Friday, August 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…  It was easier to win Dallas each successive year, it was harder to win Texas than ever before. 

Dallas has been in a mental funk for a few years now.  Getting beat down at sectionals repeatedly can do that to you if you don’t understand the bigger picture.  Most people will have no idea what I’m talking about.  They’ve been beat down in flight play or at cities so many times they didn’t even know the playoffs had a sectionals or nationals.  The last time we had a sectionals champion at 4.0 was a Somabut team in 2009.  That team took 3d in the nation and Bob’s 2003 team took 2d in the nation but since then his teams have been a shell of their former selves.  Still, other than those two teams Dallas hasn’t won a 4.0 sectionals title from 2002 to today.  That’s as far back as I could research.  In that time period, Houston has won four times, including the last three; Lubbock has won twice; San Antonio has won twice; Dallas twice; Amarillo once; and Waco won the National Title in 2006 under Bill Sanders who is back representing Waco this year.

So first, to all the people in Dallas who think it is full of cheaters, evidently Dallas isn’t very good at it because it doesn’t have much to show for it over the last 12 years.  And it won’t this year either.  Dallas 4.0 tennis is getting worse, pure and simple.

The story is yet to be told on the state of Dallas 4.5 tennis.  The good news is that a lot of the same guys who have had sectionals success are back in the mix this year.  The bad news is that it’s a lot of the same guys.  You need those guys, but you win it all with the guys no one has ever heard of.  But Dallas did go to nationals in 2011 and 2012 taking 3d place in 2011.  Over the same 12 year span in 4.5, it looks a lot like it did in 4.0: Houston has won four times; Dallas three; Austin twice; NOHO once; Brownsville once; and San Antonio won the National Title in 2006 under Jorge Vazquez who is also a member of this year’s San Antonio team.  And when you look at the captains of these teams you see a lot of repeat names.  And that’s where I think the key to this all lies. 

Some captains have teams that go 3-5 and enjoy the year.  That’s great, the system needs these guys more than it needs anyone else.  These are the guys that pump all the players into the USTA machine and keep them playing.  Nothing else works without them. 

Then you’ve got the guys represented by the sectionals champions above.  In most years they are in it to win big.  Flight play and cities are typically an afterthought.  In golf vernacular, the Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday.  For these guys, the season doesn’t start until sectionals. 

The rub seems to be the guys who are in between.  We think we should win.  We watch the same guys win all the time.  If those idiots can do it why can’t we?  Familiarity breeds contempt.  We want to keep the same guys we haven’t gotten it done with before, but we want to get it done this time.  Why won’t you let us have our turn?  Sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way.  And occasionally when one of these teams does find their way into sectionals they are the ones that get smoked and wonder what happened.  Having finally snuck into their first R rated movie, they aren’t really sure what they just saw.  And don’t even get me started on how much harder nationals is.  Just look at some of the great Texas teams that got smoked at Nationals.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what the answer is.  I think some of it probably lies in a little more self-awareness.  Maybe I’m a nice city level player.  That means I’m going to get beat in a big match occasionally, and I did.  It doesn’t mean everyone that beat me was a cheater.  And maybe one of them really was a cheater.  But if I have the same accusation every time I lose it just makes me the boy who cried cheater.  Eventually no one is going to believe me – or you.  And if we’re really going to do something meaningful about the actual cheating we need to be right when we make the accusation.  That also means understanding the rules.  It’s the only way we’re going to have any credibility.  And before you start, I’m not condoning cheating.  But I am as tired of hearing people complain about it as I am tired of watching it occur. 

So take some solace in this, Dallas – the guy who knocked you out of your trip to QT, the guy who drilled you in the deciding singles match that kept you out of cities, the guy who took away your shot at that ugly sectionals T shirt – that guy is about to get the crap kicked out of him this weekend.  And if he actually wins, he’ll be bumped up anyway so you don’t have to worry about him next year.  So this weekend I’m going to have a few extra beers and sleep like a baby.  Because that’s the far, far better thing that I do.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done before; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known. 

