I quite like him and admire his achievements. I have always said this, even on older 606. In my experience, there are far many young fans of Rafa (I am 51 and I refer to my workplace, where I have to interact with young juniors in their 20s, etc) who positively dislike Roger. I am sometimes made fun of and again I have no problems with that too. That has never provoked me say nasty things about Rafa.

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Post by Henman Bill Sat 18 Feb 2012, 2:14 pm

hawkeye wrote:Henman Bill

You always appear able to give a rational, detatched and "intellectual" view. Do you have any favourite players or indeed football teams? When watching do you tend to root for one player or team to win? Or do you just enjoy the entertainement and have a "let the best win" attitude?

My favourite player was Tim Henman because he was British and because of so many exciting matches at Wimbledon and could relate to his personality. I was a convert to Henmania when it began in 1996 with the 2 match point saves against Kafelnikov and he was the main player I supported. When he retired I was entirely neutral for a short time but actually in the 2008 Wimbledon I noticed I was leaning towards Federer and certainly by 2009 Australian Open final I wanted Federer to win. More recently (2009/2010), I became a more or less fully fledged Federer fan, wanting him to win all matches.In almost all other non tennis matches, I am fairly neutral although will tend to support players that try to win rather than defend and wait for the other player to miss. I might suppot a more entertaining player. I also tend to back against anyone cheating or doing anything unsporting. At the Australian Open I caught myself punching the air when Dolgopolov won a great point against the more boring (for me) and less sporting Tomic. But as a rational adult more interested in family life, career and so on I find it hard to imagine developing such a strong support for any player as I did for Tim Henman when adolescent. You know, thinking at 1-2 0-15 in the first set, nervously, "please get a first serve here!". That is when you really support someone.

On football, my team is Wolves since childhood for family reasons and I'll still celebrate their goals even as I realise that football is an ethically corrupt sport and none of the Wolves players are even local to the town which I never lived in and that I just have a nostalgic family association with the colour of the shirt that isn't particularly rational.

Sport for me is more entertainment than anything, it doesn't make sense to me to invest huge amounts of emotion in the success of certain players, that should be saved for yourself and friends and family.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 18 Feb 2012, 2:40 pm

Henman Bill wrote:I was a convert to Henmania when it began in 1996 with the 2 match point saves against Kafelnikov and he was the main player I supported

I was at that match, thinking if he loses from here (after being 2 sets up and a break up in at least a couple of the other sets), I'm not even going to applaud another 'Great British Defeat'. Then he saves the 2 match points with consecutive aces and goes on to win! C'mon Tim! I've still got the next day's newspaper report somewhere.

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Post by hawkeye Sat 18 Feb 2012, 3:15 pm

Henman Bill.

I can fully understand why that particular Henman match got you hooked! Maybe being less partisan now has something to do with you not being "hooked" on a particular player in the same way rather than a need to conserve emotion for more important things? It sounds like you are still able to feel it as you discovered in that Dolgopolov match. I think he's a great player to watch and has an exciting style. You never know if he just wins a bit more... and wins in an exciting way you may have to change your name...

Personally I like to think I'm quite rational. I'm well aware that tennis is just a game and the result of a tennis match has zero effect on my full life. That's way I'm so surprised (at myself!) that sometimes when watching it can feel so emotional. It doesn't make sense. I suppose it does make it more interesting. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way...

Maybe it's similar in some way to the "fear" that those who enjoy watching a horror movie experience?

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Post by laverfan Sat 18 Feb 2012, 3:34 pm

Rushing adrenalin, if a player provides it, does draw emotional energy.

Watching Djokovic-Nadal @AO 2012 with Nadal up a break at 4-2, finally the will to win conquered the other player, but alas, the other's 'will' was stronger.

It was completely exhausting to watch six+ hours of physically draining tennis. Nadal looking in the mirror, and losing to his image on the other side.

What a match!

