Etiquette is Extinct in USTA League Tennis

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by kielmc, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. kielmc

    kielmc New User

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    What is it about USTA leagues that seems to make people so rude? Where has etiquette gone in the game of tennis?

    What are your strategies for dealing with people who can't call lines properly and / or emphatically question any close call?

    In a non league match, if people behaved like some of the folks I run into during league play do, I would just walk off the court and find someone else to play with in the future. In leagues, you obviously can't do that.

    What do you do, treat cheaters & jerks as another obstacle, like wind or a bad knee? Grin and bear it?
     
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  2. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    don't hit so close to the lines and hope for lots of overheads.
     
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  3. North

    North Professional

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    I don't play USTA Leagues. It took some time to find a long list of individuals/groups to play with but was very much worth it. No drama, everyone plays by the rules, competitive and enjoyable. I also play tournaments - also better than League.
     
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  4. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Wait hold on, you try to have the cake and eat it as well?

    How could you possibly be upset by people who question some of your your calls while you yourself admit you do not respect all the calls of your opponents?
     
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  5. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    I think you hit the nail on the head...

    ...not playing NTRP is not a jail break, it's just a choice. Per what you said, some years ago, I just found a bunch of people, and events, I wanted to play, and left NTRP in my rear-view mirror. There is life, on a tennis court, after NTRP...
     
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  6. ncgator

    ncgator New User

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    Worst case I ever dealt with was in league playoff match where one of the guys on the returning team called three straight service winners out, even though they were clearly in. On the third out call where the serve was clearly inside the line, we could tell the receiver disagreed with his partner's 'out' call, but refused to override the call. His return of the 2nd serve was in the doubles alley, and I proceeded to call the shot 'out', giving us game point. The guy making questionable calls was very upset, but got the message, and didn't make any more intentional bad calls the rest of the match...
     
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  7. hammer

    hammer Rookie

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    I would just call for line judges, if possible. If not, I would do what ncgator did and hook a call yourself, and hopefully he'll get the message.

    You're going to encounter jerks and cheaters everywhere, not just USTA league. But you're right, you can just walk off if it's just social tennis. Before I started playing league 10 years ago, I played with a couple of jerks and cheaters playing socially. They weren't too many options where I lived, so I just kept playing and didn't make a big fuss out of it. They would get mad and argue with each other from time to time, and I find it entertaining, so I just sit back and enjoy it.

    I would have to say that playing USTA league has been very enjoyable for me. I've made a lot of friends and have a lot fun doing it. All of the top players at my level (4.0), including myself, have a lot of respect for each other. Yes, occasionally I would encounter a jerk or two during league play, but that's few and far between in my experience.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Some folks don't like USTA. I'm fine with that, of course, and I understand their thinking.

    But people don't talk much about the way that USTA can be far superior to social play.

    In social play, people often do not know the Code or abide by it. That leaves you constantly negotiating how things should be done. "Out! Was that out? I think it was out. What did you see, Sally? Nah, I'm still thinking out. You know what? How about we just play a let?"

    In social play, people feel free to be rude. Cell phones ring. People actually stop and answer ringing cell phones while everyone waits.

    In social play, people feel entitled to "have a good time." The definition of this is that no one else can hit shots they don't like, and no one can drive a ball at them.

    Social play gets incestuous in a hurry. After a while, everyone knows Becky has no BH so they just hit to her BH when they need a cheap point. Where's the challenge?

    And worst of all are the people who are late every single time, the people who need to leave early, and the people who no-show or cancel with insufficient notice to find a sub.

    In USTA, I know that my match will start and end when it should, my opponents will almost always be there on time, no one will stop to run an errand or answer a phone, people will usually know the Code and abide by it, and I can hit to Becky's sad BH all day long if I want.
     
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  9. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    Anytime I can hit a tennis ball is a good time to me - social, league, tournament, singles, doubles, mixed, serve practice, wall, whatever. The feel of racquet striking ball still puzzles and pleases me immensely. :)
     
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  10. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Hyperbole much?
     
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  11. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Give me USTA league any day. While it isn't perfect, I don't run into the problems the OP noted very often.
     
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  12. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    The same person that behaves fine at a social pickup game can turn into a monster during league play. Maybe it's because every game won or lost goes down for all eternity on the player's record. It's like Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde for some people. Social plus tournaments equals more fun.
     
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  13. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    That's true...

