Tuesday, September 1, 2015

CHARACTERS OF LONDON



Nash Cup – September 18-20

The last few years, it has been a struggle to get our DAC members to join me on this tournament weekend road trip. Even though every time I rave about the event, the squash, the professionals, the social life. I realize it can be a frightening prospect to venture into unfamiliar territory, a foreign club with unknown opponents, most of whom converse in an alien form of the perfect English language we speak here in Michigan (eh?), but I guarantee you that the uneasy feeling dissipates rapidly as soon as you enter the quaint little building known as the London Squash Racquets Club.

In order to help you acclimatize even quicker, I have listed below a few of their more ‘prominent’ members so you can be welcomed by a recognizable friendly face on your arrival – quite possibly with an outstretched arm holding a cool, amber liquid…
 
Jay Nash. He is the reason this tournament runs. Hence the name “Nash Cup”. He does virtually everything and anything, as does it all with a smile on his face. If he isn’t promoting, he’s emceeing, if he isn’t emceeing, he’s marketing, if he isn’t marketing, he’s socializing, if he isn’t socializing, he’s playing squash, if he isn’t playing squash, he’s kissing babies. The list goes on and on. I’m not sure he sleeps.

Brad Hanebury. Also known in some circles as the “Squash-Bot”. Brad has played the DAC Classic for many years running now and has actually won the 5.5 category 3 times. Many of you already know him, so make sure you spend some time over the weekend and share a beer or two... or three… or four… or five… or shicks… or sheven… hic!


Rob Doherty. Rob also honors us with his presence every year at the DAC Classic, and is one of the most mild-mannered people you will meet. (Except when we played in the Doubles Nationals a couple of years ago and, provoked, morphed into a killer!) If you stick around long enough on the Saturday night, there is a good chance Rob will demonstrate his other ‘not-so-hidden’ skill of transforming into Michael Jackson and breaking out the moon-walk!

Lindsay Smith. Lindsay has been playing squash longer than it has been invented. He’s a doubles expert, but will no doubt be hanging out during the weekend mixing it in with the lads downing some brewskis, spilling a few yarns of yester year, and sharing some invaluable advice to any padawan that will listen. The force is strong with this one.


Srini Krishnamtd..something-or-other. I’m not sure Srini will be able to make the event this year since he moved to New Orleans, but the Nash Cup wouldn’t be the same without him. He’s the easiest to recognize, he’s the one who cannot frown. Hopefully he can make the trip, he’s always good for an upbeat conversation – but word or warning: too much Srini exposure and he can “friendly” you to death.

So, now that have ‘met’ some of their members, it’s time for you to make the leap and enter the tournament. Categories are as follows, be prepared for tough matches! There is no doubles.
  1. Open. If you can compete with me, enter this one.
  2. Men’s A. If you can compete with Jed (our club champ), enter this one.
  3. Men’s B. If you are a 4.5 – 5.0+, enter here,
  4. Men’s C. If you are a 3.5 – 4.4, this is your domain.
  5. Men’s D. If you are 3.4 or below, you belong here.
  6. Women’s A. 4.5 +
  7. Women’s B. 3.5 – 4.5
  8. Women’s C. 3.0 – 3.4
  9. Women’s D. 2.9 and below
All entries are allowed to watch the men’s and women’s professionals play on the Friday and Saturday nights. It’s definitely worth your efforts to do so. If nothing changes with their pro draw, you may get a chance to see the current world junior champion in action – Diego Elias from Peru. He is currently ranked 37 in the world and rising. On top of that, you will certainly meet and befriend many more characters of London over the weekend! All this for $70 Canadian dollars!



For registration and accommodation information, check out the link: http://www.nashcup.com/amateur-draw/ . The deadline to enter is September 11.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BEAT THE CANADIANS!



Cross Border Challenge – September 12 @ Windsor

For the 18th time, the Cross Border Challenge is up for grabs. Still fresh off our phenomenal win in April, it’s our turn to trek over to the ‘dark side’ of Windsor which cowers in the imposing shadows of the Detroit skyline, and show them that we haven’t lost our touch over the summer.

Of course, if we do fail miserably with this quest, we need a contingency plan. If we can’t beat them at squash, we cannot leave their shores without some sort of victory over them. We could challenge them to a baseball game, but since the Canadians defeated the US on the diamond recently at the Pan-Am Games, maybe we should suggest a more unique, weird competition…

"Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"
How about Fireball Soccer? This is soccer with a catch – the ball is on fire. Apparently, this is practiced in Indonesia where the ball is made from a coconut that is soaked in kerosene, then lit on fire for the duration of the game. A perfect way to train yourself to have quick footwork. Oh, and they play barefoot. Obviously, why wouldn’t you?

Highly skilled "Pooh-Stickers"
Not weird enough? How about Pooh Sticks? This involves standing on a bridge, dropping a stick into the water below, then racing to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick appears first. I can’t make this stuff up. The 2015 World Pooh Stick Championships was won by a Mr. James Smith. At least his name is normal enough. His costume isn’t.

Grandma?
Okay, one more: Gurning Sport. I am sure, we would beat the Canadians hands down at this without even trying. Gurning is… face pulling! Competitors must wear a horse collar during their… performance, as if the act of pulling an asinine face isn’t humiliating enough. Defines the term “winning ugly”!  Yes, there is a women’s division…

So, to avoid having to demean ourselves in one of the above disciplines, we may as well win the squash:
  • This is for ALL players who want a match – ALL levels, men and women
  • Singles matches. Working with the Windsor squash pro, we will do our best to match you up with a member from the Windsor squash club for a best of 5 games match.
  • Doubles matches. We will need at least 3 teams, preferably one A, one B and one C level team.
  • Matches are in Windsor starting at around 2pm.
  • There will be a keg available. Be social. Hang out, drink, support, drink…
  • You are representing the DAC and also the USA! So, although it’s not required, it is highly encouraged that you dress in red white and blue. The more obnoxious the better. If you aren’t sure about your costume, speak to Sante or John Mann. They are experts in ostentatious fashion.
  • It’s free to play.

Registration deadline is Monday September 7. Just e-mail me if you wish to have a delightful afternoon of squash and mingling. Don’t worry, we won’t set your squash racquet ablaze, or drop it in the water... but I do expect to see some face pulling…

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