Bud Collins is a nut. A brilliant writer, a great promoter of tennis, but he is loony. From the outfits to the bizarre columns and obscure references over the years, Bud is a must read during any grand slam tournament. This year, in his first US Open column of the season he does not disappoint. Here’s a line from his latest column praising Billie Jean King and the re-naming of the US Tennis Association National Tennis Center in her honor (and rightfully so):
“The plot, since breaking new ground for the game in 1978, was called the US Tennis Association National Tennis Center. Goodbye to that bland name, and welcome to BJ's ballpark.”
“BJ’s Ballpark” is probably not a nickname best suited for one of the leading feminist and gay right activists of our time. Naturally, Bud is oblivious to this. Or maybe he isn't, and if so, more power to him.
Billie Jean spoke at my College Graduation and gave a distracted speech (the giant inflatable penis, rampant drug and alcohol use, and constant screaming probably contributed. Got to love state universities) but it was entertaining as I vaguely remember. She even hit a few tennis balls into the crowd. It was only after watching her documentary on HBO that I truly realized how important she was. So good job Billie Jean and good job Bud Collins, you both help keep tennis interesting.