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LttlElvis
12-14-2006, 08:59 AM
Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar hunt passed away today.

http://football.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-6280571,00.html

Not only was he responsible for the formation of the AFL, which later merged with the NFL, but he was a great tennis fan. He really was responsible for bringing tennis to television in the 1970s, which led to the big tennis boom. For those of you who remember the WCT tour, he was the founder and at one time the WCT finals in Dallas was argueably one of the biggest tournaments in men's tennis after the slams. He's the guy who started putting tennis on prime time TV.

I have a lot of fond memories watching these tournaments. After the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, the WCT finals in Dallas was my favorite tournament.

urban
12-14-2006, 11:13 AM
Yes, Lamar Hunt was a pioneer promoter in tennis. At the begin of open era he laid the foundation of the modern pro game, succeeding Jack Kramer, who was hampered by the pro-amareur-segregation.After starting with the handsome 8 in 68 and some weird scoring experiments, his WCT circuit evolved to the full in 71 with 20 tournaments around the globe - the first real solid pro tour.Since 73 WCT overexpanded with 2 or 3 different tours, played in the spring. Ironically, the old pro Kramer worked for Lamar's and his former enemy, the ITF, and conceived the rivalling Grand Prix circuit. ITF and ATP later shut out Hunt,maybe with him tennis would have fared better.

rasajadad
12-14-2006, 12:37 PM
It's interesting that all of the news reports covering his passing neglected his involvement in the game.

Tennis is definitely the Rodney Dangerfield of sports sometimes!

Moose Malloy
12-14-2006, 02:02 PM
the article covers his contributions to tennis:

http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/121406dnmethuntobit.90f04cf.html

"Lamar Hunt to me should be remembered in historical terms as having the greatest influence on the sport of tennis," Mr. Drysdale told The News several years ago. "Who knows how long it would have taken tennis to wake up and turn pro?

"He was ahead of the game and ahead of his time."

urban
12-16-2006, 01:49 AM
I want to emphazise Lamar Hunt's role in creating a legitimate pro tour. There are some recent good posting contributions on the Tennis mag webside, by Chris Lewis and Joel Drucker among others. While the first WCT tour in 68 with the handsome 8 or handsome 7 and Tony Roche (Newk, Drysdale, Taylor,Pilic, Ralston, Buchholz, Barthes), was experimental and somewhat weird (VASS scoring etc.), it became prominent in 1970, when it merged with the NTL including Laver, Rosewall, Emmo, Stolle, Gonzales, Gimeno). The 1971 was the first coherent and broadcasted pro tour ever: 20 tourneys with 32 players, each for 50000$ and 10000$ for the winner. It set a unsurpassed high standard of tennis with legends like Laver, Rosewall, Newk, Ashe, Emerson, Okker, Roche all playing for the top spot. And it had a global impact: in Germany for instance, the WCT event at Cologne was the first tennis event outside Wimbledon and DC and Rothenbaum, which was live televised. It was a sorry, that ITF, namely Ph. Chartier, and WCT were big rivals and bitter enemies. If they had cooperated and integrated the majors in the world wide tour, it would have been a phantastic model, even in today's tennis, when tennis is dying as a major professional sport.

jaggy
12-16-2006, 08:41 AM
Maybe unrelated but isnt he a huge donor/spnser of Major League Soccer? I imagine they will feel his loss.

Andy Hewitt
12-16-2006, 07:49 PM
Maybe unrelated but isnt he a huge donor/spnser of Major League Soccer? I imagine they will feel his loss.

I would think... there's a trophy named after him. US Open Cup I think.

FiveO
12-22-2006, 07:14 AM
He was a truly influential sportsman. Here's a synopsis:

http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/6272182?print=true

Lamar Hunt 1932-2006


NAME: Lamar Hunt.
AGE: 74, Born Aug. 2, 1932.
BIRTHPLACE: El Dorado, Ark.
LIFE: Son of oil tycoon H.L. Hunt and younger brother of tycoon Nelson Bunker Hunt; Graduated from Southern Methodist in 1956; founder of the American Football League (1960-1969); co-founder of the North American Soccer League (1967-84); co-founder of Major League Soccer; Founder and owner of the Dallas Texans, which moved and were called the Kansas City Chiefs; founder and owner of Columbus Crew; current owner of the FC Dallas; inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972; inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992; credited with coming up the term "Super Bowl".
FAMILY: Wife, Connie; children Lamar Jr., Sharron Munson, Clark and Daniel; and 13 grandchildren.
OTHER SPORTS AND HONORS: Was one of the founding investors of the NBA's Chicago Bulls; co-founded World Championship Tennis and was made a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993; the NFL's trophy for the champion of the American Football Conference is named in honor of Lamar Hunt.

