Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009: The Woodshed Is Coming

For all of you that have kept up with all of the happenings in the Texas Section and the USTA know that there things happening all around us--and not all of them good.
In 2009 (I don't want to reveal it before the new year) we will go into much detail about the inner workings of the Texas Section and the Texas Section Officials Committee. A lot of it you will find reassuring and a lot of it will cause you much consternation.
Its time for some of our leadership to head to the woodshed... The facts will be coming after the ball drops for 2009. Be sure to stay tuned...
Here are some of the topics for the new year:
* How do we select our Sectional Chairman.
* What is the role of the Officials Committee and what decisions do they really make.
* How do we actually select our "Umpire of the Year."
* What is the role of the secret ad hoc committee.
* Who is selected to be on this secret ad hoc committee.
* How do we deal with financial accusations concerning officials.
* How do we remove an official from being an instructor.
* How do we inform officials when they have been removed from a position of authority.
* What happens when our leadership fails to properly authorize an official's certification.

Feeling All Alone on New Years?

Don't feel bad--it could be worse. You could have these two as your best friends...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Models of Relaxation

Just taking a cue from these two fine young men as they give us a role model for pure relaxation... Gearing up for 2009 though and it looks like a great year. Here are some things that you will be seeing in the new year:

* A more open and transparent evaluation of our Texas section and its leadership.

* A detailed discusssion and explanation of how things are actually done behind closed doors in our section.

* More great pictures of Texas and Baylor. Very few of Tech though since they ruined the UT season this year.

* More action shots of officials during the ITA season. Its fixing to gear up and looks like a great one!

* Up to date bulletins on the 2009 schools and their dates since noone seems to be able to find the real dates.

* Guest posts by people that I find credible.

* Suggestions welcomed about how to make our Texas Section more believable and useful.

These are just a few things you can look forward to in the new year. I think we'll all have a great time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Sad Day in History: December 28, 2008


Relaxing & Looking Forward To The New Year

CARLOS MOYA is head over heels looking forward to 2009

Just imagine what the boys are thinking up for New Year's Eve...

GORAN is reflecting back on previous accomplishments and totally enjoying himself.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reflecting On 2008

As we look back on 2008, I think we can all say it has been a good and fairly calm year. 2009 promises to be a really good one--but probably one with a few changes that may or may not be good.
Here are some of the highlights of 2008:
* Baylor men and women won the Big 12--again.
* The University of Texas men advanced to the NCAA finals and upheld the honor of the Big 12.
* The 2008 Chair Academy in Plano proved to be the best ever. Twenty participants finished the school and are all out officiating these days.
* Baylor University sponsored another collegiate training clinic under the direction of Chuck Scott. Overall, the clinic proved invaluable to those who attended.
* The Texas Section Officials Committee established yet another Grievance Committee (in spite of the fact that the current Grievance Committee was already in place).
* There were 19 officials schools conducted in Texas in 2008. Texas ranks #1 in the nation in the number of schools offered for officials.
* Bonnie Vona left the Texas Section office for greener pastures elsewhere.
* The USTA national office as well as much of our leadership in Texas sent word that they are reading our blog. I'm not too sure of their motives but I do want to welcome them to our blogging family. 2009 should be a year that they all enjoy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our friends and loved ones. I hope you have the best holiday ever...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Rush

Ever feel like the Christmas rush has you down? RELAX--it could always be worse...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas For All Our Sooner Fans

2008 Heisman Trophy Winner
AP College Player of the Year--2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Wishes--Bevo Style

And a very Merry Christmas to all you blogging friends!

Christmas Wishes

Now that we are close to the glorious morning when Santa appears its time to make our wish list for 2009. I'm sure you also have some to share so be sure to send them in.

1. A tie by Florida and OU and then a crushing win by UT so Texas can be the undisputed national champions.

2. That one of the Big 12 schools wins the NCAA National Tennis Championship in 2009.

3. That one of the Big 12 schools will finally build an indoor tennis facility.

4. That someone in the Texas Section office or in our officials leadership will get the gumption to stand up and deal openly and honestly with the financial malfeasance that is going on in one of our major cities in Texas.

