Back in July, the New Yorker published an article with a title that has since cemented itself in my mind: “Can Pickleball Save America?” What a headline. Can pickleball save America? These two things—pickleball, a tennis-like sport that’s skyrocketed in popularity over the past three years; and the downfall of American society, however you may interpret that—seem unconnected. But clobbered into one headline, the connection starts to make sense, if you stare at it long enough. OK, maybe pickleball can save America.
Now, a few months later, thanks to CBS’ uproarious new celebrity pickleball tournament, I can confidently say: Pickleball not only can save America, but it will save America. Yes, folks, you read it here first! No need to worry about the climate crisis, the impending doom of the 2024 election, or the ongoing Ticketmaster situation. Pickled has arrived to sweep you off to the courts and make you feel like you’re in 2011 all over again, mouth agape while watching Wipeout and American Ninja Warrior.
Maybe this is a stretch, the whole “saving America” shtick. Honestly, though, while once-splendiferous shows like The Great British Baking Show drain themselves of all whimsy, Pickled completely delights. Stephen Colbert hosts the celebrity pickleball tournament, with Best in Show legend John Michael Higgins assisting as a sideline reporter. Around a dozen celebs throw down during the 90-minute special, competing in a bracketed pickleball tournament for a statue of Stephen Colbert. Serious as those stakes sound, everything about Pickled is tongue-in-cheek. And, to make everything lighthearted, Pickled is actually a fundraiser for Comic Relief, a charity that aims to put an end to intergenerational poverty.
Source: The Daily Beast
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