Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama Delivers On The Biggest Stage

Coming from someone who minored in political science and once considered a career in public office, I think Barack Obama hit a home run with his acceptance speech.

He hit the game-winning jumper at the buzzer.

He scored the game-winning touchdown with no time on the clock.

He sank the birdie put on the 72nd hole of a major.

He was Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, John Elway and Tiger Woods all rolled into one.

He was simply brilliant, or better put, he was presidential!

As I assume with so many of you, I am so moved by what I saw tonight. I am extremely proud to be an American, and more specifically, just like Barack Obama, a bi-racial American.

So I guess now the question is: What are we, as a people and individually, prepared to do to put this man in the White House?

McCain Congratulates Obama In TV Ad

I just witnessed something so rare in modern American politics that I could barely believe my eyes.

A new John McCain television ad features the Arizona Senator actually congratulating Barack Obama on his historical nomination. McCain even referred to the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, which took place on this day 45 years ago without actually mentioning it by name. As I said, he "referred" to it.

But nonetheless, I thought the ad was actually heartfelt and sincere. McCain actually seemed genuine in his congratulations, and for the first time since his campaign started, I felt as if he was speaking from his own heart, instead of the notepad from one of his advisors.

But don't expect this type of civility to continue. As McCain, himself, said in the ad, "Tomorrow, we will be back at it."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Official: Democrats Nominate Barack Obama

It's not often one is able to witness such an historical moment as just what happened at the Democratic National Convention. I am so proud of my people and, especially, my country right now. I just wish my father was still alive.

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- Democrats Wednesday officially nominated Barack Obama to be their candidate for president, making him the first African-American to lead a major party ticket.

Sen. Hillary Clinton asked to cut the roll call short saying, "With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let's declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president," she said.

"Is there a second?" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California asked the crowd of more than 4,400 delegates, prompting a roar of approval.

"The motion is adopted," Pelosi said with a broad smile, officially capping a long and hard-fought battle between Obama and Clinton.

Delegates then affirmed Obama as their choice with cheers.

There were hugs and handshakes as "Love Train" blasted from the arena speakers.

Lakers Sign Second Round Draft Pick Joe Crawford

EL SEGUNDO - The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Joe Crawford, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Selected by the Lakers with the 58th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Crawford, a 22 year-old native of Detroit, Michigan, played four seasons at the University of Kentucky, averaging 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 127 games (76 starts).

As a senior, Crawford ranked fourth in the SEC in scoring with a team-high 17.9 points per game, scoring 20-plus points 13 times while topping 30 points on three occasions.

Earning Second Team All-SEC honors from league coaches as a senior, Crawford finished his collegiate career as Kentucky's 19th all-time leading scorer with 1,438 points while ranking seventh all-time in three-point field goals made (186).

Additionally, the 6'5" Crawford started all six games for the Lakers Summer League entry in Las Vegas this past July, averaging 11.3 points including .455 (5-of-11) shooting from behind the arc, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 32.7 minutes.

Merriman To Play Despite Two Torn Knee Ligaments

I have to admit, I am a bit shocked by this announcement. I do not know Shawne Merriman personally, nor do I cover the Chargers on a regular basis. So I don't have any inside information as to what led up to this decision. However, I am an expert on knee injuries, having undergone 3 of them myself.

I just find it hard to imagine Merriman being able to play effectively on such an unstable knee. Football is all about speed and force, making your knees two of your most valuable assests.

Here's hoping that Merriman is not only making the right decision, but that his knee holds up to the pressure and expectations.

Jay Glazer

It appears the Chargers will have their main defensive lightning bolt after all.

Pro Bowl defensive end Shawne Merriman has informed the team that he will play this season despite having two torn knee ligaments, Merriman told

"I know what's at stake," Merriman said Wednesday. "But I had a goal with the team before the season started, and I'm sticking to it."

When asked how sure he was about playing, Merriman replied, "100 percent."

Merriman has a torn PCL and LCL in his left knee, but has postponed the surgery necessary to deal with those issues. He sought the opinion of several noted specialists in the last week. While all of them recommended surgery, the decision was ultimately left to the player.

"I'm putting the surgery off until I need it," he said.

Geeter Rocking Out On The Today Show

I just had to share this video from a recent segment of The Today Show from Beijing during NBC's Olympic coverage.

The segment featured gold medal-winning beach volleyball duo Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers. And as you all know, when it comes to beach volleyball, there's really only one person to do the intro: Chris "Geeter" McGee!!

Did my boy, Geet, really just break out the caterpillar in honor of Al Roker? CLASSIC!!

LPGA Mandates All Members Speak English

This mandate could turn out to be the most controversial story in the history of the LPGA. As far as I could determine, this marks the first time an American professional sports organization is demanding that all of its participants speak fluent English.

As you might imagine, this new law is generating quite a bit of talk on both sides of the issue, and I can totally see why. The Asian players--especially the South Koreans-- feel as if they are being singled out. And why shouldn't they considering some of the things that have been said about them in the past. While the tour is just hoping to make the most of any and all financial opportunities, which of course benefits everyone associated with the LPGA.

However, with Asian players having won 7 of the last 11 LPGA events, it only makes sense for the tour to implement this rule and for the players to adhere to it.

The LPGA needs to capitalize on all possible marketing opportunities, and nothing sells the tour more than the players who win the tournaments. But if the majority of those players can't speak the language of the host country, both the tour and its membership will miss out on potential growth and earnings down the road.

For more on this controversial story, check out this article from The Golf Channel's Brian Hewitt.

Analysis: Lost in Translation - 08/26/2008
By Brian Hewitt

The word spread like wildfire. Golfweek magazine's Web site was reporting late Monday that the LPGA was going to require its players to speak better English. And the phone lines, as they say in talk radio, lit up like Christmas trees.

On the one hand there was an understanding that the LPGA, struggling to keep sponsors in certain cities, needed to make all of its players more fan friendly and, at the very least, capable of communicating with well-heeled pro-am partners. It's a language fluency that most agree is the price of doing business on the golf course in the women's game.

On the other hand there was a reaction in many quarters that the LPGA was acting in a ham-handed fashion by threatening possible suspensions to players who don't pass an oral English evaluation.

There are 121 international players from 26 countries, including 45 from South Korea on the LPGA. Many of them have minimal English language skills.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bye, Bye Jag!

I went by the tow yard in Orange County to collect the last of my personal effects from my car today before saying goodbye and turning it over the insurance company.

I've been in an accident that totaled my car before, and it's always kind of strange to see the car a few days later, especially in the daylight.

It wasn't exactly an emotional moment for me today, but it did give me another opportunity to try and figure out exactly how in the hell I was able to walk away from the accident?!?!

Back In The Game

First, let me begin by saying thank you to everyone who has e-mailed me expressing their concerns and well wishes following my accident. It's really great to know that my family, friends and sometimes, perfect strangers, were so worried about me and willing to offer their assistance as I recovered.

Luckily, there wasn't much recovering needed really. As I told you Friday, I was extremely fortunate to only have a few bruises here and there, especially when you consider two people were airlifted to the hospital.

So tonight, I am officially back in the game as I return to work for the first time. I probably could have gone to work Saturday, but my ER doctor, my mom and my boss didn't think I should push it, so I just sat on the couch all weekend flipping channels. That's the last time that's going to happen for a while with the college football season kicking off this weekend.

But the real ironic part about going back to work tonight is that I will be returning to Anaheim for an Angels game, which was the reason I ended up on the 5 freeway in the first place. And speaking of the 5 freeway, I'm actually looking forward to driving past the scene of my accident. I'm hoping it will give me some added perspective on the accident as well as some closure.

I will also be checking out my car for the last time today. I wonder how mangled it will look in the daytime. I hope to post some pics later!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lucky To Be Alive After SEVERE Car Accident

just wanted to let you all know that i was involved in a very SEVERE car accident late thursday night as i was returning from anaheim after the angels/twins game..

basically, a semi-truck plowed through several cars on the 5 freeway near the on-ramp for the 91.. i believe i was the 2nd or 3rd car the truck rear-ended.. without getting into too much detail.. the force of the impact put my car into several spins.. eventually coming to a stop after crashing into the concrete center divider.. my car, of course, was completely totaled.. the pic on the left shows what's left of it.. and the video below shows even more of the aftermath of the crash.. you can see my car about 16 seconds into the video..

thankfully i was able to get out of the car on my own power and help several other people involved in the accident before my lower left leg started to swell up so much that it became difficult to walk.. an ambulance took me to the hospital for x-rays..

as far as my condition is concerned.. i'm really lucky that i only have a really bad contusion (fancy word for bruise) on my lower leg.. the swelling is still pretty significant today and it's really sore.. but i am able to hop around the house this morning.. and i'm hopeful i will be up and about again by tonight or tomorrow..

oh yeah.. one other note.. i lost the battery to my cell phone somewhere on the freeway.. so i don't have anyone's cell or office numbers... and my phone is not operational..

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Third annual Blue Heaven Sleepover set for August 29

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that they will once again offer fans the chance to spend the night at Dodger Stadium. Fans are invited to bring their sleeping bag to the stadium on Friday, August 29 and watch the Dodgers face the Diamondbacks in Arizona on DodgerVision, eat dinner, play catch on the field, watch a movie, and enjoy breakfast the following morning.

The price of the event is $200 per adult and $100 per child. The special family price for two adults and two kids 14 and under is $500. The package includes a Dodger goodie bag, dinner, buffet breakfast, raffle prizes, and more.

The Dodger game against the Diamondbacks will air on DodgerVision at 6:40 p.m. after which fans will have the opportunity to play catch on the field and watch a family friendly film before sleeping under the stars. Fans will be asked to bring their own sleeping bags, as tents will not be permitted inside Dodger Stadium.

The event is limited to 500 participants and the deadline to enroll is August 26. All children must be accompanied by an adult (one adult for every three kids). For more information, please log onto or call 323-224-1507 to enroll.


FSN PRIME TICKET Coverage Kicks Off with USC at Virginia “Trojans Live”

Former Trojans Jeremy Hogue, Petros Papadakis and John Jackson Return to “Trojans Live” for Pre- and Post-game Reporting and Analysis

Lindsay Soto Anchors the 2008 Trojans Football Reporting Team

Los Angeles – As the destination for comprehensive, local coverage of USC Trojans football, FSN PRIME TICKET provides extensive coverage of the potential BCS Title contender throughout the 2008 season with two nationally scheduled game telecasts and select “Trojans Live” pre and post-game shows. “Trojans Live” debuts with coverage of USC at Virginia at 4 PM on August 30 on FSN WEST.

The USC vs. Ohio State match-up is heralded as one of the most anticipated games of the 2008 season. FSN PRIME TICKET brings its signature USC football access and analysis, “Trojans Live”, to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 13 for live pre- and post-game coverage. Hosted by Lindsay Soto, former Trojans Jeremy Hogue and Petros Papadakis provide analysis while reporter John Jackson gathers player and coach interviews. “Trojans Live” airs at 5 PM and again at 8:30 PM on Saturday, September 13.

Two nationally televised USC football games are available in HD on FSN PRIME TICKET this fall. USC travels to Washington State on October 18 and visits Arizona the following weekend. Game telecasts begin at 12:00 PM and 7:15 PM respectively. Play-by-play announcer Barry Tompkins and Papadakis team up in the booth while John Jackson handles sideline duties versus the Wildcats and Jim Watson provides reporting versus the Cougars.


“Lexus Gauntlet Live” Expands to One Hour and is Shot Live on Campus

Three-hour Monday Night Programming Block is Anchored by Encore Presentations of Classic USC and UCLA Football Games

Los Angeles – FSN PRIME TICKET, the destination for the most extensive, local coverage of USC and UCLA football introduces the “FSN Playbook”. A three-hour original programming block, the “FSN Playbook” debuts Monday, August 25 at 9PM. “FSN Playbook” airs Mondays at 9 PM on FSN PRIME TICKET throughout the fall football season.

“With the ‘FSN Playbook’, we are breaking new ground. We have upgraded our coverage of USC and UCLA football by airing our show in the hallowed Monday night primetime timeslot, and we are live from the campuses,” said Tom Feuer, executive producer for FSN PRIME TICKET and FSN WEST. “Also, by expanding the show to one-hour, we will continue to provide in-depth coverage of Olympic sports and are able to address academics: the show will feature professors from each school, and show their connection to their respective athletic program.”

“FSN Playbook” opens with an hour-long edition of “Lexus Gauntlet Live”. FSN PRIME TICKET travels the “Gauntlet” program to the USC and UCLA campuses, alternating locations each week of the football season: Heritage Hall at USC and in front of the Bruin Bear at UCLA.

The format for “Gauntlet Live” is divided roughly into thirds. One third each for the respective football programs, with the discussion providing a look back as well as forward. Host Bill Macdonald will moderate a panel of gridiron experts including James Washington, Petros Papadakis, Jeremy Hogue and Heisman Trophy winner Anthony Davis.

Sean Farnham and John Jackson will anchor the portion of “Gauntlet Live” devoted to Olympic sports coverage.

At 10 PM, FSN PRIME TICKET features a two-hour encore presentation of a classic USC-UCLA rivalry game.


GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Lakers head coach and University of North Dakota alumnus Phil Jackson will add an academic honor to his growing list of career accomplishments Monday, August 25 when he receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from his alma mater during a 2 pm (CST) convocation ceremony at the on-campus Chester Fritz Auditorium.

A graduate of UND in 1967 after pursuing studies in religion, philosophy and psychology, Jackson will join the ranks of more than 200 UND honorary degree recipients over the past 99 years, including Crown Prince Olav of Norway in 1939, President John F. Kennedy in 1963, journalist and North Dakota native Eric Sevareid in 1970, philosopher Mortimer Adler in 1983 and famed cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey in 1990. UND presented its first honorary degree in 1909 to Webster Merrifield, who served the University for 25 years, including 18 as its third president.

"UND is pleased to award the Honorary Doctorate of Letters degree to an outstanding alumnus of the University, Mr. Phil Jackson," said UND President Robert O. Kelley. "Mr. Jackson was nominated for this distinction by the academic faculty and staff of the University. The award acknowledges Mr. Jackson's commitment to scholarship and to the application of philosophical and psychological principles to human performance and excellence in athletic competition."

Jackson will receive his doctorate from UND's College of Arts and Sciences, headed by dean Martha Potvin. Following the convocation at 5 pm on Monday, Jackson will be the featured guest at the latest installment of the University's "Great Conversation" series at the Chester Fritz Auditorium. The event, part of the school's 125th anniversary celebration, is an opportunity for the community to have an informal conversation with Phil Jackson. Public and media questions can be submitted prior to the event by going online at , then click on "Schedule of Events." Some of the questions will be selected for the conversation with Jackson.

Jackson grew up in Williston, N.D., before moving on to take classes and play basketball at UND. Recruited by Bill Fitch, who also would move on to a career in NBA coaching, Jackson earned consecutive All-American honors at UND for his performance on the hardwood. An unorthodox, left-handed hook shot helped him to average nearly 27.5 points per game during his senior year.

