(Tash, Denise and Colene should’ve gotten the $5M instead)
It was kind of a blah game against the Wizards, but it was Colene and Natasha’s first Lakers game, and it gave me the chance to check out the new downtown L.A. development called L.A. Live.
L.A. Live is an area just north of Staples Center that features shopping, restaurants and a new, badass Ritz-Carlton hotel. AEG was behind the build, and Tim Leiweke & Co. did a fabulous job.
Initially I heard that L.A. Live was being modeled after Times Square, which of course had us all thinking the same thing: Tacky. (Just ask most New Yorkers.) Thankfully AEG thought upscale, with some high-end food outlets, an ESPN Zone, The Ritz, and the absolutely gorgeous Nokia Theatre. Read more…
I’ll keep this short. I’m flying from LAX to Montreal today, and will be in Canada through the weekend with a SbB Girl. We’ll cap the trip by hitting the V Festival on Sunday in Toronto - on my birthday. Happy #29 to me!
(It’ll be SbB’s second visit to Canada and Toronto this weekend)
So check back for pics from our adventures this weekend. Read more…
Long, exciting day of college football today. My Dawgs murdered GSU, so the Sol will be flowing tonight at The Cantina (which one, dunno yet) here on Venice Beach. I’m a little melancholy, as this is really my last do-nothing summer weekend in L.A. And tomorrow, the temp is supposed to drop like a rock here (I know, boo-farking-hoo Brooks). Read more…
Two of the primary guys trying to bring the NFL to L.A., Ed Roski and John Semcken, have been out banging pots and pans this week, trying to get the local media to bite on their latest claim that an NFL team will move to L.A. in time to play the 2009 season.
Like lemmings, the SAN GABRIEL VALLEY (CA) TRIBUNE picked up comments by Semcken today, as part of an essentially baseless report:
Developer Ed Roski Jr.’s business partner says he has “no doubt” a National Football League team will play in Los Angeles in 2009, most likely at the Rose Bowl. Majestic Realty Vice President John Semcken also said he believes there is a possibility two NFL teams could wind up playing in the $800 million stadium Roski wants to build in Industry.
“We are going to have a team here next September,” Semcken said Tuesday afternoon.
There’s absolutely no credible evidence to suggest that an NFL team is poised to move to Los Angeles anytime soon. If there was, I’d know about it, or it would’ve leaked by now.
Not coincidentally, the MINNY STAR-TRIBUNE and ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS report tonight that new-stadium-less Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf was recently contacted by Roski about moving the team to Los Angeles - and had no interest. (Heritage clubs like the Vikes will never move - see Cleveland Browns.)
That’s not to say that a team moving here in the next couple years is outside the realm of possibility. But baseless bellowing by Roski and Semcken will do nothing to speed the process. I still bet that the fine gents over at AEG may have a role in bringing a team here before it’s all over. Their biggest problem? They won’t grab their ankles for the league and egomaniacal local yocal politicians.
Sports blogs like SbB have forever been accused by main media of going overboard with the T & A. Usually, when posting photos of the female form, we have a legit sports angle. (OK, not always.) But I find it rather ironic that many of those same (rapidly-fossilizing) finger pointers are now doing what we’ve long been accused of.
Take for instance the venerable DETROIT NEWS, and its “Sideline Satire” section. I’ll bet you didn’t know that an enormous collection of cropped-off pics of female Olympic athlete a$$es qualified as satire these days.
Apparently it does in Detroit.
Whoops! How’d that get through?
And just how serious is the editorial staff at the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES about servicing their readers in the middle of the night when the wife is asleep with football about to hit?
(Reminds me, where’s that sock I left the orange in?)
Seriously fellas, if you’re going to try to post random, gratuitous girlie pics with a laughably flimsy sports connex, step aside and let a professional show you how it’s done:
TMZ has been cornering the sports celeb gossip market lately, this time with an exclusive on Tom Brady’s recent Brentwood real estate purchase. Brady, along with his girlfriend Gisele Bundchen, just dropped $11M on a residential lot in the city O.J. made (in)famous.
