Baseball, Canada, Daily prompt, DCMontreal Light, Football, Formula One, Hockey, Montreal, Opinion, Pope, Soccer, Sports, Television, Wordpress

Sports Look Faster In Person – Usually

Ernesto Escobedo serves to Nikoloz Basilashvili

I am a fan of sports. But not being a fan of crowds I tend to limit myself to television coverage. Recently we were given a pair of “Prestige Passes” to attend the Rogers Cup ATP event in Montreal.

Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

With a sunny day forecast, free parking provided and fifth-row seats how could I say no. So off we went to Parc Jarry in the city’s northern section, a place I had not been to since I worked on the Pope’s visit in 1984. The new tennis facility which integrates the original home of the Montreal Expos is lovely.

We took our seats in the fifth row to watch a match pitting American Ernesto Escobedo against Nikoloz Basilashvili of the Georgia. Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats.

I have attended hockey games, football games, baseball games, Formula 1 races, even a few soccer matches.  What always strikes me, particularly in the case of F1 races, is how television coverage does not do justice to the speed of the event. In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats. A football running-back’s dart down the field and the physical contact of the game are impressive, to say the least.

Then there is tennis.

This was my second professional tennis match. The first was many years ago and featured Gabriela Sabatini. On both occasions, I came away thinking how slow the game is in person. With the exception of the delivery of services, or serves, which are tremendously fast. Tennis looks better on TV to this armchair athlete.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
Standard
Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Media, News, Opinion, Sports, Wordpress

US Open: Throwing in the Towel

Lleyton Hewitt, (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Lleyton Hewitt, (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The weather conditions in New York this past week have featured very high temperatures: hot, with periods of scorching, and humid, almost jungle-like. Throw in a few bolts of lightning, some thunder and the odd bit of torrential rain and you have a typical late-August, early September week in the Big Apple. Those who are dealing most with the effects from these sauna-like conditions are the men and women on the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. Not just the competitors, but the ball-boys and ball-girls – ball-people? – who might better be called towel-people.

Now maybe it’s because I’m a typically over-polite Canadian, but it seems to me a little respect could be shown these attendants rather than a sweaty towel in the kisser.

Even my fellow Montrealer Eugenie Bouchard had a tough time coping with the heat during her fourth-round match, eventually losing after taking an extended medical break to be iced-down. Is this wicked heat a new ripple at the US Open? Battling not only your opponent, but the elements as well. I doubt it, it’s been hot and muggy in New York in late summer for eons. Is global warming to blame? Could be, but I doubt it.

But the players’ reaction to the heat has evolved. When I was in university I worked as a tennis court attendant, not that I played the game, but someone has to sort out who plays when. That was me. Spending much time with tennis enthusiasts did rub-off on me a little and I took an interest in the game. At that time the big rivalry was Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors. They played some monumentally tough long matches that would have drained most professionals. When these players’ faces became covered in perspiration they used the aptly named sweat bands to sop up the moisture. A towel was a rarity unless they were sitting between games.

Today’s US Open players turn to the towel after almost every point. Like T-shirt clad butlers the ball people appear from nowhere with towel in hand. The player towels off then unceremoniously tosses the wet towel back to the bearer, often without even looking. Now maybe it’s because I’m a typically over-polite Canadian, but it seems to me a little respect could be shown these attendants rather than a sweaty towel in the kisser. Those are people, humans, not towel and bearing drones. I know the players are wrapped up in the competition, but a little decorum can only bring about a bit of good karma in my mind. Can you be classy and competitive? Ask Montreal Canadiens’ legendary captain Jean Beliveau!

… remove the used bands after a match and hurl them into the crowd. … most expensive seats in the house and you get a wet sweat band in your lap.  I’m hoping this trend doesn’t catch-on with Sumo wrestlers.

But you’ll be pleased to know the classic sweat band has not been retired, many players still use them as well as the towels. In fact it has become traditional to remove the used bands after a match and hurl them into the crowd. Yep, most expensive seats in the house and you get a wet sweat band in your lap. Shades of Elvis tossing sweaty scarves and tissue to those “lucky” enough to have good seats. I’m hoping this trend doesn’t catch-on with Sumo wrestlers.

By all means keep using those towels, but show a little class when returning them to the ball person!

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
Standard