That's All She Wrote

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Isner and Mahut a hit But Storm is not

George Ofman

I know my stuff. 36 years in broadcasting. Sox Cubs Bears Bulls Hawks. You ask, I'll answer

It finally ended, and I couldn't have been more relieved. The longest tennis match in history had become a tortuous exercise in being annoyed. And this is coming from a tennis lover who watches way too much of "The Tennis Channel!  John Isner and Nicolas Mahut created wonderful theater, albeit several acts too long. Aces were the rule, not the exception. Long rallies were short. Guts and adrenalin were not. Holding serve seemed a right. Breaking it might get one of the combatants a jail sentence. The only intrigue was when it would end, not how. But while the riveting 5th set marathon was creating its own drama, it also was creating a babble fest in the broadcast booth. This is when being tortured and annoyed became unwitting partners.

If only I could serve an ace to Hannah Storms chops. She literally ruined day 2. Why she was foisted upon us I'm not quite sure. Patrick McEnroe, Brad Gilbert and Pam Shriver were more than enough. Two is company; three is a crowd and adding Hannah was an abomination to my ears.  Spewing out superfluous superlatives and excessive stats as if ordered to by network officials, Storm overwhelmed me to the point where I was seriously considering the mute button. The entire crew had enveloped the world of the overwrought with the exception of Shriver whom I wished I heard more from.

I understand the gravity of moment or in this case, the hours. But the marathon of a lifetime was being reduced to a wrenching word fest.
I'm ready to extract the words incredible and phenomenal from my vocabulary. And the next time Gilbert uses the term "Off the charts"; someone should take him off the broadcast.

At least there was more decorum Thursday morning when Storm was less of an irritant. And when Isner finally won the match, the only sounds you heard were from the court and from Wimbledon officials. At least they got this right.

You can catch me on twitter @georgeofman and on Facebook. You can also hear me on WGN radio.



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