Back in 2012, a creative and justifiably jaded Dallas area tennis player by the moniker bif wellington uploaded a video to YouTube. By adding subtitles to Downfall, a 2004 historical World War II drama, he was able to fully capture the suspense, outrage, and unspeakable evil that occurs every November 30 at midnight when the USTA releases their year end NTRP ratings. For you non-tennis people, NTRP ratings are similar to a golf handicap. These numbers rule your life. They dictate the leagues, tournaments, and teams you can play in. They have torn apart best friends, spouses, mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons. They are faceless and they are cruel. And this year, they stole another one of my best singles players, plucking her up like Katniss Everdeen and depositing her in the Capitol, bumping her up to a 4.5, never to be heard from or played with again.
To add insult to injury, the new countdown that the USTA instituted on the website, which I studiously watched tick down to 11 p.m. Central Standard Time while simultaneously watching Broad City reruns, ended up crashing the whole site and I had to stay up for an extra hour to determine who all on my team would be left standing.
So I salute you, bif wellington. I know that today of all days, you share my pain. May we all someday be reunited with our team members at the Life Time Fitness Plano in the sky, where everyone is a 4.0, the teams all have matching t-shirts, and all the mixed doubles players are injury-free and beautiful. Until then, the USTA can go pound sand. Watch the video here: