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TOTALLY RANDOM

Andre Agassi began letting his hair down then

Besides admitting in autobiography to using crystal methamphetamine at one point of his tennis career, he also tells why he made a bold move.

November 03, 2009|Mike Penner

That he used crystal methamphetamine during the 1997 tennis season isn't the only hair-raising admission Andre Agassi makes in his new autobiography. He also reveals that the long hair he wore through much of his professional career was a wig.

An early victim of male pattern baldness, Agassi said he was aghast that "every morning I would get up and find another piece of my identity on the pillow, in the wash basin, down the plughole.

"I asked myself: You want to wear a toupee? On the tennis court? I answered myself; what else could I do?"

Agassi said he wore the wig at the 1990 French Open, at age 20. The night before the final, the wig fell apart in the shower. Panicked, he called his brother Phil into the room.

Phil had two suggestions: clamp the hairpiece together with about 20 clips and "Don't move so much" during the match.

Eventually, Agassi's first wife, Brooke Shields, convinced him to cut all his hair off.

Newly shorn, Agassi said, "a stranger stood before me in the mirror and smiled.

"My wig was like a chain and the ridiculously long strands in three colors like an iron ball which hung on it."

Trivia time

Agassi played his first Grand Slam event final at the 1990 French Open. Whom did he play in the final?

Benefit of losing

Losing apparently has peripheral benefits, the Buffalo Bills are learning.

After the Bills lost to Houston, 31-10, on Sunday, the Buffalo News ran the headline, "Lousy game leads to fewer arrests."

The accompanying story said police made only 14 arrests at the game, about half what is normal. Orchard Park (N.Y.) Police Chief Andrew Benz suggested the early departures of fans may have been the reason for the low crime count.

Notable among the arrests: three Canadian men who "borrowed" a golf cart to negotiate the parking lot before the opening kickoff.

Then the game began and the Bills game plan, lacking that kind of on-the-move ingenuity, bored most potential lawbreakers inside the stadium into a quiet kind of submission.

Side job

In Cleveland, where the NBA's Cavaliers win quite frequently, new team member Shaquille O'Neal has applied to be a deputy sheriff.

"Man," writes Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, "you know times are tough when even the superstars are getting second jobs."

Trivia answer

Andres Gomez, who won in four sets.

And finally

From Dan Daly of the Washington Times, about an 800-mile golf course finally opening along the south Australian coast: "And let me tell ya, folks, nothing tests a golfer quite like seeing a sign that says, 'Next Port-O-Let, 62 miles.' "

--

mike.penner@latimes.com

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