Sorry, another break from the trip. I know, you thought we were heading to Copenhagen – and we’ll get there soon. I promise. But you know sometimes, I have to do bloggerpy. Take a few minutes…get something off my mind. Share it with my cyber friends.
And assume you’ll all take my side.
As you may or may not know, in my head, I am a semi-professional tennis player. This means matches or practices several days a week – some of which actually leave me on the winning side. Most of which leave me wondering why I’m not faster, stronger, better.
Last night – a league match in the city league. The format is three mixed doubles courts. Now, I don’t mean to brag, but my team is on the top of the rankings this year. That doesn’t mean we’ve won all of our matches, but still enough to be able to look down and wave at the other teams from the numero uno position.
Our group arrived at the courts, got warmed up…and the other team…seemed to be lacking. To be specific – they only had one man and one woman…which, if you do the match, means they were two courts short at go-time.
But being the kind and gentle team that we are, we agreed to go ahead and start Court One until the rest of our opponents arrived. Court One was my court – with my partner Matt. Courts Two and Three…never showed. Meaning an automatic win for our team. Meaning Court One didn’t matter, but we played anyway.
Way too much background information…but long story short…Matt and I played a great first set and got bamboozled in the second set when the guy on the other side decided to show his real skill set. And we lost the tie breaker. It was torturous. Let’s call them Elmer and Gigi.
Side Note: Elmer had the most annoying yokelly laugh I’ve ever heard. Wanted to scream out many times, “For the LOVE…stop!” But I didn’t.
Still, I was a bit surprised to get an email from my captain today with a ‘heads up’ that our opponents had reported me to the league for poor conduct on the court. Come again? I mean, I know I was frustrated. I know I’d commented once (or thrice) that there was no way Elmer was a 3.0 player. (That’s a ranking…this league combines a 3.5 woman with a 3.0 man).
But nothing that should have provoked an email to the league.
Not thinking anything of it – I zipped an email over to the league coordinator to find out the deal, thinking Elmer didn’t like the suggestion that he was sandbagging.
And then it came to me. From my captain. THE email complaint.
Now down here in the south, we have a saying…it goes like this…”blah, blah, blah – I nearly FELL OUT.” This means you are so stunned/shocked/surprised/offended/etc. that, well, you nearly fall out. I don’t know what you fall out of – I just know how it feels when you nearly fall out.
And when I read this email – I very nearly no-doubt-about-it almost fell out.
I will now share said email…sans my thoughts. Which will come later.
From: Gigi (remember, this is a fake name…I do have some class…)
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:53 PM
To: (the league coordinator – copied to captain and, of course, Elmer).
Subject: IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT COURT CONDUCT (really, all caps?)
As league coordinator for RATL, you need to be aware of inappropriate conduct occurring during the 6.5 mixed league (she didn’t put a period at the end of that sentence. I hate bad punctuation)
This evening our team, Nothing But Net, played against Random Aces. I played with my husband Elmer against a guy name Matt, his partner was Jill. Her behavior was nothing short of appalling and unacceptable. She was exceedingly rude, throwing her racket, returning balls before serve by smashing them across the court. She complained about everything, including my husband’s playing level. We’ve all seen rude and obnoxious players out there, if need be, I give you several more examples of her character.
However, she SERIOUSLY crossed a line in the second set. My husband hit a great overhead, she looked at him and said “you’re a jackass”. This is absolutely unacceptable. She eventually lost so much control of her emotions, that she threw match point by purposely hitting it out. Her partner Matt did not appreciate this.
I hope that this style of play is considered extremely rude and unacceptable by the people running the league, and that necessary measures will be taken.
Have you nearly fallen out? Yeah, I just nearly did again when I reread that.
In the interest of full disclosure – early in my tennis career, I had a bit of a temper. But I took great strides in toning it down and. I admit, I probably wasn’t that much fun to play with five years ago. But – that girl’s done gone. Yeah, I still sometimes feel maybe not awesome about my on court attitude…but this? Hell’s no.
So let me counterpoint:
* I didn’t throw my racket on the court once. Often when I am walking back to the benches, I toss my racket on the bench. You can see this at any practice or match. It’s not an angry toss or a slam – it’s just a toss on the bench. I know most people treat their rackets like gold, I’m not one of them. It’s why I don’t spend $200 on my rackets.
* I did send a ball back to Gigi one time when she wasn’t looking ~ which I said sorry for. Wasn’t smashing them back – although I generally bounce them on my side of the court first. I’ve played other ladies that do this too – maybe it was new to her. Either way, the balls have to get from one side to the other, and a light tap generally doesn’t do the trick. And PS – you’re on a tennis court…balls tend to fly around.
* I did complain a lot. About myself. To myself – including calling myself many things, such as ‘moron,’ ‘idiot,’ and, yes, ‘jackass’. This was because of my ability to constantly hit the ball straight to Elmer instead of around him. I talk on the courts – to myself. It’s just how I roll. And it’s legal last I checked.
* The only time I was specifically upset with Elmer was when he nailed my partner with an overhead – after nearly hitting him several times.
* I never lost control of my emotions – no tears, screaming, stomping – I’m guessing if I had any one of the players on the courts next to us would have noticed. They did not.
* And on the last point, Matt and I both were just plain done – I did hit the ball out on purpose (not at anyone, just up and over and long) per the two second conversation between Matt and I prior to the point to that started with “Should I just end it?” and finished with “Please do.”
The annoying thing? Now I’m obsessed with replaying the match in my head – not remembering my kick ass shots…but trying to locate the point in the match where Gigi evidently left our court and went to play with Charlie Sheen then came back and confused me for him.
And as a follow up, I had a nice chat with the Director of Tennis for the city. Who was super nice and open to the idea that there just might be two sides to this story. Like Gigi had a story – and I missed the whole thing.