Thursday, February 23, 2006

TennisTitan, Jeff Berkon: "Arsonists" Posted by Picasa

Joe Cruz, Yossi "Lit up by the Titan" Posted by Picasa

"Any Tips for the 'Limo Man', TennisTitan?" Posted by Picasa

Absolutely on Fire

Titan 'answered the bell' this morning to Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz' wake up call at 5:45 a.m. TT put a big time hurtin' on his amigo a few hours later at the YTC. TennisTitan paired with Jeff 'Limo Man' Berkon in the first two of the three sets played this date against the tandem of 'GK'/Yossi. 'Limo Man' describes himself as new to the game but his play this morning seemed anything but. Jeff was accurate with his serve and his volleys were effective. With 'Limo Man' at his side TT put on one of his finer displays of all-court tennis. Titan had that rare combination going for him today - power and finesse, skill and luck, 'bookmarks' down the alley when necessary, followed by lasers at the feet of his opponents in leading 'Limo Man'/TT to convincing victories in the first two sets (6-2, 6-2). Everything went in for TT: from running lefthanded forehands for winners to half volley behind the baseline, TennisTitan had the Midas Touch. 'GK' could get nothing going against the 'boisterous behemoth.' Titan was taking an open book test; he had all the answers! TT continued his hot play in set 3 when he helped elevate Yossi's game (6-3) to victory. Titan managed to give 'Limo Man' a few tips on court strategy and the effectiveness of taking pace off he ball when playing against a bigger hitter. TT wishes he could bottle today's ability. It was his Dom Perignom! 'GK' paid his usual high tribute to TennisTitan as they left the court, "I hate you, you prick! I bring you to my game and you kick my ass for my friends to see. Set your own fuckin' alarm clock!" "Jose, gracias, mi amigo" was Titan's reply.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

'Prez,' 'Big Al,' 'Irish': "A Tuckered Trio" Posted by Picasa

Afternoon Follies

After a 5 hour respite TennisTitan was back at the Yonkers Tennis Center for another round of entertaining tennis. This afternoon the Titan paired with Rich 'El Presidente" Prezioso in two plus sets of satisfying tennis against 'Big Al' Dio Dati and John 'Irish ' Gallagher. Titan/'Prez' cruised to a (6-2) victory in the opener and managed to hold on to win the second set (7-5) by withstanding a late rally that had erased a 5-2 lead. Titan/'Prez' led the final set 3-1 when play was halted due to time constraints. Titan wisely used this opportunity to practice his placement serves, lobs and half volleys from the baseline. TennisTitan was careful not to over extend himself physically thus avoiding the risk of cramping later this evening. TT enjoyed watching his opponents attempt to break down 'Prez' game by forcing their rallies to his side. Prez responded to that challenge effectively in the first set and throughout the first half of set two before losing his stroke.

Ed 'Chairman of the Board' Gor. Posted by Picasa

"Titan, I'm on Israeli time,' says Yossi. Posted by Picasa

"TT, some of us go to work" says Frank Buckley. Posted by Picasa

Today's Common Denominator

TennisTitan was the early bird today again joining three different players for a 7 a.m. start at the Yonkers Tennis Center. So Yossi, why did you show up at 7:30? Are you on Israeli time? Titan rotated himself through the group and faired reasonably well. In the opener TT paired with Frank Buckley for a thorough thumping of Yossi and Ed 'Lean, Lanky and Lefty' Gor (6-1). Titan then paired with Yossi for a (6-2) victory over the tandem of Buckley/'LLL.' The final set was similarly one sided with Yossi/Buckley routing TT and the 'Lean, Lanky, Lefty' (6-1). Titan is grateful for the opportunity to get in some indoor tennis during his weeks back in NY. He gently reminds the 'Lean, Lanky Lefty' who is the organizer of this morning tennis game that, at least for today, 'LLL' does not stand for "loser, loser, loser!" No, Ed Gor is the Chairman of the Board and deserves immense respect on and off the court!

Monday, February 20, 2006

"Titan, is that the 'Mick' like Mickey Mantle? Posted by Picasa

Tony "No Baloney" Guido Dominated Posted by Picasa

Breakfast Anyone?

TennisTitan joined the early morning group (7:30 a.m.) at the YTC this date at the invitation of Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz. The Titan and "GK' had an unexpected breakfast bagel (0-6) served up by the tandem of Tom 'Mick' Ahern and Tony 'No Baloney" Guido in short order. 'GK' could never get his game untracked as he continued to employ only his power game and hit long shot after shot. TT did not have any answers either to the all court dominance of 'No Baloney' and the consistent support offered by the 'Mick.' These elder court statesmen cruised to another comfortable (3-6) victory un the second set that led to a shuffling of the pairings. The final set paired TT with 'No Baloney against 'Mick'/'GK' and ended on serve at (4-4) and featured many of the most competitive points of the match. Joe Cruz opined as Titan dressed after the match, "Tommy, I promised YOU a good game today; I didn't say that I'd play a good game." To wit TT retorted, "Joe, you also promised me breakfast too, but you didn't say that you'd provide a bagel either!"

