A TRIBUTE TO OUR CHAMPION
By: Sandie Anthony
Written with heart-felt thanks for the years of nail biting, breathtaking, floor pacing, cover my eyes because I can’t bear to watch, jubilant, tearful, beaming with pride memories to the greatest tennis player of all time……….Pete Sampras. Thanks for the memories Pete!
Isn’t it funny how things happen, isn’t it funny how things go,
Isn’t it funny they never appreciated you until you no longer showed?
Isn’t it funny they didn’t acknowledge your serve and volley game,
Isn’t it funny now they’re saying without you the sport is not the same?
Isn’t it funny how they’re lining up to shout your accolades and praise,
Where were they for the past 12 years during your glory days?
Isn’t it funny they labeled you boring, and refused to acknowledge your feats,
Isn’t it funny how they almost wallowed in your occasional defeats?
Isn’t it funny how the talent and grace you brought into the game
Were labeled very boring, dull, and even lame?
You didn’t have a personality; you certainly had no flair,
And watching you win Slam after Slam was just more than they could bear.
It was nearly torture, so they said, to have to watch you play,
Same old boring Sampras blowing all the opposition away.
Same face showing no emotion, same shoulders hanging low,
Pete Sampras, a great champion……no, they didn’t think so.
But to those of us who knew better, watching you was such a gift,
And it wasn’t just your high jumps that gave us such a lift.
Watching as you painted the lines, time and time again,
Rendering your opponents helpless, just mere mortal men.
I laughed so many times as I saw them try desperately to guess,
Just which damn line that serve of yours was to powerfully caress.
And just when they thought they had you running desperately side to side,
You’d nail that running forehand as they stood helplessly watching it fly by.
You brought a certain style and grace that was certainly your own,
You refused to ever allow yourself to become the media’s clone.
You always remained true to yourself, no matter what they clamored for,
You learned to laugh and ignore it when they continued to call you a bore.
I am who I am, I’m not going to change, and I do my talking out on the courts,
I’m chasing some records, I have my goals and I’ll do it quietly without your support.
If you can’t learn to like me for who I am and what I can bring to this game,
I suggest you go chasing the others out there that are in it for glory and fame.
Isn’t it funny they just didn’t get it, isn’t it funny they just couldn’t see,
That being the best to ever play the game was just your destiny.
Seems they have all gotten glasses, as they now see things quite clearly,
Isn’t it funny how they miss you now and actually find you endearing.
Isn’t it funny now how many seem to realize just what they had?
Realizing it so late in the game isn’t funny though, it’s sad!
Why weren’t the so-called experts supporting you just like all your fans?
Why weren’t they holding up banners and shouting your praises from the stands?
Where were all the headlines in the local papers and magazines?
Stating for a fact that Sampras is the best they’ve ever seen!
They were too busy looking elsewhere for someone with perhaps a little more flair,
Someone to sign the endorsements, to help them sell their wares.
Too bad they missed the party; too bad they missed the show,
Too bad the so-called experts were the ones who didn’t know.
Didn’t know the best to grace the courts and ever play the game,
Had been there right before their eyes for more than the past decade.
Is it possible a decade has passed by as quickly as a wink?
Is it possible you were here and gone before we could even think?
Gone is that beautiful serve that no one ever learned to read,
Gone is the Sampras high jump that left us all unable to breathe.
Gone is the greatest second serve to ever grace the game,
Gone is the running forehand that left opponents shaking their heads in vain.
Gone is that beautiful net game that showed off your gentle touch,
Gone are so many other things we miss so very much.
Although our main wish for you is happiness and we’re glad you have your family,
Please know just how much you’ll be missed by many more than me.
They say the sign of a true champion is one who truly changes the game,
If that is true then the champion can only go by one familiar name.
That name is Pistol Pete Sampras and if you missed him it’s your loss,
For on the courts of tennis he was king, he ruled, he was boss!
Although we miss you terribly and the selfish side of us wants you back,
Cause without you there’s so many things the game just sadly lacks!
What we truly want is your happiness and if you choose to no longer play,
Then we’re grateful for the time we had and we’d just like to take the time to say:
You’ll always be our champion, and we’ll never really part,
For we’ll carry you and all our memories forever in our hearts.
The one thing we still ask for, the one thing we still need,
Is to send our very best wishes and say, Thanks Pete for the Memories!