WhatdouthinkofchangeforRotisseriePouilletoMynameisLuca



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@bgtennisnation

Tobeclear,when“RotisseriePouille”receivednegativereactions,Gilbert’sresponsewastosuggestanalternative:“MyNameisLuca,”thetitleofasongaboutchild?

abuse。

TheproblemwithGilbert’snicknames,though,isn’tthattheyaren’taccurateorthatnooneelseusesthem,butthattheyaren’tfunny。

They’reone-sidedattemptsatinsidejokes,designedtodrawattentiontothesingularhumorofBrad?

Gilbert。

Tobefair,Gilbertdoesdeservesomecredit,justfordifferentthings。

HecoachedgrandslamwinnersAndreAgassi,AndyRoddick,andAndyMurray。

HebrieflycoachedSamQuerrey,butwhetherSamdidn’triseintheranksquicklyenoughorthesibilantconsonantsofhisfirstnameprovedtoodifficult,theirrelationshipfizzled。

Theplayer-turned-broadcasterisfamiliarfrommanysports,asistheplayerturnedcoach。

ButtennisistheonlysportIknowofwhereindividualscanholdbothpositionsatonce。

Despitetheglaringconflictsofinterest,mostnavigatetheirdualrolesuccessfully。

DarrenCahill(SimonaHalep’scoach)andPatrickMouratoglou(SerenaWilliams’coach)areagileintheirtransitions,neverservingasannouncersfortheirownplayers’matchesandwhenaskedtocomment,appearingbelievableintheirneutrality。

AftertakingonHalep,Cahillwentsofarastostopcallingwomen’smatchesaltogether。

Earlierthisyear,JohnMcEnroedrewcriticismforappearingintheboothduringamatchbetweenMilosRaonic(whomhewasconsulting)andFederer,butevenMcEnroe,themostfamousrudepersoninsports,actedwithdecorumwhenthepairsplit。

Servingasbothcommentatorandcoach“endedupbecominganissue,”hesaid,adding,“I’dlovetoseealltheguysplaytheirbestbecauseIthinkit’sbetterfor?

tennis。



WhenRoddickandMurrayeachdroppedGilbertratherabruptly,hedemonstratednoneofthisgrace。

OnESPN,shortlyafterhisbreakwithRoddick,hecomparedhisformerplayer’smatchagainstFederertoafootballgamebetweenOklahomaandUSC。

TheimplicationbeingthatFederer(USC)humiliatedRoddick(Oklahoma)。

Roddickresponded,“There’snoquestionit’sadiss,butI’mnotgoingtoplaythatgame。

”AsrehearsedwithRoddick,sorepeatedwithMurray。

WhenaskedabouthisbreakupwiththeBrit,Gilbertsoundslikeajiltedloverpraisingwhathisexhaslearnedsincethesplit:“Westillspeak。

HeisnowdoingalotofthingsIwasaskinghimtodo。

”Firsttimefarce。

Secondtime,also?

farce。

Gilbertisbestknownasthecoachfortheseplayers,becausehetalksabouthavingcoachedthemallthetime。

Asacommentator,GilbertdrawsfrequentcomparisonstoAgassi’sreturnofserviceandRoddick’sserve。

HespeaksknowinglyoftheinsandoutsofMurray’sgame,aplayerhecoachedforonlyoneyear,nearlyadecadeago。

Grandslamsbringtogetherthetop256playersintennis(giveortakesomewildcards),agroupsodiverseintalentthatcommentatorsshouldhaveplentytotalkaboutfortwoweeksofmatches。

ButtohearGilbert’soutsizedemphasisonplayershe’scoachedorconsulted,you’dthinkthefieldcomprisedonlyhishandfulof?

players。

Intheend,Gilbert’santicsrecallabittoostronglyanotherplaceoffashion,nicknames,andresentment:thecountryclub。

Toitscredit,tennishasthoughtfullydistanceditselffromthemonogrammedplaygroundofitspast,butGilbert’sshowyhats,epithets,andall-occasionfistbumpsthreatentoturntennisbackintotheclubbyworldofinsidersthattennishasworkedhardto?

escape。

Alesscrankypersonmightask,isthesituationtrulythatdire?

