Andre Agassi

So Husband has never met a sport he didn’t like. He watches it all — the World Cup, the World series, the NBA play-offs, and that football thing that happens at the end of of the season…what’s it called? Oh yeah, the Superbowl. He even watched that winter Olympic sport where one person pushes a gigantic puck and two others scrape a path in front of it with like chimney sweep brooms. (I’m sure there’s like a one-word name for that sport, but I’m sure I never knew it.) The only sport that I’ve ever gotten sucked into is tennis, and that’s only recently. I played tennis in high school (not well. I would run for shots screaming the s-word, only stopping once I got to the other side of the court and missed. Whenever I won a game, it was the result of pure accident, an event I could never recreate at will), so I actually understand the rules — all this helped me get interested in the sports memoirOpen by Andre Agassi.

I don’t know how this book is so well written — there is no co-writer listed on the jacket. If it’s the case that Agassi is both gifted at tennis and writing, I have only one thing to say: SCREW YOU ANDRE AGASSI! NO FAIR. Yeah, got no good sportsmanship. It’s not just that the book has a winning voice in its prose; the author also chose just the right anecdotes to convey certain periods of Agassi’s life. Who has that kind of perspective on their own story? It’s totally dishy — he talks about his dates with Brooke Shields and walking out on her Friends taping because she licked Joey Tribiani’s hands, he talks about how boring and cheap Pete Sampras is in real life, and he reveals his insane dad who gave him speed at age 9 so that he’d win his kid matches. What the what. He also talks about how embarrassed he was about going bald and wore a hair piece, and he lost one final match because he kept worry about whether his sweat would make his hair piece fly off. (Jees, can you imagine playing with that kind of distraction? Ay caramba.) But what I’m most impressed with his how he captures his ambiguous feelings about his calling — he repeatedly says “I love tennis. I hate tennis. I can’t stop playing tennis,” which pretty much sums up how I feel about…a kabillion things.

I ate the whole thing up. What’s funny is how inspirational these books can be. When I read about how he has to get a cortisone shot in his spine in order to stand up, so he can go battle a match, it makes me go, “You know what? I can wake up at 7 a.m. and get on that rush hour subway ride!” You know what I mean.

There, I wrote an entire blog post on sports. That’s a first.

In the movie version of Open, they should have Colin Ferrell play Agassi, and like Kristy McNichol, circa 1982 play Steffi Graf. Thank you.

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