Archive for the ‘general news’ Category

remembering brendan

February 6, 2010

If you didn’t get the chance to read the piece written by John Buccigross in December about hockey’s royal family the Burkes, now might be a good time to do so. It told of their 21-year-old son Brendan, who had courageously come out of the closet both privately and publicly in a sport that likens itself more to back woods pond brawls than it does to modern-day queer culture.

On Friday, young Brendan’s life was cut tragically short by a vehicle accident in Indiana. TSF honors those – like Brendan – who strive for equality in our society at large, and in cultures – like hockey – where the fight remains dauntingly uphill.

You will be missed, Brendan.

(Burke family photo via the AP)


short balls – SBJ edition: FILA, U.S. Open Series Bus

March 13, 2007

More from this week’s SportsBusiness Journal:

roddick - u.s. open series tour bus

The USTA will promote the 2007 U.S. Open Series with a $3.5 million ad campaign. At least two dozen players, including Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, James Blake, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Roddick filmed spots when the bus made a stop in La Quinta. Unfortunately, the bus won’t be travelling with the players this summer. The USTA came up with the idea too late to create a promotion program to accompany the campaign.

You can watch a version of last year’s TV ad on YouTube. And see more from last week’s backstage preview here.

bjorn borg -  Fila

Fila has plans to rehire ex-CEO Jon Epstein once it is acquired by its Korean license partner, Fila Korea. The SBJ reports that the $350 million deal will close later this month. Epstein was convicted of fraud in 2003 and stepped down from his position.

Fila needs to strategize a little better about who they have on their sponsorship roster. Currently, they have Svetlana Kuznetsova and the senioritis-plagued Kim Clijsters.

speaking of teenagers playing ten years ago…

March 8, 2007

lucic - indian wells
from The Desert Sun

There’s someone else to add to the list of teenage phenoms from the late 90’s:

Along with Guga, Mirjana Lucic accepted a wildcard into Indian Wells to start her comeback. She had a good start yesterday, defeating Southern Californian Lindsey Nelson 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the first round. Props to Lindsey, though. She’s working hard herself, but just ran into someone who’s been to the semifinals of Wimbledon.

Here’s a sad (comprehensive) account of Mirjana’s life after that run-in with Graf. A lot of terrible things happened, but now she’s back and focused on her tennis.

When she’s a little more in her groove, we can talk to her about that outfit. No thank you, Martha!


potito watch 2007

March 8, 2007

potito starace at the mexican open

Potito Starace got knocked out of the Pacific Life Open yesterday. He lost to journeyman Dusan Vemic in the qualies.

Q&A with pacific life open’s tournament director

March 8, 2007

I always like skimming the local news when a tournament stops in a town. You never know how a journalist will cover a sport that probably doesn’t get much general interest outside of the Grand Slams. It usually ends up as a mix of human interest stories, celebrity profiles, and the wire feeds.

In Pam Springs it’s a little different, since the Pacific Life Open is pretty much considered a fifth slam (they expect 300,000 people to cross through the gates this year) and tennis is an integral part of the desert lifestyle.

So I’m a little disappointed that this Q&A with tournament director Steve Simon in The Desert Sun wasn’t more insightful or engaging. Perhaps he didn’t want to rock the boat; it wasn’t that long ago that the tournament was in danger of closing up shop in Indian Wells.

At the very least, this article reminds the readers about the changes the Sony Ericsson WTA tour plan to make under their “Roadmap to 2009.”

serena’s a cat in the hat

March 6, 2007

serena - dr seuss

Serena Williams at the New York Public Library on March 2, 2007 to promote the NEA’s Read Across America Day (and celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss).

If you’re looking for something like that dress, I suggest this

croatians doing good

March 6, 2007

ljubicic and ivanisevic

Even with one of them sidelined, the Croatians — Ivan Ljubicic and Goran Ivanisevic don’t miss a beat. They donated their winnings (plus ticket sale profits) to the Pediatric Hospital in Sarajevo. The money will be used to help children with cancer.

the wimbledon pay debate

March 3, 2007

wimbledon 2006 champions

As frivolous as the Corned Beef Hash beat seems to be, there are times when we have to address major issues in the tennis world. Two weeks ago, The All-Englad Lawn and Tennis Association finally caved to years of pressure and established an equal pay scale for all the male and female players who participate at Wimbledon.

