Pickleball and the government shutdown

Drive-thru courts. Hunting Season.

Takeya Title

Happy Friday. Can we all get behind the idea that a successfully-returned erne should be called a returne? Or is that too much of a reach?

If you find yourself trapped in some small talk today, here’s some ammo to combat the awkwardness:

  • A Major League Pickleball team is now named after a fast food chain menu item

  • ABC’s The Golden Bachelor premiered last night, and pickleball was mentioned within the first 5 minutes…and seems like it will be a recurring theme

  • A group of senators from both sides of the aisle have been routinely competing on the pickleball court AND there’s a pickleball takeover on the National Mall this weekend

In This Issue:

🏢 Senators Hash it Out on the Court
🍑 Atlanta Staycation
🍔 Fast Food Endeavors

Let’s get it.

Hunting Season

Everyone wants the same thing when they’re at the kitchen line: a nice juicy pop-up they can slam home for the winner. Since that is what we are looking for, we should be prepared for the opportunity when it arises.

When you have time and the ball is in a neutral position, you should get your toes up to the line, lean into the kitchen, and be ready to take the ball out of the air.

According to Selkirk pro John Cincola, you should go hunting for that put-away.

He describes his progression when evaluating options at the kitchen line.

  1. Take the ball out of the air and attack it

  2. Take the ball out of the air and dink it

  3. Step back and take the ball off the peak of the bounce

  4. Take the ball as a half-volley

This predetermined list of options makes his decision-making fast at the kitchen line. When the opponent is in a defensive or neutral position, he is hunting.

Based on the shot they hit, he looks for option A. If it’s not there, he automatically moves to option B, and so on. Since the goal is to slam home a winner, you need to be in position and ready for the opportunity.

After all, you won’t have much luck hunting if you don’t venture out in the woods.

Healthy Hydration

Drinking enough water isn’t just about keeping your blood pumping or your body properly hydrated.

You literally need water to stay smart and strong on the court. If you’ve ever asked yourself if you’re drinking enough water, the answer is: probably not.

Click here to find the best water bottle for you. Their bottles keep fluids cool all day, whether you’re practicing with friends or competing for gold.

Senators Hash it Out on the Court

American politicians: you can’t get them to agree on anything, but you can get them to play a few rounds of pickleball. It’s a start, I guess.

A few senators — Republicans and Democrats alike — take a break from facing off on the floor each week to go toe-to-toe on the pickleball court at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

"It's kind of hard to treat people in an untoward way if you've been out on the pickleball court,” Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told NPR.

Don’t get us wrong: we love that mentality. Though considering the government could be on the verge of a shutdown because the two parties can’t come to an agreement…this next quote worries us a bit:

"I'm very aggressive in my legislation and in my sports” — New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Let’s hope nobody gets body-bagged. That could lead to a retaliative filibuster, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

NPR’s story notes that a group of Congresspeople have taken a beat from their senate associates and will start playing in a pickleball caucus of their own.

At least now, pickleball fans can truly say they feel represented by their politicians, no matter which party they support.

Credit: WTOP/ Nick Ianneli

National Mall of Pickleball

Pickleball fans in DC will also have the opportunity to play at the National Mall of Pickleball over the weekend. The pop-up event kicked off yesterday and will give players a chance to play in the shadows of some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks.

Atlanta Staycation

Atlanta is the place to be for pickleball again this week. The APP Tour is making it easy for pros who played MLP to hang in the peach state for another week.

One of those players is MLP Champion and philosopher Andrei Daescu. Daescu will look to keep the good times rolling with a chance at double gold this weekend.

Two MLP Challenger Level players will compete for the singles crown Sunday. Judit Castillo went undefeated today and had a big win over Salome Devidze in the winner’s bracket final.

In the bronze medal match, Megan Fudge won a barnburner against the top ranked woman on the tour 10-12, 12-10, 11-4. Fudge earned a shot at gold on Sunday, Devidze had to settle for bronze.

Women’s Singles Final
Judit Castillo vs Megan Fudge
Bronze: Salome Devidze

Roscoe Bellamy is a player with high expectations in the second half of the year. The 6’5’’ tennis star from UCLA is a pickleball legacy. He is the son of top senior pro Beth Bellamy.

Roscoe will have his first chance at gold on Sunday. He will be the underdog against the top performer yesterday, Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez.

Men’s Singles Final
Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez vs Roscoe Bellamy
Bronze: Jack Foster

Tune into the event starting at 9am ET Saturday on APPTV.

A Drink for Sports & Everything Else

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Fast Food Endeavors

Subway set the tone back in April with the release of their Pickleball Club sandwich. Last month, Raising Cane’s founder, Todd Graves, joined the ownership of the MLP Texas Ranchers.

Now, pickleball is storming the castle…White Castle. The Columbus Pickleball Club changed its name to the Sliders after the fast-food burger chain joined the team’s ownership group.

This week, JW Johnson stopped by its Columbus location. The restaurant was dishing out extra pickles on burgers to celebrate to deal.

Canton, OH is home the the NFL Hall of Fame, but Canton, TX made a hall of fame worthy play of their own. A new Sonic Drive-In opened in East Texas.

But it’s not just your run-of-the-mill Sonic: it is the first in franchise history to include three pickleball courts on-site. You know where to find me during happy hour.

I’m not sure how the remaining fast-food chains can trump MLP ownership and courts on-site, but I can’t wait to see what they come up with. The ‘Burger King of the Court’ is a natural fit, but there are plenty of options for Mickey D’s as well:

  • The McGuffin Signature Meal

  • How about a new slogan? Ba, da, ba, ba, ba, I’m lobbin’ it

A Star is Born in MLP Atlanta

From unknown to MLP Champ. Rachel Rohrabacher makes her first appearance on PicklePod after a massive weekend in ATL. “Who?” - most pickleball fans when Rohrbacher was drafted to the Orlando Squeeze. Fast forward a couple months, and she’s in the MVP conversation…

Watch it here or listen here.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

Bayview, ID

A majestic submission from the PNW. This court feels like a bald eagle would come screeching in to deliver a fresh ball before each match.

“It's 1 hour to the closet place to play Pickleball so we built our own. People love coming out to play but have issues with the distraction of the Lake in the background.”

Let your home court pay for itself with Swimply.

A review from the Dink Fam...

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