The two are planning a 20,000 square foot home together, which is apparently intended to allow Brady to be closer to the infant son he had with Bridget Moynihan (Moynihan’s reps denied the assertion).
Let’s see, $20M+ to live with Gisele Bundchen or $699K to live with Jessica Simpson?
Earlier this week, Ticketmaster said it planned to attempt to expand its business (a “major push“) in China.
L.A.-based Barry Rudin, the largest ticket broker on the west coast and SbB sponsor, told me Wednesday, “I don’t think there is much to sell in China. There is however a lot of money there. I would have to see what events will sell well. I think certain concerts and sporting events could work. However, you are completely at the mercy of the government.”
Last sentence is something the IOC and the accompanying media came to realize the last couple weeks.
FYI: I’ll be at the UCLA-Tennessee game at the Rose Bowl on Barry’s dime this Monday night, with a live blog on SbB (and a SbB Girl in tow!). Don’t be a stranger.
A.J. Daulerio of DEADSPIN tracks down an interoffice letter apparently from Roger Ebert of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES to the dearly departed Jay Mariotti.
Ebert: “On your way out, don’t let the door bang you on the ass.”
Dan Bickley has some very weird news today out of Beijing. The ARIZONA REPUBLIC columnist (via AZ SPORTS HUB) reports that Jason Kidd told him he will give his (sure) Gold Medal away to the wife of a Vegas casino owner.
(Joumana Be Kiddin’ Me!)
More specifically, Elaine Wynn. She’s the wife of billionaire Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn.
Now, if this were Charles Barkley, I think we’d all know the reason why. With Kidd, it’s going to hard to pin down.
So does Kidd own the Wynns money? Is Mrs. Wynn the sufferer of a terminal disease? Is Kidd paying off a debt incurred by some NBA Wives Charity event? No, no and no (apparently). Read more…
Lots going on behind the scenes for the good ship SbB the past month or so. So here’s a State of SbB address of sorts…
(I’m back on ESPN 710AM in Los Angeles tomorrow at 3:25 PT)
I’m about to dive into dishing sports celebrity gossip via regular radio appearances. Tomorrow, I’ll kick it off by appearing on two flame-throwing sports radio stations - in Los Angeles and Milwaukee.
At 3:25 PT I’ll appear in L.A. on KSPN-AM’s (710) “Mason & Ireland Show,” with Steve Mason and John Ireland.
And at 9:05 AM PT I’ll be on 540 AM ESPN Radio in Milwaukee, appearing on Drew Olson’s show, “The D-List.”
Whenever I’m doing radio live, I’ll have a front page link to the audio (when available) - and the show’s web page. And we’ll have a special radio page linked in the Brooks box that will detail all the stations I’ll be appearing on regularly. I’ll have more details on the additional shows and stations that we have lined up for appearances shortly. Probably get that page up tonight.
We’re not screwing around, we’re going on with the top personalities and stations in North America. Can hardly wait to get it rolling. If you want me on your show, or have a suggestion on where I should appear, email me at Brooks@SPORTSbyBROOKS.com.
From the SbB BizDev Dept.: We’ve signed a deal to join the Yardbarker.com network.
As you may know, Yardbarker is a sports blog network of over 600 sites (including SbB favorites AA and EDSBS), and hosts the official blogs of athletes like Baron Davis and Greg Oden, Donovan McNabb and Darren McFadden. The network is undergoing scary growth, roughly doubling its audience in the past couple months.
In case you’re wondering, the deal will not change the content or look of SbB one iota. I’m excited about the partnership as it should really help us grow SbB in more ways than one.
I’m also proud to present Barry’s Tickets and MyBoyBarry.com as the official ticket supplier of SPORTSbyBROOKS.com.
(Yeah, I know it’s an ad. And your point is?)
Like other countless Southern Californians, I’ve bought tickets on my own from Barry Rudin for years, many that I used for SbB events. So it’s pretty damn exciting to have him sponsoring the site.
