Controversy mars season finale

img_4696Despite the efforts of Team Serve-zas captain Santiago Romero, who did to the Team Tennis rulebook what Donald Trump is doing to the constitution, the Bombers emerged from last Friday’s bloodshed as the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs.

The undefeated Bombers held off Team Smash with a 24-18 victory, and Romero’s efforts landed his team in second-place after a 22-17 win over the hapless Gummy Bears.

The night was punctuated by Romero’s fiddling with his lineups AFTER he had turned them, in order to get match-ups that would best lead to 5-0 victories. Sadly, the chicanery worked, as the Serve-zas posted three 5-0 wins on the night.


Joy, Phuong and Daniela console Amy after a loss in a gross mismatch Friday.

One of those matches pitted Romero and his baby momma Jenna, an 8.0 combo, against the salt-of-the-Earth Pat and Amy Rairigh, a mere 6.5 combined on the ratings list. The Rairighs never had a chance, but onlookers praised the efforts of Amy, who continued to battle despite wiping away the tears.

“It was tough to play in such a mismatch, but if it means that much to Santiago, then so be it,” Patrick said. “Amy and I said a prayer for his soul afterwards. We can only hope the Good Lord heard us, and bestows upon the young man some of the grace and humility he is sorely lacking. Beelzebub, or I guess El Diablo in his case, is strong in that one, but our prayers in the name of the Holy Trinity can only help.”

Jenna and Sharon Patterson also won 5-0 in an unbalanced ratings match (“I didn’t want to, but Santiago made me,” said Sharon).

But the Gummy Bears fought back. Hunter decided to fight fire with fire with his own illegal maneuvering, calling on emergency sub Zill Beedyk, who Hunter said resembled Bill Zeedyk but was not him. Zill and Fred picked up a 5-3 victory over


Hunter plots his final lineup as Santiago listens in so he can change his if needed.

Santiago and Slats, and then Hunter and Rairigh and beat Slats and Drew by the same score.

The Gummy Bears, in fact, were 3-3 in lines against the Serve-zas, winning a thriller in the final match of the night 7-4. The Gummy Bears prevented the Serve-zas from winning the final game to clinch it until Santiago and Jenna subbed in to squash their hopes. Typical.

Hunter set a record for subs in the final match, starting with Georges and Carloynn and subbing in himself, Joy, Amy Rairigh, Pat Rairigh, Lady Gaga, Betsy Zeedyk, Bob Buckhorn, Zill Beedyk, Lisa Bitting, Damon Wayans, Georges Kaufmann, Beyonce, Fred, Troy Quast and Honey Boo Boo.


Larry Palombo’s Andy Ritter’s glasses were knocked off twice on Friday. 

Santiago’s hopes that the Bombers would lose and he could win on the margin-of-victory tiebreaker were dashed when acting captain Andy Ritter threw out an 8.0 line of Mike Bitting and Lara Slatniske, who had been hiding in the bushes nearby until she was needed, against little old 3.5s Phuong and John Cotey, who only just picked up the game of tennis a few months back.

The 8.0 vs. 7.0 matchup was predictable, as the Coteys fell 5-0.

“Listen, we’re just in this for the fun of being around people we genuinely love, and sadly that puts us in the minority,” said John Cotey, the league commissioner who had to put together his own lineups while closely monitoring the bastardization of the league that was going on on the other courts.

“Phuong and I, we fit tennis into our very busy schedule of helping orphans and building homes for the less fortunate, so we don’t have time to train like the others. If Ritter, who I have tried to befriend and


“OMG, look at that loser!” — yells Janice in the middle of a point as Ritter chuckles in approval. Tibbie just looks suspicious, or something.

include on all my teams at HG, feels the need to create lopsided match-ups to win, I can only say what I overheard Patrick Rairigh say on the other court — may God save his soul.”
Lisa Bitting and Mary Dunlap won at doubles, followed by Tibbie and Janice, and then the four hunkered down to harass, harangue and humiliate the other Smash players as they tried to enjoy themselves. Greg Morrissey teamed up with Cotey and Peter Boutell for wins, before a Mardo-Tibbie win trimmed the Smash lead to 15-14 heading into the final match.

Bombers captain Erik Hajek, who took his wife Nikki out for side salads and water at Berns for her birthday, until she sells some houses, texted his approval of the victory.

“Gr8 job Ridder! I got a box for the rest of my salad and I’ll sneak some rolls in there too for you as a reward!”

STANDINGS         W-L      GW     GL
1. BOMBERS         3-0       80       50
2. SMASH, INC.   1-2        68      70

3. SERVE-EZAS   2-1        67       64
4. G-BEARS          0-3        53       82

Bombers vs. Gummy Bears
Smash, Inc. vs. Serve-zas



Patrick Rairigh would say the shirt says it all. And don’t be fooled by Jenna’s innocent smile.


Santiago showing off his calf muscle. For some reason.


Stephen Hunter with Joy, who covered her mouth with her cup but blinked out in Morse code “Please trade for me and get me off this team!”


“So, I have this new forehand, maybe I could give you guys some tips after we’re done here?”


“Damn, I forgot to sign up these two 5.0s I was going to put against the Rairighs! Oh well, guess I’ll just have to play.”


Ground level view of Patrick Rairigh. “Sure glad I didn’t wear my skirt tonight.”


Trash Talkers, Inc.


Mardo bought pizzas. Three cheers for Mardo!!!!


This is blurry, but look at that athleticism!!!!


Georges Kaufmann serves a ball right at the cameraman. Not cool, Georges. NOT. COOL!


Slatniske shows how he hits most of his forehands. And by most, we mean “all”.


This ball was out. Zill Beedyk insisted it was in. 


Mary Dunlap rates Andy Ritter’s captaining using a scale of 1-100. And yes, those are tennis balls in her shirt.


Hunter trying to decide if he should go punch Santiago, or hit him in the back of the head with a racquet. “Use the racquet,” whispers Fred.


Joy waves to the cameraman as Hunter waves to someone on court 4…..wait, no, I think they are high fiving. Zill Beedyk looks on approvingly.


Slatniske kisses the part of his racquet that most of his shots hit.


This pretty much sums up Team Tennis.









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.
This entry was posted in 3.5 Men, 6.5/7.5 Combo, 7.0 Mixed, Team Tennis, The Ladies, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Controversy mars season finale

  1. girlslats says:

    There seems to be a paragraph missing… yah the one that came after Tibbie/Mardo win, right before the final match. That’s it! — the final match recap (Bombers vs. Smash) is missing. Check your notes.


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