I played tennis with Bill Gates today

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by vbranis, May 7, 2010.

  1. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    It happened at a very select country club in Indian Wells where a bunch of notable Palm Springs area pros were invited to a pro-am event with the club members (among which was Bill Gates). Me and a few other guys from the local college team were also invited to assist the pros. Mark Woodforde and Tom Gorman were among the pros. There were 8 courts in total (2 pros + 2 members on each one) and we did a bunch of drills.

    So eventually, Mr.Gates arrives on my court. Complete with glasses and neatly tucked-in blue Nike shirt. I was really nervous, I kept thinking "Don't hit Bill Gates or do something embarrassing..." Oh, and did I mention Woodforde was watching, as well? Talk about pressure. Bill said he's a 3.0 player, maybe a 3.5 on good days. He is remarkably capable at net, quick hands. His serve & footwork need a lot of work, though. OK groundies for his level. We did a bunch of doubles drills and then played a few games. Me and Bill vs. the other pro and club member. We stopped at 2-2 since time was up for the rotation. He shakes hands with me and thanks me for taking it easy on him. Very soft-spoken guy, almost shy it seemed. I was going to ask him for a refund of the joke that was Vista, but somehow, it just didn't seem appropriate...

    OK, before the inevitable "pics or else it didn't happen" posts, I was told beforehand that I would get in trouble if I took pictures with him. The entire reason he is part of that club is to get away from people bugging him for autographs or pictures. Plus, there was security EVERYWHERE. So I didn't dare...:neutral:
     
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  2. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like fun. Yes, your instincts were correct to play it straight and not make jokes about Microsoft products. There is a time and place for that sort of thing and it wasn't at that event.
     
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  3. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    cool, thats awesome...
     
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  4. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Nice, thanks for posting.

    Bill Gates has done a tremendous amount of great charitable work all over the world, from vaccination efforts to research to improve the food supply in Africa.

    As much as Steve Jobs is painted as the cool one and Gates the geek, Gates' foundation is pretty darn noble if you ask me.

    Very special that you got to shake the man's hand.
     
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  5. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    I saw him lecture at Harvard a few weeks ago. I'd agree he's a very nice guy, and I'd agree with the above poster: he is pretty "cool" -- some of his responses to the inane questions that were asked at Harvard were great.

    "Will you meet me on my vacation?" asked a College student. "Too busy" quipped Gates.

    :)
     
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  6. Gimmick

    Gimmick Semi-Pro

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    Its easy to be charitable with other people's money. Much more admirable the people who work hard to earn money from their own labor and are charitable with it.
     
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  7. rovex

    rovex Legend

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    What racquet was he using??
     
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  8. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Huh?

    The foundation was started with a stock gift from Gates himself, who has contributed literally billions of his own assets. Warren Buffet has contributed significant sums as well, but the foundation isn't at all like a United Way chapter with Gates as some mere figurehead, non-donating executive.

    So, actually, he fits exactly into your second sentence!

    http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx
     
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  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    What, he didn't gift you an iPad !!!!

    Yeah, what was his setup ?
     
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  10. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    You should have called your friends from your iPhone or listened to your iPod on changeovers.
     
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  11. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    He used a Macbook Air.
     
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  12. rovex

    rovex Legend

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    Nike shirt, and Wilson racquet perhaps???

    Does anyone know of somebody else who plays/wears those? :D
     
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  13. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    Didn't look at it closely, but it looked like the Prince TT Bandit OS. No idea about the string.

    I better receive my free iPad in the mail soon...
     
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  14. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Did you play him for a million $ a set?
     
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  15. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    I wish...:(

    The only chance I had at making $$$ off him was to try and get hit by a ball and pretend I'm hurt. I would have been nice and only asked for a couple hundred thousand in compensation.
     
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  16. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    i hope you told him to buy rackets from TTW in future. Best deals. And great forum to hang out on, too. Better than MSDN.
     
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  17. rovex

    rovex Legend

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    What shoes did he wear?
     
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  18. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    New Balance
     
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  19. SuperFly

    SuperFly Semi-Pro

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    You should ask him to make a charitable donation to this board-- I've been eyeing the Nike Breathe Free 2k10's.... :wink:
     
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  20. Rex

    Rex Rookie

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    you should have asked him for a job. =P
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Did he crash like Windows?
     
