Monday, September 11, 2006


Over the past fortnight, 2 sports icons have announced their retirement - Agassi and Schumacher. I didn't admire Agassi as much as I did Sampras. And, I've always been a Ferrari/Schumacher admirer since 1999 - that's quite a long time.

It has been reported that Schumacher was a flawed champion. He may have been the most successful of all, but not necessarily the greatest. Some even call him a cheat. There are no excuses for misdemeanors. But, that is all beside the point.

I like Schumacher for his driving skills. For his ability to motivate himself after seasons and seasons of wins - indeed, it is difficult to motivate yourself when you are the top ! But, to expect that he should be flawless also is asking for a bit too much. After all, he never asked for being put on a pedestal.

I think it is silly for people to look for perfection of human character outside themselves. It is silly to idolize someone. I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said "My country right or wrong is like saying my mother, drunk or sober" or something to that effect. Schumacher, McEnroe, and Gary Kasparov were great in their chosen field of sports. Let us leave it at that. Let us not drag their greatness to other fields as well.


At Thursday, 2 November, 2006 at 10:43:00 PM IST, Anonymous Jaidev said...

You know, I guess the "flawed champion" is partly due to sour grapes. The real winners in F1 have always been super aggressive and questionable on track.

I'll always associate two moments with Schumacher, one the way he went and shook each mechanics' hand after his engine and championship went up in smoke at Japan and two, his last ever overtaking move, on Kimi - good to see him give it all like 4 laps from retirement!


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