Sunday, 30 January 2011

Anyone for tennis?

In all honesty, Fantasy Bob would rather watch the grass grow at Carlton's Grange Loan HQ than watch a tennis match end to end.  He can take one point, even a game, occasionally a set.  He fully admires the althleticism and stamina of the game, has himself dabbled in it, but to FB's heightened sensitivity it gets a bit one dimensional after 10 minutes and 5 sets can easily seem at least 5 sets too many.  Not even Wagner dared a fifth opera in the Ring Cycle.

Not his day - again
But FB recognises he was in a minority of one in fair Caledonia as Andy Murray did battle in Melbourne in the final of the Australian Open.  It all looked good for the Dunblane Destroyer to become the first British Grand Slam winner since Fred Perry in 1937 - and the first Scottish winner ever.  But then the game started and, well, you know the rest.  Instead, Murray became the first man in the open era to have reached three Grand Slam finals without winning a set.  A nation mourns.

Inspiring soccer casuals everywhere
Mention of Fred Perry reminds FB that sports good branding started there.   Those Fred Perry aertex shirts with the green laurel leaf preceded all the Adidas, Nikes, Filas etc and were very desirable when FB was a lad.  But then the marque got taken over by the casual soccer louts.   You might think that would be cause for shame but the front of the Fred Perry website now carries the following narrative of decline:

1979 - the Perry Boys were a unique underground fashion subculture emanating from inner-city Manchester and Salford to become trendsetters on the terraces and night clubs of the city.  Rebelling against everything around them, wedge hair cuts, Fred Perry's and northern confidence became the new order of the day.  Spawning the casual and rave scenes that followed.
Well!  FB is unable to advise  his readers on whether this is post modern ironic sarcasm type stuff or a serious statement.   He suspects the latter.  Whatever it is, the clothes on offer on the website seem to have been designed firmly with those with low and spotty foreheads in mind.

It is clear to FB that there is cause and effect here - had tennis not existed, Fred Perry would not be a brand name and this naff clothing would not be making wee hard men feel harder and, therefore, none of these unfortunate social trends would have followed.  It is time tennis acknowledged this responsibility.   We must be vigilant.  Civilisation will truly have ended should Fred Perry show any interest in designing cricket wear.

But - bad luck Andy - fourth time lucky.

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