Anna Who?, Swofford’s Nightmare & Will Rogers

January17/ 2000

 Sexy Russian Tennis Princesses … Miami and VaTech pay their ACC dowry … BobLee admits he cannot save the world.  One final K-Laker story – UNC fan berating the hated-K for “calling a press conference to simply say “I’m staying” … Wuffie comments “at least he didn’t have a pep rally in the football stadium with his face on the Jumbo”. Holy Jayhawk Batman! We done forgot about that one! Yee Haa, on to new silliness.

Women are Not all alike … YIKES! … and you folks thought I was slow on the uptake!  Both the LPGA and Women’s Tennis are in a transition where “foreign players” are not so gradually dominating both sports both at the top and throughout the ranks.  But there is a decided Oriental & Occidental marketing difference that’s speaks to the basic nature of the American sports public.

   The LPGA is being “invaded” by Korean players and the result is primary audience apathy.  Their Oriental appearance (because they ARE Oriental, Duh!) gives them the “all look alike” element that has never quite caught on across the fruited plain.  Consistent with their culture … they are all named Kim except those named Lee … think “Smith” and “Jones”.  They speak little or no conversational English and have the stoic nature of their culture.  30%+ of the LPGA field is now Korean.  That sells well in Seoul but falls flat in Fargo. Folks involved with women’s golf are not shy about expressing their concern but agree there is no simple solution.  Find another Laura Baugh – QUICK! … which is what tennis just did …

    The Russians Are Coming … The Russians Are Coming! … actually The Russians Are Here!  Maria Sharapova defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon and before her last curtsey to the Royal Box the headlines were already saying “Anna Who?”  The 17 y/o blond with the long legs and girlish giggle defeated Ghetto Booty and international marketers are salivating.  While Maria hardly exudes the raw sexuality of Miss Kornakova she is close enough PLUS she won Wimbledon.  For those who don’t follow Women’s Tennis, there are about a dozen Maria clones rising in the sport.

   The Williams sisters were/are a fascinating novelty act.  Not only sisters, but, the only African Americans of note in Tennis … men or women.  That combined with their physical size and court dominance has been the focus of professional tennis for the past 5 years.  Their rise from the concrete courts of Compton CA to Centre Court at Wimbledon paralleled Tiger’s dominance in golf and opened doors of possibilities for non-caucasian … that’s certainly “a good thing” … BUT a long legged blond who looks like “Anna” but wins like Chrissie will sell more soap than Serena in a spandex cat suit.  

   In addition to her “fashion model pretty” appearance, Maria is “Americanized” having lived in Florida for 10 years as an inmate at Nick Bolleterri’s Tot Tennis Asylum in Bradenton FL.  Her name is pronounceable and her English understandable with just enough of a “Bond girl” accent to titillate Joe Fan flopped on his couch with his remote. 

   Knowing the dirty old men and playground pervert contingent that comprise 87% of America’s sporting spectatorate; who will score above the fold pictures and headlines? … Maria w/ her legs and giggle … or a moon faced girl named Kim Ra Lee or Lee Ra Kim or whatever. If LPGA Commish Ty Votaw needed more obstacles, his rising star is Michelle Wie, who is Hawaiian born and raised but of Korean descent with Oriental features albeit in a winsome 6’ form.  Only 15, Michelle has not developed a comfortable media presence yet … maybe Maria can teach Michelle her girlish giggle.

   Stressing the differences even more … the same weekend that “Maria” wins Wimbledon Meg Mallon wins the Women’s US Open.  Meg Mallon, God love her, is the LPGA’s answer to Craig Stadler “The Walrus”.  Both Craig and Meg are gregarious and popular with their fellow pros; but both are also wide-beamed and buy their clothes off the Big And Wide rack in the pro shop. 


Swagger’s Stumper

Who were the two actors synonymous as movies 

Tarzan & Hercules in the  60s?


