Thursday, October 17, 2013

Have a Ball

My daughter does not like sports movies.

Actually, that’s an understatement.

She despises them.

“It’s a plot problem,” she says. “They are ALL the same. You've got your ragtag underdog with ‘issues’ up against the Big Dog with all the money and talent — and shock of all shocks (she says making a big ‘O’ with her mouth), the underdog WINS!”

“Yeah,” my son pipes up. “You never see the underdogs go in there and get CRUSHED! You never hear the Big Dogs in the post-game interview saying, ‘Man we coulda beat ‘em by WAY more than 200 points if it hadn't been for that dang mercy rule.’”

As for me, I am a sucker every single time. I LOVE sports movies. Just the thought of Hoosiers, Rudy, or Secretariat makes me grin.

Well, our family actually experienced a few sports movie ingredients this week.

You see, our local high school doesn't have a tennis team. It’s small and rural and doesn't even have tennis courts. It has a parking lot... and lots of Trans Ams.

So, what do you do when your son loves tennis, and it’s the only sport he wants to play? Well, you leap hurdles and jump through hoops, provide a ton of transportation, and get special permission for him to play with another school's team as an exhibition (non-scoring) player. At least that’s what we did.

And it was worth it. Throughout the two-month season, my son had a lot of fun doing something he loves to do. End of story. Well, not quite…

Two weeks ago, we were informed that my son is his high school’s #1 player (um…he’s their only player, like, ever), and as such, he would be competing in the district tournament.


So, this week my son donned his mom-designed uniform (actually, that was wicked-cool) and traveled two hours to the district meet. He had a goal of winning just one game.

As sports movie luck would have it, my freshman son with no coach and no team (but a wicked-cool uniform) was paired with the senior Big Dog who happened to be the #1 player in the district.

And guess what!

The Big Dog CRUSHED him!

The score was 6-0 and 6-0.

So, my son regrouped for match #2.

Well, he didn't achieve his goal of winning just one game — he won 13! He even won the second set of the three-set match. And it was some grueling dueling — nearly two hours of play before my underdog pup was defeated.

But he came off the court grinning — looking forward to the next three years as his school’s #1 player.

And by the time he’s a senior, I’m putting my money on one thing for sure —

His sister is going to be really ticked off when the film crew shows up.

UPDATE for 2013: On Tuesday my sophomore underdog placed 4th at this year’s district meet. Oh, yeah!

His sister is obviously concerned.

PROMPT: Get your game on! Write a sports story today — go all made-for-TV movie or skip the formula and throw ‘em a curve by thinking outside of the boxing match. You’re sure to have a winner!

Go team!