Selected by the New York Knicks in the second round of the 1967 NBA Draft, Jackson went on to be part of two NBA Championship teams in New York as a player.

His coaching career started modestly in the Continental Basketball Association, winning one CBA championship with the Albany (N.Y.) Patroons. He also had a stint with the Puerto Rican national team.

Finally in 1987, he broke into coaching at the NBA level as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls. Two years later, Jackson was named Bulls' head coach. Now after 17 years of coaching in the NBA with both the Bulls and Lakers, Jackson has posted a mark of 976-418 (.700) which currently stands as the best winning percentage of any coach in NBA annals. The fastest coach to 900 career victories, his total of 976 regular season wins ranks him 6th all-time. With a career postseason record of 193-84, Jackson also has the highest playoff winning percentage of any coach in NBA history while his 193 wins are the postseason benchmark for head coaches. His nine NBA Championships as a head coach tie him for the all-time mark with Boston’s Red Auerbach. The 1996 NBA Coach of the Year, Jackson was named one of the 10 greatest head coaches in NBA history on December 7, 1996. A little more than a decade later, Jackson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2007.

In addition to all his great awards and milestones, Jackson was given the state of North Dakota's highest honor -- the Rough Rider Award -- in 1992. His portrait and plaque now hang in the state Capitol in Bismarck with other past Rough Rider Award winners, such as one-time baseball home run king Roger Maris, band leader Lawrence Welk, singer Peggy Lee and UND's eighth president Tom Clifford.


The post-OJ Mayo era tips off this fall for USC, but the Trojans may not suffer quite the relapse that some are predicting. Tim Floyd has been working the recruiting trail and his class of newcomers may be enough to keep USC near the top of the PAC-10.

Trojans could play 23 games against teams off .500 or better seasons

LOS ANGELES – A trip to San Juan, PR for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, a game at Oklahoma in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, a home game against perennial ACC power Georgia Tech and the always challenging slate of Pac-10 games highlight the 2008-09 USC men’s basketball schedule announced today (Aug. 19) by head coach Tim Floyd.

“We think we have put together a great schedule for the USC fans,” said Floyd. “At the same time, as challenging as our schedule was last season with Kansas, Memphis and Oklahoma, if you look at the RPI from a year ago this non-conference slate is even tougher.”

USC’s schedule features a potential 23 games against teams that fi nished .500 or better in 2007-08, including 14 that won 20 or more games. Also, nine of the teams that USC is set to face in 2008-09 were in last year’s tournament, including two games each with the five other Pac-10 teams which were in the NCAA Tournament.

USC is trying to register its third consecutive season of 20 or more wins and make the NCAA Tournament three straight times - both never accomplished before in school history.

USC will open the season with home games against UC Irvine on Nov. 15 and New Mexico State coached by former USC assistant coach Marvin Menzies on Nov. 18.

The Trojans will then take part in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, Puerto Rico with an eight-team fi eld featuring NCAA runner-up Memphis, Elite Eight team Xavier, Virginia Tech, Missouri, Seton Hall, Fairfi eld, Chattanooga and USC. The Trojans will play Seton Hall in the first round on Nov. 20 and then face either Memphis or Chattanooga the next night. USC’s opponent is still to be determined for its fi nal game in the tournament on Nov. 23.

Following a home game on Nov. 28 vs. Tennessee-Martin, USC will make its fi rst basketball trip to Norman, Okla. since 1984 where they will take on a powerful Oklahoma team and its Player of the Year candidate Blake Griffin. USC defeated Oklahoma 66-55 at the Galen Center last season as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

The Trojans final five games before Pac-10 play begins are at home against San Francisco on Dec. 13, vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 15, vs. North Dakota State on Dec. 20, vs. Georgia Tech on Dec. 22 and 2007-08 NCAA Tournament team Oral Roberts on Dec. 28.

USC will open conference play on the road at Oregon on Jan. 2 and Oregon State on Jan. 4 before returning home to host defending Pac-10 Champion UCLA on Jan. 11, Arizona State on Jan 15 and Arizona on Jan. 17. USC’s other conference home games are on Jan. 29 vs. Stanford, Jan. 31 vs. California, Feb. 19 vs. Washington State, Feb. 21 vs. Washington, March 5 vs. Oregon and March 7 vs. Oregon State.
The Pac-10 Conference Tournament will take place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 11-14.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Even with the addition of Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers aren't sitting idly by waiting for the postseason. Adding Maddux can only help LA's stretch drive, especially with Brad Penny going back to the DL.

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that they have re-acquired right-handed pitcher Greg Maddux and cash considerations from the San Diego Padres for two minor league players to be named later or cash considerations. The announcement was made by Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.

“It’s very rare that you get the opportunity to add a pitcher like Greg even one time, let alone twice,” said Colletti. “He’s one of the greatest pitchers of all time and we’ve already seen what he can add to a team both on the field and in the clubhouse.”

Maddux, 42, is a four-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star. Earlier this season, he became just the ninth pitcher in Major League history to reach 350 victories in his career, as he currently is one win behind Roger Clemens for eighth place all-time.

He joined the Dodgers in 2006 and went 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 12 starts down the stretch while helping Los Angeles earn a Wild Card berth. That marked his 12th postseason appearance, including nine consecutive years with the Braves from 1995-2003. He has twice helped Atlanta to the World Series, winning the championship in 1995. In 32 career playoff games, Maddux has a 3.34 ERA, including a 2.09 ERA in five World Series starts.

Last season, Maddux earned his 17th Rawlings Gold Glove Award, setting a new Major League record. He won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1990-2002 and four in a row awards in 2004-07. Maddux has led the league in victories three times and ERA four times.

In 26 starts this season, the right-hander is 6-9 with a 3.99 ERA. He recently surpassed Phil Niekro to break into the top 10 on the all-time strikeout list, as his 3,353 punch outs rank 10th in big league history and second among active pitchers behind Randy Johnson. Maddux has averaged just 1.80 walks per nine innings in his career, the third-lowest career mark among active big leaguers.

In his last three starts, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.89 ER (4 ER/19.0 IP) while striking out nine and walking just one batter.

From 1988-2004, he won 15 or more games each year, surpassing Cy Young (15 from 1891-1905) for the most consecutive 15-win seasons (17) in Major League history. He also has 20 consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins, surpassing Young’s mark of 19 set from 1891-1909.

Maddux’s brother, Mike, played for the Dodgers in 1990 and 1999, making the duo the ninth pair of siblings in franchise history, joining Con and Ed Daily, Jim and Mickey Hughes, Ramon and Pedro Martinez, Dave and Steve Sax, Larry and Norm Sherry, Chris and Johnny Van Cuyk, Lloyd and Paul Waner and Zack and Mack Wheat.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, pioneers in sport and world culture, are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2008. In that period, they have won more games, more pennants, and more World Series than any other club in the National League. Since the start of the modern era in baseball, the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, combined, have a cumulative attendance of more than 178 million, the highest total in the history of baseball or any other sport.
Visit the Dodgers on the Internet at


Campaign Helps Kids Get Moving As Part of Youth Health and Fitness Campaign

DREW BREES and ELI MANNING are used to calling plays on the field. This season, they also will be helping kids call the shots when it comes to their health as part of the NFL’s new public service announcements. Joined by Chargers tight end ANTONIO GATES, the players are working with youngsters as part of NFL PLAY 60: The NFL Movement for an Active Generation, which focuses on the health and wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning of the New York Giants filmed his PSA with children from the St. Vincent’s Hospital system during a special visit to the Meadowlands in New York. Manning treated his guests to a tour of the Giants locker room and home field, and then helped them get active through warm-ups and a series of football drills.

