Funniest Moments in Sports: "You Cannot Be Serious!"

Rocky GettersSenior Writer IFebruary 7, 2009

One of the first things that any coach of any sport really, teaches you is patience.  Right?

"Always be in control of yourself. Be calm, don't let yourself get distracted."

But I guess John McEnroe didn't take all that advice seriously. Or maybe, he was too busy shouting at his coach? Who knows, with his temper, it cannot be ruled out!

The 49-year-old former World No. 1, is known as one of the best players tennis has ever produced. His shot-making brilliance, delicate volleying and power packed single handed backhands made him a tennis legend.

But for some reason... he will always be remembered, and perhaps loved by some and disliked by others, for some very different reasons!

Tennis players are always known for letting out their emotions on the court. The constant grunts, self-talks, occasional confrontations with the umpires, maybe the exotic racket-banging. What distinguished 'Sir' John McEnroe from the rest, was that he crossed all the lines, all the time. And he never regrets it!

Wimbledon 1981, is the event that is the setting for this reporter's contribution to the "Funniest moments in Sports" series. He dethroned the then King of tennis, Bjorn Borg, but along the way also stirred up a set of controversy, in a hilarious fashion too!

First, he verbally deflated umpire Ted James, by saying, ""You guys are the absolute pits of the world, you know that?"

Then when he was asked not to argue his call, he quite hilariously said to James, "Why can't I argue? Is it against the law to argue?"

After another 'wrong' call, McEnroe slammed his racket onto the turf! James quickly quipped, " That's a 'misuse' of the tennis racket, Mr. McEnroe!"

And then came the pinnacle of misbehaviour. After another debatable call, an angry McEnroe shouted at the umpire, "You cannot be serious! You are an incompetent fool, an offense against the world!"

And those first four words were etched in history and inducted in the pop culture! "You cannot be serious!" has now become one of the most popular catchphrases in sports! McEnroe's best-selling book also bore the same name.

When asked later why he didn't participate in the traditional Wimbledon dinner afterward, he said he didn't want to surround himself with a bunch of 70-year-olds who thought he was a 'jerk'!

At the time, it was looked upon as a rather disgraceful turn of events. McEnroe was fined a hefty amount. But years later, few will disagree, it was hilarious!

Now when you watch the clip of a young, angry, rebellious McEnroe shouting at the authority, can you help but smile?

What did you just say? You disagree with me? You cannot be serious!