If I've achieved some bit of celebrity in this world, it's as the purveyor and chief spokestrapper for the world's most delicious beef jerky
, and for that I am thankful. But I'm more than just a smoked meat advocate. I'm a part-time poet
, fashion trendsetter
, and noted outdoorsman
but more than anything, I'm a committed sportsperson. In these electronic missives, I've previously opined on baseball
, and football
in such a way as to qualify me for a prime-time slot on one of those sports talker networks. I can't help it. There's just something about the thrill of competition that excites me.
During this current fortnight, the Wimbledon tennis tournament is being held in merry old England. Now I've spent most of my (many, many) years wandering the most remote parts of the North American continent but I have spent some time in the greater United Kingdom and found the people and their customs quite charming. It's under those grey, rainy skies some 100 years ago that I first fell in love with tennis.
Perhaps more than any other sport, Tennis has rules and customs that might seem peculiar to the casual observer. The scoring system is nonsensical and seemingly random, while the dress code is more restrictive than many communist dictatorships. What's more, the game possesses its own impenetrable vernacular, devoid of logic or common sense. Here are a few of the most common tennis terms and their definitions. How many do you know?
Ace: A serve that lands inside the service box without being touched by the opposing player.
Deuce: A score of 40-40.
Advantage: When one player wins the first point from deuce and needs one more point to win the game.
Fault: A serve that lands outside the service box.
Let: A do-over, usually when a serve strikes the net.
Love: Score of zero
Does any of that make sense to you? Because I am baffled.
Despite its inherent mysteries and semantic inconsistencies, the sport of tennis is both challenging and invigorating and I cannot recommend it enough. So if you have a chance during the next two weeks grab a racket and a friend and hit one of this country's many public courts. And while you're exercising, don't forget to pack some protein like my world-famous beef jerky
. Then the advantage will truly be yours.
All My Best,