Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Weekly Wrapup

I don't have much to write as the season has been so disjointed so far.  Things still are not in focus and not much in the line of big matches have been played yet.

It is still tough to tell who the actual big dogs in 4.5 are.  If you can't tell, then you probably don't have a serious contender.  Rossouw has his usual quantity of players yet, his better team is in Fort Worth.  Although, this team is definitely capable of winning Dallas and getting to sectionals through Dallas.  Since he already lost to Pickett in Fort Worth and FW almost never gets a wildcard in 4.5, he has to win Dallas.  Dallas is pretty hit and miss on 4.5 wildcards.  If I were Marc, I would abandon my Fort Worth team and focus on Dallas.  It is hard for me to say this but Dallas is the easier road to sectionals with Rossouw and Pickett taking the best Dallas teams west.

In flight A, T-Bar is till the team to beat with their 2-0 record.  Brookhaven is the other and they are 2-0.  The JCC is 1-0 and could make some noise.  T-Bar has OC this week and they have a a lot of 'experienced' (aka old) players.  They are a capable group but I don't think they have enough.  Brookhaven had the best win with a win over OC this week.  Looks like they flipped their singles to escape with a win at 2 singles.  Looks like they were fortunate as it went to three sets to get the 3-2 win.  BH and JCC play each other this week, we might have something to discuss next week. 

Flight B is between Brookhaven and Rossouw.  BH added Ribman which should improve their roster.  Rossouw has his usual cadre of players.  They face off this week and we should have a pretty good idea of the eventual flight winner when we write next week.  If Marc gets his 8 best, I think he wins.  Trid has good players but not a large numbers.  He will need to get them out.  I predict Rossouw wins 3-2.

Flight C has 3 teams with a 2-0 record.  I only believe in Brookhaven.  Does anyone else think BH might should consolidate their teams into one very good team instead of three pretty good teams?  Fretz and LB Houston are pretenders.  Yeah, they are 2-0 but I'm not sold. 

I am not sure why but there is just not enough drama or intrigue in 4.5.  It is almost boring this year.  We need Pickett to come back and we need Sisk to get better.  We miss Rusty badly as his perpetual success gave us a lot to complain about.

4.0 had one big match and Fretz beat Canyon Creek.  CC just has a way of not quite accomplishing their goals.  Another season and another close loss to the team in their way.

Flight A has the familiar name of Bob Somabut sitting atop the standings at 3-0.  He hasn't played a lot but 3-0 is 3-0.  Eldorado is 2-0 as the other remaining undefeated team. I still think Sisk has a contender after that epic fail in week 1.  Still, one of his main guys, Flora, is 0-2.  I'm not really familiar with Flora but I have read about him for a very long time, that has to be a little scary to Big John.  Still the match for the flight is likely to come down to this weeks match between Somabut and Sisk.  He needs to make sure his long time horse is ready and isn't ready for the glue factory.

Flight B is the toughest flight and has already been mentioned, the biggest match of the flight was just played.  Fretz beat CC.  It probably relegates CC to the QT.  The rest of the flight is tough but still should not be an issue.  Greenhill may have something to say about this flight but they don't have to worry about anything until 6/8 against CC.

Flight C has two 2-0 teams.  T-Bar is not surprising to be 2-0 but Oasis?  Who is Oasis?  Village is 1-0.  TBar has Brookhaven so it should be a good test.  I  know a lot of the T-Bar guys and I don't see them having much trouble.  Oasis gets 1-2 Springpark but I think SP ends the Oasis Cinderella season. (if you can call 2-0 a cinderella season).

Flight D has two 1-0 teams but neither team is a real contender.  The rest already have losses.  I still think Bartlett has the best team.  He may have had that week 1 hiccup but that is over.  Brad has 1-0 OC and that should end OC's 1 match winning streak.

