93,136 Pack Rose Bowl For Galaxy-Barca Match

One of the greatest misconceptions about sports in this country is that Americans don’t like soccer. Vocal contrarian sportswriters love to perpetuate that misconception from their columns, and xenophobic Americans follow suit, ever skeptical of things “not from around here.” Admittedly, it’s not always easy to follow the sport’s top leagues from halfway around the world, but if there’s one thing Americans have proved time and time again, it’s that they do in fact enjoy the beautiful game…when it’s being played well.

David Beckham Thierry Henry

That’s why minor leagues in any sport always struggle to survive, and why many fans are lukewarm about the game in this country. Too often, Americans who want to watch soccer are forced to watch third-rate athletes compete in fourth-rate stadia. Last night, though, 93,137 fans packed the Rose Bowl and proved once again that they will flock to the game when it’s played at the highest levels as Barcelona FC beat the LA Galaxy 2-1.

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NHL Eyeing Vegas Strip, Rose Bowl For Games

With the last few Winter Classics being such huge successes, BLOOMBERG is reporting that the NHL is looking at venues for future outdoor games that are even less traditional than Wrigley Field. Just how “outside the box” is the NHL thinking for its outdoor game? How about holding the game on the Las Vegas Strip or the Rose Bowl.

NHL Winter Classic

You can see why the league is interested in expanding the idea of outdoor hockey: the Winter Classic game between the Red Wings and Blackhawks on New Year’s Day drew the highest rating for the NHL in 34 years. With as desperate as the NHL is for TV viewers, it’s a little shocking that the league hasn’t just gone ahead and made every game an outdoor game.

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USC LB Maualuga Gets Down With Erin Andrews

USC linebacker Rey Maualuga may or may not be the top linebacking prospect headed to the NFL Draft. Workouts over the next month or two are likely to determine that. But regardless of draft status, Maualuga has become an outright celebrity while starring for USC, a status that may have ultimately been cemented by this, unwitting tango with ESPN sideline reporter extraordinaire Erin Andrews, which was dug up and sent our way by L.A. TIMES blogger Adam Rose.

mauluga andrews dance shot

Yes, that’s Maualuga who walks all the way from the sideline to inches behind Andrews and busts some serious moves right behind her. It’s harder to figure out whether it’s more surprising that Maualuga didn’t go even more overboard (hey, he had Erin Andrews at her disposal and clearly he’s just joking around. What harm would it have done?) or that Andrews somehow didn’t hear him walk up while wearing cleats and traipsing across the ESPN designated video area. It may not be hard plastic, but there had to be a decent amount of clickety-clack coming from his feet, and there was no one else around to defray the noise.

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Bailout $$$ Being Spent On Bowl Sponsorships?

The definition of giant, swinging, I-don’t-give-a-sh*t-what-you-think balls: spending millions of dollars to sponsor College Bowl Games when you’re receiving handouts from the government. Anyone reading this should be pissed beyond belief that our dollars are being spent in order to make sure announcers can’t call it the Rose Bowl, but “The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Citi.”

Rose Bowl

There’s also the Capital One Bowl. Or the GMAC Bowl. The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl brought to you by Bank of America. The EagleBank Bowl. And who could forget the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl sponsored by U.S. Bancorp. All sponsorships cost millions, and all from companies who screwed up so badly they had to take millions and billions out of taxpayers’ pockets.

Sufficiently furious yet?

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Clever Caption Contest: Jilted Joe After The Bowl

Hey, readers! Hope you’re enjoying your first Friday of 2009! (And your New Year’s hangovers are at least 50% cured.) And what better way to start the first weekend of 2009 than with another SbB Clever Caption Contest!

Today we present a post-Rose Bowl pic of a jilted & jarred Joe Paterno:

Joe Paterno post Rose Bowl

How would you describe this scene of JoePa just after his PSU Lions were trounced by the Trojans? Submit your suggestions to the comments section linked below. Winner will be announced at the end-of-the-day recap, with a chance at claiming a year-long elevator pass to the Rose Bowl press box.

Good luck & good writing! Do a good job contributing, or Joe will come gunning for you, ready to run you down!

Everything’s Turning Up Rosy For Brooks & USC

That was some exciting Rose Bowl, wasn’t it? For USC fans, yes. For the casual football fan, not really. Even though it was the only bowl game on TV in it’s time slot, it was hard to keep interested when the Trojans were up 31-7 at halftime. But least Brooks can say he had a great time at the Grandaddy of ‘em All. Not necessarily because of what he saw on the field, but what he was able to see next to him in the seats.

Brooks and SbB Girl Wendy at the 2009 Rose Bowl

SbB Girl Wendy accompanied our fearless leader to yet another Big Ten drubbing at the hands of Pete Carroll’s crew. Sure, USC won the game 38-24, but I think we all know who the really winner is here.

Brooks was able to procure his primo seats through the good folks at My Boy Barry. (Unforunately, hot SbB Girl companion may not be available in your area.)