“The health and fitness of our youth continues to be a priority for the NFL, and it’s important to me,” said New Orleans Saints quarterback Brees, who took to the water to film his PSA accompanied by 30 children from local hospitals. The annual “Brees on the Seas” fishing event, organized by the Brees Dream Foundation, enabled children to fish with Brees and his teammates and explore the great outdoors in Louisiana. The day culminated in a game of backyard football.

Vikings Pro Bowl player Adrian Peterson joined his teammates and 40 Special Olympians for his PSA at a special Punt, Pass and Kick event. The event was made possible by the Vikings and Peterson's All-Day Foundation. After watching the Vikings practice, the Special Olympians got the chance to take the field themselves, practicing drills with Peterson and participating in the PPK competition.

Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and fitness with an impressive roster of partner organizations — Action for Healthy Kids, Ad Council, American Heart Association, Gatorade, Home Depot, Kellogg’s, National Dairy Council, Nickelodeon, Nike, United Way, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to these national PSAs produced by NFL Films, PLAY 60 also will be implemented locally as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs, from youth football to “What Moves U.”

This season’s new United Way NFL messages also focus on youth health and fitness. SANTANA MOSS of the Washington Redskins, BOB SANDERS of the Indianapolis Colts, and DONTE WHITNER of the Buffalo Bills all get physically fit with kids and emphasize the importance of good health. The United Way PSAs debut on August 14.

Other players involved in NFL Play 60 include: ADRIAN PETERSON (Minnesota Vikings); GARY BAXTER (Cleveland Browns); TOM BRADY (New England Patriots); REGGIE BUSH (New Orleans Saints); ROBERTO GARZA (Chicago Bears); STEVEN JACKSON (St. Louis Rams), and TONY ROMO and JASON WITTEN (Dallas Cowboys). New York Jets COACH ERIC MANGINI is the official “coach motivator” for PLAY 60. His online messages on will encourage kids to get and stay healthy.

“We are taking a leadership role in the movement to get youngsters fit. Our players know the importance of staying healthy and it’s important that young fans also understand the value of exercise,” said COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL. “Play 60 is an important tool in ensuring that children get their necessary daily physical activity as recommended by health and fitness experts.”

Kids and parents can learn more on

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The revamped Los Angeles Clippers, led by All-Star point guard Baron Davis, will open the 2008-09 NBA preseason on Thursday, October 9th as they take on their city and building rivals the Los Angeles Lakers at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA.
Los Angeles will then travel to Oklahoma City for an October 14th match-up against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City NBA franchise.
The Clippers play their last preseason game away from STAPLES Center when they travel to Stockton, CA to face the Kings at the Spanos Center on October 15th.

Upon their return from the road, the Clippers then take part in the Lakers Preseason Shootout at STAPLES Center on October 18th and 19th with Los Angeles matching-up against the Toronto Raptors on the 18th at 4:30 PM. The Clippers follow that up with a contest against either the Lakers or FC Barcelona that will tip-off at either 4:30 PM or 7:30 PM on the 19th. The second day of the Lakers Shootout features a “winners vs. winners” and “losers vs. losers” format based on the results from the October 18th games.

The Clippers close out the preseason with three consecutive home games at STAPLES Center. On October 21st Los Angeles faces the Phoenix Suns, on October 22nd the Portland Trail Blazers come to town and on October 24th the Clippers will battle the Denver Nuggets in the preseason finale.

I'm Back!!

Now that I have returned to the mainland, Eaves On Sports will resume its totally random posting very shortly.

I plan to tell you all about my trip to Maui and share some pics with you as well.

In the meantime, I will share some newsworthy press releases from various teams of note.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On Vacation!

I'm taking my last personal getaway before diving into the college football season and the stretch drive of the MLB season.

While I'm away, I will not have any access to a computer. So your e-mails will not receive responses until I get back.

Try not to miss me!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Diamondbacks Trade For Adam Dunn

It looks like the Diamondbacks aren't about to let the Dodgers steal the division my acquiring Manny Ramirez. Two of the biggest bats in Major League Baseball now reside in the NL West, and the most effective one may very well determine the division winner.

Arizona acquired Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, who is tied for the major league lead with 32 home runs, for three prospects.

The trade was first reported by KTAR Radio in Phoenix.
In exchange for Dunn, Cincinnati will receive minor league pitcher Dallas Burk and two other players to be named later.

Dunn is tied with the Phillies' Ryan Howard for the NL lead with his 32 homers. The White Sox's Carlos Quentin also has 32 home runs.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Quarterback Mark Sanchez Sustains Injury

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez was carted off the field today shortly after the start practice with a possible injury to his left knee.

Junior starter is carted off the field and taken for x-rays shortly after start of today's practice.

By Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer August 9, 2008

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez was carted off the field today shortly after the start practice with a possible injury to his left knee. Sanchez, who won the starting job in the spring, fell to the ground before the Trojans began stretching exercises.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


With three point guards now on the team, the Clippers are basically saying goodbye to Shaun Livingston.

They could still add another player to the roster, but probably not at the price Livingston's agent is seeking.

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent guard Jason Williams, according to Vice President of Basketball Operations Elgin Baylor. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

A veteran of 10 NBA seasons, Williams joins the Clippers after playing the last three years for Miami, where he helped the Heat to the 2006 NBA Championship. Williams, 32, has played in 679 career regular season games and averaged 11.4 points, 6.3 assists and 2.4 rebounds for a total of three teams. The six-foot-one, 180 pound point guard has also started and played in 53 career playoff contests, averaging 9.8 points, 3.7 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 steals.

“Jason is an experienced and proven player,” Baylor said. “He is a terrific ball handler with great passing ability and court vision.”

Playing alongside new Clippers teammate Ricky Davis with the Heat last season, Williams averaged 8.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 28.1 minutes while appearing in 67 games. The West Virginia native finished eighth in the league with a 3.37 assists per turnover ratio and 12th with a 0.91 steals per turnover ratio.

“We are excited to add Jason to our squad,” Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. “He brings added veteran leadership and playoff experience to our backcourt.”

Drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 1998 following his junior year at the University of Florida, Williams was named to the 1999 NBA All-Rookie Team following an electrifying first season that saw him average 12.8 points and 6.0 assists. Over the next nine seasons, Williams has emerged as one of the most dependable point guards in the NBA, averaging double-figures in scoring and at least five assists per game in eight of his ten years in the league.

Williams moved to Memphis for the 2001-02 season and over the next four seasons became the Grizzlies all-time assists leader and all-time leader in three-point field goals attempted. Williams joined Miami prior to the 2005-06 season that ended with an NBA Championship.

The Clippers new-look roster now stands at 14 players as Los Angeles has revamped its roster by adding a total of 10 new faces for the 2008-09 season.

