Robert Bush 11:18 p.m., May 25
Non-mainstream sporting championships happen in a relative vacuum compared to, say, the Super Bowl or the World Series. Because of this, there's very little hype surrounding something like the United States Tennis Association National Open Hard Court Championships, which are going on right now at the tennis courts in Morley Field.
Apparently, this is pretty serious stuff, not for the average Joe tennis player.
This is a great chance to be a spectator at an elite sporting event. Since tennis is a bit outside the realm of "popular" sports, it's not like tickets for the National Open Hard Court Championships (say that three times fast!) sold out months ago. If the lax security at the event is an indication, fans can just waltz up to the bleachers and watch some blistering serves and savage backhands.
It's obviously not required that spectators dress all in white and bring picnic lunches composed entirely of tiny, crustless sandwiches, chilled rose wine, and fresh strawberries, but how awesome would it be to dress up in your finest Richie Tenenbaum-style headbanded tennis gear and eat cheese and crackers while clapping softly for athletes playing a sport you really don't understand all that well?
This is no revelation, but 90% of the fun in attending sports is the extraneous stuff that goes on outside the game. See: tailgating at football games, hotdogs at the ballpark, French people who get smashed on wine while they wait for the Tour de France to roll by, etc. By that right, tennis picnics have a lot of potential.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your best polo shirt, with matching wristbands, and get out there! The National Open Hardcourt Championships are at the Balboa Tennis Club (2221 Morley Field Drive) through June 10th. Visit usta.com for tennis information in general.