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The U.S. Open

Posted by evankessler on August 27, 2007

Several weeks ago prior to the arrival of my Nintendo Wii, I had a dream. It wasn’t a bold world changing dream like that of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a relatively harmless and meaningless dream. It wasn’t actually a dream at all…I wasn’t sleeping when I came up with it nor was I staring off into space during the daytime. We’ll just say I had an idea and an unoriginal idea at that. I wanted to have a Wii Tennis tournament. This Wii Tennis tournament was the driving force behind my purchase of the newest Nintendo gaming sensation. This weekend that dream became a reality.

However, before we get there, in the spirit of the weekend recap, we have to go back to Friday night, when the weekend began. While I had only worked a couple of days this past week the days seemed to last an eternity. By the time I got out of work on Friday I was ready to tie one, if not a few, on. I had evening plans with Arby and Marie L to go see the band Beach House play Union Hall, but we began our night at our favorite local watering hole, The Lighthouse Tavern, for some pre-show drinking. I arrived at about the 2nd inning of the Met game to find Filler and Arby with beers in hand enjoying our favorite local baseball squad in action and Adam and Tom behind the bar slinging drinks with Heather soon to follow. Our plan was to wait for Marie to join us, drink there until about 10:30 and then head on over to the concert. We stuck to that plan but not before drinking our fair share of alcoholic beverages and ingesting our own respective Buffalo Chicken sandwichees with a side of fries.

We made it to Union Hall a little early as the 2nd band was just beginning upon our arrival. Filler had opted not to join us. Arby, Marie, and I nursed a beer upstairs before heading downstairs when Beach House was to go on. Walking into the downstairs performance space I came across my old roommate’s ex girlfriend Liz who works the door on certain nights and we exchanges some pleasantries before I shuffled inside to claim my spot. I have a feeling that my pleasantries were a wee bit slurred but I’m not totally sure. The show itself was good…not spectacular by any means. I generally have a problem with enjoying a concert when I can’t see anything. It didn’t help that the band was seated and the stage can’t be more than 9 inches off the ground. I basically spent the entire show on my tippy-toes trying to catch any glimpse of the people seeing. I think I may have seen a strand of hair at some point. The music itself was pretty decent, though I can’t say I got the tingles from the music or any “special feeling”.

Rather than hang around Union Hall or go home, which would have been the sensible thing to do, Arby and I went back to the Lighthouse. However, before we went back we stopped at a convenience store on 5th Avenue where I picked up a quart of some weird blue sugar water called “EverFresh”. Upon entering the bar I announced to Heather our bartender that I had a brought a mixer. She then proceeded to make a multitude of shots containing the sweet blue nectar. From there I ended up striking up a conversation with two strangers. One was a Yankee fan named Joan and one a Red Sox fan named Lindsay. They seemed to know each other but had just met that night despite the evident familiarity in their rapport. After maybe a drink more Arby had called it quits and I probably had one more beer while keeping up delightful conversation with Joan before we both left. I invited her to my Wii Tennis Tournament the next day as she had brought up the Wii in conversation…jackpot.

I woke up at 11:30am the next morning and had done absolutely no preparation for our Wii Tennis tournament or the U.S. (Union Street) Open as we were calling it. I didn’t have a proper tennis outfit, nor had I figured out what our setup would be. All I could think about was how much I had drank the night before. Soon enough though, I sprung into action. Bassett and I went to American Apparel for outfits, however, we decided that it wasn’t worth it to spent exorbitant amounts of cash on tennis attire. We decided to buy headbands and wristbands and wear our own sporty duds. After that the next step for preparation was snacks, and drinks. However, before I could go to buy drinks Renga notified Bassett that she and Dan would shortly be arriving with a keg and a projector. I was not under the impression we needed that much beer but I guess someone else was, which was fine with me but I didn’t expect too many guests. I went out and bought some wine to satisfy the thirst of the non-beer drinkers.

Soon enough Laura and Dan arrived and at nearly 3:30 on the button, my friend Ajay arrived as the first party attendee. He helped me set up the Wii to the projector. We were afraid it wouldn’t work but certainly to my surprise it was a swinging success. The sensor worked properly so we would certainly be able to use the most public space in the house as our Wii Tennis court.

Pete and Bassett in pre-tournament relaxation mode.

Soon enough the guests began to pile in and the tournament bracket was taking shape. I have to give a special shout out to Bassett who did an outstanding job of actually preparing and seeding the bracket. At 6 pm (I think) I took control of the floor welcoming everyone to the Union Street Tennis Club and proclaimed “Let the games begin”. And with that we were under way.

The U.S. Open Bracket

Inexperienced Wii-ers were dropping like flies. We nearly had an entry into Wiihaveaproblem.com when Erika walked in front of Matt W and got smacked in the face with a vicious overhead smash. Despite the accident, there were no recorded fatalities and the tournament rolled on. One of the better 1st round matches was the GF/BF battle of Dan vs. Renga. Not only were they the two best dressed tennis players, but the action was intense too.

Renga Vs. Fry…An Intense Rivalry is Born

The tournament didn’t take as long as I had anticipated. We were only playing best of 3 games matches. I think next time we might do best of 5. Soon enough thought it was time for the Semis. It came down to Evan Kessler vs. Ahmad Saeed in one bracket and Ajay Choudhary vs. Jason S. If you thought I’d be able to hold down my home court advantage…You’d be wrong.

The Agony of Defeat

The final showdown would end up being Ajay vs. Ahmad. The battle of the Cold Hands Collective Multi-Instrumentalist vs. The Cold Hands Collective Bassist. Two friends in a fight for the glory of victory. The loser would walk away in shame having to hang their head for what would probably amount to 4 whole seconds if not a lifetime.

The Finals: Ajay vs. Ahmad

The matchup was not as intense as you’d expect a championship to be and in the end I think Ajay won in a cakewalk. I don’t remember the exact score but I think he may have one three games in a row. And with that the 1st Annual U.S. Open of Wii Tennis had come to a close.

1st Annual U.S. Open Champion Ajay Choudhary

The tournament may have been over but the party raged on for several more hours. People played all sorts of fun Wii games, drank, ate hot dogs, made conversation on the back deck and just generally enjoyed themselves. I know I did. Normally when hosting a party I feel rather panicked that I’m not talking to enough folks or doing enough for the party but with almost all of my roommates thoroughly involved it was a stress-free outing. I’m not sure what time the party ended but the last 2 people on the Wii were myself and Matt G who had two consecutive Tennis battles to the death in which I was the victor. It was a mild form of redemption after bowing out of my own tournament in the Semis. However, I feel like if I won my own tournament I would have just looked like a dick. Imagine inviting your friends over just so you can show them that you’re better than them at something. I was actually pretty sure that I wouldn’t win heading into the tournament. Not due to a lack of confidence, but just because I knew Ajay had a Wii much longer than I had. I fully expected him to emerge the victor.

In any case, The U.S. Open was a resounding success. It was so successful that I was completely worn out by Sunday and pretty much was reduced to sloth-like behavior for the entire day of rest that the lord intended. I went for a walk or two but generally stayed out of the public eye. Aside from listening to an uncomfortably heated conversation at Barnes & Noble in which a guy was telling a woman that his punishment for messing with a trashy girl was that he now had to pay $1500 a month in child support, it was generally an uneventful day. I came home and watched some bad TV with the roommates and called it a night….and a weekend.

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One Response to “The U.S. Open”

  1. heather said

    Hey, is that a new profile picture? Very nice, you look like a suicide girl.

    And congratulations on Costner!

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