Monthly Archives: September 2008

Washington Wizard Antawn Jamison Helps Dr. Donda West Foundation

ANTAWN JAMISON STEPS UP FOR THE DR. DONDA WEST FOUNDATION

On November 4, I’m hoping each and every one of you gets out to vote for Obama (or Tina Fey if we can get her on the ticket). Afterwards, I’m also hoping those of you who live in the D.C. area can find your way to Ibiza for the recently announced Give Back Concert Benefit. This is the first hip-hop benefit concert in the nation’s capital to raise funds and encourage giving back to the community, while also benefiting the Dr. Donda West Foundation. The (Live to Give) campaign specifically focuses on inspiring young adults to give back by voting (for Obama) in the upcoming historic election. The concert came to fruition via teamwork from the Dr. Donda West Foundation, Washington Redskins NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green and the ‘Live to Give Campaign.’

antwan

The Give Back Concert Benefit will kick off with a voter registration drive with Washington Wizards Star Antawn Jamison…but get your tickets early because the first 200 pre-sale ticket purchasers will be invited to a private meet and eat greet with Antawn Jamison at the ESPN Zone located in Washington D.C.

Although Kanye will not be performing, on October 10 and October 20, 2008 two “surprise mega performers” will be revealed. The performer who will be revealed on October 10, 2008 is a hip-hop heavyweight with his first two albums debuting at number 1 on the billboard charts. The second performer who will be announced on October 20, 2008 has won various prestigious awards including 1 Grammy, 4 BET Awards, and 1 teen choice award.

Pre sale tickets go on sale September 26, 2008 thru October 9, 2008. Tickets will be available through livetogiveback.org; or charge by phone (301) 605- 5324. The Live to Give Campaign’s first annual Give Back Concert Benefit will donate proceeds to select charities including the Dr. Donda West Foundation, Rick Ross Charities, the Antawn Jamison Foundation, and the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation.

About the Dr. Donda West Foundation:
In 2008, Kanye West changed the name of his foundation to the Dr. Donda West foundation, as a permanent tribute to her extraordinary legacy and passion for education and children throughout the world. The mission of the Dr. Donda West Foundation is to help combat the severe dropout problem in schools across the United States by partnering with community organizations to provide underserved youth access to music production programs that will enable them to unleash their creative ability and reach their full potential. Kanye’s vision, and thus the vision of the Dr. Donda West Foundation, is its inaugural program, “Loop Dreams”, a music production program designed to motivate students to stay in school and graduate. Dr. Donda West Foundation is committed to providing high quality programs in partnership with community organizations such as Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles, California where Loop Dreams is currently implemented. Kanyewestfoundation.org

 

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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

CAMILO VILLEGAS TOPS GARCIA FOR TOUR VICTORY

HERE KITTY-KITTY-KITTY-KITTY
Camilo Villegas Tour victory

Someone has crawled their way out of a five-shot deficit to win the Tour Championship…yes, our favorite Columbian lawn-crawling sex pot closed with a 4-under 66 after beating Sergio the ‘Spitter’ Garcia on the first playoff hole with a two-putt par.

How many starts have we patiently waited through-about 84- to see Villegas win…but two in a row? And to top it off, this lands him second in the FedEx Cup (behind Singh) and is slated to take over as No. 6 in the world ranking…and with the Tour victory, Camilo Villegas pockets $1.26M and adds another $3M in bonus money for his second-place finish in the FedEx Cup.

camilo_villegas

And right about now I’m wondering…Tiger who? Yeah, I know many around the globe adore Tiger, and I’m certainly not comparing the Tiger to the Kitten, but I am saying its high-time Tiger stays home, chills with family and makes room for those who have been suffocated by his presence. And I don’t mean ‘suffocated’ on the greens, I mean suffocated as in ‘playing in his shadows’. Most of you have seen the throngs of fans lined up along the ropes just for a glimpse of Tiger…while some of us followed the lesser known packs of hotties dressed in Lindberg and Burberry.

I remember the first time I saw Camilo on the greens, emerging from the mist with a look of confidence to match his insane swagger. At the time, I didn’t know much about golf, but as I heard other golf aficionado’s mutter ‘who’s this guy coming up on 18’ I was the first to chime in, “Dah, its Camilo Villegas, from Columbia?” Perhaps due to high estrogen levels, my blinders rarely saw passed our kitten. Granted, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott and Aaron Baddeley appeared on my radar, but none are as special as Camilo. The second time I saw the kitten in the flesh, he was enjoying a practice round. How many people were following him that day? One. Me. Anyway, if you’re a regular, you read that entire post…and finally, the last time I was breathing the same air as Camilo, the estrogen brigade had caught on and I was no longer the sole admirer drooling over his every move.

Congratulations Camilo Villegas, my friend. You have worked hard, remained focused and infused a lethal dose of sex appeal into an old sport. Thank you, thank you, thank you for so many wonderful rounds and the many more future wins you have yet to tuck under that mouthwatering belt you got on.


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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Singapore GP: Lights, Camera, Action- Alonso!

SINGAPORE GP: LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION- ALONSO!

The Singapore GP brought new meaning to the term ‘lights, camera, action’ as I awoke early to catch my favorite grid-boy Peter Windsor bask in the glow of the newly installed soft lights which illuminated the first ever Formula One night race. A 5.067-kilometer street circuit was created in Marina Bay for the event, but preparations have been tricky according to Toyota’s Italian driver Jarno Trulli.  “I’ve seen the plans and the Grand Prix looks amazing so far, even if before we can get a real idea I would like to drive on the circuit for the first time, or anyway to see the first the circuit laid down, to understand especially the safety, the corners, the speed – and then you get a better idea about the set-up and the kind of down force we’re going to have.”

