- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Inevitably, some people aboard the QE2 wondered whether their butterfly-stroking, diploma-conferring fellow passenger might be, well, a man overboard. Undaunted, Misheff explained that Swimming Across the Atlantic was merely intended to "poke fun at preconception and challenge the absurd." And, oh yes, would anybody like to help him finance his voyage by buying a section of his drawing Wave on Wave? Misheff created that work in five days of nonstop toil in Milan. It consisted of wavy lines drawn on a 30-meter-long strip of paper with 400 blue ball-point pens. Ten meters were sold at a price of roughly $650 a meter.
PAHK YAH CAH NEAH FENWAY PAHK
This year's U.S. Open was sullied by the sort of player misbehavior that has become all too common in tennis. During his quarterfinal victory over Gene Mayer, John McEnroe asked that the line judge be changed after he had called four foot faults on McEnroe. Although the rules make no provision for honoring such a request, McEnroe got a new judge. During a win over Victor Amaya, Johan Kriek protested a call by shaking an umpire's stand. Then there was the Ilie Nastase-Jimmy Connors match. When Mike Blanchard, the tournament referee, called for a suspension of action because of a light rainfall, Nasty and Jimbo blithely kept on playing. When the characteristically abusive Nastase began cursing and carrying on, Don Wiley, the chair umpire, after issuing a warning, hit him with a point penalty that cost him a game. Nastase then warned Wiley that if Wiley kept looking at him, "I kill you." During a break Nasty threw a towel at Wiley, who pretended not to notice the affront.
Why do tennis officials put up with such antics, which would get a baseball or basketball player thrown out of a game? The answer is that players can be immediately replaced in those sports and are thus expendable, which isn't the case in tennis. All right then, how does somebody like Wiley feel about being subjected to public abuse? SI's Joy Duckett posed that question to Wiley, who professed to be unfazed. He suggested that cursing at officials has always gone on in sports, the only difference being that in tennis a microphone is now at courtside to pick it up. As for how it felt to be hit by a towel and threatened in front of a large audience, Wiley shrugged and said, "I can't give you feelings. I can only give you facts. It goes with officiating in professional sports."
That's an interesting commentary on professional sports. So is something else Wiley said. Referring to the Connors-Nastase match, he wryly concluded, "It was a very good, entertaining match...as far as the crowd was concerned."