The night Billie Mean screamed at me! - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 2003, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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The night Billie Mean screamed at me!

I think several of you have heard my tale of woe approaching Billie Mean King for an autograph at the Oakland Coluseum in June 1981 during the warm up for a World Team Tennis match. Well, I have been going thru my old photo's, putting together albums (due to the loss of a family member) and I came across these gems.

In the first one my dad snapped a pic (upper left corner)of me getting Ann Kyiomura's autograph just before the King exploded on me!

I think I recognize Brian Gottfried and Marty Reissen with BMK.

Enjoy!
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File Type: jpg BillieMeanKing.jpg (47.9 KB, 160 views)
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 2003, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Brian Gottfried? or is that Jeff Austin???
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 2003, 08:15 PM
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Cute pix Mark, and sorry to hear about the way you re-discovered them. Hope all that works out for the best for you. I posted this one previously, but it's worth another look:
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There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 8th, 2003, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Wow Jeff! You got a hug! I am jealous. I think Billie J. mellowed out after she retired. I know I caught her just a few short weeks after the Marilyn Barnett story broke and she was one unhappy lady...but I was only 14.

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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 8th, 2003, 08:26 AM
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Mark-that pic of BK pointing-that's not her asking that you get tossed out of the arena is it? What a hoot.


P.S. Sorry to hear of your loss.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 2003, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rollo.

Yeah, I am sure that Billie was directing security to 86 me as I snapped her pic.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 2003, 07:31 PM
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Maybe you could write a song or poem about it Mark.

I was sittin in section 83.
The night Billie Jean screamed at me.
Little boy-just wanna come and see.
Tennis queen make a history.
I asked. "Autogragh my book "pretty please".
But she-just yelled and screamed at me.
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 12th, 2003, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Rollo, I think you just did. That is hilarious!

BTW, Billie wasn't looking so hot at the YEC last night.
Karma?
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 12th, 2003, 08:00 PM
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Billie Jean was very nice to me once, back in the 70s. After Virginia she was the first player I worshipped; I knew her autobiography off by heart and found her very inspirational. When I found out both Virginia and Billie Jean were coming to Crystal Palace in London, just a couple of miles from my home, to play in a long-forgotten tournament called the Bremar Cup, I was SO excited. I went to the semi-finals, and happily saw both of them victorious. However a few days before that I'd thought of the idea of writing to Billie Jean, to express my admiration and support and to wish her well for the 1978 season. I didn't receive a reply that week and a couple of months went by but one day I came home from school to find Billie Jean had sent me a card from one of the stops on the Virginia Slims tour in America, thanking me for my support... It really made my day and I still remember her fondly for taking the time in her busy schedule to write to a schoolboy fan the other side of the world!
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2003, 01:36 AM
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Thanks for sharing your story Mark - about Billie-Mean King

Sorry about your family loss - hope all is OK.

I recall back in the early 80s when BJK came to Australia and was playing doubles with Sharon Walsh. They just won a match 6-0, 6-0 and I went up to BJK after the match and started asking her all about Francoise Durr! Anyway, BJK was great and talked with me for about 5 mins - never once worrying that I had no interest in her at all! Then to make my day, she then asked me to wait while she went into the dressing rooms before reappearing with a pen and paper for me to write my address down so she could give it to Frankie for me!!!! I said thanks and congratulated her on the doubles win and then she smacked a kiss right on my lips!!!!!!! Of course I loved it, and one of my best friends was watching from about 10 yards away in shock.

I told my grandmother a few days later and she said "Don't you dare tell anyone she kissed you!" My grandmother was horrified that she was a lesbian!

Anyway, I have since dealt with BJK many times about tennis videos and she has always been a pleasure.

You were unfortunate to get her at a very difficult time just after the Marilyn incident.

Of course I am envious that you got to see all those legends live in WTT and the Virginia Slims circuit in the golden days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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From the CNNSI article on the Fed Cup:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200....ap/index.html

"I consider her [Martina Navratilova] the greatest singles, doubles and mixed player that ever lived," [BJ] King said. "So its a real privilege to have her on the team."

BJK's opinions seem to vary as much as her weight. At one point she was saying Graf was the greatest, now she seems to have gone back to Martina. I admire her for her dynamism, her guts and persistence but sometimes I get the feeling that she says whatever is convenient at any given time.

Last edited by Andy T; Nov 19th, 2003 at 12:39 PM.
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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy T
BJK's opinions seem to vary as much as her weight. At one point she was saying Graf was the greatest, now she seems to have gone back to Martina.
Billie Jean has a very good estimation of her importance in the scheme of not just tennis, but as one of the 50 most influential people of the past century (LIFE Magazine). Unfortunately, she is under the scrutiny of the spotlight sometimes too much for consistency in her statements, and I personally feel she has colored the historical perspective of many a commentator and reporter- especially about the history and greatness of Margaret Court- her chief rival during her playing days. The all too familiar line "yeah, but 13 of Margaret's titles came at the Australian, when nobody played the tournament" can be traced directly to Billie Jean King- and now everyone from Tracy Austin to Pam Shriver and Mary Carillo all recite this opinion like clockwork when Margaret's record comes up for discussion. Truth is Billie Jean King was the only major player in the 1960s who didn't play in Australia, and Australian women were the best players in the world during the 1960s!

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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ABSOLUTELY alfajeffster, I agree with everything you said here. Her writings invariably make my blood boil because of the way she tries to inflate her own achievements and diminish those of her rivals, especially Margaret Court.

Re Court's thirteen Oz titles, a look at the draws shows, as you say, that in several of those years many of the world's best (many of whom, like Turner, Lehane, and later Melville were Aussies) were there. For example, Court beat Bueno en route to the title in 60, King and Bueno en route to the title in 65, King again in the 69 final, Goolagong in 71 and in 73.
King won the US in 71 in a field which was without Goolagong, Wade or Court and the French in 72 without either Evert or Court.

Similarly, she harps on about how their head to head was close from 1966 on yet it is she who makes the dividing line in 66. It's not nearly as close if you break it between start-66 and 68-end!

She also claims that she should have been #1 for '71 instead of Evonne when most people rank her #3.

She goes on and on about how Court didn't support the slims group at the beginning because she could do very well financially out of the old system but makes it very clear that earning more money was one of the main reasons for the breakaway movement.

I could go on...

I guess it's in the nature of things that great rivals are prickly about their records vis-à-vis one another but at times she seems to impose a view of thze game's history which is decidedly biassed.
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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2003, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your BJK story Craig! It sounds like Billie had a crush on you! I love your grandmother's comment!

I always fail to mention that besides screaming at me in 1981, I also had the pleasure of catching up to Billie J in Oakland in 1991 after Navratilova beat Seles in the Bank of the West classic. I was back stage waiting for the players to appear from the interview room and BJK walks out. Of course I was all over her like white on rice and she was very nice.

I just like the screaming Billie Mean story better.

On another note...BJK number 1 in 1971? No way! How dare she try to steal Evonne's thunder!
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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2003, 10:24 PM
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Mark, I do apologise but at times I'm a raving mental bitch. You must have got me on a good day.

Jennifer Capriati is my idol
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