Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Whines: GRUNT! AUGH! Stop It Already!!

(This post may not be suitable for younger folk. I may make references that are not child-friendly.)

You know how whenever you watch tennis, you're always hearing a scream of epic struggle on the top and bottom of the television? When the women play, it sounds like they're screaming something along the lines of "KILLER TENNIS BALL ATTACK!" or "BALL, GET OVER THERE AND FALL IN!" or if you're Maria Sharapova, it's just "AAAAAAAUGH!" Either way, it's practically louder than what you would hear in a newlyweds' bedroom.

Because some of these war-cries are getting louder and louder and way out of hand, the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) is thinking of banning grunting and screaming in professional tennis.

Really? They have to make a rule for that?

It's almost like asking people throwing the shot put or the javelin and telling the people not to exert any noise whatsoever. It's been studied in sports sciences that any vocal action can increase adrenaline or strength or force exerted while playing. Here's proof: the next time you stub your toe or hit your funny bone, swear as loud as possible.  If you do that, your brief stint of stupidity won't hurt that much. It also might pump you up. This is where this post gets really really cheesy--the first thing that comes to mind in describing this is a scene from the anime Dragonball Z. Here, watch it. I must warn you though...there's a boatload of screaming within this six-minute clip. (Fast-forward to about 1:25). From what I've seen as well, I know a lot of martial arts practice grunting and screaming (but not to the extreme extent) when doing patterns or focusing chi while breaking boards and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff.

Grant it, they may simply grunt and scream just to fake-out the opposition, but honestly, you're not supposed to annoy the crowd with it. I feel like there's more exertion in playing tennis than being a lead dancer in a Broadway Musical. Think about it, not only do you have to move around in extreme heat and funky-colored court for a few hours, but with the screaming going on, that's a lot of energy dished out in a particular period of time. That's why tennis players are in such good shape and are beyond conditioned to play a long game such as tennis.

I wouldn't necessarily be against the banning of the Braveheart-style grunting during tournament play, but if you really want to make a reasonable rule, try to water down the amount of grunts and screams, and if there's an excessive amount during the set, call a double fault or something (thank you, Nintendo Tennis, for making me know that reference). I will be perfectly frank, there's no way you're going to completely get rid of the screams, because that's a normal reflex of what people do when they hit something. Sure, it could just get annoying after a while, but you can at least crack down on it lightly enough so that there's no bad blood between the union and it's players.

People, stop making dumb rules. Rules were meant to be broken, you know.

People are just thinking of wanting Sharapova banned just because she screams so much. I doubt that will be happening anytime soon because everyone thinks she's so hot and all.