Oh well, another week in the books and the season just hasn't been very compelling.  I hope it gets better.  Please feel free to tell me and the world how wrong I am.  If I look stupid, it won't be the first time I had to put a paper bag over my head.  After all, I am a Cowboys fan.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Freeman surveying the troops at playoff time                         Just another Thursday night at LLTC
Somewhere in the deepest, darkest jungles of Houston, USTA Special Forces Colonel Freeman has gone renegade, operating outside the normal boundaries of war employed by the forces of Texas and most of the USTA.  Once a model USTA member who won and let others win as well, Colonel Freeman now leads his own personal army out of the Lee LeClair zone, operates under his own rules, and achieves unprecedented success in his war against the Texas section.  My mission – to find Colonel Freeman, study his methods, and bring him back into the civilized world of Texas sectionals tennis - or destroy his forces in the process. 

I have studied his files.  Beginning as a lowly 3.5 (oops, he just got back down), Colonel Freeman once trained his own armies in the Southern section.  It was during his consulting in Mississippi that he began to take notice of the soft underbelly of the USTA rules.  His report on the Sectionals War at that time was classified by his superiors.  Evidently he didn’t like being limited by the rules placed on him when winning was within his grasp, and they didn’t want his ideas to spread.

Colonel Freeman then joined the Sectionals War in the Texas section.  It was here that he began to really put his theories to the test.  But after constantly butting heads with his superiors back in Austin he began to lead a shadow war all on his own.  As his successes in the Sectionals War grew, so did his detractors.  Seems the rest of the war effort didn’t approve of his methods – found them to be ‘unsound’ – and labeled him insane.  After studying his results I’m not so sure. 

Unlike other commanders, he spreads his forces between different tennis centers and different captains until he needs them, making it impossible to judge his troop strength or really research his self rates.  His ability to pull vast resources together for a single campaign is without equal in Texas.  His main competitors bicker among themselves over which feudal lord will rule over the three good players at each tennis center, diluting their forces to the point that battle with him is futile.  While Colonel Freeman’s loyal followers throw their dignity at his feet just to be one of his Thursday guys.  The more I learn, his genius begins to show through.

Finally, I made my way to his camp and was taken before him by his followers.  His words still echo in my ears, “I’ve seen horrors…horrors that you’ve never seen.  I’ve been beaten at Nationals with teams that had dominated Texas.  You have a right to beat me.  You have a right to do that, but you have no right to judge me.”  It was all making sense.  He didn’t live outside the rules.  He just understood that there was a bigger world out there beyond Texas and it lived by tougher rules.

Just then a fresh can of tennis balls was popped open by one of his followers.  Looking warily at me he said, “You smell that?  New tennis balls, son.  Nothing else in the world smells like that.  I love the smell of new tennis balls in the morning.  Smells like - victory.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yes, Virginia, there is a Captain Clause

Dear Murray,
My friends say there is no Captain Clause.  But I know if I read it in the blog it must be true.  So please tell me the truth.  Is there really a Captain Clause?

Dear Virginia,
As the original version said, “your little friends are wrong.  They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.”  Evidently, some things haven’t changed since 1897.  But don’t worry gentle readers, there really is a Captain Clause.

He captains multiple teams but has time for each of his players, not just his stars.  He makes sure everyone gets equal playing time and no one gets bumped up so they can keep playing with their friends.  In his league, every team makes the playoffs and everyone actually plays in the playoffs.  Sectionals and Nationals participants are based on who went last and everyone gets a turn.  Anyone can play singles or doubles.  And all your mixed partners are good looking.

Everyone plays for fun and the scores don’t actually count, so no one manages or tanks.  Since scores don’t count and Nationals is decided by whose turn it is, not who wins, it doesn’t matter what level you play – only that you have fun.  Every season everyone gets the same North Pole Tennis Association gift, sectionals T shirt and Nationals hat/towel combo.   The NPTA has very few rules and no forms to fill out.  Everyone is invited to the year-end party for the champions and it’s always open bar.

