After 25 years, tonight is the final night of US Open tennis coverage on USA network. Every year for more than two decades, USA has covered more than 100 hours of live
tennis matches during the US Open, even when CBS used to do some of their Labor Day weekend stuff tape delayed on the West Coast.
For nearly 20 years I've taken my two-week vacation during the Open so I could tune in for USA coverage from 8:00am Monday-Friday, as well as evening matches that start at 4:00pm. I figure USA has given me more than 2,000 hours of entertainment and inspiration in the past 25 years. And every year I've feared the end would come, as it will after 2008. Next year ESPN and the Tennis Channel take over.
Johnny Mac, Ted Robinson, Michael Barcann, Tracy Austin, Jim Courier and all the rest . . . they've been a part of it, but their voices haven't left nearly the impression that the roaring NYC crowd and the squeaky shoes and plonking tennis balls have. The evening matches have been especially memorable, as we fry green tomatoes and watch some classics, like Blake vs. Agassi a few years back.
I feel especially sad for the end of this era. As much as I embrace change in my life, I would have been happy to be watching USA cover the Open into my 80s.
Before we get back to our regular programming, I'll finish watching the final night on USA: Roddick vs. Djokovic, which looks like it might go 5!