Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: Bodo backs down from ESPN comments, kisses ATP booty in a bad way

Friday, December 12, 2008

THE LOW DOWN: Bodo backs down from ESPN comments, kisses ATP booty in a bad way

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 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.

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.
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.

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.


  1. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...
    A double tall caramel Rafa...

    Sorry, I had to say it. You put a pic of Rafa up, I lose all concentra...uh, what was I saying?

  2. Looks like poor Bodo's poop chute has suffered some ATP penetration with no lube...

  3. Hey here's the video of Anando from the Real Madreid match if anyone's interested:

  4. WOW. (And I'm not talking about Rafa and Anando!)

    Thanks, Rich, for the updates on this. Back in the old days, you'd hear about guys quitting before being told what they could write, and usually their bosses would have their back. Now it's all about catering to who gives you the business. (I hope I didn't age myself by saying "old days"!) Even in my 11 years working for papers and magazines I've seen the change.

  5. Thanks for the eagle-eyed post. This is exactly what happened here: Bodo is blatantly brownnosing.

    And that despite virtually ALL top ballers expressed their displeasure about how things are done by the ATP.

    Mr Disney is gone, but the spin remained. And Bodo lends that spin a pulpit.

  6. van: It's pretty disheartening especially since you'd think Bodo, being from the "old days", would be of the mind to write what he sees to be the truth. And he would know as an "insider" but he's clearly feeling pressure from somewhere - the ATP, TENNIS mag, both.

    It's unfortunate he went back on his words. His post was jarring for its frankness and outright hostility - which didn't make it a bad article at all. In fact, I found it refreshing for its candor though it was heavy on the negativity/venting and light on solutions or ideas.

    But especially these days the bottom line is in peril and that's enough to pressure someone, even Bodo, into submission.

    anon: No worries. It was a big turnabout and he was so transparent about it. I guess we'll be hardpressed to find real journalism from the so-called "insiders" since they're probably scared for their jobs and the ATP (and WTA) wield power with probably very little oversight, even without input from the ballers e.g. the people who must live by their rules or else but sell the tickets/advertising/sponsors/etc.

    There are big problems in the ATP and I wish we were getting an honest report about them from the media.

  7. No idea what this post is about but, oh my, those arms.....


  8. I do not believe anything the ATP management says. They have no credability. tennisfan2.


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