And now, lets take it down to Peter Windsor on the grid: “The atmosphere is just brilliant. More than ever before there are a lot of smiling faces around the cars and the people.” As he speaks, he eyes the crowded grid like a lion stalking its prey along the Serengeti plains…first victim is Flavio Britore (managing director, Renault) who strolls by as Windsor grabs Flavio by the arm. Flavio turns around to find the microphone in his face: “Flavio, we’re live on American television, Speed, first of all what are you thoughts on the atmosphere here?” He echoes Windsor’s sentiment…Windsor spots Italian GP winner Sebastian Vettel…”Live on American TV” (someone whispers in Vettels ear) as Windsor ignores the interruption: “Live on American TV, great job at Monza mate and enjoy the race.”…Vettel says thank you and Windsor turns his microphone back towards the grid in efforts to find a more flavorful meal…Sir Jackie Stewart feeds a few words to P-dogg, saying he was initially skeptical but all is good…the grid beast then moves in another direction, proclaiming. “There’s Mark Windsor who’s looking like he wants to be interviewed” he approaches, “Mark, hasn’t been a great weekend so far mate, but anyway, you got a few honors, you were the first guy to hit the wall.” Webber scratches his head, ”Yeah, exactly…one of our weaker qualifying performances in the last the year.” Windsor: “But what do you think about the show?” Webber: “We need to do more of these.” Cut to commercial break…back to the grid…Windsor with Nelson Piquet. Piquet, in his usual blah-blah-blahness, “Yeah, qualifying was a pity because testing was really good and me, plus the team, screwed up with strategy, with set-up, we, we thought we could have found it a little bit more in qualifying but the car went in another direction, plus going in the traffic but it’s gonna be a good start with Fernando next to me so it’s a good chance to show the team how strong I can be.” Windsor, apparently grasping what Nelson was saying this time: “Good luck Nelson”…In chimes the commentators: “Poor old Nelson Piquet, this is supposed to be fun kid!”

(Above: Sutil, Hamilton, Rosberg) Massa, Hamilton, Raikkonen…a single championship point separates Felipe Massa and Hamilton (Hamilton owns that point)…. starting 11th is my Jarno Trulli in row six…Fernando Alonso starting back in row 8…and they’re off…61 laps in total…Trulli moves up two positions…Massa holding strong in first with Hamilton about 1.2 seconds behind…Raikkonen about 5 seconds behind…three laps in and Massa/Hamilton are running way ahead of the pack…Nico needs to get by Trulli to maintain his dignity…debris on the track, yellow flag….Massa and Hamilton still fighting for first…Trulli falls to 11 because his fuel load is heavy…Raikkonen is routinely setting fastest lap…putting the pressure on Hamilton who is 3.227 seconds ahead of him….oh-another fastest lap just clocked by Raikkonen…

Speed then cuts to a voice over of an interview Windsor did with Sebastian Bourdais about the passing of Paul Newman. Bourdais: “Obviously, we keep a lot of very good memories from him and spent a lot of times to do a lot of good things around him, especially for kids, and ah, just a great character, a guy who enjoyed his life…I know he will be dearly missed. It’s just a sad day.” And suddenly, in the midst of my tears welling up at Bourdias words-we cut to Nelson Piquet’s car smashed against the wall of the track. “A very sad day and we see Nelson Piquet into the wall, heavily.” Can we get a safety car? Here she comes…14 laps into the race…pit lanes closed when safety car is out…guys need to refuel…Piquet can’t get off the track…so he runs across it…Barrichello is stopped on the track now, he just pulled to a stop…Kubica refuels and gets a ten-second penalty…but if you’re gonna run outta fuel you’ve got no choice. Barrichellos car being pushed off the track…crane on the track hoisting the remains of Piquets car…pit lanes now reopen…

Massa leads the parade into the pit lane and pulls out with the fuel hose still attached. The mechanics rush to him in efforts to remove the hose…they cant seem to get it off…Massa has the engine running very hot…and it looks like it’s over for Massa-oh, they got it off and he’s off after losing close to 30-seconds…major, major f*ck up by team Ferrari…there’s the safety car again…Hamilton pitted after Massa…the cluster f*ck bottle neck opening of the pit lanes has now given us a new line up of Rosberg in first and Trulli in second…Hamilton is way down in 8th…and we’re less than 20 laps into the race… and just like that things can change in the blink of an eye…and now I’m told that due to time restraints, they may not be able to televise then entire race-I’m gonna go insane if they cut me off here…

Hamilton in sixth behind Couthard…making his way back up to the front…33 laps remaining…Massa way back in sixteenth place…Mark Webber seems to be done as they push his car into the garage…Trulli now leading the race…just about at the halfway point in the race but he has yet to make a pit stop…Alonso inching up on Trulli…Trulli remains the fastest man on the track right now but he’s about to pit…Hamilton in fifth…Alonso up to second…Trulli pits in 9.9 and reenters at eighth, his fuel is gonna weigh him down a bit…28 laps to go…Alonso now back out front….Hamilton back to fourth…Raikkonen passes Trulli….Alonso pits in 7.6…20 laps remaining…Coulthard blocking Hamilton from second…he’s gotta get around and passes beautifully while fighting for a podium finish….Hamilton pits in 7.7, Coulthard pits at the same time…7.0 but has a problem with the fuel hose and losses time before he takes to the track again…Alonso enjoying his first place run…Rosberg moves up to third…18 laps remaining…Hamilton in fifth working his way up…Trulli in sixth…Alonso, Glock, Rosberg leading in the one, two, three positions…13 laps…Rosberg now in second… 11 laps to go, Sutil rams into the water-wall after Massa cuts him off…car on fire…safety car…Trulli is out of it-game over for my Italian racer after he had a meeting with the water-wall as well….

