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“Worlds's Worst Pro Tennis Player” Says He Isn't  by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
“Worlds's Worst Pro Tennis Player” Says He Isn't

    You’ve got to feel for Robert Dee. Not just because he has been called the world’s worst pro tennis player, he had the indignity to be judged so in a British courtroom. 

    Let’s back up. This story comes from the website “Tennis Fanhouse” and drives home the old adage “quit while you’re ahead.” That reminds me of a few other adages Momma Silliman used to spout like “If you’re going to be inept, be incredibly inept” or as she used to say to me when I got my Master’s in Self-Deprecation “If you’re good at something, Son, be proud.”
    That was Robert Dee’s mistake.  As a tennis pro, he was extremely inept. He just couldn’t seem to accept his ineptness. He had been ranked from 1460 to 1550. Some were ranked lower but played not as much. Dee lost a record 108 sets in a row, including blow-outs in such tennis hot spots as Mexico, Iran, Sudan, Senegal and Rwanda. When he finally won a match the Daily Telegraph wrote a story with the headline “World’s Worst Tennis Pro Wins at Last!” To the Telegraph it was a flabbergasting stop-the-presses type of story. To Robert Dee, it was an insult, libelous even. And, being the court genius he was, Dee sought to prove he wasn’t the “world’s worst” in another court. I could say “first mistake” here but it could be his 109th.  What Dee did by challenging the Telegraph was transfer the Telegraph’s assertion into facts and judgments in a court of law.

    Mr. Dee should have dropped the case when he found out the name of his judge was Mrs. Justice Sharp. He should have known her ruling would be razor-quick and just. Mr. Dee claimed the Telegraph’s coverage suggested Dee’s career “was an expensive waste of money and doomed to failure” to which the Judge said “and it’s not?” And then she went on to say “the facts are sufficient to justify any defamatory meaning.” In other words, before Dee complained about their coverage, the Telegraph’s story was just a fact-based opinion. When he took it to a British court it became an official judgment.  Game. Set. Match.
“Worlds's Worst Pro Tennis Player” Says He Isn't  by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles
    Let’s correct a few things. Mr. Dee could possibly beat many tennis pros from around the world just not those competing in the International Tennis Federation. He is only deemed inferior according to ATP rankings. If we were equating this to pro golf, he could be tearing it up on the Hooter’s Tour, just not the PGA. We visited Robert Dee’s website and it lists paper after paper who apologized to Dee for picking up the Telegraph’s original story and running it. It appeared Dee and his lawyer was making more money by squeezing reparations out of the papers than from the tour. Maybe they should have thanked the Telegraph for the income and then called it a day. However, the Telegraph persisted. While other papers made a quick apology and a fast payment the Telegraph stood behind their assertions.
    All is not lost for Mr. Dee. Like Momma Silliman says “No one remembers second worst.”  Proudly embrace your status. You can make money being the worst. Neil Hamburger as the self pro-claimed “worst comedian” and Joe Malarkey as “the world’s worst motivational speaker” are not doing badly. 

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