Thursday, April 22, 2010


Believe it or not, the Doubles 100 Tournament just finished last night. I am sure many of you had forgotten all about it which is no surprise given that it started over 3 months ago. The event has the stipulation that the combined ages of each doubles team is at least 100 years – not that the event should take 100 years to complete. I think some of the competitors were confused by this…

This year, the draws were split into an ‘A’ and ‘B’ category. It made the event a lot more competitive and satisfying for all concerned since it virtually eliminated any first round mismatches. There were only 3 results in the 2 categories combined that ended up 3-0.

For the B draw, top seeds Joe Moran [pictured right] and Andy Housey paired up (with a combined age of 100 exactly) and their ‘youth’ took them all the way to the final but not before a first round scare. Bob Garvey and Bob Bendzinski (total age: 111) stretched them to 5 games almost creating the upset, then the family Spohn team of Andrew and Earle (age: 103) couldn’t stop them in the semi final. The other finalists were the ‘oldest’ pairing in the draw – John Chouinard and John Conway (age: 119). The two Johns won their 2 previous rounds 3-1, knocking out the formidable pair of Sean Moran and Don Eugenio (age: 112) on the way. Moran / Housey had to work hard. Their opponents know the angles well, read the play effectively and take advantage of opportunities when they arise. In the end, their hard work paid off as they grabbed an impressive 3-1 victory.

The A draw was just as competitive. Going in as top seeds, the Stu Boynton / John Dunwoody (age: 117) pair looked tough to beat, but no one told Dan Follis and Mike Eugenio that (age: 118). In a surprising result, Dan and Mike snatched a 3-2 victory but then succumbed 3-0 in the next round to Mike Doyle and Bill Oddo (age: 105). Bill and Mike then had to tackle last year’s finalists and the 2008 tournament winners Bob Thibodeau and Bowden Brown (age: 116). Bob and Bowden are obviously a proven team and work productively together on the court. With just a little too much ‘court-sense’, they earned themselves another tournament win taking the match 3-1.

Monday, April 19, 2010


No one, but no one, beats the DAC 8 times in a row. Period.

Whatever black magic that club was using on us over the past few years, it seems it has finally worn off. Maybe it was voodoo since they managed to steer our doubles team to turn up at the wrong club, get changed, warm-up, and then wonder why no one else was there. (Or maybe our doubles team thought the “Cross Border Challenge” was a challenge to see who could actually cross the border..?) Believe it not, this has happened before – whatever spell they conjured up worked on Peter Logan as well back in September of 2006. John Dunwoody and Stu Boynton were the culprits this year, but at least their small ‘detour’ didn’t subtract from their performance on court. Red-faced, they still won 3-0.

It was becoming as likely for us to win this thing as it was for the Detroit Lions to win a Super Bowl, but whether it was the alignment of the planets, whether it was an act of God, or whether we all found our ‘mojo’ simultaneously, in simplistic terms: we stuffed ‘em!

In one of the more monumental moments of DAC history, the Windsor team didn’t have a hope. No mercy was handed out either. We won six of the matches 3-0 and wrapped up the trophy with a couple of matches to spare. In typical Windsor fashion, they had a couple of female players on their team with the sole purpose of distracting our members. [Pictured left: Kelly Zlotnik (WND) in purple with Kimberly Farnen (DAC) in black]. With a wonderful counter-move, I matched up Kimberly Farnen against one of their ‘diversions’, offsetting the advantage, and she won her match 3-0.

Unfortunately, their second ‘distraction’ had a mesmerizing affect on David Pontes and she beat him 3-0. [She is pictured left]. David still swears that although he lost his match, he ended up the biggest winner on the team. There are many who agree with him. Two of the matches went to 5. Bob Rogers (DAC) had a very tough win over Peter Wares 9-4 in the 5th, and Chuck Doyle (DAC) went down 9-7 in the 5th to Ted Jacobs. With Windsor snagging a couple of late results to make the score look a little more respectable, the final total was 9 matches to 5 in our favor.

The whole competition was played with a great spirit – but when you have a keg of Sam Adams at your disposal, it’s tough not to enjoy it! So, at least until September, we will have the Cross Border Trophy to relish. That gives Windsor about 5 months to reach the heights that we have obviously raised the bar to. Or, more likely, they can try to improve on their witchcraft potions…
My Preciousssss....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Do you love this sport? Do you wish you started playing when you were a lot younger? Well, with your help you can give that opportunity to hopefully many future juniors by supporting the 2nd MSRA Annual Benefit Challenge Match and Fund Drive.

