Friday, May 28, 2010

Action-packed Upstate Pickleball - 5/28/2010

We had a full complement of players (16) and tons of fun on this HOT Friday. Players: Johnny, Mike, Steve, Ray, Charlie, Jan, Anne, Catherine, David H, Bob H, Bob T, Lynne, Joanie, Peter, Muriel and your leader by default. Sharon (Bag Lady for the day) was the only spectator. She pulled a muscle (she begged me not to say where) on Tuesday, so she spent this session shagging balls and placing them in a plastic bag. Thus: Bug Lady. We had a mysterious player (shown above) who appeared out of no where, played a few masterful games and disappeared right when it clouded over?
Jan was back in action today having just returned from a trip 'across the pond' and Anne (Pit Bull) just returned from 2 weeks gallivanting around the East Coast. But, they soon got into the swing of things (so to speak) and played hard and fast. We were a little crowded, with 16 players, but no one minded sitting out a little longer than usual - so, it wasn't a big problem. But, we are hoping like crazy that the courts at Gowers Park will be ready soon.
We have been having great turnouts and terrific competition, but we hope some of our long-lost pals will come around. We need a few more characters who are willing and able to take the heat: the heat of the game and the heat of the bantering. Both equally fun. Have a safe holiday and don't forget to fly "Old Glory". See you next week.
PS: Pictures can be enlarged by left-clicking on them. This includes the collages. Ed in Chief.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brownies today - P'ball, too. 5/25/2010

Above is Cupcake, sort of gloating. Before her is a very nice batch of brownies (with nuts) reluctantly provided by Buckeye. Cupcake is gloating and enjoying a brownie at the same time because they were extorted from Buckeye. The last time we played P'ball he left the court but, inadvertently, forgot to take his paddle. It was promptly commandeered by Cupcake and she forwarded a ransom note. Paraphrased: "Bring brownies the next time we play or you'll never see your paddle again." The paddle was returned unharmed. Cupcake unselfishly shared her booty with the rest of the troops.

Eleven players were on hand: Johnny (Hoot), Carol (Lash), Bob T (Grumpy), Bob H (Buckeye). Mike (Spidy), Charlie, Peter, Steve (Stevie Wonder), Lynne (Ace), Sharon (Cupcake) and Ron (Spike). Chance of T-storms were predicted, but we were blessed with nice weather, a dry court and just enough breeze to make thing interesting. Charlie (of May 4th damaged knee fame) was back, and started getting into the groove. We had an occasion where Player 1 dropped a shot over the net and on its own accord, (helped somewhat by backspin and wind), hopped back over the net without being touched by either opponent. The point goes to Player 1.
We had a fun day and many hard-fought games. And, of course the brownies were a big hit.

We'll be playing again on Friday, May 28th. But, always verify the schedule by checking your email.
Ed. note: All photos, including those in collages, can be enlarged by left-clicking on the individual images.

Friday, May 21, 2010

About 1 Dozen - P'ball - 5/21/10

We had 12 players today - plus, Bridgett - that makes for a Baker's Dozen. Of course Bridgett didn't play. But, she was on guard duty as you can plainly see. Here she scans the territory from the comfort of Lynne's lap. Players in action: Catherine, Bob T, Bob H, John, Johnny, Mike, Steve, Ray, Joanie, Lynne, Sharon & yon storyteller. It was good to see Catherine back after a lengthy hiatus. She was kind enough to take some pictures including one of me that is included in one of the collages. Some of our fan club members (UPG Fan Club Worldwide and Boosters Internationale) have expressed some doubt about my presence at recent matches due to the utter lack of direct digital documentation. The photo should put all such doubts to rest. Below: The two best dressed and color-coordinated players of the day. Ray in his robin-egg blue outfit and John (The Spin Doctor) attired in British tan. Ray was sporting a new paddle and made some sweet shots; Stevie Wonder's celebrations were much more subdued - probably fearing sanctions; Lynne (Ace) practiced her French, usually after she missed kill-shots; Johnny (Hoot) played the net hard as usual, and left more than a few opposing players shaking in their Nike Airs; Joanie made several nice winning shots immediately followed by gleeful outbursts (hers) and quiet weeping by her opponents; Cupcake, the posterchild for ADD, watched a disc-golf player, stomp on his Frisbee - then throw it into the parking lot. Cupcake took all of this in while she was playing P'ball. The two Bobs (Grumpy and Buckeye, but not necessarily in that order) stayed out of mischief. Otherwise, everyone was well behaved and we had lots of good matches including a few that went into overtime.
A light drizzle commenced after about an hour of play. We kept at it until the drizzle picked up and finally coated the courts. Using better judgement than usual, we called it quits at about 11:00AM - so we played for 1-1/2 hours. We'll be at it again next week. More fun in the sun.
PS: Buckeye inadvertantly left his paddle behind when he departed. It is being held for ransom. Stayed tuned.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Extraordinary P'ball Session - May 19, 2010

