TAMPA — In their biggest match of the season, a match it had to win to stay alive, with the pressure rising as high as the temperatures, how good was the Green Machine Sunday?

“I remember when me and Nini made it 5-5 in the first set, I looked over to see how the other lines were doing, and they were sitting there drinking daiquiris WATCHING US play,” said captain John Cotey. “I mean….THEY WERE DONE! AND WE WERE IN THE FIRST SET? WHAT THE HELL?”

By thoroughly thrashing Brandon at line 2 (a 6-1, 6-3 win by Shaun Cooley and Laura Baker) and obliterating them at line 3 (a 6-0, 6-1 win by Erik Hajek and Sharon Patterson), the Green Machine posted a dramatic 2-1 victory and moved into first place in the 7.0 mixed league.

The lone loss was at 1, where previously undefeated Cotey and Nini Torres dropped a 7-5, 7-6 heartbreaker.

But Cotey and Torres were emotionally distraught playing with a heavy heart after tragedy struck on court 6, where Hunter’s Green’s other team was playing Arbor Green.

Kara Hann, playing line 2, went up for an overhand smash and came down hard on her ankle. Her screams could be heard for miles, as birds fled from nearby trees and little children cried into their mother’s bosoms.

“I thought someone had been shot in the face,” said teammate Andy Ritter.

“I thought a bomb fell on her head,” said J.R. Daws.

“I just thought her husband James hit another ball into the net and she was letting him have it,” said John Slatniske.

But things were much more serious — Kara’s ankle was, medically speaking, muffed up.

As her friends sprinted to get towels of ice for her injury, James Hann immediately panicked, yelling to Whitney Daws for help.


As luck would have it, the line 3 player for Arbor Green was a veterinarian. But the injury was believed to be so serious, that as her teammates wiped away tears, he suggested “we probably need to put her down.”

But James stepped in and demanded a second opinion, as John Slatniske and J.R. Daws made a run for the TAC. The vet was adamant that he take Kara out to the shed behind Stadium Court and put her out of her misery because it is what he had learned in college.

But suddenly, Slatniske and Daws came careening around the corner out of nowhere at about 7 mph in a golf cart.

“DON’T PUT HER DOWN!” Daws shouted.


Heroic First Responders

“If that cart didn’t have Valvoline oil in it, Kara would be dead,” said Slatniske, “so buy Valvoline, always.”

Slatniske helped shoo the vet away and drive Kara to safety. Hunter’s Green immediately billed his member account $22.50 ($29.99 minus his 25 percent off) for the cart rental.


Whitney Daws rushes to the aid of a dear friend … Kara’s lululemon skirt.

While the entire freaking club came to a stop, somehow Hajek and Patterson missed the whole thing and continued playing their tennis match. No, seriously. In fact, they led 6-0, 5-0 when Kara went down, and lost their only game as THE ENTIRE FREAKING CLUB rushed to Kara’s aid.
“Well…that explains why we dropped a game. So thanks for that, Kara,” said an angry Hajek.
Cotey and Nini, however, couldn’t recover emotionally. Since they never saw the golf cart, they assumed Kara had been put down by the Arbor Greene vet.
“All I could think about was Kara,” said Cotey, “and whether or not James would be able to move on in time for the 6.5 combo season.”
Cotey could be seen wiping tears from his eyes for the rest of his match. Nini tapped her heart and pointed to the sky in between points. Eventually they succumbed to the greatest opponent of all — sadness for their euthanized friend.
And, well, the line 1 team from Brandon.

About johncotey

John was a sportswriter and columnist for the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Times for 25 years, before being pushed from the Titantic, and hopes all of you non-subscribers are happy reading your free news on the internets while his journalism brethren suffer. Not that he's not bitter or anything. His real true joys, however, are his wife, kids and tennis, though not necessarily in that order. Unless his wife is reading this. Then DEFINITELY in that order.
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2 Responses to 2+3=VICTORY

  1. John Slatniske says:

    Everybody wants to know….did Kara’s skirt pull through, can it be worn again?


  2. johncotey says:

    Happily, the skirt did survive though it is currently in ICU as doctors feverishly work on getting the stain out and there are a few loose threads that have alarmed surgeons. James is keeping vigil. We have started a meal train for the skirt, so sign up with Phuong.

    Liked by 1 person

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