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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Venus can play with the men

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...30/fool155.DTL



Foolish admission: Venus can play with the men

Betting Fool, SF Gate Tuesday, July 30, 2002

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I have a history of piggish behavior. I've never been too kind to the Williams sisters and have been fairly brutal on women's sports in general.

But as I watched highlights of Venus Williams powering to victory in the Bank of the West tennis tournament over the weekend -- it hit me. Like a surprise punch to the point of the shoulder, it startled me.

Venus Williams (Serena, too) is the first female athlete who can beat a man playing at a pro level. Don't even mention Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

What I'm talking about is beating a lower level pro men's player, maybe the 231st-ranked player in the world. It would not happen in any other sport, not even close. But I think Venus/Serena could win, and would certainly be competitive.

There was talk of Venus playing John McEnroe. She might wipe the court with him. She might lose, too. But it would be competitive. In no other sports -- real sports, ones we watch -- are women close to being able to win, or even compete.

But Venus is changing the way this ol' Fool thinks about women's sports.

Will there ever be a female kicker in the NFL? No. A position player? That's very funny.

I keep getting the WNBA rammed down my throat because the NBA's marketing snakes continue to get this league some major TV time.

Not one player in the WNBA would be competitive in men's college basketball, let alone the NBA. The best of the WNBA might make a good high school team. Maybe.

Baseball? Well, there is an argument that any good women's softball player could play outfield for the Giants right now. But they couldn't hit a 93 mph fastball, a slider or a changeup. Other than maybe a few lucky foul balls.

I can already hear the name Mia Hamm being uttered by you feisty chicks out there. She could play in MLS, you think.

One ESPN columnist even went so far as to say that she could play second base in the majors. He also said that "If Richard Williams were a Dodgers fan, Serena would be hitting .280 now and the Dodgers would be winning the division."

Uh, wrong. On both counts.

Hamm may have very good ball-control skills, but her lack of speed and toughness would prevent Mia from being a decent MLS player. She'd get knocked over and off the ball in most open-field battles. She could play for a decent men's college team -- maybe.

Anyway, soccer is not a sport we watch. And the Williams sisters -- even if they had played baseball every waking moment of their lives -- would not be able to play for the Dodgers.

I guess I should mention hockey. There, I did.

Auto racing? We've seen the results. Just getting a place on the starting grid is not competing. Especially when you don't finish the race, or are out after 10 laps.

Golf? Annika Sorenstam wouldn't make any cuts playing from the same tees as PGA Tour pros. Laura Davies might if she could putt. But she doesn't care. Karrie Webb? Again, lack of length would kill her.

Tennis needs to set up the match: Venus against an average male pro. Everyone would watch. And Venus could get the last laugh.


While we're on the subject of equality, or whatever this is, I'd like to publicly wonder why I'm not allowed into WUSA and WNBA locker rooms. Hundreds of women are allowed to watch naked men in NFL, NBA and MLB locker areas.
Would I look? Yes, Do women sportswriters look? No doubt about it. I'm not saying it'd be all that pretty, but I want a credential and I want one soon.


I've thought long and hard about Lance Armstrong and his place in sports history. I could not watch the Tour de France for any length because it wasn't all that much different than watching a marathon. I have no idea how there could possibly be team strategy in bike racing and the guy does the same motion over and over again and there's no ball involved and they don't really keep score and I don't care if his resting heart rate is the same as a frozen panda. But millions of Europeans can't be wrong. Lance rules.

It's amazing that a week ago the Giants seemed headed for the dumper and the A's were the pretty boys of the Bay Area. At this moment -- and it could change by the weekend -- the Giants are in much better position to make the playoffs than Oakland.
San Francisco is only a game out of the wild card and after watching the Dodgers and their bogus collection of slap hitters for the last few days, it seems that LA will fall away in September. Their pitching isn't *that* good.

