Djokovic Number 1? TOS Retires From the World Rankings Game

So Novak Djokovic will be number one in the world after beating Jo Wilfried Tsonga to make the final at Wimbledon.  Even if Rafa Nadal defeats him on Sunday morning, winning his second consecutive slam, and continuing to cement his place in the history of the sport.  Nope.  Don’t matter.  The computers will say Novak is number one even while the entirety of the tennis watching public knows otherwise.

One day they’ll scrap these rankings.  They are meaningless drivel – fodder for the sports media to deviate attention from the playing surface to a series of misguided calculations and unevenly weighted results.  The only sport on earth where rankings have purpose is American college football, which uses its BCS rankings to actually determine which teams have the right to play for a championship.  (And the BCS is perhaps the most idiotic thing in all of sports.)

Just look at rankings around the sports universe.  Brits Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are neck-in-neck for golf’s top spot while neither has won a major tournament.  FIFA determined, based apparently on a brilliantly earned draw (sarcasm) against the Swiss, England was a better national soccer side than Brazil.  (This drew the ire of the British press for days.)  Now Djokovic does not even need to beat the best player in the universe to be deemed the best player in the universe?

And I don’t blame the sports anymore.  Tennis, golf and FIFA are just trying to create buzzes around their sports during competition downtimes.  I blame the reporters who take these rankings seriously.  The golf and tennis TV analysts who openly debate their merit during broadcasts.  The writers at the Guardian who dedicated several pages criticizing FIFA.  Me…for writing this column.

We’re the dopes.  Because every second we spend on these rankings provides them merit.  I officially retire from that game.  Right now.

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