Another one, Federer-Nadal, with Federer BPs at 4-5 in the fourth set, a fifth set looked imminent, but was not to be in the here and now. Or the MPs at USO 2011.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 20 Feb 2012, 2:33 pm

Very interesting subject. Times sports correspondent Simon Barnes, for one, has written with great insight about this. He says we can really pour ourselves into sport as, paradoxically, it matters a great deal but, in fact, matters not at all.
Most fans will feel down after their team/hero loses and get a real high at times of victory. I still feel the whole weekend's ruined if my soccer team loses and still get a huge buzz when my favourites in any number of sports do well.
We fret, we worry, we go through agonies, we hide behind sofas. But, actually, as Boris Becker once famously said after a shock Wimbledon defeat, nobody died, it was not war.*
*Just seen the Becker quote in an earlier post. Apologies for repeating it.

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Post by time please Mon 20 Feb 2012, 5:55 pm

It has been said many times that sport replaces battle in a civilised society and it is very difficult not to become a little 'tribal' as spectators.

Personally I find it impossible to watch any sport, even if I have never seen it before (I am thinking Nordic skiing Olympics 2010!!) without quickly developing an allegiance as I watch. I often sit down to watch a tennis match with no particular preference at the beginning of the match, but I have certainly chosen my man/woman before the end of the first set. Sometimes I will swap and cheer for the other guy, but that is usually when a player has really irritated me with on court behaviour that shows little respect for opponent - otherwise 'I cast my vote' quite quickly and I am a very partisan spectator from there on in - if I am really impartial throughout the match, I will have it on as background and I lose that intense interest.

I guess that is due in part to me only ever having been a very casual player and one who has not played for some time now, so although I do appreciate great match play because I have been watching for so long, I am not watching in the same way as you active tennis players out there - I am not bringing quite the same critical gaze or admiration to every point.

To be quite honest, I think we are all probably fairly passionate supporters of the game/players here or the majority of us wouldn't bother to post. For my part I am quite okay with anyone having negative things to say about my favourite player - I would put an opposing view point sometimes, sometimes you know that the other poster has a fairly entrenched position on a subject that you won't change - and that's okay too. I never minded a certain absent somebody's relentless, and serial ridiculing of Federer throughout 606 and recently here, but I couldn't hack his provocative sneering 'fedworshipper' comments every other post aimed at poster after poster. Similarily, I don't like to see comments about 'Nadal fans' which pigeon hole those that support him because it is provocative and discourteous - when poster turns on other poster in this way the forum becomes unpleasant and juvenile imvho


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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 20 Feb 2012, 6:08 pm

T_P I can understand the idea of supporting someone while you watch a match/event, however arbitrary the choice. But I presume that once it's finished you don't give it a second thought.

Even in the days of Henman's most gut-wrenching defeats I'd pretty much forgotten about them an hour after the match had finished.


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Post by newballs Mon 20 Feb 2012, 6:22 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:T_P I can understand the idea of supporting someone while you watch a match/event, however arbitrary the choice. But I presume that once it's finished you don't give it a second thought.

Even in the days of Henman's most gut-wrenching defeats I'd pretty much forgotten about them an hour after the match had finished.


And JHM that was probably the ongoing fixation with Henman. Not ever quite good enough to win a slam but promising so much in each of his valiant failures especially at Wimbledon that seemingly everyone had sufficiently recovered from the previous disappointment to be prepared to endure the next. In essence it became an annual ritual of waiting for something that (in your heart) you knew wouldn't ever come to fruition.


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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 20 Feb 2012, 6:27 pm

newballs wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:T_P I can understand the idea of supporting someone while you watch a match/event, however arbitrary the choice. But I presume that once it's finished you don't give it a second thought.

Even in the days of Henman's most gut-wrenching defeats I'd pretty much forgotten about them an hour after the match had finished.


And JHM that was probably the ongoing fixation with Henman. Not ever quite good enough to win a slam but promising so much in each of his valiant failures especially at Wimbledon that seemingly everyone had sufficiently recovered from the previous disappointment to be prepared to endure the next. In essence it became an annual ritual of waiting for something that (in your heart) you knew wouldn't ever come to fruition.


In my heart, I'm not sure if I really knew it would never happen. But hope was always the thing with feathers (whatever that means).

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Post by time please Mon 20 Feb 2012, 6:44 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:T_P I can understand the idea of supporting someone while you watch a match/event, however arbitrary the choice. But I presume that once it's finished you don't give it a second thought.

Even in the days of Henman's most gut-wrenching defeats I'd pretty much forgotten about them an hour after the match had finished.


