Monday, October 11, 2010

OPEN: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi




Open is an autobiography by famous tennis professional Andre Agassi. He began writing his tell-all memoir after his final tournament of his career, the 2006 U.S. Open, where he lost to the young Cypriot, Marcos Baghdatis. This memoir shows the struggles Agassi faced as he was growing up with a strict Iranian father and a quiet, white mother from Nevada.
His father, Mike Agassi, was an Olympic wrestler for the small country of Armenia in the 1940’s. He moved to America in search for a better life and to start a family after the many years he spent training in the Middle East. His transferred his harsh training methods on to his son when he first put a racquet in his hands at the young age of 4. He made Andre hit tennis balls every night, and often took him out of school to practice tennis. When Andre was in 9th grade, his father took him out of school and sent him to the world renowned Bolletieri Tennis Academy in Florida.
As soon as Andre entered the pro circuit, he became an instant sensation with the ladies. He earned multimillion dollar deals with brands like Nike and Head Tennis. His success had finally caught up to him when he landed on the cover of Tennis magazine, sporting a pair of Oakley sunglasses. The very next day after the magazine hit store shelves across the nation, Jim Jannard, the owner of Oakley, had a Porsche 911 delivered to Agassi’s bachelor pad in Las Vegas. What the public did not know was that Andre Agassi had a dark side to him that most people thought was impossible.

Agassi hated tennis. His famous hair style which had made women want him more than anything was actually a wig, weaved into his thinning hair. The number one player in the world struggled with depression and eventually delved into the recreational usage of methamphetamines, also known by the street name “Chrystal Meth”. He would stay up for 3 days straight after using the drug, meticulously cleaning his home, often forgetting to call his girlfriend Brooke Sheilds, who was in Hollywood filming various television shows.
This riveting story of the former number one tennis star shows how drug addiction can completely control one’s life, even if they have money and success with them.
Discussion Question:
The theme that this book conveys to its’ readers closely resembles that of The Kite Runner’s, where the protagonist finds out how someone in his life had been lying to him his entire life.

How would you feel if you found out today that your idol (they can be your favorite athlete, celebrity, or even a family member) had been lying to you your whole life. They had betrayed you because of an action they were concealing from the public because they were afraid it would damage their image. Would you still think they were as great as you once thought they were? And would you forgive them for their actions?

14 comments:

Bojana D 11.12 said...

Honestly, in today's world celebrities and athletes have to lie. If they were open about everything, they would be judged, therefore creating a negative impact on their career. I would still think they were as great and respect them more for going through that experience, as long as they had gone to help and were off to a better life now. I would have a lot of respect because it takes so much courage to admit you're wrong and to try an fix it. Especially getting over a drug addiction, I would imagine that that's a difficult thing to do.

Mike B 13-14 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike B 13-14 said...

Most of todays world is based on lies. People lie to keep things from others that would hurt their image. An example much like Agassi is Tiger Woods. Tiger's lies made me lose respect for him as a person. He lied and cheated on his wife and now his image has taken a hit. I still respect him as an athlete but no longer think of him as a good person. I dont see him as great anymore, but he has a chance for redemption. I believe everyone gets a second chance and a chance for forgivness. I will forgive Tiger if he changes how he acts. If Tiger admits he was wrong and changes for the better many people will begin to forgive him. I think if a person lies they must learn from their lies and change to recive forgivness.

Kenneth C.M. 13-14 said...

Honestly, if I were to find out my idol were in a similar situation that Agassi was in I would obviously second guess the individual as an idol. In my eyes an idol is a person you look towards to set an example and/or a person you want to grow up to be similar too. If my idol announced he is a crystal meth addict, he would no longer seem as great as I once thought he was. Of course I would occasionally see what direction he points himself from then on, and if he finds a way to redeem himself of course I will forgive him. I just do not think that person would be as great as I once thought they were.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

In my opinion, if my idol was lying to the public then I would lose some respect for him. However, most people in the world lie about many things. The world is not perfect, and some people have to lie to keep their image such as many idols. When their true image is revealed it often hurts the people that look up to them. In the end though, many people still idolize them even if it is just for their talent anymore such as a sport. If my idol had lyed to me their whole life, I would feel betrayed; however, I would forgive them after time passes. Usually time makes things better, and once the bad situation goes by, usually things get better.

CorinneS5/6 said...

I think that a lie from a celebrity is not the worst thing they could do. It depends a little bit on what they lie about, but if that lie kept them in the spotlight and kept their career alive, I think that is acceptable. They need to make a living and to do that they have to become someone the public will love. if Agassi told the world that he hated tennis and his hair was fake, he would not have been so popular and would not have had so many endorsements. If their lie is about themselves, I believe they have a right to keep somethings from the public, after all we do not own thema and they have a right to priacy as well.

Richard B. said...

To me, it all depends on the emotional bond between myself and said liar, whether celebrity, friend, or family. If we were very close the information might shock me to the core and cause the person to become less great in my eyes. However, if the person was distant like a well-known celebrity, then the information would neither shock nor bother me. Similar to the case of Tiger Woods, if Tiger was a close family friend, then I would have been appalled at his actions, but seeing as he is a celebrity, I could really care less what he does with his life. I think it all relates to the strength of the relationship between the liar and the lie-ee.

Fritz J. 13-14 said...

I think that if i found out my idol had lied to me, my reaction would be based very much on the overall situation they were in. If they were covering something to try and do the right thing it would be much easier to understand than if they were just doing it for personal benefit.

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

In response to Corinne Sackett:

Agassi was using his lies for his personal benefits. When he played in the French Open final where his hair was falling out, he used a hairpiece to cover up his bald spot. By doing this, he was trying to keep his sponsors on board with him because if they found out he was balding, they wouldn't endorse him. If he were an honest man, which is a quality that many people admire, he should have blatantly told the public that he lied to them. If he had done this, people would sympathize with him, and the fact that he was balding at such a young age. This could also go the other way, with the public bullying him because of his male-pattern-baldness, which we here at Mentor all know too well.

James F (11-12) said...

Granted that my idol is my father, I would feel extremely upset to see that he has been lying to me. Becasue I love my father as much as I do, I trust him and always ask him for guidance. If I found him to be a liar, it would be difficult to seek guidance from him ever again. If this was the case, I would not respect him or love him as much as I do now. If my idol confronted me about his horrible actions I would consider forgiveness because everyone makes mistakes. I hope my dad does not lie ha.

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

In response to James Edward Ferko Jr.:
It really does sadden me that you would completely take your father out of your life he he lied to you. Here's a situation I would like you to ponder:
You are a young child, roughly between the age of 6 and 6.5 years of age and you are swimming at the civic center public pool. You are having problems at home and in school because you have an incessant bed wetting problem that needs to be cured. Your father tells you, "James Edward Ferko Jr., if you urinate in the pool, it will turn red." Your 6-6.5 year old mind believes this fabrication and you do not soil the water in which several other children are swimming in.
This small lie that your father has told you has stuck with you for years until one day, your chemistry teacher explains to you that there is no chemical that can possibly turn urine red when it is surrounded by water.
You don't know what to do, but you are angry at your father for telling you this fallacy. Would you completely take him out of your life just for this little white lie that saved you the embarrassment of a urinary issue you once had? (HYPOTHETICALLY)

James F (11-12) said...

alex what is your problem? i am considering this cyber bullying and i want this stopped...ms frank this is not cool...and btw my first response was hypothetical itself showing really how much i hate liars...and ps my urination abilities are perfectly normal

SeanK56 said...

Classiest story about urinating I have ever read...

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

I know. It pulls at the heart strings.