Does anyone carry around a rabbit’s foot anymore? I think I had one of every color. Pink, blue, purple. I remember that I didn’t want a yellow one. Good luck or not, it grossed me out and somehow reminded me that it was not only a rabbit’s foot I had dangling from my bag but it was the actual dried up foot of a dead rabbit and that was disgusting.
Superstitions abound on the tennis court. You have the ladies who refuse to spin their own racquet at the start of the match. Then the one who won’t choose the racquet spin which decides who gets the option to serve. Followed by the lady who has to defer to her partner to choose if they serve or receive. And concluding with the player who won’t serve first if her partner has designated them as the serving team. And those are just the superstitions I know of regarding the actual pre match engagement. I won’t even go into wardrobe and hairstyle selection here. I’ll save those for another day.
So, with the serving team set and the receiving team, (after surveying the position and strength of the sun as well as the speed at which the clouds were moving in a mostly clear sky), opting to switch sides, they were ready to play the first point. The server dribbled the ball exactly 7 times at the baseline in her pre-service routine, looked up at their opponents and said, “Have fun, ladies!”
And that they did throughout the first 2 sets. It couldn’t have been a closer match. At the changeover between sets, the ladies sat and chatted while they refueled.
“I think y'all should start changing your own score on the scoreboard for this set.” Player A of the home team suggested.
“Oh, no! Neither of us ever touches the scoreboard. It’s bad luck for us.” Replied player A from the visiting team.
“Yeah, y'all can just keep manning the scoreboard. We trust you!” Said visiting team player B to home team.
Nothing could have gotten under the home team’s skin more. What were they? Their servants?! Why couldn’t they move their own score clip?! Under quiet rage they devised a sinister plot on their way to the baseline to begin the 3rd set. They decided among themselves that they would manage their side of the scoreboard and just leave the opponents' score to the opponents. Who’s having fun now?!
Game #1 went to the visiting team but refusing to touch the score clip, the scoreboard remained at “0-0”.
Game #2 went to the home team. They moved their clip so the scoreboard which should have displayed the correct score as “1-1”, only displayed 1-0 in favor of the home team.
With a riveting 3rd game which produced no less than 9 deuce points, the ladies' energy and focus were fading. Game point and the home team advanced 2-1 and approached the bench to switch sides and change their score. The board then displayed a “2-0” score.
“Wait a second! exclaimed visiting team player B, “we don’t change sides yet. It’s 2 games all. ”
And as if she’d been waiting all match long for this very moment, home team player A threw down her racquet and announced, “Oh, no it’s not! We just won the last 2 games. If you had just changed your score when you were supposed to, you’d know that the score is 2-1 us!
So then, all hell broke loose. A barrage of questions and rebuttals and denials and accusations…
Who served first in the set?
Who won the last point of the 2nd game?
But weren’t we on that side of the court for the 2nd game?
Didn’t you win your serve?
Wait, did we win the 1st game of this set or the 1st game in the 2nd set?
And then visiting team player B provided the show-stopping revelation of them all, “I KNOW it’s 2 all because at the first break, when we were up 1-0, I remember I ran out of water and drank my pickle juice instead and then we won the next game! I remember thinking the pickle juice gave us good luck!"
If that were true, the pickle juice may have negated their “no touch scoreboard” superstition because it was not bringing them much luck at this point.
Fortunately, they were all able to decide on one thing and that was to default to the rule which states: "If you really can’t agree on the score, you must go back to the last point you both agree on.”
So, back to 0-1 they went but I’ll tell you there was no longer any fun being had. You could see steam rising from the court and “do or die” in the eyes of each player.
With an adamant stance and utter defiance toward continuing in a friendly manner, home team player A demanded, “After you take a swig of your pickle juice, y’all need to start moving your score clip. That’s what started this whole mess in the first place!"
Visiting team player B, the server, somehow feeling confident that they’d prevailed in the argument and wearing an arrogance all too becoming of her, dribbled the ball exactly 7 times at the baseline in her pre-service routine, looked up at their opponents and said, “Hey, calm down. It’s JUST tennis.”
Something tells me she’d had this arguement before.
Take it from Stevie Wonder:
"When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer.
Superstition ain't the way".
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