Monday, February 24, 2014

Season Winding Down and Playoff Picture Comes into Focus 18s Rosters are coming due.

A casual observation of mine is that as you go down in NTRP, the passion for league tennis seems to go up.  We never hear much squabbling or trash talking from 5.0s.  When Oscar’s 5.0 team went to nationals last year, I was happy and really hoped he would win.

In 4.5, outside the Mike Kelly love/hate (more hate than love) relationship with this blog, there isn’t much chatter.  Sure, Marc Rossouw chimes in on occasion but not much anymore.  For the most part, at 4.5, we just play tennis and go home.

At 4.0, there appears to be more bickering.  There is anger between High Point, Canyon Creek and Brookhaven.  There is more interest in a 4.0 match than any 4.5 matches.  About the only match being discussed all year is High Point versus Canyon Creek. 

With that said, does anyone know why 4.0s are more passionate than the rest?  Is it because these are usually the self-taught guys that didn’t learn to play until later in life?  Maybe, the old adage of act like you have been there before applies because, most haven’t been there before…  I really wish 4.5 would get some of that excitement; it makes for more interesting talk.  Outside Mike Kelly, there just isn't enough 4.5 and 5.0 talk. 

Oh well, as the season is beginning to wind down in some leagues and the players are pretty much decided in the leagues with several weeks to go, here are my thoughts…


Flight A: This is all but decided as the post season participants.  While Gleneagles has a good bunch of players and guys, they are not mathematically eliminated.  As I type this, Lakes is in first but Greenhill really is.  They haven’t reported the Canyon Creek match.  Unless something changes, Canyon Creek decides they would like to compete again, the winner of the flight comes down to either Lakes or Greenhill.  Since both advance to a 4 team round robin tournament, it doesn’t matter.  Barring any total collapse, I think Sweeney and Wagner can make their playoff plans now.

Flight B:  This flight has a ton more drama.  Brookhaven is undefeated and definitely in the driver’s seat to win but there is plenty of possibilities for them to miss it.  They have already beaten 2nd and 3rd place playoff contenders TBarM and Greenhill still have to play one another in the first round.  Obviously, it drops one of them to two losses.  I like TBM because Marc’s main team that deserves a shout out plays in Fort Worth.  His very large Wagon Wheel team is my favorite to win sectionals.  I think Brookhaven and TBM advance to playoffs.


Flight A: McKinney is finished with their season.  After a week 1 stumble, they went the rest of the way and locked up a playoff spot.  This team is the one most thought would win the flight.  Greenhill is still undefeated but has two matches remaining.  They can finish anywhere from first to third mathematically.  In reality, the play the last place team and another near the bottom team.  They would have to lose both; Brookhaven would have to win and catch them on lines.  I like Greenhill to win this flight after beating the two also-rans.

Flight B: High Point has wrapped up one slot.  TBarM beat Canyon Creek but High Point beat TBM.  TBM cannot catch High Point so they need High Point to beat Canyon Creek to advance.  Canyon Creek needs to beat High Point decisively to win the flight but needs to merely beat them to make the playoffs.  Considering, this has been the most talked about match since the beginning of the season, both teams should be jacked up.  I like Canyon Creek to win.  I say that because they have more to play for not because I think they are necessarily better. 

Finally, 18+ Rosters are due March 5th.  That is a week from Wednesday.  You must have 8 or the DTA will remove your team. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


DTA Productions and Brookhaven Community Theater are having an open casting call for the DTA’s latest fund raiser, a modern interpretation of the beloved tale of good versus evil entitled The Return of the Kelly.

As we join the action, the last remaining stronghold of men at Minis Tirith (SpringPark) is under siege by the Orc armies created by Sauroman (Rossouw) with his massive 50 Orc rosters.  Sauron (you know who you are), in his lair in Mordoor (Canyon Creek), is on the verge of dominating middle earth and, possibly, finally making a serious run at sectionals.  The rating to rule all ratings is now within his grasp with Aragorn bumped to 5.0.  Things look bleak for the band of weary travelers defending middle earth.  Aragorn (Kelly), Legolas (Pickett), Gandolf (Abreezeesee) and Gimli (any takers?) have been worn down by the constant trips to nationals and are in a weakened state as they rejoin the fight.

