Here's a rather amusing story, one that unfortunately involves myself , one that I have learned from and one that I will make sure is never, ever repeated. It goes something like this;
A few weeks ago we played a local tennis tournament, a ripper, one that I will put down as possibly the best tournament I have played in ten years because the teams in it were all tough. It was a pleasure to be a part of it. Unfortunately the local newspaper didn't share my thoughts on it and the coverage of it was less than complimentary.
Not sure why but tennis in my home town is not regarded as 'cool' particularly by the local journalists who are ex footballers and cricketers, current footballers and cricketers, wannabee footballers and cricketers and football and cricket addicts.
In a nutshell it's like this here in sleepy hollow, if it's not football and cricket, well your sport may not really be looked after as far as newspaper coverage is concerned. Sorry basketball gets a look in as well, can't forget basketball.
So this is what I did, I gathered some information on the tournament we played including scores, names and a bit of history that I felt was necessary to make the article readable to the public. I sent it to A local paper, we have three, unfortunately it was not published due to the time frame however they requested that I send them results from future tournaments and put my spin on it so to speak. No worries, happy to give our sport of tennis a leg up, so to speak.
I did request one thing though, that my name is NOT to be put to the article because if I am playing the tournament I am not comfortable, win, lose or draw about stating what I did in the competition as it may be perceived as 'biased journalism'. I thought that request was pretty simple to follow.
Maybe for a ten year old kid but for an experienced bunch of people at a local newspaper ?? Read on.....
So to our local season ending tennis tournament, club versus club, five events, a chance to finish with some bragging rights as the champion club of the region, a great concept however one that I haven't played for a few years.
Ok so this is what happened with my write up; I gathered all of the scores that I felt were worth a mention, put an article together, sent it to A local newspaper on Sunday night, the night of the tournament including the one and only request that I had of the article; FOR MY NAME NOT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ARTICLE, I was merely happy for our sport to receive some publicity locally as it struggles against other sports as I have mentioned.
No reply, no 'thank you Glenn for the results and article', not a thing, I was not certain whether the hierarchy at the newspaper were even interested in my article even though the write up was requested over a personal phone call.
Thursday rolls around, I grab a local newspaper, I open the back page and finally, it's there for all of sleepy hollow to read, a tennis article, yep tennis, football and cricket take a back seat please, tennis is finally having a moment in a local newspaper.
As I begin reading the article however I see from the very first paragraph that my version of the day has in fact been changed and in the final paragraph it states that a mixed doubles match was in fact 'between' a certain team when in actual fact it should have read AGAINST. In tennis there is a fair difference. So I thought I had better check the original article that I sent the newspaper.
Nothing wrong with my writing skills as I did in fact state that the match was AGAINST and not BETWEEN. How the f... can you have a match 'between' two players in the same team ??!! Spelling error ? Nope, I would suggest that right from the start of the article that I sent the newspaper they reworded things to suit themselves without any thought of how it actually read to the public. Now here's the icing on the cake.
What do you think was at the bottom of the article that was sent in by an avid tennis supporter and writer who did not want to be associated with the piece of writing that was simply done to give tennis a bit of publicity locally ? C'mon don't be silly, surely not my name ???
Yep my name, my f....... name !!!
Which part didn't you understand buddy ???!!!
The spelling was wrong but it was still my name.
Now I do have a theory on this, as I do with most things. The person who put ink to paper at the local newspaper thought that by spelling my name with one n, Glen as opposed to Glenn they must have assumed the following :
That the public who read the article would in fact think that Glen Thompson ( the writer of the article ) was a totally different character than Glenn Thompson the competitor. That I think was the most logical answer, what do you reckon ???
So to my conclusion on this whole ridiculous affair, NEVER AGAIN will GT be offering a local tennis article to a local newspaper even if it is to give the sport a much needed publicity boost as it is obviously all way too hard to follow a simple request from the person who wrote it.
On top of that it's obviously also way too hard to follow what someone had written regarding whether certain teams had in fact played against or was that 'between' each other ? Is it just me or do you get the impression that Mickey Mouse may have had more chance of doing this thing correctly ?
Personally when I write on this silly site of mine I am happy to be GT, happy to receive criticism or accolades, it's all my doing but when it comes to helping a local newspaper with a write up I INSIST on being the 'Ghostwriter'. That's just me.
Good luck next season when you want some tennis results written up for your local paper, I am already booked up........
REGARDS GLENN THOMPSON ( That's Glenn with two N's )