That got your attention, didn’t it? I’m not above using the occasional cheap ploy to grab eyeballs. These are competitive times we live in.
Also, I’ve had sex on the brain a lot this last week — more than usual, I mean. Something about this time of year, when the weather turns crisp, gets me all keyed up. I think that’s how I ended up planted in front of the TV on Saturday afternoon, watching Anna Kournikova play tennis.
She wasn’t alone, of course. There was also an opponent: similarly blond, statuesque, and ponytailed Jelena Dokic. Both players wore short skirts, glistened with sweat, and grunted animalistically every time they struck the ball. I enjoyed watching this so much that I am now going to punish myself by making several embarrassing admissions:
• My interest in tennis as a sport is approximately zero. It’s never been clear to me what’s supposed to be so thrilling about watching two people bat a little green ball back and forth, over and over and over again. There can be exciting moments toward the end of a close contest, but I don’t think I’ve ever watched an entire tennis match in my life.
• And that includes this one. I watched most of the second set, during which Kournikova had several chances to close out the match, all of which she squandered. I was interested for a while, then very interested, then suddenly lost interest right around when Kournikova choked in the second-set tiebreaker. I read the next day that Dokic had come back to win the third set and the match.
• I was surprised to find myself reflexively rooting for Kournikova. At one point, I yelled out something to the effect of “Come on, Anna!” and did a double take, looking around the room to see who had said that. I wish I could say there was some reason for this — some reason other than the fact that she’s so damn gorgeous — but I’d be lying.
Before this match, I had never really seen what the big deal was about Anna. I thought she was just another of the good-looking, not especially talented women who can often be found on the pages of magazines like Maxim. But on the court, it was a while different deal: Kournikova wasn’t just beautiful, she radiated a golden glow that made it seem as if the sun shined only for and on her. You don’t see that every day.
So where am I going with this? I’m not sure. I’m not thinking very clearly, which will tend to happen when sex comes into the equation.
What I do know is this: Kournikova has so beguiled the male population of planet Earth that, even though she’s not a very good player, she’s become the biggest draw in women’s tennis. She eclipses even the Williams sisters, who are not only sexy in a powerful, Amazonian, too-much-woman-for-you, buddy kind of way, but also the most dominant players in the game.
This has annoyed a lot of people, especially a lot of women, and I have to admit they have a point. It’s unfair, sexist, and wrong. But men don’t have a monopoly on mixing sports and sex. One of my female co-workers this week, upon picking up the sports section, had this insightful comment on A’s third baseman Eric Chavez: “Look at that ass!” And while I know several women who are knowledgeable, die-hard football fans, I also know several who watch football games because they like the pants they players wear.
Which leads me to ask, do they wear those tight pants because they’re comfortable? It seems unlikely. You gotta give the people what they want. Note to self: In future columns, fewer words, more pictures of Anna Kournikova.