Well it seems TENNIS mag's Peter Bodo was taken to task after the scribe lambasted the currently vacant ATP CEO role in a recent blog for ESPN.com aka Bodo's now infamous "Negative Nancy" moment.
Apparently the ATP's main flack, Kris Dent, had some words with Bodo about the blog and, in particular, his remarks regarding the ATP in-house staff. In the blog Bodo writes, "Senior employees might be intractable and exacting, and often at cross-purposes" but recently backtracked on his comments saying,
I want to make clear that I was playing around and meant "employees" metaphorically - as a reference to the top players, agents and tournament promoters, all of whom loosely can be said to work for or under the ATP CEO. This was an obtuse and ill-chosen device, because it sure reads like a criticism of ATP staff - which is an extremely professional, diligent and cohesive unit. It's always been a great pleasure to work with them.Okay - bad enough. But in today's Tennisworld post called "An Open Letter..." Bodo bends over for Dent again and gives the flack an open space to push his image-saving agenda for the ATP. Here's just an excerpt of the very lengthy letter:
Indeed many of the positive changes that have been made to the men's game in recent times have come about because both the tournaments and players have been represented at the ATP Board table, and they have been able to find ways of moving the sport forward to the benefit of all in the men's game.Something smells fishy and a bit lame here. I mean, since when does a journalist hand over their column to a PR flack intent on pushing their own agenda? Aren't journalists supposed to cut through all the fat and "spin" to try and give an unobstructed view of current events and happenings to their readers?? At least, that's supposed to be the intention but what's developing here is the exact opposite.
Innovations like Hawkeye and the changes to Doubles scoring, for instance, have been introduced successfully and have become huge fan favourites. Similarly, having both groups represented at Board level has allowed the calendar changes for next year to be made - positives such as creating a healthier schedule for players to plan their season from, the creation of a new, dedicated Asian swing post-US Open, and the less congested spring clay and autumn indoor seasons are good examples. The increases in investment into new stadia ($800m worth) and the record prize money levels on offer next year only came about because both tournament and player representatives worked at a Council and Board level to create them, together.
I'm getting the feeling someone's in the back pocket of the ATP and we, as fans, will need to be more vigilant about what we're hearing and, most definitely, what we're reading.