Below is an update of the Clippers off-season transactions:

June 26: Drafted G Eric Gordon from Indiana University with the 7th pick in the NBA Draft
June 26: Drafted C DeAndre Jordan from Texas A&M with the 35th pick in the NBA Draft
June 26: Acquired the draft rights to G Mike Taylor from Portland in exchange for a 2009 second Round NBA Draft pick.
June 30: Extended qualifying offers to F Nick Fazekas and F Marcus Williams
July 2: Signed G Eric Gordon
July 9: Renounced rights to free agents G Dan Dickau, G Shaun Livingston, F Boniface Ndong, G Smush Parker, F James Singleton
July 10: Signed free agent G Baron Davis
July 15: Acquired F/C Marcus Camby from Denver in exchange for Denver to have the option to exchange second round picks in 2010
July 15: Signed C DeAndre Jordan and G Mike Taylor
July 16: Withdrew qualifying offer to F Marcus Williams; Renounced rights to free agents F Quinton Ross and C Paul Davis
July 23: Acquired G Jason Hart from Utah in exchange for G Brevin Knight
July 28: Signed free agent G/F Ricky Davis
July 30: Waived F Josh Powell
July 31: Signed free agent F Brian Skinner
August 1: Withdrew qualifying offer to F Nick Fazekas
August 6: Acquired F Steve Novak from Houston in exchange for Houston to have the option to exchange second round picks in 2011
August 7: Signed free agent G Jason Williams

Top Pro, College, Prep Coaches Headline Palm Springs Coaches Clinic

Sept. 5–7 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2008) – Some of the leading professional, college and high school coaches in the U.S. headline the speakers list for the annual Palm Springs Coaches Clinic Sept. 5-7 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells Calif., it was announced. Hundreds of high school coaches & AAU coaches are expected to attend the multi-sport clinics and participate in a golf tournament at Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert.

With sessions for basketball, baseball, softball, and golf coaches, the highly-renowned clinic brings some of the leading names in sports coaching together to interact with more than 700 high school, college, AAU and youth coaches interested in improving their coaching skills.

The 2008 clinic speakers include:

Basketball: Steve Alford, New Mexico; Bob Burton, Cal State Fullerton; Eric Musselman, Sacramento Kings; Dave Odom, South Carolina; Vance Walberg, Massachusetts; Bob Hurley, St. Anthony High School; Bob Burke, Portland Trailblazers; Beth Burns, San Diego State; Jim Woolridge, UC Riverside; Ken Cole, Australia; Dave Bollwinkel, Chicago Bulls; Michael Butler, athletic training expert.

Softball: Kelly Ford, Mt. San Antonio; Michelle Anunciation, Cal State Fullerton; Dee Dee Weiman-Kingsbury, Cal State Fullerton.

Baseball: Dave Serrano, Cal State Fullerton; Rich Hill, San Diego; Bob Morgan, Indiana; Tim Esmay, Arizona State; Larry Lee, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Don Slaught, MLB hitting coach; Michael Butler, athletic training expert; Dave Bollwinkel, building leadership specialist.

Golf: golf injury prevention by Michael Butler, athletic training expert, Friday, Sept. 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and instructional clinic by teaching professional A.J. Bonar (The Golf Channel) Saturday, Sept. 6 at 9 a.m.

"Our speakers have impeccable credentials in the coaching field," said Clinic president Ron Meikle. "As we prepare to start the new school year, coaches of all levels and degrees of experience who attend the Palm Springs Coaches Clinic will leave armed with new and exciting ideas, techniques, and motivational tools and enthusiasm to better discharge their duties."

Each sport's session includes more than 20 hours of instruction, demonstration and discussion, as well as a sporting goods trade show with sports related exhibitors, Budweiser welcome party, door prizes, and free parking. Early registration is $110 and $125 at the door. Online registration is available at or by calling 949-335-2122.

A special reduced room rate at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa at $109 per night is available for a limited number of rooms for attendees by calling 800-446-9875 or 877-804-4070 and mention “Palm Springs Coaches Clinic" to receive the special room rate.

The Palm Springs Coaches Clinic will also host the “All Coaches Open,” a golf tournament for all registered coaches, speakers and outside players. The “4-man scramble” tournament will be held Friday, Sept. 5 at the Desert Willows Golf Resort in Palm Desert, Calif., starting at 8 a.m.

For further information, including agenda details and registration information, visit

About the Palm Springs Coaches Clinic
Founded in 1995 by Chuck and Denyse Campione, the clinic has built an excellent tradition while hosting pro, college and high school coaches from throughout the nation in Palm Springs, Calif. The mission of the Palm Springs Coaches Clinic is to continue to serve as not only a great learning and educational experience, but also to present coaches of all levels a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances in a relaxed enjoyable atmosphere. The Palm Springs Coaches Clinic features top coaches willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Sessions include basketball, baseball, softball and golf.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Top High School Baseball Talent In The Country Will Be On Display At Dodger Stadium

This year's 2008 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the first time in the game's six-year history that it will be played at a Major League stadium.

The premiere high school All-American game in the country will take place Saturday, Aug. 9, in Dodger Stadium at noon Pacific time, and it will be televised live on FSN.

The annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game showcases 38 of the nation's top high school players in an East versus West matchup following their junior year. Aflac All-Americans are chosen by the experts at official selection partner, Perfect Game USA, and receive the benefit from the game's relationship with media partner Baseball America, baseball's most influential magazine.

Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith will return as this year's honorary chairman and, in addition to promoting the game, will be on-site in LosAngeles for game week activities. This is the second consecutive year that Smith has served as honorary chairman. Past honorary chairmen have included Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (2006), Cal Ripken (2004-05) and Stan Musial(2003).

"I wish this game existed when I was in high school, as it's such a tremendous opportunity for these young men to show their skills in front of a nationwide audience and MLB scouts," said Smith. "Aflac does a tremendous job promoting this game and working hard to support pediatric cancer research, and I'm proud to be a part of it once again."

Since the game's inception in 2003, 52 Aflac All-Americans have been selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft, including current major leaguer Justin Upton (No. 1 overall, 2005) of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the recently completed June 2008 draft, 10 AflacAll-Americans were selected in the first round, including the No. 1 pick overall, Tim Beckham (the 2007 game's MVP), by the Tampa Bay Rays. Also chosen in the first round were Aflac All-Americans Eric Hosmer (No. 3 overall to the Kansas City Royals), Buster Posey (No. 4 overall to the San Francisco Giants), Kyle Skipworth (No. 5 overall to the Florida Marlins) and Ethan Martin (No. 15 overall to the Los Angeles Dodgers). Overall, 143 of 192 Aflac All-Americans have been drafted by Major League teams.

As part of Aflac's ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, all game proceeds from the 2008 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game will benefit ThinkCure, the official charity of the Dodgers, which supports critical cancer research at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. Since 2005, the game has generated nearly $525,000 for charity.

"Having the game at Dodger Stadium really raises the Aflac All-American Game to the next level," said Al Johnson, vice president, Marketing Services, Aflac. "This is a historic year for the Dodger organization as it celebratesits 50th anniversary in Los Angeles. We hope to help the organization make more history -- through its ThinkCure initiative -- by raising more funds in the fight against pediatric cancer."

The Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game is considered the country's marquee prep All-American event. All participants must have just completed their junior year of high school, be in good academic standing and display redeeming qualities off the field that embody the ideals of the sportof baseball, including discipline, determination and hard work.

For more information and tour stop photographs, visit

Clippers Tip Off Season Against Lakers

Are you ready for the new-look Clippers?

The revamped Los Angeles Clippers, led by All-Star point guard Baron Davis, start the 2008-09 NBA season at STAPLES Center on Wednesday, October 29 as they take on their city and building rivals the Los Angeles Lakers at 7:30 p.m. The Clippers season-opening home stand continues on Friday, October 31 when they host Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets at 7:30 p.m.

The Clippers play nine of their first 10 games at STAPLES Center, and face eight teams that qualified for the 2007-08 NBA Playoffs during that span, highlighted by visits from Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets on Friday, November 7, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, November 9 and Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, November 17.

The Clippers schedule features 21 sets of back-to-back games this season, up from the 19 sets played in 2007-08. From January 30 through February 9, the Clippers will be in the midst of the longest road-trip of the season, a seven-game trek starting out in Cleveland and including stops in Washington, Miami, Orlando, Memphis, Atlanta and Charlotte. The Clippers also embark on a six-game road trip March 20 through March 28 featuring stops in Detroit, Toronto, Boston, New York, San Antonio and Houston. The Clippers have two four-game trips, the first going from December 2 – December 6 and the second lasting from December 16 – December 20.

Other highlights of the schedule include a visit from the World Champion Boston Celtics on March 23 as well as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers coming to STAPLES Center on February 25.

This season, the Clippers will face every team in the Western Conference a total of four times (two home and two away), with the exception of the New Orleans Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves, who they will play three times each.

Los Angeles also announced that partial plan schedules that include 21, 16, 12, 8 and 4 game packages are currently available. Fans can log on to for further information.

The Clippers new-look roster now stands at 12 players as Los Angeles has revamped its roster by adding a total of eight new faces for the 2008-09 season.

Below is an update of the Clippers off-season transactions:

June 26: Drafted G Eric Gordon from Indiana University with the 7th pick in the NBA Draft
June 26: Drafted C DeAndre Jordan from Texas A&M with the 35th pick in the NBA Draft
June 26: Acquired the draft rights to G Mike Taylor from Portland in exchange for a 2009 second Round NBA Draft pick.
June 30: Extended qualifying offers to F Nick Fazekas and F Marcus Williams
July 2: Signed G Eric Gordon
July 9: Renounced rights to free agents G Dan Dickau, G Shaun Livingston, F Boniface Ndong, G Smush Parker, F James Singleton
July 10: Signed free agent G Baron Davis
July 15: Acquired F/C Marcus Camby from Denver in exchange for Denver to have the option to exchange second round picks in 2010
July 15: Signed C DeAndre Jordan and G Mike Taylor
July 16: Withdrew qualifying offer to F Marcus Williams; Renounced rights to free agents F Quinton Ross and C Paul Davis
July 23: Acquired G Jason Hart from Utah in exchange for G Brevin Knight
July 28: Signed free agent G/F Ricky Davis
July 30: Waived F Josh Powell
July 31: Signed free agent F Brian Skinner
August 1: Withdrew qualifying offer to F Nick Fazekas

To see the Clippers complete schedule, click here:


Guess who's playing on Christmas Day? Can you say NBA Finals rematch? I thought you could!

El SEGUNDO – The 2008-09 NBA regular season schedule was announced today, with the Los Angeles Lakers opening their season against the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday, October 28 at STAPLES Center.

Other highlights of the Lakers home schedule include games against the NBA Champion Boston Celtics on Christmas Day; the Western Conference Finalist San Antonio Spurs on January 25; NBA MVP runner-up Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets on January 6 and February 20; LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 19; Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets on November 9 and April 3; Pacific Division rival the Phoenix Suns on December 10 and February 26; and Western Conference Semifinals foe the Utah Jazz on January 2 and in the season finale April 14.

You can view the Lakers complete 2008-09 schedule here:



Finally -- the other guys!

After two weeks of going against teammates in training camp, all NFL clubs this weekend will be able to see a real, live -- opponent!

It’s the first full weekend of NFL preseason football, bookended by nationally televised games on Thursday and Monday nights.

“Definitely, you look forward to getting a different matchup,” says quarterback ELI MANNING, whose New York Giants this Thursday will get the first taste of an opponent (Detroit) since defeating New England in Super Bowl XLII last February. “We’ve been going against the same guys for a long time, so it’ll be good to see a live defense. You’ll be able to make some plays and celebrate the good plays.”

All that playmaking and celebrating comes this week packed with interesting storylines:

NEW ORLEANS AT ARIZONA (Thursday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): Brees wants to get it perfect. Leinart wants to get it going.

They’ll both spend the preseason attempting to do so.

New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES, who has completed the most passes for the most yards in the NFL over the past two years, thinks there is always room for improvement -- by him and his team, which wants to get back to the playoffs.

“We always feel like we can do a better job,” says Brees. “I think we’re our toughest critic.”

Brees’ counterpart, Arizona’s MATT LEINART, returns from a broken collarbone suffered last October. He has spent camp perfecting head coach KEN WHISENHUNT’s offense, a process that was interrupted last season.

“He’s a lot more comfortable, a lot more familiar with the offense,” says Arizona quarterback coach JEFF RUTLEDGE. “When he gets in the huddle, you can sense that confidence, you can sense that leadership,”

CINCINNATI at GREEN BAY (Monday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): The AARON RODGERS era begins. And the CARSON PALMER quest continues.

For Green Bay, it will be the first outing as starting quarterback for Rodgers, the club’s first-round draft choice of 2005. Head coach MIKE MC CARTHY will give the Cal grad plenty of playing time this summer, starting him in all four preseason games.

“We’ve talked about possibly playing our starters a little longer than usual in the preseason,” says the coach. “And that is our plan with Aaron.”

The Bengals want to get things back to where they were in 2005, when they went 11-5 and won the AFC North. They think they are on the way with a No. 10 finish in total offense last season and a No. 7 in passing.

Cincinnati has added to quarterback CARSON PALMER’s top-flight receiving corps headed by CHAD JOHNSON and T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH and will use the preseason to work in the newcomers.

The Bengals signed tight end BEN UTECHT from Indianapolis to strengthen their passing game down the middle, and rookie wideouts ANDRE CALDWELL and JEROME SIMPSON have been strong in camp and will see plenty of action starting Monday.


NEW YORK GIANTS at DETROIT: Super Bowl champ Giants get their first taste of ’08 action where they were so successful last year – on the road. New York won an NFL single-season record 10 consecutive away games, including in the playoffs.

SAN FRANCISCO at OAKLAND: Quarterbacks battle on one team, and one gets ready on the other. For the 49ers, it’s a three-way competition to see who will start among SHAUN HILL, J.T. O’SULLIVAN and ALEX SMITH. “The quarterback position is open,” says Niners head coach MIKE NOLAN. “Whoever gives us the best chance to win is the guy.”

For the Raiders, it’s all JA MARCUS RUSSELL, the No. 1 overall draft choice of 2007 who has been declared the starter by head coach LANE KIFFIN.

BALTIMORE at NEW ENGLAND: Clubs who staged one of ’07’s most memorable games meet again. Who can forget that chilly Monday-nighter last December 3 when the Ravens came close to breaking the Pats’ unbeaten streak at 11 games but were done in by a TOM BRADY-to-JABAR GAFFNEY TD pass with 44 seconds left to pull out a 27-24 victory?

SEATTLE at MINNESOTA: Vikings fans get a chance to see ’07 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year ADRIAN PETERSON tune up at RB, while the Seahawks will trot out their new RB tandem of MAURICE MORRIS and newcomer JULIUS JONES, fresh from Dallas.

ATLANTA at JACKSONVILLE: First action of the season for the Falcons’ first-round draft choice, QB MATT RYAN. His counterpart with the Jags, DAVID GARRARD, won the starting job last year with a stellar preseason (113.4 passer rating). “It’s a proven fact that you can win a job in preseason,” says Garrard.

INDIANAPOLIS at CAROLINA: QBs big here, too. Colts will give more work to JIM SORGI (7-for-10 for 66 yards in Indy’s opening drive in Sunday night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game). Returning-from-injury Panthers QB JAKE DELHOMME is ready to get things started. “It’s awesome to have your leader back under center,” says Carolina TE JEFF KING. “Blue-collar” Panthers – with Delhomme, BRETT BASANEZ, MATT MOORE and LESTER RICARD – are only team in NFL whose quarterbacks are all undrafted.

DALLAS at SAN DIEGO: These guys want to go even further! Meeting of ’07 playoff teams -- Divisional Playoff Cowboys and Championship Game Chargers.

