Blog Entry

Andre's Assumptions

Posted on: January 1, 2010 10:16 pm

Andre Agassi makes many assumptions in his autobiography, Open, that are pretty good assumptions. The first is that people actually care to hear about his story, how his father drove him to compete at a high level in a sport that he actually hated, ironically precisely because his father pushed him so hard. We want to hear about this. Secondly Agassi assumes that because of his opus title, Open, he needs to unload all of his issues and problems on us, his fans, the public. He hits the bullseye on that one too because too often we've been shielded from seeing the true people behind the public facades, and I do believe they owe us that much. We spend so much money on these characters, on these images, that we should get something back from our idols. Of course it's funny that in this gaining of information we have to spend more money on a book to get it. The last assumption Andre Agassi makes is that he is no better than us, just because he has made so much money and has been able to do many charitable deeds with that money, that he found his life mate through the process, does not make him special. It just makes him human. He's one of us.

And he has his issues. Make no mistake about that.  His ad campaigns in the mid-80s revolved competely around the catchphrase that sold so much, that image was indeed everything, but in unmasking the image and showing us the man behind that image, Andre Agassi has indeed been much more Open than we're used to seeing from our celebrities. Instead of having us learn of his faults through the tabloids and endless speculation around water coolers, he has taken it upon himself to enlighten us.

But didn't he also take from us? Didn't he dupe us with his act, with his duck and weave (hair weave included), with his lies to his sporting officials and to his public at a low point in his career and life?  Can we forgive an icon who has sinned? Is it even up to us to do so? Maybe all we need to do is stop making assumptions of our own about celebrity and about celebrities. Maybe all we need to do is take a page from Andre's own book and humble ourselves enough to see that while he is no better than us, so also we are no better than him. And that's what makes us all undeniably human.

Category: Tennis
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