Andre Agassi has never featured a conventional exterior, which is understandable. He grew up in Las Vegas, where the clerks at the 7-Eleven dress like Siegfried and Roy.

Agassi's latest motif is Bluebeard the Pirate meets Homer Simpson.My theory is that the long sideburns, 'do rag and jewelry are a disguise. Agassi is actually Steve Young. They have to be the same guy. It's so obvious, I'm surprised I even have to point it out.

He was a huge winner two Sundays ago. Won the Australian Open and then the Super Bowl. First man in history to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament and a Super Bowl MVP trophy the same day. Can't be done? The events were 16 hours apart, he had plenty of time to fly his private jet from Melbourne to Miami and put on the curly wig.

Here is the profile on Andre/ Steve:

- Battled through personal athletic crisis and controversy to emerge, last Sunday, as the very best at what he does.

- Went from overrated and overpaid, non-winning choker, to the Mr. Clutch of his sport.

- Is a chunky, clean-living fellow who likes the simple things of life. Is also a heartthrob type, a one-woman man who recently cemented himself to a beautiful young girlfriend and is hinting broadly at impending marriage.

- Sometimes seems to have dressed himself in the dark.

- Is a decent left-handed golfer (though he plays tennis right-handed).

- Is the nicest star athlete I know.

- Likes the simple pleasures. For instance, I ran into Agassi's coach, Brad Gilbert, on a plane flight to San Francisco two weeks ago. Gilbert told me that Agassi was thrilled to be flying home to Las Vegas so he could do his laundry.

Gilbert said, "Andre told me, `I'll be able to get my tennis stuff really clean and white, iron my own clothes, have everything folded right.' He does his own laundry on the road, but he says the machines are too small."

If Agassi in dingy clothing can mow down the best field in the world in Australia, imagine what he will do to the Volvo Tournament this week in San Jose. Scientific studies indicate that when a man feels really good about his laundry, his tennis improves as much as 12 percent.

Agassi and Gilbert are an amazing team. Agassi hired Gilbert 10 months ago, hoping to learn the secrets of overachieving, heart and strategy that made Gilbert a millionaire player. Agassi was wallowing along at No. 30 in the world.

The chemistry was instant. Three months later, Agassi won the U.S. Open. When Andre ran to the sidelines to receive words of praise from his coach (and a kiss from Brooke Shields), Gilbert stopped him cold with a glare and one word: "Australia."

Bingo. Agassi dominated the Australian Open. Beat Pete Sampras in the finals in four sets, after dropping the first set.

Forget the computer rankings (Sampras No. 1; Agassi No. 2), Agassi is the man.

"Hitting the ball as clean as anyone can hit it," Gilbert said.

And under control. Tennis stars are the whiniest babies outside the NBA. Fall to pieces with every bad line call or unforced error.

Sunday's Australian Open title match was tied at one set apiece and the third set went to the tiebreak, first player to seven points. Andre won the first three points, then Sampras ran four straight. A year ago, this would have been the spot for Agassi to blow top, set and match.

This time, Agassi barely blinked. Not even a tiny frown. Complete cool. Rallied, won brilliant points and the set.

"The whole tournament (in Australia), he was composed. Of course, it helps when you play every match like you're the 49ers."

Or like you're Steve Young.

I watched the match on TV and the announcers kept talking about how hard Sampras works compared with Agassi. I kept waiting for Agassi to cramp up into a ball in the hot sun and have to be rolled like a flat tire to the first-aid station.

Gilbert says that perception is bunk. He says Agassi is not obsessed with fitness, like the maniacal Jim Courier, but puts in three hard hours a day, on the court and lifting weights.

"He's the most polite person I know," Gilbert says. "With waitresses, bellboys, fans, everyone. If I don't say thanks to someone, he jumps on me about it. He makes me a better person. I used to take people for granted. Around Andre, you can't do that."

One image stays with me from two Sundays ago. It is the picture of Steve/Andre's smile at the moment of victory. Pure joy. His reputation on the line, he came through with an amazing performance, highlighted by incredible returns of Sampras' serve, and pinpoint passes to Jerry Rice.

He celebrated in Melbourne and Miami by going out for a quiet dinner with close friends.

Then, wild times continuing, he flew home to do his laundry.