Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We are One in the Bond of the SEC

On the whole, I have found tennis players relatively difficult to talk to on our travels. I don't necessarily blame them for this fact. As we have stated on here often, tennis media don't actually watch tennis, so they make the trips to the tournaments solely to talk to the players. And since on the whole, tennis media seem to have the personality of a pack of pea moths, I wouldn't be eager to talk to them either. However I am a person interested in conversation and actually communicating with others, not just enjoying the perks of international travel. Thus the inability to get anyone outside of Rafael Nadal to do anything more than give me a head nod has been frustrating.

Enter John Isner. The lanky American came into the media room today after his straight set first round win and media immediately swarmed him. They began asking him about his match, his next opponent and other battles taking place on the grounds. I had nothing to say about those subjects, mostly because I was sitting in the cafeteria while he played. Instead I looked at the former UGA star and asked him how the Bulldogs were going to do against Clemson. He immediately lit up, ignored the other chirping reporters and looked at the logo on my shirt (I am repping UK here in Flushing) inquiring, "you from Kentucky?"  I said yes and the conversation was on.

We chatted about the UGA quarterback situation (good), the Bulldogs' big game issues in the past (bad) and the future of UK football (rising). We talked about whether Georgia would cover the spread Saturday (1.5 and Isner says for sure) and the over/under line (probably worth avoiding). And we went into some detail on the SEC as a whole, specifically whether anyone can wrestle the conference crown from the Dirty Tide. It was as close as I yet have gotten to an in-depth interview on the tennis beat and afterwards, I walked away like a celebrated general walking off the battle field. Now to be fair, it had nothing to do with tennis and there is almost nothing I could use anywhere outside of "The Outer Courts". But it is a start and I have now realized that as long as the tennis players I encounter have the same love and affection for the S-E-C that I do, everything will be fine.

Let's just hope that Juan Martin Del Potro has an unknown allegiance to Spurrier and the Gamecocks.