Friday, February 17, 2006

"Billy the Kraut" Goebelbecker & Don "Shillelagh Man" Carmody Posted by Picasa

Snooze Buttons and Wake Up Calls

"Wake Up Titan! Get your ass out of bed," was the 'music' in the TennisTitan's ears. It was Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz fullfilling his promise to get TT moving at 5:45 a.m. so that the 'bloated behemoth' could make his substitute assignment in an 8 a.m. game at the YTC. Much to his chagrin Titan was only one of the two substitutes that would be needed this date. Not to worry dear readers, TT had ingested his 4 cups of java by 6:30 and was sufficiently energized to play a creditable set of canadian tennis (3-6, 3-3) against Don Carmody and Bill Goebelbecker before giving 'Gimpy Knees' (joining us from the adjacent court after his doubles game ended) his wake up call! "Hello amigo, I think you hit the snooze button" was the Titan's frequent refrain as he and "Billy the Kraut" ran rough shod (6-1) over the tandem 'GK'/Shillelagh Man' Carmody. Titan enjoyed the fine play of the two soft spoken gentlemen from Valhalla who possess both "soft hands," a finesse game, and unflappable dispositions on court. But TT wonders if he'll get that call to sub again having heard these two long time friends whisper to one another as they exited the YTC, "The guy doesn't shut up... he sometimes has a big serve, but he always has that big mouth going!"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Architect and his Livery Driver Posted by Picasa

"Well played men" was Titan's critique. Posted by Picasa

Architects and Livery Drivers

"Hey Jimbo, you better draw up some plans for us to leave here a winner next time" was the refrain uttered by the Titan as he bid goodbye to his partner Jim Addiss 'Abada' this afternoon dropping him off in front of his home. 'Abada' is an architect by training but failed to show his ability to "construct" a point at critical times this afternoon. TT/'Abada' had dropped a close one to Bill 'EBL' Tully and 'Big Al' Dio Dati at the YTC (5-7) and trailed 3-4 in the second set when play was halted leaving the Titan sullen and grasping for new excuses for his loss. By all accounts this was a well played match by each of the competitors. 'EBL/'Big Al' came up with the goods at crunch time in the first set by breaking TT in the 12th and final game. 'Abada's serve and volley style does not complement 'Titan's inability to retreat on lobs as does 'EBL's superior mobility and longer reach when he pairs with TT. TennisTitan enjoyed some wonderfully long rallies with 'EBL' going inside-out forehand to inside-out forehand from the ad-court to high light his play today. 'Abada' lives and dies by his crisp volleys and overheads at net. He buried some and some buried us. "Titan my back is just not strong enough to carry you with all that lead you've got in your ass. I'm 73 years old and have been married for 50 years, isn't that enough of a load for one man? And, by the way, your driving is better than your serving!"

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"A Couple of Stalwarts" says TT Posted by Picasa

Getting It In

TennisTitan ususally is thinking that when he's delivering his second serve. But today those thoughts summed up the entire morning at Kinsley. Titan joined fellow stalwarts 'Happy Jack' Carey and George 'Chemist' House for some Canadian play before the arrival of this afternoon's forecasted major snow storm. It was our good fortune to have Ray 'Tax Man' Toma come by the park and join in our game for two entertaining sets of play. TT is hobbled by strained hamstrings in both legs from too much exertion on the courts over the last two days. Titan paired with 'Chemist' for a (6-3) victory over 'HJ'/'Tax Man.' TT ended the day on a high note as 'Tax Man's partner defeating 'Chemist'/'HJ' in a set that went down to the wire (7-5). As the boys left the court Titan reminded the 'Tax Man,' "I usually sends my RETURNS in early, but today my serve didn't help me set up the point because of the tightness in my upper legs."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Playing It Safe

That's how Titan rationalized his getting up at 6am this date to make himself available to be Joe "Gimpy Knees" substitute at the Yonkers Tennis Center. What with snow in the weekend's forecast outdoor play may soon be a distant memory. So Titan walked on to the court to the eyes of three incredulous players to be 'GK's sub for the second set of play at 8am. I mean 7:30 is too early for this war horse. 'GK' stayed to watch and TT did not disappoint. Titan paired with Tony "No Baloney" against Hannibal "The Rug" and Tom "the Mick" for a wonderful set of tennis. Your Titan was working on the high of his four cups of coffee that had his $200 stick and his motor mouth (20 cents) working at full capacity. Titan was smoking as he led his team to a quick 5-love lead showing dominance with his serve, return and volley game. And his opponents were no slouches. Points were long, varied, and intense as Titan wrankled 'The Rug' with witicisms and barbs. "No Baloney" was a strong player who has deft hands and is effective from the baseline too. TT/NB almost gave it all back to two never-say-die players because at 5-love they rallied back to even the set at 5. "Oh shit, what a way to 'introduce' myself to a new group... to be part of a massive choke" was TT's thought. "The Rug" was now yammering back at Titan, giving as well as getting, as they nearly took the 11th game. But no, I shot that squirrel on Hannibal's head dead, once and for all pulling out the 11th and 12th games to take the set (7-5). "Better than sex", as all my long time married readers would attest! Titan/'NB' continued their renewed dominance and raced to a 4-love lead in the partial set before the bell rang or another comeback could ensue. These boys can play. But can they take the Titan's blogging or on court antics? We'll see if I am invited to sub again.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