It’sonlycolorcommentaryGilbert’sprovidinganyway,andheisentertaining。

(OnetwitteraccountparodieshisgrammaticalerrorsanddeeploveofBudIce。

)Callmeanicknamelessgrump,butBadGilbertbespeaksalargerissuefortenniscommentary。

Afterall,thecountryclubisalsodeeplyexclusionaryto?

women。

Tennis’sattentiontogenderandwageequalityhasalwaysbeenmoreprogressivethanmostsports。

In1973,BillieJeanKingfoundedtheWomen’sTennisAssociationandweekslater,defeatedBobbyRiggsina“BattleoftheSexes”match。

Laterthatyear,theUSOpenbecamethefirstgrandslamtoofferequalprizemoney。

Ittookthirty-fourmoreyears,butnowallfourslamsprovideequalpaytofemaleandmaleplayers,andwhenSerenaWilliamsisinvolved,women’sfinalstendtoselloutbeforemen’s。

Butwomenstillgetlesstimeonthecourtandinthebooth。

Womenplaybestofthreesetmatches,whichmeanslesstimeontelevisionfortheplayersandforthecommentators,whoarealso(mostly)?

women。

Intheearlyroundsofagrandslam,apairoffemalecommentatorstypicallycallsthewomen’smatches,butasthefinalsnear?

—?

andthenumberofviewersincrease?

—?

theannouncingteamsturncoed。

InthemostrecentUSOpen,bothfemalesemi-finalswerecalledbyonemanandonewoman。

Thejobofannouncingthemen’ssemi-finals?

Twomen。

Forthefinals,thedepressingtrendcontinued。

Onemanandonewomancalledthewomen’sfinalwhilethemen’sfinalwascalledbyfourmen?

—?

threeinthebooth,andGilbertinthe?

stands。

InSandyHarwitt’sbook,TheGreatestJewishTennisPlayersofAll-Time,thechapteronBradGilbertistitled“TheChatterboxwithSomethingImportanttoSay。

”AndhisNewYorkTimesMagazineprofile?

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“BradGilbertTalksaGreatGame”?

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leadswiththeline,“BradGilbertwon’tshutup。

”BradGilbertcertainlyhasthingstosay,butsodotheothercommentators。

DuringtherecentUSOpen,femalecommentatorChrisEverthadtointerruptGilbertaswellasJohnandPatrickMcEnroe’sdiscussionofmen’smatchestotalkaboutthewomenwhowerecurrentlyplayingonthecourtatthatmoment。

“IfthebrothersMcEnroearefinished”shecutin,herlaughterforcedandrecognizablefromanyclubhouse。

Itwouldbeonethingiftherewereadearthoftalented,qualifiedfemalecommentators。

ButChrisEverthaswoneighteengrandslamsinglestitles。

That’selevenmorethanJohnMcEnroeandeighteenmorethanPatrickMcEnroeorBradGilbert。

PamShriver,anotherESPNcommentator,holdstwenty-onegrandslamdoublestitles。

TheMcEnroebrotherscombinedhaveten。

MaryJoeFernandezhastwoOlympicGold?

medals。

Titlesalonedon’tcreateagoodcommentator,butconsistencyandexposuredo。

ChrisEvert,PamShriver,andMaryJoeFernandezarealreadystrongannouncers,buttheyonlymakeuponethirdofESPN’sanalystteam。

Anditwouldbeniceifaninnocuoussearchfor“femalesportscommentators”didn’tserveuplinksaboutthehottestwomeninsportsjournalism。

TheseareinstitutionalfailuresandnotthefaultofGilbertalone,butdefendinghisbehaviorasharmlesscolorcommentaryrendersthesilencingoffemalecommentatorsnecessaryforthesakeofentertainment。

Insistingthathequietdown,weallbecomekilljoys,whichisnotquiteanickname,butoneI’dhappilytake?

anyway。

KelleyDeaneMcKinneyworksatCabinetMagazineandiscurrentlytakingtennis?