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  22. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    No, but like Windows, he did run slowly
     
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  23. forthegame

    forthegame Hall of Fame

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    ^^
    Dunno what you guys are on about, my Vista is solid as a rock!

    BTW, congrats, I would love to have the opportunity to play tennis with Bill Gates!
     
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  24. MarrratSafin

    MarrratSafin Hall of Fame

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    ROFL.:lol: btw, nice! Sounds really awesome.
     
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  25. Gene1994

    Gene1994 Rookie

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    Vladimir, is that you?! Haha, nice story.
     
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  26. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    Good guess, Gene. Now you better start getting that post count up :)
     
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  27. Gene1994

    Gene1994 Rookie

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    939!? That'll take me years!
     
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  28. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Just so we can get a better mental picture of how bad his serve and footwork actually are, would you say that they are as bad as Internet Explorer? ;) LOL
     
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  29. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    Can't wait to tell my Bandit using friend that he is playing the Bill Gates stick. :rolleyes:
     
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  30. ODYSSEY Mk.4

    ODYSSEY Mk.4 Professional

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    sounds pretty cool lol can only imagine the pressure though!
     
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  31. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Vista's a little too locked down for me. But it's not the failure Apple fanboys would make it out to be.

    Great job OP! That's a cool story. Thanks for sharing. I'd rather hit with Anna K or Danielle Dotzenrod or ... - but that's just me. :)
     
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  32. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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    What a neat experience ... you were very fortunate ... was wondering if his wife also plays ... also ... I've heard that Gates seems taller in person ... what do you think ... btw ... anyone know how tall he is?
     
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  33. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    He served with the power of Windows security and ran with the speed of IE?
     
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  34. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    I'm exactly 5'11 and he was a bit shorter than me...I'd guess he's about 5'10.

    I don't know if his wife plays, he didn't mention her at all.

    I agree with you 100%. They're also better players :wink:
     
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  35. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    hrmm..thats not even close to 3.0, more like 1.0 :)
     
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  36. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    Yeah, but at least there wasn't any need to restart... And I can only assume that his blue shirt was a homage to the famous "blue screen of death" :)
     
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  37. Gene1994

    Gene1994 Rookie

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    Hahaha!! :)
     
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  38. Fee

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    "Local college" What college is local to Indian Wells?


    You should have told him that you forwarded his email years ago, twice, and never got your check from Microsoft. That would have been funny.
     
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  39. Gene1994

    Gene1994 Rookie

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    He's talking about C.O.D. - College of the Desert.
     
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  40. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    That's a really good one, I bet he would've laughed. :) It's so much easier to find good things to say AFTERWARDS!

    And yes, I was referring to College of the Desert.
     
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  41. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Last edited: May 9, 2010
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  42. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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  43. Underhand

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    I had a beer drinking contest with Linus Torvalds! I won!
     
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  44. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    So you've been thrown out of Spinland into Severn Valley.
    Great !
     
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  45. defrule

    defrule Professional

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    Bill Gates to win Wimbledon 2010!
     
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  46. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Why ? Is Hawkeye running on Windows ? The scoring system is IBM i think, so not much hope to win by scoreboard malfunction.
     
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  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Did he attempt to take over the entire court by forcing all the other competitors out and then explain to the spectators that he is all they need to see?

    Did he make you sign an agreement that you could not play with anyone else?

    And then did he throw a few dollar bills into a box to demonstrate his selfless charitable nature?
     
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  48. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    I thought you might have been but I wasn't sure. So if you play for COD, are you from Spain or Chile? ;)

    Who's the coach there now? I knew the guy who coached years ago (1991 or so) but I've forgotten his name...
     
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  49. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    Did you ask Gates why most MS software sucks so badly? How about the company's monopolistic practices? :)

    Gates would have been a very rich guy regardless, but IBM gave him a multi-billion dollar gift when they made DOS that primary OS for IBM PC's and clones. IBM didn't see the value in the OS or they could have developed their own OS. Eventually, the tail wagged the dog.
     
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  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They did develop their own OS (OS2) but it went nowhere.
     
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