Tennis commentator Jeff Tarango wears his heart on his sleeve. At the US Open he revealed remarkable similarities to Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson is the much-loved character in the peerless comedy series The Simpsons. He is portrayed as capturing popular stereotypes of the American culture, through his basic decency, his loyalty to his family and the American dream. He is also lovably dysfunctional socially, simplistic and unreflective in his beliefs and hapless in his unconscious mediocrity.
Jeff Tarango has Homeric aspects to his personality. Perhaps the most famous is on U-tube showing how he defaulted himself from Wimbledon after a clash with an Umpire and a very Homer-like argument that he should be able to tell the crowd to shut up as they we telling him what to do. Then his wife, as loyal as Madge Simpson, manages to seek out the Umpire and give him a retaliatory slap.
Jeff never scaled the heights as a singles tennis player, although he crept into the top fifty with a career-best of 42. But like Homer Simpson , he had his triumphs over fate and adversity. He became a tennis pundit. Among his present employers is the BBC, as much part of the British establishment as The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club.
Tarango at the US Open
Even keen tennis fans in Europe probably missed the fantastic match at the US Open at which
Cilic beat Federer in the early hours of the morning, European time. I first learned of the result reading Tarango’s account of the match as it unfolded.
It is fair to say the Tarango is not your average neutral commentator. He wanted Federer to win. Big Time. His recorded view became more Homeric as his man struggled and headed out of the tournament.
Federer, he declared, would be back to win Wimbledon next July. In fact he would go on to win two or more Grand Slams. Most commentators were discussing whether the Fed would win another slam.
The world would be a duller place without Homer Simpson. Perhaps the same could be said about Jeff [Homer] Tarango