CORTLAND -- I never much cared for Andre Agassi.
For those who don’t know, Agassi was among the world’s best tennis players throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s. He earned even more fame early in his career with an ad campaign for a camera company. The theme: “Image is everything.”
Now, anyone who’s seen my wardrobe (it’s not impressive), my car (even less impressive) or my desk (Sports Editor Dean Russin says Jimmy Hoffa’s body might be at the bottom of it) understands that image is not at all important to me.
But sometimes you can learn things from people with whom you disagree.
I can’t remember if I read it or saw it during a TV interview, but years ago Agassi said, good things happen in life when you allow yourself to become tired. My opinion of Agassi didn’t change, but I recall thinking that’s one of the truest statements I’ve ever heard.
My children hear me say that a lot.
During the drive back from Cortland State on Sunday night, I thought about Agassi’s quote when trying to find a singular theme that would put a bow around the state soccer championship Oneonta High’s girls had won minutes earlier.
As a reporter, I don’t get to see the preparation. I see the finished the product.
But when I see the finished product, it makes me wonder about the preparation.
How many times has Taryn More taken corner kicks when no one was watching? How many times have Mariah Ruff or Madison Miller rehearsed cuts into the penalty box to get into position to finish a corner kick by More? How many times did Oneonta defenders work on pushing players to the sideline, or steering them toward their weak foot? How many times did they practice staying between their mark and the goal?