A Fan’s Notes (the title of Frederick Exley’s memoir about fandom, Frank Gifford, and being a man) will be my take on sports, with an emphasis on racquet sports and occasional television spectacles that everyone is talking about like the Super Bowl.
The Regions Morgan Keegan Championships at the Racquet Club starts in three weeks, and I will be watching it for the 29th straight year. I have played tennis, not well, for more than 50 years. I have seen Stan Smith with curly hair, 16-year-old Jimmy Connors in a T-shirt in Kalamazoo, Rod Laver flick his wrist and hit a backhand about 100 miles an hour while bending over to pick up another ball, an angry John McEnroe bounce a ball into his eye in an exhibition in Memphis a few years ago, and hit with Germantown prodigy Catherine Harrison. I have been obsessed with racquetball in its prime and then squash, which hasn't really had a prime. I have lost to some of the best local talent.
Plus, this is an Olympics year and publisher Ken Neill has hinted that I might be going to London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
Not likely. I will be staying out of the way of my able colleagues Frank Murtaugh, (From My Seat) who covers the Tigers and Redbirds, and Chris Herrington, (Beyond the Arc) who covers the Grizzlies. Web space is infinite, and there is room for all of us.
Sports doesn’t fit very well in my regular City Beat column and blog. I wrote a sports blog called Get Memphis Moving a couple of years ago but gave it up. But sports is impossible to ignore, like presidential campaigns or the weather. I wasn’t going to watch much televised tennis this year and then Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, and Federer played three of the greatest matches ever last week.
I’m fascinated by sports and by people who are fascinated by getting better at them, no matter their age or skills. So I’ll blog about it. If you are of the same persuasion, I hope you will read it and comment from time to time if the spirit moves you.