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  • Cam Writt


Updated: Jan 13

Racket sports can trace their roots back to France in the 1100s, when they were played as a way of coping with a burdensome overproduction of banjos. Eventually, Major Walter Wingfield named what we now call tennis “sphairistike”. Sphairi is Greek for “ball” and stike is Welsh for “mind your damn business I’m trying to name a boring game over here”.

Unlike most sports, the goal of tennis is to reject the ball and make it the opponent’s problem. This makes sense in the context that smoking and drinking were unregulated back then, and the players were mostly just trying to lose quickly and get back to the bar.

Naturally, players became competitively apt at losing and did not want to be outdone. Over time, one-upmanship created the only sport that rivals golf in terrific wastes of time and polyester. It should be noted that beer pong is a distant relative of tennis. This explains the very backwards rules in which the loser gets to be more drunk.

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