FanDuel - WFBC

March 19, 2007

Better late than never: : the 2007 French Open becomes the last Grand Slam tournament to extend equal prize money to women.

posted by lil_brown_bat to tennis at 03:18 PM - 37 comments

Well now the woman need to play 5 sets like the men or else it's not equal. Actually, now that I think of it - they should play 7 setters for about 6 years in order to make up for the years of only playing 3 setters. Yeah. Then it will be equal. So anyway, sometimes I pick my nose so deep I forget things.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:28 PM on March 19

Well, you could count it that way. Or you could count it in terms of how many pages of press the women's bracket generates vs. the men, and who the advertisers who buy billboard & ad space are pitching to, and who the paying fans are coming to see. Which, I'd guess is at least pretty close to even, if not skewed towards the fairer gender. Because since we're talking in terms of dollars paid out, the fair benchmark would be how much revenue is generated for the tournament, right? Right?

posted by chicobangs at 03:49 PM on March 19

Weedy's gratuitously stirring shit, chico. Ignore.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:17 PM on March 19

I'm not so sure I buy this assumption that women's tennis generates so much more revenue than the men. Are there facts out there to support that? Granted that Sharapova has more endorsements than others but I don't think it's because of her tennis accomplishments. Based on pure athleticism, I don't think the jiggling body parts of Serena or Kuznetsova's gut or Lindsay Davenport's lumbering grace quite match up to Nadal, Blake, Federer, etc.. But I forget that we are supposed to be basing this on marketability, not talent.

posted by 1959Giants at 04:41 PM on March 19

Na LBB.... Weedy has a point, not saying I agree with it, but he has a point. Forget popularity, consider it even, since equality is what this is about. You try generating the same TV ad revenue for a 5 set match vs. a 7 set match. Just consider the strawberry and cream sales... not even close. And yes I know that's Wimbledon... last I heard it's the same sport. Just wondering... Can you get hammered at Wimbledon?

posted by 2 time mvp of the shittiest team ever at 05:23 PM on March 19

Should I just cut and paste the Wimbledon thread from last month? Save us all the trouble...

posted by afx237vi at 06:21 PM on March 19

giants: I'm not so sure I buy this assumption that women's tennis generates so much more revenue than the men. Are there facts out there to support that? When was the last time you saw an ad with Roger Federer in it? Based on pure athleticism, I don't think the jiggling body parts of Serena or Kuznetsova's gut or Lindsay Davenport's lumbering grace quite match up to Nadal, Blake, Federer, etc.. But I forget that we are supposed to be basing this on marketability, not talent. Come again? You say "[b]ased on pure athleticism" and then offer a completely subjective and personal appraisal of the appeal of three female vs. three male players? Are your subjective tastes the arbiter of "pure athleticism"? But I forget that we are supposed to be basing this on marketability, not talent. Who's "we" and what "this"? I'm not calling the shots at Roland Garros, and I expect you aren't either.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:42 PM on March 19

lbb, When was the last time you saw an ad with Roger Federer in it? I addressed this in my initial post - the ads are based on sex appeal, not tennis talent. Remember Kournikova? Come again? You say "[b]ased on pure athleticism" and then offer a completely subjective and personal appraisal of the appeal of three female vs. three male players? Are your subjective tastes the arbiter of "pure athleticism"? I don't really agree that my comments were subjective, they are based on observable fact (the gut, the big ass, the sluggish movement). Watching the women's finals (Kuznetsova/Hantchukova) at Indian Wells and then watched Nadal play Roddick in the men's semi, the difference in athletic abilities were sooo apparent. Am I being subjective here? Who's "we" and what "this"? I'm not calling the shots at Roland Garros, and I expect you aren't either. "we" = this discussion board, "this" = this discussion thread I thought that was the point - to present opposing views as a form of therapy to deal with our utter lack of real authority.

posted by 1959Giants at 07:28 PM on March 19

I know you don't want me in here, LBB, but I gotta say I find it baffling how so many people seem to continue to underestimate the drawing power of the top female players. Sure, a Federer-Nadal final would be huge. But the women's draw is deeper and better-promoted than the men's half, and the stories even beyond Sharapova and the Wiliamses, are ongoing news on a much higher level than the comparable levels of player on the men's side. I'm not saying the men suck, or that no one wants to see them. I'm saying the women carry their own weight as a drawing card for the sport, and to deny that is to choose to ignore a comparative avalanche of column inches and billboard acreage to the contrary. Sorry to intrude.