76 comments:

  1. A little something for you to read while you sit around in your rain delays. And I sit around at work trying to figure out how to get to sectionals next year. Good luck to all the competitors.

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  2. Best write on the blog probably ever

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  3. Sounds like a little tough love for everyone involved but probably a lot of truth in it too

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  4. any results to post from this morning? 4.5 has none reported, even the 8:00 AM matches

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  5. Pickett lost to SE Texas. Rossouw beat wild Houston. Reiman beat NoHo.
    Round 2 begins for 4.5.

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  6. Freeman 4.0 served notice. Beats Superchamp laden Waco 4-1.

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    1. Both dallas teams at 4.0 are still alive. Five teams are 2-0. Both dallas, both Houston and corpus

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  7. You think Pickett misses Kelly now at 0-2. Those who said it could be done without him are ignorant. Kelly should be banned from tennis for not playing 4.5 for his city... Disgraceful!

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    1. Just goes to show its not as easy as he makes it looks. To change subject I think Summerbutt wins his flight.

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    2. Should have won it

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    3. But he didn't...........

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  8. Ban him when he plays and ban him when he doesn't??????? Absolutely incredulous!!!

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  9. No idea what's up with the Dallas 5.0 team. That was probably the worst lineup they've had all season in the first match. Has to be frustrating for the captain.

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    1. Russouw 4.5 eliminated, wild Dallas still in. Well, maybe he can get 50 on roster next time.

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  10. Good god what happened to picketts team

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    1. No kelly is what happened

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  11. Looks like Somabut has lost his mojo. Uncharacteristically under estimates Corpus Christi putting in a B line up to get players played and Corpus takes 4 lines to edge Dallas Wild out of the Semis by one line. Teterude at line 1 singles in a Sectionals match that counts?? Leonard paired with Tony Williams and drops his line 1-1 ?? Tran, Bearden, and Somabut himself sitting out of this one??

    I don't know but sure does look like a veteran captain's mistake on line-ups.

    Clark makes it to the semis but face Freeman early morning. Maybe someone should send some strippers to the Houston's team hotel to keep his boys from sleeping.

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    1. Freeman is on another smooth march to nationals. Bob's lineups are a mystery.

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    2. What happened with Wild Dallas and Corpus? Bob's boys were sitting at 3-0 with Corps at 2-1 and Dallas loses 4-1?

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  12. Amarillo versus Austin in 4.5 final

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    1. very nearly saw a Lubbock/Amarillo final who would have seen that one coming

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  14. We will never win anything in 4.5 as long as we have set anointed police and rating manipulation against the top players. Too many Indians and not enough chiefs ( Kelleys)!

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  15. I think you're being a little hard on the local guys Murray. Bob finished in the top 4 twice. No other Texas team can make that claim. A few other cities did it once, but none have added another trophy to their collection. Freeman's guys look amazing this year, so he has a good chance to win it all, but I think several of his self-rates are in danger of DQ, so we'll see who is left to make the trip. Clark's 3.5 guys also finished top 4 back in 2012, and the 40+ guys won the whole thing. There is still lotsa good stuff happening around here, but also lots of competition from the other cities.

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  16. Agree w Murray. Our 4.5 is weak and the 4.0 is just a tad better. 40 and over doesn't really count IMO. We bicker too much between ourselves to win anything around here. Houston dominates bec they all get along and they don't have their local board playing judge and jury.

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    1. Trust me, Houston players DO NOT all get along. There is tons of drama each week. Also, the Houston Tennis Association placed 3 big guns (Hurricanes, Unicorns, and Chancellors) in the same flight at the recommendation of a notorious captain. What a bunch of idiots. We have some of the biggest asshole captains in Houston, all at each other's throats. See you guys next year and shortly in 40+.

