Sunday, September 03, 2006

Andre Agassi

I remember a snotty little punk with streaked hair and absolutely horrific manners (and nowhere near as good as he and his asshole father thought he was).

What I saw today for the last time (on a championship court, anyway), was a man who absolutely transformed himself. Most child athletic stars start out as jerks and get worse--almost none of them become better people.

But Andre did: he started out as a spoiled punk, and somehow, under the arc-light glare of the celebrity tennis circuit, he has made himself into a wise, courageous, generous old man.

Samson lost his greatness when he lost his hair. Andre gained his.

His press-conference after falling to Becker was one of the most amazingly sane public speeches I've ever heard from a professional athlete. Coming from the man who grew from that snotty punk, it was an astonishing rebirth.

A courageous gentleman, indeed.

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