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Friday, December 10, 2010
Updated: January 25, 11:04 AM ET
Trophies should be on display, not stored away

Storage? You kept your trophies in storage?!

Pete Sampras had 64 ATP Tour singles trophies, two Davis Cup trophies and an Olympic participation ring stolen, and he's not getting a lot of sympathy.

The memorabilia from the career of the 12-time Grand Slam event winner was stolen from two rented units at a public storage facility, where newlyweds might stash a stained futon they'll never use again. Instead, it kept a lifetime's worth of championship hardware.

If I had won the 1996 singles title in Tokyo, I would probably keep my keys in it. The 1992 trophy won on clay in Kitzbuehel? That would make a nice hood ornament for my car. I might even find a use for all 100 or so trophies -- a silver cup for all three remotes, a place to etch to-do lists, etc.

The news stories said Sampras had them in storage because of a recent move. Totally understandable. He's also not a very ostentatious guy, so maybe an entire self-aggrandizing trophy wall didn't appeal to him. But it apparently didn't make him part with his two U.S. Open chalices or either Wimbledon gilt cup. Perhaps too obviously, Sampras has let the world in on which were the A trophies and which were the B trophies.

Now you know why he didn't play a lot of Davis Cup.

Sampras hasn't had a cozy post-retirement relationship with tennis. Unlike many former No. 1 players, you won't find him at the U.S. Open. Even if you ask Chris Evert, Jim Courier, Billie Jean King, and Mats Wilander to move over so you can look behind them.

Sampras doesn't coach, do a lot of speaking engagements or whisper commentary for the tennis channel over a Federer-Nadal Grand Slam final. He has slowly come around to playing on the champions tour and exhibition matches. But, by all indications, he needed his space.

Which might be a tiny part of the reason that 1,293 metric tons of trophies were in storage. Approximately.