posted by chicobangs at 07:34 PM on March 19

I addressed this in my initial post - the ads are based on sex appeal, not tennis talent. Remember Kournikova? Remember Andy Roddick? Am I being subjective here? I think you are. "we" = this discussion board, "this" = this discussion thread I thought that was the point - to present opposing views as a form of therapy to deal with our utter lack of real authority. Actually, what you said was, "But I forget that we are supposed to be basing this on marketability, not talent."[emphasis mine] We're not "supposed to be" doing anything, AFAIK, except posting decent sports links and discussing them if and as we choose -- but if you've decided that we're going to have some "supposed tos", I'd like to propose one of my own. This is a newsworthy event, and it is...well, adjectives fail me; sickening? disheartening? that every single time a FPP is made of a noteworthy event in women's sports, a gaggle of men have to denigrate it, sneer at it, call it invalid and insignificant and beneath notice or, well, just not really All That, because they have decided (generally on scant knowledge and less experience) that it just doesn't measure up to what men are doing in the sport. Only, of course, they never cop to that: it's always "everybody knows it" and it's "observable fact" and it's "sooo apparent" and "it's about sex appeal, not talent" and that men have more "pure athleticism". If we're going to start drawing lists of "supposed tos", I really think this behavior can go by the board. We have no problem telling people who barge into golf threads and bray, "Not a sport!" to STFU. Is this not also an appropriate response to induhviduals who feel the need to look at half the human race and say, "Not an athlete"?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:05 PM on March 19

I know you don't want me in here, LBB You misunderstand, chico. I believe Weedy was trolling, that's all.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:05 PM on March 19

lbb, Now that I've apparently plucked a nerve with you, let me continue to clarify some points: 1) Comparing Roddick to Kournikova?? Roddick has won tournaments including a major title and is still in the men's top 5. Kournikova'a claim to fame? Not tennis. If you don't agree it's her sex appeal, you're deeply in denial. 2) Back on original subject, the equal pay / marketability issue - I started by asking a simple question, is it true that women's tennis brings in more money? Many of us believe subjectively (including myself) that it probably does. But does anyone have any facts to support that? 3) A bit off the main subject but inflammatory enough to raise your ire - I still maintain that the physical attributes I cited for 3 women tennis players are factual, not subjective. Can you name one male tennis player of any era that was fat, flabby, or slow? OK, I'll conceed Renee Richards but he/she switched teams.

posted by 1959Giants at 08:33 PM on March 19

1) Comparing Roddick to Kournikova?? I thought we were comparing ads to ads. Did you happen to watch the '05 US Open? 2) Back on original subject, the equal pay / marketability issue That wasn't the original subject, but do go on. I started by asking a simple question, is it true that women's tennis brings in more money? Many of us believe subjectively (including myself) that it probably does. But does anyone have any facts to support that? Well, how would you determine such a thing? By the gate? By ad revenue? By product sold by advertising and sponsoring companies? The first is easy to get, the second...might be doable, the third? Impossible. And that, one would have to assume, is where the real money is. Can you name one male tennis player of any era that was fat, flabby, or slow? Define "fat", "flabby", and "slow".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:03 PM on March 19

If the prize money is now going to be equal, the women should be playing best of 5 sets. Ever wondered why they only play best of 3? The tacit assumption is that women don't have the endurance to grind out a 5 set match. Why aren't the women players complaining that this assumption is sexist, and demanding that they play best of 5? They're perfectly happy walking off the court after a 60-minute workday, that's why--no 4-hour, 5-set marathons of blood, sweat & tears for these ladies! Does this equal pay system apply to all rounds, or just for the champions? It's tough to stomach the possibility that a woman who loses 6-0, 6-1 in the first round would get as much prize money as a man who loses a first round match by, say, 6-4, 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 5-7? That's 60 games played for him, 13 for her, but they get the same first-round loser prize money. Yikes!

posted by TerpFan at 11:52 PM on March 19

I say give Serena Williams all the money she wants. Thanks for the pics LBB. I don't think she is any of the 3. But you know some guys think they should be able to check their engine oil with a woman's leg and if they can't then she is fat, flabby and slow. I'd kill for a double bicep comparison shot of some of these bird chested guys who think Serena is fat.

posted by Bishop at 04:38 AM on March 20

I believe Weedy was trolling This whole thread feels like one long troll. I'd go so far as to say it's a Bizarro World L.N. Smithee submission.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:21 AM on March 20

My point isn't Serena bashing so I won't selectively link to pictures that are much less flattering. I believe the original subject was "Is women's tennis equal pay justified on equal athleticism / physical effort or based on marketability". All I'm saying is that the first case isn't true and I asked if there are data to support the latter case? Thank you for addressing the issue by commenting that the financial bottom line is not easy to measure. Since this subject seems to be tiresome for some, I will end with one last position statement - if marketability is the justification of equal pay, then drop men's tennis back to 3 sets, they just aren't popular enough to justify the extra screen time.

