WPH Top 10 Sideline Moments, by Kara Mack

Posted on May 25 2016 - 12:48pm by DV
  • Dave Fink Post-Quarterfinal Interview in New Orleans: I couldn’t wait to jump in there to interview him as it was apparent what a proud, self-assuring, wonderful moment it was for him beating Luis Cordova to advance to the semifinals. After being injured and thinking he may never competitively compete in the Race for Eight again, he stepped into the tournament without training and also giving up his other passions (golf and tennis) to reduce his risk for further sidelining.  In doing so, he found that the rest was much needed and proved to be successful.  Fink was brought to tears reflecting on almost giving up emotionally and physically to prove he had the ability to rebound and play at the top again.
  • 12042851_10153735691753799_3267992863158283713_nNaty Alvarado Jr.’s “Behind the Short Line” interview: in a “say it’s not true,” conversation, Alvarado announced his retirement from the sport. He spoke about the great influence handball had on his childhood, throughout his life, and into being a husband and father.  He reflected on his relationship with his family, including handball legend Naty Alvarado Sr., and the effect and pressure of having such a high profile handball athlete as his father.  Well worth the watch!  Here is the link HERE>
  • Brady vs. Ortiz in Houston: When talking about all-time phenomenal matches to witness, this one was jaw dropping. From the level of play, to the rallies, the kills, and ultimately Ortiz playing as close to perfection as possible to take down the #1 longtime player in the world, it was a must see.
  • Catriona Casey vs Martina McMahon in NYC Trivia: Just moments before the two women players hit the court to play one another in the championship, they agreed to a friendly trivia competition full of random, crazy facts about New York City from the top of the NYAC. Again, this happening the same not even an hour before their on-court battle began.  What two great sports and a lot of fun to witness!
  • Paul Brady assists David Fink in coaching the Players Championship Junior Clinic: Although there have been junior clinics at most stops, I picked this one to make the list because my three kiddos got to take part. They were thrilled to meet Brady and ranted and raved how nice both he and Fink were.   Not to mention it sparked a love of the sport for them, as they have even taken a ball to show-and-tell at school.   To experience the results of the clinics firsthand and personally was really neat.
  • cordovaThe Cordova brothers play the Newlywed turned Brother Game in SLC: Luis and Daniel got put on the spot about everything from the family’s best athlete, their biggest fight, to mom’s favorite. Good stuff!  Catch it here>
  • The Cuevas Tiebreaker: It was one of those “what in the wide world of sports is going on” moments in Tucson as the crowd started chanting “Cuevas” to play a third game, although Lenning had already beat Ortiz the first two to take the title of The Memorial Championship. Longtime fans and players forked out money for whoever won that “tiebreaker” in memory of Al Cuevas, a great member of the Tucson handball community who had recently passed away.  The two players then agreed to play one more game pleasing the crowd.   Lenning also won the third, but I am pretty sure it is a tradition that will stick.  It made the entire audience smile and cheer out of excitement.  Here is more>
  • saThe Shorty Ruiz sideline interview in Portland: We all know that Shorty can be full of smiles and fun… But it wasn’t what we talked about that made this interview memorable. It was being hit numerous times by things thrown down, hitting us from up above.  Who was it?  What was going on?  In the moment we were so confused and I can only imagine our on-air reaction… I am sure it was a funny one to catch!   Pictures later resurfaced to prove it wasn’t Dave Vincent who we blamed at the time (sorry Dave!), but Paul Brady… Shocking I know!  But here is the proof:
  • Sean Lenning vs. Armando Ortiz Semifinal at the Players Championship: What a crowd and what a pair to put on a show at the MAC that Saturday evening! Just like in Tucson, these two were fan pleasers!  It was the most jammed packed, loud and enthusiastic crowd of the season, and although Ortiz and Lenning were all business, it also couldn’t have been better show business by the two.   They had the crowd gawking, laughing, and just a thoroughly involved and entertained.  It was a treat to be a part of…. I believe Lenning’s first words after the win were “that was fun,” but the huge grin from the nonchalant player said it all…. It was definitely the place to be in Portland that evening.  Here is a link to a complete recap of the tournament HERE>
  • The US Open: I can’t single out just one moment because it is the full tournament that always provides an overall great, beyond the court, experience. Being an indoor and outdoor tournament, you get a true feel of the difference between the 4-wall (indoor) players, and fans included, from the 3 and 1-wall atmosphere.  I heard it compared to a tennis crowd versus a fight crowd.  And then to see the players mingle and attend both events to watch and learn is neat as well.   You get to see their reactions and respect for the same game, just played differently.  Not to mention, there is always great food and more of a festival type feel as the entire Los Cabelleros complex comes to life.  It was truly, and always is, an overall fantastic handball extravaganza!