5. That the new staff person that is hired to replace Bonnie Vona will not serve the Officials Committee and the Junior Tennis Council at the same time.

6. That Ginny James won't have to have any more operations.

7. That Susan Wertenberger will enjoy her retirement from being President of the MTOA.

8. That Vickie Wright have a complete recovery from her auto accident and that Tom forks over a ton of money for her new car.

9. That Myron Krueger's son, Mitch, wins Junior Wimbledon this year. We'll ask for a Grand Slam next year.

10. That Lee Ann Bain would move back to Texas and quit being our "bi-sectional official."

11. That Chuck Scott be elected "Umpire of the Year" in 2009.

12. That some Texas officials actually get to work the NCAA Tennis Championships in College Station this year.

13. That everyone who wants to go work the US Open will get invited this year.

14. That all those officials who go around the country calling lines will get a pay raise so they can actually make a living do what they love.

15. A little more openness and honesty from our Sectional leadership might be refreshing.

16. That everyone gets to see TCU's new purple courts.

17. That Cheryl Vinsant gets a huge supply of pencils for the new year.

18. That someone in the sectional office or sectional officials leadership learn how to publish a blog so we can know what is actually happening in our state.

19. That Bernie West gets to call lines for John McEnroe once again. Its worth the admission just to watch that encounter.

20. That Herb Taylor would be appointed to the Rules Committee so everyone can appreciate and enjoy his creational abilities.

21. That all of the Oklahoma officials get to come to Jim Lawson's house for Christmas dinner together. That should be a sight to behold!

22. That all those officials who are so busy climbing some "officials ladder" get a new aluminum ladder for Christmas. Wood ones tend to rot with use.

These are just a few of my special requests. Be sure to send your's in...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pray For The Cowboys

All kidding about the Heisman aside, we need to pray diligently that the Lord will bless our beloved Cowboys tomorrow night. The Bible says that we "have not because we ask not" so let's all join together and ask the Lord to let us win... It will sure make for a better weekend and will also improve our prayer lives.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

OU's Heisman & The Real McCoy

Even though he was deprived of his proper honor, we will nonetheless honor the one whom we believe should be this year's Heisman Trophy winner: THE INCOMPARABLE COLT MCCOY.

In deference though to our beloved Jim Lawson (of Oklahoma fame) and to be fair to all concerned, here is a picture of this year's Heisman Trophy winner: SAM BRADFORD.

More Lessons on Relaxation

These two could teach us a bit more about true relaxation...

How To Concentrate & Relax At The Same Time

I thought we would do a new series on "How To Concentrate On Your Tennis" and this picture of Juan Carlos Ferrero came into mind. The guy sure knows how to focus while he's relaxing...

UT: Big 12 Champions

THE University of Texas Longhorns

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Remember to Pray For Vickie Wright


Just a little update to get you to pray for Vickie Wright. When she was driving to work this morning her car hit an icy patch on an overpass in Austin. Vickie is fine (just a little bruised) and at home now but the car has gone on to car heaven.

Let's all be sure to remember her in our prayers today...

A Texas Section Blog Sure Would Help

In today's world one of the most effective and prompt methods of answering questions is a BLOG. On a blog you can write the people in authority and ask very specific questions and they can publicly or privately answer your statements. Wouldn't that be great in our Texas Section?

In an average week our blog gets between 500-700 blog hits and numerous comments and emails requesting information about upcoming events and activities within our section. All this is well and good but wouldn't it be even more effective if someone in the Texas Section office or our Sectional Chairman would actually host a blog where we could ask questions and hear about things that are upcoming and happening around our state...

Just a little food for thought... (I have offered to set up a blog back in June for our Sectional Chairman and show him how to run it but the offer was declined.)

Follow The Money...

What a weird and wacky world we live in! Seems like there is graft and corruption everywhere you look and people wonder what we're supposed to do...

