Chad Filley, Guest Writer
What is a Grunt-O-Meter? It sounds like some sort of medieval torture contraption. It’s actually a new device instituted by Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to monitor the volume of grunts expelled by female tennis players during competition. This means that officials will not only have to worry about whether a ball lands in or out, but also if player’s like Maria Sharapova are surpassing the acceptable decibel threshold. Incidentally, Sharapova’s grunts have been measured at 101 decibels which is the equivalent of a passing locomotive. Some WTA officials have claimed this intimidates her opponents.
This whole issue brings up many questions. First, why is it only the women that are being monitored and not male tennis players? Don’t men grunt while playing? Is male grunting less atrocious? Maybe men aren’t intimidated by a primal scream.
Second, where is the acceptable grunting cut-off? Should there be an absolute ban of all grunting? Would this make all tennis stadiums grunt free zones? Oh wait, males can still grunt … never mind. Should noise-levels of 80 decibels be allowed (the average volume of an alarm clock), or 60 decibels …?
Third, why is the WTA only going to ban future tennis stars from the offensive grunts beginning in 2013. Current stars will be allowed to grunt more than Old McDonald’s pigs without any penalties. Is this fair? Aren’t all grunts created equal? I guess not in the world of the WTA.
Finally, I must enquire who will sit on the committee that will be making all of these decisions. Is this going to be a paid position? Maybe former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger could be on this committee. From what I’ve read, he’s definitely interested in both sports and women. Plus, I bet he’d be great at handling the committee’s housekeeping duties. Oh wait, let me Terminate the thought of Arnie and housekeeper in the same sentence.
Sports often have funny rules. I bet a majority of people don’t even realize that high school gymnastics actually penalize an offender with a quarter-point deduction who pulls a leotard wedgie from her posterior during competition. This rule is so strictly enforced that some entrepreneur actually developed a sticky substance called Butt Glue which a gymnast can spray or roll on to avoid unwanted wedgie threats. Thank heavens for this product so “Wedge-Con Level Four” threats can be aborted.
Following the old adage “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” leads me to ask if gymnastics can penalize a team for an unsightly tug, then why can’t baseball implement a rule where a team is given an out every time a boy adjusts his protective cup. People reading this article may be nodding in agreement, but they’re likely missing the one major consequence that would follow the athletic cup rule. If this “No adjustment toleration” rule were put into play, then there would be no play at all because both teams would likely end up forfeiting the game and some teams would probably lose its entire seasons.
Chad Filley is a stand up comedian from East Central Minnesota. You can see a listing of his upcoming shows on his website, www.chadfilley.com.