    ...my point was that there's an alternative to NTRP, and it's also an alternative to social tennis. It's called real tennis...
     
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  14. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Here in Utah, everyone has a concealed weapons permit
     
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  15. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    USTA around here is great. Sportsmanship is through the roof, everyone plays fair, competes hard, shares a beer afterwards. Couldn't be more fun and mature. Maybe one of the perks of living in a nerdy university town?
     
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  16. silentkman

    silentkman New User

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    I stopped playing USTA leagues 13 years ago in NOVA. Tournaments are just plain better period. Much less drama. tennis is and will always be an individual sport.
     
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  17. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I have played on 9 teams this year and I have not had a single bad experience with my opponent(s)

    I think part of what you get back is what you give out, and I do my best to be super honest and friendly. For me if I think a ball was out but I'm not sure I call it good, as per the code.

    Just played a match last night on hard court, I probably called 3 or more of the guys shots that were out by just a tiny bit as good. all shots that I couldn't get to so they were all points for him.

    On one point his 1st serve was probably several inches long but I wasn't sure so I returned it and I could see by his reaction that he was surprised I didn't call it long and he missed his shot. Now this isn't by the book but after he missed it I said "that serve was out wasn't it" and I had him serve again+1st serve for the delay.

    All this was in a very close match. I won 6-4,7-5 but had to come from 2-5 down in the 2nd and honestly thought I was going to lose.

    Now I understand there are jerks out there and no matter how nice or fair you are to them they will lie cheat and steal, but I think those people are rare and more often than not you can create a good experience by setting a good example.
     
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  18. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    There is going to be a difference between social tennis and league tennis ... you need to accept that. In social tennis you pick folks to play with that you want to play with. So you spend your time searching out what you want, and often times you get it.

    In league tennis, you show up and play who is there ... you have no control in the matter, you just need to accept the fates of the league tennis gods and do your best.

    Now this is where the rub is .... you are upset because opponents you cannot chose do not act in a way you would like them to. If this is going to upset you, then league tennis is simply not for you.

    However, I will say that in nearly 400 league tennis matches over the last 10 years, I have had less than 10 matches I thought the opponents were truly a problem.

    I like league tennis.
     
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  19. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    This was an excellent observation and until now has gone unrecognized. Cheers to you good sir!
     
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  20. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Completely agree. My experience has been very similar. And the bolded part is especially true.
     
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  21. anantak2k

    anantak2k Semi-Pro

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    I agree with this post especially the first and last part. If you are nice to people, most players typically feel obliged to also be nice to you. True jerks and *******s are rare for the most part, at least in my own experience. I would say something like 1 jerk for every 6 nice people.

     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    That's a pretty jerk-to-nice ratio.

    If we are talking about true, unadulterated jerks (as opposed to people who just are not very friendly), I'm thinking it is 1:20 or better.
     
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  23. anantak2k

    anantak2k Semi-Pro

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    Yeah I guess. Overall, I feel that most tennis players are pretty nice people but of course that can also be different depending on the areas.
    For example when I lived in NYC, I found most players in Queens to be very nice, some areas in Brooklyn had a lot of jerks and players in Manhattan were pretty nice but overrated themselves quite a bit.
     
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  24. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

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    How can something be extinct when it never really existed in the first place?
     
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  25. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmm... well, how about like this:

    - Opponent's serve on deuce court lands in spot where you can see 2" gap between where ball landed and the side line to the left (i.e. it was wide by 2"), OP calls ball out and opponent says "WHAT???? That ball was in by a country mile! What kind of calls are you making there????"

    - Two points later, OP wrongfoots the opponent with a shot that lands in the corner, 4" from both the baseline and from the side line (i.e. more than just arguably in - it was clearly in). Opponent, frustrated with guessing wrong about where shot was heading and upon seeing that he cannot get to the ball, immediately calls it out.

    Was it really that hard to understand that some people expect the benefit of the doubt to go in their favor on all line calls, on both sides of the court, even when there should be little doubt at all about whether the ball was in or not? You think that people who cheat on line calls on their side of the court would somehow never question their opponent's line calls, too? Maybe you should think a bit harder before your next snappy little retort. There was nothing necessarily inconsistent in the OP's situation, certainly nothing that warranted you implying that he/she is a hypocrite.
     