"I take this game seriously TennisTitan" Posted by Picasa

"No way we lose two in a row." Posted by Picasa

"Titan, he just doesn't understand you." Posted by Picasa

Ethiopian Capitol

"Well, well, well" Titan thought to himself as he took to the courts at the Yonkers Tennis Center today. "So this is 'Mr. Spin's' friend, Jim Addiss that I heard so much about." It's great to get new blood in this game and better yet he's a lefty. Bill 'Energizer Bunny Legs' Tully graciously accepted the burden of carrying the Titan in two well played, highly competitive sets against Max 'Tutor' Tuchman and the aforementioned Jim Addiss 'Abada.' Titan/'EBL' fell behind 2-5 in the opener as yours truly was unable to hold serve in the 6th game while everyone else held through the first seven games. TennisTitan did get his 'juices flowing' late in the contest to provide adequate support to enable Titan to serve impressively in game 10 to level the contest at 5. 'Abada'/Tutor eventually broke through by perservering in the third deuce to take the set (5-7) against 'EBL's serve after the boys had staved off 5 set points. Titan/'EBL fared much better in the night cap cruising to a (6-2) thumping and (3-0) partial-set victory. Titan notes that 'Abada' brings a serve and volley style that is a fine counterpart to 'EBL's talents in this regard (but I still miss you at net Tom 'GrayBeard' Campo). 'Abada's serve is well placed, with some pop as he quickly learned the delight of going wide for his aces against this 'man of limited movement.' Max opined to Titan as the quartet left the court, "So Titan, what do you think about "Abada's play?" To wit TT replied, "Tutor, at the very least you've raised the esthetic level of the game; 'Abada' wears a clean undershirt (that's a winner down the line against you Roy!) and he smiles at Titan's non-stop bantering while his racquet does his talking!) And 'Haile Selassie' to you my readers."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Like Sherman took Savannah" The Georges Posted by Picasa

Boisterous Behemoth and Viagra Man Posted by Picasa

Gimpy Knees Cruz and Happy Jack took their lumps. Posted by Picasa

Poetic License

"Welcome Back Titan" was the chant from the home owners on Morsemere and Park Avenues as the 'boisterous behemoth' put his mark on his beloved Kinsley Park courts this morning after a months absence. Actually, I think it might have been, "Shut the fuck up you loud mouthed bastard, it's nine o'clock on a Saturday morning and we're trying to fuckin' sleep. Stay the fuck in Florida!" But that's only semantics in TT's mind. But the Titan had plenty to crow about today as the combo of TT/'Slats' laid waste to all comers. These former regular partners were invincible as they swept all four sets (7-5) (6-2) against Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz and 'Happy Jack' Carey; (6-1) against George 'Chemist' Hauss and George 'Teacher' Febles; (6-3) against 'Happy Jack/'Chemist' in the finale. TT/'Slats' are often Mr. Offense and Mr. Defense when they pair and today was no exception. Frank 'Slats' Slattery got off to a poor start in the opener, shanking too many balls at net, but his "D" in the late games of the set enabled the boys to rally from a 4-5 deficit to a hard fought victory. Titan brought his "A" game back from his recent hot steak in Florida and went through The Georges like Sherman took Savannah. As the boys left the court Slats was heard to remark to Titan, "What's up with Happy Jack? You tell him your girlfriend left you and he gives you a $200 dollar racquet! I tell him my wife has a list of "honey do's" on the refrigerator and he offers me a viagra."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Titan, do you shoot ducks in a barrel too? Posted by Picasa

A Fitting Finale

TennisTitan closed out his month long Southern Tour with an impressive display of some come-from-behind tennis against George "Engineer" Pratt at the beautiful Lake Tarpon Sail and Tennis Club on Thursday. Titan brings a distinct advantage to his contests against George 'the Engineer" who is primarily a (mixed) doubles player at his club and competes despite a damaged right shoulder which prevents full rotation into the ball. Hence it was not especially surprising that TT cruised to an easy (6-1) victory in the opening set. Much to "Engineer's" credit he persisted in set two and opened up a formidable (2-5, love-30) advantage but was unable to garner those two additional points against the "man of limited movement" and ultimately dropped the set (7-5). Indeed, George effectively took it to the 'bloated behemoth' throughout the night cap and deserved a better fate. But, as Titan has come to know, closing out matches against a superior player is no easy feat. TT has choked to just about all his readers as they well can attest. And some of them may again prove it on Saturday as the Titan opens up the Winter Outdoor Season at Kinsley Park .