Just this week we discovered that the governor of Illinois is busy selling a Senate appointment to the highest bidder. Right here in Dallas the Dallas Independent School District has "lost" $84 million dollars and noone seems to know where it went or who did it. Wall Street needed $750 billion dollars to get out of their hole and now the auto makers need $25 billion to keep them solvent. Something is rotten in Denmark...

A federal prosecutor once told me that the best way to find the truth is to "FOLLOW THE MONEY" and it will usually lead you to the culprit. That seems like good advice...

Hopefully the governor will be impeached (since he won't resign) and end up in jail. Not sure what will happen at the DISD since they all blame someone else. I heard a great solution for the auto industry: take the $25 billion and buy $25 billion worth of cars from them. That way their sales would be up and then you could give the cars away and everyone would love you. Wonder how long it will take Hussein Obama to grab hold of this idea...

Now for our Texas Section situation. Seems that one of our own has been credibly accused of financial mismanagement--yet nothing is being done. When there is a credible accusation there needs to be a credible investigation and some credible action on the part of our leadership.

Perhaps its time for them to step up and "follow the money."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Season Thankfulness

US Soldier
In the midst of all our blessings in America perhaps we should take a moment to be especially thankful for all our soldiers who make all of this possible...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Update on Jimmy Connors

Just a little update on our glorious Jimmy... Here's his booking picture when he was arrested in California in November.

Seems like the star has lost his glimmer...

Changes Are Coming: USTA Texas Section Style

Well, now that we have elected Hussein Obama as our next President under the mantra of "change" its only appropriate that we are following the same course in the Texas Section. These changes affect you directly so be sure to take note...

Seems that the schedule for OFFICIALS SCHOOLS that was finalized and authorized and authenticized by our Sectional Chairman back in August is no longer in effect. All of the original schedule was planned with the coordinators and instructors so it took much work and planning.

The vast majority of the schools that were one day schools have now been changed to two day schools (I'm sure you will all love that), and those that were on Friday night and Saturday have been changed to Saturday and Sunday.

None of these changes have been finalized since the edict just came out but be sure to check the schedule on the Texas Section website in case it happens to be updated before you plan to attend your school. Since it probably won't ever be posted there, BE SURE to contact your local coordinator before your school date to be sure it is happening.

We have always tried to keep you updated on changes and information that directly affects you as a Texas official but I'm not sure we can keep up with this pace...

Among Our Officials Family

Kevin Foster, son Harrison, and Unfortunate Fish
Its always good to get great reports from people in our Texas officiating family--and here's a good one! Kevin and his son, Harrison, caught this monster fish and now Kevin is doing fishing charters on the lakes near Waco.
If you're interested in catching fish, be sure to call Kevin...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Getting Put In The Proverbial Dog House

For those of you who have a tendency to get put into the doghouse for things you have thought and done--here is a great pearl of wisdom from our own Ginny James down in Houston:


I'll leave all the special thoughts up your own imaginations...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Getting The Boot on the Blogosphere

Getting Booted At First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida
Just when I thought I had seen and heard of most everything then I discover something new and unheard of--and nowdays a lot of it comes over the internet...
Seems that First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida has a "Discipline Committee" that bans church members who have been posting on a blog that deals with events in their church. Most of the people who have been "disciplined" posted anonymously so they must have gone to a great deal of trouble and difficulty to find out who they are.
Personally, I think everyone should sign their names when posting on a blog but that's not the issue here. The issue is that "big brother" is alive and well in America today and its already begun in our churches and government and even the USTA...
When we first began our blog it was called "ustaofficials.blogspot.com" and we were called and written by the USTA and told they would file suit against us if we did not change our name. Most of this came because a disgruntled female official in Houston called Rich Kaufman to complain but that's beside the point.
Since I didn't want to have a confrontation with the front office I gladly changed the name of our blog. Now it seems that attorneys in the USTA office read our blog to see if have "slandered" someone or just to check to see if a post is about anyone who chooses to file a grievance.
What a wild and wacky world we live in!!! However, the blog is here to stay so let's enjoy our time together.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Professional German Shepherd

