March 15, 2010

Not Everyone Is a Comedian

To some people the jokes come easily. Timing, as they say, is everything -- and apparently at the Hit for Haiti exhibition in Indian Wells, the timing was all off.

When tennis legends Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi took the court on Friday night with current superstars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, playful banter quickly devolved into personal jabs between the long-time rivals. Pete mocked his opponent's mannerisms and Agassi referenced a passage in his autobiography which depicted Sampras as a stingy tipper, an impersonation that seemed to genuinely irritate Pete. The former #1 has since apologized for his behavior, conceding that his "whole book is about living and learning, and I guess you never frickin' stop."

Now I know I've defended Andre's revelations in the past but this, though innocuous compared to others, still seems out of line -- especially at a charity event. It appeared from the start of the night that Agassi was trying not just to entertain, but to ruffle Pete's feathers. Sampras, once thought to be good friends with Andre, has said previously that he was disappointed in the comments Agassi had made in Open and was having none of it in the desert.

If not inappropriate, the goings on Friday were certainly awkward. And while Federer and Nadal tried to stay out of it like gentlemen, Agassi actually made himself look like kind of a jerk. Sure he was always the bad boy of tennis, but there was still something lovable about him. I'm less enamored now -- a feeling, ironically, I didn't have after his book was published. And I can't help but feel that, if he hates the sport so much, then why is he still on the court causing such trouble?

Of course I'll try to keep an open mind and reserve judgement on a man who has done a lot of good for the sport. But, come on -- when are these guys going to remember to play nice?!

And in case you haven't seen it yet, take a look for yourself. For what it's worth, my favorite moment comes 2:57 into the clip when Pete serves square into Andre's body and both Rafa and Roger double over in unison -- either in hysterics or in shame, who can tell?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gotta be shame. Really funny moment though.