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Long, Sonny

LONG, Sonny

PERSONAL: Born in Dothan, AL; son of a sports coach; married; wife's name Cathy. Education: Attended Valdosta State College; Graduated from Auburn University; University of Texas at Austin, M.A.

ADDRESSES: Office—Pine Country Media, P.O. Box 419, Atlanta, TX 75551. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Southeastern Conference Commissioner, Birmingham, AL, public relations assistant; Host Communications, Lexington, KY, publications specialist; Citizens-Journal (Atlanta, TX), sports editor; Pine Country Media, Atlanta, TX, cofounder and coowner (with wife, Cathy Long), 1991–. Pine Country Bulletin, editor and publisher, 1991–99; Pine Country magazine, editor and publisher, 1992–; eTexasNews.com, editor and publisher, 1997–. Military service: U.S. Army, 1976–80; served as editor of Fort Ord Panorama base newspaper; worked in public-relations office of Third U.S. Infantry.

AWARDS, HONORS: East Texas Press Association Award for column writing at Citizens-Journal (Atlanta, TX).

WRITINGS:

A Long Look at Life, Volume 1: Prose and Poetry, Pine Country Media (Atlanta, TX), 1999.

A Long Look at Life, Volume 2: The Collected Columns, Pine Country Media (Atlanta, TX), 1999.

(With Bill Scanlon and Cathy Long) Bad News for McEnroe: Blood, Sweat, and Backhands with John, Jimmy, Ilie, Ivan, Bjorn, and Vitas, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Sonny Long has had a varied career as a writer, editor, and publisher. While serving in the U.S. Army he was the editor of the Fort Ord Panorama base newspaper. He eventually served in the public relations office of the Third U.S. Infantry, or "Old Guard," in Washington, DC, and covered the unit's many ceremonies and other functions at the Pentagon and the White House. He was a stringer for several local and state newspapers, an editor for the Southeastern Conference Commissioner's Office, and a publications specialist responsible for producing media guides and sports programs for the University of Texas, Southern Methodist University, and the Cotton Bowl.

Long and his wife, Cathy Long, founded Pine Country Media in 1991. Their first publication was Pine Country Bulletin, a community newspaper distributed free three times a week in areas throughout eastern Texas until 1999. Other periodicals include Pine County Magazine, a four-color publication, and eTexasNews.com, an online news resource active since September 1997. Pine Country Media has also published two of Long's books, A Long Look at Life, Volume 1: Prose and Poetry and A Long Look at Life, Volume 2: The Collected Columns

In Bad News for McEnroe: Blood, Sweat, and Backhands with John, Jimmy, Ilie, Ivan, Bjorn, and Vitas, Long and his wife joined Bill Scanlon, a top-ranked tennis player in the 1970s and 1980s, to write a gossipy examination of professional tennis. The authors address the impact of technological advances on the game, improvements in tennis equipment, and changes in computer rankings. Behind-the-scenes personnel such as coaches, officials, tournament directors, and sports psychologists receive favorable treatment in the book. The authors offer plenty of sports gossip and insider stories, paying particular attention to John McEnroe, a man known for his poor behavior, and his numerous infractions. Scanlon played several matches with McEnroe, and a low-level rivalry formed between the two. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that the rivalries and infighting among tennis players "is reminiscent of cartoon characters going at it, blowing each other up and coming back in the next episode to start all over."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, October 1, 2004, Christian L. Hennessey, review of Bad News for McEnroe: Blood, Sweat, and Backhands with John, Jimmy, Ilie, Ivan, Bjorn, and Vitas, p. 90.

Publishers Weekly, August 2, 2004, review of Bad News for McEnroe, p. 60.

ONLINE

Sonny Long Home Page, http://www.sonnylong.com (April 12, 2005).

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