Excerpts, from Andre
Agassi’s new book, have opened our eyes to a few things:
He hated tennis. He made a lot of money from it. He was very good at
it. He sacrificed his body for it. He hated it. His father, Mike, gave
him a racquet in the crib and drove him from there.
Here’s what we take. If you hate the activity your stage mom or
dad is pushing you to exceed at, get bad at it. Fake it if you need.
Develop a re-occuring Charlie horse. Bend your pinky way, way back and,
if you’re lucky, it might break.
Agassi, at the age of 8 and 9, hustled older guys
for money. Agassi’s dad, when he felt like the great Jim Brown had
dissed him, pimped a $ 10,000 match between Brown and tiny 9-year-old
Andre. It was only after the pro at the Las Vegas tennis club warned
Brown not to take the bet that Brown saved his dough.
Here’s what we take. Even a football hero, every now and then,
needs to be taken down a peg or two, especially if the only way he can
get his kicks is to play a recreational game for money. To be beaten by
a tiny person one-third his weight needs to be written up in a book.
Agassi experimented with crystal meth and
became hooked for over a year. He played and won tournaments while on
meth. The first time he tried it he went on a cleaning frenzy, dusting,
sweeping and scouring every surface of his house. Then he washed, dried
and folded his clothes, dirty or not, all of them.
Here’s what we take: A business idea we can’t believe somebody
hasn’t already started,
Maids on Meth. That’s what
we’ll call our business: Maids on
Meth – Twice the Clean
Half the Time. How’s this for an ad to attract employees “Join Maids on Meth and lose
weight while working. Sleep and
teeth are overrated.”
Agassi was depressed while married to Brook Shields.
At the same time Brook Shields was depressed about her weight. How did
they combat their depression? By placing a picture on the refrigerator
of the ideal woman’s body – Steffi Graf. Brook stuck the picture to the
fridge and Andre straightened it. We also found out what tied Andre to
both Brook and Steffi was the fact they all shared domineering
Here’s what we take: How in the world can you be depressed
married to Brook Shields?
Secondly, how can you be
married to a beautiful movie star and then not expect her to be in love
scenes with other actors. That’s what beautiful movie stars do. It’s
possible the meth wiped out Andre’s capacity for logic. On the other
hand, when your gorgeous wife offers up a yet better body on your
fridge, read the message.
There’s a scene in the book where Andre and Steffi’s
dads finally meet. It’s vivid in the language barrier depiction of two
strong sports dads doing a gesture frenzied and testosterone laden
face-off. If you like books where lifelong liars spill all their hidden
truths, read it.