December 1st, 2007 5:33 pm | by Jonah Sandford News | Posted In: Sports, Sports

Davis Cup: Moments From Mayhem

After getting slightly creeped out on the way inside by what you see above, I'm back in the bowels of Memorial Coliseum, getting ready to head upstairs and watch the almost-unstoppable doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan try to clinch the 2007 Davis Cup for the United States.
The Bryan brothers rarely lose. They are 12-1 in their careers in Davis Cup play, and they really love playing for their country. We will see lots of chest-bumps today.
A quick scan of betting websites shows that their Russian opponents, Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko, are between 16-1 and 20-1 underdogs in this match.
So what hope is there for the Russian team to stave off elimination for one more day? Well, Andreev and Davydenko have played together once before in Davis Cup, and won! They beat a French team in April in the quarterfinals of this years Cup. And all the Russian players definitely looked loose and relaxed when I popped my head into the stadium on the way in--they were all playing soccer together on the court.
And the Bryans did lose that one match, back in the first round of the 2005 Cup against Croatia.
That's all I can come up with. Overconfidence maybe?
So barring something seriously weird happening, by about 3:00 the United States should be Davis Cup champions for the first time since 1995. People here are gonna go crazy.
A few other tidbits from yesterday and today:
--Portland tennis fans get a glimpse of Davydenko in action today. He's ranked number 4 in the world right now, but a few months ago he got wrapped up in a betting scandal and hasn't been playing well ever since. An improbable win today could have life-turning-around potential.
--Memorial Coliseum looks pretty good! My memories of the couple other times I've been here are kind of dreary and depressing, and I know there were some snickers around town when we all found out one of tennis' premier events would be held here, but they've hung flags and bunting everywhere, and it actually looks pretty classy. Here it was this morning without any fans.
--I asked Mike Bryan earlier this week if the team was planning on hitting the town at all this week, and he told me they were going to stay focussed on the tennis until they won, and after that, "I don't know where the party's gonna be, but everybody's invited." So if the Bryans win it might be kind of fun to play "find the US Davis Cup team" tonight in Portland. A friend of mine saw James Blake at Oba the last time Blake was in town for a tournament, so that could give us a clue at least about which quadrant to start in.

Also, I made a pretty exciting discovery last night after the tennis was over. I was downstairs in the media center after watching the post-match interviews, and I was scanning the tables they have set up down here, hoping I could find a seat that someone had finished using for the night. I thought they had all been reserved for reporters from the national news outlets, or at least for people who arrived more than 5 minutes before the tennis started yesterday.
Then, I saw it. It was just a piece of folded paper, sitting on one of the tables a couple of rows away, but it called to me:
I have a seat. At a table. I can't explain how much better my life is--the first couple of posts yesterday were written and sent off while sitting cross-legged on the floor, computer on lap, cameras and cords spread out in all directions, from right here:
Alright. Everyone around me right now is eating giant pieces of carrot cake. I'm not sure if that's filling me with disgust or excitement.
I'm gonna go find out.
Update: I couldn't bring myself to eat any carrot cake this morning. I was all ready to finally give it a shot (it's about 7:00 PM), but I just checked and all the food is gone! But man were people ever eating it like crazy today!
Follow our live coverage of the Davis Cup here.
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