A World Without Ag Wednesdays: Tennis Balls–We Don’t Get Along

Let me go ahead and say that I am not a sports person. I am all for watching them but I fail epically when it comes to playing them. My sport of choice was target shooting–no balls or running involved. However, I was forced to play a sport during my undergraduate career. To graduate, I had to pick a PE, so I chose tennis. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Actually, I know what I was thinking–swimming was at 8am and bowling required driving. That left me with tennis. Quite frankly I was more worried about what I was going to wear than anything. Really, I was also worried that achieving an ‘A’ would require actual talent… something I don’t have.

Anyway, before I get into what this has to do with agriculture, I wanted to share an awkward Marisa life moment. Don’t judge. I had been doing alright in tennis. I could hit the ball some and serve a little. I was doing ok. My goal was to not get noticed for doing bad or good, but to just blend in. I epically failed on that front one morning. Tennis was from 11-12, and I had a class before that. As usual, I skipped breakfast (I’m not a big morning eater). It had never been an issue before, and I got lunch right after tennis. That day it was an issue.

I was standing around with the other students, listening to coach explain different terms and stuff. I started to get really dizzy, and decided that squatting would be a good idea. I knew what was happening. I was getting too hot and hadn’t had anything to eat. I was going to pass out if this guy didn’t hurry his speech up. Hold it together, Marisa I thought to myself. I lasted until he finished his talk, stood up to walk, and made it to the fence and plopped. The world was definitely black and swirling. I would say I was embarrassed, but honestly, I was too busy concentrating on making my world go back to a normal angle. Coach came over and started asking me questions. I don’t think I really responded. He asked if I wanted him to pick me up and carry me to the bleachers. I held up my hand emphatically, horrified at that thought. I got my butt up and wobbly walked to the bleachers. Coach gave me a granola bar and Gatorade. I was completely fine in 5 minutes. Now, that the world wasn’t spinning like a fair ride, I was thoroughly embarrassed.


During my semester of tennis, I learned a few things: 1) eat breakfast before participating in sports 2) if you don’t want to play tennis one day, just pass out 3) tennis balls are made of wool.

The third point brings me to agriculture. The yellow fuzz on tennis balls are wool felt. Originally tennis balls were made of wood, and over many years, evolved. Early tennis balls were made of leather and stuffed with wool or hair. We now have the neon green fuzzy balls today. The fuzz makes them more aerodynamic, and the more bald they get, the faster and bouncier they get. Around 300,000,000 tennis balls are made every year in the world. That is a lot of tennis balls, I will not be playing with.

I know this is a world without ag post, but how bad would it really be if there were no tennis balls? I know I wouldn’t have an embarrassing story to tell, that’s for sure.




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