On Saturday, May 15 the Birmingham Athletic Club (BAC) will be the gracious hosts this year with tickets/donations priced at $24 (juniors under 16 are free). The squash starts at 12pm and will feature some competition between some of Michigan’s up and coming juniors before the pro exhibition scheduled at around 1pm. I will be fishing my white shorts out from the dark and dusty corners of my dresser and tackling the BAC pro Julian Wellings on his home turf.

All money raised will go towards building the junior squash program in Detroit and south-east Michigan. The future of squash is the juniors. They need your help in order to receive that golden opportunity to take up the best sport in the world.

Click on the promotion above for all the details of the event. For more information on the junior development program in Michigan and how you can help make a difference, you can contact MSRA president Hugh Stalker at

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Summer Squash League – JUST DO IT

I understand. I do. Once the summer hits, there is nothing like spending time outdoors. Especially when the winters are so harsh and long. But not to play squash at all? That, I don’t understand. Just to squeeze in that 1 or 2 hours a week to get yourself on the court, to at least keep you game up, keep your body moving, work off the calories you ingest on the golf course, will benefit you no end.

And, to make it easy, you could have one of those matches organized for you! I’ll arrange your partner, the time, the court, and then I’ll e-mail it to you every week! I’ll do everything except pick you up to get you here or play the match for you. (Actually, for a fee, I may even do that!) All you have to do is enter the Summer Squash League! Do yourself a favor.

The goal is to get 8 teams of 8 (64 players). I will sort out the teams myself – so you don’t even have to do that! ANY player of ANY level. You are all welcome. The first 64 entries will get priority, after that you will be placed on a sub list unless I get 72 registrations, then I’ll make 8 teams of 9, or 80 registrations for 8 teams of 10, and so forth…

The Summer League (free for all Blackballers) runs on the same basis as the Boasters League through the winter except it will be on Monday nights instead of Wednesday. Bonus points will still be counted as well. The season will be 7 rounds plus 2 rounds of finals. The top 4 teams will advance to the play-offs. It is scheduled to start on May 17, and end on July 26. (A keg will not be provided.)

Registration deadline is Friday, May 7 – or until full. Don’t miss out. Not playing over the summer months at all will hurt your game, your fitness, and you will be playing catch-up for the first half of the winter season.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Rummaging through old magazines, one of my neighbors came across this article. Before we met, she had never heard of squash and it wasn’t long ago that I had to show her what a squash racquet and ball looked like.

“Yes”, I said. “It’s similar to racquetball.” (I tried my best to smile politely as I spat those words out!)

It seems to be the only way to describe squash to the uninitiated in this country. I do this all the time crossing the border at Windsor when the customs officer asks what I do for a living. “Squash? What’s that? Are you a farmer?” It does get tiring explaining myself time and time again whenever the subject comes up. I remember one time while I was living in Argentina, I met this young and attractive woman at a nightclub who insisted she knew all about the sport. Until she asked me where the closest squash-pool was located… “It’s underwater, right?” Huh?

Anyway, why my neighbor happened to keep this article for 17 years is a mystery even she cannot answer but when she saw the caricature she recognized the racquet as being one of squash. Yay! One less American to educate! She found it in the February 1993 issue of the New Yorker magazine and kindly asked if I would like it. Since the name ‘Talbott’ has an intimate connection and history with the DAC and I am sure there are still many of you who reminisce dearly about those days, I thought you would like to read this piece.

Mark Talbott was world hardball champion for 12 years with at least 100 ranking tournament wins. He is the only player ever to beat the legendary Jahangir Khan (an 18-16 in the 5th victory at the 1984 final of the Boston Open) and is widely considered (and hardly arguable) to be the one of the best hardball players of all time.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Click on the photo below, then answer the question:

What happened to Greg’s racquets?

A) They are Harrow’s new flexible head racquets, specially designed for digging the ball out of the back corner.
B) Someone tried to steal his beer.
C) Ten minutes usage out of $170 racquets was more than enough. They simply wore out.
D) His squash bag is small, so he squashed them in.
E) He hit a tin. Obviously the racquets were faulty so he destroyed them.
F) He hit the ball so hard the frames could not handle the stress.

Answer: C) and E) (sort 0f)… Greg purchased these 2 racquets that lasted him approximately 10 minutes. After playing and losing his first game in… not so perfect squash… he took his frustrations out on his sticks. That’s $340 of mangled graphite. At least the beer calmed him down!

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