I’m old enough to remember it in real time: the moment on June 22, 1981, when the enfant terrible of men’s tennis had a meltdown in the hallowed grounds of the Championships, Wimbledon, rocking the well-mannered crowd and the horrified announcers to their core. (He’d almost been thrown out earlier in the tournament for having called one of the umpires “the pits of the world.”) Lawn tennis (when you can find it) has not improved since the advent of “Johnny Mac,” at least in this former fan’s opinion — I was always more about the strawberries and cream, and the cream teas, than I ever was about the on-court antics of spoiled and vulgar young men and unnaturally muscular and grunting young women.
John Patrick McEnroe turned 60 years old Saturday. Welcome to geezerhood, John. Nice to see you’ve decided to act your age at long last. Or at least that you’re self-aware enough to quote basketball great Connie Hawkins: “The older I get the better I used to be.”
Gosh, I think that’s true of me too. And probably everybody else. Happy Birthday, John McEnroe!