Monthly Archives: January 2008

Tiger Woods as Jesus, Mike Tyson Snubbed In South Africa, Rugby Promo for Six Nations

IS TIGER WOODS GOD?
According to some, Tiger Woods is God. Actually, there is an entire website-a rather creepy one I might add- called tigerwoodsisgod.com.-and according to one of their posts, Sports Illustrated is planning for an upcoming issue with a cover photo depicting Tiger Woods as Jesus Christ in a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”
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Look-alikes of golfers including Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Fred Couples will reportedly be at a photo shoot in L.A. next month. The Nicklaus look-alike will depict Peter, who three times denied knowing Jesus, a Fuzzy Zoeller look-alike will portray Judas, presumably a reference to Zoeller’s suggestion that fried chicken or collard greens may be served at Woods’ Champion’s Dinner at The Masters in ’98. An SI spokesperson said he could neither confirm nor deny the report, but did acknowledge that the magazine was “planning a thematic act around the Champions Dinner” this year. The alleged call sheet picked up by various blogs lists Drew Gardner as the photographer. Melissa Hennessy, a spokesperson for the London-based photographer, confirmed that he had been hired by SI to conduct the shoot. (Sportsbusinessdaily)

RBS SIX NATIONS
I’ve never been big on Rugby, but after watching some of the worlds top rugby players battle it out ala ‘300’ in efforts to promote the RBS Six Nations tournement, (which begins Saturday) I just may give the sport another chance.

NO LOVE FOR MIKE TYSON
Former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson, is in South Africa country as part of a series of promotional events culminating in a boxing tournament on Saturday where he will be a celebrity commentator. Tyson has also planned a benefit for charities that care for abused children…but more than one person doesn’t agree with a convicted rapist holding a charity event.
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Jacob Zuma, the newly-elected leader of the governing African National Congress, opted out of Mike Tyson’s charity auction. Helen Zille, (Mayor of Cape Town), “I associate myself with the concerns of women’s organisations around the very, very serious crimes Mike Tyson has been convicted of. Those sorts of people should not be turned into heroes or role models,” Zille said. (www.iol.co.za)

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.

David Beckham World Of Sports, Ian Poulter Bares All for Golf World Cover, Tony Romo Sings With Jessica Simpson, SuperBowl Tickets for Charity, Princess the Camel

BECKHAM’S WORLD OF SPORT
Yesterday, David Beckham and developer Torben Frantzen officially unveiled the new Cabo Sao Roque luxury resort in Brazil. The resort will contain the David Beckham World of Sport, a pro athlete-training center with eight soccer fields that was partly designed and planned by Beckham, and a scholarship program for Brazial kids. The resort will also include two motor sports attractions developed by F1 driver Rubens Barrichello.
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“I am honored to be associated with this incredible project, which will build world class sporting facilities in Brazil, hopefully having a major impact at a local level and internationally,” Beckham said. “I am incredibly proud of the work my Academies do both in London and Los Angeles and I am happy Brazilian children will benefit from access to the top class facilities and coaching at this resort,” Becks said. Below is a great video of Golden Balls kicking it on the beach in Brazil, but I gotta warn you-its best viewed with the sound off.

PERFECTLY POULTER
While David Beckham has done an exceptional job at selling soccer in the US, Ian Poulter has just sealed the deal in terms of golf-hotties. From here on out, I propose a mandatory Tour media day in which all players pose with their bags ala Poulter.
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The wacky beast has caused a stir on the eve of the Dubai Desert Classic, not by posing nude, but by saying he was the only player capable of challenging the supremacy of world number one Tiger Woods. “Don’t get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer, but I know I haven’t played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger.” Poulter is ranked 22nd in the world and has seven European Tour wins to his credit, all of which is fine and dandy, but I was much more interested in hearing that he spent his honeymoon reading a book which inspired his bare-all cover. “I read Muhammad Ali’s biography on honeymoon. It was the first book I have read cover to cover in my life. It was fascinating. I am not classing myself in any way on his level, but I found many similarities in the book with what I am trying to achieve in my life. His belief was unbelievable. There was nothing, in his mind, that he couldn’t do.” It’s one thing to carry a paperback to read on the plane, but Poulter decided to read ‘The Goat’, (‘greatest of all time’), an opus book on Ali weighs 59 pounds and has 3,000 photographs of the boxer including one of him boxing underwater. (dailymail.co.uk)

TONY ROMO SINGS WITH JESSIE?
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According to Internet chit-chat, Tony Romo hit up the infamous Key Club in LA on Monday night, with Jessica Simpson. The love-birds enjoyed the ambiance of Metal Skool, a spandex and hairspray weekly show, before being enticed to join the band, also called Metal Skool, on stage. Romo grabbed the mic and rocked out to the Journey classic “Don’t Stop Believing” before embarrassing his woman by butchering Guns ‘N Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

SUPER BOWL TICKETS FOR CHARITY
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You only have a few days left before the biggest event of the year. I, for one, will watch it from home, but for those of you scrambling to get last minute Super Bowl tickets and don’t mind paying the big bucks, you can fork out the cash with comfort because there’s a few available that benefit charity. News/Talk 92.3 KTAR will auction off a premium Super Bowl ticket package, donated by Arizona State Credit Union to benefit Children’s Miracle Network. The auction will kick off on Thursday, January 31st during the Darrell Ankarlo Show (8:30 am – Noon), continuing through the Mac Watson Show (3 pm – 7 pm) and the Gaydos After Dark Program (7 pm – 10 pm). The bidding action will begin again on Friday, February 1st and conclude on the Darrell Ankarlo Show in the morning. Listeners can call in their bids to News/Talk 92.3 KTAR at (602) 200-2671. Bid updates will be posted on www.ktar.com. The winning bidder will receive a premium package that includes two tickets on the lower level in the 20 to Goal area and entrance for two to a VIP Party before and after the game. The funds raised from the auction will support the 1 Darn Cool School program that continues the educational needs of Phoenix Children’s Hospital patients who are hospitalized.

PRINCESS THE CAMEL PICKS GIANTS
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John Bergmann, general manager of Popcorn Park Zoo, and Princess the Camel use graham crackers to predict the outcome of SuperBowl. If you doubt the prowess of Princess, keep in mind that she went 11-6 during the regular season and is 8-out-of-10 in the playoffs in 2008. Princess predicts the Giants over the Patriots. For more stats and activity from Princess, please visit her website.

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.

BradyFan83 Tackles LaDainian, Roger Federer’s Historical Deal With Nike, Brandon Roy iRoys, Carmelo Anthony and LaLa Expecting Baby Number Two, Prince Charles Snubs Beijing, Drogba Caps 50.

BRADYFAN83 TACKLES LADAINIAN TOMLINSON
Ain’t nothing better than BradyFan83 (of YouTube fame) adapting my theme song to create another hysterical video-dig, this time aimed at San Diego Charger LaDainian Tomlinson.

JUST WHAT HE NEEDS
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Oh god no…Nike is about to deposit $13M into R-Feds ego-bank. Sources say Nike is close to signing Roger Federer to a new ten-year contract extension that stands to be the most lucrative tennis endorsement ever, which could be worth as much as $13M annually according to sources cited by Kaplan & Lefton of Sportsbusiness Journal. Sources couldn’t confirm whether the $13M is fully guaranteed or if it in part depends on Federer’s on-court performance, but if it does go through, it will make R-Fed one of the top-paid endorsers at Nike in any sport. A source indicated that “a deal is expected to be signed” next month.

BRANDON ROY iROYS
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Trail Blazers Brandon Roy is getting some great NBA All-Star promotional activity from team officials, who sent a special edition iPod nano or “iRoys” to about 60 media members. The iPod features a picture of Roy on the front and ‘#7 Brandon Roy, Special All-Star Edition’ etched on the back. The campaign wasn’t intended to influence the media, but some members have opted to return the iRoy to the TB’s because it may appear unethical. Blazers President Larry Miller: “It was a bit of a concern but we thought we’d take a chance because it was such a creative idea.” Indeed it was- and if anyone wants to sell me theirs, hit me up, mama wants one bad.

HAPPY 50TH
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Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba will earn his 50th cap against Mali in the African Nations Cup today…

THANK YOU
Prince Charles has snubbed the Chinese Government by refusing to attend the ’08 Beijing Olympic Games. Prince did not give a reason for his decision and has confirmed to the London-based Free Tibet Campaign that he has no plans to attend the opening ceremony in the Chinese capital. The Free Tibet Campaign, which opposes the Chinese occupation of the Himalayan country, is not calling for athletes to stay away from the summer’s Olympics. But it is hoping to encourage public figures to declare that they will stay away in protest at human rights abuses and China’s refusal to grant Tibet independence. “We are not calling for any sort of boycott by the athletes, they have been training for years,” said Anne Holmes, director of the Free Tibet Campaign. “What we would like to see is as many as possible high profile public figures making a principled decision to stop at home – and watch it on TV.
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The Prince has met the Dalai Lama several times. In a letter to the campaign, Clive Alderton, his deputy private secretary, confirmed the Prince would not attend the opening ceremony. “As you know, His Royal Highness has long taken a close interest in Tibet and indeed has been pleased to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama on several occasions,” he wrote. “You asked if the Prince of Wales would be attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. His Royal Highness will not be attending the ceremony.”

