This year’s Smack! Tournament will be the highlight of the Wisconsin’s winter platform tennis season — and with a full draw, should prove to be the best yet. Great food, a good cause and a full day of paddle is in store.
These are known facts.
What follows is pure conjecture…
Team Zipp-Bloom is the number one seed (so says event organizer Nick Curran), but that doesn’t get you a ticket to the finals… just a first round bye. To win the title, Erik Zipp will need to earn it. There are no less than 8 of the 28 teams that could win this year’s championship.
As you peruse the photo prediction above, understand that these teams will all be tested, however, some will find out their chemistry is flawed and others will implode due to the pressure. Last year’s champions, Town Club’s Tom Bell and Aaron Gardner, have already broken up prior to the tournament.
Look for Tom Bell to repeat with his TCC partner, Jason Martone, playing as Team Beltone to win the crown over Andrew Bayliss and Rick Allen (hearing aids will be given to all who want them). Sure, Chicago great Gary Feldman is in the tournament and seemed a shoe-in for the semis, but his partner Dan Einhorn won’t have the patience needed to stop Team Beltone. Likewise, The “Angry Guys” (David Brock and Tom Lehmann) will find that their intensity on the court will be their undoing against the calm demeanor of TCC no.1 Andrew Bayliss (unless, of course, Rick Allen loses his Zen) — then all bets are off. But, it is important to note that the Brocklobster is crowing mightily about recent TCC ladder wins and is expecting to be replace Bayliss as the no.1 player at TCC.
“You might as well start drafting your blog about me moving into the number one spot and Duke moving to #1000 because I SMOKED HIM ALL MONTH! haah!”
In contrast, Eric Arvold will find that his partner, Stephen Provancher will lob too much, causing his own impatience and a loss to Team Baywatch in the semi finals… but in the end, Tom Bell’s consistency and Martone’s patient play (and the fact that they are the only team with both players having both been Smack! Champions) looks like the winning combination.
Back to the facts…
Mike Farley, who lost his original partner, Scott Schroeder (the better one) to a leg injury last week, had to scramble to keep his spot with Nick Curran. Rejected by Mike Deam, Sean Cooley, Beany Welch AND Eric McNally, Farley found a great replacement in first time Smacker, Russ Mull. Sadly, Farley, who believes that he is far better than he actually is, will drag Mull kicking and screaming into the Reprieve bracket. On a more positive note, the dynamic duo of Tom Gelin and Chad Bolliger are already salivating over the chance for a Super Suck title.
First matches begin at 8am sharp at the Town Club (7950 N Santa Monica Blvd.) and with all teams guaranteed three matches, Consolation, Reprieve and Super Suck champs will also be named. Four courts will be in use, from the Town Club, The Cedar Club, Tripoli and the Schroeder Compound. The Smack! Championship will begin somewhere around 5pm at the Town Club.
Bring your friends and family — it truly is a great event.
Downloadable PDF > SMACK! Draw 2019