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The Coker family at home in Houston. The kids stayed in Houston as the parents flew Down Under.
If you think that nobody actually ends up winning these sweepstakes - well the Coker's are proof to the contrary. Kevin and his wife Nisha won the Aussie Sweepstakes last year and will be blogging about their adventure Down Under.

Click here to register to win a trip to the '09 Australian Open

January 17, 2008
Tennis Channel at The Coker's

I can't place a finger on when the tennis transition occurred in our household. It might have happened overnight on the heels of the phone call from Neil from Tennis Channel, notifying us that we had won the Aussie Mania Sweepstakes. That could be considered by some to be a little superficial, so I propose other scenarios that have since influenced the sports flavors in the Coker house. It could have been our time in Sydney, relaxing with the views of Circle Quay and the Opera House outside of our hotel room, to unwinding after a tough day at the McWilliam's VIP winery tour with televised tennis tournaments on the TV day and night. What I consider the leading culprit and catalyst responsible for moving Tennis Channel up on my favorites list, was actually watching the live matches featuring Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams at the Australian Open in Melbourne. That is a tough call, it could be all of the above, a perfect storm, so to speak.

With this revelation, a paradigm shift has taken place in the Coker household where the reigning sports platforms were all football and baseball. When I say reigning, I mean we have a dedicated sports television in the house that has forbidden access to Nick, Cartoon Channel and Food Network on every Saturday, Sunday and Monday Night. College, Pro and high school football for us! No exceptions unless there is a random Red Sox or Astros game being televised in October (more so the Sox in offense Houston). All that has changed now - names like Federer, Roddick, Williams, Henin and Nadal have found their way into our conversations. During our trip back from Melbourne, I found myself wondering who would be on the court today at the AO and how soon we could get home to tune in to Tennis Channel's latest updates and schedules for this holiday weekend. I have now realized that we are tennis converts although I can't guarantee that we will be picking up any racquets soon. I do know that there will be Tennis Channel on my favorites list and the sounds of heated volleys reverberating off the walls at Cottonwood Farmhouse. I could think of worse habits to take up and since my wife has the tennis bug too, at least I have a partner in crime.

It is the 17th and we have finished our international journey back home and are now in LAX waiting for our return flight to Houston. My only suggestion for the next sweepstakes is that it provides tickets for the entire tournament, including the championship. I am not sure how many people could actually leave their lives in the U.S. for that long, I don't think we could, but it would be nice to try at least.

After all is said and done, I have to say that we would do it all over again, without hesitation. We would like to take this time to give our heartfelt thanks to Neil, Tennis Channel and sponsors for making our trip such a wonderful experience. We were fortunate to meet Neil in Melbourne for lunch and at Melbourne Park for photos. He personally saw to it that all of our accommodations, travel plans and needs were met during our Tennis Channel trip to the Australian Open. Thanks again from The Coker's.

Good luck to all of you entering the 2009 Heating Up Down Under Sweepstakes, you are in for the time of your lives! Tell a friend or two or twenty!

-Thanks for reading

The Coker's 

Texans Loose in Melbourne l Who's #1? l The Wife Speaks l Time for Tennis l Dinner at the Rocks l McWilliams Winery Tour l Texas to Sydney


  1. jascha (1/31/2008 10:31:28 PM) 

    Dude, you can't say "call me later" and expect people to believe my spiel about being Russian...come on man...fine I'll call you later. ;-)

  2. De Cokah''s (1/31/2008 9:45:09 AM) 

    butt...of korse. i iz frum texass and u no what thay say aboot us heir. and i due realizze that critique is with a q but i wuz tiping n a herry. and mised the q kee.

  3. De Cokah's (1/31/2008 9:43:04 AM) 

    Jascha, I wasn't aware that this was the "English Grammar Channel."..As I generally appreciate a constructive critiue of a mistake that I have made, I would naturally expect the one posing the critique, not to have the same mistakes (both spelling and punctuation)reflected in their disposition. Turn around is fair play, my friend, but by no means meant as an insult. Just a reminder that "he without sin, should cast the first stone."....You are welcome to come (with your cowboy hat) and sup with us at our table of kindness. I will wear my cowboy hat as a token of my appreciation for the time you have taken to impress your blessing upon all that enter their comments. ....I insult no one! Proper etiquette dictates that it is rude to correct another in this circumstance. How y'all doing anyway...give me a call on the way home tonight. ;-) Say hello to the wife and children.

  4. The Coker's (1/29/2008 9:02:42 AM) 

    Seriously? Simple mistake...kind of like your "surprise" without the "d"? ;-) ....

  5. Thanh (1/29/2008 2:02:54 AM) 

    I am glad you had a wonderful trip to Australia. It is a beautiful country. I am glad too that you have enjoyed the airplane flight home. But I am surprise that you don't know how to spell QANTAS correctly. It is spelled without the U in QANTAS !..I am an avid tennis player. I watched the live coverage from Melbourne every day and would love to be there to watch the match live ! It should be fantastic. Hope you are now converted to watch or play tennis !

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