Tag Archives: tennis

The Outsider – Review…

51qwZb3c42L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_I recently finished reading Jimmy Connors’ autobiography, The Outsider, published in 2013. It was a great insight into a fiery and fascinating character – truly one of the biggest names in tennis in the seventies and eighties.

I started watching the sport when his career was winding down, but I still caught a lot of his matches before he hung up the sneakers for good. Even as a kid who had never picked up a racket at that time, I understood his passion for the game and I admired his full-throated desire to win at all costs. Like him or not, he really was an inspirational player.

True to his image Connors had a lot to say about a lot of people – from his ill-fated relationship with Chris Evert, to his respect for Bjorn Borg. Apart from some light-hearted jabs there was little vitriol – even for John McEnroe, a player he famously butted heads with constantly throughout their professional playing careers. There is also a heartfelt chapter towards the end about his friend and fellow player Vitas Gerulaitis, who tragically died at the too-young age of forty.

Even now, Connors has much love for the game, but what really comes across in his words is how close he was to both his mother and grandmother, both of whom had passed on when this biography was written.

I don’t read many biographies, but this is well-worth a read if you enjoy the sport, and if you appreciate the insight of someone who was at the top of the mountain for longer than most.

Janet Jackson Owes Me £1.96…

Why? *

Black Cat

Because I was driving to my tennis match after work last week, when the sublime intro for Black Cat – my favourite JJ song – came on the radio, just as I was approaching a junction. I knew I was supposed to go straight ahead, but – because the volume was pinned to the max, and I was playing a rather awesome air guitar while I crawled through the rush-hour traffic – I took a left instead… which is the way I go at least once a day for work.

I was on auto-pilot, but left wasn’t going to get me there.

No problem, I thought. There will be a turn off soon, and I will just take that instead. So I went back to singing: all those lonely nights, I spend alone; never round to love me, you’re always gone, but when the song had finished, four-minutes-and-forty-seven seconds later, I was still driving at something approaching eighty miles an hour, along the same road, furiously looking for my exit.

I eventually took a random exit just to get me off the road I knew to be wrong, and fumbled my way back to where I was meant to be twenty minutes ago. This was followed by a terrifying journey along what must be one of the narrowest and most convoluted roads in the British Isles, to get to the tennis courts…

…where we scraped a draw.

So, Janet: if you’re reading this, just round it up to £2 and we’ll call it even. Thanks.

* calculations available upon request.