Our annual tennis club tournament has been underway for a couple of weeks, and I know many of you are breathless to know how I did.
In 6.0 mixed doubles (that means a man and a woman who can barely hit the ball) I reached the finals with my partner Sarah, where we lost in three sets. That's because the other team was a bunch of ringers who cheated us. My partner also had to carry me like a crippled water buffalo in the third set because I couldn't hit anything that didn't go out.
In 7.0 mixed doubles (which is a slightly higher level of tennis) partner Melissa and I got waxed twice. That's largely because I was playing ``up,'' (a term that means something different in tennis than in some other walks of life) , and the other teams picked on me by hitting the ball my way all the time.
In 3.0 men's doubles (in which you play with a man of equal ability) my partner Mark and I also reached the finals, only to be gyped of victory. The other team claimed they were 3.0 players, when it was clear they were really 3.5's. I think I saw those pricks playing at Wimbledon on TV. But we took it all in good grace.
Now the tournament switches to singles, where this morning I beat a 9-year-old boy 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round. There was an emotional display after my victory, with many friends rushing onto the court and declaring they thought they would never see the day. You can enjoy a photo of the ceremony above. That's me holding the flag.
Finally, last week, my wife and two youngest sons went to watch the Davis Cup finals in Portland, Ore. The U.S. crushed the Russians and it was huge. Then we visited the Sullivan-Springhettis, friends who live in Portland and work at the Oregonian. That's me on the left, Jim Springhetti and Julie Sullivan next to me, their kids Rose and Joe, and my wife Ann, who grew up with Julie. Julie won a Pulitzer Prize a couple of years ago. Sometimes she lets me hold it. It's the size of a hockey puck, but weighs a lot more, which Julie says hurts her neck because she wears it like a necklace every day. Someday I hope to own one.