When did it happen that the experience of going to a sporting event became less coherent than the experience of watching one on TV? Was that Super Bowl III? The Dream Team? Wimbledon is, in essence, a far-reaching and multilayered network, a system of information flow overlaid on top of a (relatively, in terms of pure scale) small and insignificant tennis tournament. There are multiple rooms of stats loggers; there are research departments; there are cables as thick as your leg; there are swarms of young couriers pollinating the press room with information sheets and quote sheets and hints about Wi-Fi passwords. It’s not chaos, the input/output cycle of the Apparatus; it’s order on full blast, and its single driving purpose is to make two weeks of complex and largely simultaneous tennis effortlessly comprehensible to you, the viewer at home. Every simple story line the media spoon-feeds you is the result of furious analytic labor inside the Apparatus. Johnny Mac can break it down because someone was on hand to give him a sandwich. You don’t catch much of this at home. That’s how the cameras are set up — so you don’t see the other cameras.
A visit to the All England Club and Wimbledon for the kickoff of the 2012 tournament – Grantland. Brian being Brian, i.e., amazing.