Thursday, July 6

punk to gentleman

Why do we watch sports ? We watch sports for what we lack... that lightning speed, or that impossible skill, or the most important aspect in any sport - athletic wisdom.  We don't want to miss that momentous invention of a completely new possibility, an athlete fabricates, in the realm of the same court (or pitch) using the same ball. We seek for moments of inspiration in our mundane and ordinary life. We yearn for those crossovers, those buzzer-beaters, those tie-breakers - quick moments of passion and intelligence that make beauty. I don't know, if we could ever define a Calculus based off that logarithmic d2y/dx2(acceleration) feeling that happens only in sports!

After the game is over, well, most of us get on with our lives. We know that we pay our sports heroes only for their on-field work . It doesn't really bother us much, how they do outside the lines. Of course, their lives are exciting. And yes, most of our sports icons live like how the truly rich live - invest more, spend more, and not necessarily save more. But there are some personalities, whose lives transcend beyond that momentary exhibition of speed, and skill.

Andre Aggasi is such a man, and a sports personality - in the literal meaning of the word personality. From his carefree beginnings of punk-iness to the gentleman he has grown to be now - He is the paragon on the kind of transformation a person can reach for. This is a small anecdote I heard on ESPN other day. After Andre was defeated in 2005 US Open Finals, his 4-year-old son, Jaden asked him, "Daddy, Who beat you ?". Andre replied, "Just some guy with long hair !" ( Roger Federer beat Andre in 2005 US Open Finals)

Yeah! I remember this long haired guy, whom I was religiously rooting for in 1992 Wimbledon finals against Goran Ivanesevic for two reasons

  1. I hated Goran's terribly boring aces.
  2. I felt, the hairy guy's ear ring was really cooool. (I was 12!)
And the hairy guy finally won. Well, this one is for the Andre then, and the Andre Now ( and a special mention - Andre's magical serve return ). We will miss him in Wimbledon. Hopefully, we will see him  at-least until the Semis in US Open.

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