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    2. So Houston has petty HTA leadership that tried to screw the three best teams to give themselves a better chance. We have the DTA doing the same with Canyon Creek and Brookhaven. Difference is they were good enough to overcome it.

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  17. Dallas out of 4.0 as well. 4.5 Dallas went down w a whimper. Somewhere Freeman is smiling and thanking Russouw and the DTA for policing Dallas and keeping them from being competitive. If you can't beat em, police em!

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    1. So much for the 'give us our turn approach.' We got beat worse than usual. Rossouw/Pickett?Reiman's 30 player rosters are now just 90 players staying home like the rest.

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    2. ROUSSOW team was never going anywhere. Reiman had nice players but no one who was a lock. Pickett just had some bad breaks. Unless you have 2-3 ringers you will be sitting at home. Of those 90 players it was tough to find a ringer.

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    3. Why would a ringer join those rosters? Anyone with a stupid big roster is not serious about winning. Keeping players from other teams is not a recipe to make the big dance. If your top 8 can't beat the players you don't want to play against, you are playing for cities anyway.

      5.0/4.5/4.0 Dallas went down with barely a whimper.

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  18. The vast majority of the rank and file Dallas area league players are not losing sleep over the fact that the best Dallas teams are not dominating at sections. I doubt most players could even tell you which teams played this weekend. League tennis is merely a recreational diversion for most of us. Those of you feeling angst over Houston's superiority may need to rethink your priorities. Now if the Cowboys win it all this year, then you can stick your chest out and feel good about yourselves.

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    1. And the ones that don't care also don't post on this blog

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  19. Murray hit it on the head. From what I've seen over the years the teams that win it have two or 3 19 year olds that carry the team and solid players at 2 and 3 dubs that are recent bump downs. At the end of the day each level is won by teams that are out of level. The average level players that even make it to cities and sectionals get smoked in the later rounds. Amarillo 4.5 wins this year and who can tell me any of the guys are regulars in league tennis? Houston last year at 4.5 same thing. College kid players or could be.. So at the end of the day what is a middle of the road solid player to do? Make friends, play fair, and maybe some day you will get go hitch a ride go nationals with some kids on an out of level team. Until then hopefully you enjoy playing for fun.

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    1. agreed....and with the almost all of the good players in the city joining 1 or 2 "super teams" many of the solid players playing fair end up going 6-0 or 6-1 during the season and getting bumped....even though they're not good enough to crack the lineup of a top team

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    2. Either that or beg Alan to let you on his mixed team... They went to TWO nationals last year.

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    3. There is nothing fair or FUN about Texas USTA sectional matches! Until the organization makes some serious changes and a more fair and balanced playing field the same teams and players will always win and head to Nationals! My only hope is that until they make those changes.......the winning TX team spends a shit load on airfare and hotels and gets slaughtered by another state that stacks their team with self raters and ringers as well! Karma! 😉

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    4. More participation medals. Just what we need.

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  20. Pimp of the year should be easy this year. There are no candidates. The playa's ball will have lots of room on the dance floor.

    Seriously, this is pathetic. Dallas didn't even show up. We have more vitriol hatred for each other and even less product on the court.

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  21. To 3:06, you are absolutely right. The best players have no interest in playing and those in charge are completely clueless as to what it takes to win

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  22. Amazing job again by Alan, Springpark has to break up after two trips to nationals and they make playoffs again. Pretty impressive.

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    1. Amazing huh...you mean 4.0 Alan?

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    2. He could be 5.5 Alan and they'd still win. It's called good captaining.

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    3. Uh nope. Because he couldn't put himself in the mixed lineup if he was 5.5. If that is the case then have him not play and just captain.

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  23. Valid points on both sides but I stand by my position. Dallas put three teams into 4.5 sectionals. One made the semis and had a close 3-2 loss to eventual champion Amarillo. Pretty respectable. Dallas put two teams into 4.0 sectionals and both drew favorable flights. Only one advanced to the semis and they were beaten 5-0 by Freeman's eventual champions. Dallas 4.5 is a ringer or two away. Dallas 4.0 has a long way to go.

