Supreme Sports Personality Championships: Tiger Woods v Roger Federer

December 10, 2009

Roger Federer is simply the best. He has the best Grand Slam persona. He is a Supreme Sports Personality Champion. He is the perfect role model to inspire others in how to behave decently. This view is qualified by contrasting Roger Federer with Tiger Woods.

These two supremely talented sportsmen and champions have been in society’s collective consciousness for a decade or more and have left impressions on many of us in general (not just on avid golf or tennis fans). From time to time, we have all looked in from the outside at these two great sportsmen of our time, who are both considered the greatest of their generation, and the greatest of all time (true in the case of Federer; in-waiting for Woods). I wish to blog a little about these impressions formed in society’s collective consciousness (some different, some similar) and explain why Federer is so much greater and supreme than Woods.

Talent In Their Chosen Sport
Both Federer and Woods excel in their respective sports. Federer has a record 22 consecutive Grand Slam semi-final appearances, and has won 15 Grand Slam titles. Woods has 14 Major titles. The manner of their domination is what’s interesting.

Federer has always played to his ability and let the results speak for themselves. Jimmy Connors has been quoted: “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist … or you’re Roger Federer.” Federer does not look down on or disrespect his peers. He does not engage in any noticeable gamesmanship. In fact, he is the most likeable and popular player on tour.
In contrast, Woods dominated his peers only in the early years of his career. Between 1999 and 2002, there was simply no one near fitter, more talented or plain better than Woods. Gradually, as his peers improved and caught up to Woods’ high standards, Woods has had to modify the way he “dominates”. There is no longer a “level playing field” because Woods demands certain “conditions” from his peers, and also from his spectators. Woods is simply treated (and demands to be treated) differently than other golfers. Woods is also not the most popular amongst his peers.
Federer 1, Woods 0

Personality In Their Chosen Sport
Federer has an early childhood history of being rebellious and of smashing up his racquets on court. Fortunately, he learned to control his temper and rage and has gone on to become the greatest tennis player of all time, as well as the nicest champion of all time. He is the most likeable and popular player on tour.
Woods has a history of swearing and of gamesmanship. He growls and snarls and ignores everyone (some might say he is just “being focused”; others might say he is being arrogant and disrespectful). His attitude when he makes a bad shot or when he loses a tournament is not good for kids to see. Woods can be short with people, and condescending. He is not the most popular amongst his peers.
Federer 2, Woods 0

Personality Outside Their Chosen Sport
Woods’ “transgressions” has revealed that he is not the “clean Mr Nice Guy” that his management company would like to have everyone believe. Signs of his “dark side” surfaced during his mid-20s, when Woods hung out with The Brothers (consisting of basketball players Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley American footballer Ahmad Rashad, and baseball player Alex Rodriguez). In 2001, they travelled to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas where Jordan gambled, placing up to $5,000 on a single card. Woods exhibited his rebellious side by bleaching his hair blond. Woods eventually married in 2004 (which is a similar age to when Federer married) but revelations have since appeared that show Tiger has been promiscuous before and after he was married.

Federer is simply a nice guy; an all round top bloke. However compared with Woods, Federer is still relatively young (he is 28 and recently married) so there is a danger that he may find himself in a situation with a mistress. In terms of age in years, Federer is about 5 years younger than Woods. However, the way Federer conducts himself, both on and off the court, demonstrates that he is a mature responsible professional and suggests that he has a good head on his shoulders and has a fantastic support group. Let’s hope Federer does not succumb to any “transgressions” in his future life.
Federer 3, Woods 0

In HKSARblog‘s humble opinion, Roger Federer is the true Supreme Sports Personality Champion.

[Read Comments Here]

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About car plate, licence plate, number plate, registration plate, vanity plate

November 24, 2009

This blog loves names and labels, in whatever shape or form!

