Canadians invade Cottonwood

The first CanAm Tournament of the Cottonwood Tennis Club was held on January 22, 2017.

The first CanAm Tournament of the Cottonwood Tennis Club was held on January 22, 2017.

Rod Hayward

On January 22, the sun rose as it usually does over the courts of the Cottonwood Tennis Club. The palm leaves shimmering in the gentle Sunday breeze, gave no indication of the storm to follow. Suddenly, the sounds of approaching footsteps echoed through the quiet streets. They were arriving — the Canadians! First one, his red ‘EH TEAM’ sweater glowing menacingly in the morning light, then a second and a third: a sea of scarlet against the blue Arizona sky. Before long, the invaders were confronted by a band of grim Americans, determined to defend their honor against the northern savages. Calm was restored when Ernie, the Goliath of the American contingent, roared out his orders for everyone to retire to their assigned courts. The historic battle was officially underway; the first CanAm Tournament of the Cottonwood Tennis Club.

The valiant Canadians, badly outnumbered, struggled bravely against heavy odds as they weathered the steady stream of insults hurled their way. At 11:30, Ernie declared a temporary truce in a futile attempt to restore peace. Bagpipes filled the air as the groups marched around Court One, waving flags and gathering to confront one another across the divide of the tennis net. National Anthems were sung . . . badly. Then, the two factions broke bread together over a feast of national delicacies, not the least of which was Saskatchewan cabbage rolls and Quebec tourtiere pie, supplemented with American fried chicken washed down with the low-alcohol beer typical of the region. Unfortunately, the Alberta road kill ordered for the second course did not arrive due to an unexpected blizzard that had closed Canadian highways. The crowd turned predictably sullen at this news, but dashed spirits were instantly raised by the appearance of British Columbia nanaimo bars and Ontario butter tarts dripping with maple syrup. Rumor has it that, after tasting the delicious desserts, several previously-loyal American patriots fled the battlefield to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Unfortunately, this delicious repast did nothing to heal the rift between the two groups. But, at the end of the day, the Canadians had emerged victorious, winning the battles for tennis supremacy, for most epic food, and for the day’s best-looking mascot, a golden doodle that stood in for the Canadian moose that was held up at American customs, a suspicious coincidence to say the least. However, the Americans are proud to say that they were not completely shut out, since they were recipients of the undercoveted Award for Good Sportsmanship in a Losing Cause. Anxious to defend American exceptionalism, the local contingent has initiated plans to import a team of Canadian tennis coaches to shore up their flagging ground strokes in order to avenge this humiliating defeat in what will surely be an exciting rematch at the 2018 CanAm Tournament.

For more news about Cottonwood Tennis Club activities, be sure to visit We welcome new American and even Canadian members. To enquire about membership, call Al Wagner at 480-802-7142.