The Electric Commentary

Friday, June 25, 2004

Three Umpires are sitting in a bar...

discussing the method by which they make their calls.
The first umpire says, "I calls em as I sees em."
The second umpire says, "I calls em as they is."
And the third umpire says "They ain't nothin till I calls em."

Serena Williams and Andy Roddick have accused Karolina Sprem of being unsporting for accepting a point awarded to her in error in her upset win against Venus Williams at Wimbledon.

Is it really unsporting to accept the umpire's call? Was it unsporting that Venus didn't say anything? Was it sportsmanlike for John McEnroe to acknowledge the "incorrect" calls made by umpires throughout his career? There are a lot of close calls in tennis or any sport. This wasn't one of them. However, Roddick and Serena are trying to draw a line. How close does an "incorrect" call have to be for the player who benefits from it to accept it and not be called "unsporting?" The calls are not for the players to make on center court at Wimbledon whether they help or hurt the player.

Blame should not go to Sprem for accepting the point, it should go to the official for making a bad call and for the event organizers and the sport's governing body for not having extra officials, better score-keeping methods etc.

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