LENGTH: 874 words
THESIS: Athletes should not be role models
NUMBER OF ALLUSIONS TO THE NOTION THAT ATHLETES SHOULD NOT BE ROLE MODELS: 6 (photo caption included)
WHY ATHLETES SHOULD NOT BE ROLE MODELS: Tennis senior-statesman and fan favorite Andre Agassi admitted in his new book that he had done done chrystal meth in the late 1990s, while he was still an active player.
WHAT THIS MAKES AGASSI: "a tweaker"
NICKNAME FOR METH DEALER: "gack fairy"
ALTERNATE IDENTITIES FOR ATHLETES: Artists, entertainers, "moral exemplars" (should they choose to be), young folks with "too much money, too much time and not enough spine," "denizens of a weird world in which they can get as much as they ask for and come to believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them"
NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ASKED BEFORE STATING ANYTHING: 4
AGASSI'S LIFE IN SUMMARY: "He's human, he screwed up, his [sic] took care of it, and now he's fine."
NUMBER OF LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM AGASSI'S STORY: 4
WHAT THEY ARE:
- "People want athletes to be something other than what they are "
- "There are gradations of honesty."
- "Mistakes are made."
- "Agassi...isn't really someone you should tell your kids to model."
GOOD POINT: "Nobody has yet been able to make the claim that methamphetamine is a performance enhancer."
BEST ATTEMPT AT HUMOR: "Agassi said that when he took it, he cleaned his place. His performance as a maid may have been enhanced, but he has never been a maid competitively, so it really doesn't count."
BEST ATTEMPT AT SARCASM: "Hope it's very therapeutic for him. Hope it causes someone else to walk away from meth, or coke, or Peruvian poisonous toad extract...."
THE LAST WORD:
Athletes are entertainers, and if they also choose to be moral exemplars, they'll have to do it for themselves because nobody else in their right mind would invest any of their children's upbringing on strangers, no matter how swell they might be.
And that's the lesson to be taken from the Andre Agassi story. He's human, he screwed up, his took care of it, and now he's fine.
Or maybe not. Who knows?
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
krust at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.