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  • Freddy Ramirez

To Smile Or Not To Smile

Sudsy Monchik, Kane Waselenchuk and Shawn Royster at the 2013 US Open
Last week, I got on about the drama that went on between Ben Croft and Markie Rojas. Knowing both camps, I expected to hear stuff coming back to me. As expected, I got some insights about perspective, which sometimes does, and sometimes doesn't adjust my feelings on what's going on. Even with one slightly different thoughts on what I heard at the US Open, I still feel this was good. For the same reasons.

Interestingly enough, 5 Time World Champion Sudsy Monchik posted on Facebook this week: "Watched a video of me vs Cliff Swain also watched me vs Jason Mannino. Didn't see 1 smile or any pleasantries exchanged. Why is that? Hmmmmmm" I personally think he was referring to matches with Rocky and Alvaro. Though it may be just what I thought of when I read that... I guess. The post garnered 63 comments filled with a variety of thoughts and rabbit trails.

Ben Croft contributed the very first response: "Really, really bad sportsmanship! I think you get a technical for not smiling now. #90sracquetball #nowimpsallowed. Real answer, best friends or not, pleasantries are for later, never during a match!" (Which for me, explains one time on the court with him in Vegas.)

A couple of other responses I noted...

6 Time World Champion Cliff Swain: "No hissy fits... just intensity & passion. I'd strongly prefer to watch 2 C players giving 100% the entire time over 2 pros laughing together before, ass patting during & smiling together so much after it's tough to tell who won. When the performers care, so do I. When they don't, neither do I." (Which for me, explains a couple of times on the court with Cliff. Those who know me on the court, get this.) He went on to add, "I'm just saying that I don't like hissy fits either. It's why I like hockey. Diving not allowed, hissy fitters don't make it. Best friends are enemies for 2 hours. dirty play is responded to & dealt with instantly. Injured players keep it a secret rather than quitting or begging for attention. 1000% effort, no BS. Afterwards shake hands & be friends. Or not."

International Racquetball Tour president Jason Mannino chimed in, responding to a statement, "Parents won't let their kids play sports where the pros are not good examples." After stating he was responding to this particular line, he wrote, "...then there would be NO SUCH THING as youth sports! "Good example" is defined differently by every parent. I like to use poor behavior exhibited by "athletes and celebrities" as learning experiences for my children..." Anyone who knows Jason, knows how much real time he puts into his sons and their baseball. So it wasn't surprising that he goes on in that one post with 237 more words. (Yes, I Word Countered it.)

As racquetball fans, what should we be seeing? I think that may be a little different than what we need to be seeing.

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