Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tarzan vs. the Robot

Years ago when Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the most epic Wimbledon ever, my description of the match went as follows: "Today an irresistible force met an immovable object, and the irresistible force won."

But last night (or should I say this morning from 1:30am to 6:30am, the longest grand slam final ever) the force lost. As much as we've enjoyed Novak Djokovic's humor and other-deprecation over the years, on the court he doesn't seem, well, human. It's really not realistic for a mortal to be able to hit so many shots so close to the line. And it's hard to cheer for what is obviously a tennis machine against real flesh and blood.

And Rafa is definitely flesh and blood (as my wife would be quick to point out) and plays with so much heart (as Shakira and my wife stated, he is a warrior).

But in every movie I've ever seen when the humans fight with all their underdog passion against the cyborgs from the future (or aliens or robots or whatever) the humans always find a way to win. But not last night.

There was even a Scooby-Doo episode about the Harlem Globetrotters having to play against basketball robots that never miss. After a dismal first half the Globetrotters finally figure out that the robots are not programmed to understand their non-conventional but entertaining shenanigans. Therefore the Globetrotters' trick plays and silly passes help them come back and defeat the robots!

But this is real life, and this game has got to mean something. Therefore you have a choice to make. You can either believe that the humanity will somehow prevail, and Rafa will find a way to win and avenge the irrational but beautiful primates that we all are,

or you can choose cold rationality (and in so doing give up on beauty). Your choice.

I, for one, choose to believe. Go Rafa! We'll see you in March (Cherie and I are going to Indian Wells, and this year NOTHING CAN STOP US!!!) Win Rafa, our species is counting on you.