John McEnroe, Serena Williams and Defining Greatness

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John McEnroe, Serena Williams and Defining Greatness

Postby JM1776 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:02 am

Serena fired back at John's opinion that she would be, on the men's tour, ranked approximately #700 in the world. On Twitter, she first offered, "Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based." This at least made some sense, as did the first part of her subsequent Tweet: "I've never played anyone ranked 'there' nor do I have time." Still sounding like she's remaining for the most part above the fray, which is likely best.

Then she went off the rails, finishing that second Tweet with: "Respect me and my privacy as I'm trying to have a baby. Good day sir."

Huh? You may be Serena, but you ain't no Willy Wonka.

You're a public figure, he's trying to promote a book, and you love the spotlight when it flatters you. Can't have it both ways.

McEnroe did nothing wrong.

Why is it that when he's calling her the greatest female singles player of all time everyone nods sagely, but when he offers his opinion on how she'd do against the men (which will always remain an issue in large part because she and Venus started this years ago with their asinine comments about being able to play and prosper on the men's tour and how they could beat any man outside the top 100) people call it sexism and even misogyny?

I call that a steaming crock of PC BS.

Here's reality: She's great. She's arguably the best of all time insofar as female singles players. (I happen to believe she is the GOAT woman tennis player, and that's saying a lot because I don't much like her. I think deep down she's a sullen diva who's managed to add a sheen of class and serenity over the past few years. Sorry, Serena: I still remember you threatening to cram a tennis ball down the throat of a woman half your size because she had the temerity to call a foot fault on you during the US Open semifinals. Whether the call was correct or not, anywhere else in the US that's a felony. Oh, and ... despite what others have said, it was the right call. You did foot fault.)

But John was actually being generous when he said she'd likely be ranked in the high hundreds. What might have her there, in my opinion, is her will to win (which is formidable and much of what makes her an all-time great), not her physicality, which many if not most males would laugh at if they even noticed. There are male high-school players with more power than Serena. (And there's also a question as to whether that amazing will to win isn't linked to her ego and physical superiority, which would not exist against men. It's easy to be self-assured when you're more powerful, after all.)

Some want to call her the greatest athlete of all time. That's so far beyond ridiculous I don't even need to refute it. No woman can ever hold that distinction in a cosmos where men exist. That's not sexist, chauvinist or misogynist. It's an honest assessment of physical capabilities. Can she be the GOAT relative to her sex? Sure. Why not? (I'm not sure how you definitively measure that, but it's possible she is.) But that comparison will always exist, no matter how the politically correct want it to disappear. Karsten Braasch, a guy ranked in the 200s, (supposedly) drinking beer and (definitely) smoking cigarettes during changeovers kicked the crap out of her and her sister, after all. Does that happen, ever, to the greatest athlete of all time?

I'll let that question remain rhetorical.

You opened this door years ago, Ms. Williams. Don't complain about how Johnnie Mac won't let you close it, and don't go for the absurd "You're invading my privacy!" card. It just makes you look foolish to anyone with eyes to see.
"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
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