Friday, February 01, 2008

Federer blogging

I hope you'll agree that I've been very restrained recently, but enough is enough; Woods vs Federer! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Here's maybe the best post I've read on the topic. Sailer (who remains evil) doesn't say so in as many words but Woods seems to have the edge. It's a fun topic and much crappy ink has been spilled on it. The better articles generally settle on Woods and who am I to argue? I do have some points to make though.

  • The fact the there are four majors a year in both sports is not a deep point, neither is the observation that tennis players win them fasters but golfers win them longer. These tendencies do not cancel out.
  • Metrics comparing how far each player is from the regular no. 1 are suggestive but ultimately not very helpful. Woods is way ahead of the curve, but Federer has been much closer to the limit of what is actually possible.
  • Woods only really has one year that is clearly the match of Federer's best years (though he has more great years in the bank and more in the future).
  • Golf is weird and I don't understand the economics of it or nuthin'.
  • If we wanna talk greatest sportsman, like, ever, then Woods somehow makes sense, but Federer doesn't as much. I don't know why exactly.
  • Lots of silly things can be said with some plausibility of the issue. For example, Woods' rivals were mentally crushed by his superiority, but Federer's rivals just suck.
  • I have some, indefinable feeling that the standard set for Federer in these comparisons is impossibly high.

Added: I'm very surprised that Sailer chooses Don Bradman as his GOAL (greatest of all legends). I'm not gonna argue.

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