Sbb Girl Wendy Rose Bowl ticket

Some of the Men of Troy must have knew Wendy was in attendance, which would explain why they pulled off such an impressive domination of Joe Paterno’s boys.

We figure SbB Girl Anyssa had the same effect on the UCLA Bruins in their 2006 upset of the Trojans:

SbB Girl Anyssa Rose Bowl

And SbB Girl Alex must have done it again for the Bru Crew in their Labor Day comeback against Tennessee:

SbB Girl Alex 50-yard Line UCLA Tennessee Game

(Another 50-yard-line seat provide by My Boy Barry!)

So, for all you struggling pigskin programs trying to turn your fortunes around, try to get some sensational SbB girls in your seats.

You’ll be glad you did - as will the immediate male population in & around your stadiums.

Brog: Brand Never Saw Clips Near-Matching Offer

Mark Heisler of the LOS ANGELES TIMES has more details today on Elton Brand’s escape to Philly. Heisler notes that the Clippers tried to offer Brand a contract of $81M, but Brand’s agent David Falk stopped returning the club’s calls. Brand eventually accepted an $82M deal from the Sixers.

Elton Brand Billboard

Heisler surmises, as we did here last Friday, that Falk is most likely behind Brand spurning the Clippers. Keep in mind though that Heisler’s sources on the matter are likely Clippers-affiliated, and the club is presently in full damage control mode.

Not many saw the Philly move coming, but two ESPN 950 radio hosts in Philadelpia, Harry Mayes and Dan Schwartzman, browbeat Brand on-air about joining the Sixers as early as June 5 (audio).

Meanwhile, Jonathan Abrams of the Times reports that Baron Davis’ agent has confirmed his client is still hip to clip.

USA TODAY reports that NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson endorsed John McCain yesterday at the National Press Club: “I’d have to pick (John) McCain. I think our core fan base, being Republicans like they are, that will be their first choice.”

FYI: NASCAR’s home state of North Carolina is currently represented in Congress by seven Democrats and six Republicans.

Yardbarker Nude Girl

(We avoided Charles Woodson’s wine stains, but not this - thankfully)

When I was at the Playboy Mansion recently, they were pouring samples of a wine called “24.” No idea what it was at the time, but now the DETROIT NEWS reports that the vino is the handiwork of noted vintner Charles Woodson.

The Chicago Bears official website has plenty of fun with the fact that when Jim McMahon visited the White House in 1996 as a member of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, he actually wore a Bears jersey.

Excerpt: “When the Packers were honored at the White House, McMahon wore a Bears jersey, enraging Green Bay fans. McMahon explained that he did it because the Bears never got a chance to visit the White House after winning Super Bowl XX. Their trip to Washington was canceled after the Challenger space shuttle blew up.

God I miss that dude.

Paul Lukas of UNI WATCH BLOG has a bone to pick with the Brewers.

Milwaukee Brewers On-Field Ads

Seems he’s not too found of the club’s penchant for on-field advertising: “Can’t they leave this sh– off the field of play?

Conveniently, that quote can also be attributed to when the Royals next visit Miller Park. Read more…

Husker Fan Gives Up Rose Bowl For Meal w/Corso

Which would you rather do - go on an all-expenses paid trip to the Rose Bowl, or host a barbecue with Lee Corso and pals? Well, if you’re Nelva Deeke of Hubbell, Nebraska, you get grilling with the Gameday crew.

Lee Corso eating at Hooters

(Lee had his own suggestions on where to eat)

The SCOTTSBLUFF STAR-HERALD cooks up the story of Deeke’s decision to turn down a free fight to Pasadena just so she could share some corn on the cob with Chris Folwer and some cole slaw with Kirk Herbstreit.

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Blog-O-Rama: Pierce Put Upon For Pitbull Neglect

• PRO FOOTBALL TALK puts a leash on Antonio Pierce, as the New York Giant & Michael Vick critic faces his own accusations of animal neglect.

Antonio Pierce New York Giants

• BRUINS NATION checks the laundry, as USC will be wearing home uniforms at the Rose Bowl after all.

• Speaking of controversial clothing, the INDIANAPOLIS STAR dresses down Indiana U. officials for forcing a fan to take off his “Bring Back Bobby” shirt.

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USC Trojans Win NCAA Women’s Soccer Title

USC TROJANS WIN NCAA WOMEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP: Thanks to Stanford and Oregon, USC won’t be battling for a BCS title this year. But that doesn’t mean the school will be empty handed when it comes to trophies in the fall.

USC womens soccer champs

The Women of Troy defeated Florida State 2-0 on Sunday, clinching USC’s first-ever NCAA women’s soccer title. The path to goal-scoring glory was made sweeter on Friday, when they beat top-ranked rival UCLA in the semifinals.

USC womens soccer

With their sudden success, no word if the soccer gals are threatening to move across town to the Rose Bowl.