Thursday, July 05, 2007

Grumpy old men

Why do past icons often age so ungracefully? Jack Nicklaus for example takes the fact that Tiger Woods is on a faster winning pace than his to to be clear evidence that Tiger's rivals are somehow lesser than Jack's rivals. Also there is the constant sniffling about the "equipment".

Now Pete Sampras joins the club as summarized by Harvey Aarton in the NY times article: Sampras Jabs a Finger in Federer’s Eye. Sampras seems to be saying that everyone is a wussy boy playing into Federer's hands by not serving and volleying on the grass.

“If there is anything Roger doesn’t like to see, it is someone coming in and serving and volleying, someone putting pressure on him,” Sampras said. “I think my game matched up reasonably well against his.”

Now it is weird for an old-timer like me to see the grass all burned out on the baseline and lush and green up by the net at Wimbledon. Its kind of a photo negative of the old days. However perhaps Pete has forgotten that in his next-to-last Wimbledon (his last one was a second round loss to the immortal Georg Bastl), a pre-prime Federer beat him (and yes Pete was playing serve and volley tennis).

I am guessing Pete sees his most majors won position going down the tubes and isn't real happy about it.

Now I am about three orders of magnitude away from icon status at least, but Robin is under standing orders to smother me with a pillow if I start complaining about how new equipment has made publishing too easy for the youngsters. So far the worst I've done is tell my econometrics class how when I started out we had to use punch cards and could basically only run two (simple) programs a day.