The final ten laps host Alonso in first, Rosberg in second and Hamilton in third…it’s do or die time…Safety car keeping ‘em slow until debris is removed…its all come down to the brakes-according to Windsor…nine laps remaining…safety car gone…restart underway…if Hamilton can pass Rosberg he’ll pick up two (championship) points….Alonso holds a secure lead with his “soft, prime tires”….nose to tail, Hamilton challenges Rosberg…Alonso is at about at a 6 second lead….yeah, we see you Alonso…Raikkonen hits the curb with four laps remaining…and yet another casualty…

Gotta give mad props to Alonso for blowing em all away (his 20th career win)….final lap…and AGHHHHH, my DVR says “enough” and the Speed Channel cuts my Sunday morning fetish short. Fortunately, nothing happened in the last lap, and in Formula One’s first night race, Fernando Alonso captured the Singapore Grand Prix after starting 15, Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead by seven points and finished third, while Nico Rosberg took second. With 15 of 18 races completed, Hamilton has 84 points in the driver standings, followed by Massa (77) and Robert Kubica of BMW Sauber (64).

Once again, thanks to Peter Windsor for the wonderful early morning wake up call…and thanks to the drivers for making this very special night race a success. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching these guys-is that if you’re ever in a car with them, let them drive but dear god don’t let them pump the gas. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many ‘refueling mishaps’ as I have in Formula One.

RIP PAUL NEWMAN: YOU WERE THE MAN AND WILL FOREVER BE MY COOL HAND LUKE.

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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Will Ferrell Hosts Cancer for College Golf Classic

WILL FERRELL GOES RON BURGUNDY AT EVENT

Craig Pollard, a local golf entrepreneur, cancer survivor, double amputee, and a USC fraternity pal of Ferrell’s, founded Cancer for College…and I can’t believe a year has gone by since the last Cancer for College Golf Classic and fundraiser. This years’ event was held at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo and proved to be an overwhelming success, raising more than $250,000 for cancer survivors.

Ferrell addressed the media wearing black/white checkered shorts, an ‘Army Man’ t-shirt, and a pair of gold Pumas. I actually hadn’t noticed they were Pumas until I asked him when the Nike Air Force Ferrell’s were going to be released. “No, not Nike. Nike’s bad.” He said before explaining the science behind the gold kicks, “They were actually built for me from scientists at NASA, so I can actually levitate for 30 seconds at a height of 15 to 20 feet. I don’t know how that will help me with my golf, but that’s just a cool trick.”

Another cool trick Ferrell has performed is helping the event grow from a little known backyard fundraiser, into one of the premier charity events in San Diego. It’s taken the local news this long to catch on and thankfully someone had the gumption to ask Ferrell how Ron Burgundy would cover the event.

“It is a glorrrious day,” said Ferrell as Burgundy, “here in beautiful Son Diego, we’ve got a record turn out, I thought there’d be more media here frankly, for someone of my stature, in fact, I’ll have to say as I look out into the face of the media here, you guys look like a bunch of idiots compared to when I was in the news game. Have some class, some dignity. I don’t see anyone wearing a suit. I don’t smell any cologne”

After the funny man had the media warmed up, he got serious about his support for the event. “For all of the things Craig has been through kind of physically and emotionally, he’s probably one of the most upbeat, positive people you can ever be around,” Ferrell said. “He just epitomizes . . . perseverance. The fact that he’s so involved in helping others when he could easily sit back and say, ‘Woe is me,’ he never does that. He’s just kind of a shining example to everyone who meets him of the power of being positive and having a great outlook on life.”

Two of Ferrell’s playing partners, Emil and William, were excited about taking part in the event. “We expect to be slightly above par even though it’s a scramble,” Emil said as he proudly sported the same black/white shorts as Ferrell, “Will (Ferrell) keeps us in the game.” William was curiously out of uniform and dressed in a military jumpsuit, instead of the shorts. “I wanna support our troops right now in Iraq,” he explained, “You know, sport the jumpsuit and give a little preview for tonight’s bidding.” William won the jumpsuit at last years auction. ”They’ll be some great items up for bids tonight, and, its all for the kids!”

bogeypro

One interesting addition to this years Cancer for College event was golf professional Chance Manning. Manning gave out tips to those who rolled through the 2nd hole. Emil and William were the first to celebrate the appearance of Chance. “If anyone can help, its Chance” Emil said “I don’t know who else to turn to?”

All in all everyone involved with Cancer for College was moved by the spirit of Craig Pollard, and the support of Will Ferrell. Ferrell has generously donated more than one check to Pollards foundation. “His loyalty has been phenomenal,” Pollard said. “Those two commercials that he did for the Super Bowl – all that money went to the charity. Budweiser paid him $250,000, Proctor and Gamble $500,000.”

Also gotta give shout out to BogeyPro for once again providing the humors tee-box signs along the course…they did a great job of keeping the golfers smiling despite the brutal heat.

Photos from the event available here and on my ‘Event Photos’ page.

Also, look for my coverage of the event on Look to the Stars.


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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Houston Rockets Take Aim at Hurricane Victims

HOUSTON ROCKETS TAKE AIM AT HURRICANE VICTIMS

“The one thing about a hurricane or a disaster like this, it doesn’t matter how much you make, it doesn’t matter what profession you have, it doesn’t matter if you’re a pro athlete or an account executive, we’re all going through the same things.”
Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown.

