2008, Dr Pepper StarCenter, Frisco, Texas: I scored free tickets to the Outback Champions Series event spotlighting John McEnroe. He was taking on Pat Cash and it was thrilling to watch the McEnroe I’d seen on TV so many years. Watching his trademark Continental forehand was exciting because I’d seen it so many times — on TV and in print — but never in person. Like everyone else there, we couldn’t wait to see McEnroe throw a tantrum. But when he did, we were all in abject horror. He screamed several forms of F-words that stunned the scores of soccer moms in attendance. Like the rest of the crowd, we’d been sheltered from his actual language thanks to censors. It was unsettling hearing real curse words coming out of that familiar balding head. We knew McEnroe cussed, but we didn’t realize he worked that blue.
More from the event: In courtside box seats, my wife Brigitte and I then watched McEnroe get mouthy with a spectator who told him to watch his language. McEnroe gave the guy the business. My wife caught it on cellphone video (it’s gotten more than 154K views on YouTube).