marți, 21 februarie 2023

Andre Agassi -"Open"


"I’m supposed to be a different person now that I’ve won a slam. Everyone says so. No more Image is Everything. Now, sportswriters assert, for Andre Agassi, winning is everything. After two years of calling me a fraud, a choke artist, a rebel without a cause, they lionize me. They declare that I’m a winner, a player of substance, the real deal. They say my victory at Wimbledon forces them to reassess me, to reconsider who I really am. But I don’t feel that Wimbledon has changed me. I feel, in fact, as if I’ve been let in on a dirty little secret: winning changes nothing. Now that I’ve won a slam, I know something that very few people on earth are permitted to know. A win doesn’t feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn’t last as long as the bad. Not even close."

"If I had time, if I were more self-aware, I would tell journalists that I’m trying to figure out who I am, but in the meantime I have a pretty good idea of who I’m not. I’m not my clothes. I’m certainly not my game. I’m not anything the public thinks I am. I’m not a showman simply because I come from Vegas and wear loud clothes. I’m not an enfant terrible, a phrase that appears in every article about me. (I think you can’t be something you can’t pronounce.) And, for heaven’s sake, I’m not a punk rocker. I listen to soft, cheesy pop, like Barry Manilow and Richard Marx."

"It was 1987, in Portland, Oregon. I was playing the Nike International Challenge and Nike reps invited me up to a hotel suite to show me the latest demos and clothing samples. McEnroe was there, and of course he was given first choice. He held up a pair of denim shorts and said, What the f... are these? My eyes got big. I licked my lips and thought. Whoa. Those are cool. If you don’t want those, Mac, I’ve got dibs. 
The moment Mac set them aside, I scooped them up. Now I wear them at all my matches, as do countless fans. Sportswriters murder me for it. They say I’m trying to stand out. In fact -as with my mohawk- I’m trying to hide. They say I’m trying to change the game. In fact I’m trying to prevent the game from changing me. They call me a rebel, but I have no interest in being a label, I’m only conducting an everyday, run-of-the-mill teenage rebellion. Subtle distinctions, but important. At heart, I’m doing nothing more than being myself, and since I don’t know who that is, my attempts to figure it out are scattershot and awkward -and, of course, contradictory. I’m doing nothing more than I did at the Bollettieri Academy. Bucking authority, experimenting with identity, sending a message to my father, thrashing against the lack of choice in my life. But I’m doing it on a grander stage. 
Whatever I’m doing, for whatever reasons, it strikes a chord, I’m routinely called the savior of American tennis, whatever that means. I think it fits, fans come sporting my hairdo. I see my mullet on men and women. (It looks better on the women.) I’m flattered by the imitators, embarrassed, thoroughly confused. I can’t imagine all these people trying to be like Andre Agassi, since I don’t want to be Andre Agassi."

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