Acronyms, Masks, and Half-Assed Musings

It’s a LittleYellowBall smorgasbord today. A tennis tapas, if you will. A buffet of thoughts, none of which merits its own blog post but which together just might add up to a crunchy and satisfying blog salad.

The Acronym Contest Winner

Remember the acronym contest? I challenged you to come up with an acronym to describe the specific pressure that arises from wanting to please other people on the court. The winning entry would have to beat my own acronym FOPOP, or Fear Of Pissing Off People.

The winner of the acronym contest is Kathy, whose entry “FOOEY” earns high marks on my personal rubric for acronym excellence:

  • The acronym is a bunch of random letters (earns an “D”)
  • The acronym is pronounceable as a word (earns a “C”)
  • The acronym actually is a word (earns a “B”)
  • The word relates to the acronym topic (earns an “A”)

Kathy’s FOOEY (pronounced “phooey”) stands for Fear Of Overthinking and Embarrassing Yourself. FOOEY, though not a word, is a homonym of a word that conjures that on-court angst. According to my grading rubric, FOOEY scores a solid A. My entry, FOPOP, though fun to say, is only a grade C acronym.

Somehow I managed to lose a contest that I both invented and judged. So I don’t get the upgraded prize of a new tennis outfit. That’s disappointing, but who really suffers here? Me? Or is it the public at large, forced to endure more weeks of looking at my tired tennis togs? If I look like a schlub when you see me on court, blame Kathy.

Kathy, email me your address, and your can of tennis balls will be on its way!

The Masks

We’ve had to start wearing masks on the tennis court here in Massachusetts. It’s not quite as bad as I feared. I can breathe, which seems important. And I actually forget about the mask once a point is in play, something I wouldn’t have thought possible.

The problem I have, though, is the build-up of perspiration and exhalation under the mask. With no way for the moisture to evaporate, I feel like my face is enclosed in its own steamy tropical biosphere.

I’ve started cleaning my face with a disposable wipe on change-overs. That helps a bit, but I think there’s probably some collective mask wisdom out there that I can tap into. How are you dealing with the mask issue? Is a surgical mask more breathable than a cloth one? Is there such a thing as a moisture-wicking mask? What’s your go-to brand when you’re exercising?

The Half-Assed Musings

Musing #1. I’ve been sidelined again this week with an angry knee. I suspect it has to do with weakness somewhere other than the knee—the glutes, quads, hips, core—because my injuries always seem to come down to that. And, of course, the cure will involve lots of tedious exercises like squats. How come the cure is never more time on the couch playing pinochle? (I’m in a pinochle phase right now. Just before this, I was in a Schitt’s Creek phase that lasted a few weeks. And before that… well, I forget what that phase entailed, but you can be damn sure it wasn’t squats.)

Musing #2. This week, the top eight men are competing in the ATP Finals, including our man Rafa. And I hate to say it, but he looks terrible. A forest green shirt paired with purply pink shorts with a green side stripe? Have we reached the bottom of the color-combination barrel? What’s next, lilac and tan?

Embed from Getty Images


Musing #3. This weekend, I’m watching the movie “First One In” on Amazon Prime. Here’s the promo blurb: “Thrown off a popular reality show in disgrace, unemployed real estate agent Madi Cooke teams up with a group of misfit tennis players in a do-or-die match against Bobbi Mason, an overachieving, tightly wound real estate shark, and her tennis-playing minions.”

I know—I can’t believe I’d never heard of this gem, either. If you get a chance this weekend, watch it for yourself. We’ll be discussing/trashing it next week.


4 thoughts on “Acronyms, Masks, and Half-Assed Musings

Add yours

  1. FOOEY! Love it. That pink and green outfit — well, at least it’s not Lily Pulitzer shades. Definitely try the disposable mask and let us know. I don’t know how the schoolkids are surviving in masks all day. I have to try Schitt’s Creek. Everyone raves about it. Good luck with that movie. It sounds kitschy. Speaking of kitsch…Pinochle? Really? How old are we? I didn’t think we were THAT old!

  2. Pinochle’s not an old-person game. Canasta—now that’s an old-timer’s game. Pinochle rocks. My family always played it, and now we’ve found an online version that we’ll be able to play together. For now, though, I’m playing with/against the computer, and my partner, “Bill,” is an idiot. I find myself shouting at his insipid cartoon face: “You had that ace in your hand?! Why didn’t you pass it to me before?!!!” (It’s possible I’ve been cooped up in the house too long.)

  3. You definitely picked a winning acronym, and you showed yourself to be a fair and impartial judge. What could be better than that? And you helped us laugh (well that actually is better than being a fair and impartial judge). So guess what … you win on a different score! You win on smarts, a good pen, an appropriate amount of shallowness (who really cares what Rafa wears besides you), and most importantly, creating community. My acronym for the day: TCWCC which stands for “The Captain Who Creates Community.”

Let me know what you think!

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: