Great Balls of Fire! The Green Machine wins again!

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TAMPA — Sport is often a game of balls. Whether leather, rubber or fuzzy and green, they are caught and thrown and hit about the fields of the game, chased down by giggling boys and girls, the art mastered as they grow into sporting men and women.

Sometimes, sport can be about other balls, too, like those residing in the sacks of men.

Sunday at Hunter’s Green Tennis and Athletic Center, the highly-touted Green Machine  won again, beating Arbor Green 3-0. But the fact that they did so with a player who just five days ago (!!!)  was having a very simple vasectomy  fighting for his life as two doctors a team of the nation’s finest doctors completed the 20-minute procedure fought long into the night as his loving wife Nikki and friends guys he kinda knows texted each other with jokes about Erik having no balls stood vigil and asked if they could take his spot in the lineup prayed for their teammate is nothing short of a miracle.

New York Knick Willis Reed had his knee injury. Los Angeles Dodger Kirk Gibson had his hamstring. Curt Schilling had the bloody sock. And Erik “The Last” Hajek had reconstructed ball sack, or in layman’s terms, had his male vasa deferentia severed and then sealed, thereby preventing fertilization.

“I don’t know how he did it,” said J.R. Daws, who is still recovering from a 2011 rib injury and a 1990 knee scrape from falling off his bike. “But he’s my hero.”

Other than completely whiffing on an overhead smash attempt, The Last Hajek was his usual self, teaming up with Laura Baker for  a smooth and buttery 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 2.

Underneath that war paint is Laura Baker, stroking a forehand winner.

Underneath that war paint is Laura Baker, stroking a forehand winner.

“He played well, not at all like the impotent man he truly is,” said Baker. “I guess sure, he’s half a man, lacking the virility of most men, but he can still hit a tennis ball. It still counts as mixed doubles playing with him, right?”

Hajek declined comment. “Cotey is just going to make a stream of childish ball jokes, so why bother,” he said, sighing.

“That hurts that he feels that way,” said Cotey. “It’s like a kick to the groin. Listen, I think it took real balls to come out and play. He played balls to the wall, like he does. And you can really tell he and Laura have a ball together when they play. They started slow, it was kind of nuts out there, but this was a big testes for him, and he passed it with flying colors. If that’s the kind of childish answer he expected from his captain, I guess that’s the way his ball bounces.”

Culooley.

Culooley.

Playing at No. 1 doubles, the team of Shaun Cooley, who would like to let all the ladies know his male vasa deferentia is fully functioning and ready for fun, teamed up with Janene Culumber to win. In a rematch of an early-season match where the Machinistas actually needed three sets and lost the second 6-0, Cooley and Culumber sent a message with a 6-1, 6-3 win.

Slice at the net.

Let’s toast a glass of prune juice to Janene, who proved that even older ladies that should be playing 55-over USTA can get to shots like this. Bravo!

“What’s funny is that Janene’s last name is Culumber, but if you changed one letter it would be cucumber, and with Erik having his surgery and all, that’s just funny, right? Do you get it? Wait….what was the question again?,” said the smooth-hitting Cooley, before giving all glory to God and his mom Cindy, who showed up with chewy fruit snacks and a Ziploc bag of Cheerios for her son, and colored with him on changeovers to keep him calm.

At No. 3 singles, Chris Baker, who wore a t-shirt that read “FREE ERIK’S BALLS” on it in support of his teammate, used his wicked forehand and the net stylings of Sylvie Wittman to win 6-3 and 6-2.

What separates the Green Machine from other USTA teams? The strong support network.

What separates the Green Machine from other USTA teams? The strong support network.

Baker admitted afterwards that he probably would have had to resign after the first set if team captain John Cotey had not rushed to the TAC and bought him a purple G2 to get him through the rest of the match. It was the sixth straight victory this season that can be 100 percent attributed to Cotey, who continued to make the kind of subtle moves that wins championships.

“It’s just what I do,” he said. “I mean, the girl working up front grabbed the first G2 in the cooler and said here you go, Best Captain in the World. And I looked at her and said, the whole world? Really? That kind of hyperbole is completely ridiculous, true or not. But secondly, I noticed she had given me a green G2, and Baker likes purple. I demanded she give me a purple one. That’s why it’s best captain in the world, and not just United States, I thought as I returned to the court.”

Sylvie about to serve up a Wittman Sample backhand, like that one chocolate you get that is all nougaty and gross and it is distasteful just like returning her backhand is for opponents....wow, have no idea where I was going with that one.

Sylvie about to serve up a Wittman Sample backhand, like that one chocolate you get that is all nougaty and gross and it is distasteful just like returning her backhand is for opponents….wow, have no idea where I was going with that one.

The victory improves the Green Machine’s record to 6-1, setting up next week’s E$^#&#^@&@NORMOUS match-up with Brandon, with the winner clinching a spot in sectionals.

Let the hype begin.

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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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