Houston Rocket CEO Tad Brown, former Rocket Calvin Murphy, support staff and players, pulled up to the University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium yesterday to distribute food, water and toiletries for victims of Hurricane Ike.

“We’ve worked with this group, Feed the Children, in the past with Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Katrina and also the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation,” said Brown. “We wanted to make sure we got them here, got the goods that we could distribute and bring some help and hope to the people who right now are going through some tough times.”

The Rockets purchased four tractor-trailers full of love to aid families affected by the hurricane. Luther Head, Aaron Brooks, Rafer Alston and others smiled as they loaded and unloaded goodies. “It means a lot to me,” guard Rafer Alston said. “I understand the situation that the city is in. I think there’s a dire need right now for us to give back. So I rushed over here as fast as I could to help…This neighborhood reminds me of my neighborhood back in New York,” Alston said. “So I can relate to the people who grew up around here, for one. Also, they get a chance to see us live and in the flesh out here helping, just like ordinary people.”

Aaron Brooks was more than happy to help. “From the time I’ve been here, it’s just good to see a smile on their faces,” Brooks said. “We want to just show them hope that everything is going to be all right in the future. This is just an opportunity to give back. It’s been a time of devastation. It’s just good to give back.” More from CEO Tad Brown: “We’ve got a very conscientious group. They may be professional athletes, but they’re also a part of the Houston community. Once we sent the word out that we were doing this as a team, they were here and willing to help…I know they not only provide support as volunteers, but they’re going to bring some fun to people who are coming here. It’s about getting back to normalcy. People saying, ‘Hey, Aaron Brooks just gave me some food. That’s pretty cool.’ Just shake a hand, give somebody a smile. That goes a long way at a time like this.”

There is some great video footage of our hotties handing out the goods and expressing their support…check it out HERE. Indeed, the Houston Rockets are a mighty-mighty-fine organization.

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Delinda Lombardo
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Baron Davis: Part Two

BARON DAVIS: PART TWO

A little explanation about my previous post regarding Baron Davis.

First of all, I ‘buried’ the post on my own accord. I was not asked to remove it by anyone. And yes, all of it was true. I’m not afraid to say it, print it or confirm it.

I posted it simply to prove a point, to see if my hits would go through the roof. And they did. You all responded beautifully and as expected. (This excludes my regular readers of course).

When I write about the good stuff, charity events, hotties holding kids, giving back to the community etc, it’s not quite as interesting as an article about sex, drugs and ballers is it?

That piece on Boom is the tip of the iceberg compared to the stuff I see going on everyday. No surprise there. Without the sugar coating there’s a demon hidden among most of us.

The problem is that you-the ‘gossip rats’-(not my regulars)- lap-up valueless scandal over things I feel are much more important- I can almost feel Elvis Costello cringe as he sings the immoral words of Nick Lowe: ‘What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?’ A motto engrained in my soul since he first uttered those words.

Granted, my blog wasn’t the forum for that post, but I assure you it wasn’t a rash decision to publish it. It wasn’t done out of spite, hatred, anger, or ‘oh I wanna be famous’, it was posted to prove a point. You’ve been mere pawns in the larger issue of what sells more books: Scandal or Charity work. Often times, in order to gauge the public interest, a publisher will ask a writer to run an article…so in this regard, I thank all of you gossip rats for inadvertently promoting me and my material. And before you say you won’t buy my book, you’ve already proven you will.

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Delinda Lombardo
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Josh Howard: Unpatriotic?

JOSH HOWARD DON’T SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM?

I for one don’t have a problem with Josh Howard NOT singing the national anthem. Back in July, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony hosted a flag-football game for charity. The video below was taken at said event, and now everyone’s got their panties in a twist because at 1:42 into it, Howard looks into the camera and says: “The Star-Spangled Banner’s going on right now and I don’t even celebrate that s–t. I’m black, goddamnit.”

After watching another video from a devil-worshipping-event Republican gathering where two hillbillies were selling “Obama Waffles,” I don’t blame Howard. In fact, I love this country too but I won’t sing the National Anthem either. Why? Because our rights have been highjacked by the Bush administration. This country isn’t what it used to be since the Rep’s stole the Presidency from Al Gore. If Obama takes office, I’ll sing the National Anthem at the top of my lungs…but right now, as people still wait for aid from a hurricane long-gone by, as funding for schools is directed towards a ridiculous war, and we, as women, are on the cusp of losing our right to chose- hell no I ain’t gonna sing either.

Could the bigger issue be that Howard said –oh god no- “I’m black.” Absolutely. Do you think if there was footage of Tom Brady saying he doesn’t sing the National Anthem you’d ever see it? Doubt it. What Howard is saying (IMHO) is that black people don’t count in this country. We know the history, so I’m not going to get into it. I don’t care if every single black person in this country refuses to sing the Anthem, but I really hope and pray that each and every one of them gets out and votes for Obama. That way, maybe we’ll see guys like Howard and the rest of the black community standing proudly alongside those of us who understand the larger issue.

Hold your head high Josh Howard…this too shall pass.

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Delinda Lombardo
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3 Points for Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady’s Journey

Dikembe Mutombo is the Bono of the NBA. His infectious humanitarian spirit has rubbed off on some of the greatest, including Houston Rocket teammate Tracy McGrady. The Mutombo effect. That’s what I call it. If it werent for this 7’2” beast we may not have as many ballers lining up to support the need for aid in Africa. McGrady was influenced by Dikembe to travel to Africa, but wasn’t entirely hip on the situation there. “I had no clue what genocide was, and I’m still learning about it,” he said while visiting refugee camps in eastern Chad. “I really don’t know what I am going to see.”

