Archive for December 18, 2010

Pete Sampras and fairness


Pete Sampras aced his first grand slam title in New York when he was only 19 years old. His beautiful single hand back hand and agility at the net showcased his dazzling game. He is still the youngest US Open Champion and would slam dunked into thirteen more grand slam titles, and retired after winning his last tournament in New York in 2002; closed out a storied career in a perfect circle. European

It was the autumn 1991 (Oct 15-27). We were vacationing in Frankfurt. One afternoon I turned on TV and surprised to see Sampras was playing, against an unknown player. What was more delightful was the English commentating. I soon realized it was not up to ESPN or USA quality: the court coverage was poor; the lighting was poor and even the commentating was poor. The King of Swing was obvious having the control of the match but the lone male commentator with the British accented (or Australian) would only hail when the unknown won a point, which was rare, and silent whenever the King of Swing made a spectacular point, which was often.

I found that utterly unfair and exhibited poor sportsmanship. An American network would not have tolerated that kind of behavior. All the years I glued to the TV for countless tennis matches, the cheerful Yankee commentators are always courteous and fair, they dish out praises where and when it is due. No matter who the player is. This is style [大国风范], kindness [厚道] and decency. The intelligent commentating from the knowledgeable sportscasters showed they did their home work. I have come to enjoy and expect that high caliber. (This explained why was I taken aback at Mary Carillo’s brief obsession with Maria Sharapova’s mom being absent for two years. Carillo should have rose about that.)

I find Americans are just more charitable.  generosity and decency are something worth brag about.

A few summers back, I planned a party, and the day turned out to be a stormy night and our areas’ electricity was gone – rarely happened in the past. So I began calling the invitees by joking ..
”Oppps, I’m so sorry since I forgot to pay bills, so our electricity got cut off ..”.
One of the invitees lectured me
“No, by law … they can’t do that .. the water/gas/electricity can’t be turned off due to lack of payment …” They are landlords, so I trust what she said.

The moral of the story here is it illustrated the drastic difference of older Europa and the younger USA, despite the unsymmetrical years in history. It seems to me US is just hou dao 厚道 – kinder and more honest than Europe, in many ways.


The Paris experience ..

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