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  24. Dallas' ringer is too busy dodging the police

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    1. True, Kelly spent a day in jail getting arrested for driving his Lamborghini 137 on bush tollway. They should have kept him there damn it!

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  25. Dallas 4.5 is just one ringer away. And getting Kelly back.

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    1. This occurred to me. Kelly is more annoying when he doesn't play.

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  26. How did Dallas fall so low? Geez, this is embarrassing.

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  27. Congratulations to the Dallas ladies. They won both the 4.0 and 4.5 Sectionals. Maybe the Dallas men need to spend more time practicing and less time complaining.

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  28. Kelly is not coming back to play men's.... Not sure who thinks that but he just staying w mixed and 4.5 for fun

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  29. Does anyone know who won between high point and SP today in 8,0 mixed??? If sp won canyon crook is eliminated from playoffs , if SP won they are in again. You think Kelley had in interest in playing to make sure CCREEK was knocked out... You betcha. No results as usual !!!!! Anyone know????

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  30. I know McKinney has one line One of carlquist and hadjiwawa that can beat anyone SP has. Still no scores, hopefully SP lost!!!

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    1. You were saying? They got beat 1&1.

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    2. That was a fluke if that is true. I still see no results.

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    3. That's a joke right? They're both nice players but at 8.0 they wouldn't start on SP's team.

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    4. They couldn't play 8.0 you idiot. They are an 8.5 team w chadd getting bumped. Anyway, one of them must have been hurt. I have played them before and were solid. Quit giving SP credit.

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    5. Speaking of IDIOTS can't you even check tennislink? Chad and Christina are both on the McKinney team as 4.0s (It's not mid-season ratings IDIOT) and they lost 1-1. It's not credit, it's a fact. Look it up.

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  31. Scores posted. Only way they lose that 1 and 1 if selfish Kelley hogged the whole court. Chad is solid lefty and his partner above avg 4.0. I know them both. They were tired from sectionals. No way they get beat like that. Something must have caused it. Total luck.

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  32. You mean a country club team won women's 4.0? Say it isn't so...how is this possible? They must have a ton of ringers to choose from in the pool of players from across the city.

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  33. We may have a sectionals wrap up next week after they are all finished but for a nice re-read of what happened this weekend at 4.0 just visit the April 22 thread in the Blog Archives entitled "Apocolypse Now - Sectionals Preview".

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  34. I watched the Amarillo match vs Wild Dallas on Saturday. Amarillo had a photographer that was taking photos and yelling with each point. Seriously? I guess they deserve it if you are going to bring a photographer. That was the finals. Wild Dallas would of beat Austin or Lubbock.

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    1. Please...IF my aunt had balls she would be my uncle

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    2. If she did then you have a really messed up family that I wouldn't brag about. I'm sorry to hear that.

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    3. "Wild Dallas would of beat Austin or Lubbock" Love statements like these. Maybe we will see next year.

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  35. SP MIXED is a joke. Go play Houston league and see what happens.

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  36. Google Logan Powell tennis. He played on the Amarillo team and he is currently playing on the tour. We thought Freeman, was bad!

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  37. I saw him play. While pretty solid Kelley would beat him. He was very erratic at times.

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  38. Kelly does NOT beat Logan Powell. The other singles line for Amarillo, yes. But not Powell.

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    1. He did not beat Ted Oleson in 1999, so would not matter either

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  39. Well, at least it is 1-1 w all the doubles to play.... Lol

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  40. 1-1 after singles is fine if your top 3 doubles teams don't drop a line all weekend.

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  41. David t wu is a stud at 4.5 as well. How is he 4.5

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    1. He has been around 4.5 and 5.0 for a while. Nothing special.

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