One of the greatest public relations blitzes in recent times continued last night when Katie Couric's interview with Andre Agassi aired on "60 Minutes," hours before the eight-time Grand Slam champion's book "Open" was set to hit stores. You can watch the interview at the "60 Minutes" web site.
Here are the five most interesting tidbits:
1. It was a softball interview from Couric, which was probably the whole point in Agassi's people getting her to do the piece in the first place. She didn't press Agassi when he said he couldn't remember how often he used meth (nobody expects him to give an exact number, but she could have asked whether he used every day, twice a day, every weekend, etc.) and let him skate on the lies he told to the ATP about the positive drug test.
2. As we detailed in last Wednesday's edition of Game Point, Agassi's mullet was actually a weave. In the 1990 French Open final in which he had to use bobby pins to keep the piece on, Agassi said he considered his loss a victory because his hair didn't fall off on the court. We also learned that Agassi's hair began falling out when he was 17.
3. Watching video of shirtless Nick Bollettieri intensely watching shirtless Agassi hit balls is the second most hilarious thing in this interview. The first? Jorts.
4. There have been questions about whether Agassi is sincere about owning up to his mistakes or whether his admissions were done because they added some dollars onto his book deal. I've written that I think Agassi's story and remorse are genuine and his response to Couric reading the critical statements of Martina Navratilova only advances this line of thinking. Agassi said:
"That's what you dont wanna hear. When somebody takes a performance inhibitor, a recreational drug, the one thing would is, not that there aren't rules that need to be followed, but along with that would come some compassion ... that maybe this person doesn't need condemnation. Maybe this person could stand a little help. And I had a problem. And there might be many other athletes out there that test positive for recreational drugs that has a problem. So i would ask for some compassion."
5. Watching all of the clips of Agassi winning majors, I have to believe that even though Agassi says he hated tennis, he loved to win tennis tournaments. The joy on his face after the victory at Wimbledon in '92 or at the U.S. Open in '94 is not the look of a man who hates what he's doing.
Busted Racquet will post its review of "Open" later this week.