I’ve spent the last two weeks commentating the Australian Open from my director’s chair in my loungeroom.
When Jim Courier’s inane questions that he seems to have lifted from planet of inane questions, become too bizarre, out comes the mute button and I can conduct the interview myself. I can also comment on outfits, which is an area Jim Courier makes a few embarrassing line calls. I mean Venus – those brown undies and decolletage brown cutouts – looks like a Barbie bondage outfit. And Raffa Nadal – in matching orange shoes and shirt, what can I say? Pirate pants were more dignified.
Why would anyone pay to go and watch the tennis? Well, ok, if you happened to live in Melbourne and it was a slow day, well why not. But as for the rest of us, why shell out for overpriced airfares, accommodation and seats to seat in 40 degree heat and watch a couple of people sweat profusely and then destroy their racket?
I know, I know I’ve heard about atmosphere and excitement before. But what if you got a dud match? What if someone retired hurt, wouldn’t you be ripped off? What if you got a couple of unknowns slog it out, and not the glam lineup you were hoping for – a Williams or two, Federer, Nadal, Aussie Kim or Ley Ley or if you’re male, any Russian with a Rapunzel style plait and netball skirt?
And then there’s the other stuff they strangely don’t show on tv – queues for the loos that last the entire second set; soggy takeaway food that tastes about as exciting as eating a pencil and costs the same as your taxi from Tullamarine and the feeling of creeping sunburn as the sun hits your stand at the hottest time of the day.
All I can say is, it’s kind of a high price to pay for a spot of atmosphere. I’ll stick to the loungeroom. The bathrooms are close by and I don’t have to queue, there’s a steady supply of Weiss bars and if I strike a dud match, there’s always Seinfield reruns on Go. That’s my kind of atmosphere.