The Deuce Club, 10.22

by: Peter Bodo | October 22, 2010

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by Jackie Roe, TW Social Director

Hey there, TWibe. I won't be around tonight as I'm traveling this weekend, but I made sure to prepare something special for you in my absence.

But first, who among us is attending the ATP World Tour Finals in London this year? I've heard that a number of TWibers are attending, and it'd be neat if we could get a little gathering together. If you plan on going, let us know in the Comments.

Now on to today's topic, brought to you by my great friend and occasional TW poster white line fever. He hit this one out of the park (still have baseball on the brain). Read on and enjoy!

Hi everyone! White line fever here, aka WLF, aka Wilf/Wilfy, etc. (although I will allow you to choose your very own terms of endearment if you play nice). Of course, for some of you, your chosen nickname may be “Who?” as I've been less of a regular poster 'round these parts for some time. But I was once a hardcore poster before I became irregular, and luckily Jackie has remembered me long enough to offer me my second pinch-hitting job at the Deuce Club. Thanks, Jax!

Anyway, Halloween is coming soon, and that got me thinking a bit about superstitions, rites, and rituals. Now, even the most casual tennis fan among us knows that many players cloak their on-court activities within various layers of both pre-, inter- and post-match superstitions and rituals (three words: Rafa's water bottles).

But in this DC, I'm more interested in what rituals—if any—you as fans may employ as you watch your faves duke it out on the court. What hocus pocus might you undertake in hopes that you will be the magical, mystical, and unreasonable (you know they can't hear you when you shout at them on your TV or computer screen, don't you?) reason that your player wins on that day?

Now, it wouldn't be fair for me to ask you to divulge such a thing without doing the same. So in the interest of full disclosure, here are some (but perhaps not all) of the ridiculous things I do while watching a tense match unfold:

1. The Lucky Position: No matter where I'm watching a match, whether live or on TV, I have this belief—especially on big points—that if I fold my arms in such a way and put the big toe of my left foot on top of my right foot just beneath its big toe, then “my” player will win the point (and don't worry, I make a shoes-or-sneakers allotment for public displays of this behavior).

2. Window Pains: If I'm watching a match on a computer stream, the layout of the various windows on my desktop starts to have magical powers. If the player I'm supporting begins winning a few points in a row, I become increasingly hesitant about changing the size or position of any open windows lest it “cause” a momentum shift.

3. The Scoreboard Staredown: Sometimes, when there's no stream or TV coverage available and I like a player so much that I've resorted to scoreboarding his or her match, I start to believe that if I stare at one number enough I can—through force of mind-power and non-blinking—will the scoreboard to change to the “right” number. Mind you, it's always whatever the next logical number in the score would be—I don't expect my mind to work miracles, you know!

There are more, but you probably think I'm enough of a lunatic as is. So allow me to defensively disclaim: I'm fully aware that none of these methods actually, you know, work. If they did, then the top five ranked ATP players in the would be Henri Kontinen (that's him in the photo above), Roger Federer, Daniel Brands, Samuel Groth and Ricardas Berankis. I have eclectic tastes, OK?

And, interestingly, I don't carry any of the above viewing quirks into any sport other than tennis, and I'm a fan of many. Nor am I superstitious in any other area of my life. But I guess tennis is such an enchanting sport that it turns many of my viewing experiences into occult comedy. Or, at the very least, infuses me with an uncharacteristic belief in the power of juju.

Wilfy, you've outdone yourself. (Reminds me of how I used to watch Bulls games.) Thank you so much for subbing—we all appreciate it!

Have fun indulging in your lunacy, TWibe, and I'll see you next week!

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