How does he do it?  How does he create so much happiness?  It’s not just the spirit of the NPTA, Captain Clause knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.  When you backstab your fellow team mates in hopes of more playing time, when you lobby to play line 3 with the best player on the team, when you get on a team because you promised to bring a 20 year old super champ with you – and you don’t, when you get on the blog and complain about matches you know nothing about, when you really deep down wish everyone would get bumped up so you could finally win something, when you’re basically a jerk because things just don’t seem to go your way, well, Captain Clause knows.

The season has just started – it’s not too late.  Maybe there’s still time for Captain Clause to bring you what you really want for this season: a monster kick serve that jumps like a super ball, crisp volleys that cut through the court like a hot knife through warm butter, or a blistering service return that never fails in the clutch.  Maybe even a well-disguised inside-out backhand if you’ve been really nice.

That’s a lot to ask for but it’s not too late.  Of course, as this blog has proved time and time again, is it really any fun to be as nice as that would require?  All the courts in the NPTA are indoor and climate controlled but come on, would we really enjoy all that equality?  And what would there be to bitch about?  Heck, they probably outlaw lobs so you don’t offend the elves.   And I’m sure they don’t have a blog. 

So sit back, grab your key board, and enjoy.  If Captain Clause plays everyone we won’t see him in the playoffs anyway.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 1 Recap...

The first week of league is complete.  Most teams decide that reporting scores is optional.  It was a very uneventful weekend in Dallas but the best Dallas teams of Wagon Wheel/Rossouw did play Southlake/Dolemite.  Dolemite slapped Rossouw's small roster 4-1 with the help of a default.  I can't get my mind around how Rossouw can't get enough players out.  Scott Baker gets beat by a 4.0 bump up 4&1.  Either Baker is trying to get back to 4.0 or he is really injured.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt.  Since Rossouw defaulted Line 3 doubles and played someone who is clearly not ready to play, that means he could only get 5 players out.  That is 5 out of 25 roster players.  This is head shaking...

Since this is the Dallas league, lets talk about this rather than Fort Worth.


Flight A - This is the only flight that all scheduled reported.  T-Bar has a very good team and they handled High Point with no issue.  Interesting result, Carey/Modic easily took care of Newman/Voss... 0&1.  I would have been surprised in Newman/Voss won that match but wouldn't guess that result.  All in all, a real beat down of 5-0.  I know life gets tougher on T-Bar.  McKinney beats Royal Oaks 5-0.  This is not a Rothwell Royal Oaks team.  I wouldn't read much into McKinney being a contender.  Oak Creek/Herget defeated El Dorado 4-1 but their one loss was a default.  This team is.. 'experienced' but still a good team.  Brookhave wins 3-2 over Stonebridge.  Good match between 2 solid but not spectacular 4.5 teams.

Flight B - Rossouw was able to win the only match played/reported.  They beat T-Bar and they were able to get 8 players out.  Maybe the distance to Fort Worth is too much.  They won 4-1 with the only loss being the usually reliable Jay Benjamin.

Flight C - Only two matches were played (or reported).  Village beat Oak Creek.  Village only won 3-2 over a pretty medicore team.  The Village has some really good players but may have some depth issues.  Too early to tell.  High Point/Le lost to LB Houston.  Le was more competitive than I would have thought.  They lost 3-2. The pre-season tanking prediction is too early to make any decisions.

Week 1 is in the books... sorta but at least the season has finally started.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Be careful who you team up with

On a bright spring day a self-rate frog came hopping up to a small stream.  As he prepared to enter the stream a scorpion dressed as a captain approached him.  “I noticed you have very strong legs as you hopped this way, not to mention a big forehand and a wicked American twist serve.  How about you give me a ride to the other side of the stream where my team is playing and you can join us?  I think you’d fit in nicely.  Since I can’t swim and need the strongest of frogs to carry me to my destination, you can swim across and I’ll ride on your back.”  The frog considered the offer but was wary.  “I was an 18 super a few years ago and am starting to play tennis seriously again but I’ve been warned to be careful of who I fall in with.”

