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At what point does having the “commentator curse” (when a commentator predicts something to happen, and the total opposite occurs) occur far too often to a commentator? When do making the wrong predictions become predictable to when you listen to a commentator? At what point do you lose respect for someone’s knowledge in a sport-field for their foolish commentary?

All these questions should be asked of John McEnroe, to some extent to his brother Patrick McEnroe too, but as this article explains, J-Mac’s (John McEnroe) commentary is bold, but with reasons explained, it’s very, very foolish.

No one doubts McEnroe as being a fantastic player, a superb volleyer and one of the most underrated parts of his game is his “mental toughness” -> his ability to move Borg from the champion’s valley of success to retiring within less than 10 years of playing prove McEnroe is a tough player and he certainly has a “bold” streak to him, as humans we like to see this bold actions on a tennis court, but when it comes to the fine art of commentary, McEnroe is making himself seem foolish time after time again.

This is not the main point, McEnroe has been doing this for years, what’s interesting is that now, people have started to catch on. Even proud Americans, proud of his success and patriotic Americans too, mind you, have started losing respect for him, and they are entirely entitled to, for his commentary, analysis and predictions are mind-blowing (and not in a good way).

Here is a quote before the 2009 US Open-> “Depending on the draw, my pick at this point is Murray or Roddick. It’s the highest level I’ve ever seen Roddick, and it’s Murray’s favorite surface, hard courts. These guys should be incredibly hungry, Roddick to win another and Murray to win his first one. They are going to be able to dig down.”

Roddick crashed out very early to Isner and Cilic smashed Murray at round 4 to pieces at the 2009 US Open.

But there is more, at the same interview, McEnroe predicted Federer wouldn’t win the US Open, he was quoted as saying “I’m not picking him to win the Open” and “Only because he’s done so much already. Unexpectedly winning the French and then winning Wimbledon and breaking the record and doing so in the manner he did against Roddick.”

Federer reached the 2009 US Open final, playing a great tournament and a great final against Del Potro, a match Federer should have won, until the Argentinian’s nerves cooled and Federer’s serve went. McEnroe was right in principal, but predicting against a 6 time champion, who had just won two consecutive Grand Slams, is bold to say the least. With so many outrageous comments it’s natural for McEnroe to be correct now and then, for the most part he doesn’t give the image of someone who understands tennis that well.

In a recent article on why Nadal has a great chance of winning the 2010 US Open, McEnroe is quoted as saying this: “I think because he volleys better, I think better than Federer now. He improved his serve. He took steps to make himself better.””

Most of that is true; Nadal’s volleys have improved, yet he can only hit the drop volley with good effect, his serve has gained more power, but the comment about Nadal’s volleys being better than Federer’s volleys is wrong; you don’t need years of experience like J-Mac to know that Federer’s volleys are simply better, in every sense, than Nadal’s volleys. Comments like that, aren’t bold, they smack of delusion. John McEnroe is a very, very delusional man if he truly believes that.

Commentators are there to give you entertainment, make satirical comments if they have the humour for it, give you insights on what professional tennis is like and make you want to enjoy tennis -> McEnroe gives you none of these, instead he’s like a mosquito when watching tennis.

McEnroe’s comments about the S. Williams – Clijsters US Open 2009 SF match –> “I don’t think the person should have been calling the foot fault at that situation” clearly referring to the fact that Clijsters was 2 points away from victory in an absolutely thrilling match, McEnroe expanded with: “At the very least that person in my opinion should have said to Serena, if it was happening regularly … ‘hey, listen, the next one I’m going to have to call.’ That’s my opinion.”

This is more foolishness, if a foot fault occurs, at any level of competitive tennis, it must be called on, whether it’s at the start of the match or at the most tense moment, McEnroe is entitled to his opinion, but when he starts questioning the obvious rules of fair play and decorum of tennis, he is wrong, and there are increasing articles picking up on this absolutely dreadful commentary McEnroe is putting. What’s interesting is that he didn’t comment on Serena’s horrible comments to the line judge ( “I’d like to take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat” ) but he picked up on that.

Articles like this are refreshing, it’s helpful knowing that I’m not the only one who has picked up on McEnroe’s fantasy world, where Nadal’s volleys are better than Federer’s, where foot-faults shouldn’t be called on, even if they are committed. Simon Reed, a fellow tennis commentator, went down the same road, making bold, biased predictions about Murray, underestimating Federer and Nadal time after time again. It’s interesting to note that nobody takes Reed seriously any more, he is the “laughing stock” as most tennis readers view him as, McEnroe is driving to the same title.


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