Side by Side
Those of you who don't know me well probably don't realize how much of a huge tennis fan/sports fan I am in general.
My two favorite male players over the course of the last twenty years (wow been watching tennis for awhile) are Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.
They are arguably the two best tennis athletes the sport has seen. Something that no one would dispute is both players are two of the classiest men to grace the sports world. Despite being surrounded by pompous athletes that twiddle their thumbs and collect another million or shirk being ambassadors of the sports where they make their living, these two athletes were able to compete at the highest level possible (Sampras being ranked year end number one six consecutive years--Federer nipping on his tails for this record--I believe with four under his belt) and still be model citizens. You can throw big egos out of the window. They are two of very few male athletes that I have seen cry in public, at Wimbledon.
I hope in this generation of inflated egos and inflated salaries that players will start to envelope the spirit of a Roger Federer or of a Pete Sampras. Let your game do the trash talking.
This is a message that I hope coaches will be successful in instilling in the next generation of great athletes. It seems it didn't take much hold on the current crop (Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Ron Artest, Lleyton Hewitt, Bode Miller).