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Thursday, May 17, 2001
Bakay's Tale of the Tape:
With or Without Anna?

By Nick Bakay
Page 2

I believe I speak for thinking and feeling men everywhere when I say, "It's time for Anna Kournikova to be better!"

Anna Kournikova
Anna Kournikova won't find her first singles victory in the 2001 French Open.
But until that fine day, a sad tradition continues: Men eagerly usher their wives off to the mall, then hunker down for a lusty afternoon of women's tennis, only to see the best thing to happen to the game since visible panties ... get eliminated.

Now what? Channel hop over to Showtime in the hopes of catching the last 20 minutes of a women's prison movie? Check E! for "Behind the Scenes: XFL Cheerleaders"?

The odds are you'll be stuck with a free afternoon and nothing worthy of filling the hole in your heart left by a naughty girl with a bad case of the first-round yips. You can't even say, "We still have Paris."

So, it's time to sift through the carnage of what might have been: The French Open with Anna vs. The French Open without her -- let's see how they stack up at The Tale of the Tape ...

French Open: With Anna vs. Without Anna
Without Anna

With Anna
Audience demographics A smattering of country clubbers Every American male who doesn't suffer from glaucoma With
If you listen closely, you can hear the viewers mutter "What, now I have to learn the rules of the game?" "Who's your daddy?" With
Surrender You have no reason not to accompany your wife to see "The Vagina Monologues." Again. You have a new appreciation for the concept of mixed doubles. With
How rival networks counter-program the time slot "Our Bodies, Ourselves -- the Movie!" "Emmanuelle at Wimbledon" With
Action in the stands Andre and Steffi making out Fights break out between every Russian who has ever played in the NHL With
Love A tie score What's got
a hold of you
Toweling off Them You Without
Foot fault Loss of serve Why can't she play in high heels? With
Musings Maybe she's using the free time to shoot a calendar. Maybe they'll run that commercial where she gives those dudes a BMW. Push
Pouty You Her With
Trash Talk Hearing yourself call the gal who eliminated her "a minion of Satan" Hearing her call her opponent "a cow" in broken English With
Net ball A lame first serve A chance to watch her bend over and pick it up With
What you find yourself scribbling on a notepad "Note to self: remember to stab eyes out." "Mr. Anna Kournikova ..." Push. Nobody wins with random doodles, kids.

So, there you have it, it's so simple when you break things down scientifically. In the hair-pulling catfight of your dreams, the advantage goes to the French Open ... with Anna.

But then again, 12 network executives and a monkey could have told you that. Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay reminding you the numbers never lie.

Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a Web site at