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  26. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    +1

    i'm on my 20th year of league tennis. probably played close to 1000 matches. i would guess less than 5% of the time have i run into any sort of dooshbaggery. the problem is that the way humans are wired - we remember those moments and not those moments when people were fair and decent and well behaved.

    league tennis ain't perfect. social tennis ain't perfect. tournaments ain't perfect. human beings ain't perfect. accept and move on.
     
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  27. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Get better and play higher. The higher you get in ranking the better the people will be in terms of legitimacy. This is what I have found out anyway...
     
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  28. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Looks like you can't handle the truth! :grin:

    It is very simple, if you do not respect the calls your opponent makes then I think you have no business criticizing them when they don't respect your calls.

    Ever heard of do onto others?

    Seems to me your version of do onto others is:

    You should respect each and every call I make
    because I am always good, honorable and never make a mistake

    while

    I reserve the right to disrespect your calls
    because you are sometimes bad, dishonorable and occasionally make a mistake.


    :grin:
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
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  29. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Never played a USTA league. I play a Flex League (Ultimate Tennis) and I love it.

    I find social matches--with friends, family, whatever--to be much less fun because the skill level usually isn't properly matched, and people care much less about The Code in social situations.

    I do wonder why you think your opponents don't know how to call lines. You're on the wrong side of the court to judge their line calls, so how would you know they're in error? Believe me: even shots you think are in, can definitely be out, and vice versa. Follow this simple rule: if your opponent calls the ball out, then it is out. If you really must know, ask how far it was out. That's not BM, and you're not questioning the call.
     
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  30. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    That's a bunch of BS, it has nothing to do with respect, you just want the RIGHT call. It's either in or out and if you're not sure you give the benefit of the doubt to your OPPONENT. There's "players" out there with bad vision and big egos who CHEAT. They cheat you on both sides of the court. There are dishonorable players out there who do not deserve respect and spoil the game for everybody, that's what the majority of threads here are about.
     
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  31. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    This is what is known as a false syllogism: the mere fact that something may be inconsistent does not mean that it ALWAYS must be inconsistent. This is also what is known as a "My ego does not permit me to acknowledge that I may have spoken erroneously or be wrong in any way, so I will continue to sit astride this dead horse, flogging it and digging my heels into it, happily announcing to the world that I am galloping along at a very rapid clip" sort of argument.
     
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  32. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Sure, it is always about he, she and they = bad and I, we and us = good followed by a bunch of yes-men high fiving it and the occasional viscous attack on any of those who see a bit more perspective to things, because to some being a yes-man is more important than finding objectivity. And better, being that knight in shining armor protecting "one of us" against those who do not play the yes-man game gives obviously extra social cookie points.

    Where there are line call arguments there are often two sides to the same story, how remarkable that the posters on TT are always to ones that are factually right isn't it? :twisted:

    Very true.

    Even worse, I have read there are even 'players' who think it is OK to pull out a gun when an old lady brings a dog to court, what do you think about those people?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
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  33. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I think if it's a pit-bull and it's attacking someone's balls, it's AOK to shoot it, and then call the rescue squad in with the jaws of life to pry its vice-locked dead jaws off 'em. As for you, from all your posts here, I think you're a psycho-babbling idiot troll, who has never hit a tennis ball in your life and just likes to come here to argue.
     
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  34. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

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    You got beat up a lot as a child, didn't you?
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe, but he's awfully smart.
     
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  36. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    Not really. I probably got in an average number of fights, I won some and I lost some, probably finished adolescence with a 4-4 record. I finished college with a 1-0 record (roommate got jumped by two drunks, one of whom walked home with a developing shiner).

    If you want to make a more accurate generalization, I have a low tolerance for fools, particularly ones who are undeservedly arrogant (not that I've encountered many people who deserved to be arrogant). This becomes a non-issue by refraining from foolish conduct.
     
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  37. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

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    Post deleted.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
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  38. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Not only that, but I seriously question if he even understands what a false syllogism actually is.

    The original poster complained that her opponents question her calls while at the same time she states she also question her opponents calls. I find that inconsistent and explained why, it has absolutely nothing to do with a false syllogism.

    Another example would be someone saying: "What bothers me most is when people who are weaker than I want to play with me, I just don't want to play with weaker players, I don't learn from it". While at the same time that person would be upset if stronger people do not want to play with her. Also that is not a false syllogism, the question here, again, is one of attitude not on of logic.

