Jeff - Overland Park, KS | Read Jeff's Second Entry
I'm in the big chair now as commissioner, a seat I have to say I feel all too comfortable in. It feels MADE for me. With this chair comes great responsibility, so, while I've got your complete attention, I can stay silent no more about why we've got to pump up the volume in tennis.
We've got to talk OPENLY, FREELY and LOUDLY here about the one thing that has to change with tennis...the fact that we as fans can't talk openly, freely and loudly at tennis matches. I want to change that, because, in this case, silence is not golden. It's killing the sport.
The sport has been hung up on this one simple rule forever, mired in a hush-hush tradition of etiquette and quietude that is downright antiquated in this day and age. Freedom of speech? Not if you're a tennis fan! Have fun at a tennis match by screaming your head off? Shhh...can't you see Amelie is concentrating?
Change is inevitable, like a double fault. It is a part of growth, and going for it. Yes it's hard sometimes, but it's necessary. Sometimes the only way to silence the naysayers is by turning up the noise. In doing so, we'll turn the mirror on what tennis could be like with no inhibitions. I'm here to tell you it would be great. Advantage ... all of us.
Can you imagine a raucous Roland Garros or an audible Australian? Let the sound abound.
Tranquility has gone the way of the dodo at sporting events anyway, because we as fans want to cut loose and yell at Roger from the rafters WHILE he is hitting a ball. We're as immersed as he is in that Zen moment. Besides, we'll see how good he really is then when we let blow that air horn while he's lining up that passing shot!
If Maria can roar louder on Arthur Ashe Stadium and Rafa can bear bare arms on Centre Court at Wimbledon, then I as a fan should be allowed to speak my mind at 30-30, 3-3 in the third. If Andy's not dandy, by God we want to let him know!
Faces change, equipment changes, technology changes, players change (literally now, thanks to all those pseudo-timeouts between sets). It's time for the sport to change, for the quiet rule to be mute-ilated once and for all. By doing so, the sport will evolve into something loud, brash, and exciting.
I tell you all to step outside the lines for one moment and see that we have people nodding off in Nottingham, and not hollering in Halle. There are no Indian yells in Indian Wells?
This sport shouldn't be a secret. What's there to be quiet about? We've got to yell to the rooftops to tell anyone and everyone how great this sport is and can become with our help, our input.
It's not right. But it soon will be. I'm the commissioner now.