If you are able, for whatever reason(s), to post numbers in your chosen profession never EVER witnessed, you automatically are transferred to the stratosphere that begs for the injection of the non-stat dimension to build a larger than life image impossible to create only on the back of sheer numbers.
Without that final extension, it's like devouring a sumptuous mouth watering seven course meal - without consuming the dessert. You have reached a station most only dream about. Isn't that the right time to milk it to the LAST freaking drop BEFORE receding? That's like reaching the Everest peak and while there not even bothering to take a photo as proof or memory. Or living in a basement without goats, inflatables and Vaseline - in reverse order.
Can you imagine what Federer's persona would be like today if he had curbed his bratty sore loser ungracious foul-mouthed disrespectful condescending and narcissistic urges - COMPLETELY? With the current climate of athletes disgracing themselves and their sport almost by the minute, the contrast would have been SO overwhelming that it would have catapulted Federer on a pedestal - impossible to match, forget passing.
You see, when you KNOW in your heart that you are REALLY good, there opens for you a very select road that is not even KNOWN to the mortals. It's called the 'high road'. Even the slightest strain of insecurity or doubt as to your ability WILL shut the passage water-sound-light-dark-tight. And in it's place will emerge the road travelled by the masses - with all it's imperfections.
Have you heard my famous saying? Nothing succeeds like success? Sure you have!!! And when you post the kind of success that creates unheard of separation from the field - past and present - the road, UNTIL the above passage, is immediately robbed of all bumps and pot holes ensuring a smooth ride. You suddenly become good looking, people begin to like you despite glaring transgressions etc. etc. In short, it's like reaching the Everest peak. Only thing left is to take the photo now. And if you miss that irrevocable moment, even though the achievement may have been near-impossible, it will always lack the final touch responsible for adding a dimension FAR bigger than the material and numbered success. But the sum total of BOTH is insurmountable.
Not getting the pitchker? Try this:
You think current and past tennis players are beyond famished for an encouraging word from Federer - win or lose? You bet!!!!!!!! Can you imagine the mileage Federer could have squeezed if EVERY time he lost in the finals, he took more than the usual time at the award ceremony to congratulate the winner and his team. How about words like "I brought my super-A game and did my best to counter his moves but he was just too good. Remember that shot..........I was thinking if he keeps this up he may make my record look like nothing".
You think the winner will cherish those words as much as the trophy, if not more, given that's it's coming from the greatest to ever pick up a racket? You freaking betcha!!!!!!!!
How about saying this to Djokovic "I really admire your parents. They really support you wholeheartedly. I could hear them clearly".
Or saying this to the umpire "That's OK, Del Potro can have the late challenge. After all, I don't want to win if the ball wasn't really in".
Or shouting "Thank you fans for your support. I TRULY appreciate it" instead of SHUT UP.
Or deliberately seeking opportunities (producing?) to let the opponent win the point on a disputed call - of ANY kind. Heck, concede EVEN if it's NOT a disputed one.
Or ignoring Murray stopping between rallies for the sake of the bigger pitchker. Why? Because even if you lose and your career is short by a Slam, all of above will MORE than compensate for it - guaranfreakingteed.
However, if you are NOT sure you are TRULY the best, you WILL force the stats and numbers to scream the outcome rather than the entire package to quietly and INDISPUTABLY slip it in under the door when no one is looking. You think Ali had that belief when he put his career on the line - in the VERY prime of his career that already had the signs of a one of a kind one? You freaking betcha!!!!!! There's NO other force that will allow it.
Without that force you are just a mass of tangibles littered with numbers and stats. With it you get so big that stats and numbers despite being stratospheric are reduced to an after thought.
Not convinced? Try this: Can you name Ali's ONE stand alone record? No, you can't!!!!!!!!!!!!!