Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer Compete in My Basement

Danielle EnnisContributor IIMay 16, 2011

I'm not allowed to bounce balls in the house. Its one of the long-standing, rigid rules in my home. My mom also does not allow me to rollerblade inside. The nerve!

So all the bouncy balls, basketballs and footballs have to remain outside or in the basement. The only ball allowed inside is my baseball signed by Santa Claus. That's on my radiator. "It's clean. It can stay in the house."

Now, you can imagine my surprise, and delight, when I found a tennis ball in the kitchen today. Naturally, I started bouncing it against the wall. Before she got a chance to yell, I asked my mom why she had this tennis ball. In the house! 

 "For the laundry," she immediately and nonchalantly responded. 

Oh. Of course. 

According to mothers and laundry aficionados around the world, a tennis ball miraculously fluffs down-comforters.

My mom was gloating all night because she knew something sports related that I did not. She had to explain how the force of the tennis ball inside the dryer smooths the blankets' feathers that would otherwise dry unevenly. Tragic potential, I know.

Mom, I'll give credit where credit is due, but it was hardly a display of sports knowledge.

Okay, so it was impressive that she knew a tennis ball's use was not limited to a clay court. But the impressiveness was detracted by her seeing a tennis ball's primary use as the aid to a domestic appliance. And that she asked what sport the Heat and the Bulls played. 

Nonetheless, It was an eye-opening concept to me. My mind started reeling. 

What if basketballs helped give an extra sparkle to the dishes, or footballs helped cook that zucchini bread to a perfect golden brown?

When I explained this to my mom, she rolled her eyes and replied, "Don't be stupid, Danielle."

She doesn't understand sports talk. 

I know it's a stretch, but this gives me a spark of hope for bringing the joys of sport to all those anti-sport people.

I mean, Maytag and Wimbledon are practically synonymous now! Practically.

Sports doubters, its time you become fans. The tennis ball phenomenon shows the versatility of sport's ability to better the world. 

And now when you lay down for the night, wrapping yourself in the comforts of your fluffy blanket, you can thank that yellow, bouncy wilson ball and head to bed dreaming of sports.

My mom won't join me in the living room to watch the the Heat and Bulls play that sport they play, but I am happy to know that she is at least incorporating sport into her household errands. And when I hear the dryer rumbling away, I can now envision the Williams sisters battling it out below me; Nadal and Federer going point for point in my basement. 

I can picture it all now.

"Mom, is the laundry done yet?"

"Point, Set, Match."