Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I Wish All Pro Athletes Were As Classy As Andre

I'm not much of a sports fan. Actually, most people who know me would probably categorize me as "anti-sports", because I really just don't care about games, teams or championships at all.

But, today, a sporting event actually brought tears to my eyes.

I was watching the U.S. Open tennis tournament because it was Andre Agassi's last appearance as a pro. While I don't normally subscribe to the athlete-as-god school of thinking, I've always admired Andre for his poise and his style, as well as his brilliant tennis game. Imagine if Floyd Landis wasn't a doper; that would be a cycling Andre.

Anyway, Andre fought long and hard against opponents ten years his junior, a bad back, and the inexorable tide of time which eventually slows us all down. But, after a valiant, and somewhat unexpected effort, he finally went down today.

Now, I'll tell you, if I had been there I would have happily participated in the eight-minute (!) standing ovation he received. I would have screamed myself hoarse like a teeny-bopper at a Beatles concert, just like everybody else. But, I was here in Denver, watching on television.

So, I was somewhat removed from the excitement; watching the match on TV as I worked on my sister's new bike. Still, I was somewhat moved by the moment.

All that detachment went away, though, as the standing-o continued. I stopped working on the bike and just stood there, watching. My throat tightened up, a little, but I maintained that stoic calm that all adult males are supposed to exhibit in such circumstances.

I gotta say, though, that when Andre started to cry, I lost it. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched Andre soak it all in, and I felt good. I felt good, sharing an emotional moment with a guy I've always admired, and the thousands (maybe millions, I don't know) of people all over the world who were also crying along.

If you can find a clip of his farewell speech from the court, watch it. The man has CLASS, people, and if any one player in the major leagues, or the NBA, or Pro Cycling had one-tenth as much class, I might be a fan.

Thank you, Andre. We'll miss you.


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