Why You Should Go Watch the Kastles
Am I writing this because of lingering guilt issues over contributing to Justin Gimelstob's international incident? Possibly. More likely, it's because I went to one and only one Washington Kastles World Team Tennis match, where I actually enjoyed myself, which, if you know me at all, is really saying something. I pay to go to sporting events maybe twice a year, but I would actually pay to go watch the Kastles. Well, on half-priced night, at least. Here's why.
1) The Food. Ok, granted, I don't eat flank steak or shrimp tacos, but it just feels good to be around only marginally overpriced stadium food, and food that at least holds the possibility of culinary worthiness. This menu pictured above is from Glover Park's Surfside. There's also a Red Bull and Ciroc Vodka tent, and, of course, Blueberry Mojitos. Plus they have weird drink specials. Last Friday it was $2 Coors Lights all night. Tomorrow night it's $3 wine all night, supplied by Barefoot Wines, with a wine tasting before the matches begin. I mean, when was the last time the Redskins had a wine special? And they're called the Burgundy and Gold!
2) The Celebs. I was at the home opener, which featured Serena Williams, who's famous famous. But the crowd was filled with the D.C. Famous, which is always depressing as a D.C. resident but at least shows that the Kastles have arrived, as it were. Among the sell-out crowd of 2,200 were Mayor Adrian Fenty, Fenty's two sons, former mayor Anthony Williams, former Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) with his mother, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Cali), AOL co-founder Jim Kimsey, Rep. Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY), Steve Case, Dave Feldman, George Solomon, Russ Thaler, and Wahsington Post Live producer Andy Siegel.
I'm telling you, this was an absolutely classic D.C. sporting event crowd, missing only Jack Evans, the Secretary of State, Jason Campbell and Ted Leonsis, who actually showed up to last night's match. Oh, plus Caron Butler and his wife Andrea were there. Which brings us to
3) The Wizards. First Caron shows up on media day for the AT&T National, and then for the Kastles' home opener? "Where's Waldo?" said Butler, describing his new role in D.C.. Truth be told, he was mostly there because of Serena; his only previous pro tennis viewing experience involved watching Venus in L.A.
I would have conducted a fabulous interview with him after the match, but suddenly he was being mobbed in a downtown tennis stadium parking lot, almost exclusively by women. This was adulation. I have a four-minute audio recording of what was mostly various women handing me their cameras to snap photos of them with Caron. All of them were self-identified as Caron's "biggest fan."
"She's your biggest fan, seriously....Thank you so much....I love the way you speak....I'm doing better now that I met you....Excuse me, I'm one of your biggest fans," is basically what my tape sounds like.
"I can do one more, one more," Caron said to the crowd, before posing for probably five more. "He's personable, that's his biggest asset," Andrea told me, while some youth organizer told Caron how inspiring his story was and tried to get him to come speak to her group.
And, so, briefly:
Caron on local sports: "I haven't been to the Nationals game yet. Going back out there to throw the pitch pretty soon. As far as just getting out to events and stuff, I'm trying to do something different. I'm relaxing a lot, so I decided to do golf, see tennis, try to just do different things man. I'm getting g a little older, so I'm trying to explore other options, you know what I'm saying? Different stuff, that's all."
Caron on Gilbert: "I'm happy. Happy for him. Obviously happy for us, but REALLY happy for him. He's a franchise player, he definitely deserves it. It's definitely a reward for him, and it's great."
Caron on winning a title: "That's the plan. Try to stay healthy, knock on wood, and get this thing done."
Caron on how often he's played tennis: "Never. I'm gonna try to do this tennis thing, you know what I'm saying? You know I'm an actor now, so you gotta put basketball player-slash-franchise Burger King owner-slash-actor-slash-golfer now, you know what I'm saying? C'mon now. Don't leave that out now next time."
And if that's enough, the Kastles Dance Team, or whatever they're called, feature many members of the Wizards Dance Team, wearing tennis-inspired outfits. Which brings us to
4) The Mascots. Ok, maybe they're not G-Wiz, but they're close. There's this metal clad knight, whose name is, remarkably, The Knight. Then there's a giant tennis ball. When I met him, he was still nameless. He's since been dubbed Top Spin. Or possibly TopSpin. I'm 90 percent sure the knight is going to sword him before this season ends. And let's not forget
5) The tennis. There are inscrutable rules, an inscrutable overtime situation, yellow challenge flags, hecklers and lots of shouting. Also, at the match I attended, one of the Kastles' PR staffers was on the court attempting to rile up the fans. And the fans were, occasionally, going bonkers. I never, ever thought I'd be saying this without irony, but it was one of the better D.C. sports crowds I've seen. And it was certainly closer to my house than any other D.C. pro sports team plays. (11th and H, roughly.)
Anyhow, here's the schedule. There are still four more home dates, including "Guys Night Out" when Anna Kournikova comes to town.
Posted by: NTPNate | July 16, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: StetSports.com | July 16, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: J Moore | July 16, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Kev | July 16, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dcsween | July 16, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Confused without semicolons | July 16, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Max Wass | July 16, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bridge | July 16, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mustachio | July 16, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Hyperborean | July 16, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: AreUKidding | July 17, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: FS | July 17, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: amalg | July 17, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Maggie | July 17, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Skinz | July 17, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Dan Steinberg | July 17, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 19, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jn | July 19, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: anon | July 21, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.