SWEET MELON KNOCKS UP LALA AGAIN
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Like a knife through my heart…according to MediaTakeOut.com…January 28, 2008. Congratulations are in order. MediaTakeOut.com has EXCLUSIVELY learned that La La Vasquez and NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony are expecting their second child. We spoke with one of La La’s family friend’s who broke the news. The woman told MediaTakeOut.com, “When we heard the news everyone was so happy … La La is such a great mother.” La La and Carmelo already have a son, Kiyan, together. The happy couple has been engaged since 2004.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Adam Scott Repeats Qatar Title, Woods Wins Buick, Louis Williams From Hoops to Turntable.

GREAT BALLS OF SCOTT
The biggest distraction I had while working the Buick was the TV, which was tuned to the Qatar Masters for part of the day. With one eye on our lovely Columbian kitten, Camilo Villegas, and the other battling focus on Adam Scott and Johan Edfors, I was just about beside myself.
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Adam Scott grabbed the Pearl trophy after shooting an 11-under 61 Sunday to win the Qatar Masters by three strokes over Henrik Stenson. The Burberry babe delivered 11 birdies at the Doha Golf Club to finish at 20-under 268. But more importantly, this victory gives Adam Scott the honor of being the first repeat winner of the tournament since its inception in 1998. “It’s a move in the right direction, getting back to where I was,” said Scott after nabbing his 14th professional title. “I haven’t played that poorly over the last six months, it just hasn’t been anything special, just solid stuff and nothing exciting. There are so many good players that you slowly slip away, this time last year I was No. 3 in the world and feeling pretty good about myself. It’s now important to build on this momentum. There are two world golf events and the Masters in the next 2½ months, hopefully I will keep this form rolling and then get in the mix in those [tournaments], that is my aim.”

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Finishing the tourney in 4th place was Johan Edfors. Edfors and his perfectly fit Puma gear continue to knock my panties socks off with his sexy swing and feisty persona. If dude can’t sell the sport of golf to you, then I suggest you make an appointment to see your doctor.

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And just a few words about the Buick Invitational. Tiger has obviously kicked it up an unexpected notch. Woods finished at 19-under 269 to win the Buick for the fourth consecutive year, tying a PGA Tour record for consecutive wins in a single tournament. “I’m starting to get better,” he said. “I’m hitting shots that I never could hit before, even in 2000. People think, ‘Yeah, you played great.’ But I made everything. I’m actually hitting the ball better now than I did during that stretch.” Dare I say he’s beginning to sound like his friend R-Fed…on a much sweeter note, Camilo Villegas was also frolicking at the Buick, finishing T13 at 3-under. But what surprised me about our kitten was his interaction with the fans. With my eyes focused on his finely sculpted forearms, I watched as he stopped and signed about 31 autographs for spectators- mostly children. But before walking away, he would tussle the child’s hair, or pat them on the head- sending them into squeals of delight. It was one of the most touching ‘sports’ moments I’ve seen in a long time, and just goes to show ya, it only takes a few seconds to improve a child’s life. Thank you Camilo…for everything.

TSONGA DOWNED BY DJOKOVIC
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Is it me or is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga trying out for a modeling job? Just about every photo I come across looks like an ad for his adidas gear…perhaps lending credit to the age-old joke ‘what does adidas stand for’-All Day I Dream About Sex. In any case, hottie has put himself on the map despite his loss to Novak Djokovic. Djokovic won the Australian Open championship by beating Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6, in a match attended by Sting and Andy Summer of the Police.

SPIN ME ROUND
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Louis Williams of the 76ers is doing double duty. Aside from lending some spark to the bench, the 21-year-old is launching his own radio show called “The Louis Williams Show” on February 10. “My main goal is just to go out there and promote myself, my teammates and the Sixers’ organization and just try to get some more fans in the seats at the Wachovia Center,” Williams said. “Just think, if I’m on the road in Cleveland, I can interview LeBron [James] or if I’m Los Angeles I can have Kobe [Bryant] be a guest on my show,” Williams said. “It’s the ‘Louis Williams Show,’ I can do whatever I want, really.” Williams also said the money he earns while working at the station will support his Caps for Kids Drive. (Philly.com)

GOLDEN STATE PENN
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While getting my daily intake of Golden State Warriors action via Baron Davis/his Beard/Matt Barnes/and his ink, I stumbled across Sean Penn chilling in the stands during the GS/Knicks game. Funny thing is, Sean Penn seems to be more important than Sir Anthony Hopkins? Hopkins is clearly sitting next to Penn, but got no mention in the photo cap. Tsk-tsk…

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Novak Djokovic Downs Federer, Meets Michael Vicks Dogs, Didier Drogba Scores For the Elephants.

**David Feherty**
If you’re reading this, please call me!

NOVAK MY HERO
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If you’re a regular reader, then you know I’m doing cartwheels today…Yes, I may be the devil for relishing Novak Djokovic’s stunning upset of Roger Federer, but what can I say, I prefer my hotties humble. The Swiss-Mister had reached 10 straight Grand Slam finals, and won 19 matches in a row at Melbourne Park, until Djokovic pulled some magic outta his racket and downed the Worlds Number One 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Australian Open semifinals Friday.
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“I’ve created a monster that I need to win every tournament,” Federer said. “Still, the semifinals isn’t bad.” Of course its not Roger….and what did our 20-year old Serbian beast have to say for himself? “I am just very amazed I coped with the pressure today. In the most important moments, I played my best tennis. It’s just amazing, indescribable, to beat the No. 1 player of the world, one of the best players this sport has ever had, in straight sets.” The sexy Serb now faces the unseeded Tsonga in Sundays Final.

WHAT?
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I was in the middle of a Drogba induced libido-feeding frenzy while reading about the Ivory Coast’s 4-1 victory over Benin in the Africa Nations Cup, until I came across a Drogba ‘quote’ which sent a nail through my heart…Drogba scored one goal…yada, yada, yada…helped Ivory Coast to a victory…yada, yada, yada…making the Elephants the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations…good, I love that….”We played against a team that was very compact and didn’t want to come out,” Drogba said. “It’s nice for me to score my first goal.” Indeed it is…the Ivory Coast climbed alone atop Group B with six points, two more than Mali…good…Mali needs only a draw against Ivory Coast in its final group game on Tuesday to advance…yada, yada, yada…that leaves Drogba in somewhat of a dilemma…”It’s going to be difficult,” he said. “I’m from Ivory Coast. My WIFE is from Mali.” Wife? Kill me now…the last time I heard such heartbreaking news was when Sweet Melon reproduced with LaLa.

MEET THE VICK-TIMS
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At 11:00 am today at the Oakland Animal Services in Oaktown, Jonny Justice and four of his friends, met the press. But these aren’t just any dogs, they are the infamous Michael Vick dogs. BAD RAP, the nonprofit pit bull rescue group, and Oakland Raider Jarrod Cooper were all on hand to introduce the adorable dogs slated for adoption and discuss the victims’ stories. Raiders’ Cooper discussed why he’s dedicated to helping dogs and the importance of the Vick case. BAD RAP extensively evaluated all 49 dogs from the Vick property and found that 48 of them were safe with people. They selected 10 of the most outgoing and social dogs to bring back to the Bay Area for care, training and re-homing. Donna Reynolds, Executive Director of BAD RAP states, “These dogs serve as examples of how pit bulls are often victimized and how they deserve the same consideration as other breeds: a chance to be treated humanely,
comforted, and viewed as individuals.” (www.badrap.org)

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Buick Invitational: Tiger And Tilghman Emerge, Tony Romo Dumps Jessica Simpson, Tim Brady Stetson Ad And Too Much Sex? Shaq-Daddy Cashes Out For Divorce, Shaun White Nabs 10-Year Endorsement

NO NOOSE IS GOOD NOOSE
Gotta say…still not much chitchat among patrons or employees at the Buick regarding noose-gate. The Golf Channel kicked off coverage with a taped apology from Tilghman. As Tilghman came on-screen and began speaking, there was no audio for the first five seconds, but when it was restored, Tilghman said, “(I) used an inappropriate word that was offensive to many. Over the last two weeks, I’ve taken the time to reflect and truly understand the impact of what I said. While I did not intend to offend anyone, I understand why those words were hurtful. I am terribly sorry for any hurt that I’ve caused. I would like to express my deepest apologies.” Coverage then shifted to a package narrated by Tilghman that introduced the tournament…Tiger seems to be biting back for keeping-mum for so long… Woods said, “I am socially active every day of my life, and that’s with my (Tiger Woods Foundation). … I know there are people who want me to be a champion of all causes, and I just can’t do that.” (Ah, yes you can Tiger) ESPN’s Jason Sobel said, “Has Woods become the unique athlete whose words are more cherished than his actions? Have we become so numb to the man with 13 majors and 61 PGA Tour victories that we seek more from him off the course?” Yes, we have…why? Because as fired Golfweek editor Seanor puts it: “It’s indicative of how, when you bring race and golf into the same sentence, everyone recoils. Look at the executive suites at the PGA Tour, or the USGA, or the PGA of America. There are very, very few people of color there. This is a situation in golf where there needs to be more dialogue. And when you get more dialogue, people don’t want to hear it, and they brush it under the rug.” So I guess we can now sweep noose-gate under that rug and call it a bogey.