In 2006, Henry Tang Ying-yen (then Financial Secretary) announced a relatively minor money-making scheme by allowing the auction of personalised car number plates. This scheme cleverly undermines the intellectual property rights of creative types, and rewards those who have the means (i.e. money) to buy unique car plates. The HKSAR Government justifies this scheme by saying the annual net proceeds from auctioning these car plates would be used to fund poverty alleviation initiatives. HKSAR car plates must use a combination of eight numbers, letters or blanks.

A positive effect of the scheme is that Bloggers like HKSARblog profit (albeit not financially) by being able to comment on the potentially weird and wonderful car plates that zip along Hong Kong’s roads. It’s always nice to be able to take a picture of weird vanity plates (search this Blog for “Vanity Plate“).

Here are some examples reported at some auctions:

16 September 2006 Government Auction

1 L0VE U [HK$1.4 million (US$180,000)]
TVB [HK$800,000]
P0RSCHE [HK$700,000]
C00L [HK$450,000]
K1NG [HK$300,000]
AAR0N [HK$250,000]
SKY [HK$$220,000]

4 August 2007 Government Auction

FC [HK$450,000]
RS [HK$360,000]

15 September 2007 Government Auction

JW [HK$500,000]
JP [HK$400,000]
CM [HK$400,000]
MACAU 1 [HK$80,000]
BILLION [HK$30,000]
DAB [HK$15,000]

17 October 2008 Government Auction

AK [HK$230,000]
HANDSOME [HK$130,000]
OOPS [HK$20,000]
LAZY BOY [HK$10,000]

Related Musings From Other Bloggers
Meet The Wife
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Dinosaur and Monica driving past chinese boys in white pants

Domestic Violence in Hong Kong

November 21, 2009

Is there an increase in domestic violence in Hong Kong, or are women and support groups lobbying better, or is the media covering this issue more? Perhaps a combination? What can be observed is there appears to be more stories in the local media about domestic violence, such as:

Help system `failing’ battered women (Nov 02, 2009)
Wife punched 10 times after she refused to have sex, court told (Nov 05, 2009)
Kung fu master found guilty of beating girlfriend (Nov 20, 2009)

The latest domestic violence case involved a 62-year-old man who beat up his 45-year-old girlfriend. The man happened to be a famous kung fu master too. I guess he won’t be so easily bullied during his two-month jail stint!

I wonder what a CantoPop or MandoPop version of Luka would be like? Or how about a Chinese version of this famous song from Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs (unfortunately, I can’t find the MTV Unplugged version):
Don’t Talk

At 1:50 Natalie Merchant makes it clear that this song is about domestic violence (due to alcohol).

Don’ Talk lyrics

Don’t talk, I will listen.
Don’t talk, you keep your distance
for I’d rather hear some truth tonight than entertain your lies,
so take you poison silently. Let me be. Let me close my eyes.

Don’t talk, I’ll believe it.
Don’t talk, listen to me instead,
I know that if you think of it, both long enough and hard
the drink you drown your troubles in is the trouble you’re in now.

Talk talk talk about it, you talk as if you care
but when your talk is over you tilt that bottle in the air,
tossing back more than your share.

Don’t talk, I can guess it.
Don’t talk, well now you’re restless
and you need somewhere to put the blame for how you feel inside.
You’ll look for a close and easy mark and you’ll see me as fair game.

Talk talk talk about it, talk as if you care
but when your talk is over you tilt that bottle in the air
tossing back more than your share.
You talk talk talk about it, you talk as if you care.
I’m marking every word and can tell this time for sure,
your talk is the finest I have heard.

So don’t talk, let me go on dreaming.
How your eyes they glow so fiercely I can tell that you’re inspired
by the name you just chose for me. Now what was it? O, never mind now.
We will talk talk talk about this when your head is clear.
I’ll discuss this in the morning, but until then you may talk but I won’t hear

Related Posts
What’s The Matter Here?
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HKSARblog @ WordPress

November 12, 2009

When I first started blogging in January 2009, I did not know which free Blog service was better for my needs. I therefore decided to use both WordPress and Blogger to see which service was more convenient and practical to use. After one year, my plan was to write a review comparing the pros and cons of both blog services.

