Monday, July 02, 2007

Bye bye, Bud ...

From the news wires:
WIMBLEDON, England -- Bud Collins, the 78-year-old icon of American tennis, has been fired by NBC after 35 years of hosting interviews, doing play-by-play and forging a bond with millions of fans.

Collins confirmed his firing Monday at Wimbledon, where he is completing his final assignment for NBC, but declined extensive comment, saying only that "I've had 35 wonderful years and I hope to remain in tennis."

Those close to Collins said he was hurt by his termination.

He received his firing notice June 22 and was told it had nothing to do with his age. "It was just a management decision to save money," according to a Collins friend, who relayed NBC's stated reason for the firing.

Collins will continue to work for The Boston Globe, his employer for 44 years. "I've walked these hallowed grounds for 35 years," he said. "I love Wimbledon. I love tennis."

OK, color me mean, but it might have been time for Bud to get the walking papers. Yes, he's got irrepressible enthusiasm, and a knowledge of tennis that is bottomless, along with his wit. The other thing about that's bottomless is his vocabulary. He can wax poetic for days and days, until you forgot what he was trying to say. I can't say I'll miss his post-Wimbledon interviews with the champs. "Roger, in the third set, a bird flew overhead, tipping his wing ever so slightly down toward the action on Centre Court. What do you think the view of your brilliance was from up there?"


Carol said...

Yes, but Bud actually knows what he's talking about, which isn't something you can say about most tennis commentators/journalists.

Oh, by the way, tennis didn't start in country clubs ( it began on sports fields and commons in England. Country club is an American term and tennis isn't an American game) and, in the beginning, people didn't exclusively wear white. Those who did were only making use of their cricket apparel (white shirts and pants, same then as it is now), not making any political statement.

Naf said...

I agree. Bud, for 44 years at the Globe, had better know what he's talking about, and his relationship with the players is something else that can't be replaced.
Your take on tennis history prompted me to do some research, and it seems one root of tennis history can be traced back to two doctors, who promptly formed a club. Doctors. Club. Say, if you have some concrete stuff on the history of tennis, do tell.