”You have nothing to fear from me," said the scorpion.  “True, I’ve had some scrapes with players who have left me in the past but you won’t leave me.  You'll love it here.  You even look good enough that I will play you with me in big matches.”  Still the frog was weary.  But the scorpion did seem to have a lot of other frogs and they did look pretty good playing on the other side of the stream.  “How do I know that if I agree to give you a ride you won’t decide to sting me?” asked the frog.  The scorpion smiled, “why would I do that?  If I stung you it's true that you might die but I would sink as well.  No smart captain would turn on one of his own frogs.”

Still weary, the young frog did have to admit that this made a lot of sense.  The scorpion would have to be crazy to sting me.  We would both sink and drown.  And if other frogs found out about it they would reconsider ever giving him a ride again.  Finally he told the scorpion to hop on and he started out across the stream.  About half way across the frog reconsidered his decision and told the scorpion he had decided to play elsewhere.  The scorpion began stinging him furiously until the frog was on the verge of death.  “Why would you do this?” asked the frog, “now we will surely both die.”  With a broad smile his passenger replied, “because I’m a scorpion.  It’s what I do.” 

The scorpion then climbed back onto the shore as a promising new frog hopped up.

Monday, April 7, 2014

2013 Pimp of the Year-First Annual Dallas Tennis Playas Ball Awards

We all know that pimpin’ ain’t easy.  It is time to recognize the Mack Daddy’s of Dallas Tennis.  Without captains, aka, the Pimps of Dallas tennis, there would be no league.  I’ve decided to make the first annual Pimp of the Year for the DTA Playa’s Ball.  The rules require the pimp to get his stable of Hoes to a National ‘Playas Ball.’  You must win a 2013 sectional title and it must have men on the roster so you mixed pimps get to be a part.   These hard core Mack Daddy’s all want their money (street slang for wins)…  the pimp’s money is getting those wins…

With no further ado…  Here are the  candidates

We start with upper class TBar Terror.  None other than Guido the Killer Pimp.

Oscar Flores-  aka Guido the Killer Pimp--Pimped his stable of hoes to a 5.0+ nationals runnerup.  These aren’t your ordinary skanks.  These are 5.0 hoes.  These are your $1,000 per night escort hoes.  Oscar and Guido know top notch talent when they see it and use it as it should be.  They are the type that will be featured on a CNBC the Business of Pleasure documentary.  We don’t see these hoes street walking at the point.  To make his hoes even hotter, they have some 5.0+ hoes.  This is serious top shelf hoes.  They finished national runner-up.  We are talking about some serious top talent.  This is a stable of hoes that Oscar can be proud to pimp.  Look for yourself, this is what a stable of call-hoes are suppose to look like.

Here is a video of Guido himself talking to another Dallas legendary pimp Joel; he is just letting Joel know that 5.0 hoes are his hoes and Joel better remember not to get into his territory…

Our next candidate hails from the mean streets of Fretz and Furious.  It is Willy Dynamite himself...

Keith Clark- aka Willie Dynamite—This mild mannered business man by day and hard core pimp daddy on the weekends pimped his stable of 3.5 40+ hoes to a Playa’s Ball Title.  While Oscar had some high class hoes, these are more the street walking skank variety.  Most are over the hill and none of them were ever high class hoes to start.  From results, they appear to have had  two top producing singles player hoes to drag them all the way to a crystal ball.  The others are just over the hill lifetime skank hoes.  They don’t have the sexiness of Oscar’s top shelf hoes but pimpin’ ain’t easy and Clark pimped this group to a championship.  These are some low rent hoes but nevertheless, champion hoes.  Here is a picture of the stable.   

