Why a tennis player's autobiography review, of course.
You Cannot Be Serious, by John McEnroe with James Kaplan, published in 2002.
This autobiography of John McEnroe is titled after one of his famous outbursts on the tennis court. And yes, if you didn’t already know John was one of the all time best tennis players ever in the early eighties.
I’ve read where other reviews of this book which say he skims the surface of his life, never really digging deep down to reveal himself. I think I disagree with that. I mean how much do you really want to know?
He gives plenty of insight into his behavior on and off the court and in my reading through it, john just seems a bit screwed up and private - but wouldn’t you be after rocketing into stardom before you were twenty then slowly riding the crest downward?
I found it a pretty satisfying journey through his early years right on through to his dreams of becoming a rock star (not gonna happen), and his love of art and opening his own gallery in New York. Still, he is a passionate man, and I followed his entire career from 1977 on through to his retirement in 1992 and still keep an eye on him in the seniors tour today.
I was even a security guard at the player’s lounge in 1986 at the Canadian open and watched him walk in (looking at nobody and moving quickly) then taking a seat. Hanging about a while then walking out again (still looking at nobody and moving quickly). He was an enigma, but one hell of a good tennis player.
He lost to Seguso in the third round of the Canadian open while I was working lounge security. I watched that match whenever I had a break, and couldn’t believe my eyes. Mac was struggling, hitting balls out, playing like absolute crap. With my 6.0 ranking at the time, hell, I may have been able to beat him (yes, delusions of grandeur.)
It was interesting, to me, to find out his relationship with Tatum was going to hell around that time and it’s no wonder he didn’t want to look at anybody. I didn’t dare ask him for an autograph - yeah, he was that cold.
Still, if you followed his tennis like I did, you will find this a fascinating read. If you weren’t into tennis back then you will most likely find this a bit on the dull side not knowing the names of the day, the matches he won or blew, his relationships with Borg and Conners, etc.
So, my verdict is - if you saw the matches back then and you liked Mr. McEnroe’s tennis - pick if up and relive the incredible journey. If not - well, just pick up his two Wimbledon Finals (1980 and 1981) against Borg and enjoy true tennis talent.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
you cannot be serious