What he did see has been chronicled in the new documentary “3 Points.” Last year, T-Mac had a first hand look at three African refugee camps. Working alongside documentary filmmaker and photographer Josh Rothstein and humanitarian John Prendergast of the Enough Project, the films just been completed and is looking for distribution. A great article in the LA Times today explains T-Macs reaction to the trip, what he plans to do next, and how he plans on rolling out the T-Mac effect among players willing to kick in $75k to build new schools. “Some of the players need to be educated,” McGrady says. “But some of them are caring guys, know that something has to be done and are willing to help.” The NBA will be airing “3 Points” to its players and hopefully the films three points will be drilled home: Three strategies to fight genocide: Peace, Protection and Punishment. So far, T-Mac has enlisted his Florida high school as a sister school to a new school in Chad, and gotten donations from Derek Fisher and Jermaine O’Neal. Indeed Tracy McGrady is a mighty-mighty-fine man.

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Delinda Lombardo
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Michael Phelps and Little Wayne on SNL

MICHAEL PHELPS AND LITTLE WAYNE ON SNL

First of all, I was praying that Tina Fey would make an appearance on SNL as Sara Palin. As expected, she did not let me down…Michael Phelps-first impression- looks fantastic in a suit. His short opening monologe was a bit flat, he seemed a bit nervous- Odd, considering he just rocked the Worlds Stage in Beijing…loved the Willliam Shatner cameo plug for Priceline…and some of you may be wondering why SNL paired Americas Golden Boy with Lil Wayne? Seems that during the Olympics, Michael Phelps said that Lil Wayne was his favorite rapper.

I was actually a bit surprised by Lil Wayne…my previous experiences with his entourage had me questioning Wayne as the musical choice, but his performance on SNL was really good-sans the guitar he tried to real-fake-strum, and his super-cool jeans ruined by the fact that his ass was hanging out…Aside from Tina Feys award winning performance as Tits Mcgee, I’d say the best part of Phelps’ appearance on the show were the screen-caps used after commercial breaks. Its not that Phelps did a ‘bad job’, its just that I felt he did a great job when playing himself as opposed to a lame character in a blond wig…but hey, that’s just my opinion.

That’s all I got for ya right now kids…but sit tight, mama’s about to unlock her secret vault of ‘oh-no-they-didn’t-stories’ in the next few days…look out Perez Hilton, Delinda’s bout to rock the world.

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Delinda Lombardo
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Sebastian Vettel Makes History: Formula 1 Gran Premio Santander D’Italia 2008

WET TRACK A TREAT FOR SOME
Monza. It’s the fastest track on the circuit…and moisture on the track can cause problems for some, such as Lewis Hamilton who chose the wrong tires in qualifying-or the moisture can work magic for others such as Sebastian Vettel, who became the youngest driver ever in the history of Formula One to qualify first…according to my dreamboat-gridboy- extraordinaire – Peter Windsor-it’s because Vettel “Love’s it when its wet.”

NO!! Off to a bad start as rain caused problems with Peter Windsor’s ‘camera’ and we weren’t able to follow him as he worked the grid for the pregame show…they tried to appease me by running an interview my grid-beast did with Lewis Hamilton…Lewis talked about being really grateful for his opportunities and how close he is now with his family, faith, and religion…all fine and dandy but I wanna see Windsor on the grid already…audio only with Mark Webber: “The grip level is reasonable…” he says as I curse the camera men who can’t get my Windsor on screen…cut to some lame stock footage explaining the mechanics of a Red Bull car-would have cared if Windsor were talking but he wasn’t…I can’t even see him…microphone works…not fun…missing a priceless moment as we hear Windsor approach 1997 Italian GP winner David Couthard from the Red Bull Team, “David can I join you as you walk back to the car…I know you’re not a great man for emotion and all that stuff but this is your last ever European Grand Prix, your thoughts?” Couthard wished it were a dry track…blah, blah, blah…we then get a shot of Bernie Ecclestone walking around with an umbrella…technical difficulties with Windsor’s camera have crushed my Sunday morning fantasy…the race starts with a safety car…Hamilton way down at 15th…giving Massa an edge to overtake Hamilton in championship points…safety car gone and we are green at Monza…the spray from the rain soaked track giving the drivers a intense visual impermanent in most spots…cant see anything…

Sebastian Vettel maintains the lead…Jarno Trulli is 6th and catching up-apparently my new Italian crush is very good at “wet driving”…Hamilton at 13…5 laps in and nothing too exciting yet…Vettel is about 9-mph quicker per lap than the other drivers, putting the others to shame but then again he doesn’t have a driver in front of him spraying the track….Timo Glock skids off for a second…all are using extreme wet tires….Windsor tells us the rain has backed off a bit…and is clearing up but of course there’s still on ton of water on the track…oops, Vettel just lost 6-seconds by running over a ‘sleeping policeman’….hear comes Hamilton trying to overtake but doesn’t quite make it, “Its still very, very wet”…Hamilton takes over Kovalainen for 11th… Massa overtakes Nico Rosberg…Hamilton edges passed Glock…he passes another…more rain expected in about five minutes…Vettel still leading…amazing…Hamilton up to 7th place…round and round they go…Hamilton up to second now, amazing considering he started fifteenth…Vettel in lead…lap 23…Hamilton now 2.6 seconds faster than Vettel on last lap…can Hamilton win this after starting so far back in the pack? Hamilton clocked fastest lap at 34.3…Vettel with 36.3 seconds…Hamilton only needs a 7-second fuel stop to complete the race…hasn’t pitted yet…Massa stuck behind Heidfeld…Jarno pits in 9.4…less than one second separates Hamilton and Vettel with 27 laps to go…Hamilton pits…it has to be a perfect pit stop…damn 9.7 seconds…too long…enters back in tenth…no traffic…technically leads the way because everyone ahead of him has yet to pit…Kovalainen in second chasing Vettel…24 laps to go…the sexy voice of Peter Windsor chimes in with a weather report…Alonso pits in 9.8…Hamilton in sixth now…apparently, rain is a concern for everyone except Hamilton…up to fifth now with 22 to go…Jarno back in tenth…Webber spins into a 360, regains control beautifully…18 laps to go…Jarno pits…Vettel hasn’t pitted yet…Hamilton has now moved into second…Vettel pits in 6.7…Hamilton pitted again, this time in 5.2…17 laps to go…Hamilton must close the gap of about 34-seconds in order to win this race…Massa at sixth…Hamilton inching up on him…15 laps remaining…Hamilton lays fastest lap at 32.869…gap between Massa and Alonso was 8 seconds and is now 5.5…Hamilton is desperately attempting to pass Massa…Vettel lays down a personal best of 33.569…Hamilton closes the Massa gap to 2.4…but still at seventh…Hamilton hasn’t been able to pick up any speed…his pace is dropping off…could be the tires…4 laps remaining…if Massa places ahead of Hamilton, our baby will lose his first place standing in championships points…