But the tide is beginning to turn, Canyon Creek, sorry, Mordoor, has unleashed the Nazgul and their leader, the Witch-King of Angmar (Reed), whom no man can slay.  But he is struck down by Eowyn (to be cast when Kelly picks his next mixed partner) and the forces of men are victorious.  Aragorn raises the racquet of Anduril and is finally acknowledged as the true heir to the throne Nationals.  But still burdened by the rating to rule all ratings, Aragorn must march on the very gates of Mordoor, defeat Sauron and destroy the rating to rule all ratings.  And who will carry the day for the once and future king of men’s, mixed, combo, tri-level, 40s, etc…?

Behold, two halflings with hairy feet have walked all the way from the shire in New York and have found the fires of Mount Doom.  At last, with a clarity that comes from not having been personally beaten by the forces of Aragorn at every USTA event ever created, the New Yorkers destroy the rating to rule all ratings, bump Aragorn back to 4.5A, and the forces of Mordoor are swallowed into a deep abyss at the Canyon Creek bar.

After the production there will be a panel discussion entitled: Gollum or Smeagel: Which path will his precious DTA appointment lead Klamecki?

Anyone interested in trying out for a part can post their interest here or join the open casting call underway in all USTA Dallas leagues.  Legolas be interviewing anyone interested in the part of Arwen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Something New

Not too many volunteers to take over the blog.  That creates a very boring blog, and reason for me to vent when I decide to drink.

Accordingly,  you now will get my limited insights via Tennis-Link and a very limited patience of perusing through what I might find of interest.   Of course, I have to have a bit of a buzz going to encourage the writing.    It was a tough, cold and wet Monday, so the local brew had my name calling on the way home.

I guess the first thing to cover is this past weekend Sectionals of Tri-Level.   Quite frankly, I will have to say what I saw was a disappointment.  First of all, I was disappointed to see that Dallas didn’t get a wild card.  Out of all the years I have played Tri-level, Dallas has always gotten a wild card and has sent the top two teams.

No shame in saying it, but I was really wanting to see Mc Hugh and Co. make a debut at Sectionals.  I watched  their match at Cities against Tony Le’s team on Saturday and was more than impressed with his 4.5s of Reiman and Hix.  Not sure which one was which, but the dude sporting the beard had game.  It was a shame he didn’t have the same line-up on Sunday against Kelly and Kiron, but even with the Sunday loss,  I truly thought he would get the wild card. 

No love affair with CC, but in all honesty, I think deep down they are a good bunch of guys.  Just misunderstood.  I actually can say I beat McHugh back in the days of 3.0 land.  Yes, McHugh was a 3.0 and I played him with an old high school buddy of mine and won.  That was back in 2006 and I believe Robert was just coming back to tennis from an injury or something.  Needless to say, he continued to get better, and I stayed average at best.  Since no one is claiming the rights to the blog,  I guess it is fair for me to throw in my 2 cents worth of accomplishments over the years. 

Anyhow, seeing Dallas have only one team, I was hoping to see them pull it off against Houston.   The 3.5s did their part.  But that was no surprise, as those two guys were the bedrock of our 3.5 40+ National team, and a tough pair to beat. 

Given all the debate over Kelly and getting him back to 4.5, I was surprised to see him not even make the trip.  ( My Bad.  I stand corrected -- He made the trip and played the first match against Austin.  I told you I was just using Tennis Link and out of the loop.  I jumped straight to the final and straight to conclusions.  -- given further credence to the following statement....)  But given Picket’s and Freeman’s relationship over the years, it doesn’t surprise  me, as Dallas has had teams that have gone the past 3 years.   I guess Freeman was in the rotation this year, and it really didn’t matter who Dallas had.  (Perhaps Joel was making a statement not playing Kelly??)

In terms of 40+, I'm still waiting for the big match ups at 4.0 with Wiley and McHugh.  At 4.5, I was shocked to see Rossouw lose to Brookhaven but appears Durten had to retire.  I didn’t realized his cohort in crime, Brandon, was on the opposing team.  That is drama in and of itself (at least on paper).  But I refrain to go there.   Sweeney and Wagner don’t go after it for another several weeks, so will refrain from making any guesses there.

I guess I should mention 3.5, but that has become pretty boring.  Bender has no challenge getting out of City and will be surprised if they are tested at Sectionals.  I'm not sure how much fulfillment there will be for some of those guys in their quest for Nationals, as several of those players have been there before at 3.0 and 3.5.  From what I hear, it is also back in Tuscon, so they miss out on the luxurious LaQuinta Resort in Palm Springs.

Then there is Mixed to cover, but I don’t want to lose my buzz………

In other news….Kelly is a 4.5 !!!!   Does anyone really f**ing

I could go off on how the system is broke, but I am waiting for Pickett to take me to MiCocina for some Mamba Taxis before I tackle that one.