Peter F. is today's poster boy by an almost unanimous vote of the Upstate Pickleball Group Committee For Occasionally Honoring Selected Players Once-A-Week, Or So (UPGCFOHSPO-A-W, OS). Congratulations Peter and thanks for the 'donation'.

We had exceptional weather today and a good group of players - eleven in all: Johnny, Carol, Bob T, Mike, Joanie, Peter, Steve, Lynne, Muriel, Sharon & Ron. Hard fought games as always and plenty of time for jaw-sessions as well. There was one Rules Infraction that must be reported for the good of the game. Stevie Wonder was cited for flagrant and excessive celebration. He yelled, hollered and carried on for what seemed like several minutes after he executed a fine forehand, point-winning shot. He was also intending to jump the net, but was restrained by his partner, who reminded Stevie that the game wasn't over! Mr. Wonder will receive a written reprimand when the Rules and Character Committee meets in March 2016.
We have successfully adopted two more nicknames as follows: Carol will now answer to Lash, reminiscent of Lash LaRue - a cowpuncher famous for his adeptness with a whip. His whip prowess, however, doesn't even begin to compare with Carol's lashing at the ball when she plays the net. Get it: Lash - lashing? Work on it, OK? Johnny will be called Hoot henceforth (Not Hoot Henceforth - just Hoot from now on). This is a nickname that he acquired many years ago. The UPG Nickname Conglomerate Association, Inc, LLC also recommended Crusher, as a possibility, but the handle was categorically, rejected by Hoot.

We have fun, get good exercise and I get to write these idiotic blurbs. It's the Pickleball Experience. Will be looking at Friday for our next match. Check your email.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pickleball funday - May 14, 2010

We had a swell day (some might even call it 'swell-tering) if the 90 degree temperature were to be factored into the equation. Not to worry. Twelve hearty players arrived including Richard W and newbie Paul who both hailed from Keowee Keys - which we are told - is within the Continental United States. Players present: Bob T (Grumpy), Bob H (Buckeye), Muriel, Richard W, Paul, John (Spinmaster), Johnny, Carol, Lynne (Ace), Mike (Spidy), Sharon (Cupcake) and Ron (Spike). Some very exciting events occurred today. Most importantly: Carol started a match @ "zero, zero only" and never gave up the serve wining the match almost single-handidly 11 - 0. I was lucky enough to be her partner and barely had to move during the shellacking of whoever the opponents were. Bob T had a few games that he'd like to forget, plus a few hard-fought beauties. But, the devastating losses wore on him and to repent he decided to officially adopt the nickname 'Grumpy' until further notice. So, Grumpy it is. Above: That's Carol with her 'matching-knees' outfit. Below: Spidy (with Muriel) is about to kill the ball but, hopefully, not the opposing players (Buckeye & Carol).
Welcome to Paul from KK. He has never played P'ball before, but has played other paddle/racquett sports before and it showed up in his playing. No problem there. Below: Muriel laces the ball from the depths of her territory.
We ended our 3-hour day of many nice matches with a few 'Alpha' matches. It just kills me to report this - but, in the last game of the day - Spidy and Ace, came back from a 7 - 2 deficit, playing against yours truly and Bob T (Grumpy) and won the game 11-8! Good show.

