Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Looking Back: Roscoe Tanner, Tennis Bad Boy 27

Posted on August 09, 2009 by JA Allen
Roscoe Tanner won the 1977 Australian Open and was a finalist at Wimbledon in 1979.

Roscoe Tanner won the 1977 Australian Open and was a finalist at Wimbledon in 1979.

Blond, beautiful, athletic—filled with untapped promise, Roscoe Tanner should be among our heroes in tennis.  Instead he sits atop a rare list of tennis gone-bad boys.

Tanner remains one of the finest tennis players of the 1970s. In 1977, he won the Australian Open and in 1979 played Bjorn Borg to a trauma-inducing final at Wimbledon, extending him to five sets before finally falling to the mystique and iron will of the ice man.

The significance of that match goes beyond the intensity of its level of competition. It was the first live broadcast of Breakfast at Wimbledon, now a tradition to tennis loving fans in the United States.

NBC had prayed for John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors to meet Borg in the finals. Instead, they got Roscoe Tanner, who played the match of his life. We owe the continuation of the early morning live broadcast to him for making it memorable.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Which Rookie MLB Player Do You Think Will Have the Best Career?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top