 I bet these hoes will please for a Benjamin… Who am I kidding, they would please for a Lincoln, and I'm talking the coin not the folding green variety.  Here is a video of what happens if someone crosses Willie Dynamite…

Our third candidate is the wicked witch of the DTA West Side Wagon Wheel.  She is the only Madam among our esteemed playas. Miss Mona Stangley

Krista Carlson-aka Miss Mona Stangley- The Wagon Wheel Ranch Madam is the only female on the list. She has several fillies in her stable.  She pimped her 9.0 MXD over the hill 40+ hoes to nationals.  She added James Ribbed“for her pleasure”man and Feldman for added insurance.  These are a couple of longtime Dallas top notch hoes.  They’ve been successfully hoeing the Dallas tennis scene for years.  She also has dependable hoe Paul Kiron.  No high level Dallas stable of hoes is complete without Kiron.  These are your $500/night and up hoes; she still has a few $1,000 premium hoes like OG OscarG too.  Take a look at this stable.  Impressive.  Easily the best looking group of hoes.

Here is her happy self singing with Burt Reynolds?.  In clearly the most painful video to watch, if you feel you need to skip one, I recommend this one.

Our fourth candidate is from the High Point Hood, Goldie the Mack...

Greg Wiley-aka Goldie TheMack-Pimped his stable of over the hill 40+ hoes to the 4.0 Playa’s ball.  Looks like they got pimp slapped when they were there by superior hoes but represented Texas at the Playa’s ball nonetheless.  Looking at the picture, he has to have the fattest hoes and the amazing thing is most play out of a fitness club.  This Mack Daddy must be trying to corner the chubby chase market.  These are your $20 and $10/job crack hoes.  Take a look at his stable for yourself...

He does have dedicated Hoes.  One is so dedicated that his name is Ho.  Hard to find that kind of dedication in pimpin' these days.  Goldie is a cold blooded brother.  He only cares about his bitches getting his money (slang for wins).  Take a look at a hidden camera of a conversation with one of his hoes that didn't produce.  I hope that isn't his Hoe named Ho.

AKA, Spring Park menace is our fourth nominee, The Fly Guy...

Alan Abbruzzese aka The Fly Guy–This world class pimp took his stable of hoes to two different Playa’s Balls.  This is a very impressive feat.  He took them to a national runner up in 18s 8.0 mixed and then won a sectional title in over the hill 40s.  Both are at 8.0 and no mixed stable of hoes is complete without the greatest Dallas mixed hoe of all time, Mike Kelly.  This is the kind of hoe that can nearly lock down a John every time.  He even added a new blood Hoe in Kyle Davidson.  Much like Kelly, Kyle is an underrated Hoe.  Most believe he is capable of hoeing at higher levels.  He and Kelly are definitely capable of hoeing in Oscar’s high class hoe stable.  Take a look at the AA's stable.  He has two stables but most moonlight in the other.

 In Mixed, his stable of hoes have performed!  Here is a video of the Fly Guy walking down the street in his total pimp style with his pimp theme music...

Our final nominee comes from the Lifetime Crime family.  Mr. Dolemite himself

Joel Pickett-aka Dolemite- This long time big time pimp took his Tri-Level hoes to a national championship.  This is not a sanctioned national Playa’s Ball so he will lose points.  He borrowed Alan’s top producing Ho Kelly and went and got a Fort Worth Ho.  His mid-level hoes really didn’t produce but he made Clark one of his main bitches for this event.  They won but not a true playa’s ball takes points away.  Regardless, it was some great pimpin’.  This big time pimp still wins a championship at the best event in the Playa’s circuit.  Even if that event isn’t ‘sanctioned.’  Gotta get props.  Here is a pic of his Hoes.

As if keeping his flock in line isn’t tough enough, Dolemite has to deal with cops framing him for tanking he didn’t commit. He and his army of hoes wreak havoc across lifetime.  Often quoted and never forgotten, Dolemite Pickett is one bad mutha… Here is a video of his pimping…

There you have it, your DTA candidates for Pimp of the Year.  The winner is… Alan Abbruzzese.  Any man who can pimp his way to two Playa’s Balls in one tennis year is a man of extraordinary pimping ability.   Here is a clip of his acceptance speech…

 This annual award can go to all of you wannabe Playas.  All you gotta do is pimp your stable to Nationals.  There is a lot of competition and a lot of events to get you qualified.  Do you have it in you?  The DTA needs yo money, get more hoes!  Remember, those Houston Pimps don't play nice.