    In fact both the original poster's situation and my example above have absolutely nothing to do with logical implications, they have however everything to do with attitude and consistency. certainly one could question if a person is consistent based on what they state or if a person adheres to the "do onto others" principle or even, as in the first case, they adhere to the USTA code. The answer to that, in all three instances, is with my humble, and undoubtedly limited mind, no, it is inconsistent and I demonstrated why I think that is inconsistent.

    A bad or inconsistent attitude is not necessarily an illogical attitude as logic knows no morals. :grin:
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
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  39. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    New user ... one post--a rather ridiculous one at that--doesn't participated in the ensuing thread ...

    I'm thinking we need a:
    [​IMG]
    (Monster Hunter, to rid us of all these trolls)
     
    #39
  40. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    I'm a bit confused. Is the problem that you really cannot seem to get your neurons firing in a manner that lets you grasp that a person who cheats on line calls on his side of the net could very well be obnoxious in questioning the opponent calling his shots out (when they genuinely and clearly were out) on the other side of the net? Or do you understand that but your ego prevents you from admitting that you could ever be wrong? Which is it?
     
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  41. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I think you've hit on it CurrenFan, but in Newp's defense the cloud of medical marijuana over NorCal probably impacts his spatial thinking.
     
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  42. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I've never played USTA, but I've played club leagues for about 4 years. Literally half the guys in my league footfault on every first serve. Seen it from the gallery or the next court. Some to the point of absurdity, like being 2 feet inside the court before hitting the ball, the second foot of a pinpoint stance. :confused:

    Luckily only one or 2 guys are blatant with bad line calls, and I basically confront them right away knowing I won't tolerate it, and they stop.

    If I'm playing a guy that was cheating in my last match, the next match starts on the first bad call with..."That's your call, but my shot was in by at least 6 inches, strike one"...implying that strike 3 and I'll walk.

    I've heard nightmares about line calls in USTA leagues around here.
     
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  43. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    My experience is very different from your post. Where are located and what is your gender/level?
     
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  44. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    The list of ailments for which those seeking a Med-MJ card allege it is a miracle cure seems to be ever expanding. I heard an interview of notorious pothead actor Seth Rogen on the Howard Stern Show in which Rogen was asked "So what medical condition do you have that requires marijuana for treatment?" Rogen started giggling (he candidly admitted being baked for the interview), then said "Anxiety" and burst out laughing hysterically. I question that diagnosis - I suspect that the only time he suffers any actual anxiety is when he must travel to some place that has not legalized medical marijuana and he has to debate over transporting a supply or acquiring it at his destination.

    I'm lucky in my current league that there really isn't anyone there whose line calls are suspect. It's nice playing with a good group of people, one in which the worst thing I might potentially encounter from anyone else is that same old "glory days" story about being a club champion several decades ago that one person keeps forgetting has already been told multiple times.
     
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  45. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    They got storefront long hair quack docs who'll issue you a medical marijuana card on any pretext. You walk in and he asks you if you're "feeling stressed?". You answer "Yes", and he issues you a card, it's a joke--we're right in step with the fall of the Roman Empire--shouldn't be long now.
     
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  46. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    No, I certainly can grasp that situation. :)

    But is the problem that you really cannot seem to get your neurons firing in a manner that lets you grasp that a person who questions the opponent calling his shots out on the other side of the net could very well be a hypocrite when he is upset when his opponent does exactly same thing?
     
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  47. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    CurrenFan, take no heed of nopeball, unfortunately it's a failing of internet message boards that are for all purposes unmoderated, that people who are bored and just looking to post for the sake of arguing are allowed to bring down the level of discourse--"let no good post go unpunished". I've seen it time and again, someone comes here with intelligent info to contribute and they are greeted by the nattering nabobs of negativity and soon depart due to the chorus of naysayers greeting them. It's like being in a hot-tub on Saturday night with a bunch of drunks drinking Chardonnay from glass stemware.
     
    #47
  48. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    I just played NC Mixed states. 8.0

    I played 4 of 5 matches.

    All of my opponents were a pleasure to play against.
     
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  49. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    All true.

    Of course, for years now we've been able to just walk into many stores and walk out with addictive intoxicants and addictive carcinogens - no pretenses needed.
     
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  50. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    Well, the difference is that I can have a beer, a glass of wine or a margarita with dinner and it's purely a beverage for the taste. Pasta or a steak just doesn't taste right most of the time without a nice glass of red wine. A joint or bong hit is just for the chemical impact of the drug.
     
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