The one personality type that personifies professionalism and polish it is the German Shepherd. Here are his traits:

* Very professional in their appearance.
* Strong command of the rules of tennis and tennis etiquette.
* Natural leader and commands respect in a group.
* Gives a sense of security to those around them.
* Very protective of ethical values and morality.
* Makes for a strong friend and ally.
* Has no patience with backbiting and ineptitude among other officials.
* Very proficient in their job performance.
* Commands respect from parents, players, and coaches without being domineering.
* Usually tends to be a male and a Republican. Not concerned with social issues but with the "big picture" of things going on around him.

Sometimes this personality type can be difficult as you can see from the picture above. Here are some of the negative traits:
* Can sometimes give into self-adoration and self-promotion.
* Can be devastating if they are offended and do not react properly.
* Tends to be vindictive if they are confronted or offended.
* Wants to be in control at all times so can sometimes leads to problems in groups.
* Strong heterosexual leanings and manifestations among male officials. Very few of this type are found among female officials.
* Has no respect for people in authority who are lax in their job performance.
* Easily agitated if those around him are unethical or immoral.

Somebody Is Dropping The Ball

There is nothing more devastating in football than to have your team fumble and lose the ball--and there is nothing more devastating in life than to fumble away opportunities. Seems like we're seeing that on a regular basis here in Texas...

Here are some areas of concern that we hear about regularly:

* When you check the Texas Section Officials Site you notice there is nothing printed on the home page at all. Totally blank...

* When you check the Texas Section Officials Site for our "Officials Newsletters" you find the last one posted was summer 2006.

* Our certification schools begin in January, 2009, and yet we have received nothing from our leadership. I am still contacted weekly by someone wanting to know if and when and where they are going to have their schools.

* We have no developed state wide program to develop and further train our officials. The only two events that even begin to address this issue are the Chair Academy in Plano and the Grand Slam in College Station.

* We have no central source we can turn to for information about Texas officiating. There is no address given to be able to contact anyone.

* There is no state wide enlistment program being implemented or even being developed. Our numbers have been declining since Cheryl Jones resigned as Sectional Chairman and no great solutions in sight.

* We have no viable plan for keeping our current officials or seeking to reclaim those officials that we have lost.

Seems like we have some serious problems confronting officiating in Texas. Perhaps it is time to hear some reality from our leadership...

We would welcome your comments and suggestions about how to improve officiating here in Texas. Making things better and more effective should be everyone's goal...

Let us hear from you...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Our New Welfare State

Welcome to America! The land of the free, home of the brave, and the new home of the HANDOUT. Today the Ford Motor Company said they ONLY needed $9 billion dollars from the government--and of course the other automakers need at least $25 billion (and that is on top of the $25 billion they have already received). What a day of rejoicing in Washington D.C.

The sad part is that it extends from Wall Street (with their $750 billion bailout) to Main Street in all of our cities. I haven't seen anyone rushing in to make my car payment or my house payment... With this type of mentality I'm not so sure about the future of our country.

We even see tennis officials with this same mentality. They think that someone "owes" them a job or an assignment just because they are an official. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. You have to work to earn respect and a spot at the table. Noone is "entitled" to a job, a position, or even an availability unless they have proven their worth or at least have been considered to be trained for these positions.

Well, that's my thought for the day. I guess you can tell I've been watching the news...

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Dreaded PIT BULL

There is probably not an animal that elicits more fear, disgust, and distrust that the pit bull--and sadly, we see many officials who exhibit those same personality traits far too often. Here we go:

* Tends to be a bully and very dominating in deeds and conversations.

* Strong Type A personality with all its strengths and weaknesses.

* Usually performs their duties as a referee. Can be a very hard taskmaster in this arena. Not open t discussion or various opinions on issues.

* Can be very loyal to their friends even though they are few and far between. Can be very engaging and personable when they desire acceptance.

* Usually involved in conflict with parents, coaches, and players. Very dominant in their officiating style.

* Hard to deal with when they are part of a team of officials.