Johnny Swofford’s Nightmare    Remember that Kumbaya scene with Johnny Swofford welcoming Miami amd VaTech into the ACC and all the blah blah blah about “student athletes” and academic excellence …

   Less than 60 days from kickoff and GUESS WHAT?  Both Miami and VaTech are “in the news”.  Willie Williams and Marcus Vick are wearing jailbird jumpsuits for “real hardcore criminal stuff”.  Remember the “good old days” when State and Carolina athletes would steal twinkies, rip off a pizza boy for $6, or put their fist through a police dept sheetrock wall … and we all gasped in horror!  Kid stuff … Welcome to Big Time College Football!  It’s not even September in Year One of “The New ACC” and we have already established new standards for “student-athlete” misbehavior. Yes Siree BobLee ain’t never gonna run out of topics … never, never, never …

   Humanity Is Flawed – We Are All Doomed! …   I’ve been known to rant a bit here about the abject silliness and out right lunacy of our fellow folks and fans.  My admonitions to “chill” and “love their neighbor” fall like seeds on Astroturf, with about as much chance of being heeded as those seeds do of taking root.  I am well aware that nothing of note will change.

   Some of my more down right inspirational columns have drawn comparisons to Will Rogers and even Mark Twain … the Grisham and Clancy of Curmudgeonry.  Will and Mark (OK, Samuel) tried to slap some sanity into your parents and Great grandparents and you still insist on going bonkers over Coach K and Prince Dickie and such.  With all the real issues facing our planet and our childrens’ children … we’d rather slap a “Really Important” sticker on the NBA draft and whether Baddour and John Bunting should hang separately or together …? 

   I have no illusions whatsoever that my cyber finger wagging will change the world or even my cul-de-sac one iota.  Heck, if it does I’ll have to change my act.

   Societies have gotten sidetracked into inconsequential minutiae and rampant hedonism since Cain cold cocked Abel.  Rome had its “bread and circus” and Europe had its plagues, rats, and Inquisition not to mention that nutty Munich paperhanger and Ol’ Karl Marx with his communal blueprint for society in general. Your right to make a fool of yourself on the Internet is not part of Karl or Mao’s version of World Order.  I do think Caligula would like those Britany Spears Nude websites though.

   If I really were driven to “change the world” I would go look for a Northwest Passage or figure out how to put toothpaste back in the tube. Or take the geniuses who designed MapQuest and put them to work on a cure for Alzheimers … wouldn’t that be cool?

   As noted a week or so ago … It’s pretty simple … I’m here to either entertain you or piss you off … it’s a damn fine line believe me.  All of you hardcore BobLee Buddies love it when you know I’m poking the puckered butts in their beady eye with my little gig’em stick … I like that too. As expected, my Gimghoul Conundrum column sent a few thin-skinned p-butts harrumphing into the sunset with their panties in a wad.  To hell with’em.  It was time to cull the herd.  Other than flagrant misuse of semi-colons, I do very little here without an alterior motive. 

   I’m not sure yet what I’m gonna do when I finally do get enough of you galoots totally brainwashed to “my way of thinking” … maybe just have a big ol’ Brunswick stew party where everyone wears tacky High-waiian shirts, locks arms, and sings Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott … yep, I think that’s my new goal for all this.

   Red Adair fights oil well fires … Homer Rice was UNC’s AD in the mid 70s and later AD at GaTech … Althea Gibson was a black lady tennis player of considerable acclaim in the 50s-60s.  They all have nothing in common except being here.

BobLee Coming To Greensboro

Next Wed – July 14 – 12:30

Downtown Rotary – YMCA

Visitors, Groupies & Lost Souls Welcomed

   Kid headed off to Kamp Kanukuk in Durango Colorado today.  Ten days for me and Mizzus to hang from chandeliers and chase the cat thru the house in our underwear. Unlike her Ol’ Dad, Kid still thinks she CAN change the world … and maybe she can!  (Note: just kidding, we don’t even have a chandelier)

Another ACC “Legend” passes away … Marvin “Skeeter” Francis died this week.  Wake Forest SID and longtime ACC SID and “Mr. ACC Tournament” … also known for madras sport coats and a feud with The Legend over TV timeouts.  “Skeeter” was a big promoter of the ACC – and all its members.

We saw Spiderman 2 … darn fine flick … see it!

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