Bud Collins was best known for his tennis expertise. In addition to his decades of reporting and analysis for the Boston Globe and NBC, he also authored the Bud Collins' Tennis Encyclopedia. Perhaps the ultimate example of Collins' impact and accomplishment is that the U.S. Open named its media center in his honor.
But Collins, who died Friday at 86, wasn't just a specialist. He was the ultimate pro, handling assignments beyond tennis with equal proficiency. "Bud covered Red Auerbach, Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and young Cassius Clay," Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote in his tribute to Collins. "In 1965, Bud rode Muhammad Ali's bus from Miami to Chicopee Falls when the young champ was training for his second bout with Sonny Liston."
In 1985 when pro wrestling began to gain some traction in the mainstream media, NBC devoted the full 90 minutes on one of its weekly SportsWorld programs to examine the phenomenon. Collins was assigned to report the segment detailing the history of wrestling, and he delivered it with his usual flair.
Check out some snippets in this clip, which culminates with the iconic Gorilla Monsoon lifting Collins on to his shoulders. Then in a priceless moment, Collins begins the interview by addressing Gorilla as "Mr. Monsoon." Classic Collins.