TOM BRADY STETSON STUD
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“I would be concerned about sex affecting him mentally, because his mind is in a different place” – Sports psychologist Dr. Todd Hays, on Patriots QB Tom Brady spending 24 straight hours earlier this week with girlfriend Gisele Bundchen in her Manhattan apartment…oh the visions dancing through my mind right now definitely include a Stetson man. The new ad featuring Brady has been released for our viewing pleasure…

TONY ROMO DUMPS JESSICA
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Big surprise here…Tony Romo has reportedly dumped Jessica Simpson. Hot stuff allegedly called Jessie on January 17 to try to break up with her, but she was having none of it. A backstabbing (?) friend of Simpson revealed to OK! Magazine, “He said he thought it was better if they went back to being friends. ‘Just friends’ is not in Jessica’s vocabulary, and she is not a victim. She knows how bad this will look in the media.” Just recently, the couple had gone to a romantic Texas hunting trip (Huh-romance and hunting?) but the source says it was just part of his plan. According to the “friend,” the trip was planned by the Dallas Cowboys player, who hoped it would be the “worst date” of his diva girlfriend’s life. “It’s Tony’s way of punishing Jess. Jessica Simpson hunting – and without her entourage? Forget it. We’re talking diva status. She comes with an entourage, and that includes her dad, Joe Simpson.”

SHAQ DADDY HIGH MAINTENANCE
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As Shaquille Daddy and his Heat continue their downward spiral, Shaq is trying to get his divorce finalized. Apparently, ExtraTV.com got their grubby little fingers on Shaq’s financial affidavit, which is part of the divorce files. Daddy earns nearly $2M a month, has monthly expenditures such as $22,000 in maid services, $17,000 in clothing, $110,000 on vacations, $23,000 at gas stations and a $1,500 monthly cable bill…$1,500 a month on cable? Sounds like someone watching a lot of porn….

GOLDEN BOY WHITE
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This kid just keeps getting better…Shaun White has inked a ten-year endorsement deal with Burton Snowboards, which the company said is the longest deal in snowboarding. White will continue to ride for Burton’s Global Team, in addition to working with the company to expand The White Collection, his signature line of hard goods and outerwear. The collection, which includes a signature board and boot, will also offer snowboarding-related bags, luggage and clothing accessories. (Burton Snowboards).

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Rory Sabbatini Donates to Military Families, Adam Scott, Anton Haig, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Defeats Nadal

SABBATINI
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Yesterday, while most of our golf babes were busy at the Buick Pro-Am, Rory Sabbatini donated $170,000 to the United Through Reading Military program at the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego. Sabbatini’s donation was the largest single donation to the program, which benefits families separated by deployments overseas.

BURBERRY ME
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Adam Scott and Anton Haig are currently decorating the greens at the Qatar Masters. Scott put the ‘swing’ in “Desert Swing” by simply just standing there in his Burberry swag…and Anton Haig is killing me with those eyes….Scott put pressure on leaders Anton Haig and Lee Westwood this afternoon and moved within two shots of the early pace-setters. After Haig made a first-round five-under-par 67, Westwood quickly followed suit to join the Johnnie Walker Classic champion at the top of the leaderboard. Scott is at three under par.

NOT SO BAD?
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“I can’t believe some volleys,” Rafael Nadal said. “I tried to play little bit slower. I tried to play a little bit faster. I tried to play more inside the court, behind the court. No chance. Not today.” Rafa, of course, was speaking about his loss to French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. “It’s unbelievable, just amazing,” the Frenchman said. “Nothing can stop me today. It’s like a dream. I can’t believe it’s true. I was moving on the court like never I move. Everything was perfect.” Agreed…and I gotta say, this is one Frenchman I don’t mind rattling our Tapa’s feathers. “I was playing fine,” Nadal said. “He played unbelievable. Congratulate him.” Tsonga, who beat three top 12 players earlier in the tournament, had never gone beyond the fourth round in his four previous Grand Slams. Now, he will play the winner of Friday’s semifinal between Federer and Djokovic.

THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
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A picture is worth a thousand words. Mad love to photographer Joe Klamar who should sell this image to Puma for an advertising campaign…Local boys speak with Egyptian goalkeeper Monsef Ahmed Abdel during Egypt’s football team’s practice in Kumasi, 23 January 2008 in the African Cup of Nations football championship. (Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images). Priceless.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Buick Invitational, Dana Jacobson Suspended For Comments, 90210 Racing?

BUICK INVITATIONAL
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Posts will be a bit spotty this week- as it’s that wonderful time of year when they let the fox into the henhouse. I’ve been frolicking around the Buick Invitational, unfettered and fancy free, listening to the words exchanged between caddies, fans, players and staff. Not much mention of the whole “lynching” issue. Kelly Tilghman and Tiger were both out today, with Tilghman appearing to be in good spirits and eager to get back to ‘work’ after her suspension. But I actually had my sights set on bigger things, like Camilo Villegas. After getting my quick kitten-fix, I just about walked into Aaron Baddeley-who went unnoticed as he strolled by-you all now how fine he is-so I wont elaborate on his perfectly-fit trousers or drop-dead smile…all players, including Tiger, attended a mandatory meeting on Tuesday to enlighten the beasts about the Tours new ‘anti-doping’ policy….sad news coming from our caddies…popular PGA Tour caddie Steve Duplantis, was killed early Wednesday when he was struck by a taxi while crossing a street in Del Mar. (Just north of Torrey Pines). Duplantis stepped off a center median and into the path of a taxi, where the 35-year-old was pronounced dead on the scene. He was working at the Buick Invitational for Eric Axley. R.I.P. my friend…

O BEHAVE
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What the hell is going on with these women? Seriously. Its hard enough to be a woman in a mans world, so why are some of these woman acting like idiots and ruining it for the rest of us? ESPN2 “First Take” co-host Dana Jacobson is the latest female to open her pie-hole and make us look bad. Jacobson is serving a one-week suspension for her behavior at a January 11 roast for ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic in Atlantic City. At the roast, Jacobson, apparently had way too much to drink, and seeing as she’s a Michigan graduate, made a “rambling speech that included vulgar references about Notre Dame.” (To be specific: “F*ck Notre Dame, touchdown Jesus”) Its just too bad for Jacobson that she said it in front of Golic, (a former Notre Dame defensive lineman), and Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis. An eyewitness called Jacobson’s behavior an “embarrassing display,” and a newspaper account said that the crowd booed Jacobson. Jacobson reportedly “made a number of personal apologies the following day, including to Greenberg and Golic.” Jacobson, in a statement: “I am sorry. My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words.” (I gotta say though kids, ‘touchdown Jesus’ is funny.)

90210 RACING?
Here’s an interesting tid-bit for all you Beverly Hills 90210 fans…Jason Priestley will team with a former Kelley Racing exec to be the co-Owner of Rubicon Racing, a new IRL team scheduled to compete in the ’08 Indianapolis 500. The team will be operated by Sam Schmidt Motorsports and has an advisory board that includes former Kelley Racing Owner Tom Kelley, Colts TE Dallas Clark, NFL Panthers Jason Baker and Ian Ziering.
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Priestley began racing sports cars in 1991. He was a TV analyst for the IRL series prior to 2002, when he crashed during practice at Kentucky Speedway-JP slammed into a wall at 180 mph, broke his back and feet, suffered a concussion, a bruise around his left eye, cuts on his nose, left cheek and neck. “Dude, this is going to be so fun,” Priestley said Monday. “I’m excited to be able to spend the month of May in Indy with my good friends and be a part of the greatest open wheel race,” Priestley said, “It’s been more than five years since my accident, and it’s going to be so good to get to see everyone.” Kinda like a high school renunion….