Vettel is amazing as he dominates first…Kovalainen in second…final lap, on Vettels radio “few drops pozzeeble, few drops pozzeeble.” And just like that, Sebastian Vettel becomes the youngest driver ever in Formula One history to win a race. His first win, and the first win for his team. Second: Kovalainen, Kubica third….Massa sixth, Hamilton seventh. So, despite a Peter Windsor-less visual, and a lousy place by Hamilton, it was still worth it to get up early and watch our speed demons accumulate their championship points.

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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

CARMELO ANTHONY AND HIS FOUNDATION

SWEET BABY MELON
“At the end of the day, you don’t forget where you came from. I took Baltimore to Beijing with me, and now, I’m bringing Beijing back to Baltimore.” Carmelo Anthony

carmelo_anthony_gold

There are many ways to measure the character of a man. In my world, and for my purposes, oftentimes I must look not only to the man himself, but those he surrounds himself with. Do his friends treat others with respect? Do they lie? Cheat? Steal? (a-hem boom) Assault woman? Start fights? Cheat on their ladies? All these things should be taken into consideration before any of our hotties get placed on a pedestal. Another very important aspect of an ‘athletes’ character is who they select to represent their personal foundations. As a writer, I depend on many PR firms to feed me info on what kind of charity events or foundation activities are happening. A good PR firm will let the entire world know what their client is doing…there are of course numerous PR firms that couldn’t care less about informing the public about the good deeds of their clients. This is a major stone in my shoe and a major gripe among many writers who don’t understand why anyone would hire a PR firm who doesn’t work well with the media. I’m not going to list those I think are indifferent to spreading good news, but I am going to give massive props to Carmelo Anthony for working with Matt Saler and Maroon PR who are doing a phenomenal job in terms of releasing information about Carmelo Anthony’s Foundation. And it ain’t called Carmelo Cares for nothing.

Last weekend, my sweet Melo was in Baltimore where he made a b-line for his Carmelo Anthony Youth Development Center to share his gold medal with over 200 kids. The center in East Baltimore isnt just for an ego boost either, as Melo contributes about $300,000 of the annual $500,000 budget. Indeed a mighty-mighty fine man. The children in attendance were from the Inner Harbor East Academy and the Crossroads School. “There was no way we were missing a celebration like this,” said Inner Harbor East principal Beverly Manigo. “You know, when I told my teachers about this yesterday, I think they were as excited as the kids…How many people you know do this?” she said, “Most of these guys become famous and maybe they donate something, but for him to create this kind of place for kids who might not have any other place to go, it’s different.”

Yes it is different. That’s because Carmelo Anthony is different. He cares about kids, he cares about his roots, his hometown, his legacy. “I just want to say I was so glad to go 15-hours away to Beijing and represent Baltimore City,” Melo said before placing replica gold medals around the necks of teachers and coaches from the schools…makes this girl wonder how I can get a replica placed around my neck…call me crazy, but I would indeed sleep with it. (Not sure my man would be down with that, but he’d understand).

Sweet Melon also has an enormous soft spot for the Ravens and Orioles. Looking phenomenal is his own personal (how do I get that) Ravens jersey, he served as an honorary captain at the Baltimore Ravens game on Sunday, where he did the coin toss. “It means a great deal to be at the Ravens’ first game, their home opener,” said Carmelo. I never thought I would be doing the coin toss out here. It’s just an honor for me.” Melo was also set to throw out the first pitch for the Orioles game but mother-nature cancelled those plans.

He did find time today to do a little Q&A on ESPN chat, where he said the coolest thing he saw in China was “Usain Bolt”…revealed that it takes about an hour to get his hair done after I’ve messed it up…predicts the Ravens will go 10-6 this year…named Carlos Boozer as the funniest TEAM USA teammate…said he “didn’t want to take” off his gold medal…naps before games…predicts Greg Oden as the rookie of the year and would be “making movies” if he wasn’t shooting hoops. For the entire chat session check out Espn.Go.com.

In a perfect world, I could sit here all day, everyday, (except on Formula One race days) and blog about each and every good deed done by Melo. I would dissect each tattoo and explain the beauty of his ink, I would give painstaking details of each smile on the faces of kids as Melo enters the room, and do I daresay that I would insist on a video of Sweet Melon sleeping ala David Beckham years ago? Until then…I’ll just have to settle for the good peeps at Maroon PR to keep this girl in the Melo-loop.

