NEW TAMPA — With their captain off winning championships at a local tournament with another of the Green Machine players, with one of their top players getting drunk in Nashville and with yet another stud from the roster recovering from oral surgery, bettors in Las Vegas flocked to throw their money down on Arbor Green for Sunday’s big Mixed-7.0 League opener.
And right before lunchtime, they were ripping up their tickets and cursing the names of Cooley, Culumber, Wittman, Baker and Slatniske.
“I wish someone had told me the talent on the Green Machine runs that damn deep,” said Richmond’s Jerry Harris, who lost $100 and promptly vomited down the front of his shirt before heading off to the craps tables.
The folks at the Mandalay Sports Book were buzzing about the 3-0 sweep by the Machine.
“So, let me get this straight: the Slatsniskes just roll up into that No. 1 line and win like that?,” said JoJo Yakama of Detroit, disgusted by the 6-4, 6-1 score that cost him $50. “I mean, everything I heard about that John Slaptiske….or Slatwhiskey, whatever his name is, was that he blows big leads. Why wouldn’t I bet against them. I’d do it again.”
Unnamed sources said late Thursday night Cotey had considered breaking the lovebirds up, to inject some fresh life into the lineup. But John Slatniske told Cotey “Dude, that’s my boo” and Cotey left the lineup as it was.
But putting Shaun Cooley and Janene Culumber at No. 2 proved once again why Cotey has been named USTA Captain of the Year multiple times, at least according to a certificate he printed off some website and wrote his own name on.
At No. 2, Cooley and Culumber sqaured off against a determined 4.0/3.0 combo and won 6-1, 0-6, 10-3. Despite dropping the second set, they rebounded for a 10-3 tiebreaker win.
“When they lost the second set, it was like they were out there playing tiddlywinks compared to the heat Arbor Green was bringing,” said Allen Johnson, 34, of Naples. “When I saw that 6-0 score, I went up and doubled my $100 bet for the tiebreaker. Arbor Green had all the momentum. Had I known Cooley and Culumber were experienced, battle-tested, grizzled veterans who know how to regroup and get their shit together in time, well, I probably wouldn’t have done that.”
At No. 3, the much-anticipated debut of Sylvie Wittman was a successful one, as the 3.0 teamed up with 4.0 Chris Baker to pull out 6-4,6-7, 1-0 victory.
“Well, there’s $100 in the crapper,” said Bobby Billion, a Tampa native now living in Dubuque. “I mean, you always bet against the 3.0 right? I’m not sure it’s fair that the sportsbook didn’t tell us that Wittman had tuned up with Cotey, Cooley and Sharon Patterson Wednesday night. That’s like taking tennis steroids or something.”
Cotey, who won the 3.5 Morningstar doubles and mixed doubles championship Sunday with J.R. Daws and Patterson, said he was not surprised by his team’s decisive victory.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” Cotey said, “but this team could be the truth. We running deep up in here, shorty. You don’t wanna front us, and you definitely want to check yo self before you wreck yo self when u play us, cuz we on fleek. Feel me?”
Asked if he had anything to say that wasn’t a cheap ripoff of a 1980s rap lyric, Cotey said “No, sir, I don’t. It was a great victory.”