May 25, 2019

May 25, 2019


The Suncoast Tennis League is a huge conglomeration of people living in Sarasota and Manatee counties, Florida. From October to March each year 1,900 players compete in doubles. There are 32 clubs officially signed up for competition. The league began in 1980 when John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg were both at the height of their powers. Once a week team captains are responsible for telling the public the results of every match played. Most captains send out newsletters. But only one captain (Jon Dietz, President of the Paradise Duffers Golf Association and captain of the University Park Red tennis team, uses the newsletter as an opportunity to tell wild outlandish tales. Sure, the scores are accurately tabulated. But beyond that, what one reads is as likely to involve aliens as often as carbon-based lifeforms (CBLF). What you will be reading from now until the league starts up again are selected archived newsletters that have tickled the funnybones of lots of people.  The stories may be dated, but then so was every joke Henny Youngman ever told over a sixty year career. Enjoy. - Jon

Dateline june 1, 2019 (Blast from the past nov. 2017)

This is Grantland Rice, reporting for the New York Herald from the placid green oasis that is University Park in central Florida: Outlined against a blue-gray November sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Anderson, Dietz, Goldberg and Payer. This is the Praetorian Guard that faced an invading army from Heron Creek. The Four Horsemen would have been six, but able warriors Nat Colletta and Murray Kaftan fell before the slings and arrows of Heron Creek players Jim Vana and Milton Groundlock, 6-4 and 6-3. Not so the four horsemen, who gathered just before the match to hear the Red Team’s new coach (Jon ‘Knute Rockne’ Dietz) deliver an epic call to battle: ‘Men, we have been powder puffs long enough. Are we mice or homo sapiens? After the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, did we give up? No! I want you to go out there today with blood in your eye. I want you to hit them on the left side, on the right side, and  up the  middle. I want you to hit them so hard their ancestors jump out of their coffins and yell ‘what the hell is going on?’ I want you to pillage and burn so that the International Court at the Hague hears about it and brings us up on charges. Go home tonight with blood on your tee shirts and dueling scars. Who knows, your women might swoon for the first time in years. Now go out there and win one for the Gipper…I mean win one for Jason and Joe!” And they did. Final scores (Anderson and Dietz defeated Roger Vaillancourt and Jim Bremer 6-4 and 6-4, Goldberg and Payer defeated Jerry Henry and Chip Parisi 6-2 and 6-1).