One morning last fall when the weather was still unseasonably warm, my wife and I were playing tennis at the park. We played a couple times a week last year and enjoyed people-watching in between games and sets.
This particular morning, I watched a young, twenty-something couple meet in the middle of a large field. They were holding masks in hand and maintaining physical distance per state health guidelines. Standing the entire time, it looked as though they were courting lovers having a quarrel.
The calm quarreling went on for some time—several games of tennis, in fact, until finally I watched the couple embrace and kiss after seemingly working out their differences. “Young love beat COVID today,” I mentioned to my wife with a smile. The romantic in me was proud to see the blatant disregard for quarantine restrictions. My wife just rolled her eyes.
It was the cutest thing, really. I then called the Mask Gestapo and both lovers were immediately detained for being a menace to public health. Thank, heavens!
NOTE: Everything but the last two sentences are true.
There are a lot of things I miss since coronavirus scared, scarred, and upended the world.
I miss the large number of people I used to freely associate with. I miss seeing the bottom half of people’s faces. I miss the wonderful customer service we used to receive from restaurants and other stores. I miss a normal workload.
I miss live events, especially sports, music, and movie theaters. I miss roaming about my city, country, and world in what was surely the heyday of global travel. I miss knowing that I could shake hands or high-five anyone I encountered. I miss the trust we used to have in immune systems, the ones that largely kept our species alive for hundreds of thousands of years.
But mostly, I miss being treated like a trustworthy human instead of a disease-carrying leper that should be avoided. That’s a gross feeling to confront on a near daily basis.
That said, I couldn’t have stomached and mostly thrived over the last three months had it not been for the following: Continue reading…
Years ago I read one of the greatest sports biographies ever: You Cannot Be Serious by John McEnroe. You should read it.
Last week I watched one of the best sports documentaries I’ve ever seen: John McEnroe: In The Realm of Perfection.
Now before you write me off as a McEnroe fanboy, which I unabashedly am, please know that the latter is a French documentary about a controversial American tennis brat in his prime.
Shot mostly in slow motion, it is a quirky and mesmerizing film with a powerful finish that convincingly argues that a tennis match is good cinema, and that McEnroe was arguably the sports best “directors” of tennis cinema.
Four stars out of five.
I wish coronavirus never happened. Given its uncertainty, I also wish society would have partially distanced like Sweden did instead of hitting the giant “off” switch on social life or “save hospital capacities at all costs” approach the rest of us took.
It’s a fearful world we live in.
That said, I’ve been able to take the lemons, if you will, to make some sweet lemonade recently. Although I was an angry, stressed-out wreck the first two weeks of quarantine, I’ve been able to transition to first coping and eventually thriving over the last month.
Here’s how the unwelcome outbreak and draconian quarantine have actually changed my life for the better: Continue reading…
American men’s tennis has seen better days, although Roddick has kept things interesting, reaching the Wimbledon finals four times and playing in that epic match against Federer in 2009.
WIMBLEDON, England – The longest match in tennis history was suspended because of darkness at 59-59 in the fifth set at Wimbledon on Wednesday night.
The first-round match between 23rd-seeded John Isner of Tampa, Fla., and qualifier Nicolas Mahut of France already had been suspended because of fading light Tuesday night after the fourth set.
They have been playing each other for a total of exactly 10 hours — 7 hours, 6 minutes in the fifth set alone, enough to break the full-match record of 6:33, set at the 2004 French Open.
I’m watching U.S. Open Tennis live, right now, in HD on the grand slam’s official website, usopen.org. It. Is. Awesome. Here’s why: Continue reading…
Apparently, the umpire wasn’t serious, John McEnroe. A new study of 4,000 points by The Daily Mail has found that tennis umpires overwhelming get “out” calls wrong, thanks to an optical allusion phenomenon. Who knew?
Illustration credit: Ian Dennis/Daily Mail
The AP alludes to why: “By reaching the June 10 [French Open] final, Federer would play in his eighth major title match in a row, something no man has done. Not Laver. Not Pete Sampras. Not Bjorn Borg. No one.” Even then, Federer — who is only 25 — has already won 10 majors placing him number three on the list of male tennis players with most singles major championship wins, right above Agassi and quickly closing in on Sampras. Whether you like tennis or not, behold the most dominate athlete alive. He’s leagues better than Tiger or anyone else for that matter and may prove to be the best player in history. Amazing.
You build a customized grass/clay hybrid court for $1.63 million so Roger Federer (world #1 specializing on grass) and Rafeal Nadal (world #2 specializing on clay) can duke it out to see who’s best. Brilliant!
This is tennis player Andy Roddick during a press conference after getting schlacked (even bageled) by super-human and world number one Roger Federer in the Australian Open semifinals. To set the stage, Federer owns Roddick. He now has a 10-1 winning record against the fifth ranked American. Despite this, Roddick has made several in-roads up to this point even beating Federer in a a warm up match just two weeks ago. But he may be competing against the greatest tennis player who has ever lived. Tough break. And though dropping some censored expletives during his post-game interview, Andy’s candor in defeat is admirably, likable, refreshing, and extremely funny. Well played (the press conference that is).