• Freddy Ramirez

Outdoor Is For Show: Rocky And Kane Team Up For The Glow


Rocky Carson and Kane Waselenchuk, respectively.

Rocky Carson and Kane Waselenchuk will be playing together at this year's 3Wall Ball.


Why would Rocky and Kane team up to play Outdoor now? What is the point? Other than a professional appearance (fee). But putting these two together, like this, is pretty much saying there will never-ever be an epic showdown of IRT forces settling a question that lingered for years within the territorial banter of the Southern California outdoor racquetball set, as well as the sometimes color commentary heard on the IRT Network. "How would Kane do against Rocky outdoor?" It's a relatively old question and I'm discouraged that it feels like a dated one.


Instead, we'll have Rocky Carson and Kane Waselenchuk being cordial on the court in Vegas. Playing through a draw... sure, with maybe an additional check if they fancy themselves making it through the draw to a final, facing De La Rosa and Beltran... the hope here maybe. That prospect though feels a little flat, knowing Waselenchuk showed up once with Ben Croft and it would have been something to build on that rivalry.


Main Court, Post Pro Final, 2020 3Wall Ball / L-R: Alvaro Beltran, Daniel De La Rosa, Mike Coulter, Kane Waselenchuk and Ben Croft

The play, getting these two together, maybe to excite potential participants into dropping cash to enter the pro draw on the relatively-ok chance that they might actually be able to say they played against these guys in a real tourney. The play may also be just the novelty of having a high profile focus, to sell the come for the experience and vibe set. But as I mentioned, I honestly don't know. I do know the people behind the scenes facilitating mean to find opportunity for Kane, within a sport that is currently somewhat muted for arguably the most gifted player to play the game. Do they know Rocky has teamed up with Alvaro in the past, which kind of already covered the big hitter team thing. I am pretty confident in speculating that Rocky probably hasn't played a doubles match in serious outdoor competition without being compensated to do so, in a long time. So, I'm pretty sure they'll both be covered to show up and play matches together.


Rocky Carson, 2011 WOR Championships, Huntington Beach, California

I'm not knocking this, say what you will. And I'll admit, the way things are now, there may be, maybe, three people that still care about the question I'm referencing, that goes back to when Outdoor racquetball was being aggregated by World Outdoor Racquetball. The money behind this super-team has the heart in the right place. I'm actually more of a mind to say "Why not?", knowing how cold the sport is running for some players. It's a shoulder shrug, so to speak. And an attempt, to, not think about what an epic encounter could have provided these two, as well as racquetball fans.


I'm just still totally bearish on anyone with any real ability to make a difference, seeing any opportunity when it comes to these two guys, racquetball here in the U.S. and outdoor racquetball.


You know what I mean. What we all wanted to see it. There should be more than enough resources to use these two properly, to facilitate racquetball here in the US. It should be a more profitable endeavor, for everyone. Racquetball, with its benefactors and organizations, looks and feels sided-up from the sideline. And I'm really over the racquetball is losing courts and dying, pickleball or whatever-the-excuse-thing.


It's kind of hard, for me, to see something like this though, under a WOR that spent two years on a shelf, with maybe some mandates with no funding, existing as a take it or leave it novelty.




 



(A bit extra... When I transitioned to this platform, my first article was taking a look at Rocky's game outdoors, in relation to how he was doing against Kane on tour. "Where Is Your Outdoor Game Against Kane?" It was written in 2013, as the fruit of all the work WOR had done to aggregate players across the country was paying off... the question, "How would Kane do against Rocky?" was well-entrenched within outdoor racquetball conversations, as Rocky was rolling undisputed in singles-outdoor, on 3 wall courts. I didn't bother on a count of how many times I mentioned this stuff over the years. Maybe because it feels more like a wrap-up piece to me. Seemingly, these threads have not aged well.)