* Usually a very authoritarian leader.

* Makes a great guard dog but not good as a date.

* Sexual preference tends to be heterosexual except in the case of females and when they are homosexual they tend to be dominant lesbians. (Again, this information comes from my vet friend and some personal experience.)

* This personality type is frequently manifested in higher levels of leadership in the tennis officiating world.

* When involved in a sexual relationship they tend to be very dominant and over-protective of their spouse or partner. Among males they tend to hide their homosexuality and flaunt their heterosexuality. Among females they tend to be very dominant and aggressive whether heterosexual or homosexual. Very few cross dressers are found among the pit bull types.

* Usually tends to make up rules or bluff when put in a contentious situation.

* Very difficult to deal with on a regular basis. Usually best to take a vacation when you are scheduled to work with them.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Inexplainable Chihuahua

There probably isn't a little dog that is cuter than a CHIHUAHUA but then there also isn't a dog that can snap and snarl more easily. Basically it comes down to getting their way--and how true that is with some officials of this personality type.
Here are their traits when they get their way:
* Smiles a lot and seems very congenial.
* Snuggles up to everyone and pretends to be the sweetest hound on earth.
* Usually small in stature.
* Tends to be so cute and loveable that everyone thinks they can trust them.
* Makes for a good poster child or someone to elevate to US Open status without any real credentials or experience. (No names given here lest we have a grievance filed against us.)

But alas, the personality changes when difficulties arise and they don't get their way...

* Becomes very argumentative and difficult to work with in an officiating capacity.

* Can be very aggressive and opinionated and doesn't mind sharing those opinions with anyone who will listen.

* Suffers greatly from the "Napoleon Complex". Can arise because of shortness in stature but can also arise from shortness of personality and personal traits.

* Bites and snaps but usually is ridiculed by those watching the scenario. Basically, their greatness in their own eyes and in noone else's.

* Tends to be difficult to housebreak. I'll leave the rest to your imagination...

* Usually ridiculed by other officials when they turn their back because of the "littleness" of their behavior.

* Female chihuahas tend to be lesbians since the male animal finds it difficult to live with them. (No parallels or inferences intended so calm down on this one. Just what I hear from my vet friends...)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Loveable Cocker Spaniel

Very closely akin to the Golden Retreiver but by far the most loveable of all--the wonderful COCKER SPANIEL. Everyone's favorite...

* Tends to be the official that everyone loves and cares about.

* Always open to any assignment, duty, or special task. Goes about their responsibilities without complaining or griping.

* Doesn't matter what court they are assigned to--they just do their job and do it well.

* Usually blends into the background and not often found in leadership roles.

* Easily taken advantage of... Not a good trait and one that the official needs to be aware of.

* Can sometimes retreat into themselves and become ineffective as an official.

* Avoids conflict at all costs and sometimes to their own detriment.

* Usually a type B personality.

* Makes for a great friend and traveling companion.

* Can sometimes get their feelings hurt.

* Most effective when you just rub their tummys and then let them be themselves.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Illustrious Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell terrier probably manifests as many officials' traits as any animal alive... Here you go:

* Always tugging at the leash and wanting to do more thinking that he/she is the only one who can do anything. In their opinion, noone is quite as good as they are.

* Usually gets in trouble when roving because they tend to meddle in everything around them. The epitome of being overly officious.

* Very outgoing and bubbly personality which causes people to think they can trust them.

* Always volunteering to do everything but producing very little in the final outcome.

* Gets in trouble with coaches and players in an ITA match. Usually the court that causes the most problems. Has a tendency to always be chatting with the coaches and players.

* Tends to think they have the solution for everything and not shy about sharing their thoughts and solutions.

* Can be a good leader when they are on their medication.

* Tendency to be a little high strung and definitely high maintenance.

* Lots of fun to be around but hard to keep up with since they operate at such a high energy level.

* Nearly always a Type A personality. Usually hangs out with type B personalities since they get into conflict with other type A personalities.

* Very seldom selected for committee work since they have a tendency to fail in their follow up.

