Random thoughts from the Tribune Sports desk

By Joel Hansen

I spent this past Sunday watching the Boy (my son) play American football out in Pitillal. They were playing the Manzanillo Seahawks in the semi-finals. The Boy is 13. I have loved sports my entire life and I grew up playing competitive hockey, soccer and baseball back in Canada.
As an adult I continue to play baseball here in Puerto Vallarta in the local softball league (Go Marineros!) and I also spend a little time golfing (badly) and surfing (even worse).
I have always loved watching sports. As a kid I lived in rural Ontario and had three channels. I remember watching Monday night football on a channel that you could barely make out the picture through the snowstorm of static on the screen.
I would pour over the sports section of the newspaper each night reading the box-scores of the previous night’s baseball games, memorizing stats and if you ask me, I can probably still tell you the batting order of the 1988 Toronto Blue Jays or how many times Mickey Tettleton struck out in 1990. When the Boy was three years old I put him on a snowboard and stuck a lacrosse stick in his hands. He loved both and took to them quickly. By the time he was six he was playing competitive lacrosse and when he wasn’t doing that we were up at Mt. Seymour, sometimes skipping school on a powder day.
When we made the decision to move to Mexico the boy was ten and playing lacrosse in the Simon Fraser University prep program. He was reluctant to make the move. After all Puerto Vallarta has no powder days, no field lacrosse. But, little by little, we found things that he enjoyed, surfing which he is a natural at. A little golf, where sadly he has his father’s skills and then we found the Puerto Vallarta Torpedoes football organization.
He has completely embraced the team and the program and it has scratched the itch that was missing for him. He has made great friends and has the discipline and camaraderie that team sports offer. The coaches, Luis and Arturo, do a great job with the kids both on and off the field. Not only do they practice hard, they are required to submit reports from school with their grades. I know I have written about the Torpedos in the past, but they continue to impress me and are a great local organization and a great option for kids here in PV. If you have a son or daughter who would like to play football let me know and I would be happy to introduce you to the team.
Finally, I went out to catch the Eagles and Panthers game on Monday night and while I enjoyed watching Mark Sanchez kill the Panthers secondary it was even better to see how busy my bar of choice – Que Pasa was on Monday night. The tourists and snowbirds are back and the busy season is here.
Look for me at Que Pasa or maybe up at El Rio this weekend and just for the record Tettleton struck out 160 times back in 1990, a record for switch hitters.

One comment

  1. Puerto Vallarta has many timeshare resorts with tennis courts, tennis clubs, and tennis pros shops. This must be attractive to vacationers who are looking for tennis , pool and beach actives. These were to us when we looked through the RCI book for tennis in Mexico back in the late 1970s. What caught our eye was the John Newcomb Tennis Club at the Canto Del Sol Timeshare Resort right on the beach of Banderas Bay. The courts and tennis club are still there , however the John Newcomb franchise name is long gone.

    The September/October time of year is hot and rainy, and the four indoor courts are playable morning, noon and night. We have played many social tournaments there , and I a few tournaments arranged for the pros where each pro puts up a some pesos, and it is winner take all.

    Some unusual tennis tournaments that I have conducted and played in can be summarized as follows. At 8,000 foot high in the California Bear Valley Resort near Ebbits Pass, located high in the Sierra Mountains. The air is so thin up there than without a lot of topspin, the ball will not come down within the court baseline, but will likely hit the back fence

    Then there was the tournament at Heavenly Valley near Lake Tahoe where it began snowing near the end of the tournament held over Memorial Day Weekend. Once the show began to fall, everything went silent. We continued playing when the snow only fell to some 12 inches from the warn court surface and disappeared , but once the court surface became cold, the snow began covering it over … as we finished our match, and tournament.

    Then there was the tournament at the Furnace Creek Resort in early July, the hottest , and the lowest elevation in the United States. However this was a spinoff side tournament as we finished the tournament at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas , just a few days before. If you can imagine tossing up your ball to serve and the ball is lost in the flashing lights at night from the hotel signs seen on the hotel and on down the strip.

    I guess your are right, tennis players are a crazy lot when they choose the locations to play tennis. All you have to ask is: “Anyone for tennis ?” , and they are ready to play.

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