legalacidity's musings

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Agassi II

And so Agassi lost to an opponent that while younger and stronger was the type of player that Andre would have destroyed five years ago. While I hate that he went out so early in his last tournament, I'm glad he did it in the U.S. in front of a home crowd. Here's what he said after the match to the crowd:

"Thanks. The scoreboard said I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn’t say is what it is I have found. Over the last 21 years, I have found loyalty. You have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I have found inspiration. You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments. And I have found generosity. You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams — dreams I could have never reached without you. Over the last 21 years, I have found you. And I will take you and the memory of you with me for the rest of my life. Thank you."

A very fitting goodbye from a tennis legend.

5:24 p.m. - 2006-09-03

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Agassi

I know it's been awhile since I've posted--busy with work, studying for the bar exam, etc. But, I felt I had to do the rare late-night post after watching Andre Agassi outlast someone 15-some-odd years his junior in an epic five set victory in the second round of the U.S. Open. Watching this match reminded me of Jimmy Connors' epic run at this same tournament over a decade ago. Agassi was in control early, then lost steam as Marcos Baghdatis won the third set and then overcame a 4-0 deficit in the fourth set. Battling the eighth-seed, Agassi fought and scratched and clawed his way to a 7-5 fifth set and match victory. Great stuff. The crowd was amazing, and it really was amazing to watch a true "home court" advantage that is rarely seen in tennis. I also loved the sportsmanship displayed by Baghdatis during and after the match, something that is oftentimes missing in tennis.

It's kind of unreal right now, with John McEnroe interviewing Agassi on the court in front of the standing-room-only crowd--after a second round match. That's typical I guess of what they do when a sports legend is making his final appearance in a tournament.

I'd love to see Agassi make a run all the way to the final and make it a true storybook ending, although the odds are really against him. I'll be watching, though, as a legend takes his last ride into the sunset (with Steffi Graf right there with him; lucky bastard). As John McEnroe just said, only five more to go. Good luck, Andre.

12:43 a.m. - 2006-09-01

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Little League America

Well, it seems that the little league mentality that has thrust itself into every single nook and cranny of everyday life has finally made it into the big leagues. Sure, Major League Baseball has for the past few years started a general crackdown on "old school" baseball tactics (i.e., pitchers intentionally batters after one of their own has been hit, or someone showboating after a homerun, etc.), but the suspension of Randy Johnson for throwing at someone but not hitting them is a bit ridiculous, don't you think? Sure, he's a pitcher, and a suspension that amounts to a total of five team games really only costs him a start. But seriously? I think it's way too harsh, especially considering he didn't even hit the guy. And, of course, Joe Torre got a one game suspension as well. It's ridiculous.

This little league mentality that I speak of is a general feeling of "we're all winners" and "everyone gets to play" that has started over the past decade in little league baseball associations across America and has slowly spread into every facet of our daily lives. You know how it is in most little leagues today: everyone gets to play (or has to play), regardless of their ability or skill level. Everyone gets their owon trophy at the end, even if their team went 1-17 and finished dead last. Everyone's a winner in those leagues.

What's wrong with this, you ask?

Well, it fosters an environment of average. Hell, it even fosters an environment of below average. Everyone wins, right? So why try? If whatever association, job, governmental entity, etc., is going to give you that trophy, paycheck, welfare check, etc., why bother trying to be better than average or below average? What's the point, right? This type of mentality is leading our country straight into mediocrity. It's a mentality that says, "What? I have to work harder for my paycheck? Work smarter? Learn new skills? No way! I think you should pay me more for staying average!" Meanwhile, other societies that abhor average are kicking the crap out of us, both in the sports and economic world. Why do you think Japanese companies are so darned good at what they make? They don't tolerate "average."

Pretty soon, on the global sports stage, the United States is going to end up taking the place of one of those countries that we used to dominate in, say, basketball (hello Argentina!). And, in my opinion, the solution starts in little league: stop giving out trophies to teams and players than aren't any good. That way, maybe they'll learn that average doesn't cut it, that maybe they can work harder and become better at what they do. It'd be a good lesson for all of us.

10:05 p.m. - 2006-06-15

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.11

Yep, J.J. Redick got a DWI. I've always been a big proponent of "you reap what you sow," and now J.J. is going to be reaping for a while. But, the firestorm that I'm sure he's experiencing now will likely fade as quickly as it came, because that's the way it is for famous athletes. Their every move is documented, dissected & commented on, but because of what they can do on the basketball court or football field, they are forgiven as quickly as they are crucified. Welcome to sports in the 21st century.

To me, a .11 blood-alcohol level isn't the worst thing in the world for someone to have. Is it against the law? Sure. Is it the same as blowing a .22? No. Redick could have been twenty or thirty minutes away from being legal, but he made the decision to drive and now he has to pay for it. People in his position should realize that they have no margin of error, even if they've done something like drive home after a few beers dozens of times before; at some point, the odds are going to catch up with you.

He's lucky in that this is a first offense and the penalty will be fairly light; if he's smart, he'll use this as a learning experience and keep from making any kind of silly mistake like this again. Or, he'll prove me wrong and show that he the entitled, above-the-law Duke athlete that every Duke hater thinks he is. I'm betting that he's not.

10:57 p.m. - 2006-06-13

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Here from a Google search? Check out my archives.

New Site - 2008-05-24

Kyle Busch is Garbage - 2008-05-03

On Bissinger and Leitch - 2008-04-30

Chad Johnson is a Doofus - 2008-04-03

Thoughts on the NCAA Tournament in Birmingham - 2008-03-25

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