Today, ten months in, the blog has been wiped from the Web frozen. I can no longer login. Apparently, there was a violation of the Terms of Service. But I received no notice or warning, and there is no channel for me to contact WordPress about this.

[Screenshots of the site]

Has anyone else experienced this situation? What happens to the blog name/domain and to the blog content?

Fortunately, HKSARblog still exists here! [Plus comments] But can anyone provide good advice and tell me if this blog will be in danger of being wiped from the Web too? I wouldn’t want this blog to go up in smoke.


What’s The Matter Here?

November 12, 2009

Why is it that great songs are often about deeply depressing. madly maligned or truly tragic topics? In keeping with the theme of child abuse (from Suzanne Vega’s Luka), here’s a wonderful but disturbing song from the fantastic Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs: What’s The Matter Here?

Lyrics (partial)

But who gave you the right
To do this to your own flesh and blood?

And instead of love and the feel of warmth
You’ve given him these cuts and sores
That don’t heal with time or with age

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0216 HKSAR Name of the Day
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Bus Feet

November 8, 2009

Are more people putting their feet on bus seats? Here are two recent examples:

What’s interesting is that local Chinese are often (sometimes wrongly) criticized for being inconsiderate; but these two examples perhaps show that some non-Chinese can also be thoughtless, uncouth and selfish. However, I offer no statistics so I may be mistaken.

Quality Cabbies Award

November 7, 2009

Congratulations to Mr Yau Chi-keung for winning one of twelve Quality Taxi Drivers 2009 awards. In my book, he’s a hero simply because he refused to complete the lengthy lost-and-found procedures when he took the lost bag to the police station.Ten other cabbies also won the award for “reporting lost property found in their taxis and returning it to the passenger or to police“. The other award went to a taxi driver for “sincere and helpful service“.

If only the police would minimize the amount of paperwork and time needed to report lost property, more people would be willing to report lost items.

Anyways, now that the criteria for winning a Quality Cabbie Award have been revealed by the Quality Taxi Services Steering Committee (pun intended?), let’s hope more Hong Kong cabbies will report lost property (to the Taxi Operators’ Association) and provide sincere and helpful service.

Cabbie who handed in diamonds among 12 to receive quality award
Maggie Ng
Nov 06, 2009

An Indonesian man of Chinese descent was able to retrieve his bag of diamonds worth HK$1 million left in a cab thanks to Yau Chi-keung, one of the 12 winners of the Quality Taxi Drivers 2009 award.

In April last year, the 59-year-old taxi driver drove the passenger from Tsim Sha Tsui to Quarry Bay at about midday. Five minutes after the passenger got out, Yau noticed that a bag had been left under the back seat.

He radioed the Taxi Operators’ Association to report the lost property. Unable to find the owner, he went to a police station not knowing what was in the bag. Police wanted Yau to remain at the station while they completed lost-and-found procedures, but he did not have the time. He took the bag home and returned to the station later to drop it off.

At home, he opened the bag and saw small bags of diamonds inside, but had no idea what they were worth. Yau only found out from police later.

Although Yau had never met the owner of the diamonds before, the owner gave him a few thousand dollars as a reward, which he donated to a charity for the poor.

The driver said that he had no second thoughts about handing in the diamonds once he had opened the bag and found them inside.

“The owner was happy to get back what was his and I’m happy because my conscience is clear,” Yau said.

With more than 30 years’ experience as a cabbie, Yau intends to retire in the next year or so. He has four children and four grandchildren.

Ten of the other 11 winners were also nominated for reporting lost property found in their taxis and returning it to the passenger or to police. One was nominated for “sincere and helpful service”.

Winners received an identity plate yesterday, recognising them as Quality Taxi Drivers of 2009.

The ceremony was attended by Commissioner for Transport Joseph Lai Yee-tak and Jimmy Poon Wing-fai, chairman of the Quality Taxi Services Steering Committee.