Update: Please note that polls will stay open until midnight GMT tonight, in the grand electoral tradition. There’s still time to campaign …
So. It’s time to face up to the elephant in the room. Even the most optimistic estimates acknowledge that we are facing a long, barren summer/autumn/winter/future without Delpo on the tour, and whatever news we do get about him is likely to be depressing. It’s also true that, for some inexplicable reason, Delpo has become the main mascot, poster-boy and raison d’etre of New Balls, Please. He’s our tagline. He’s the majority of my posts. And while it’s safe to say that this will always be the case, now that the first shock of the news has worn off and the reality of Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Davis Cup and almost certainly the US Open without him is sinking in, the mind turns inevitably to coping strategies. Not for me personally; enough drinking will almost certainly take care of that. For this increasingly sporadic blog of mine.
Henceforth, I propose the following: the immediate adoption of an interim ultrafave as the stand-in recipient of my most obsessive blogging attention. I’ll do my best to watch his matches and rhapsodise about them or bewail them at length; I’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest news about him, no matter how trivial; and I won’t let a week go by without posting new (or old but suitably appealing) photos, no matter how specious the excuse. I’ll even change the tagline of the blog to reflect the shift in focus. And in the spirit of election day in Great Britain (I get excited about voting, OK?), I thought I would make this a democratic decision and hold a poll. Obviously whoever it is will probably get dumped like yesterday’s empties when Delpo comes back, but in the meantime … You, the reader (there may only be one of you these days), will decide.
So, without further ado, I present to you my shortlist for the stand-in mascot of New Balls, Please.
Pros: basically Delpo, but a bit less good (but with two working wrists); I blog about him all the time anyway; a specious excuse to talk about Delpo; much adorable Goran-age is implied, if not necessary; a nice line in deadpan; excellent hugger; did I mention the Goran-age?
Suggested tagline: “New Balls, Please: If you’re reading this, he’s already lost. Or he’s winning really well. What week is this?!”
Pros: friend to the animals; well-established Davis Cup warrior, thus making it less annoying when Spain inevitably win; besties with Boss in an adorable fashion; prone to ripping off his clothes; he’s so adorable it’s even bearable when he beats Murray; yummy tummy; rumoured to be a smoker, which we like.
Cons: depressingly often found next to Rafa holding a small plate.
Suggested tagline: “New Balls, Please: Tightly locked inside David Ferrer’s punishment box.”
Cons: I’ve been anywhere between ambivalent and downright mean about him in the past, thus risking increasing my well-established (and deserved) reputation for fickleness; only known bromance is with Steps; frequent discussion of his sandwich-avoiding girlfriend will also probably be necessary; he may find out about me and eat my liver.
Suggested tagline: “New Balls, Please: Feeding the masses on Lucie Safarova’s leftovers.”
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Cons: kind of old, so we might see a lot of this; I already blog a lot about him already.
Suggested tagline: “New Balls, Please: We know who our daddy is.”
Cons: Not that much actual news about him, so I would have to make it up find some.
Suggested tagline: “New Balls, Please: Nobody nose Bellucci like we do.”
Pros: former Wimbledon boys’ champion trying to make it on the tour, offering you a unique chance to get in on the next big thing very, very early; prolific tweeter; supplies a lot of his own cute photographs; well-established bromance potential.
Cons: would force me to blog a lot about Challengers and Futures and such; potential massive loss of investment if he isn’t, after all, the next big or even a thing.
Suggested tagline: “New Balls, Please: In three years’ time, we’ll look amazingly prescient. Maybe.”
Suggested tagline: “New Balls, Please: Where we’d do Ernests Gulbis for free.”
So those are the candidates – but only you can decide. Please cast your vote, and then elaborate on your choice/suggest alternative taglines/ let me know who should have been on the shortlist and why in the comments. Remember: destiny is in your hands.
(Please note that I’m going to do what I want regardless of your vote, just as soon as I’ve figured out what it is I want. I did say this was inspired by the UK’s general election.)