Barry’s Tickets is the biggest ticket broker on the west coast, so you can count on him giving you the absolute best deal (and service) on tix to sporting events, concerts and theatre shows. And he’ll also buy your tickets. Just hit him at MyBoyBarry.com or 888 820 8499 (put that # in your phone, you WILL need it someday, trust me).
Again, I’ve been doing business with Barry’s Tickets for years now. He was my go-to well before I met him, and started doing business with him. Over the next 12 months, I will be attending some of the biggest sports events (and concerts) thanks to tickets from Barry - many times with the SbB Girls in tow (not a bad cargo, thank you very much).
In the case of the sporting events, I will live blog from the venue (like we did from the Final Four and the MLB All Star Game), and of course get plenty of pix for SbB posts. (Uh yeah, Barry rocks.) Read more…
Darren Rovell today has a video interview with American gymnast Nastia Liukin, who unwittingly provides the definitive metaphor of what the modern Olympics have become.
As part of the report Rovell said, “Liukin told us that seeing her image on advertising before the games actually gave her confidence.”
(Nastia was inconsolable after learning of those pesky ATM transaction fees)
So her Visa ads boosted her up before her Olympics appearances? Sounds a little far-fetched, until you hear the same thing come out Liukin’s mouth: “I walked into the Olympic athlete village, seeing the Visa ATM machine with my picture on it and the Chinese character saying “destiny” … for some reason it just boosted my confidence.”
Liukin’s Olympic dream is inspired by an ATM machine? Perfect.
And this isn’t a case of me taking an obscure comment out of context (2,922 mentions of it at Google News!). That same ATM machine storyline has been covered by just about every media outlet, thanks to Liukin continuing to bring it up.
The whole thing is almost as ridiculous as if Nastia had her picture on a NASCAR entry whizzing around Talladega.
Oh, wait, she does.
Also, Liukin’s plans after her gymnastics career is over will shock you. She wants to get into “modeling and acting.”
(Nastia is ready to pounce on the myriad adult modeling opportunities sure to roll in!)
I know, I had my money on E! entertainment reporter, too.
Jorge Sedano of 790 The Ticket in Miami with yet another cool find:
Apparently a YouTube user recently claimed to have found a glitch in Tiger Woods’ EA Sports video game, which had Woods being able to hit the ball while standing on water. So in response, EA shot this cute reply with Woods walking on water.
Haven’t confirmed if EA concocted the whole idea out of thin air (and created a fake account to set up the spot), but it really doesn’t matter. Great idea.
Fun clip from an old SNL Olympics bit:
Much funnier: Dennis Miller looks like Gene Simmons after a hydroxycut bender.
On NBC’s “Today” show this morning, NBC’s Meredith Vieira read this promo: “We’ve seen them run and jump and swim and tumble, but what do the Olympic athletes do behind closed doors?”
It wasn’t made immediately clear what the segment was about. Perhaps Al Roker with an investigative report on the Albanians’ flossing habits. Now when I heard the read, this is immediately what popped. Into my head, that is:
Russian track & field athlete Yelena Isinbayeva.
With all those great performances by Michael Phelps & Co., the Olympics sure have been exciting here stateside. And, thanks to a report out today by the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, you’ll be pleased to find out that Chinese citizens are getting a very, very similar buzz off The Games!
Jennifer Brett of the AJC notes that Coca-Cola executives at the Beijing Games “have been mobbed like rock stars at Coke’s pavilion on the Olympic Green.“ And after a recent promotional event at the “Olympic Green” sponsor pavilion, Beijing residents “surged forward for photos and autographs” with Coca-Cola China’s Beijing Olympic Project Group GM David Brooks.
Boy, it’s great to finally gain some keen insight into what has the Chinese so genuinely excited about their Olympiad. (And of course, that reportage by Ms. Brett has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta.)
Big news in sports radio today, as Sirius XM announced that Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who recently departed WFAN-AM’s long-running “Mike and The Mad Dog” show, is heading to the Sat Radio network.
Russo and Sirius XM President Scott Greenstein appeared on CNBC today to trumpet Russo getting his own channel on the net, called “Mad Dog Radio.” (Russo will take a $3M annual salary to do a daily show, while also hiring talent for the channel.)
RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank said Russo’s $3M annual salary “sounds like a big number, but in the grand scheme of things, … this is actually not that expensive.” CNBC’s Bill Griffeth told Russo, “You sold cheap.”
Russo sold cheap? Then he’ll be right at home with Sirius XM stockholders.
While I guess having Russo on Sat Radio is good news for Sirius XM, the bad news is that at least one major U.S. automaker is already manufacturing internet-enabled cars.
(My next cross-country drive to include mustard BBQ, “Mad Dog Radio”?)
From those cars you will be able to listen to thousands of radio shows for the cost of your internet service. I’m actually already doing it in my car, with my wifi-enabled laptop plugged into the cigarette lighter. I drove cross-country two months and didn’t miss any of my favorite radio shows.
That’s the real future of four-wheeled sports *radio* receivers. (Hope Mad Dog is getting paid in advance!)
The CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s Rick Morrissey writes today that female athletes who pose for nudie mags aren’t advancing the cause of women’s sports. Instead, they’re once proving that, “women’s bodies are commodities.”
That has the Olympic Village giving whole new meaning to “commodities exchange.”
The WASHINGTON POST’s Dan Steinberg, in a recent online chat, wrote, “To me, it’s (the Olympics have) been dramatically less fun than Turin was.”
Well that’s really an unfair comparison, as Turin is best known as the Atlantic City of Italy’s rust belt. Read more…
Yesterday I went to the Dodgers-Brewers game in Los Angeles, which was no coincidence. Like many here in Lipstick City, for the first time in what seems like centuries, I felt compelled to make the normally daunting trek to Chavez Ravine.
With good weather, zoot-suited Manny in left, and the resurgent Brewers in town, you’d have thought we’d be staring down a sellout Sunday. But the ball orchard was only about 55% full, and parking was a smog-filled breeze. So tho it was a little strange to see so many empty seats without the Pirates in town, it was as pleasant an experience as I’ve had watching professional baseball in Los Angeles County.
The only thing that struck me as a little strange yesterday was the giant wall that separates lower level box seats from the rest of the field level chairbacks. The wall was a erected a couple years ago by the McCourts, and I’ve seen it before, from a lower perspective. But I was club level Sunday, so you could really see how ridiculous the gigante barrier looks.
Of course, the wall is designed to prevent unwashed commoners from invading the precious space of those well-monied ticketholders - the ones who leave their $250 seats empty for half the season. By the looks of the wall, I’m surprised Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt didn’t dig out a moat while he was at it.
I don’t know how long McCourt will run the team into the ground own the team, but I’m guessing that ripping up baseball’s Berlin Wall will be the first order of business for whomever wrests the flagging franchise off of Frank’s hands.
I think I’ve found the latest internet rage: WomenAgainstFantasy.com!
Oh wait, make that WomenAgainstFantasySports.com. Based on the site’s content, the proprietors apparently are taking a page from CollegeHumor.com, existing only to sell t-shirts.
But the URL is misleading, as the photo montage featuring a couple two-timing guys does nothing to stem every male’s fantasy.
L.A. Valley native Jeff Suppan is now an innings-eater for the
Cardinals Red Sox Pirates Royals Diamondbacks Brewers, and was ND’d yesterday thanks to Ryan Brauntasarus’ top-nine, two-run missile to knot Dodgers-Brewers at a quintet (Los Doyers went on to bottom-nine win).
Suppan also now owns a sports bar in the Valley, on Ventura Blvd. in Encino called “Soup’s Sports Grill.” Thursday I stopped in for a Brewers-only private function at the facility.
Jeff is pitching the place as a family-friendly sports grill, which has possibilities considering the demo at most nearby establishments (think cast of Big Lebowski extras).
The food was actually good (chicken cacciatore was mega), better than your typical assortment of just-thawed and/or fried sports bar *delectables*. Also a plus: Suppan plans to manage the place day-to-day after the season.
If I wasn’t west side, I’m sure that’d be a chill weekend stopoff, or quality Hollywood pregame destination.