The vigilante justice

US Open. Center Court. 1989. Ivan Lendl was playing (forgot his opponent’s name). One bad line call resulted in Landl’s favor. He didn’t protest it by giving back the point. Then immediately after a point or two later, one of the linesmen called a controversy shot that favored his opponent, Lendl shouted in resignation, almost good naturally,
“Do you have to give it back so quickly?”
The whole stadium chuckled.

Back in Jan 2010, the big news in ice hockey was Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows accusing referee Stephane Auger of slapping him with spiteful penalties, because Burrows faked an injury in a Dec game that Auger dished out a penalty to the player who ‘injured’ Burrows, causing Ref A feeling stupid and tricked into giving a penalty. Reportedly, Auger said to Burrows that he’ll get him. And he did, the Canucks lost 3-2 at home: one goal was scored while the faker was in the penalty box.

The league fined Iverson $25,000 for his comments, but most of the league referees thought the punishment was too lenient and were upset he wasn’t suspended. As a result, we collectively decided to dispense a little justice of our own, sticking it to Iverson whenever we could.

“Unfortunately that’s part of the sport we’re in. It’s a team sport and those guys (officials) are part of the game.”

There is vigilante justice in every aspect of life/sport. People think they know instinctively what’s right and what’s wrong.

During one of last weekend’s playoffs, the deciding match against Manhattan, there was a bad call by our team. The Manhattan pair didn’t protest at all but moments later, when it was their game point, the ball traveled from our court into theirs, landed deeply on the inside of the ad court but the Blue Jersey called it out as he was chasing it down (but couldn’t get to it). We sat on the stand (on ad court side) and saw it clearly.
One of vets on my team muttered: “don’t call it carelessly .. call the line smartly.. .. now they got the game.”
So .. ..
Skills, luck plus timing, you win. Isn’t this the right formula for life? On a good hair day when stars align one could do no wrong.
Also, you’ve got to learn the system.

Woody Allen narrated a perfect metaphor in Match Point that there are moment in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second it can either go forward or fall back. With little luck, it goes forward and you win. Or maybe it doesn’t, and you lose.

One of Golfer’s four-some said he quit playing competitively was due to too much aggravation/cheating on court. But so far, I have only found mistakes but not intentional cheating. It’s very hard to judge a player on a close call, was it blink moment or plain devious. I know I don’t have excellent line calls and don’t mind to be corrected. Have I faced a call that I already made up my mind before the ball landed? Of course. Am I a cheater? Absolutely not.

Lendl went on to win that match but Boris Becker beat him in the final, from the baseline, claimed his only US Open crown.

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