I used to like Wimbledon. Indeed, I have been known to frequent the North Open Stand on Court 1 – sadly no more – on more than one occasion. But the magic, along with the stand, is long gone!
I liked the old Court 1 because it was intimate and you could get close to the action. On one visit, I went with a friend of mine whose mother was once a player. She had Centre Court tickets and I’d never been on Centre Court, so we swapped round for an hour or so. I watched Virginia Wade in the quarter final the year she won it.
It was like so many modern sports venues. You go to a football match and all you see is some dots on a patch of green doing something – but you can’t tell what because the ball is so small you can’t even see it. Well, Centre Court is just like that. Two specks on a bit of green doing something. I was hugely disappointed and thought I’d got the better half of the deal where I was.
So they knocked down the old Court 1 and built a replica of the Centre Court cauldron. Pack ’em in. Count the money. Fuck the punters; not our problem!
And then there are the histrionics. We never had those back then either. Oh sure, you could always rely on Illy Nastase or John MacEnroe to put on a bit of a show, but at least it was entertaining and in Nastase’s case usually highly amusing. They were characters and showmen giving the crowd a bit of extra for their money. That’s all gone too.
Now you get a load of bitching women wanting equal pay to the men for unequal matches. Grunting tarts without a volume control so you can’t even switch off the noise! Wingeing, whining little turds like Andy Murray throwing a wobbly every time they lose a point. In my day, they’d have been penalised but now the umpires, like so many other used-to-be authority figures, have little or no control over the proceedings.
And before it’s even started, the press are all complaining that Murray will have to beat Federer and Nadal to get to the final where he’ll likely play Djokovic. All because the seedings are oh-so-wrong and unfair to our native talent. Well boo-hoo for you, Murray, because in order to call yourself a true world champion, you have to be able to beat all comers so stop fucking moaning and just get on with it…
No, I’m afraid Wimbledon – like so many other great sporting events – is totally fucked. It’s become over commercialised, monetised, sanitized and over hyped. I sincerely hope that miserable little haggis shagger gets knocked out in the first round so we can at least stop carping on about him.
So you might have guessed that I won’t be going this year – especially as RBS haven’t invited me to their £135,000 tax payer funded junket..