Friday, January 27, 2012

Quiet Please

("Symphony of Shrieks and Powerful Strokes")

I can understand a piercing, blood curdling scream in the proper context, say snakes on a plane, or even the shower scene in "Psycho". I just find the noise emanating from those playing a game of tennis unsettling and wholly out of place.

The contrast between the quiet that is demanded from the crowd and the sounds that are permitted on the court are startling. As fans, even if sitting slightly below heaven, we return to our seats only during changeovers. A whistle, a voice above a whisper, a sneeze all are catalysts for public condemnation as potential distractions. Yet the competitor punctuating each shot, game and game and set after set, with the most ear piercing cry, is deemed reasonable and wholly appropriate. Could this not be construed as even a touch disconcerting and distracting to an opponent?

Can it be that this screech is nothing but an involuntary action that results from maximum effort? If so, how come this doesn't happen in every conceivable scenario in life where we apply our physical being to our limits? Like my trying to get out of bed some mornings.

Or is this what is needed to prod oneself to greatness? Why then isn't each Mariano Rivera fastball accompanied with a 95 mile per hour yelp?

If I want to hear the sound of endless shrieking I merely have to listen to the noise I generate as I subject myself to one of those mind numbing shows on television testing the limits of human idiocy . At a tennis match however, the "quiet please" sign should have equal application to fans and performers. My ears and my head will be most grateful

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