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

David Beckham In Sierra Leone, Snoop Dogg Bends It Like Beckham, Lewis Hamilton Wins Hawthorn Memorial, Poker Stats,

AMBASSADOR BECKHAM
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Fulfilling his role as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Sir Golden Balls David Beckham spent last weekend in Sierra Leone. “He arrived yesterday as an ambassador of Unicef to see our work in the field. He visited several child survival programs in the north of the country, around Kabala, near the border with Guinea,” said Alison Parker, a spokesman for the UN body. Sierra Leone’s Infant and maternal mortality are among the highest in the world especially because roads, schools and hospitals were devastated by the civil conflict. “He’s here as a guest of UNICEF,” Parker said, “He’s covering programs on child survival in Sierra Leone; visiting a number of UNICEF programs in the northern part of the country on malaria prevention and immunization.” Parker added.

D’ BECKS AND THE DOGG
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By now, you should be hip to the Snoop-Beckham connection. The two created quite a buzz after Beckham appeared on Snoop Dogg’s Fatherhood. (An episode not to be missed). But the dynamic duo has much higher aspirations than just eating friend chicken at Roscoe’s. Snoop Dogg and David Beckham are looking to “save lives” in California’s poverty and crime-stricken areas. Their vehicle for change? Football and soccer. “We’re going to be trying to save lives,” announced Snoop, a championship coach for his son’s junior football team. “We will be going in to do different things and I hope someone cares. I hope this proves I do other things than go to jail, smoke weed and go back to jail. With me, the media is usually most concerned with conflicts and altercations.” What? Snoop smokes weed? Ludacris.

HAMILTON ADDS ANOTHER TROPHY
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Every year, the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy is presented to the most successful British or Commonwealth driver in the FIA Formula One World Championship. So I guess it’s a no-brainer that Lewis Hamilton picked this one up after finishing last season one point behind champion Kimi Raikkonen. “Lewis’ arrival on the F1 scene last season made a huge impact, capturing the public’s imagination not only in this country but around the world,” commented Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the Motor Sports Association. “His performances have given us a great platform on which to raise the profile and develop the sport in this country.” Indeed. The Hawthorn Memorial Trophy was first presented by the Hawthorn family in memory of Mike Hawthorn, who became Britain’s first Formula One world champion in 1958 but tragically died a year later. Hamilton is the 18th driver to win the trophy, but the first to do so in his maiden year of Formula One competition.

IF YOU’VE GOT TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS
I guess we can now officially call poker a sport? STATS provides data collection and analysis for 85 sports leagues including the NFL, NBA and MLB, will now deliver stats and information from every past and present World Poker Tour final table. STATS’ information will detail “playing style” along with situational analysis, breakdowns and trends for a more complete portrait of each World Poker Tour player. Examples include how often a player plays a pot; how often they take a hand to “showdown”; and the average bet size relative to the pot by player. Like I said, if you’ve got too much time on your hands and aspire to be at the WPT final table, then maybe this database is for you. (www.worldpokertour.com)

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As always, thanks for reading,
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.

Suns Rise for MLK, Ref Mike Carey Makes History, Hornets Build Playground, Africa’s Cup, Homeless World Cup Film Debuts at Sundance.

SUNS RISE FOR MLK
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech. A speech with a message that resonates as strongly today as it did then. We have many reasons to thank MLK, and some of those reasons are rooted in our sports.
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Yesterday, Mark West, Michael Johnson, Bill Russell, Rick Welts, and Leonard “Truck” Robinson held a symposium honoring Dr. MLK, Jr. at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. What some of you may not know is that Bill Russell is the NBA’s first Black coach – or as he put it, “I was the first Black coach I played for.” In 1969, Russell’s Boston Celtics were in Lexington, Ky. When they went out to eat, he was told the team hotel restaurant did not serve Blacks. Russell went to his room, booked a flight home, and a few teammates followed. Last year, the president of Prairie View A&M University said he was a junior high student in Lexington at the time. “You have no idea what impact you had on my life,” he told Russell. “That was the first time the community realized everybody wasn’t going to let you treat them how you want. It changed the whole atmosphere.” (AZ Central)

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My Chargers lost to those-oh-so-annoying-yet-outstanding-Patriots yesterday, essentially giving me no reason to watch Super Bowl XLII other than to get my Tom Brady fix, but, did ya know…referee Mike Carey will work the Super Bowl, making him the first Black ref in Super Bowl history. Once again, thank you MLK.

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In New Orleans on Saturday, Hornets babes Maurice Peterson and Rasual Butler hooked-up with over 200 volunteers from NBA Cares to chase their own dream: Build a new playground in just one day. Joined by organizers from KaBoom, the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association and residents of the community, the boys spread love while building the new, safe playground at the Olive Stallings Playground. And how cute is this- the new playground’s design is based on drawings provided by children who attended a Design Day event in November. Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association President Kathryn Parker said the association contacted Washington, D.C.-based Kaboom about the neglected and storm-damaged playground last year. Kaboom told Parker to contact NBA Cares, and they in turn kicked in most of the $100,000 needed for the project, as well as the two Hornets. (Neworleanscitybusiness)

AFRICA’S CUP
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Am I the only person in the US excited about the 2008 African Cup of Nations?

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For those who care…Ghana beat Guinea 2-1 in the opening match. More importantly, Drogba was back in action for the Ivory Coast, who beat Nigeria 1-0.

HOMELESS WORLD CUP: KICKING IT
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I know Im not the only one who cares about the Homeless World Cup? The documentary “Kicking It” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend, just in time for ESPN to snatch up the TV distribution rights to the documentary. The film chronicles the lives of seven players taking a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country while overcoming poverty and addiction. “Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and played in virtually every country around the globe, while homelessness is one of the world’s most pervasive problems,” said Susan Koch, Director. “When you bring the two together, lives can be transformed. We found extraordinary people who for the first time were given the chance to stand tall and not be invisible.” Kicking It is produced by Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis, narrated by actor Colin Farrell, and names WNBA Mystics President Sheila Johnson among the film’s executive producers.

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As always, thanks for reading,
DeLinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.

Nadal, Blake, Federer: Day 7 Down Under; Marin Cilic Talks to the Animals; Scott Macartney Crashes; Francis Joyon Round the World in 58 Days

DOWN UNDER
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Gotta give love to our tennis babes for making this years Australian Open wonderfully sporntastic. Spanish treat Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals after Paul-Henri Mathieu retired with a bum ankle. Sounding a bit Feder-like, our tapa commented on his wicked play, “I was playing well today, maybe I was playing my best tennis in Australia this year,” purred the beast, “I’m happy to be in the quarterfinals — would have preferred not like this — but in the quarterfinals anyway.”

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Janko Tipsarevic gets mad-props for delivering a stunning 4-hour, 27-minute performance against the Swiss Mister Roger Federer. Tipsarevic was ‘this’ close to sending Federer packing, but in the end, the world’s number one walked away victorious 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-1, 10-8. “I’m happy I could deliver a five-set thriller. It was good to be part of something like this,” said Federer, chasing his third consecutive Australian title and 13th major. But I think Tipsarevic deserves the most love for “being part of something like this.” After watching him play, I was stunned to learn he’s only ranked 48th in the world. Dude put up one hell of a battle and I adore him.

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The biggest story by far, is that of James Blake. His five-set, third round Saturday win over Sebastian Grosjean was nothing short of spectacular. “That’s got to be my biggest comeback — down two sets to love, two sets to one, two breaks against a guy that was getting a lot of free points on his serve,” Blake said. “Four-1 in the breaker, 5-3 in the breaker … it just seemed like every time there was a mountain to climb…I don’t think a lot of people like my chances, but I always do. No matter what my body language says — I know I’ve been criticized about that in the past — but that’s a little bit of the perfectionist in me.” Blake and that beautiful bouncing booty now face Marin Cilic in the fourth round.

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I don’t know who’s cuter…Marin Cilic, Timmy the tree kangaroo, or Mallo the koala…I just wanna squeeze them all.

