Sunday, June 26, 2016

On Grass

The annual prairie sampling event occurred earlier this week under clear skies and warm conditions. Sampling across various natural communities always coincides with the beginning of grass court tennis and the finale, the Wimbledon Championship. Of course, the Race to Wimbledon, the minor grass court tournaments including Aegon and other English tournaments, is seldom aired on network television, only on the Tennis Channel. Thankfully, the "Tennis Channel Lite" is available through our computer since we do not own a television. So, I've been able to see these young whipper snappers like Thiem and Zverev whiz through the brackets of old veterans in the minor tournaments. Sadly, I still have to go elsewhere to see the grand slam tournaments since they're blacked out on Tennis Channel Lite.

I just finished completing my bracket this morning and went with my heart for the final--Murray and Roger with Roger winning the cup. I realize it will probably be Djokovic who wins the Championship, but my loyalty is with Roger. My bracket resulted in some hard decisions such as Nishikori meeting Gasquet and I love them both (so it doesn't really matter who wins, I wish they both could. I went with Gasquet in my bracket). The French Open was so ridiculously unpredictable that I just stopped looking at my bracket standings after the third round. Hard working players like Vesely and Bautista-Agut are back for Wimbledon, along with one of my new favorites, Taylor Fritz, a fabulous young talent reminiscent of 2006 Federer.

So, as fieldwork continues despite Wimbledon, the search begins for restaurants in the Ozarks with Direct TV with premium channels including the Tennis Channel (217). Applebee's and Ruby Tuesday carry it, along with L'il Rizzo's in Osage Beach--these are known locations. Later rounds are usually aired on ESPN, probably much to the chagrin of other sports enthusiasts. "Aw, dammit! Tennis! Who watches TENNIS?!" I know my Wimbledon bracket is not air tight by any stretch; it's more of a Fantasy Tournament bracket. Maybe this will be as fun as the 2008 Men's Final, my favorite match of modern tennis (being re-aired today on the Tennis Channel today at 1:00pm!). Let the games begin!

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