The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• You would think the highlight of this video from the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden would be the attempt at dueling tweeners between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, but the fact that Roddick almost hit a ballgirl with his racket (accidentally, of course) takes the cake.
• Peter Bodo discusses the changing (or changed) view towards exhibitions as being more than just cash-grabs. “Today, the exo is completely legit,” Bodo writes. “In fact, it often seems downright noble, because it often includes a strong charity component and also because of something that has been true all along: An exhibition can be a great advertisement for the game… As Roddick said [at the BNP Paribas Showdown on Monday], ‘Just one more thing on that—I’m not sure how 18,000 people [in Madison Square Garden] watching our sport and being excited about it can be a bad thing.’”
• Venus Williams is reaching out to help other star athletes who are struggling with Sjogren’s Syndrome. ”It was such a shock when she rang my home for the first time and we spent 40 minutes chatting,” said Stephen McPhail, a soccer midfielder for Cardiff. “Venus even takes an interest in Cardiff City, keeps an eye on our results and we have chatted about the football.”
• Boris Becker thinks tennis can grab the spotlight this year at the London Olympic games. “Along with boxing, it’s the ultimate one to one competition [at the Olympics], you know. Most other competitions, you have team mates or you race against time or you have a goal you have to hit. Tennis is kind of the ultimate challenge one to one, and you know. It’s similar to boxing, but in the boxing competition you don’t have the world champions. So in tennis you have the world champions fighting head to head against each other and may the best man win.”
• Interesting thoughts here on the resiliency and class of Roger Federer in the Wall Street Journal. “He’s an anomaly in sports—the relevant icon, pushing on gracefully,” writes Jason Gay. “His game may not be what it was at its peak, but Federer still carries unusual dignity, removed from the consuming shrill. The tennis he played Monday in New York may have been insignificant, but his presence still had meaning.
• Ruslan Kogan, an Australian entrepreneur, wanted to put on a $20 million winner-take-all exhibition match between Federer and Rafael Nadal to be broadcast solely online. The exhibition never happened. But his thoughts here about the future of online sports streaming are well worth a read. “The governing body of tennis, the ATP, simply provided too big an obstacle to my proposal,” Kogan says. “Many sports are run by bodies that are only looking to the next couple of year’s revenue figures. One of their most important functions (in their eyes) is to squeeze as many dollars out of the networks as possible for exclusive broadcasting rights. The bottom line is that “what is not sustainable cannot be sustained” and the way tennis and other sports are broadcast and commercialized will need to keep up with innovations in the media space.”
• Non-tennis: Newsflash, sports fans: Your favorite teams cares nothing for you.