So it’s time to match up with a “real opponent.” “I think the games are the real tests,” says JIM ZORN, victorious (30-16) in the Hall of Fame Game in his first outing as head coach of the Washington Redskins. “We can evaluate on the practice field but you’ve got to see how that translates onto the field during a game.”

THE “BULLET BILL” RECORD: The Washington Redskins were big last weekend at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio: two of their stars (DARRELL GREEN and ART MONK) were inducted and they won the Hall of Fame Game.

And then there was mention of another Redskins Hall of Famer -- “BULLET BILL” DUDLEY, the oldest (86) Hall of Fame member on hand for the weekend. Fifty-five years ago, Dudley retired after a nine-year NFL career as a halfback-defensive back, playing his last three seasons with Washington. An improbable NFL record he set still stands, and may never be broken. It was cited by JOHN MADDEN on the Colts-Redskins’ Sunday night telecast.

Dudley, a first-round draft choice in 1942 by Pittsburgh out of Virginia, scored an incredible nine different ways in his nine years -- on a rush, reception, kickoff return, punt return, interception, fumble recovery, lateral (yes, that was considered a scoring play in 1946), extra point and field goal.

NABJ Responds to Pat Buchanan Column, "Whitey Need Not Apply"

by NABJ Founder and Past President Les Payne
Were our racial politics played out within the pages of DC Comics, Patrick J. Buchanan would likely be cast as the twisted Joker of Gotham City. This erstwhile politician, for reasons not entirely clear in a multicultural society, is allowed to haunt the panel of almost every TV talk show discussing the politics of the day.

Television hosts on Fox and MSNBC are careful not to label the race-based menace that Buchanan pedals, tagging him benignly as a "political analyst." The TV pundit, however, is as subtle as a clenched fist about his "white folks" superiority crusade. In his "Brief for Whitey," a March 21 blog posting, Buchanan argued that slavery was the best treatment for African- Americans, whose "lift up" was executed by Christian "white Americans." Bearing up under this burden even now, whites, he claims, sacrifice mightily to ensure blacks their "freedom and prosperity."

"Where is the gratitude?" this Joker asked with a straight face. His piece of vendetta was aimed at the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his Chicago parishioner, Sen. Barack Obama, who is running for U.S. president. The polemics of Buchanan, in print and on air, earned him the National Association of Black Journalists' annual "Thumbs Down" award. The 4,100- member group cited Buchanan's crudely insensitive, racist, and stereotypical commentary that craters the landscape of racial discourse. Past recipients include columnist Armstrong Williams, former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, and most recently, Black Entertainment Television.

Careful not to cite his recent NABJ recognition, Buchanan countered with a 900-word posting entitled, "Whitey Need Not Apply." This essay criticized the efforts of UNITY-a national consortium of black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American journalists-to promote racial and ethnic fairness within media. Buchanan took particular exception to the plan of the "10,000 members of UNITY" to persuade 10 major media outlets to promote at least one additional, non-white, senior manager to their individual staffs by 2010.

So what's Buchanan's problem with this modest goal?

The UNITY campaign, the Joker rages, does not include "journalists of Irish, English, Polish, Italian, German or Jewish ancestry, since they are white." Well, now. It just so happens that, far from being aggrieved, the combination of these groups are precisely the owners, CEO's, producers, senior managers and publishers being petitioned. White group privilege, exclusive as it has been for 222 years, has empowered these media titans who oversee an industry that Unity feels should more reflect the America of the 21st Century.

Buchanan will have none of this. This dour pundit sees a slight against "white folks" behind every non- white advance. "Race," he wrote in his recent "Whitey" piece, is the only reason Obama got nearly 90 percent of the black vote against Hillary Rodham Clinton in a few state primaries. Such black voting patterns, however, are not at all unusual even when the candidates are all white.

President Clinton, for example, received 83 percent of the black vote in the '92 election; 84 percent in '96. Topping this, Al Gore got 90 percent in 2000; followed in '04, by Sen. John Kerry, who, according to CNN exit polls tallied 88 percent of the black vote.Were he not blinded by bigotry, Buchanan might notice that, despite suffering through slavery, Jim Crow and de facto segregation, African-Americans vote what they perceive as their interests--not their race. In the '04 Democratic presidential primary, for example, Al Sharpton got less than 17 percent of the black vote in South Carolina, the overwhelming majority going to white candidates. In his home state of New York, Sharpton managed about the same tally, with Sen. John Kerry attracting more than 60 percent, the remainder going to other white candidates.

Incidentally, Mr. Buchanan, in all the general presidential elections held throughout all the years of the republic, African Americans have voted for white candidates more than 99.99 percent of the time. Such facts, of course, would make no impression on this "analyst" given to false reasoning.

Earlier in Buchanan's life, as with the Joker of the DC Comics, perhaps some macabre, life-altering tragedy twisted his racial view into a lily-white phobia. Clarence Mitchell III, the black, former state senator, grew up a childhood friend of Buchanan in Maryland. Over the years, Mitchell has been repeatedly astonished at his former buddy's venomous "insensitivity to the plight of black Americans."

Mudslinging is a specialty of the blunt-speaking Buchanan who perfected this art after his journalism school days at Columbia University. Just as avoiding the military draft hardened him into a chicken-hawk on the Vietnam War, his journalism degree set him against the Jeffersonian idea of the press as a watchdog on government.

Instead, this nothing of a reporter went young into the craft as an editorial writer for the St. Louis Globe Democrat. Earlier, he had caddied for the sitting U.S. vice-president; so when Richard M. Nixon passed through town, the conflicted journalist put an arm on the politician for a job. "If you're running for president," Buchanan reportedly asked "I'd like to get in on the ground floor." The ersatz journalist quickly transformed himself into a truncheon for politicians soft on civil liberties.

As researcher and speech-writer for President Nixon, Buchanan sharpened the teeth of the conservative hacksaw used against the press. Along the way, he passed up no opportunity to wield his power against those seeking a free, fair and racially integrated society. In 1974, when Nixon resigned ahead of an impending impeachment, his scrappy dirty-trickster, with all the survival skills of the Joker, regained his feet as a syndicated columnist, lecturer and co-host of CNN's "Crossfire." In 1985, Buchanan ventured back into government, this time as the communications director for the Reagan White House.

The point man's bluntness earned him a front- row seat at one of Reagan's major PR blunder: laying a wreath at the graves of Nazi storm-troopers in Bitburg, Germany. Among the 49 Waffen SS troops in the cemetery was one Otto Franz Begel, awarded the German Cross for killing 10 American GI's. The cemetery contained no U.S. soldiers. According to Lou Cannon's biography, "Ronald Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime," the visit "was the seminal symbolic disaster of an administration that placed great store in symbolism."

As a staunch supporter of the Presidential honor for the Nazi troops, Buchanan once passionately lectured a group of opposing American Jews visiting the White House, including author and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. As if the wreath-laying for the Nazi troops was a patriotic act, Buchanan cautioned those accompanying Wiesel that they were "Americans first."

Compounding the insult, Buchanan was reportedly observed to have written "over and over again in his notebook: "Succumbing to the pressure of the Jews."

Buchanan's primal racial fears have repeatedly surfaced in his determined efforts to conserve an America defined strictly along lily-white racial and ethnic lines. "There is nothing wrong with us sitting down and arguing the issue that we are a European country," he said in opposing the entry of blacks from South Africa. During the apartheid era there, the columnist and White House tactician strongly opposed the democratic process that would give Africans the vote. He argued that the U.S. "Founding Fathers" withheld the vote from the Indians, restricting "the franchise to property- owning [white] males, believing that not every man was qualified to rule, nor every people prepared for self- government."

