Who Do You Hate?
."One of the truly appealing aspects of being an ardent tennis fan/follower/reporter/nut is that there is always a chance to find a player who you really can't stand. Your hate or distaste for this player can be so strong that it brings you great pleasure when this player falls flat on his/her face. The reason why tennis is a particularly compelling sport to pick a player to root maniacally against is because in tennis, a player can more easily make an absolute buffoon of himself. Think Dennis Rodman and then multiply by 10! I mean, over the years, there's been Nastase and McEnroe and Tarango and Agassi and Roddick. Then there's been Rusedski and Haas and Lendl and Hewitt and Donald Young. Do I have to go on before you get what I'm saying? So with Roddick gone, who I truly could not stand--what a pompous, big-headed ranter--I now at least have his successor, at least in pomposity and obnoxious attitude, the anointed, disagreeable knucklehead known as Ryan Harrison (Or, just plain Harry, as I like to call him. He's not unlike Prince Harry, the ne'er-do-well, non-prince to the throne). I'm not saying there was nothing to like about Roddick or now about Harry, I'm just saying there's a whole lot more to dislike and disapprove of. I know we're taught in life, especially sports, to be positive, if you don't have something good to say about someone, don't say it, but that's crap. So get over it, you goody two-shoes. If you can't hate Harrison, then you've got a personality problem.This is a list of what I can't stand about Harrison: He threw his racket at the Olympics. He walks around like he's got a stick up his butt. He even upset the usually-genial Ernests Gulbis the first time the two played each other in Delray Beach, when Harrison was like just out of high school. He's 20 and has already had about 4 coaches. All this and his hair is perfect.But of course, there's more. He was anointed as the Next Great American, but unlike most phenoms, he has disappointed greatly. How dare he look like he was ready to take on the mantel of greatness and now be ranked at #69! Beyond the good looks and stately American confident manner, there is a kid who thinks he's entitled to be in the Top Ten, but actually might strive just to crack and stay in the Top 50 during his career.Here's a fan's encounter with Harrison last year, as written in Tennis.com:nycfanthis summer i saw ryan harrison jump over a small fence, jog back about 50ft to confront a 60 yr old man who told him to 'smile for the kids'. harrison was signing autographs after a practice session at the US Open and could not have looked more miserable. Not only did he run back like a lunatic leaving his coaches behind, but he was 2 inches from his face and eventually was pulled away by security. clearly this kid is unstable, undeserving and lacks the composure to ever utilize the minimal talent he possesses. couldn't be less fond of an american player after that display in front of young tennis fans. disgrace.Now, there's always two sides to every story and maybe this 60-year-old shouldn't have told Ryan to smile for the kids, but Harry's actions are not going to start too many fan clubs opening on his behalf. Maybe Harry will turn it around this year. Maybe he'll hire Roddick's old coach, Larry Stefanki--not exactly another "feel good" guy, by the way--and find a brilliance that has eluded him so far. But I'm hoping he doesn't. I'm hoping he continues to fall, curse, smash his rackets and piss off more fans. Otherwise, who else is out there for me to hate? Jack Sock, Denis Kudla, Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey? No, thankfully, we have Harry, the least-vanilla of the bunch, and a downright wanker of a tennis player. Long live, Harry! If I've missed any other truly hate-able players, or one's you want to nominate for the "Player You Most Love to Hate," please don't feel shy in naming them in the comment section.And please, don't, please don't, be the next guy/gal to ask Harry to "smile for the kids."