now that was funny!! very good, very good....
OK folks, here is my account of the evert event, via tennisweek, complete with my own pics of the dynamic duo!
if you click on the picture links, you will see the one i took of martina eating the popcorn!! it was right by my chair!
Evert & Friends Raise Money and Awareness In 20th Anniversary Charity Event
Twenty years ago, when Chris Evert retired from professional tennis, she wasted no time in establishing a new record of giving, and proof positive, celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic this weekend.
The charity is Chrissie’s attempt to stay true to her local roots by bringing healing to one of the most prominent dilemmas of South Florida: that of drug addiction, and its crippling effects on families, specifically drug-addicted mothers and their children. The money raised each year goes in part to granting scholarships to selected women, giving them a second chance, and non-judgmentally providing assistance and education to learn how to provide for themselves and care for their children.
Tennis and glamour, great food and music, galas and auctions are all part of the mix in making it happen. But humor is the glue that brings tennis greats and tennis-challenged celebrities together into a workable balance.
Verbal rallies can be counted on to often prove more adept than the tennis rallies, made possible by this year’s star-heavy participants, Saturday Night Live alum Jon Lovitz, color commentator Bud Collins, actors Jeffrey Donovan ("Burn Notice"), Elizabeth Shue ("Karate Kid"/"Leaving Las Vegas"), and Maeve Quinlan ("South of Nowehere"/"90210"), rock star Gavin Rossdale, Today show host Matt Lauer, former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips, Fox & Friends hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy, along with the superb lineup of tennis greats Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, and Pam Shriver, with current ATP players Justin Gimelstob and Vince Spadea.
Among all those stars however, what is always a standout highlight for fans of this annual Chris Evert charity event are the occasions when Martina Navratilova is on hand. While during the years of their rivalry, camps between the two players were notoriously divided, Navratilova is clearly at ease enough to know she has been long-embraced by the Evert contingency as one of their own, and their antics inevitably took center stage. The two ex-rivals chatted up such a storm during the warm-up to their highlighted doubles match that Jon Lovitz in the chair firmly barked "TIME!" before adding, "If I wanted to watch THE VIEW, I would be in front of a television instead of being here."
As the match began, Matt Lauer cried foul after the heaviness of an Evert passing shot, amid the otherwise hit & giggle tennis, breezed by him. "You know how it goes," Chris playfully warned, "one nice one, one mean one."
"One nice, one mean, one nice, one mean, " Lovitz repeated, before delivering the zinger, "How would you like to be married to that!" which met with a large round of surprised laughter and applause.
He claimed the joke was "pre-approved humor" but either way, Evert took all the ribbing in stride, except perhaps for one that was so bad that Navratilova stormed the chair in her defense, smashing her racquet against the former SNL comedian’s foot. Evert briefly joined Martina in the bashing, before returning to the court.
But amidst the comradery, the final proof that Navratilova was still Navratilova and Evert still Evert came when Martina got a whiff of something in the stands…was it food?!
"What’s that smell, it’s so good," she said, looking up toward the seats. "Popcorn," someone shouted back, and in quick order a bag of the delicious popcorn — that someone in the courtyard had indeed claimed to be the best they’d ever had — came down from the stands. Martina started digging into the bag and was still chewing the stuff as she bounced the ball to serve.
Evert looked over, chuckling and shaking her head as she prepared to return serve, no doubt recalling the girl she first met so many years ago — who, it would not have been too shocking to see walking toward you with a hamburger in one hand and an ice cream in the other. In fact, Navratilova’s first ever encounter with a hamburger was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
What is it they say about age? You don’t change, you just become more of who you are.
Typical of the fun verbal jousting that define the winners as much as the scoreboard, Justin Gimelstob said during his stint as chair/commentator, "How about that serve: Lindsay Davenport!" before looking to the other side of the court and adding, "And how about that stomach: Jon Lovitz!"
It was a great shot, but the winner inevitably went to Lovitz who grumpily shot back, "How about that CAREER: Justin Gimelstob!"
But poking fun at yourself is also part of the game.
"Gavin (Rossdale) is the most gorgeous man on the planet," Gimelstob gushed, "and he's playing as good as he looks!" then sheepishly adding "…Coming from the extremely heterosexual Justin Gimelstob."
Likewise, Jon Lovitz followed an unforced error by saying, "WHY are you all applauding?" … "The ball was called OUT!"
Then some of the humor is all together unintentional, as when Elizabeth Shue’s nerves on her first day of play produced enough frustration to elicit a stream of small vulgarities, that prompted Evert to say, "And you look like such an angel." But before long, the curses elevated until the infamous F word finally came out, and the entire crowd burst into applause, hooting, and laughter. "See," Shue said, "I really am a Jersey girl."
And the jousting doesn’t always come from the opposite side of the net. On one point, Navratilova held the net down for Jeffrey Donovan while he tried to serve, supposedly as a nice gesture. But Donovan read the other side of the implication, saying, "I'm being heckled by my own partner."
Indeed, that was just the beginning. Sticking to the flexible terms of unconventional competition, Evert and Navratilova suspended their doubles match against each other to challenge the men that had been their partners, to a bet: The legendary tennis champs spotted the men a 40-love lead for one game, even allowing them to serve, waging that they could not get a single point. If the men could just win one point, they could say they won, but if not, they had to give $1,000 of their own money to the charity. Of course, Team Evertilova handily won that contest.
Then to thrill the fans, Chris & Martina played one point against each other for the Championship of Planet Earth. Amazing that, after 20 years, their strokes are so iconic and preserved, that the extended point succeeded in bring back all forms of memories of great matches past. And with two sharply angled backhands, Evert finally won the point, jetting the ball out of reach of Navratilova’s forehand. Even still, Chrissie was thrilled enough to throw both hands in the air for victory.
The on-court fun is only one aspect of the Evert Tennis Classic experience, and indeed it is the silent and live auctions that bring in a healthy portion of the proceeds that support the charity’s success. Tickets for music concerts, TV shows, and sporting events were among the items auctioned, as were backstage meetings with celebrities like Cher, Maria Sharapova, Taylor Swift, Christian Slater, Dolly Parton, Miami Dolphins legendary coach Don Shula, and others.
No gala is a success however without superb cuisine, and the team at Chris Evert Charities always delivers a memorable feast. To those who insist red meat is not good for you, Evert’s Gala menu has long offered a champion’s rebuke to that claim by serving up mouth-watering Grilled Filet of Beef so soft it could be cut by angel’s hair. And the notorious Evert Dessert Plate takes 15 minutes to get through, with a fireworks display of flavors and textures that could help even a non-believer find faith in a Higher Power.
While the gala band’s drunken rendition of the Dylan classic "Everybody Must Get Stoned" was giggle-worthily played throughout the night for MC Stone Phillips, Nine-time Grammy award winning vocalist Natalie Cole provided warm entertainment for the Saturday evening Gala, as the charity raised $700,000 to bring Evert’s total charity efforts to over $18.5 million.
Highlights of the event will be shown in January on ESPN2 with Pam Shriver offering broadcast commentary.