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Title: Beyond The Glory (Pete Sampras TV Documentary)

Year Of Release: 2004

Review Date: July 7, 2005

Rating: Not rated.

Box Office Gross: N/A

About: Pete Sampras.

Recommendation: Great documentary about the best tennis player in history (so far - I always say so far because you never know with anything in life and who's next). This piece was very interesting. Definitely one of the better sports documentaries I've seen. Nicely edited and flows well.

Site Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

"Beyond The Glory" delved into many areas of Pete Sampras' life and provided his view of what really happened and how he truly felt. A lot of times you see shows on television with people supposedly in the know speaking for others. However, it is always good to hear it from the horse's mouth. Not that I'm calling you a horse, Pete, I'm just saying it's good to hear it from his perspective. 

Pete set the standard that other tennis players sought to follow and beat. When you reach that level of technical achievement in your career, that your talent is that outstanding, it is a testament to the God that made you, in that you can defy people's expectations of accomplishment.

COMPOSURE: SERVED HIM WELL

Pete was the picture of composure on the court and it served him well (get it? served him well...you serve the ball in tennis). If your emotions aren't betraying what you are thinking and feeling to your opponent, you can use it to your advantage via the element of surprise. They won't know what to expect from the physical and emotional wall on the other end of the court. That can unravel and frustrate opponents. Based on Pete's words, he enjoyed that (sadistic...just kidding).

BORING PETE?

I never thought he was boring, however, press clippings did say otherwise. They contrasted him with Andre Agassi (and his blonde mullet - work it Andre!). Don't feel bad Pete, a blonde mullet wasn't for you (just kidding). However, their rivalry was fun.

By the way, Andre has calmed down a lot. The footage in "Beyond The Glory" really highlighted that in comparison to now. Then again, when you have young kids, not even the worst shot calling umpire in the world can rattle you. After hearing things like, "Are we there yet!" twenty times in the car and "I wanna watch Barney!" twenty times at home, you basically develop a high threshold for annoyance. Just teasing.

In the documentary, Pete attributed his composure on the court to not wanting to do anything that would embarrass his parents and that's understandable. Sometimes I see entertainers doing things on stage that makes me wonder how embarrassing and upsetting it must be for their parents. 

Including the footage of him going in the stands and hugging his parents after his landmark Wimbledon win was very touching. To see that look on a parent's face had to be better than actually winning. 

I think when you can come to define class and sportsmanship in athleticism, that's not a bad thing at all. It was a trademark of Arthur Ashe as well.

MARRIED WITH CHILDREN

No, not the show (I sure hope not and it's hard to picture Pete as Al Bundy).

What I liked about this documentary is that it stressed the importance of having a family and a life outside of tennis. No, I'm not knocking tennis, as I think it's a good sport, however, you have to think about your life outside of your job, whoever you are. It is important for all of us to maintain that perspective on life. 

Pete got himself a life and some members of the press didn't like it. They started blaming his losses during the latter part of his career on his fiancée now wife, Bridgette.

Forget that, the more important question is...girl, what were you doing in the "Last Action Hero." You're a good actress, but did you read the script before you signed the dotted line? I'm just teasing. The script didn't do the EFX justice, though.

Seriously, I don't think having someone interferes with an athlete's game. Andy Roddick did win the US Open and become the number one tennis player in the world while dating Mandy Moore. They were a nice couple and really seemed to belong together. Having her in his life seemed to help more than hurt. And look at FedEx (Roger Federer), he has done really well with his fiancée, who helps him with his career as well.

Therefore, let's not assign blame where it should not be. Careers go through highs and lows. That's to be expected.

People tend to expect perfection, when none of us are perfect. Some do really well and show great talent, but at the same time, they aren't machines. There are times people win and there are times people lose. That's how it's always been.

When tennis is over, and there will come a day that it is over, you will need to have built up a life and put down roots. For something that encompasses on average 10 years of your life in a professional capacity, you cannot make it your life. Things like family and friends are more important. Look at it as a career and enjoy your time on the court for what it is.

Pete learned that through a herniated disc that forced him to take seven months off to recuperate. During that time he met his wife and they now have two adorable children.

I can appreciate his achievements on the court, but I can appreciate him having a family even more.


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