Sunday, July 13, 2008

Whirlwind woman

Whirlwind woman

Mary Carillo gives insight, humor and energy on television broadcasting, and also at home.

By Dave Scheiber
Published on August 25, 2006

[Times photo: Cherie Diez]
Award-winning television journalist Mary Carillo life benefits from his home in Naples, the balance between work and motherhood. She called tennis matches since 1980 - from just a few months after his playing career ended - and will work this year's U.S. Open on CBS.

Rachel Bowden, 14, center, looks at vintage photos of his mother, Mary Carillo, play tennis as the half-Bowden, Kristin TENREIRO, 14, moves for a closer look. "What you have on your head?" Rachel asks her mother for the years 1970, then headache.

[Photo courtesy of Mary Carillo]
Friends of Children John McEnroe, right, and Carillo, who grew up at the same time playing tennis in New York, team to win the Open de France mixed doubles title in 1977.

[Photo courtesy of Mary Carillo]
Carillo played briefly before the benefits of knee injuries ended his career.

NAPLES - One minute, Mary Carillo is sitting inside his conversation modern, spacious living room on another postcard morning by the gulf. The next, she has transformed her leather sofa in what appears to be the couch of a late-night talk show. She is the guest on a roll, and everybody is the studio audience, which is yet to come for pleasure.

You want stories? Has the stories. You want a thumbnail or opinion? Please. It offers words of humour and capital letter gusto: arm gestures to emphasize points, big laugh punctuating tales of a life in tennis and television, voice move at any time in a classic "Whaddya KIDDIN 'Me?" Catskill shtick, then back to the participation of Charlevoix tone Sports TV viewers have come to know over a quarter century.

His optimistic whirlwind presence is a mirror of his work. Today, a native of New York is a guide to no fewer than four networks - CBS, where she will serve as an analyst at the U.S. Open for the 20th year from Monday, HBO, where she made documentaries and serves as a correspondent / writer on the monthly magazine Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, NBC, which uses on his tennis and has sent its report on the last five Olympics, after its long Winter Games right on CBS and ESPN, for which she covers a myriad of tennis events.

In the meantime, she held a mother who holds with her two teenagers aged 19, Anthony, a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, and Rachel, 14, a high school freshman in Naples. She rarely slows down, waking up at dawn - and usually asleep before 10 am to recharge for the next day.

"Anthony and Rach always joke with me - I can not make double digits!" she says, brown eyes lighting with a smile on his tan, telegenic face. "If I was not in bed at 10 is like," Mom's rest. "Anthony - he sleeps until 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I've never done that. There is a lot there, like, 'What are you doin'? You are Burnin 'Daylight! "

Ask anyone about it. They are all ok.

There is something about Mary.

* * *

She was the outgoing kid from Queens who grew up volleying with a neighborhood boy named John McEnroe, years later with his team to win the mixed doubles title at the 1977 Open de France.

It was the player whose pro career was reduced to three years of knee injuries and the woman who made a mark on network television Thursday calling on men.

Now, at 49, she is an award-winning journalist. His talent for storytelling landed her a part of a George Foster Peabody Award for HBO's documentary, Dare to Compete: The Struggle of Women in Sports in 2000. She earned a Sports Emmy last year on Real Sports for a segment about a father who tows, pedals and push his son profoundly disabled in grueling triathlons to enable him to know the thrill of competition. And it was the investigator and adviser on the history of the famous 2006 HBO documentary, Billie Jean King: Portrait of a pioneer.

"At this stage of his career, it is probably the main disseminator of women in sport," said Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports. Greenburg Carillo committed in 1996 at Wimbledon to play by-play - for women and men -- alongside tennis icons Martina Navratilova and King. He saw something special in his style to the microphone and host an hour late at night reminder spectacle. Who opened the door to Real Sports in 1997 .

"Obviously, I saw real potential as a tennis analyst, but more than that, I saw her blossoming into a high-powered sports broadcaster," he said. "I look like a hardcore journalist . It's almost as if it was never a tennis player or pro athlete. "

Carillo is immersed in stories, scatter-gunning ideas and views in planning meetings, poring through endless reference documents and interviewing with insight and compassion. Among women in sport, it began as a counselor, but Greenburg so impressed with his drive that eventually serve as one of the investigators and division with scriptwriting, Frank Deford.