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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

CAMILO VILLEGAS POPS HIS CHERRY AND WINS BMW!

MEOW

Our little kitten has finally done it…we’ve waited patiently for the last three years, hoping, praying and believing that hours of yoga and weight training will lend something to his already stellar physique -something extra-something to inch his oh-so-pretty Columbian flavor right into the victory circle.


Yes, we’ve been watching his sexiness crawl across the greens after meticulously selecting his Lindberg garb for the day…and now, our baby has popped his cherry and its time to rejoice and celebrate Camilo Villegas winning his first PGA tour victory. Our beast finished at 15-under 265 and earned a cool $1.26M. “It’s awesome to be here,” said Villegas, who was adorable in his solid white outfit accented by a yellow belt and painter’s cap. “Hopefully, it’s the first of many.” Indeed.


I’m not gonna post a hole-by-hole of the final round of the BMW Championships…because really, it’s about the man, not the game. It’s about the sweet demeanor of a long-overdue champion who brightens any course he plays with his unique crawl, flashy Lindberg cloths, perfectly matching socks and enticing tongue. Yes, the beast even looks hot when he sticks out his tongue…or yawns, or squats, or strokes his putter for that matter.


Camilo Villegas has won the BMW Championship. God…it feels so good to write that. But heads up ladies, a victory can mean much more than meets the eye. Regular readers and myself have been wiping Villegas-inspired drool off our chins for quite sometime, so I expect we are gonna see a Villegas-feeding-frenzy by the media from now on. Gone is the obscurity that allowed us to chit-chat with the kitten during practice rounds…gone are the days of having a secret hot golfer to enjoy…the trophy he kisses signifies his shot at Fame. My money says he’ll remain humble despite being thrown into the limelight, and I’m keep my fingers crossed that he appears in many, many more issues of Men’s Vogue, GQ, People, US, and whatever other publication has finally caught up to speed with us. I even heard a rumor that Tiger Woods is going to name his next child-if its a boy-Camilo….

Congratulations my kitten. We are all so proud of you.

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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Lewis Hamilton Wins Belgian Grand Prix, Then Loses it?

LEWIS HAMILTON: RAIN MAN
Generally, I wake up on Formula One race days at 4:30 for Peter Windsor, today, I thought it appropriate to change my wake-up call to 4:20 because after all, it is my favorite time and these races, for me, are events. Call me crazy, but I could easily ditch my Athlebrity posts in exchange for a full time Formula One blogging job. I know there are pa-lenty of local bars that air the event, but its way too early to make a public appearance, plus, my sofa is much more comfortable than a bar stool at 4:30AM.


Good thing I did wake up early…like an adrenaline shot, the news hit me that chances are ‘very, very good’ that US Grand Prix will return in the 2010 season!!! If this does happen, I’m officially representing all the cougars who wanna be pit girls. I promise to just hold the sign and not molest Windsor or any drivers if given the job. Now…on the grid…we join my favorite pit boy, Peter Windsor. The damp and dry conditions are discussed…the ‘spray’ and ‘lottery element’ to the race…oh, the unpredictability of these conditions.


Windsor attempted a few words with Nick Heidfeld who was busy with the German TV crew…so he wandered up to Mark Webber who “is always good for a comment in these conditions”…Webber was mid conversation with someone as Windsor worked his magic proclaiming ‘Live on Speed” before sticking his microphone in Webbers face to ensure he did in fact comment. Priceless. They chatted about the track being part wet and part dry…then Windsor moved down the grid and spotted Robert Kubica. “Robert Kubica over here, I’m dying to ask Robert why he’s not as quick as Nick but I’m not quite sure how to phrase that.” Again, priceless words from the mouth of the grid-side beast. No holds barred…commercial break…Windsor back on the grid.. Windsor: “Yes, let’s go and have a chat now to Nick Heidfeld who’s bounced back beautifully from that performance in Valencia, Nick outta the car now, um, you know what, Robert Kubica didn’t want to talk so I think that’s kinda a good story.” Again, the master busts into a conversation Heidfeld was having with someone else, sticks the microphone right up there and says “Live on Speed”…seriously, who could say no to this man? Heidfeld said he was ‘happy with conditions’…Windsor says hi to a Timo Glock rushing by…”But lets have a look at the Raikkonen situation and Massa”….continues “to Rob Smedley here, Rob can we have a quick word”…Rob was mid interview when Peter noticed and gracefully bowed out “Oh, oh, sorry, “ he said to the other reporter, “far be it for me to intrude on the gorgeous Austrian television crew”…Peter sends it back to the booth.

Right back down to the grid with Peter Windsor and Bernie Ecclestone (owner, F1 Management). Peter asks about the rumored US Grand Prix for 2010. “2010, I don’t know about that,” said Ecclestone, “we’re trying our best.” Venue? Location? “We have two or three ideas” Windsor asks: “Indianapolis one of them?” Ecclestone smiles: “We have several ideas”. Tight lipped but definitely seemed optimistic to me….

The dark clouds looming over the 4.25 mile “epic” track added to the excitement of the starting grid. Lewis Hamilton got first pole with Felipe Massa chillen in the front row next to him. Behind them in the second (row) were Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen. Row three: Nick Heidfeld and Fernando Alonso. Next row Mark Webber and Robert Kubica. And we need not worry about the other rows…except for sexy Jarno Trulli in sixth, this is the first time he’s qualified outta the top ten since 2001 and apparently is “very slow through this track.”


