The Tennis Curmudgeon


That Guy
July 7, 2010, 12:01 am
Filed under: Tennis, Tennis Curmudgeon, The Tennis Curmudgeon | Tags: , , ,

Is it me? I mean, is it me? Am I the only one? That guy is there again. No matter which tournament I go to. You know who I mean. I’m talking about that big heavy set guy who always seems to get good seats at the tourneys. Different town, same guy. You’ve seen him.

He’s the guy next to you in your box seats and he’s got ice cream or he’s got some pile of nacho cheese chips and a beer. And inevitably, in the second set, the guy’s fast asleep. And leaning into your space. Or his fat sausage like arm is pushing your arm off your arm rest. Or the guy starts doing the head nods. The guy’s head keeps snapping up but it eventually slumps down around his doughy, sloping side-of-beef shoulders.

Who the hell is he? My hand to God, in every tournament where I get good seats, that guy is there. Now if I’m sitting up in the top bleachers, with my back going stiff from no support, he isn’t there. But as soon as I get box seats or something at Indian Wells, or at the Penn Pilot, Legg Mason, or whatever ATP tournament, he’s there. Crowding my space. Breathing nacho cheese on me and everyone around him.

Maybe the guy’s a former baller. Maybe his company has corporate tickets and the guy loves tennis. Maybe he plays in a senior league at his club. I dunno. But he’s usually a guy in his 50’s or early 60’s , I’d say. During the changeovers, the guy’s getting up and going to the beer tents. Or he’s coming back with a mound of food. And then promptly nodding off by the second set.

Wake up! I want to scream at him. Who the hell passes out when it’s 5-3 in the second set and the player is already down a set, struggling to break serve to keep from being eliminated? C’mon, you’re missing the best action! Paradorn Schrichiphan is up 5-3 but Paul Goldstein, a qualifier, is battling him back to deuce. Wake up, man!

But the guy just snorts and stays slumped in his great center court box seat, blissfully drifting away in sweet slumber. And we all get to smell nacho cheese dip.

—Bobby

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