Sean - New York, NY | Read Sean's Second Entry
"But Daddy, why do you want to be Commissioner of Tennis?"
"Because, son, your dad's got ideas; ideas that could make tennis more popular in the US than it has been in 30 years."
"Tennis isn't popular here?"
"Not as much as it could be. It tends to be the second class citizen to golf. But I think I've come up with a plan that will grow tennis to the point it will dwarf golf!"
"What's your plan, Daddy?"
"Son, if I was Commissioner, I would start a Fantasy Tennis League!"
"A Fantasy Tennis League. Like the fantasy football and baseball leagues I'm in."
"What are those?"
"Well, son, at the beginning of every season, we select players for our fantasy teams we think will produce great statistics, like a high batting average or a lot of touchdowns. As the season is played, we earn points for each of the statistical achievements of the players on our teams. Like if one of my fantasy baseball players hits two home runs, my fantasy team earns two points. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the season wins."
"OK, but how would you do that with tennis? Tennis players don't hit home runs or score touchdowns...do they?"
"No, son, they don't. But they do hit aces, win games and sets, and have other measures of performance, like break points won, first serve percentage, and percent of first and second serve points won."
"So...if you have a player on your team that serves 20 aces in a match...you would get 20 points?"
"But how would you get players on your team?"
"Two weeks before the Australian Open, you could hold a draft party where the league members would choose their players. A draft order would have to be established, maybe by order of finish from the previous year or by luck of the draw. There would be a pool of available players, say a mix of top 20 players, some mid-level players, then some younger or unestablished players. That way league members could choose from proven performers as well as possible wildcards who could really add to their totals."
"But Daddy, what if one the players gets hurt and can't play?"
"Just like other fantasy sports, there could be trades and supplemental drafts to fill out rosters. Like two weeks before every Grand Slam, when the largest number of players will be competing."
"But how does that make tennis more popular?"
"By getting fans to follow players year-round to keep track of their point totals. And not just the top-ranked players either. By including lower-ranked pros, league members would have reasons to discover and scout up and coming players too. Basically, it's a way to get fans to read about and be excited about tennis at all levels throughout the year."
"Wow, Daddy...you really thought about this. Maybe you should be Commissioner."
"Thanks, son. Now come here and help your dad figure out this TiVo."