If you remember the movie, Marty has to go to the future to save his kids from events that occurred from an altered past, and then go back in time and alter the past to re-align the future. Confusing? Yes.
It’s the same feeling if you had been out of the loop in Dallas tennis for a year, remembering what things were like just a year or two ago, and then seeing how things are today.As I recall, the rivalries were with Garland, High Point, and Lifetime in the mix, with the Lakes usually making an appearance as the spoiler. I now go look at rosters and see Lakes guys playing for Garland and Lifetime guys playing for High Point. To make it more confusing, Bazan’s team which has historically been out of High Point is now out of McKinney. We now have teams like Wagon Wheel and Oasis Beach & Tennis, wherever the hell that is. Brookhaven guys are now playing out of Greenhill and Kraemer is playing for Alzuro. The only constant is that Sisk has 3 teams (although not sure of the purpose of teams 2 & 3) and has now recruited guys from all over the city, even Canyon Creek players.
Most all of the teams have at least one 3.5 on the roster with about 30% of the teams having close to half of their rosters comprised of them. Based on level of play, there are still several players that were bumped up in the 2009 year-end migration that never should have been which has really made 4.0 a watered-down league. In 2009, there were 29 teams at 3.5 level and 40 teams at 4.0. Today, there are only 19 teams at 3.5 and 45 teams at 4.0. This begs me to ask the question, “Is it time for a bump-down?”While it is virtually impossible to know all 672 players that are playing 4.0 this season (that is correct, six-hundred and seventy-two), my general observations ( and limited base of knowledge on guys that I know) on flight play is this:
Flight A – Is this really a 3.5 flight? Excuse me, 4.0 ? Outside of Garland 1 of Sisk, I am a bit miffed. This is like the Island of the misfit toys in the cartoon “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. Don’t get me wrong, I know I resemble the Misfit Cowboy riding the ostrich, but talk about a throw-back.This flight (like all other 4.0 flights) is comprised of 135 players. This is more than 50% of the total # of players playing 3.5. And this is just 1 of 5 flights at 4.0.
Speaking of 3.5s, we have Alzuro, King of 3.5 wanna-be’s bestowing themselves at 4.0, playing out of Greenhill and getting Mr. DTA himself, Kraemer to join the ranks away from the “Club”. Outside of Kraemer and Alzuro I honestly can’t comment on the validity of this team. But if it is like past teams of Alzuro, they aren’t a threat. (Sorry Rene, nothing personal) Including among the misfits we have the Village/Jacob – another 3.5 team that got thumped in Cities, bumped to 4.0. I don’t have the energy to analyze. Lakewood and McKinney appear to be new comers on the scene, but my patience is already growing thin trying to analyze with the USTA site constantly freezing and making me re-pull up information again and again. So, I will quickly get to the bottom of this one. Sisk has the gene pool to finish this flight out on top, and Eldorado Browning makes a play for the Q.T. Clark Fretz, if so he chooses, (be it a team comprised of 3.5s, including myself but not an integral player) could make a run for the QT as well, but my better judgement tells me that most likely won't happen.Flight B - Now this is actually the most real 4.0 flight I see. Brookhaven Bartlett is for real, so is Oak Creek, T Bar M, and Northwood. Only one of these teams has a 3.5 playing for him, and he won the Cotton Bowl Classic Singles in December, and played on my Fall 3.5 team, so he gets a break. We then have the flight fillers with Bent Tee (formerly a 3.5 team), Fretz/Jayaram (again former 3.5s), and yes, Sisk’s cannon fodder, Garland 2. Getting too good of a buzz to call this one, so I say it will be down to the wire with a 3-way tie with Brookhaven, T-Bar and Oak Creek.
Flight C – Probably one of the easier flights of mostly drawn 4.0s with a few exceptions like the Lakes being led by Reifsnyder, Las Colinas Murphey, and McKinney/Oh (again former 3.5s –a recurring theme). High Point Le with his newly drawn Life Timer recruits, make this all an impressive team to make the post season, with more than easy, and quite boring flight play for them. My guess Is that Salacious Crumb, I mean Corey Noel’s team makes a run for the Q.T. With frustrated Terrell bringing over his left-overs from an impressive, but careless last season, they should do well. I say careless as he let his most coveted players get inappropriately bumped to 4.5 land where no one wants them or can use them. If only they could find a way back to the Island of Misfit Toys.Flight D - Garland 3/Sisk – really?? I thought I had too many to drink. Sisk is even on this roster although he only has 9 players signed, defaulted a line this past week and didn’t even play himself. Really Big John? Captaining has come down to this?? Combine your team 2 & 3 and go spend time with the wife and family. ---- OK. As much as I dislike saying it, Canyon Creek Dawson is for real. Actually and looking at this flight - this one brings the most drama. We also have JCC which has always had talent and has been a contender, as long as there are no Jewish holidays conflicting with match play, JCC should be good to go. Royal Oaks is also comprised of a complete roster of computer rated 4.0s, (a rarity) and could make a valid run. Fair Oaks has team 2, and is small. Corey – why not just have one 4.0 team. You could have made a play? Instead, you will be buried into Jabba’s back as usual. I say CC takes the flight with Royal Oaks pulling off the QT.
Flight E – Finally, the last flight. This is easy. My favorite team is Greenhill/Ohl - If you don’t know Greg, you should. He shows up at each match with about 2-3 cases of beer. Premium beer that is. I can tell you this as I drank close to a case of Heineken last Fall with a close friend after our match. A true gentleman and scholar in my book. --- In terms of play, I guess I have to go with Bazan, although he himself barely got out of beating a 3.5 last week in a 3 setter. My guess is Bazan/McKinney wins the flight, and although starting with a loss, I go with my friend Greg to take the QT.So there you have it. My once and initial sober analysis, turned to my drunken ranting of players I know. Well, I guess if that is truly the case, I would have commented on Wiley’s groin. I will let that rest.
I plan to see Cities come down to Sisk and Le. But I have several months to drink and analyze before making my postulation as to who comes out on top.Comment, poke holes, have fun.