With our first exam approaching, I really don’t need extra distractions eating up my day. But unfortunately Agassi didn’t consider my needs.
In tribute to my time in England I try to catch a bit of Wimbledon each year. But otherwise I don’t watch any tennis. This isn’t so much a statement against the sport, since I don’t watch much of any sporting event. Except the Lumberjack Contest on ESPN2, which is awesome. But my superficial viewing of Wimbledon has kept my eye on Agassi over the years, and he is definitely my personal favorite. I think you’d have a hard time arguing that he’s the best player ever, though 8 tournament wins certainly isn’t anything to sneeze at (who sneezes at anything? The expression should really be snort at.) But Agassi is just plain cooler than any other player. Tennis is not a cool sport. It may be popular, it may be internationally viable, but it is not cool. I suppose it’s just too associated with preppies to ever be uttered in the same breath with the likes of basketball and football (not that I like these sports more, they’re just more acceptable in our American culture.)
For years Agassi was the lone island of cool in the ocean of tennis preppitude. Kournikova and Sharapova are certainly adding to the popularity of tennis, but not in the same way Andre did. I’d say he’s like tennis’ Happy Gilmore, but that distinction probably goes to McEnroe. So when I heard that this US Open would be his last tournament, I had to watch his last couple matches. Tivo has helped me cut down on the amount of time this occupied, but again Agassi has complete disregard for my schedule. He kept playing five set games and even added on extended tiebreakers. But they certainly weren’t boring matches.
Sadly Agassi’s career ended today. The fact that he’s an old man finally caught up to him and he wasn’t able to fend off his youthful opponent. But the crowd loved him anyway and he seemed genuinely happy ending it like he did. Kudos to you Andre and enjoy your retirement. Now I can finally get back to studying.
Song of the moment: “Terrible Angels” CocoRosie