CRASH AND BURN

Scott Macartney of the United States crashed during the men’s World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel, January 19. The 30-year-old from Crystal Mountain crashed at full speed (140 km/h) in the final jump of the downhill, fell on his back, lost his helmet, and amazingly enough, suffered no broken bones. “According to the U.S. ski team coaches, Scott Macartney is awake and feeling good,” organizers said on Sunday. Organizers added Macartney would stay under observation in hospital for a few days but a full recovery was expected.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 58 DAYS
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French yachtsman Francis Joyon and his trimaran “IDEC” arrived in the Brittany port of Brest, France Sunday, January 20, 2008, after completing his nonstop solo circumnavigation of the globe in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 06 seconds. His solo journey obliterated the previous record held by Britain’s MacArthur who did it in 71 days and 14 hours.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Golfweek Editor Fired, Steve Nash Web-Ad ‘Training Day’, Derek Jeter G2 Spot, Sidney Crosby Jersey Sells for $45,000, Andy Roddick Ousted at Open.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Two days ago, Golfweek editor Dave Seanor said that he “doesn’t believe the cover will offend African-Americans. We talked to African-Americans who work here in the building to see what their thoughts were. For this story, that’s the image that comes to everybody’s mind is the noose.” And today, dude is out of a job. Golfweek has fired VP & Editor Dave Seanor. Senior Writer Jeff Babineau will replace Seanor on an interim basis. Babineau appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” this morning and said of the discussion of the potential covers for this week’s edition, “One (potential) cover we had this week was on the young Australian phenom Jason Day, and had we had to do it over again, certainly we wish we could go back to Monday and put that one on the cover.” Babineau said firing Seanor was “something we had to do to show people that we are extremely sorry.” He said of addressing the firing in next week’s issue: “Our job is to say we’re sorry, and we’re going to do it with a front cover letter that I’m going to write, and we’ll go on and cover the business of golf as we always did.” More Babineau: “I don’t think maybe enough thought was put into it that it would be so offensive. … A lot of the thinking was that this noose was trying to depict the tough situation that the Golf Channel was in”

STEVE NASHTY
“The passion and the appreciation for the finer points of soccer easily translate to basketball.” Steve Nash.
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My favorite Sun, Steve Nash, has completed a Web-ad for Nike called ‘Training Day’. Nash enlisted Lola Schnabel, daughter of artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, to shoot the “self-styled Web ad” and received little input on the shoot from Nike, who kicked in one of the two cameras and edited the piece. A Nike spokesperson said that the company has no problems with Nash’s ad and welcomes other athletes to follow in his footsteps…congrats to Nash and Lola for producing a great spot which highlights just about every aspect of why I adore Mr. Nashty.

DEREK JETER G2
Derek Jeter is trying to entice us into drinking diet Gatorade. In late December, Gatorade launched a teaser for the new G2 campaign, which featured the legs and feet of two different athletes walking in street clothes in an urban environment. Under their feet, the street surfaces began to transform into a baseball field or basketball court. And now, the G2 spots have revealed that the baseball version features Derek Jeter, while the basketball version features Dwyane Wade. “These ads nail what most athletes know — that being an athlete is a way of life,” said Jeter, “I often think about how the decisions I make off the field will affect my performance during a game. So you’ll see Gatorade in my hand in the dug out and a G2 in my hand when I’m out and about.”
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Personally, I’ll stick to my VitaminWater, but in case Jeter or Wade do entice you to drink G2, know that you’ll be helping out the United Way at the same time. G2 has committed to raise up to $150,000 for United Way between now and Feb. 3. For every visit to www.drinkG2.com, G2 will donate $1 to United Way up to $100,000. Media and professional athletes will also have the opportunity to generate an additional donation of up to $50,000 by participating in a bowling challenge during Super Bowl Week at an exclusive “G2 Lounge” at the official Super Bowl media center in Phoenix. You can check out the G2 spot here.

SIDNEY CROSBY-MANIA
Admittedly, we on the West Coast have a hard time following hockey unless its our Ducks, Kings, or something spectacular like the New Year’s Day Winter Classic-a game which was viewed on TV by more people in the US than any other regular-season NHL game in at least ten years. It was during this game that sexy Sidney Crosby delivered the game-winning goal in front of 71,000 people. Both the Sabres and the visiting Penguins wore uniforms and pucks with special designs on them just for this game. Most of the game-worn items, pucks, sticks, etc were sent to the NHL auction block to raise money for cancer. And who could have predicted…Sidney Crosby’s game worn jersey had a starting bid of $5000, within hours, it was up to $20,000, and by the end of the 14-day auction, Sir Sidney’s jersey sold for $45,000. Adding a bit of icing on the cake, Sidney’s game-used puck went for $7,505. (Ballhype.com)
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Don’t belive the hype? Well, Crosby is so hot that he’s knocked NHL Commissioner Bettman out of the top spot in The Hockey News’ annual ‘100 People of Power and Influence’ list, a position the commissioner has held for the past eight rankings. Last season, Crosby and the Penguins attracted the biggest crowds around the NHL, drawing an average of 17,791 (96% capacity) on the road. Crosby’s jersey also was the top seller for the ’06-07 season. NHL VP/Marketing “When he comes into town, it’s a carnival-like atmosphere because people want to see the prodigy, they want to see the real deal.” And I’d have to say Crosby is indeed, the Real Deal.

RODDICK GETS OUSTED
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The total day and night attendance for Australian Open matches on Thursday was 62,885, a single-day record for a Grand Slam event. Perhaps those numbers will dwindle a bit since Andy Roddick lost his nearly 4-hour battle last night against German swinger Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4. 3-6, 7-6, 6-7, 8-6. “I took his best stuff for five sets and I thought I was going to get him to break or to fold,” Roddick said. “I thought if I kept it on him long enough that that would happen. Tonight he played like a great, great player. His backhand was extremely impressive.” Gotta give it to Mr. Mojo though, the beast fought with all the sexy and feisty strength he had to serve us up one hell of a game.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Golfweek Magazine Cover Ignites Controversy

THE GOLFWEEK COVER

Yesterday, I got the call yesterday about the Cover. When I saw it, my jaw dropped. What the hell were they thinking?

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“Was it an arresting image?” said Dave Seanor, Golfweek editor. “Yes, it was. We chose it because it was an image we thought would draw attention to an issue we thought deserved some intelligent dialogue.”

Intelligent dialogue? How about opening intelligent dialogue without insulting people? Seanor said there was significant internal debate about art for the project. “If you’re going to do this story on the cover,” he said, “you don’t have many choices. It’s Kelly Tilghman’s face or a noose.”

Lets put this in perspective…this is what a noose represents in our society.

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Get the picture? Here’s an intelligent comparison- Imagine if Kellly Tilghman had said “gas him in the ally” and Golfweek came out with an image of a nazi flag on the cover. Yeah, its that bad. If you don’t believe me, check out some other sites to see how Golfweek just set us back about a hundred years. The Starting Five is a great place to witness this outrage…or check out Steve Elling’s blog on CBS, where he writes: “The thing is, no matter where the tour, fans, readers and viewers stand on the matter of whether Tilghman should be fired, the provocative image of the noose is viewed almost universally as repulsive.”

Thankfully, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is equally as outraged. “Clearly, what Kelly said was inappropriate and unfortunate, and she obviously regrets her choice of words,” Finchem said. “But we consider Golfweek’s imagery of a swinging noose on its cover to be outrageous and irresponsible. It smacks of tabloid journalism. It was a naked attempt to inflame and keep alive an incident that was heading to an appropriate conclusion.” (USA Today)

PGA execs are meeting today with the editors of Golfweek magazine to discuss the cover of this week’s issue…and I am on my way to Torrey Pines for the Buick Invitational, which starts next week, where Tilghman and Woods are both expected to be present.

As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Sonics Feed Homeless in New Orleans, Rafael Nadal, Nene Recovering After Surgery

SONICS DISH OUT SOME LOVE
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The Sonics flew to New Orleans on Tuesday, but instead of holding evening practice, they opted for something a little more important. Feeding the homeless. After passing out food at the Bridge House, a local substance-abuse rehab center, the team was driving back to the Fours Seasons hotel, when they noticed an entire community of homeless people living on the corner of Canal and Claiborne. So what did they do? They pulled the team bus over on Canal Street, and ‘a bevy of tall, muscular men pulled food, water and supplies out of the bottom of the bus and began lining up.’ We’re talking about the entire team, the coaching staff, a security guard and a crying coach Carlesimo. “Our guys are just good guys,” he said, wiping the tears from his glasses. “A lot of times you do something like this and it’s almost like you’ve got to make guys come. Our guys, it’s the complete opposite. It’s a great thing.” This mighty-fine team spent 45-minutes handing out food and water to the pour souls who call a freeway underpass home. “It’s a good thing, and at the same time it’s nothing,” Carlesimo said. “But it’s a little something that shows we care and the people appreciate it. It’s depressing, you should appreciate what you have.”
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“When Mardi Gras comes, they want us out of here,” said Luther Davis, 55, who shook hands with several Sonics. “They don’t know what to do with us, and the rent is so high here that we can’t afford it…the Hornets don’t even come over here. Seattle is going to be my favorite team now. Nobody comes over here to help us. And this was one of those days where people were hungry, so we needed this.”

NENE RECOVERING
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Nuggets Nene is recovering after having a “right testicular mass removed” at the Denver Health Medical Center. “I want to thank my fans, my teammates, the Nuggets organization and everyone that’s been supporting me,” Nene said in a statement released by the team before Tuesday night’s game at Atlanta. “My victory will represent their victory as well. Thanks for being with me in this moment. I will remember all the appreciation. I thank God that we could detect this at such an early stage.” Coach Karl: “I can’t deny that talking about Nene was more emotional than some other circumstances I’ve been presented,” Karl said. “I think the team, I don’t know what the word is, but it was a very quiet day. The game that night, the personality was introverted, introspective.” Karl and his son, Coby, have been treated for cancer. “As a cancer survivor and someone who has watched his son go through two cancer-related surgeries, I know firsthand the emotions and fears that you feel when someone says you might have it,” Karl said. “Our job now is to support Nene and be there for him as a family. Basketball is at the bottom of the totem poll at a time like this. We just want him to get healthy.”

