Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kastles Get (Spare) Key to City…Kind of

Mayor Vincent Gray and Kastles owner Mark Ein
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The champion Washington Kastles were all smiles Tuesday afternoon as they prepared to be honored by the District of the Columbia for their undefeated 2011 season. The gathered crowd of fans and supporters chatted, wondering if the Mayor would bestow a 2nd key to the city to the tennis team who received the honor in 2009 after winning their first World Team Tennis Championship.

Mark Ein

“This season was the coming together of a community,” said team owner Mark Ein as he addressed the crowd from the steps of City Hall on Pennsylvania Avenue. “The sum of the individuals was greater than the parts,” he said when reflecting on the Kastles’ record making season—being the first in World Team Tennis history to have a perfect season. “Unless we can convince them to play a 17th match, I don’t know how we can improve our record,” joked Ein on the 16-0 record - but he emphasized the team is committed to excellence now and in the future, as it represents the District.

Mayor Vincent Gray
“We are really proud to have them as the team representing the District of Columbia in tennis,” said Mayor Vincent Gray, who was joined by several members of the City Council to fete the success of the team’s achievements this year.

Seeming at times more like a Kastles’ match rather than a public ceremony, music filled the downtown area while the team mascots and excited fans waved signs reading “refuse to lose”—even a council member or two were seen dancing to the music as the joyous mood filled the area. 

Opting to skip the formality of reading the proclamation, Mayor Gray got to the point, “September 13th is Washington Kastles Day.”

As it turns out you can only get the key to a city once. So much for that…we were hoping they would hide it in a fake rock in front of the new stadium.