We enjoyed the day, as we always do. Even got some gabbing in. Some wondered about the absence of Stevie Wonder. He's probably fretting about the Cav's loss to the Cetlics? But, who can possibly know for sure?
See you next week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Moisture-impaired P'ball - Tuesday, May 11, 2010

OK. So, the weather prediction was a little off. It rained Monday evening, but we dried the courts in short order. In the mean time we accumulated 9 players as follows: Mike, Steve, Ray, John, Bob T, Gary, Peter, Sharon and her little brother.

As soon as we started playing, it started to mist, then drizzle (neither of these terms constitute 'rain' . FYI and for future reference: Not rain = Cloudy, fog, mist, drizzle & sprinkles; rain = showers, rain, downpour, deluge, gullywasher & hurricane). The courts were soon wet, but not by 'rain' as already explained in detail above. This weather event discouraged a few players, who some would say, used good judgement and departed after a few games. The rest of us played on, and lucky us - the mist stopped and the courts tended to dry a little. We had several good games and managed to play for two hours.

Status report: we are waiting to hear about the status of the 5 tennis courts at Gowers Park that are supposed to be resurfaced and lined for Pickleball/tennis. We are looking forward to that event, so we'll be able to encourage more players to join us and perhaps invite players from other groups to join us for some friendly competition.

See you on the courts.
Sharon's little brother, Spike

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pickleball Spectacular - May 7, 2010

We had a bang-up day today that included beautiful weather and a nice visit from P'ball enthusiasts from Keowee-key. But before we could get started, we had to clear the courts that were quite puddled from last evening's T-storms. Bob T, was the first one there and he had started the cleanup. Keowee-Keyer Roger showed up early too, so we handed him a broom and put him to work. His 1st time @ P'ball and he gets to swab the deck! And, we didn't charge him anything for the privilege. All part of the game and he took in stride. Our regular crowd showed up over time. When the full contingent of visitors and core players arrived we ended up with 19 players and one visitor (Pattie*). Players present: Mike, Steve, Gary, Ralph, John, Lynne, Joanie, Sharon, Bob T, Bob H, Roger*, Peter, Dick S*, Raylene*, Richard W*, James, Pete P, Jan and yon Editor.
Once we got started, Mike (Spidy), Ralph, Gary & Stevie Wonder decided to play at McPherson Park, which worked out well, because we were still left with 15 players - and, that's a lot of action on two courts. But, we managed famously and played many games, sometimes shuffling in four players at a time. The crew from Keowee-Key are nice folks (must be a P'baller genetic trait) and played some excellent matches. Hopefully they will get some courts going in their neighborhood and we'll be able to join them for some matches on their home turf.

* The names in red are the folks from keowee-Key.
FLASH: Spidy just reported that his party of four played 6 hard-core matches at McPherson and had a swell time, but they missed us terribly!
See you next week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pickleball - Not for softies - May 4, 2010

The photo above shows the ghastly "wounded knee" suffered by new-guy Charlie who 'took one for the team' on his very first time playing Pickleball. This is, after all, the way the game is meant to be played. Charlie understands that, so he'll play again with the UPG. Welcome Charlie.

The courts were very wet this morning, so Steve (second-in-charge, twice-removed) got there early to clear the courts. Good guys Bob T and John showed up immediately thereafter (or, just before), both fully armed and the trio went at the courts with Charlie taking on the all important, but poorly paid supervisory roll. Peter was on hand, too.

We started playing, the sun came out and the courts dried themselves in nothing flat. Many good games followed. Stevie Wonder was on his game. It was difficult, and sometimes impossible, to get a ball by him when he was at the net. Lynne and yon editor can attest to that. It was during one of the hot matches that Charlie did (we think) a one-and-a-half-gainer and made quite a racket in the process.
As always, we had a lot of fun. We played for 2-1/2 hours. Many thanks to Steve for scheduling the matches for the last 10 days and to Lynn for sending out the notices.

Above: Steve and Joanie; Below: Bob T and Lynne; 2nd below: John and Mike.

Looking forward to the next match. Probably May 7th, but check your email for the Official Notification.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pickleball Report - April 30, 2010 @ Timmons

Steve reports that 11 players were present and the day was a South Carolina beauty. Present: Steve, Bob H, Bob T, Gary, Jan, Joanie, Anne, Peter, Peter P, James and Robin. Looking forward to the next match - probably on Tuesday May 4th, but hold for the official notification.

Roving reporter
Manchester, CT