Tennis: On Ice

01Dec07

Rarely do professional sporting events that don’t involve injured first round draft picks or the laborious suffix of “on ice” grace the bustling urban center of Portland, OR. For the first time in 12 years, USTA tennis brought some of the biggest names in the game to the green city to take on Russia’s top competitors (whom my mother and I lovingly dubbed “The Angries”).

There were several things to note throughout the experience, the first of which is that I am now a bona fide celebrity, having been in the same, nay I say intimate, room with the likes of Andy Roddick, James Blake, Nicolae Davydenko, Patrick McEnroe, Billie Jean King, as well as Uncle Sam and Captain America.

The “neutral referee” (as opposed to those obnoxious biased ones) was a proper Swedish gentleman who would say things like, “Please” or “Thank you” when the spectators were still cheering at the start of a point. The American translation of his comments, in succinctly stated prose, might have been, “STFU, you mo’ fo’s, ‘fore I bring the nasty up in he-ah.”

The ball boys were of particular interest as well. One of them, whom we referred to simply as “Awk”, ran like a cross between a bobble head doll and a marionette. We couldn’t tell what was more distracting: the pounding noise his shoes made when he ran or his spaghetti limbs flailing in pursuit of a hapless line judge. Another ball boy, so named “Oh, Snap”, tripped over his own feet and fell into the net, dislodging one of the small poles that holds the net to regulation height on either side. Following a collective (you guessed it) “Oh, snap!” from the audience, the referee got down from his tower to situate the net and give the boy a pat on the head. Because of the disturbance, the player from Russia (boo, hiss, etc) got another 1st serve. He then proceeded to ace James Blake and give the ball boy a high five.

Other highlights included plenty of tennis paraphernalia emblazoned with corporate logos, long lines at the ladies room, concession stand, and souvenir booth, and some quality bonding with my mom and family friend.

Also, don’t mess with America.

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One Response to “Tennis: On Ice”

  1. 1 Gene

    My family all the time say that I am wasting my time here at web,
    except I know I am getting familiarity everyday by
    reading such fastidious articles.


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