EDITOR'S NOTE: On occasion, we all need help. But where to turn? Fortunately, Rachel Nichols is here to bring us the special kind of advice that only the world's greatest athletes can dole out. Whether to take it or not ... well, that's up to you. This, then, is the first in a regular series of Rachel's reports, which we'll call 'Ill-Advised.' Today's expert: Andy Roddick, U.S. Open champion.
RACHEL: So this is it. You're about to advise America. What's the best advice you've ever gotten, anyway?
ANDY: Someone told me to never comment on a girl's pants, ever. And they were right.
RACHEL: Even if she asks?
ANDY: No-win situation. "How do these pants look?" If you say "good," she's like, "just good? Not great?" And if they look like crap, then really never answer. Here are the things I've learned: She says, "Do you like these shoes?" You say yes. "Do I look fat?" No. Everything else, don't answer.
RACHEL: Smart man. Okay, I feel like Casey Kasem here. Our first question is from Rob Hochberg of Waltham, Mass. He writes, "As a man coming up in the world, I feel I need an entourage. What do you think my selection criteria should be?"
ANDY: Women. Lots of women. No, you don't need an entourage. Just an Earth, Wind and Fire album and a Little League chest protector. Seriously. Those will keep any man company.
RACHEL: I want a stenographer in my entourage. I want someone taking notes all the time so I can go back and prove I was right in an argument or something. And I want a money-handler. You want someone else to carry the money just so you can say, "Pay the man, James."
ANDY: You want someone else to carry the money so you never have to pick up a check.
RACHEL: I'm not buying you dinner here, you've noticed. So what about you? Personal assistant? Staff photographer?
ANDY: No. I think if you're a regular person, you just get a friend to follow you around with one of those big cameras and take a bunch of pictures of you in a restaurant or something. When people want to know what's up, you tell them you're the new star of a big reality show, they must just not have seen it yet. Boom. Done. Girls all over you, and then you have an entourage in no time.
RACHEL: Nice. Then someone can make a reality television show out of you faking being on a reality television show. Okay, our next question is from Danny Miller of Omaha, Nebraska.
ANDY: Move. That's my advice.
RACHEL: That's it, we've just lost Omaha. Omaha's angry. And you're a Nebraska boy, too.
ANDY: Wonderful people in Omaha.
RACHEL: Okay, here's Danny's question, if he even wants your advice anymore: "After Little League, I say 'Good game, good game,' to the other team as we go by shaking hands, but I don't mean it. Is that wrong?"
ANDY: Well, you can't really go, "You suck, you suck, you suck."
RACHEL: So what do you do when you play someone you don't like and you have to shake his hand at the net?
ANDY: You just kind of give them a nod. They know. You know. They know that you know.
RACHEL: Maybe you guys should thumb-wrestle up there or something. Or if you've already won, you should get to kiss his girlfriend. Speaking of, this next one is from one of your female fans.
ANDY: I like female fans.
RACHEL: Well, this is about her boyfriend. But maybe she'll dump him for you.
ANDY: Like that's happened. (clears throat)
RACHEL: No, never. Not at all. Okay, Kim Rockland of Naples, Fla., asks, "My boyfriend is cute, sweet and smart, but he's not interested in sports. I can't shake the feeling I could do better -- am I being too shallow?"
ANDY: Kim, you must ask yourself these questions: Does he like shopping? Does he spend more time getting ready than you do? If the answers are yes, you have to start asking a whole lot of other questions.
RACHEL: Have you had girlfriends who don't like sports?
ANDY: If they don't know a lot about sports, they at least have to put up with me watching them.
RACHEL: What are you watching?
ANDY: "SportsCenter," at least. My morning is that we're going to have coffee, we're going to have food, we're going to watch "SportsCenter" and I'm going to read the paper, and we're not going to talk a lot for an hour after I get up.
RACHEL: So Kim should get the same deal. She should dump this guy?
ANDY: Absolutely. Dump him. She needs someone who eats steak and watches football. Next.
RACHEL: Okay, from Noah Jienkops, in Santa Monica, Calif. "I want to play soccer but my dad says team sports are a communist menace, and I should only play individual sports where a guy can get ahead on his own merit. Who do you think is right?"
ANDY: Well, I agree with the getting ahead on his own merit, but I think he's getting a little too emotional about team sports.
RACHEL: Just a little bit. But do you ever wish you were on a team? If you played something else, what would you play?
ANDY: Well, I get a little bit of that with Davis Cup. But if I didn't play tennis, it would be baseball or basketball. I was better at baseball than I was at tennis growing up. But then we moved and I didn't want to start on a new team, so I just played tennis.
RACHEL: So you agree, team sports are communist. Are you saying that if you weren't so prejudiced against other forms of political theory, you'd be a major league baseball player right now?
ANDY: I don't know. I've always wondered.
RACHEL: So what's the best piece of advice you like to give out?
ANDY: Wear clean socks. That's all I've got.
Got an issue or a question, or otherwise need to be 'Ill-Advised' in the future? Send it to Rachel Nichols right here.