They say golf is a good walk spoiled.
Well, World Team Tennis is a few minutes of very good tennis spoiled by hours of ear-splitting cacophony and eye-burning strobe lights.
Some hare-brained marketing genius decided it would liven up the tame game if the fans were encouraged to cheer on their teams while “entertained” with crude rap and hip-hop and gray-bearded rock punctuated with hip-swaying dance routines and indecipherable guttural barks.
My wife and I experienced this torture Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Orleans Arena, where the Las Vegas Rollers managed to loose to both the Springfield Lasers and the Philadelphia Freedoms. At least on Sunday I knew to wear my sunglasses to protect my eyes from the strobe light four feet in front of our front-row seats and Winchester ear plugs to lower the level of the so-called “music” by about 30 decibels. The raucous crap and the searing lights continued non-stop from the last ball over the line or in the net until the next serve.
I was reminded of the scene from “The Last Boy Scout” flick in which the bad guy was taunting Bruce Willis and asking what he could do to make him scream in pain. Willis replied: “Play some rap music.”
The tennis was quite good, featuring doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan, Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig and fresh from Wimbledon Sam Querrey. We were close enough that I batted back onto the court with my palm a doubles team overhead slam.
The constant amplified yammering by some faceless announcer prompted several people in the audience to yell back: Shut up.
Seats were cheap. Less than $20 each. But I don’t think they’ll get me back into any of them anytime soon or ever. Not until they turn down the din and turn off the strobes.