West Coast Ace
12-23-2006, 12:22 PM
Obviously he's going to get more press for the American Football work. But the WCT was a huge development, at least here in the US, to grow the game - tournaments in many cities, many not tennis hotbeds - e.g. Dallas - and the televising of the events.

And on top of all the achievements, by all accounts, a true gentleman.

kiki
03-19-2011, 12:59 PM
He and Laver made pro tennis turn out what we all know. a GOAT off court candidate.

kiki
02-07-2014, 01:08 PM
I donīt think we have realised how big and let me say trascendental the 1972 Rosewall vs Laver final was.

May have been the greatest ever match but even more than that, it made tennis a world wide sport because it made tennis a premier sport to cover by nation wide TV.It really is the start of the modern era such as we are knowing it.

BobbyOne
02-07-2014, 02:03 PM
I donīt think we have realised how big and let me say trascendental the 1972 Rosewall vs Laver final was.

May have been the greatest ever match but even more than that, it made tennis a wordl wide sport because it made tennis a premier sport to cover by nation wide TV.It really is the start of the modern era such as we are knowing it.

kiki, I agree. I guess it's yet too soon for you to enter an old-age home ;-)

kiki
02-08-2014, 04:26 AM
Certainly, the Dallas showcase has given us some of the most memorable moments of the open era.

1972 was certainly the most famous

1974 with Newcombe winning the possibly best indoor finals with a field that included Borg,Nastase,Ashe,Laver,Okker,Kodes and Stan Smith

1975 with the epic Borg vs Laver semifinal and the great play of Ashe when he beat Borg in the F

1979 when Mc Enroe dismantled both Connors and Borg, the first time in 4 years ( last one to do that was Ashe at 1975 W)

1980 Connors resurgence,if brief, after dominating Mc Enroe at those great Philadelphia ( the biggest WCT regular tour tourney) and Dallas

1983 with Lendl and Mac playing what, from a technical p.o.v. may have been the best match of the decade, just as good as the 1980 Wimbledon final between Borg and the New Yorker

1986 and 1987 with Jarryd and Mecir playing the best tennis of their careers beating heavily favoured Becker and Mc Enroe to win the crowm

and , of course, Macīs last major title at the last year of WCT competition, in 1989

Basically, and with the exception of Nastase,Vilas,Wilander and Laver, all the great names of the 70īs and 80īs would win a WCT final.

Willi62
02-08-2014, 04:33 AM
I donīt think we have realised how big and let me say trascendental the 1972 Rosewall vs Laver final was.

May have been the greatest ever match but even more than that, it made tennis a wordl wide sport because it made tennis a premier sport to cover by nation wide TV.It really is the start of the modern era such as we are knowing it.

Nation-wide TV means world-wide?:)

kiki
02-08-2014, 02:30 PM
Nation-wide TV means world-wide?:)

The WCT Final was a big success on US TV, that is when tennis became a big sport there

Willi62
02-08-2014, 11:15 PM
The WCT Final was a big success on US TV, that is when tennis became a big sport there

So it became a nationwide sport in the USA.

kiki
02-09-2014, 04:56 AM
So it became a nationwide sport in the USA.

yes, and Stefi was only 3 yrs old.Thanks to Laver and Rosewall among others, she could become a rich woman...

Willi62
02-09-2014, 05:20 AM
yes, and Stefi was only 3 yrs old.Thanks to Laver and Rosewall among others, she could become a rich woman...

What exactly did those guys have to with that?

And why should a nationwide TV coverage of a sports event make this sport into a worldwide sport?

Questions over questions ...

kiki
02-24-2014, 01:30 PM
What exactly did those guys have to with that?

And why should a nationwide TV coverage of a sports event make this sport into a worldwide sport?

Questions over questions ...

Youīre right.She shouldnīt thank those two legends.She should thank Silvia Hanika.She opened the way for the german players in the late 70īs.