* Showy personality so they are usually the ones they parade around the cameras at the US Open. They do know how to smile for the cameras--but remember, they tend to bite in private and when they don't get their way.

* Lots of fun to be around but always be careful--their little teeth bite!

* Due to their small stature, they have a tendency to manifest Napoleon syndrome traits. If you have ever been around one you will know what I mean...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Officials And The Dog World

There are some amazing parallels with tennis officials and the personality traits of dogs. Hopefully you will enjoy this new series...


One of the most mild-mannered and lovable of all dogs. Here are the parallels with tennis officials:

* Tend to be very flexible and accomodating in their demeanor and behavior.

* Very gracious and kind to other officials. Can be taken advantage of very easily.

* Tends to be very attentive to the players and their concerns.

* Understands and is sympathetic to parents' concerns.

* Easily abused because of their loving and accepting nature.

* Never files grievances or complains to the referee.

* Always willing to open and distribute the balls in a dual match.

* Never cares about which match they are assigned.

* Never complains or causes trouble and dissention.

* Usually gets to work the Big 12 Tournament every year.

* Sometimes selected as "Umpire of the Year" in Texas.

* Works well with Chuck Scott because they're willing to do all that he asks.

* Great example for all officials and loved by most everyone.

* Tends to be a Type B man or woman. Not overly aggressive and/or assertive.

* Excellent team player.

* Can tend to depression and/or anxiety if things don't go well.

* Can get their feelings hurt easily if the referee is a jerk or jerkette.

* Will never make it to the Center Court at the US Open but does more matches than most anyone else in the country.

* Always picked first when there are teams being selected.

* Easily housebroken (and I'll leave the rest up to your imagination...)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DIVERSITY and Its Many Meanings

Isn't it exciting to hear all the "diversity talk" we are hearing these days? Seems like its everywhere. I hear it from the workplace to the tennis courts to the White House--and a lot of it is really scary. In the name of "diversity" I think we have fallen overboard...
In the recent elections all we heard was how Hussein Obama was our first "black President" but with a little background check we find that this isn't actually the case at all. Here are the facts:
Barack Hussein Obama is not half black.
If elected, he would be the first Arab-American President, not the first black President.
Barack Hussein Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side and 43.75% Arabic and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side.
While Barack Hussein Obama's father was from Kenya , his father's family was mainly Arabs..
Barack Hussein Obama's father was only 12.5% African Negro and 87.5% Arab
(his father's birth certificate even states he's Arab, not African Negro).
Seems like some groups like to be "diverse" but only to fit their needs and definitions...
Most of our talk about "diversity" comes from a fear of lawsuits--and its well deserved. Just look at the USTA and their unnatural fear of lawsuits. Its like the "tail wagging the dog"...
"Diversity" is the big buzz word in tennis officiating these days. We even have recruitment programs designed to enlist just minority officials--and that's not right. An official's recruitment and standing should not be based on their race but on their ability to do the job and to do it well. Personally I do not care about the color of a person's skin--just their qualifications to be a good official.
Before you hyperventilate, I grew up as a minority in South Texas and now am part of a minority in tennis officiating (white males over 50) so I know what discrimination is all about. Its the term "diversity" that worries me...
Time will tell where this slippery slope is leading us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Advance Notice: The New White House Puppy

For all you news buffs out there--we have beaten all the major news organizations to the punch and have a picture of the new WHITE HOUSE PUPPY. Enjoy...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

