Tennis Things I'd Like To See in 2015

PseudoFed finds a worthy rival. Some are obsessed with the mystery of who is behind the GOAT account. I'm more obsessed with the mystery of why no other parody account has been able to rival it in its pure awesomeness and dead-on-ness. I think that speaks to just how difficult it is to do a parody account right. But surely there's an opportunity here.

Mary Carillo joins Twitter: PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE. 

No more cancer: I'm pretty much done with cancer getting all up inside tennis. Stay away, cancer.

More independent tennis bloggers. Other sports have a robust fan-blogging community. Tennis' fan community seems more focused on Twitter. That's great, but it's also ephemeral. If someone doesn't read your tweet within a few hours of when you sent it they probably never will. Fan blogs are great. They create discussion. Keep people up to date. And, if done right, can be incredibly hilarious. They can also say things that more established writers can't say. When it comes to improving the whole landscape of tennis coverage, good bloggers play an incredibly important role. 

A more vibrant GIF'ing and Vineing community. I tried making a GIF once. I lost an entire day and had nothing to show for it. Who will step up to be our CJZero or SBNation? This is a niche just waiting to be filled.  

Consistent stat shots. TennisTV does it about 60 percent of the time, but it always bums me out when I can't find the stats, either by set or for the whole match, of any given match. I'm not going to get into why it's so incredibly stupid that we have to rely on these screenshots for winner/unforced error counts -- COME ON TENNIS FIX UR STATS -- but we do. TennisTV could solve the problem -- and become an invaluable resource -- if they did it for every single match they stream.

More WTA coverage. I look forward to the day when I write up this annual list and have to write "less WTA coverage". But I'm not just talking about number of articles or whatever. People write about the WTA. But they write exclusively about who the players are dating, what they're wearing, and how they're named after British royalty. Now, all those things are perfectly fun things to write about SO LONG AS you are also writing about their, you know, ACTUAL TENNIS. 

Equivalency isn't the perfect metric but it's a good starting point. Example: I do a lot of live-blogging of matches. Often times I'll be asked to liveblog the men's final or semifinals and finals at a joint tournament. My reaction is always to say yes (I love liveblogging matches) but also to insist that I be allowed to live-blog the same number of matches on the women's side. To the credit of my editors, they have never said no and at this point they just assume that's standard operating procedure. 

And I'll end this with a press room anecdote: I was covering a tournament recently that had a number of journalism students writing match reports for the tournament web site, all under the supervision of their instructor. One student turned in a WTA match report and the instructor pointed out that the student had started the report by describing the player's hair and attire as she walked on court.

"Would you do that if you were writing up a men's match?"
"Probably not."
"Don't you think that's a little bit sexist?"

Overhearing that exchange was heartening. Can we clone that instructor?

Like, I, like, get it. Apparently it really bothers people that I say "like" so much on the NCR Podcast. I totally understand that is a very annoying verbal tic to be subjected to on headphones. But that's just how I talk when I'm in a relaxed and natural conversation, which is what these podcasts with Ben are supposed to be. If you've heard me on radio or in other interviews, you'll be surprised to know that I actually don't say it at all! I do have a "presentation mode" that I can turn on. I just never really wanted to turn it on for the podcast because I really do want them to sound like two friends shooting the shit at a bar, talking about tennis the way we, well, shoot shit at a bar talking tennis. So it sounds flawed and weird and sometimes half-baked because that's just how I talk with my friends. 

All that said, I will try and be better about it in 2015. But if NCR starts sounding like I'm doing a job interview, IT'S ALL YOUR GUYSES LIKE FAULT.

More player-driven Twitter accounts. It bums me out so much when player accounts are clearly being managed by agents and PR teams. Of course they have to be involved on some level. Players have sponsor obligations and I could understand a top player saying "I have better things to worry about, you guys can tweet that stuff". And let's face it, not every player is a riveting personality full of quips and wit (and that's ok!). But when the Twitter account ceases to have any personality whatsoever it's pointless. 

Instagram integration on Twitter: It will never happen so long as Twitter has its own photo uploading service, but GOD I HATE CLICKING THOSE LINKS JUST SHOW ME THE DAMN PICTURE.

Less outrage. I know the internet is designed to incubate an outrage culture but how about everyone just take a deep breath and chill out. The world is a terrible place. There are many terrible things happening every second of the day that make you want to jump off a bridge. But it is also a very wonderful place. There are many wonderful life-affirming things that happen every second of the day that make you want to hug your neighbor. Why waste time being mad when you can just choose to be zen. Please note that I am not saying "no outrage". There are some things that are just fucking terrible and outrage is the only just and natural response. Outrage is a good thing when used well. And faux-outrage is kind of my favorite comedy tool, so that's ok too.

Wait, I thought this was supposed to be a tennis list? How is this related to tennis? Stop with the bait and switch you stupid AUGH I HATE YOU AND YOUR BLOG AND I HOPE YOU GET FIRED AND NEVER GET ANOTHER JOB AND HAVE TO LIVE ON THE STREET YOU FUCKING PIECE OF WORTHLESS TRASH HOW DO YOU EVEN LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR AT NIGHT YOU STEAMING PILE OF DIARRHEA!!!!

Hashtag naive.

Sports are super emotional and obviously things happen and things are said that make us so mad especially when it relates to a favorite or not-so-favorite player. But...it's just sports? It's supposed to be entertainment and fun and make us happy and give us space for 1-7 hours  to ignore the fact that we live in a terrible world. So I hope 2015 sees us doing better to keep our reaction to the terribleness of the world out of our sports.