They are an elite force of trained youth (plus the occasional Hooters gal). They retrieve the dead (balls), they reload, they replace, they replenish, they sprint across courts and along sidelines doing their best to be invisible. They are part ninja, part pubescent sports fan. They are the ball boys and the ball girls of the world.
And you know, they do a bang up job. For the most part...
Click on to see some gut-busting ball kid blunders.
This kid moonlights as a young Navy SEAL trainee. He got his gigs confused.
This video has been plastered all over the web and interpreted as a Murray dis on the ball kid. However, seems to me that Murray was just truly focused on the game and meant no discourtesy.
As for the ball boy open-towel back tread and subsequent pout...sad (don't you just want to give the forlorn kid a glass of milk and a couple of cookies?), but yes pretty darn funny.
The only real fail here is that Djokovic didn't get down on one knee and propose after that hug.
Okay, okay, so fate put the lovely Jelena Ristic in his path, but still...I mean come on, you couldn't script a better start to a love story than this.
"La fatigue," says the announcer. "Gueule de bois," says I.
I am putting the fail tag on Stebe here. Sure he's the "talent" at this venue, but asking the little lady to scoop up the roach...Where is your class, dude?
As for the ball girl, she does a great job of exterminating despite an obvious deep disgust for the task. Pause at 0:34 to see her silent scream of horror.
Some day, this ambitious young boy will help the Buffalo Bills lose another Super Bowl.
Click here for a link to a video of the Los Angeles Dodger's first baseman James Loney's tsunami-force foul ball that must have been the cause for this epic ball girl tuchus flop.
Just goes to show you, in the blink of an eye you can go from being the coolest kid on the block with an enviable ball boy gig, to a viral spaz who gets stuck with a nickname like "Smack Boy" or "The Banker" for the rest of your youth.
In her defense, I've heard those regulation short shorts are deadly tight—pivot about in them too quickly and they are likely to explode, sending out tiny bits of Lycra shrapnel.
Look, she's been working at a restaurant chain; serving up treats has become a reflex.
Even without the collision that seems so inevitable, this plays out like a Greek tragedy. How do you hide your shame face when you're surrounded by television cameras and 50,000 people?
If any of you ever come to teach an idiom or slang class to a group of English language learners, it's always helpful to provide a visual.
Use this video to illustrate any of the following:
1. Brain fart (compound noun)
2. Doofus (noun)
3. Whaaaaa? (rhetorical question)
4. Doh! (exclamation)
5. F*** up (phrasal verb)
Ball boys aren't just assistants, they are über fans. Loyal, passionate, and apparently at times, even a bit homicidal.
When Patrick Beverly collided with Russell Westbrook, leaving the OKC guard with a season-ending injury, young Mitchell Brown, a Thunder ball boy, was displeased. Greatly.
He allegedly sent a tweet to Beverly's Twitter account. Just like a good cover letter, the text was clear and to the point:
Animated GIFs are to Gen Y, what lava lamps were to Gen X.
Click here for a link to a GIF of this gaffe from a Champions League match between Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Tell me you Millennials out there wouldn't enjoy turning down the lights and watching the ball boy plant his face over and over again.
What's a man to do when there's 12 minutes left to play, his team is down by two and the ball boy holds fast to the ball? As in won't let it go. As in pounces on it like a war hero smothering a live grenade to save his fellow soldiers.
Kick the tar out of the kid? But of course!
Rocky-a-bye Llorda on the grass court, when the ball drops, he'll have to bolt...and down will come Llorda, ball gal and all.
Don''t fret, the teen—15-year-old Erin Lorencin—was more shocked than hurt. Sadly, can't say the same for Llorda. He would later require medical attention.
Having trouble with a jackass boss? Afraid to stand up to him? No worries—word has it this mini thug has set up quite the successful intimidation business (which he runs from his sixth-grade classroom).