Brog: Now The REAL Reason I Miss LA So Much!

Looks like I’ll be finally heading back to L.A. beginning on Wednesday. Hopefully I’ll be in town by Sunday night, in time to score a Game 5 get-me-in from one of my very generous ticket broker acquaintances. If not, there’s always Craigslist. Coincidentally, HHR has a great bit today on some current Lakers-related posts on the site. Here’s a sampling:

Lakers Craigslist Ticket Postings

Now you know why I miss L.A. so much. By the way, that last guy is completely screwed. Alas, if only he had an Armitron to offer.

Ross Nethery of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL reports that Jerry Jones used a speech at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention this week to crow about his new $1.1B stadium. That’s right, a ballpark that will host eight regular season football games per year will cost over a billion bucks.

Jerry Jones Billy Bob Teeth

Almost as absurd as that cost was Jones’ justification for the obscenely-overdone building - via SBJ’s Nethery:

Jones said he could have built the new facility for about $700M. “The reason I’m spending [$1.1B] on that stadium in Arlington is because of perception,” he said. “Only a fraction of football fans will ever set foot in it, but hundreds of millions will see it on television.” How the stadium looks is important, he said, as well as “how John Madden talks about it, and how Al Michaels talks about it, and let me assure you that after I’ve had some time with them, they’ll know everything there is to know about it.”

So the cost was elevated into the ether because of “how John Madden talks about it”?

Since when do an extra couple hot dog and nachos runners to the booth set you back $400M? Now, if he was talking about adding jalapeno poppers to the press box menu, he might have an argument.

SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY reports today that a spot playing with Tiger Woods in next year’s Buick Invitational sold for $130,100 in an Ebay charity auction. The winning bidder also gets airfare (BETTA be first class), four nights at the Lodge at Torrey Pines and tickets to the tournament.

When you add in the second part, the deal doesn’t appear to be quite so insane. Unlike the “original splatter painting created by Woods” that was also auctioned on Ebay - for $31,000!

And to think I thought this slogan had already been trademarked by Chris Mortensen for next season:

Chris Mortensen is orange

(Photo credit from … of course!)

The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE reports that the dumbass 49ers have still not retired Jerry Rice’s #80.

I’m guessing Rice isn’t too happy about that, and that might explain why he’s so willing to let other players on the Niners wear it. Like newly-acquired Isaac Bruce.

The Chronicle notes that Bruce turned down the offer because, “Bruce and the club didn’t think it would be a good idea, so he’ll wear No. 88.

OK, then why hasn’t the team retired the damn number?

MAXIM lists it’s Top 10 worst sportscasters and it’s not a bad group. Actually, it IS a bad group, which is good.

But how Brent Musberger got left off and Chip Caray ends up as #2, I have no idea. Who cares enough about Caray to even rank him? If you want to rank semi-obscure, braindead baseball announcers, Hawk Harrelson would be my first and only choice.

Turns out that the dipsh– who caught Griffey’s 600th home run ball had his lawyer at the game.

Seriously, how much is that ball really worth to someone outside of a Skyline Chili drive-thru line? I get it that Griff did it without the juice (we think), but does that mean it’s worth more than a couple K?

Reminds of this story (see blood from a Griffey-grown turnip).

SBD notes today that, “The average resale price for tonight’s Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals Game Three at Staples Center on Stubhub.com is about $837, more than double the average of last year’s Spurs-Cavaliers NBA Finals.”

With my earlier thought of trying to get into the building for Game 5, I’m now suddenly rooting for a sweep!

Jay Leno with a rare funny: “To give you an idea of how slow he ran, at the end of race, he got a call from President Bush saying, ‘You’re doing a hell of a job, Brownie.

God, I would so love to be one of those laugh-before-they-tell-the-joke guys.

Tom Ziller of FANHOUSE has this on Shaun Livingston:According to the source, Livingston can’t work out back-to-back days and needs about 90 minutes of therapy before doing noncontact basketball drills. There is speculation he might not be able to play at the NBA level again.

How sad it that?

The Clippers will not be making Livingston a qualifying offer this summer ($5.8M), so he’ll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. I can’t imagine Dunleavy & Co. won’t make some sort of effort though to keep him, at a steep discount. Or maybe his hometown Chicago Bulls.

Ziller also recently did an interesting piece on sports blogs for BALL HYPE called, “Do Blogs Really Help Fans Get Closer to Athletes?”

The piece features comments from Will Leitch (DEADSPIN) , Michael David Smith (AOL, PFT, NYT), Dan Steinberg (DC SPORTS BOG), Miss Gossip (AOL FANHOUSE), Nik Richie (THEDIRTY) and you-know-who.

I’m not going to summarize the piece, it’s a worthy read.

In reference to the title of the piece, I can’t say that it’s my mission to get you “closer to athletes“. Instead, I try to help visitors to SbB look at sports, athletes and sports media in a different way (and of course, the SbB Girls don’t hurt).

We’ve been here since 2001, so I’m guessing we’re doing something right.

I stumbled onto the 60 Minutes piece last Sunday about creepy televangelist Joel Osteen, and like MDS, wondered about the claim in the piece that Osteen could bench press 300 lbs.

MDS then has this salient, humorous conclusion: “What’s fascinating about this is that if Osteen is exaggerating his weightlifting prowess, he wouldn’t be the first TV preacher to do so. Pat Robertson once claimed he could leg press 2,000 pounds. Is there something about TV preachers that makes them feel the need to overstate their strength?

I’m not the only one who thinks Michael Strahan might be using another fake retirement play to milk more money out of of Big Blue. Mike Florio of PRO FOOTBALL TALK: “At a time when plenty of NFL observers wonder whether quarterback Brett Favre could un-retire and re-join the Packers, we’d be willing to wager that there’s a far greater chance that Giants defensive end Michael Strahan will un-retire and re-join the Giants.

After reading all the fawning accounts of Strahan’s retirement yesterday, I was starting to think I was on an island.

The SPORTING NEWS is relaunching in September, and I’m happy to report that Leitch will be contributing regularly over there. Two of my favorites, Florio and THE SPORTING BLOG’s Spencer Hall assumably will be around for the changeover as well.

Also, something called “Sporting News Today” will be emailed for free to registered users. The daily email offering will feature “live links, video and audio, reader/fan interaction and rich media for advertisers.

Many I’m sure are saying that The Sporting News at this point has no chance to catch up in the online sports media biz. But if they sign up some compelling writers (Leitch is a good start), break some original content and reach out to blogs, there’s no reason the folks over there can’t scare up a significant audience.