posted by 1959Giants at 06:35 AM on March 20

If the prize money is now going to be equal, the women should be playing best of 5 sets. Isn't it more than a little bit silly to somehow equate (as some have done here) the length of the contest with its value? In athletics, is the 200 m race more or less interesting than the 100 m race? Would you pay more to go to a football game that was 100 minutes long? Or a baseball game that was 15 innings? Changing women's tennis matches to best-three-out-of-five sets would (subtly) change the nature of the contest. For better or for worse? It isn't clear to me. At any rate, prize money is not a salary -- they don't get paid by the hour. The prize money is only there because people are willing to pay to watch, either in person or on television.

posted by Amateur at 07:15 AM on March 20

TerpFan: Does this equal pay system apply to all rounds, or just for the champions? From the article (ahem): The announcement Friday by the French Tennis Federation extends last year's decision. The French Open paid the men's and women's singles champions the same for the first time, although the overall prize fund remained larger for men. "In 2007, the parity will be total,'' federation president Christian Bimes said. TerpFan again: It's tough to stomach the possibility that a woman who loses 6-0, 6-1 in the first round would get as much prize money as a man who loses a first round match by, say, 6-4, 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 5-7? That's 60 games played for him, 13 for her, but they get the same first-round loser prize money. Yikes! And, um, vice versa, is that it? First-round loser man who loses 6-2, 6-2, 6-1? Does he deserve more or less than the woman who loses 7-5, 5-7, 7-5? Maybe all the fans who bought tickets to the 6-0, 6-1 match should get a partial refund on their tickets, too.

posted by Amateur at 07:22 AM on March 20

I believe the original subject was "Is women's tennis equal pay justified on equal athleticism / physical effort or based on marketability". No, it wasn't. The original subject was that the French Open is now offering equal prize money across the board. Since this subject seems to be tiresome for some, I will end with one last position statement - if marketability is the justification of equal pay, then drop men's tennis back to 3 sets, they just aren't popular enough to justify the extra screen time. Amateur has already addressed the nonsensical nature of applying a piecework standard to an athletic competition, so I won't go there. I will say, however, that before you go proposing remedies, you need to examine your premise, and find if there's any truth at all to it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:31 AM on March 20

You misunderstand, chico. I believe Weedy was trolling, that's all. Yes, sorry - I was flabergasted by the last Wimbeldon thread about this and the complete lack of thought by some of the posters there. I figured that if I just came out and spoke their arguement for them it would be showcased for the buffoonery that it is. *** Prize money has NOTHING to do with the amount of time spent on the court. It has nothing to do with your perception of athleticism. It has nothing to do with the amount of balls hit, rallies (which are more prevalent in women's tennis anyway), or service returns. But apparently it has everything to do with some latent forms of bigotry. Hell - if not that than idiocy. That's the best you get. Idiocy. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and accept that you (the person who feels that the women won't be "equal" until they play 5 sets) just haven't really thought hard about the subject. But that's all I'm going to give you.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:28 AM on March 20

I owe you an apology, too, Weedy -- "trolling" wasn't the right word. I realized at the time that you were speaking satirically and should have said so. BTW, for those who think the "play equal sets to get equal pay" argument holds water, I strongly encourage you to watch some matches, both men's and women's, in the upcoming Grand Slam season. Unfortunately we in the US don't get a lot of television coverage of the tournaments leading up to the French Open, but once the French starts there's pretty regular coverage through the US Open in September. By watching these matches, I think you'll come to understand that what makes great tennis is a great contest, and that can never be measured by the number of sets. And, hey, you'll have a lot of fun, too, and maybe be motivated to come to the SpoFi US Open meetup!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:08 AM on March 20

So many people attacking each other I can't even tell if i'm attacking, being attacked, defending an attacker or.... I was referring to equal pay for equal revenue generated by the tourney. Just an idea that longer matches generated more revenue, i don't know, maybe they do, maybe they don't. I like equality, yea for the french open, yea for tennis.... Just had an idea. Now we have people who've made big mistakes on other posts, who've called out people for insulting others...calling people idiots. It's a pandemic!!! (I just set my Lbb alert to orange) "Troliing", being satirical, being hypocritical, rude, forgetful, rambling on with zero punctuation... We all make mistakes. Ive made tons, admitting them is good. I wrote that they play 5 and 7... That was a major malfunction, call me Private Snowball.