Once the Giants get everyone back, they have a much better offense. Oh, but the Reds and Mets are still in the wild-card hunt. No, they are not.

Laboring through the four-hour abomination of Monday night, it's clear the A's have a horrible pre-Koch bullpen and their streaky power hitters can really look bad at times. I got a lot of e-mail about Chad Bradford last week and "how in the hell" could I possibly not know that he was the No. 1 setup man in baseball. I mean, Peter Gammons said it. It must be true. Check Bradford's last few outings. Strikingly mediocre, I must say.

Also, the A's "Big Three" is rapidly becoming the "Big Two." Tim Hudson is not getting the job done consistently.


A reminder: NFL preseason football is the biggest ripoff in sports. Don't watch it, don't attend games and don't talk about it. Is it better than the WNBA? Much.

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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:43 PM
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Yes! I even think that Venus can beat Leytton Hewitt in a tennis match. She'd even knock him out in a boxing match!
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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:46 PM
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Lleyton is as powerful if not more powerful than Venus it just doesn't show because Venus and Serena overpower everybody where as Lleyton seems average when it comes to power!

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. - Ambrose Bierce

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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:48 PM
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Where do u get those articles from?
I mean, why should you post this article here?

Cogito, ergo sum.
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:49 PM
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I expect this thread to get bombarded the same way Fingon's thread got (unfairly) bombarded when he brought up the same subject

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. - Ambrose Bierce

There is no saint without a past, and no sinner without a future. - Shri Haidakhan Babaji

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it. - Doug Larson

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:50 PM
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LMAO @ Venus can beat Lleyton!!!!

Cogito, ergo sum.
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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up West Coast Sweep Is In Order

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/artic.../29/SP28147.DTL

Forgive me all for giving Venus her props again with this post - but I just love the way the writer wrote this. And especially, the first pargraph.


"CONGRATULATIONS VENUS ON WINNING THE BOTW 2002 TOURNEY" "YOU WERE ON FIRE - GIRLIE-GIRL" "KEEP IT UP AND KEEP ON KEEPING ON"

"NOW LET'S GET JIGGY W/IT AND DO THE DANCE CALLED THE WEST COAST SWEEP" "DEFEND TO THE END - VENUS"





Not much opposition for classy Williams

Bruce Jenkins, Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, July 29, 2002



THE BATTLE ends so quickly for Venus Williams. One last punishing shot,

an earnest handshake at the net, and then she's an entirely new person.

With graceful, carefree waves to the crowd, she looks like an upscale socialite about to embark on a Caribbean cruise. The rest of us stand dockside,

hoping she has a wonderful time.

To catch her in that moment, you couldn't imagine the single-minded destruction that preceded it. In a vintage Sunday performance that humbled Kim Clijsters, brought gasps of appreciation from the crowd and earned her the Bank of the West title at Stanford, Venus gave everyone a taste of big-time power tennis -- for now and the foreseeable future.

Because the outcome seems so inevitable (against anyone but her sister, Serena), and because she's too classy to spice up a match with obscenities or broken rackets, the mind tends to wander while watching Venus. It drifts into the past, and an era of tennis that makes a 30-year gap seem like a century.

Before the Jimmy Connors-led crew came along and changed everything, crushing the two-handed backhand and fostering an attitude of relentless baseline aggression, the game was played in relative slow motion -- and that's the men's game we're talking about. Watching the old films, it is not merely obvious that players used wooden rackets and an infinite variety of shots. They didn't think like Venus Williams or the other big names in women's tennis today. Even fiery competitors like Pancho Gonzales and Tony Trabert didn't unload a full-power laser beam on every single shot.

"When you're playing Venus," Clijsters said afterward, "you feel like every shot has to be perfect. She hits the ball so hard and has so much range, you just can't make any mistakes."