To Greenburg, Carillo's natural communicative skills truly set her apart. "Marie the gift of gab is legendary," he says. "She is a person you want dinner, not just watch on television. I'm just happy to call a friend. Whenever you pick up the phone It will make your day. "

Best-selling author John Feinstein has known Carillo for years and his profile in his 1991 book on the pro tennis, Hard courts. He wrote a column suggesting that the best way to solve the problems of the game was to put everyone in the same room and blow it, but it would save five people.

"Marie was one of them," he said. "She is really smart. It is really funny. It makes people feel as if they are important, even if they are not. It is a wonderful friend. And what you see with Mary is real. When I walk around with it in USA Open, it is a pain in the neck. Because each person knows it and wants to stop it and wants to talk to him. And Mary not only stops and chats, but it will see a woman and there will be this accolade, and it will go, "And how are Jeannie and Johnny and Joey?"

"Then I'll go, 'Who was it?" And she will say: "I do not know, a woman I just see here every year." Yet she knows their children's names. This is ridiculous. "

Feinstein Carillo wrote in his brand new, youth-oriented sports vanishing mystery called law, set at the U.S. Open. The fictional protagonist, a 13-year-old boy, the language is tied when he met her.

"Mary is one of the few people I've never met a sport that has really not enemies," Feinstein said. "I mean, May it be a few people in the television business who are jealous of it because it is so good. But if you know Mary and do not like it, then there's something seriously wrong with you. I am not gush about people. But Mary, I jet. "

Navratilova, who co-wrote his 1983 book Tennis My Way with Carillo, and raves. "With Mary, you just listen, because there are still gems emerging from his mouth," she said. "She is insightful and quick and looks at things a little differently point of view. "

His style was forged in an Italian-Irish household in Douglaston, NY That's where Tony Carillo, who worked as artistic director for Young & Rubicam advertising agency, homemaker and Terry gave their three children - Charles , A newspaper man turned novelist, Mary and Gina, a former actor - a true appreciation of lively debate dinner. So far, the family encounters are noisy, fun.

"We all feel that we have something to say, we just feel that we have a lot to give," Carillo said, smiling. "I mean, if you get a seat at the table for meals Carillo, you a good place. "She works with the thought now, injecting a little Regis Philbin-like cadence to focus:" We're just SPITBALLING ideas back and forth. We Telling stories and flapping of arms and the entire world to seize the MIKE. Believe me, there is a lot of energy in this room. "

In fact, from the outset, energy is one thing Carillo has had in abundance.

* * *

His family the old carriage house was a dream for an active girl - just behind the inviting waters of Little Neck Bay and just down the street like a small family club with five tennis courts and swimming pool.

"She would be in his small boat, frighten his mother to death," recalls Terry Carillo. "She was just like his father - always in total. Everything that was there, we'll give it a shot."

But water was her passion, not tennis. She would fish nearby and, at 6, won 10 and competition, catching the biggest flounder. "And by the way, there were a lot of cheating going with children make sand flounders' gullets to make them heavier!" She says. "I'm like," Hey, wait a minute. "But I won cleanly. And I could choose a tackle box or an Alex Olmedo wooden racket, probably cost two silvers. "

She went to the racket. And it has used for crab.

Soon, she turned her attention to swimming. She loved the sport and became a standout by age 10. "She was extraordinary," said his mother, "but she got an ear infection and could not go in the pool for the rest of the summer. It is all disappointed, but I've said, "It's okay, Mare, I would you sign for tennis. I called my husband and said: "I signed you and Mary up for tennis' and he says," I'm from Brooklyn, we did not play tennis. "As I said, "Well, she needs to hit someone." And that began a love affair with the game. "

Shortly afterwards, Carillo hitting balls with a talented young player of the neighborhood who enjoyed tennis as much as she did, 8 years, John McEnroe. The fellow lefties quickly became friends and could easily play 14 games per day. Terry Carillo recalls: "It was John's mother, Kay McEnroe, who told me one day," You know, it's good. Send to its course. ""

So Carillo began taking serious lessons excellent results. McEnroe soon adopted in its ability to reach its clever, but continued to encourage. A junior, he got his entering junior tournaments and eventually she excelled at the national level. She spent countless hours at Port Washington Tennis Academy, where a large end Australian Harry Hopman ran the program and helped to refine his game

By his final year at St. Mary's Girls High School in Manhasset, Carillo's tennis prowess is well known. She ranked No. 1 in the East and in the top 10 nationally. She has good friends with a maximum and-coming tennis ace Vitas Gerulaitis, who lived nearby, and his sister Ruta, another potential pro. Ruta Carillo should select from a red Porsche at school - often well before the bell - and take its practice. The school usually reduce his sisters some slack.