Yes absolutely right Julius - I have a minute or two of jubilation and then it's over. I have to say that I have obviously more 'emotional investment' in supporting Federer because I would have a big smile on my face for an hour or so and thoroughly enjoy reading about others' enjoyment of the match on here and adding my own contribution - a win for TMF can distract me from peripheral annoyances - I guess he is my 'football team'!! If AM could win a slam - I would be fairly ecstatic for sometime.



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Post by Josiah Maiestas Mon 20 Feb 2012, 6:51 pm

Even in the days of Henman's most gut-wrenching defeats I'd pretty much forgotten about them an hour after the match had finished.
Its easier to forget Henman's semi losses because he actually showed courage and positive nerves in his efforts. Murray though in 3 of his last 4 semi finals hasn't showed any courage or heart against the number 2. So it will take more toll on the fans.
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Post by newballs Mon 20 Feb 2012, 6:52 pm

TP I'm not sure i could ever be "ecstatic" for any individual's sporting triumph even if it was a British man wining Wimbledon unless I felt I knew them personally.

With team games (and don't ask me why) it seems quite different as if you are part of that team itself as a fan. That's why I guess team sports have such loyal fans whereas individual players in sports such as tennis don't usually get such a passionate following.

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Post by time please Mon 20 Feb 2012, 7:02 pm

newballs wrote:TP I'm not sure i could ever be "ecstatic" for any individual's sporting triumph even if it was a British man wining Wimbledon unless I felt I knew them personally.


I think you are probably taking me a little too literally - I was exaggerating because obviously it would be extremely unlikely for any player's triumph to induce a state of ecstasy Cool

I will re-phrase: I would feel very patriotic and smiley if Murray were to win a slam, and it would put me in a very good mood all afternoon. (As the London born child of a Swiss mother and American father, I can switch my emotional allegiance to various countries in an opportunistic way Wink but couldn't quite manage that last weekend when I was gutted correction - not pleased to see US defeat Switzerland in DC!)

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Post by lydian Tue 21 Feb 2012, 5:55 pm

I suspect there are personality types that are more drawn into getting emotional involved with players and matches than others...e.g. if you looked at the MBTI types...so of the more feeling types might get drawn in more than the sensing ones. For example, we know that for some football fans if their team loses on match day it will likely ruin their whole day! And we see countries that win the world cup induce all manner of street parties. Its a complex and interesting discussion that links to individual and team psychology. But for the most part, I see someone lose I like and dont think on it for more than an hour or so. Perhaps also dependant on how much you have going on in your personal life too. For many, sport will fill a vacuum of other things not going on in their lives. So if people are getting into their players/teams too much - is it a case of you know what they say? (i.e. "get a.....")
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Post by laverfan Tue 21 Feb 2012, 6:32 pm

Of all the matches that I invested 'emotionally' a bit in, the Dimitrov-Young contest in Memphis had me rooting for Dimitrov. Took five minutes after I posted on HE's (https://www.606v2.com/t24001p50-does-anyone-want-to-discuss-tennis) thread about a different match - Tomic-Dodig, to get over it.

Tennis is designed to have a victor and a vanquished player. Dealing with the matches with such a premise lends itself to a 'logical' approach to handling each match. Kipling's IF comes to mind. Wink

This is what epitomizes Tennis for me, personally, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEeLh5ItQcY

Surprising that such philosophical bent was missing when Borg-McEnroe or Laver-Rosewall played.

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Post by Guest Tue 21 Feb 2012, 6:34 pm

The 1969 El Savador - Honduras War which left 3000 people dead was triggered by a football match between the two nations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War

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Post by hawkeye Tue 21 Feb 2012, 6:39 pm

lydian

What are "MBTI" types?

I understand what you mean when you say that when people are too interested in something like spectator sport it could be that it is because of lack of interest in their everyday lives.

But another view could be that it takes some sort of intellect to have a passion for something that doesn't give direct, obvious or "concrete" benifits. For example investing time, energy and passion into work, relationships and family will usually result in physical rewards but the same can't be said for investing energy into something abstract (to your own life) like watching or talking about tennis. Any reward from that investment is purely intellectual.

I hope I've explained what I mean. But I'm still not sure what view I have...

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