So how good is the women's game, relative to the men? Watching Venus against Andre Agassi might not be a pretty sight, but what about the John McEnroe challenge that seems to surface every few months? The purists scoff, and without question, the thing could turn into a circus, but it might not be long before the women's tour runs out of legitimate opposition and McEnroe seems a worthy alternative.

Even at 43, McEnroe could confound Venus with his big-bending, left-handed serve. At close range, trying to catch up to her fearsome groundstrokes, he might not be so quick to belittle Venus or any other female player. Still, he'd throw a little imagination into the match, with his volleys and touch and general court sense. Martina Hingis is a thoughtful player when healthy, but nobody else offers the Williams sisters any kind of strategic challenge -- and even at that, Hingis stays mostly at the baseline.

What McEnroe could do, if not win the match outright, is provide a spark. There would have to be somebody out there to recognize the inherent genius in McEnroe's game. Maybe a 12-year-old prospect who looks beyond the baseline, who would rather hit her backhand with slice and topspin, with force and touch,

instead of turning loose the same shot every time. Then the sport would move forward.

Not that Venus doesn't have a few ideas. At 5-3 and 30-all in the first set,

she suddenly rushed to the net behind a forward-moving groundstroke. This amounted to Shaquille O'Neal shooting an underhand free throw, or Tiger Woods using Bernhard Langer's putter; you just don't see it.

Clijsters screamed as her passing shot was sent back, decisively, but in fact it was a lunging, backhanded volley winner from Venus -- a fleeting meteor for now, but perhaps a sign of the future. She also surprised everyone with an exquisite forehand drop shot, from just inside the baseline, so perfect that even Clijsters' quick reaction wasn't enough.

Such moments are telling when it comes to Venus' staying power in the public eye. Commissioners argue for parity but the fans know better; they enjoy great teams and truly dominant athletes. The brand of appeal comes from all directions: style (Muhammad Ali), humility (Derek Jeter), arrogance (Pedro Martinez), well-timed emotion (Woods). There is great beauty in Venus' stoicism, but if her game takes on additional depth and creativity, there will be a freshness to her command. And for Serena's, as well.

So there was Venus after Sunday's win, chatting comfortably with the press and reiterating that Stanford, and the whole Bay Area, is one of her favorite places. "I always have a great time here," she said. "Went to Pier 39 and Chinatown, did a lot of things. But not Alcatraz. That's always sold out."

Not to worry. At day's end, there's a cruise ship waiting for Venus. It's a very private line, with destinations fit only for her.

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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:52 PM
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GogoGirl, do u have a mind of your own or is your mind an article-searching computer?

Cogito, ergo sum.
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 10:58 PM
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This whole thread is ridiculous
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 11:35 PM
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I just want to know why the thread is ridiculous...I don't really care but i don't see anything wrong with the articles Gogogirl is posting.

Venus Williams-Ana Ivanovic-Serena Williams-Vika Azarenka-Caroline Wozniacki

McHale-Stephens-Watson-Robson-Townsend

Brodsky-Muhammad-Hampton-Keys-Crawford-Andrews-Hardebeck
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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 11:40 PM
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whats wrong with posting an article???



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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 11:43 PM
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I like the point the journalist made about equality as far as him NOT being allowed in the women's locker rooms. I think it's very unfair that women journalists are allowed access to both locker rooms but men journalists are not. Other than that point, I think the article's just some guy's opinion, but it made for a good read though, because it kind of shows that Venus and Serena are changing a lot of people's minds about their abilities.

Dammitt, Venus!!!
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2002, 11:48 PM
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Keep on doing what you're doing Gogo.
I like reading the articles.

some of you really need to lighten up!

Venus Williams-- My tennis inspiration
Roger Federer - GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!
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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2002, 12:11 AM
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You rock GoGoGirl...Keep them articles coming and leave them hatersfuming. I wonder what makes this thread ridiculous. Rock on Venus. You know you're my fave.

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2002, 12:28 AM
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I liked the second article, thanks for posting the articles GoGoGirl.
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