VAMOS
It’s been far too long since I’ve quoted our Spanish delicacy, Rafael Nadal. The beast demolished Frenchman Florent Serra 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 during their second round Men’s Singles match at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
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“Maybe for everybody it’s better if we can start the season a little bit later. But it’s fine to start the season hard like this.” Indeed, start hard Rafa, start hard.

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“Every Grand Slam is special and every one is different. I like this atmosphere here. The weather is fine, it’s like a holiday atmosphere, no?” (Yes!)…Should the Swiss Mister Roger Federer lose early and our Nadal win the event, the Spaniard has a statistical chance of possibly taking over number one. “I’m very happy to be number two and I would love to be number two for the next hundred years. It’s a very good position, I’m very happy about my last three seasons, and I will try my best for being in the top position this season, also.”

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“I know Roger has 15 Grand Slams without losing before semi-finals, something like this. I have never won a Grand Slam outside of clay, so I’d love to win any one of them. There are too many coincidences for me. I only try to play my best tennis and worry about me, and, try to go as far as possible.”

TAKE ME TO GHANA
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The continent’s largest spornofest gets under way in Ghana this weekend with some of the soccers hottest men displaying their supreme ability in Africa’s biggest event. The 2008 African Cup of Nations runs from 20 January to 10 February…the roster has left me breathless…we have, of course from Chelsea, my oh-so-exceptionally-talented-and-controversial Didier Drogba (L), John Obi Mikel (C), Saloman Kalou and Mmmmmmichael Essien (R)…Arsenal hotties of note: Emmanuel Eboue, Kolo Toure and Alexandre Song…

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Vote on Baron Davis’ Beard, Golden State Warriors to Coach Celebrities for Charity, Chris Paul Keeps on Giving, Heat Host Soldiers.

BOOM DIZZLE
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One of the hottest men to sport facial hair is Baron Davis. If you know him, then you undoubtedly love the Beard and Fear it at the same time. Earlier this season, B-diddy gave Fear the Beard “permission” to ask its readers what they think Baron Davis should do with his Beard. Turman, one of the founding Beards, writes: We like a good challenge here, but we wanted to open up the discussion a bit and let the Dubtown constituency speak. Flush with a new polling tool on the site, what better way to open the polls than with one of some possible consequence? As election season swings into full gear, let’s get to the real issues. Like, what should Baron do with The Beard? The all-star break is around the corner and we need to get The Beard on the right path for a monster second half and an epic playoff run. So get involved! And here’s your chance. Vote among several possible options for The Beard as we get ready for New Orleans and beyond. Picture “Hardwood Classics Baron” above with the facial-hair options listed below and then vote for the best choice for glory. So now it’s your turn kids, check out Fear the Beard and make your opinion heard as to “What should Baron Davis do with The Beard?

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Speaking of the Beard, his Warriors are giving back some love this Saturday (January 12). ORACLE Arena will host a special NBAE Celebrity Charity Game. This year’s celebrity teams will be coached by Stephen Jackson (R), Monta Ellis, Matt Barnes (L) and Al Harrington, with celebrity players (subject to change) Grammy Award winner Brian McKnight, Oakland Raider Jerry Porter, Brody Jenner (MTV’s The Hills), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Donald Faison (Scrubs) and others. The contest tips off at 2:00 p.m. and proceeds will benefit the Verizon Wireless Hopeline, a program that donates cell phones to victims of domestic violence. Fans can get in FREE to the game in one of two ways. The first way is to bring a ticket stub from the January 11 Warriors-Grizzlies contest. The second is to donate a new or used cell phone outside of ORACLE Arena on the day of the Celebrity Charity Game. Tickets for the Celebrity Charity Game cost just $2, plus service fee, and can be purchased at the ORACLE Arena Box Office. (Warriors.com)

CHRIS PAUL AT IT AGAIN
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Why do I call New Orleans Hornet Chris Paul an NBA good-guy? Because he hasn’t been corrupted by money, women, drugs, or any of the other good stuff that comes along with being ‘famous.’ Don’t believe me, check out his website, and you’ll see that hottie was doing good long before he made it all the way to the N-B-A. Yesterday, CP, along with Dwyane Wade each donated $5,000 for a family and community center at the Sylvanie F. Williams Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Charity central seems to be in New Orleans… As part of an NBA outreach program the Miami Heat babes were on hand to entertain more than 100 soldiers who were home from Iraq and Afghanistan at the New Orleans Arena on Thursday. “We’re just trying to raise a little bit of awareness,” Heat coach Riley said. “There’s been a lot of problems here, obviously, and the veterans have been affected.” Sadly enough, many of the National Guard soldiers who participated also are now assisting the New Orleans police in patrolling areas still struggling to recover from the devastation of Katrina. Udonis Haslem, who missed the event due to having the flu, said such events are sobering, such as last season, when the team visited returning solders at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before a game in Washington. “The worst thing that can happen to us is lose a game or God forbid you get an injury,” he said. “But these guys are putting their lives on the line. I idolize those people. I don’t think I’d have the guts to do some of that stuff.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1/11).

NOT SURPRISED
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An ESPN Sports Poll asked 3,473 respondents (age 12+) who their favorite professional female athlete is. Coming in with 60.4% of the votes is (drum roll pa-leeze)…No one! A very distant second place went to Serena Williams with just 8%…and that’s why I only cover the beasts.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Tilghman Suspended for Comments, Chris Paul, Kobe & the Kids, Usher Hosts NHL ALL-Star Weekend, NFLer’s Guinness Book World Record Achieved, Juventus Gives Love.

TILGHMAN SUSPENDED FOR COMMENTS

The Golf Channel released the following statement on Jan. 9th: ”The Golf Channel regrets the poorly chosen remarks made by Kelly Tilghman on a recent broadcast and, again, extends our apologies to anyone who was offended. There is simply no place on our network for offensive language like this. While we believe that Kelly’s choice of words were inadvertent and that she did not intend them in an offensive manner, the words were hurtful and grossly inappropriate. Consequently, we have decided to suspend Kelly for two weeks, effective immediately.” The suspension ends in time for the Buick Invitational on Jan. 24, when Woods will make his 2008 debut…and yes, I think this suspension is fair punishment. I’m sure Tilghman, who I don’t believe is a racist, has learned a valuable lesson. (sports.yahoo) And not that it has anything to do with the price of tea in China, but Tiger Woods, by the way, earned a total of $122.7M last year.

CHRIS PAUL, KOBE & THE KIDS
Kobe Bryant scored 19 points, Andrew Bynum added 17 and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth straight game, 109-80 over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. But its what happened after the game that made me smile. NBA super-good-guy, Chris Paul (Hornets) and princess Kobe met with a bunch of kids from New Orleans and spoke to them about, well-to be honest, your guess is as good as mine since I cant find it mentioned anywhere else on the Internet. I can speculate they might be Make-A-Wish kids, since the Hornets support the organization, or they could just be some of the 6,500 local kids that were granted an opportunity to attend a Hornets home game this season, compliments of Chris Paul, David West, Peja Stojakovic, Ryan Bowen, Morris Peterson, Bobby Jackson and Julian Wright.
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In any case, my bags are already packed for the NBA ALL Star game, which is slated for February 17 in New Orleans. And in case you’re not entirely sold on hitting the Big Easy for a week of debauchery, the Louisiana Office of Tourism has unveiled a $6 million ad campaign, “This is my Louisiana,” which features numerous home-grown hotties expounding on the virtues of Louisiana. In the 30-second TV spot, Chris Paul interacts with Louisiana-born NBA legends Willis Reed and Karl Malone, who keep imploring Paul to get off the basketball court and fish, hunt and camp with them. “Come on, CP, lighten up,” says Reed. Paul continues to shoot hoops, then ends up in a party on the streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter. “I have all the Louisiana I need right here,” says Paul. Indeed you do Chris, indeed you do.

USHER ME IN
Hotlanta native and five time Grammy winner, Usher, will emcee the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend event, (Jan. 26/27) which will benefit his New Look Foundation, a non-profit program established to expose young people to the business side of sports and entertainment. Starting today, additional tickets to the event were made available for purchase. Fans can purchase $30 upper level tickets in addition to $75 concert hall level tickets. Tickets are available on-line at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 404-249-6400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              404-249-6400      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Doors will open at 9 p.m.

