Title (write this as a spoof): new ATP p.r. initiatives were announced today to accompany the recent changes announced for next year’s tour.

Conclusion of conclusion: there were pips and squeaks from foreign players, in particular a slightly sarcastic comment from Roger Federer hoping he qualified for a night match some time, but hopefully it’s a swan song of the extreme U.S. centric nature of the U.S. Open. What do I suggest then? Well, pump up Sharapova on the screen, not just commercials, feature Nadal – I didn’t see anything about him in between his matches… Also, put the foreign players against U.S. players – if you can find them – and use that p.r. skill to connect them with the things the U.S. likes, a showman…., in conclusion, [put this at the end] entertainment.

It’s like those Geico commercials, not the gecko with the working class British accent but the one where celebrities channel day-to-day people to spice up their story and things more dramatic. It’s brilliant if you think about it. Little Richard manages to “whooooohoooooing” mash potatoes and cranberry sauce for a woman who hit a deer on Thanksgiving day and the latin singer(???) Charo in a red sparkly dress with arm-length gloves and thumbholes(aichhhh, what do you call those) manages to make a song and dance and… out of Stanley Smith’s wrecked car.

Just think what a celebrity could do for Roger Federer. Maybe he needs a celebrity channeler so the U.S. would embrace him. Let’s see, who would be appropriate. George Lopez? Nah. I got it, T.O., Terrell Owens. Love him or not, we want press and T.O. could squat along the sideline then, when Federer hits his next front-facing between the legs shot, T.O. could run over to the other side of the court, pick up the ball then kneel down on Federer’s opponent’s side of the court. You want media coverage, you’d get it in spades.

Or maybe celebrity coaches. Bobby Knight could be Andy Murray’s celebrity coach for his next semifinal slam match. Knight would have no problem getting a word in edgewise against Brad Gilbert. Knight could just slam him to the ground and break his collarbone. I don’t know if this was the exact same technique he used but Knight did manage to break his son Patrick’s collarbone.

If Andre Agassi can be wildy popular worldwide, why can’t Federer or Baghdatis be popular here. [put into the U.S. Open conclusion.

Don’t laugh, they do this in other sports don’t they? They put microphones on football players and coaches, ….

There is a minor league baseball team in the Independent(?) League [look up Reilly’s column the week of Sep. 27?] that is managed by it’s fans. That’s right, the fans can go on the team’s website and vote on the starting lineup. This isn’t great for the players’ careers, of course, they’re trying to make it to the big leagues and they’d rather the starting lineup was chosen by merit rather than whim and it also opens the door to tampering. Reilly reported that one game had the …. at first base and … Presumable an opposing team had logged in as a fans and chosen a deliberately funky lineup. However, that team is making (look up figures) this year than last.

And here’s another reality show, Murray Mutters, a comedy consisting of Andy Murray’s comments during matches. Affix a mic to him then follow him around. During his match with Nikolay Davydenko (did he win) he hit a ball into the net then had the following monologue: “It makes you nervous when you don’t try hitting the ball so hard, it makes you so nervous, focusing on not making errors, you’re so tight every time the ball comes to you.” Notice his use of the third person as if he’s outside his body.

How sweet is that? It’s the Federbear. Oooooh, I’m melting with cuteness. And Pat Tillman, the NFL lineman who left a million dollar contract in the NFL to enlist in the Army Rangers and was subsequently killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan, still carried his cat pillow, Keek, and Fluff, his baby blanket with a bunny on it, for overnights and football camp when he was a teenager. I love this stuff.

[celebrity coaches- allow on court coaching, all match long, Jim Carrey cutting up on [game breaks] or Anna Kournikova or Terrell Owens – as a ballboy, he can scoop up the ball and kneel on the ??? Maybe a different celebrity coach for each set] Look, it could be worse. The Schaumburg Flyers of the Northern League, an independent baseball leauge, are managed by their fans. Fans log online and choose the lineupe and position of each player. Of course, this could be a problem. At some point in the season, a few fo their opponents logged on as fans and chose a decidedly disadvantageous team to put on the field. The players, who are all trying to get a shot at the big leagues, also probably don’t appreciate it. But, more important, the team’s attendance has improved (check this, si.com) since the fans have taken over.

We already have this except that it’s Michael Joyce and Sharapova, I’m just suggesting that Joyce be replaced by someone with improv skills, holding up a banana for heaven’s sake, anyone would be more creative than that.

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