Monday, July 09, 2012

Rooting for Age

I joined DB and J this weekend to watch the Wimbledon final matches. Unlike them I don't follow tennis (or any other sport for that matter) and have no strong allegiances to teams or individuals. So when I came in midway through the women's finals, I saw it as a contest between the experience of age and the exuberance of youth. I wanted Serena Williams to win because I am able to identify more with the mellowness of age than I am with youthful exuberance - I remembered a time many years ago when I rooted for Steffi Graf against her much more seasoned opponents - the triumph of youth over age was a vicarious victory at the time, and one I was not always able to achieve in my own life. For two days in a row experience trounced all that is unstoppable and indomitable about youth. I felt sorry for both young people - defeat is never easy and youth certainly does not cushion the landing. I am not a sports fan and understand nothing of the psychology - but I wondered if people root for who they do in sports for some form of subliminal validation. That certainly explains me rooting for Williams and Federer while tearing up at Andy Murray's emotional speech.

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