The relatively new sport of pickleball, originally made popular by older white people, is taking America by storm and is now a truly multicultural phenomenon as youngsters from so-called “urban” environments have begun to participate.
There are now an estimated 8.9 million players in the United States, among them 19-year-old Marcus Marquis of Tampa Heights who rides his bike a couple of times a week to Rowlett Park to play with friends.
“Yeah, I like it a lot. It’s a good game. Easy to learn and I’m already pretty good at it. It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Really the only thing I don’t like about it is Linda and Gary.”
“Linda and Gary” are the Rosenburgs, a recently retired couple from New Jersey who are at the Rowlett Park pickleball courts at least five days a week.
“Oh yeah, Linda and Gary talk mad shit about their game,” agreed Marcus’s friend Pookie. “Gary, not that much but Linda won’t shut up. I hate playing against them.”
“Remember that time Linda aced Calvin like four times in a row, talking the whole time? Calvin almost started crying,” said Marcus.
“It was five in a row and Calvin wanted to fight her,” replied Pookie. “We had to tell him, ‘bro, you can’t fight a 66-year-old white woman.’ He hasn’t been back to play since.”
Both Pookie and Marcus say they’re not intimidated by the more-seasoned players antics.
“We’ve only been playing a few months,” said Marcus. “Eventually we’ll be really good at it and the Lindas and Garys of the world will lose interest.”
“Maybe, but until then this is my house,” said Linda who had just arrived and high-fived Gary. “Where’s Calvin? Still at home crying like a little bitch?”