NEW FOOTBALL SIGNING WORLD RECORD
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To raise awareness for charity, Samsung Electronics, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Circuit City hosted 18 NFL Players, 2 LCD HDTVs and 4,500 Footballs in Las Vegas for the record-setting event. At 10:44 a.m., a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records declared the “Largest Autograph Signing by Professional Athletes” had been completed. “It’s a great achievement,” said rep Molloy, “and it’s a Guinness World Record any sports fan can appreciate.” Approximately 20 members of the Las Vegas Boys & Girls Club were on-hand and had the opportunity to meet football legends such as Marcus Allen, Michael Irvin, Anthony Munoz, Deacon Jones, Carl Eller, Harry Carson, Fred Belitnikoff, Merlin Olsen and many more. During the event, Samsung formally gave their gift of $10,000 in product to the Las Vegas chapter of the Boys & Girls Club. “We are so thankful that Samsung, Circuit City and the Pro Football Hall of Fame included us in this wonderful program,” said Jim Richards, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Boys & Girls Club. “The fact that they included a Las Vegas charity shows they are sincere about making a real difference in the lives of the youngsters living in our community.”

JUVENTUS GIVES LOVE
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Italian soccer team Juventus are in Malta for a five-day training camp, and some of their hotties took a time out to spread some love. Sexy Pavel Nedved (L) and Vincenzo Iaquinta (R) stopped by the children’s ward of the Mater Dei Hospital outside Valletta, and I can only image how many kids are smiling today because of these mighty-fine beasts.

ATHLETE CHARITY EVENTS/FUNDRAISERS
If you’re looking to have some fun this year while joining our hotties in their quest to better the world, please check out the Athlete Charity Events calendar link (under categories, top right side of this site). It’s updated as the events are announced, with pa-lenty of great happenings going on already. If you would like to have an event listed, please contact me and Ill be happy to add it. Also, be sure to check out LooktotheStars.org, where I contribute articles to on a regular basis in efforts to raise awareness about athletes/celebrities who do good in this world. (The link to all my articles can be found in the category section as Delinda on the Web)

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Kelly Tilghman Gets Lynched

Kelly Tilghman Gets Lynched
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When I first read about this story, I wasn’t going to post it, but the more I read, the more I feel compelled to chime in…In case ya missed it- Friday on the Golf Channel, commentator Kelly Tilghman and cohort Nick Faldo were discussing which young players could possibly challenge Tiger Woods. Faldo said perhaps the youngsters should “gang up (on Tiger) for a while.” The pair laughed a bit before Tilghman responded by saying, “Lynch him in a back alley.” The pair chuckled before moving on.

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Tilghman realized her ‘faux pas’, and attempted to explain her comments during the final-round broadcast. “I’ve reached out to Tiger to make an apology, and I’ve done the same with our viewers,” Tilghman said. “I can assure you that there was never any intention to offend anyone. I’m sorry for any misunderstanding.” A Golf Channel spokesman said no disciplinary action is planned, “other than the mistake she made is regrettable and an extreme learning experience for her.” The Channel also said it received a limited number of complaints regarding the comment-which doesn’t surprise me, seeing as a golf is predominately a “white” sport…

Now here’s what I wanna know. Is anyone else offended by her comments? I personally don’t care how stellar her commentating is, or if she is indeed ‘chummy’ with Tiger Woods-I think she should be fired. Period. And, what’s really astonished me is that while perusing other sites reporting the story, most, if not all of the comments left by readers, were in defense of her comments. WTF? Are we living in the Twilight Zone? Sure, the word “lynching” doesn’t limit itself to race and can be used in a number of ways, BUT, in this case, she was referring to not only one of the classiest men alive, but a Black man. Yes people, using the word “lynching” in the manner which she did, in reference to Tiger, does in fact make it a racial issue. Whether it was just a bad joke or not, commentators should really think twice before trying to ‘crack a joke’ that might lead to this kind of “misunderstanding.” Flashback to the late Howard Cosell and his notorious comment in reference to Washington Redskin wide receiver Alvin Garrett during a Monday Night Football broadcast in 1983, when he excitedly declared “Look at that little monkey run.” That was his last stint on Monday Night Football. As Friday should have been Kelly Tilghman’s last broadcast for the Golf Channel.

As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Tracy McGrady Stands Up Darfur, Jermaine O’Neal Feeds the Children, Slump Buster, Aikman-Buck Popcorn.

TRACY MCGRADY T-MAC ALLIANCE
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Would it be going too far to say that the Houstan Rockets can save Darfur? Maybe, but between Dikembe Mutombo and Tracy McGrady we certainly can expect some action. (God knows LeBron aint gonna help). Yesterday, Tracy McGrady spent part of the day at his former high school in Auburndale, FL to officially launch a new humanitarian project “Stand Up For Darfur.” The 400 students in attendance were shown footage from “Not a Game,” McGrady’s soon-to-be-completed documentary about his visit to Darfur this past summer. He detailed plans of the ongoing humanitarian efforts in Darfur for a new school at the Djabal Camp in eastern Chad, with Auburndale High named as a sister school. T-Mac also threw down $75k to help build the school, train teachers and provide a year’s worth of school materials, clothing and other essentials for students. (The Ledger) If you want to read about T-Mac’s experience in Darfur, there’s a great post here.

JERMAINE O’NEAL FEEDS THE KIDS
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Indiana Pacer Jermaine O’Neal is giving some serious love back to the communities. In December, the Jermaine O’Neal Foundation hosted its fourth annual Christmas Party and sponsored a shopping spree in his hometown of Columbia, S.C. Since 2001, O’Neal has provided nearly $100k in toys, clothing, shoes and other gifts to children selected from public housing. And today, this mighty-mighty-good-man and his foundation, partnered up with the international hunger relief organization Feed the Children, to provide 400 Indianapolis Housing Authority families and senior citizens a case of bottled water, a 25-pound box of food and a box of toiletries. O’Neal will also provide 400 families the same gifts in his hometown of Columbia, S.C., on March 20. Last year, in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community, the NBA honored the O’Neal with the Community Assist Award, making it his second after having also won it in December 2003. I’d say it might be about time for his third.

AIKMAN-BUCK POPCORN
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How does ‘Halftime Chili & Sour Cream’ and ‘Dark Fudge Drizzlecorn with Praline Almonds’ popcorn sound to you? (Personally, I’ll skip it.) But for those of you who love NFL announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, you’ll be happy to know they have signed a deal with Dale & Thomas Popcorn and are to blame for the creation of those two flavors. In addition to the fudge-covered popcorn, the company is offering a limited-edition glass popcorn bowl signed by the pair, and ten limited edition Troy Aikman and Joe Buck Big Game Collectible Party Boxes that include a signed letter from Buck and Aikman entitling them to a football signed by both. (Dale & Thomas).

YOU GO GIRL
Get your popcorn ready for this video…what do you do when you find out your husband has been cheating on you? Why not out him while he’s speaking at a ceremony? That’s what Ziwei Hu did to her hubby Bin Zhang while he was speaking at a ceremony to announce the Sports Channels new name, the Olympic Channel. Ziwei Hu, in her Burberry scarf, took the stage and rocked that ceremony something fierce, and I love her for it. Obviously, this is in China, and therefore in Chinese, but no words are necessary.

SLUMP BUSTER?
This is disgusting. Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis is partnering with California-based MBSB Holdings to launch a new energy drink, called SlumpBuster. Lets check the various definitions of ‘Slump Buster’ shall we? 1) Baseball players believe that by having sex with an unattractive female, they can end their slump. 2) A large, unattractive, girl, with low self esteem, who is used for sex by one that is suffering from a slump. 3) A promiscuous and/or unattractive woman with whom a man would normally have nothing to do – however he sleeps with her anyways because he’s in a slump….you get the picture? This is a tasteless and offensive name for a product, no matter how you try to justify it.
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Youkilis will serve as the lead spokesperson for the product that bashes overweight, unattractive woman used by players in a slump, and MBSB is also developing his own “Youk’s Signature” version of the drink-perhaps a larger, more unattractive version? Youkilis’s agent, Joe Bick, “Unfortunately, like many common sayings, the ‘slumpbuster’ term can also be twisted to having negative connotations.” Huh? Did Bick even look at woman depicted on the can and the phrase “Take One Down” before feeding us that line of crap? And what makes this even worse is that a portion of the proceeds will benefit Youkilis’ charity. Just say no to this offensive product, and urge others to do the same until they come up with a less degrading name for it.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Last Man Standing, Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady SmartWater Ad, Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson A Publicity Stunt? Deadspin Book About ESPN Personalities

LAST MAN STANDING
My apologies to anyone who missed this show because I neglected to cram it down your throats. When I initially heard about the Discovery/BBC Series ‘Last Man Standing’, I had enough with reality TV so I brushed it off. Then the writers strike prompted me to scour all 950 channels on my TV for anything that would catch my eye. And let me just say, the cast of LMS, (from left) Brad Johnson, Rajko Radovic, Mark Hoban, Corey Rennell and Jason Bennett, caught much more than my eye.
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Last Man Standing is a BBC / Discovery Series in which a group of 6 superfine-I repeat-SuperFine athletes pit their skills against each other and tribal champions in a series of unbelievable sporting challenges. Luckily, I caught the final two episodes-kicking myself for missing the entire series. The 6 Hotties pranced about without shirts, muscles bulging, wills determined, as they competed in 8 indigenous sports from around the globe: Kalapalo Wrestling, Mexican Endurance Running, Nagaland Kickboxing, Zulu Stick Fighting, Mongolian Wrestling, Trobriand Cricket, Wolof Wrestling, and Sepik Canoe Racing. Not only did the show provide insight into the ancient history and culture of some of the world’s most remote areas, but it also gave us insight into the competitive nature and will to win among these remarkable athletes. Watching these guys immersed in the sport and culture, eating and sleeping with the community and living as they do, was truly awe inspiring and entertaining. And I can honestly say that if these guys were teaching a ‘World Culture’ class when I was in college, I would have graduated with honors. Eventually, one hottie earned the title of ‘Last Man Standing’ and left me floored in anticipation of season two.

