Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chris & Martina on Oprah

Apparently Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova visited with Oprah this week. Chris always did look good in red. These two are in their 50s? A good advertisement for the capacity of women's athletics to keep the old body youthful. 

Fascinating, isn't it, that two fierce rivals who played each other more than 150 times would console each other in the locker room? Can you imagine Justine and Serena doing that? Neither can I. I'm pretty sure they would strangle each other with their disrespect.

This gives me the opportunity to comment on the revamped Tennis Week site that produced the video.  The weekly newspaper Tennis Week was once the only tennis journalism that mattered in the States. When founder Gene Scott died a few years ago it was a terrible loss for tennis. Gene was the conscience of tennis. Whether you agreed or disagreed with the substance of his editorials, it was evident that every word was designed with the best interests of the sport in mind. Gene Scott wasn't afraid to get on the bully pulpit and yell at the game's various special interests. His newspaper was a delight to hardcore fans and favored by industry insiders. 

I've given the new website version of Tennis Week a chance. It's been around for at least six months, probably a lot longer. I have no idea what the print version looks like, but if the website is any indication, it's a lost cause. 

I hate the glossy "In Touch Weekly" "People" or "Us" makeover. 

I hate that there are fewer articles of substance.

I hate the daily video. I don't need that woman giving me Us Weekly stories about tennis. Especially when it ignores serious issues or things that are even timely... Like today, when we learned the Venus is out of commission because of what is described as non-serious medical testing (huh? Get well soon), an Austrian player died of cancer, and Jo Tsonga is out of the US-France Davis Cup clash, which dramatically changes the dynamic.

How much are they paying for that woman to read two minutes of People Magazine stuff? We all know Roddick is friend's with Boyd Tinsley. What we didn't know until this week is that Andy Roddick is friends with T.O. Yes... Terrelle Owens. Weird, wacky, wonderful tennis. I learned of that pairing from the New York Times. When Tennis Week is getting scooped by the NYT, it's time to shut it down.

Ok. Maybe I'm too harsh. Maybe a fluff video is a good thing for tennis. Fine, that girl can even read it. But why does the essence of the paper have to change? Gene would NEVER have approved of this.

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