We all have extra special reasons for being thankful during this holiday season--some serious and some not so serious. Here are a few of my "not so serious" Thanksgiving thoughts...
* Thankful that I got to see Myron Krueger's son thinking about going to the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS. I can't wait to see Myron in burnt orange!
* Thankful that I got to see Bernie West tell off John McEnroe in his match in Dallas last year. It was worth it to see Bernie back him down.
* Thankful that I got to see Lynn Welch's hair actually move in the wind one time. This was a rare on court experience that I will never forget.
* Thankful that I got to hear the USTA national office threaten to sue me if I didn't change the name of my blog. Its great to know they are thinking of me.
* Thankful that I got to work with Brookie Green before she retired. She truly is the queen of tennis officiating in Texas!
* Thankful that I got to have one of our professional female officials tell me about her date that night with one of the women players on the circuit. At least it made me realize that I am truly becoming diverse.
* Thankful that I was there in Waco when Sara Lammerts adopted her fourth dog and took it home. Bob just loves having a kennel at his house.
* Thankful that I got to see Ginny James brand new knees. Its great to see her up and walking among us again.
* Thankful that we made it through an entire ITA dual match without Herb Taylor making up yet another new rule.
* Thankful that I got to see Glen Whitaker in his brand new physique. He does look awesome!
* Thankful that I get to work with the Chair Academy folks every year. That is truly the highlight of my tennis year.
There are a lot more reasons to be thankful but I just wanted to share a few of them with you...


Dallas Morning News
(Sunday, November 23, 2008)


"Tennis great Jimmy Connors was arrested outside the campus arena where UC Santa Barbara and top-ranked North Carolina were playing basketball. He was taken into custody Friday night after refusing to comply with an order to leave an area near the entrance."

Alas, our little darling of tennis has finally gotten his comeupance. Its been a long time overdue! Jimmy is surpassed in his boorishness only by the infamous John McEnroe.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sue Trautmann: The School of Officiating

From time to time we will have guest writers on our blog and this week our guest is our own Sue Trautmann. Sue is the coordinator for evaluators in the state of Texas as well as being of our most experienced officials. I think you will enjoy her post...

by Sue Trautmann

Officiating offers a unique set of circumstances in which to grow as an individual. Here are a few I am still working on learning.

1. Things don’t always happen on schedule. Be patient. Learn to entertain yourself.

2. Everyone makes mistakes. If it is you, learn from it, take responsibility for it, and then let yourself off the hook. If it is someone else, figure it out, forgive if necessary, and then put it behind you. Life is too short to harbor grudges, either against oneself or someone else.

3. Work hard, learn as much as you can, and give it your best. Your best is different on different days, but it is always good enough. Accept that.

4. Most importantly, there is a world of wonderful people to know and experiences to be had out there. Dive in; know the people; live the opportunities. You may never pass this way again.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Season of Thanksgiving

As we enter the season of thanksgiving I thought it would be nice if we could all post things for which we are most thankful. They can be serious and/or humorous...

Here are mine:

1. I'm thankful that I live in the USA and get to be an official in the USTA.

2. I'm thankful that my kids are grown and I don't have to stay up at night waiting for them to come home.

3. I'm thankful that I get to work with the finest ITA coordinators in the country. (Myron Krueger, Sara Lammerts, Chuck Scott, Susan Trautmann, and Vickie Wright)

4. I'm thankful for everything that Cheryl Jones, Brookie Green, and Roz Tuerk taught me when I first became an official.

5. I'm thankful that our ITA coaches in Texas are the finest in the land.

6. I'm thankful that I never have to do another super champ tournament unless I want to and am desperate for food to feed my dogs.

7. I'm thankful that I get to work with so many good officials during the year. You are all truly a blessing in my life.

Now that I have gotten the ball rolling, go ahead and send us your thoughts on thankfulness...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our New World of Whining Crybabies

It seems our entire world is "going to the babies" these days. We've all watched as the pirates of Wall Street came crying and got $750 billion dollars and now the automakers and their unions are now crying for $50 billion minimum. What a pathetic state of affairs...

It also seems that this whole mindset permeates every area of our lives. Here are a few examples:

** Parents whose children aren't selected as cheerleaders sue the school district.

** Dallas Independent School District leadership (from the superintendent on down) whine that they "didn't know" where $84 million went--and still haven't been able to fix the problem.

** Politicians lose an election so they whine and cry about "voter fraund" and demand recounts.

** Tennis officials whine about not getting certain matches so they file grievances.

** Tennis officials in leadership positions whine about "not having enough time" or "I have a job" so they hope that justifies their lack of production and leadership.

