By Dave Bruning
It’s late. These hours are not unusual for me as a bartender. I am fortunate tonight as I got to see my wife and daughter when I got home; they were both up too late for my liking but it made my night to see them.
I usually unwind with a bite to eat and a cocktail or two (hazard of the job or life, still trying to figure that out). Mindless television is a regular part of my evening programming. Tonight is different, though. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have invited me to enjoy their latest party. These two son’s a bitches throw good parties!
Federer and Nadal are squaring off for the 33rd time. The semi-finals of the Australian Open are the site of their latest party. It is a renewal of one of sport’s greatest rivalries that features perhaps the two best tennis players of all-time.
Unlike the ego-driven NFL epitomized by Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, these tennis legends keep their egos in check, yet elevate their sport to seemingly unattainable heights. I never tire of watching the mutual admiration and respect they share.
I am irritated to see the 1:30 a.m. match slightly delayed. Did I mention it is late? The global nature of tennis and golf creates these wonderful viewing opportunities, but require dedication and perseverance. Breakfast at Wimbledon, early morning rounds at the British Open and late night parties at the Australian Open; we truly live in a 24/7 world.
The match is set to begin. I am rooting for Federer. He is one of my favorite athletes. I don’t dislike Nadal. It’s like watching my Yankees play the Red Sox or the Broncos/Seahawks Super Bowl. I love sport at the highest level and usually have a strong rooting interest. The games are great. Sometimes I just am disappointed by the final score.
I have no doubt this will be a fantastic tennis match. I hope the results don’t disappoint. The match is tense and tight in the first set. The next thing I know I awaken at 3 a.m. to see Nadal close out the first set tiebreaker. An inevitable consequence of late night television is falling asleep on the couch and missing what you wanted to watch.
I am signing off and heading to bed. Realistically, I knew I would not make it through the whole match, but definitely wanted to get a taste. Breakfast in Colorado will let me know how good the party was in Australia last night.
It is early, 8ish. My 5-year old daughter has a way of ensuring the morning starts early. My smart phone informs me Nadal won in straight sets. I am disappointed with the results but glad I made the effort to watch. Tonight, it’s back to reruns of Law and Order.