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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Of tennis balls and music videos

Everyone loves Serena Williams. She's a popular figure in the sporting world and an adopted daughter of ours here in Australia courtesy of her success at the Australian Open. The fashion displayed by her and sister, Venus, has both amused and amazed tennis fans for years. How the hell do they play tennis with these gargantuan baubles dangling from their ears? The media, tournament directors, her opponents and tennis fans: we all like Serena Williams except for the lineswoman at this year's U.S Open semi final. She is now a little wary of the larger than life American tennis superstar.

Serena swore at and threatened this woman who was simply doing her job. It was a high pressure moment. There was a lot at stake. She lost her head. Wow, she's human. Her brain explosion happened on television but most of us have ours in relative obscurity.

I once verbally wrestled with a bus driver on a taxi rank. As I wasn't having a profitable day, and his tone of voice was antagonistic, I decided to return serve. Never mind that I was in the wrong, having parked too close to the corner and made it difficult, not impossible but difficult for him to turn the corner. He yelled at me so I lost it. The audience for my tantrum was a little smaller than Serena's but I still embarrassed myself, as did Serena.

Even the great man, Roger Federer, was caught chucking an oral wobbly on television. Four letter words flew from the mouth of Mr. Nice Guy. It's true, I saw it! In the heat of the moment, he lost control.

Kanye West apparently lost control of his senses at the VMAs. He made more enemies than Hitler when he humiliated Taylor Swift on stage by interrupting her acceptance speech. So he thought Beyonce's music video was better than Taylor's. We all have opinions Kanye, but there is a right time and place to express them. He apologised later but the damage had been done.

Serena apologised to the lineswoman but the damage has been done. She said she didn't threaten to kill her but the proposed trajectory of a certain tennis ball would almost certainly have fatally interfered with the breathing of the lineswoman.

The big question now is whether the reputations of these stars will recover following their "errors of judgement". Of course they will. Everyone gets emotionally disturbed by these childish peformances but we've all done the same thing, so of course we'll get over it. We'll still watch Serena play and we'll still listen to Kanye's music. Life goes on.

How many verbal tantrums have you thrown in your adulthood?
One
Half a dozen or so
I've lost count
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