Of the four Grand Slams, only Roland Garros differs. While they offer the same prize money to both men and women’s winners, men still receive higher pay for winning the earlier rounds.

The women, and most of the men, were ecstatic: Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Billie Jean King, and John McEnroe all issued statements immediately. And while the ATP soon followed with its own positive statement, its members offered mixed reactions. Both Tommy Haas and Mardy Fish have expressed discontent. (more…)

no more tennis on youtube?

March 1, 2007

Gah. The YouTube/Viacom saga affects the tennis world, too. Here’s a story about Erich, who got his YouTube account cancelled after both the USTA (post-U.S. Open) and Tennis Australia lodged complaints about the videos. He’d started posting clips on YouTube last year:

Most of his clips, he says, even from smaller tournaments, would make it into the day’s top 20 most-viewed sports list. High-profile matches, such as those from the major events or those contested by star players such as Roger Federer (, Andy Roddick, or Rafael Nadal ( would often reach the top ten and remain there for a week. His highlights of the retirement at last year’s US Open of American great Andre Agassi not only reached number one in sports but the top ten most viewed videos across every category on YouTube.

Wendy Grossman (the story’s author) hit the nail on the head: instead of shutting this guy up, all the tennis orgs should be encouraging the viral spread of tennis clips. I don’t think it hurts their brand at all. The tours don’t compete with each other. They’re all just trying to milk the same players for all they’ve got. And especially if interest in tennis is waning in the U.S., why get rid of the videos that could pique someone’s interest?

At the same time, we should give credit for the ATP, the Sony Ericsson WTA, and the tournament websites, all for getting into blogs, vid clips, etc. But really, I think the USTA and Tennis Australia should reconsider their actions. At the very least, they can lick their wounds (but not for too long) and figure out how to use YouTube to their advantage.

makeover at wimbledon

March 1, 2007

wimbledon stadium
from the Wimbledon website

Now that the LTA has finished overhauling its coaching team with the addition of Paul Annacone and Brad Gilbert, they begin their focus on its tennis facilities.

While costs of the new facility remain top secret, reports floating in the press hint at 40 million pounds (78 million dollars), a price tag which also includes the new national training ground.

No price is being revealed for the biggest overhaul to Wimbledon’s showcase court either but it is thought that 80 million might not be far off the mark. By 2009, a much-needed retractable roof should be in place.

Wimbledon has a full explanation of its plans on its website.


in other news…

February 28, 2007

dubai helipad dubai tennis on a helipad
Tennis courts on a helipad in Dubai
taken from Josh’s Flickr

The Laureus Academy, made up of the greatest athletes in the world, announced the nominations for its annual Laureus Awards. Tennis, being an international sport, received a few nominations, including Federer vying for male athlete of the year with buddy Tiger Woods, and Henin, Mauresmo, and Sharapova taking three of the five spots for female athlete of the year. If you’re going to pick the top crop from tennis in 2006, that sounds about right.

And the media gives doubles its due this week. CNNSI still has Lisa Raymond’s first column up on the main tennis page, and ESPN published a nice profile on tennis player-cum-golfer Scott Draper. I’m including it after the cut.


a mirage becomes a reality

February 28, 2007

map of dubayy
taken from GMT

The UAE (United Arab Emirates) Tennis Association today announced the launch of the UAE Tennis Ranking Circuit, the Khaleej Times reports. This is the Association’s first step in developing a generation of tennis players who can compete in the ATP and WTA tours (i.e., to continue playing past the age of 18) in both singles and doubles. The seven-tournament circuit goes from mid-April until May.

If you have a sec and you’re not already familiar with Dubai, you should read up (I’ll give you the Wikipedia link. I’d like to point you towards the Real Estate section. That shit’s crazy.)

%d bloggers like this: