Sunday, July 10, 2016

Twice as good

I'm too torn up to write about the events in Falcon Heights, Baton Rouge and Dallas.  There are others better positioned to write about that. It also speaks to the awfulness of today's internet why I and many of my friends opted to stay off the internet while people who know very little rant and pontificate anyways.

I'm going to switch gears and talk about how black people have to be twice as good to get half as much because I have a data point.

The data crunchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research determined that Rowan Pope is right; black people really do have to work twice as hard to be perceived as half as good.

I did follow the women's Wimbledon tournament, especially my fave tennis player, Queen Serena.  Now that she has won 22 Grand Slam tournaments, exceeding Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18), and tying Steffi Graf (22*), they've moved the goal posts so that Margaret Court (24**) can be the record holder.

Serena Williams photo courtesy of BET.
No and no.  Graf and Court do not belong in the same league as Serena Williams.

* Steffi Graf was an excellent tennis player that could beat an aging but still wonderful Navratilova, but she struggled against a teenager named Monica Seles.  Do you see how she her GS tally suddenly jumped between age 23 and 24?
Stats courtesy of USAToday.
In 1993, when Graf was 23 and Seles was 19, a Graf fan stabbed Monica Seles in the back while she was sitting on court.

He said that he did it to help Graf get her #1 ranking back.  He succeeded.  He never even went to jail for that, but that's another story.

With Seles out of the way and Navratilova retired, there was no one for Graf to compete against.

You know how baseball players have an asterisk * next to their names if there was a question of how they achieved their performance?  Well, I feel very strongly that Graf's 22 is actually a 22* and not really a record.

Rightly or wrongly, the press used to write about 22 as the number to beat.  Now that S. Williams has matched that, they moved the goal posts.  Now she has to match or beat Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam Singles victories.


** Court won 13 of her 24 Grand Slam events when they were amateur events.  We don't know how many Court would have won if professionals were allowed to play against her.  (Professional players were not allowed to enter the contests until 1968, the "open" era.)

There's a whole lotta class privilege surrounding who gets to be an amateur and who has to turn pro to support themselves or their families or even to raise enough money to enter and travel to the tournaments.

Court was a great athlete and competitor, but let's be real.  She won only 11 (not 24) Open Grand Slams against all comers.

Serena Williams beat her record 11 Grand Slams ago, doubling Court's record.  She's twice as good, not two behind.

Thou shalt not diss my queen, Serena.  She is the greatest of all time.  Full stop.


  1. Indeed...indeed. Mofos.

    1. Mofos is more polite than I would put it. ;-)


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