Buchanan's bold flirtation especially with anti- Semitism sparked even the National Review, the magazine bible of William F. Buckley Jr.'s hard right, to worry aloud about his rough style. "Some of his writings raise serious questions about his judgment and his underlying philosophy," the magazine wrote in an unsigned commentary. "[He] must sometimes wish he could call back the hasty word, the logic gone subtly wrong, the rash epithet, the savage retort."

Buchanan himself, however, has never shown any inclination to back away from verbal, racial assaults.

If anything, he has drawn his "white folks" covered wagons into an even tighter xenophobic, Euro-centric media circle. "The American majority," he wrote in his book, "Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War," is "not reproducing itself," and thus allowing "Asian, African, and Latin American children come to inherit the estate the lost generation of American children never got to see."

Such racial narcissism blinds Buchanan to the reality that these newly arriving immigrants--coupled with the rise of Native Americans and black descendants of slaves-need not be a decline of America--but indeed its very salvation! Conveniently, he forgets that not so long ago his Irish-Catholic ancestry, as well as that of the Italians and the Slavs of Eastern Europe, was similarly condemned by earlier arriving white Americans as signaling the doom of the republic as a viable world power.

Despite Buchanan's backward know- nothingness, he reigns nightly as a TV presence on political chat- shows. His countenance recalls nothing so much as that of the Joker, lacking only the red lip smear and the dark eye paint. Flip on almost any channel tonight and there is this scared and scary Buchanan, chopping the air with his hands-pedaling his gospel of hate.

Les Payne is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and columnist for Newsday. Payne is a Founder of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), served as the association's president from 1981 to 1983, and was recently inducted into the NABJ Hall of Fame.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with more than 4,100 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


It's about damn time!

The NFL and all 32 NFL clubs have created a fan code of conduct to help promote a positive fan environment at NFL stadiums, it was announced today.

The fan code of conduct is designed to set clear expectations and encourage a stadium environment that is enjoyable for all fans. Teams may add additional provisions to the standard code based on local circumstances or preferences. Each team will communicate its code of conduct during the preseason to season-ticket holders and fans through mailings, online, and in-stadium signage, and other messages.

“The in-stadium experience is critically important to the NFL, our clubs and our fans and it will be a major focus this season,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “We are committed to improving the fan experience in every way we can -- from the time fans arrive in the parking lot to when they depart the stadium. We want everyone to be able to come to our stadiums and enjoy the entire day.”

The code of conduct is intended to address behavior that detracts from the gameday experience. Any fan in violation of these provisions will be subject to ejection without refund and loss of ticket privileges for future games.

In addition to the fan code of conduct, the NFL and its clubs will evaluate fan feedback and existing programs to ensure their effectiveness and shape the development of new programs.

These measures are designed to build on the many outstanding programs already in place at NFL stadiums to enhance the fan experience.


“The National Football League and its teams are committed to creating a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for all fans, both in the stadium and in the parking lot. We want all fans attending our games to enjoy the experience in a responsible fashion. When attending a game, you are required to refrain from the following behaviors:

· Behavior that is unruly, disruptive, or illegal in nature
· Intoxication or other signs of alcohol impairment that results in irresponsible behavior
· Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures
· Interference with the progress of the game (including throwing objects onto the field)
· Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel
· Verbal or physical harassment of opposing team fans

“Event patrons are responsible for their conduct as well as the conduct of their guests and/or persons occupying their seats. Stadium staff will promptly intervene to support an environment where event patrons, their guests, and other fans can enjoy the event free from the above behavior. Event patrons and guests who violate these provisions will be subject to ejection without refund and loss of ticket privileges for future games.”

# # #

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lady Vols' Summitt donating $600K to university

The highest paid woman in college sports is using her $1 million-plus salary to re-invest in her program as well as the school's general scholarship fund.

I have long been a fan of Pat Summit, and this move is just another reason why she is beloved at Tennessee.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)-- Coach Pat Summitt will donate $600,000 to the University of Tennessee to be shared by the Knoxville and Martin campuses.

A spokeswoman for Tennessee athletics says the donation will go to support the women's basketball programs at both campuses and includes a $100,000 endowed scholarship for a Lady Vols basketball graduate assistant in honor of Summitt's parents, Richard and Hazel Head.

Summitt has spent 34 seasons as the Lady Vols coach, leading the program to an unprecedented eight national championships. She played basketball and volleyball at Tennessee-Martin.

Two other coaches have made similar contributions. Men's coach Bruce Pearl endowed the Dane Bradshaw Scholarship Endowment in March 2007 and football coach Phillip Fulmer announced in August 2007 a $1 million gift for academics and athletics.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

Friday, August 1, 2008

Jason Richardson Sponsors Scholarships for 17 Students

Here's a story that probably deserves way more attention than it received. Outside of Michigan and North Carolina, I doubt this story got any play at all.

Congrats to J-Rich for trying to make a difference in the lives of our youth without putting a basketball or a microphone in their hands.

Saginaw News

Changing their lives for the better has netted 17 Saginaw County 2008 high school graduates a share of $75,000 from a National Basketball Association star.

Working with the Saginaw Community Foundation and the Saginaw Intermediate School District, Saginaw native Jason Richardson is funding $500 scholarships for Saginaw County Turnaround students.

Richardson, a 1999 graduate of Arthur Hill High School, played college basketball at Michigan State University.

And while we are giving some love to Jason Richardson, I think it's a good time to revisit the following photo. Remember this sick move from the NBA All-Star Dunk Contest? Come on, Jason. I mean, seriously!

Free Image Hosting

Steve Nash & Baron Davis Step Brothers Spoof

Just spotted this video today. In a word: Classic!!


Not much significance about this deal, but I thought I would post this release from the team so you can see just how busy the Clippers have been during this summer.

Roster Currently Stands At 12, Including Eight New Players

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that the team and forward Nick Fazekas have agreed to the withdrawal of the teams qualifying offer dated June 25, making Fazekas an unrestricted free agent.

Signed by the Clippers as a free agent on March 18, Fazekas appeared in 26 games last season for Los Angeles, averaging 4.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 10.3 minutes.

The Clippers roster now stands at 12 players after the most recent signing of forward Brian Skinner on July 31, as Los Angeles has revamped its roster by adding a total of eight new players for the 2008-09 season.

Below is an update of the Clippers off-season transactions:

June 26: Drafted G Eric Gordon from Indiana University with the 7th pick in the NBA Draft
June 26: Drafted C DeAndre Jordan from Texas A&M with the 35th pick in the NBA Draft
June 26: Acquired the draft rights to G Mike Taylor from Portland in exchange for a 2009 second Round NBA Draft pick.
June 30: Extended qualifying offers to F Nick Fazekas and F Marcus Williams
July 2: Signed G Eric Gordon
July 9: Renounced rights to free agents G Dan Dickau, G Shaun Livingston, F Boniface Ndong, G Smush Parker, F James Singleton
July 10: Signed free agent G Baron Davis
July 15: Acquired F/C Marcus Camby from Denver in exchange for Denver to have the option to exchange second round picks in 2010
July 15: Signed C DeAndre Jordan and G Mike Taylor
July 16: Withdrew qualifying offer to F Marcus Williams; Renounced rights to free agents F Quinton Ross and C Paul Davis
July 23: Acquired G Jason Hart from Utah in exchange for G Brevin Knight
July 28: Signed free agent G/F Ricky Davis
July 30: Waived F Josh Powell
July 31: Signed free agent F Brian Skinner
August 1: Withdrew qualifying offer to F Nick Fazekas