KEVIN GARNETT
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I haven’t mentioned Kevin Garnett in a long time, but that doesn’t mean I ain’t watching my favorite lupine beast. On Wednesday the Celtics beat the Rockets 97-93 and delivered some stellar Garnett moments. Aside from a few snarls, and a bite or two, Garnett brought to mind his adidas Impossible is Nothing campaign as he carried an excited Paul Pierce around the court.

INTER MILAN
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Inter Milan has arrived in Dubai for the 2nd Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship…that’s’ all.

TOM BRADY SMARTWATER AD
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The Patriots-Giants game Saturday night, which saw the Patriots become the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season at 16-0, drew a total of 34.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched regular-season NFL game since Chiefs-Cowboys on NBC on Thanksgiving in ’95. It also marks the launch of the first official Smartwater print ad featuring Tom Brady, who signed an estimated $3M endorsement deal with the Glaceau brand in October. It’s just a shame that the product isnt as hot as their poster child. Ill stick to VitaminWater thank you very much.

TONY ROMO SIMPSON
Could the relationship between Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson be a publicity stunt? It’s actually done quite a bit in Hollywood. Attach a relative unknown to an A-lister in order to market the ‘couple’. Think about Richard Gere/Cindy Crawford, Julie Robert/Lyle Lovett or Tony Parker/Eva Longoria for example-not to say those were publicity stunts, but if I were a betting girl I’d say they were. Anyway, in Boston, gossip columnists Fee & Raposa cited a Star magazine report that cited a “spy” as saying that the Romo-Simpson affair may not be all it’s cracked up to be. “He has a hot chick on his arm and lots of media attention. I know that Tony and Jessica enjoy each other’s company and they have fun together. But it seems like a relationship of convenience.” This possible relationship of convenience could pair Romo and Simpson together in a Pizza Hut ad that will air on Fox’ Super Bowl coverage, and give Romo a small part in Jessicas next movie. Jessica’s father Joe, “told Tony that (a romance) would be a good opportunity for both of them, PR-wise,” a spy told the tab. “It isn’t hard for them to look like the perfect couple – they’re like a real-life Ken and Barbie. They’re both attractive and have Texas in common.” (Boston Herald)

DEAD SPIN OUTTA CONTROL
Pa-leeze. As I try to report about the good-deeds done by our athletes, it’s become increasingly more difficult to remain focused. When I first began ‘blogging’ my intentions were to explore what it is that makes our hotties celebrities outside of their sports. So here I sit, blogging away about foundations, and charity events, along with a bit gratuitous objectification of our players, in hopes of bettering the world. I’ve shied away from airing my dirty laundry-and that of the players I’ve encountered outta respect for those involved. But it seems that Deadspin editor Will Leitch has made a fortune airing peoples dirty laundry.
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Leitch has compiled reports of “various scandals” involving ESPN personalities for a new book, titled “God Save the Fan,” due out from HarperCollins on January 22. According to the N.Y. POST’s Page Six, the book includes “bizarre off-air behavior by Chris Berman, Scott Van Pelt and Sean Salisbury, among others.” After Leitch reported several of the incidents on Deadspin, ESPN circulated a memo “banning any mention of the site on its shows.” (N.Y. POST, 1/1). I personally don’t read Deadspin. I find it rude and intrusive. We all know athletes go out and get drunk, we all know some cheat, we all know some don’t know how to pick up woman. We get it- they’re human. But the public thirst for this kind of scandal is outta control. So what do I do? Continue to blissfully blog about the sex appeal of men over 6’5 aiding orphans or delivering holiday cheer, or do I open the vault and publish my own book? Right now, I gotta say it’s a tough call. I’ve got hundreds of pages of unprinted scandalous first-hand experiences that would send the sports-world into a tailspin quicker than a goal from Kaka. Does the caged bird sing and open the floodgates of her personal vault, or idly sit by while others profit from their experiences? I’ll leave that up to a publisher to decide.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Robbie Maddison’s Red Bull Jump, Manute Bol Speaks for Sudan, Meet Phil Mickelson.

ROBBIE MADDISON JUMPS FOOTBALL FIELD
While everyone was out getting drunk on New Years, Robbie Maddison was busy establishing himself as the next Evel Knievel. Already a superstar in his native Australia, motocross beast Robbie Maddison secured his spot in the Guinness Book of Worlds by jumping his motorcycle 322 feet 7-1/2 inches over the length of a regulation football field.
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‘Maddo’ shattered the previous record of 277 feet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, while golden boy Shawn White, MotoGP World Champ Nicky Hayden and Evel’s family cheered him on. The jump was the first-ever Red Bull Experiment, which involves world-class athletes attempting world-first athletic achievements. “I came here to jump a football field,” said Maddison. “Conditions weren’t perfect, but I’m happy with the result. Yesterday in rehearsal, I went 350 feet and I knew 360 feet was achievable. We did all we could, but the winds played a bigger factor than we planned. But this is called the Red Bull Experiment, and we didn’t know what the outcome would be. I just want to thank everyone that made this jump possible and a big thanks to all the fans who came out to support me. This is just the beginning.” ‘Maddo’ dedicated his world record-breaking feat to Evel, and also hold two additional world records-for the longest jump on a 125cc motorcycle (221 feet) and the longest jump with a trick (246 feet). (Redbullusa.com)

NO BULL FROM MANUTE BOL
The second-tallest player in NBA history is better known for his activism for Sudanese refuges. “Good afternoon, my name is Manute Bol, and I am from the Sudan.” Said the 7-foot-7-inch beast who tore up the NBA for 10 years. January 1st marked 52 years of Sudan’s independence from British rule, yet most people living in Sudan still fear for their lives. So, as the presidential race heats up, Manute Bol and hundreds of Sudanese from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota and other parts of the U.S., gathered at the west side of Iowa’s State Capitol building in Des Moines, today, for a press conference and rally. Led by Manute Bol, the event entitled: “Cry for Peace and Freedom in Sudan,” aimed to be the largest and most diverse showing of Sudanese in the U.S. All of the candidates were invited to attend or send statements to be read at the press conference. “The question we want to ask is, ‘If you become president of the United States, what can you do for Sudan, for Darfur and for southern Sudan?’ ” Bol said. He was one of about 10 speakers who repeatedly demanded that the United States pressure Sudan into strengthening its comprehensive peace agreement. (desmoinesregister.com)
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And just a few facts: With over 400,000 killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the last four years, Darfur, in Western Sudan, is the scene of modern-day genocide. Since 1983, another genocide has taken place in South Sudan with over 2.5 million killed and over 5 million displaced. The Government of Sudan has attacked and destroyed other areas of its country, including the Nuba Mountains, Beja and the Shilluk Kingdom. Since 1993 the U.S. has listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism. Sudan is the largest country in Africa and the 10th largest country in the world. For more info and how to help, visit CryPeace.com or Sudansunrise.org.

A MEETING WITH PHIL
Remember that great Crowne Plaza “Place to Meet” campaign which featured David Feherty attempting to moderate an entirely unscripted conversation with golf fanatic George Lopez, avid golfer Alice Cooper, and golf great Lee Trevino, among others? Well, this year it looks like Crowne Plaza has one-upped themselves with their latest marketing campaign. PGA Tour professional Phil Mickelson has been selected as the face of their latest campaign that gives golf fans a chance to appear with Phil in a national TV ad campaign.
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Beginning January 3 through February 25, 2008, visit ameetingwithphil.com, and submit your story or video for a chance to participate in a series of six, 30-second spots. You got advice for Phil? Submit it. Ever been hit by one of Phil’s balls? Submit it? Do you look like Phil? Submit it. Think you’re his biggest fan? Submit it! Mickelson will interact with real golf fans and take part in an unscripted conversation for ‘The Meeting With Phil” campaign to be aired April through September. Open casting calls in various U.S. cities will also be held to further generate attention for the campaign with the first casting call and audition to be held at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in New York City on January 22. “I’m really looking forward to meeting and spending time with my fans face-to-face,” said Phil Mickelson. “I’m flattered that Crowne Plaza thought of me as they launch this new campaign. I think it’s going to be fun.” This year’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial will be held May 19-25 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.