posted by 2 time mvp of the shittiest team ever at 10:56 AM on March 20

We have no problem telling people who barge into golf threads and bray, "Not a sport!" to STFU. Is this not also an appropriate response to induhviduals who feel the need to look at half the human race and say, "Not an athlete"? I saw no such statement. Women should be paid the same as men when they do equal work, and have equal ability, ie; in the business world. Unfortunately, it is a fact, that the best women athletes, of any sport, cannot compete with, nor do they have the same ability, as the men of the same sport. So, if equal prize money for men and women at Tennis' Major events makes people happy, then I guess it's a good thing, but it sure doesn't mean that they are equal in ability. if marketability is the justification of equal pay, then drop men's tennis back to 3 sets, they just aren't popular enough to justify the extra screen time. Ha!

posted by mjkredliner at 11:25 AM on March 20

(I just set my Lbb alert to orange) Your call, but since you're getting personal, based on what? I don't see the word "idiot" anywhere in this thread until you used it above (maybe there was a comment that got deleted or something?), so maybe you could clarify what's got you all oranged up.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:27 AM on March 20

Ah - there we go. Finally, a moderator. And I think I used the term idiocy. Cheerfully withdrawn!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:07 PM on March 20

orange.... you went cherry pickin info. to prove what you thought the definition of pandemic was... That killed me, having to find proof of the truth when you were researching to proove your point rather than the truth. And then when you finally knew you were wrong (which is ok, but to maintain it, push it, selectively research...) you couldn't even say... "whoops". An old thread i know, but you asked. Nothing in this thread upset me at all, just saw some insults being hurled by those who hurl at insult hurlers, and pointed that out, without hurling i think. And now... failure to read all the posts before posting by one who posts about not posting without reading the posts. Phew... Tennis anyone? Let's compromise, best of four.

posted by 2 time mvp of the shittiest team ever at 02:36 PM on March 20

orange.... you went cherry pickin info. to prove what you thought the definition of pandemic was... That killed me, having to find proof of the truth when you were researching to proove your point rather than the truth. And then when you finally knew you were wrong (which is ok, but to maintain it, push it, selectively research...) you couldn't even say... "whoops". An old thread i know, but you asked. Been saving that one up for a while, I take it. When I finally knew I was wrong? Boss, I still don't know that I was wrong, and the WHO agrees with me. I let it drop at the time because it seemed plain that you were working from your own definition of "pandemic" and weren't going to listen, given how you would dismiss a WHO definition as "selective research". So, I judged that we had nothing else to say to each other on the subject and moved on. I wish you luck in doing the same; ancient axe-grinding doesn't make for very good threads, does it?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:06 PM on March 20

If set length isn't an issue, maybe the men's side should reduce theirs to three, since apparently nobody's interested in watching them anyway.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 03:08 PM on March 20

If set length isn't an issue, maybe the men's side should reduce theirs to three, since apparently nobody's interested in watching them anyway. Wee bit of exaggeration here, no? But you have to admit, a lot of folks are getting kind of bored at looking at the men's side for an upcoming major and wondering what poor shlub Roger Federer is going to beat this go-round. When you're pretty sure the final isn't going to be the most exciting match of the tournament, it does lead to some diminished interest.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:55 PM on March 20

2 time mvp, the thread has nothing to do with the previous thread. Let it go, stop holding grudges, and go preach somewhere else.

posted by justgary at 04:30 PM on March 20

I strongly encourage you to watch some matches, both men's and women's, in the upcoming Grand Slam season I wonder if the Australian Open should use its new powers of invisibility for good or for evil? And just a thought, further extending Weedy's satirical noodlings: Since Federer wins so many of his matches in just three sets, he should get less money.

posted by owlhouse at 10:27 PM on March 20

I wonder if the Australian Open should use its new powers of invisibility for good or for evil? It's not invisible, just...way way too early. Why do they have it then, anyway? It's hot enough to fry an egg, and it's months from the next nearest Slam.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:03 AM on March 21

You'd think the Aussies would have the good sense to play in the middle of the night to beat the heat and accomodate our Americentric time schedule.

posted by 1959Giants at 09:58 AM on March 21

In fact, I believe they are moving it to March as of next year. And many matches are played at night, to both beat the heat and to fit in with the large viewing audience in Asia.

posted by owlhouse at 05:26 PM on March 21

It won't be next year, owlhouse -- it's scheduled for Jan 14-27, 2008. But March really would be ideal. I hope they do it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:55 PM on March 21

Hmmm. I thought it was a done deal with the ATP. Now I need to change my travel plans and tell my Melbourne friends to expect their house guest a bit earlier!

posted by owlhouse at 10:15 PM on March 21

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