Its time for us as a nation and as tennis officials to quit whining and crying about everything that happens and learn to do the following:

1. Take accountability for your own lack of motivation, skills, leadership, and personal skills--and then learn to fix it. If you suck as a leader--then resign and spare us all the suffering.

2. Quit whining to anyone and everyone who will listen. They eventually get tired of hearing it--and tired of being around you.

3. Quit blaming President Bush for everything that happens in your life. He actually had nothing to do with your not getting assigned to the #1 singles match and probably doesn't care whether you got it or not.

4. Don't whine about Hussein Obama being elected as our next President. You'll have plenty of time to perfect those skills in the next four years. There's nothing worse than someone crying tears before they have a valid reason to cry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Climbing The Tennis Ladder & Words of Wisdom From Cooper

In the tennis world (as in all areas of life) people are busy climbing the "ladder to success." By its very nature, this isn't all bad but not necessarily all good. Its kind of in how you do it, what you want to achieve, and how important it is in your life.

Here are some of the rungs in the ladder of tennis officiating:

1. LOCAL LEVEL. This is the beginning point for everyone. If you're just starting, be sure to contact your local coordinator about all the details.
2. COLLEGIATE LEVEL. A great level for the more accomplished officials. Requires a strong understanding of the rules and an ability to deal with coaches, players, and fans. If you're interested, you need to contact the local ITA coordinator in your area.
3. PRO LEVEL. Begins with calling lines in lower level pro tournaments and progresses up to the US Open. If interested, contact your local coordinator and they can put you in touch with the right people.

Now that we all recognize that there is a ladder to climb in the officiating world, let's listen to some words of wisdom from the infamous COOPER...

** Always tell the truth and be nice to people. Remember: "everything makes a circle" and if you're a jerk it will come back to bite you.

** Don't overload your schedule in the beginning. Nothing more useless than a burned out official.

** Always honor your commitments. The quickest way to fall off the ladder is to get a reputation for backing out of assignments.

** Don't worry about the pay--because it isn't enough to live on. Just enjoy what you are doing and be appreciative of what you get.

** Always listen to those who are in authority or above you on the ladder--then sift through the BS and get down to what is real and then incorporate it into your life. There are a lot of good and wise officials out there--just seek them out and learn from them.

Tennis: A Game For All Ages (And the aged)

As I was driving around town the other day I spotted this old gent playing tennis. What an experience! Makes me realize that there is still hope for all of us as long as we are walking and breathing.

Tennis playing is great for all ages--and officiating is too! (I think...)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pearls of Wisdom From Sister Susan Trautmann

Everyone concentrates on the problems we are having in this country lately--illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, alligators attacking people in Florida...

Not me--I concentrate on the solutions for the problems--its a win-win situation.

Think about this:

1. Cows.
2. The Constitution.
3. The Ten Commandments.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic that our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But yet they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each one of them a cow.

They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq...why don't we just give them our's? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

The reason we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this--you cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery' and 'Thou Shalt Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians--it creates a hostile work environment.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lincoln Bedroom: Mother-In-Law's New Dwelling

Just read this week that Hussein Obama will be moving his mother in law into the White House with the rest of his family. Wonder which room she will choose? Wonder who will be paying for it???
Thought you would enjoy this picture of Michelle waving for mother to "come on in."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cooper Says Thank You...

Let me introduce you to our new blog buddy--COOPER. He will be appearing with us from time to time to share pearls of wisdom and words of thanks...

Today he is wagging his tail to say THANK YOU to all our faithful blog readers. Our blog usually has about 700 readers a week so that's a great start in the blog world.

I recently heard that our blog was read at the USTA National headquarters and by their attorneys so I am thrilled we are attracting so much attention. I also have it from reliable sources that we are frequently read by those who inhabit the pro circuit so we are excited that our base is expanding. We're glad to have you on board!!! Too bad we can't have some live interviews with you since we have SO many questions we would like to ask you.

On behalf of Cooper and myself, thank you for reading the blog!!!