Balls Out: The Gary Houseman Story


Beer and beef jerky.

The breakfast of champions.

Anyhoo, my name is Gary Houseman.

I'm a guy who's done some hard living,

and it all started with tennis.

You know, tennis, the sport of kings.

A game of beauty, power, grace,

and all that other horseshit.

I was born into a family of tennis freaks.

I was brought up to love the game,

whether it was played on grass, clay,

cement or on the table in our basement

wearing only our nut-huggers.

My dad loved tennis.

- Regular tennis...

- Out!

... table tennis, it didn't matter.

Ball nicked. Point to Dwight.

But my old man was a cheater.

- Dwight wins.

- That's bullshit.

I f***ing own you, Gary.

And my brother, well, he was just a dick.

They sh*t on my game

every chance they had,

and I never got a taste

of that sweet, sweet winner's jerky.

I decided then and there

to go for something far sweeter.

The taste of tennis glory.

After years of climbing my way

up the tennis ladder,

I found myself grinding it out

in the Mexican semi-pro tour,

one small step away from the big leagues.

But it was hot as balls,

and the prize money sucked.


the pressure kind of got to me.


Based on some on-court issues

and a minor off-court incident,

I was booted off the tour.

But I used my newly-found free time

to meet some new people.

And also do some traveling.

When I reached Nebraska, I saw a sign.

And when my traveling companions

accidentally left me behind...


... it was clearly another sign.

I bought everyone beef jerky.

As I stood there in that Ionely road,

I realized that this was as good a place

as any for a man to reinvent himself.

As long as I kept away from tennis

and those fuzzy yellow balls,

everything would be fine.

Not only that, the home prices in Nebraska

are very reasonable.

So I became an engineer.

A custodial engineer at Lincoln West High.

- Nice shorts, little guy!

- Tennis sucks, dude.

And it's all good,

just as long as tennis

stays the hell out of my life.

What the f***?

A little help?

Why won't Lady Tennis leave me alone?

Little help, please.

All right, backhand drill. Let's go.


That was terrible.


No. Hey, the net's this way.


Nice one. That's a winner.

All right, here we go, Nibby.

Nibby. Watch your head.

Playing tennis? Or is that croquet?

What are you playing?

Don't forget to mark it on the ball.

That's number one.

- Let's bring it in, men!

- Okay.

Come on, Chang.

All right, 10 laps around the court

before you take off. Let's go!

Nibby, let's marshal here.

- Awful big forehand.

- Pardon?

I saw you hitting yesterday.

You don't see strokes like that very often.

Yeah. Me and tennis, we go way back.

- You want the long or the short version?

- I like them short.

Grew up in a tennis family.

My brother was headed for the pros

before he blew out his knee.

According to my dad,

I never showed the same promise.

But I was still good enough to win the top

spot on my hometown's college team.

I only played with them briefly,

due to a lack of support from my teammates.

Hey, Gary.

Take that, you cheater!

After leaving college,

I led a tennis journeyman's existence.

But my career was rear-ended

by a total misunderstanding.

What the f***?

Let the girl go! Let her go!

Take me instead.

Good God, Gary!

That donkey will tear you up!

- I don't want to talk about tennis right now.

- Gary!

After that painful experience,

I fell on some dark times.

I'll save you.

But eventually I got my sh*t together.

I found this kick-ass job, and here I am.

Sounds like you've walked

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Andy Stock


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Balls Out: The Gary Houseman Story" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 May 2021. <>.

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