PERSONAL: Male. Education: Knox College, B.A.; University of Colorado, M.A.
CAREER: Professional tennis player. Boulder Daily Camera, Boulder, CO, business editor; Denver Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO, science writer.
(With Sonny Long 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: A one-time star on the tennis court, Bill Scanlon won matches against eight number-one rated players in the 1970s and 1980s, and was himself consistently rated in the top ten. Unfortunately, it was also the era of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, and above all John McEnroe, whose badboy antics captured the attention of fans and sportswriters alike during his heyday. Overshadowed in his own day and virtually ignored in McEnroe's memoir, You Cannot Be Serious, Scanlon decided to remind people of his own days as a tennis star in Bad News for McEnroe: Blood, Sweat, and Backhands with John, Jimmy, Ilie, Ivan, Bjorn and Vitas. "Jibes toward McEnroe may outnumber those directed at anyone else, but Scanlon's larger purpose is to offer an insider's view of the tennis explosion," explained Wes Lukowsky in Booklist.
The 1970s and 1980s, which followed tennis phenomenon Chris Evert's rise to super-stardom, was a time when superstars began to overshadow the game itself, and Scanlon describes his encounters with the other stars, as well as the changes in technology, coaching methods, and prize money that changed a gentlemanly pursuit into a cutthroat, highly visible business. "What Scanlon does best, however, is dish," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. He covers the fights and tantrums and feuds that profided so much entertainment for fans, including what he considers McEnroe's contrived acts of anger. As that Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded, "Scanlon is no reformer, just a not-so-humble former player turned writer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Scanlon, Bill, Sonny Long, 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.
Booklist, September 1, 2004, Wes Lukowsky, review of Bad News for McEnroe: Blood, Sweat, and Backhands with John, Jimmy, Ilie, Ivan, Bjorn, and Vitas, p. 50.
Library Journal, October 1, 2004, Christian L. Hennessy, review of Bad News for McEnroe, p. 90.
Publishers Weekly, August 2, 2004, review of Bad News for McEnroe, p. 60.