What makes on-court rivalries spill over past retirement?
Posted by tennisplanet on October 26, 2010
There are just a handful of sports rivalries that captured worldwide attention even amongst clowns who could barely spell ‘sports’. Which ones come to mind instantly? Ali-Frazier, Magic-Bird, Borg-McEnroe, Sampras-Agassi, Federer-Nadal, Magic-Jordan……..Did I miss any?
Amongst the above listed couples, it appears just ONE duet has taken it past the sports field to keep the rivalry alive, possibly providing a clue as to what triggers that pattern in contrast to the ones that fail to ignite after retirement.
And that will be the Magic-Jordan one, don’t you think? I feel Magic’s five championships motivated Jordan more than any other factor to get to six championships and then fade away. It may also be the main reason Jordan ran around with six fingers around the court after getting there. Wonder why he didn’t produce the act at No. 5.
Magic has his own statue in Los Angeles. Jordan made sure he had his in Chicago. Magic had a late night show that failed allowing Jordan to pass on it. Magic owned 5% of the team he played all his career – the Lakers. Jordan had no such option so he decided to trump Magic and buy the whole freaking team. Magic languished in the prestige of owing a team like Lakers to convince him of being ahead of Jordan but that finally wore down to where he is now looking to buy the Detroit Pistons AFTER relinquishing Laker ownership.
Magic has also established himself as a shrewd and successful businessman owning theaters, gyms, real estate etc. but Jordan owning a team pushed him to follow Jordan and wrest that ‘title’ back – without doubt.
For rock people, most sports pundits rate Jordan as No. 1 (a) and Magic as No. 1 (b) as the most talented to ever play the sport of basketball. When you are as ultra competitive as the two of them, being shrugged behind ANYONE is beyond painful – even by a hair – possibly revealing the secret of extending the fight beyond the field and into the parking lot.
Could it be the proximity of the two rivals on the totem pole vis-a-vis each other? I mean, once the incumbent has established ample credentials to leave no doubt as to who is boss, the need to extend it any further and possibly risk it being overturned or even debated, is ridiculous. All this while it also provides the punching bag little motivation if he is unable to engage the tormentor making the effort scream even louder of the ‘real’ reason for it.
Are you freaking getting this BS?
Bottom line: As things stand today, there appears a very strong possibility that Nadal-Federer rivalry WILL spill over unless Nadal can establish an indisputable lead to thwart Federer from even making an effort for fear of being looked upon as being oozing with inferiority complex.