After Further Review …”Pops, I hate this game,” said a prominent sports figure in a recent interview. The “Pops” he referred to was his father. The “game” was tennis, and it was said by Andre Agassi, when he was just a youngster – later to be the world’s #1 player.
Agassi described his life in a recently released autobiography called “Open.” He explains how and why he got started, and how his father Mike pushed him every “volley” of the way. Andre claims he never wanted that kind of life.
Traditionally, tennis’ prevailing custom was white shorts, white shirt, white tennis shoes and a close, cropped hair cut. Not Agassi! “Locks” flowed down his back. Now we learn (in Open) that it was a “hair piece.” Why would he do that? Just to be “different?” Talent, not wigs, helps you stand out from others.
Agassi also discussed his extensive use of “crystal meth,” a dangerous chemical substance. Agassi rationalizes its use because, as he said, he was in a “bad marriage” at that time and very unhappy. Does he think he is the only star player to go through difficult times? Where was his Dad and/or his coach or trainer during those tough times?
When the ATP confronted him about the use of meth, Agassi lied to them, reportedly saying it was an accident or words to that effect. Did the ATP just accept his word or should they have pursued their suspicion? Did the ATP look the other way?
Agassi’s life, by his own words, is just “great” now. He is married to former Women’s Champion tennis player Steffi Graf and they have 2 young children. But, why the book? Was it for the money? Reportedly Andre and Steffi have more money than they could possibly need. To Agassi’s credit, in 2001 he opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free charter school in Las Vegas, which enrolls ALL of its at-risk students on scholarships. His foundation also provided $720,000 to assist in the building of the Andre Agassi Cottage for Medically Fragile Children. For all of this, congratulations are certainly due Agassi, a guy who dropped out of school in the ninth grade. However, of major concern is his father’s tyrannical behavior to which Andre was subjected as a youth.
Will you help your kids grow by keeping a balance in their lives?
Note: Many feel it’s time to elect an on-field game official to the Pro Football (NFL) Hall of Fame. To vote for nominee Jim Tunney, go to http://www.fanschoice/vote.aspx – scroll through nominee names to find TUNNEY; click on TUNNEY; drag and drop into voting area. You can vote more than once!
To learn more about Jim Tunney, or if your organization would like to secure Jim as a speaker, please visit www.tunneysideofsports.com and click on Jim Tunney www.twitter.com/jimtunney