Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer fans are at it again. I put up a question in a couple of groups, asking who fans thought would move on to the finals of this year’s U.S Open. For the record, I touted Pablo Carreno-Busta and Rafael Nadal to defeat their opponents. It appears that the deciding factor on whether or not I’m agreed with is which fan base the commenting person belongs to.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have a fierce rivalry. However, their fans, have a far uglier, no holds barred rivalry that has been raging since 2005 – the better part of twelve years. At times, it has gotten very ugly indeed. Still, it is for the most part entertaining. To mark Federer’s unfortunate loss to Juan Martin Del Potro, I have attempted to make a list of interesting battles Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer fans engage in, just to make their player look better.
Please beware that this is a fun post. I will be taken jabs, but just for fun. If you take it seriously, I will make fun of you. The characteristics you see below can also extend to Novak Djokovic fans…. and Murray fans – how could I forget you?
Support the player who beat your player, as long as they aren’t his rival
That was a mouthful, but this is pretty straightforward. It is what’s happening right now. Just about every Federer fan has – gasp! – migrated to the Del Potro camp. Close the borders! Build a wall! Ahem, I digress. I swear I’ve seen Swiss flags slowly morph to Argentine flags so fast, Mystique – Xmen fans in the house? – would be proud. I guess it is only natural. Federer fans are getting all the fun poking posts and sometimes malicious posts from Nadal fans. If Nadal loses to Del Potro today, it’s payback baby! The stakes get way higher when it is a final. See Federer and Nadal are locked in a GOAT RACE and any player that denies the other a chance to add to their grand slam tally, is a hero in the opposing camp’s eyes.
Sometimes I wonder if we have tennis fans or player fans. Once a player loses, an unnatural wave of depression hits that player’s fanbase. It looks like the great depression. Really. Posts of comfort crop up every now and then, but really most fans just do the equivalent of walking to the corner of the classroom and placing your head on the wall. And.They.Stay.That.Way. Until their player bounces back. For the sake of Roger’s fans, I hope he bounces back soon. That corner can get very lonely. Just ask Nole’s fans 🙂
The Asterisk Demon
Oh, I detest this one. Is it written anywhere that if a player does not win a slam by beating his main rival in the tournament, there should be an asterisk put to his win? If it isn’t, then this argument style should really be canned and dropped into the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately, it comes up time and time again. “Oh Federer won the French Open without beating Nadal. Asterisk!” “Oh Nadal got to the quarterfinals without facing a seeded player. Asterisk!” Really? Like take a step back and look at your analysis. Does it ooze intelligence? What is the meaning of a draw? If Federer or Nadal get to the final of a slam and the other doesn’t make it, how is it their fault? Shouldn’t there be an asterisk on the other player for not holding up their end of the bargain? I mean how do you demean the player who won it all? That’s just low. But hey… fans will be fans.
Stats! Stats! and more Stats!!!!
This is more like the grand twisting of stats. In the rivalry, we like to throw up numbers as if they are somehow immutable. 19! 23! If you are a Federer or Nadal fan, you know what those mean. “Well… well…. how many times has Nadal had to adjust his hair like a girl after a point? Zero! Nadal is the GOAT.” “Oh but Federer doesn’t tug the back of his shorts hmmm? #GOAT!” And you wonder why the little boy asked Federer that question. See what you guys did? You confused a bright member of the future generation – NEXT GEN! Shame on you. On a more serious note, stats presented alone, seldom tell the whole story of a player’s greatness or lack thereof, depending on what you are trying to prove. Also, stats are subject to change… until one or both of these guys retire. Guys, remember when Federer captured his seventeenth grand slam and people were saying he could retire then cos the GOAT debate was over? If he had, and Nadal wins this US Open, it’ll be 17 – 16. I would have loved to see some Federer fans booking the next flight to Basel, placards in hand. PLEASE COME BACK. NADAL IS ABOUT TO BE – looks around for little kids – THE GOAT!
The Group Tantrum and Boycott
Now this one is very funny. I have seen a few of these recently and I swear they had the double effect of shocking me and cracking me to my bones. “Oh, this is a Federer group, pretending to be a tennis group. I’m leaving!”
Seriously? Seriously? Can you get any more immature? The reactions are even funnier. These guys go harder than Democrats vs Republicans. Ahem. Again I digress.
Attack the Player’s Personality and Private Life
I had an internal debate about putting this one up, but I decided it would be a perfect way to end this post. This one truly is ugly. This is sports. It is a game and there is absolutely no need to go so far as to twist player’s words, speculate on their integrity, attack their identity as a human being (race, nationality, or religion) and extend those attacks to their loved ones simply because you don’t like them or their brand of tennis. It is downright disgusting and takes away from the fairness of healthy competition.
Now let us wrap this up with a fun game. Which player fanbase do I belong to? Hmmm!