Ya know what really bugs me lately (besides the fact that the market is crashing and the price of bananas is going up)? It’s the hideous, self-congratulatory, celebration behavior of some players – mostly adolescents, but some fully grown types, as well – who after winning a point, scream out loud and pump their fists. Now some may be stumped and bewildered by the utterances. What is it actually that they scream so shamelessly? It sounds like “choe lay” or “ah lay,” or something close to those. These expressions bare some resemblance to the word qiu (pronounced ‘choe’) in Mandarin, and qiu means ‘ball.’ Notwithstanding that – it’s irrelevant what it means – it really is a deliberate discourtesy.
C’mon! This kind of stuff is not just rude and insensitive, it’s way more than that. It’s obtuse, it’s shameless, obnoxious beyond characterization and it’s just plain bad sportsmanship. And add infantile and immature. Also narcissistic. You win a freaking point, you shouldn’t be screaming like a banshee and gesticulating like Hitler, for god sakes – I don’t care how old you are. (Blame the parents for indulging these coddled millenials and whatever they call the pampered generation after them.)
When I was a kid (before McDonald’s sold a dozen burgers – Big Macs didn’t exist), there used to be such a thing as gentlemanly behavior in the sports world. “Rocket” Rod Laver and his compatriots of the day (Fraser, Emerson, Newcombe, Hoad, Rosewall) did not engage in the sordid and perverse shenanigans of some of those who followed (McEnroe, Ilie Nastase). But the latter, these champion bums, have caught the fancy of the masses and are admired, and their odious ways are unfortunately copied by their would-be successors.
I guess in this current state of coarseness and lack of civility, all of this is par for the course. But I still don’t like it, and I believe this kind of gross offensiveness should be banned.
(Full disclosure: I was a ‘bum’ on the courts in my youth and acted out in the same sophomoric snottiness I so deplore these days. But I converted to sainthood some time ago (in September), and now I wear a halo with unadulterated pride. Caution: Do not look directly at my halo as you may suffer eye injury.) Lao Du