Once the competition in the Caribbean Junior Championships, Carillo has missed a few days of school before Thanksgiving. Her mother dutifully helped, calling to say her daughter had the flu. The only problem: Carillo won and a story was carried in the Long Island Press.

"I returned to school Monday morning very tanned," said Carillo. "And I will never forget - they were doing announcements and Sister Maria Del Ray has arrived. She says: "And finally, we would like to congratulate Mary Carillo, who over the weekend won the Caribbean Junior Championship - despite the fact that she had a terrible case of the flu." "

* * *

She would soon reach a crossroads, and the path it has chosen to open the doors to the life she knows today.

At the end of high school, Carillo had many offers of college scholarships stemming from his tennis - a path her parents fully expected. But she was also intrigued by the idea of turning pro. She asked for advice Hopman, and he said he was moving to Florida to start a tennis school. In addition, he invited him to come as an instructor.

Carillo loved the idea. She figured she would have no chance at Pro Tour if it blew up on its knees painful more than four years of college Hardcourts. Thus, she informed her parents that she was heading south.

"My mother was like, 'What are you talking about? It is irresponsible." She turns to my father and goes, "Tell him." And he said: "Mary, I think it is great!" "

Carillo earned $ 50 a week at the Hopman first place on Treasure Island. But after several months of hitting with benefits, she began to wonder whether the time had come to look for herself. The decision was taken to an invitation to the Bahamas.

She had been winning all week and, according to the label of the winner, buying rounds of drinks for other players. "I buy all these fruity drinks with little umbrellas and I suffered a bill of $ 200 by the end of the week," she said. "I did not really l 'I have on at the time, since I am still Chump Change Mr. Hopman. So I went to the tournament director and asked,' What is the semifinalist win here? " "

He said $ 250.

"I look at him and said:" I'm turning professional, "she says.

Years later, his mother, who had no idea of history, read an account in Feinstein's Hard courts. "She said:" Mary! I can not believe it is in print! ""

Carillo battled increasingly bad knees in a pro career that lasted from 1977-80. It has been a top-30 player, but the real highlight was to join with his old buddy, McEnroe, Open France'77. McEnroe, 18, came to Paris as the best junior of the USA. In the days of World Team Tennis, many players were not there, there was room in the mixed doubles.

"John is looking at the list of persons who had signed and is like, 'Oh, geez, I mean we have to win this thing," she said. "I am a rookie pro and he has a high school and amateur, we win. "

Carillo played his last tennis at Wimbledon en'80. She had several knee surgeries and finally gave. She then returned home on crutches to find a new direction. "I said, 'Mare, what are you going to do? "" Says his mother, "she said," I'm going to get a truck, and later on I am going to say: "Mary Carillo, no job too small." This is it. "

She had been writing for magazines tennis and thought about getting into film work. But while attending a match at Madison Square Garden, the venue of the television network was scrambling to fill air time before the match. Carillo was sent to the stand and did a good job, the producer, she insisted on staying over the air game.

She signed with USA Network in 1980 to make women's matches. The following year, the U.S. Open, she was suspended in the cabin of Al Trautwig called men of the match with Yannick Noah. She began to pass notes to Trautwig with the observations.

"It would read as follows in the footsteps and use them," she said. "Now, I'm Al worsened. So after the fourth note, I stopped. And at the end of the match, it took me by the arm and took me down for the American producer, Gordon Beck, and said: "It was pass me notes during that Noah match and I refused to use them because they must be ahead of its mouth. "And Gordon said:" Okay "and the next night, I call men's tennis. That's how my career began. Suddenly, I could pay my mortgage. "

It certainly can pay now. In addition to its transport-style home in Naples, it has its place these days in Greenwich Village. Life is beautiful. His marriage of 15 years for Bill tennis Bowden - they met in Port Washington - ended eight years ago, but he lives nearby and they remain on good terms.

"It is a great instructor and a very good guy," she said.

His house is filled with family photos and memorabilia and two large custom shelves. They take all Seinfeld tapes back episodes of Real Sports to hundreds of pounds.

"I have a great mixture of things in my life," she said. "I'll be on the road and working to be a mother. You get the bends. But I love what I do. "

And always a pleasure.

[Amended August 25, 2006, 01:20:33]

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