Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Hops Challenge – December 20, 2017

I wonder what the reaction would be of all the squash players in the club woke up on Christmas morning and found a full beer keg wrapped in a bow underneath the tree. That Christmas miracles do exist? That Santa Claus is one strong fat old man? That, gee, maybe I do have a problem? Careful what we wish for I suppose…

Since the above scenario is absolute fantasy (at least for most of us, I believe!) we may as well offer close to the next best thing. No, no, I’m not talking about a free lifetime subscription to Netflix either. I am talking about a few free drinks (beers) at the expense of one of your fellow members! Nothing more satisfying that imbibing totally gratis while playing your favorite sport, right? Ho! Ho! Ho! Hic!

To be a part of the drink-tivities, just let me know you are interested and I will do my best to match you up with a player of your own level. The match itself won’t mean much except that I will enter it into the on-line rankings (or we can use it as a box ladder score), and it’s the perfect excuse to build up the craving for that extra cup or two of complimentary liquid gold. Your guilty conscience (or not) may be begging the question, “which kind soul has offered up this extraordinarily generous gesture of this sacrosanct amber fluid?” Well, no one has offered it all. The loser of the feature match will be punished with the expense:

“Let’s get ready to rummmmmmbllllle….!

In the right corner, weighing in at 225 pounds depending on what day you ask him, residing in downtown Detroit, close enough where he should technically never be late or miss any DAC appointment or booking, has destroyed more $200 Harrow racquets than the entire College Squash Association combined, coming in with a 2017 record of 19 wins and 18 losses, the world’s-most-poorer-golf-scorer, the squash-craver-head-shaver… COLIN – “watch-out-for-my-deceptive-forehand-drop-shot” – BAYER!!


In the left corner, weighing in at an unmistakable 199.9 pounds on a good day, residing in the carefree rolling esplanades of the Grosse Pointe bubble, never having to actually leave the confines of the protective neighborhood unless his better half sends him out to run some “errands”, recently coming off his best tennis victory of his career this summer after beating up on an 11 year old girl, the top-spinner-drop-winner, the squash-menace-screw-tennis, JC – “I’m-going-to-be-all-over-Colin’s-forehand-dropshot-like-a-rash” – TIBBITTS!!

Now, these two have played a whole bunch of times. In fact, we have 36 recorded scores between the two and JC has won 22 of them. And of the 36 results, only 5 of them were 3-0 so we should be in for a real treat. And plenty of trash talking. And some action on the side no doubt as well. I hear Colin’s aptitude of taking bets is a con-man’s dream.

If you wish to play, make sure you register with me no later than December 18. Matches will start at 4pm, we’ll try to get a couple of doubles matches up and running as well. Feature show-down should be around 7pm.

Monday, December 4, 2017


Holiday Tournament - December 1

It’s a magical time of year, isn’t it? I often wonder how such traditions came into being, as if, back in ancient times, a group of elders or wise men sat around a table and discussed the best way to celebrate the day we now know as “Christmas”… “a hideously fat man”… “in a pretentious red suit”… “who enslaves an entire race of freaky little people”… “that all children in the world blindly worship”…. “who flies in a sleigh with bewitched reindeer”… “who lives in the coldest place on earth but no one knows where it is exactly”… “who is for no apparent reason jolly”… “despite the incredibly annoying sound of jingling bells that come out of nowhere when he appears”…  I have no idea what was in their “peace-pipe” these guys were passing around but it must have some really gooooood candy cane. No war on drugs back then obviously.

Which brings us to the traditional DAC Holiday Squash Tournament which we now present to you every first Friday in December.  I, naturally, was not influenced by any extraneous substances when I came up with this concept, and this is the 12th time running it. I am glad though, I do not have to yell “Ho!, Ho!, Ho!” every so often or make my appearance though a chimney. My attitude may change otherwise.
Michael. Umm... wow.
My curiosity is also heightened somewhat when I see what fashion statements this event can produce. I get the elf hats, the reindeer horns, the obnoxious amount of clashing green and red, flashing lights… but this one had me totally befuddled. Michael Craig went above and beyond with this beauty. Now, when I think about “Christmas”, I immediately think…. Dinosaur! T-Rex! Who doesn’t, right? Makes unequivocally zero sense what so ever. Maybe it was part of the elders’ discussion that didn’t make the cut.
Julie. Spot on.

Julie Vande Vusse on the other hand, got it spot on. Repugnant, but alluring. Ghastly, but captivating. Detestable, but somehow seductive. A shirt that we wouldn’t been seen dead in but secretly wish we had it hanging in our closet. The perfect fashion oxymoron. Well played, Julie! Well played.

Of course the main reason we gather is to play squash. And celebrate our squash-ness with a few (or more) drinks. The Holiday Tournament is more about the fun side of the sport rather than the winning side of it, more to do with meeting and playing opponents who you wouldn’t normally get to step on court with. Since everybody ends up with a prize - or gift - and there is no handicapping involved, and matches are pretty much randomly drawn, who ends up on top is not so important.

It was Jed Elley.

That shouldn’t shock anyone. Jed is our current club champion so it was no surprise he went through all 4 of his matches 3-0. As he should as well. I really do want to thank Jed for making the time and effort to play. The feedback from his opponents was nothing but tremendously enthusiastic. They all were delighted to get the chance to play against him, relished the experience. Jed was considerate and obliging enough to give everyone a good run, the ultimate gentleman.

Derek Aguirre pushed his way to second place winning 9 of his 12 games. Christmas came early for the Aguirre family and congratulations are in order for Derek and his lovely wife Tori for the addition of a future squash player in their family - Lali (hope I spelled that correctly). Just a week old, Derek hasn’t slept for that long it seemed, and probably hasn’t been training much either I guess. I am sure he was happy to escape the house for a few hours to run around and reminisce about what life used to be like before children!

We had two surprises for equal third place. Maggie Durant had an excellent evening, beating up on Brian Bartes and Mike Petix and snagging a game from Andy Adamo as well to end up with 8 games won. Mack Gembis was the other shaker and mover with 8 total games, showing his improvement with a solid win over Brandan Tasco and a huge upset victory over Brian Bartes (sorry Brian - looks like you were victimized twice here!) Mack is racking up some wins as this comes on the heels of his 3rd place in the recent Blitz Tournament.

Brandon Tasco and Chris Laenen pre-match hydration ritual
Special mention goes to Chris Laenen and Brandon Tasco for being able to complete their 4th match against each other without causing any major injury. These two have a rivalry of sorts going on although normally speaking a rivalry should not be one-sided where the same player wins all the time. A bit like the Michigan v Ohio “rivalry”. Not much of one if Ohio win every year. Kinda boring really. Just a question these days of by how much, right Steve Brown? (poke, poke). Brandon won the match 2-1, despite the downing the biggest shot of rocket fuel I have ever seen before starting. He also said he couldn’t remember the last time Chris had beaten him. Well, officially, according to Sporty HQ, Chris’s last victory was on October 11. So not too far back.

And let’s not forget to hand out an acknowledgment to Mark Montgomery who graciously stepped in last minute to take the place of the injured Gina Greer. Very noble of you Mark, we appreciate you sticking around for the evening to take part. I do apologize for calling you “Gina” throughout the event, but it was difficult to tell the two of you apart.

The gift choosing ceremony went off flawlessly if not for the text I received in the middle of it from my wife - as usual her timing is impeccable. Booze dominated the theme, gratefully nothing from the banned substances list was anywhere in sight and as far as I can tell there is nothing to add to that list either. A huge thank you to everyone as well for your gift to yours truly - it means an awful lot to me, very touching. Merry Christmas to all!

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