Lots of tire smoke at the start, cars off the track, Hamilton first, a bit of chaos…Hamilton holds position, Massa and Raikkonen on his heels…the curves wetter than the race track…Jarno Trulli skids off on the first turn but quickly regains control of his car in a miraculous save…Raikkonen makes a move to overtake Hamilton as he rides on his ass…and he actually passes Hamilton to take first due to a minor error by Hamilton (not to mention some sick driving skills)…Raikkonen holds the lead ahead of Hamilton. Hamilton pit stop at lap 33 and rejoins at 7th place…Raikkonen holding strong…pit stop lap 32….pulls out without a mechanic attached to his car this time…he rejoins ahead of Hamilton…how, I don’t know, but he lands in third…leaving Massa in first (but without a pit stop)…Massa pits…now it’s a battle for first and we’re only on lap 13. …Was happy to hear the announcers informing us that Rubens Barrichello racing suit is being auctioned off on Ebay for charity…but there are a couple on there and I cant confirm it is for charity….Nelson Piquet then gives us the first crash as he skids and hits the safety wall. “Im okay,” he says,” But I’m out.”


Hamilton is inching his way back up…now in 4th…Raikkonen keeps setting ‘fastest lap’ times…Hamilton gets back into second…Massa back in third…Alonso in fourth…the sun is shining but the dark clouds are still looming…chatter about the Ferrari engines…Raikkonen-the defending champion-is predicted to win, putting “his stamp of authority” on the track…Even if he wins, Hamilton is still 8 points ahead in the overall championship race ‘points’…gloomy clouds loom lap after lap…Hamilton closing in on Raikkonen…fifteen laps to go…chit chat about the Ferrari tires….Hamilton starts to lose a bit of time on Raikkonen…gap now 1.916 seconds between them…Hamilton must be kicking himself for his guffaw outta the gate…G force in his car 4.4-insane…9 laps to go…Raikkonen 2.1 seconds ahead of Hamilton…still no rain-how odd the weather men were wrong-5 laps to go…1.2 second gap….not looking like an easy task to get in front although he closed the gap by .6 tenths of a second off his last lap…go Lewis, go…4 laps to go…oh…raindrops? Hamilton drawing closer…YES he passes him….lap 2…raindrops make it slippery…I can’t believe what I just saw…OMG….2 laps left and Raikkonen WIPES OUT! Cars are skidding everywhere…its down to car control…Hamilton in first…where is Massa….oh, in second…Alonso in third…slippery corner…take your time Hamilton you got it….Unbelievable!!!!


Seriously, this was without a doubt the BEST final three laps I’ve ever seen. Final podium: First: Hamilton, Second: Felipe Massa, Third: Nick Heidfeld. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for winning the Belgian Grand Prix…but did he really win? According to the bozo’s in charge, Hamilton was stripped of his victory because: “ Stewards deemed Hamilton did not properly allow Kimi Raikkonen to re-pass after overtaking the Ferrari driver by cutting the Bus Stop chicane with 3 laps to go.” Straight up bullshit in my book, but then again, I’m a bit biased due to my massive crush on Hamilton.

    According the Speed: McLaren has informed the stewards at Spa-Francorchamps of its intention to appeal the decision to strip Lewis Hamilton of victory at the Belgian Grand Prix, the FIA confirmed on Sunday evening. The news means the result will now remain provisional until a hearing of the International Court of Appeal. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was declared the official winner of the race after stewards issued championship leader Hamilton with a retrospective 25-second penalty (click here for story).

And yet another great start to my Sunday.


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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Rafael Nadal: Prince of Asturias Award

TAPA NOW A PRINCE?
Well, maybe not really a prince, but on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal won the prestigious Prince of Asturias sports award.

The first hottie since Bjorn Borg to win two back-to-back majors, bring home a gold from Beijing, and dethrone Roger Federer, has followed up his French Open title with a bit-o-royal-love. “Rafael Nadal is an exemplary athlete,” the Prince of Asturias jury said. “Both in victory and in the very few times in which he tastes defeat, he behaves like a great athlete.” And we all know how sexy it is when Rafael tastes victory by nibbling on those wonderful trophies. Nadal won the award because the jury feels, as do I, that Nadal always has a kind word for his opponents, and because he’s created a charity foundation- (which I cant seem to fin any info on so if anyone of you know about it please hit me up). The award goes to a person, persons or organization deemed to have excelled in their field and worked to promote sports in general…fittingly enough, our beast was nominated alongside Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and the Spanish National Football Team.

    At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Sport…has decided to bestow the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Sport on the tennis player Rafael Nadal. The Jury has prized the merits of the sportsman: in Grand Slam competitions, his fourth French Open title and his first Wimbledon victory, thereby becoming the number one tennis player in the world and, in this Olympic year, also obtaining the gold medal in Beijing. Rafael Nadal is an example to follow. Both in his victories and in the very few occasions when he is defeated, he shows great sportsmanship. The way he reacts after a victory and the way he highlights the merits of his opponents is particularly admirable. He has also recently established a charitable foundation bearing his name, which focuses on social work among disadvantaged groups and cooperation for development.The Prince of Asturias Award laureate for Sport was one of the major figures at the Beijing Olympic Games, along with Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva, three of the final candidates for said Award. The Jury has valued Rafael Nadal’s contribution to the excellent year that Spanish Sport has enjoyed in 2008, achieving three major international prizes in different disciplines.

Congratulations to Rafael Nadal and his royal nod….he is make right choice, no?


This time I really am taking a few days off…I’ll be back after Peter Windsor wakes me up bright and early Sunday morning to work the grid from the Belgian F1 Grand Prix.

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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Lewis Pugh Kayaks for Global Warming

LEWIS ‘POLAR BEAR’ PUGH

I had planned on taking a few days off but that doesn’t seem possible when our ice caps are melting…or, more importantly, when Lewis Pugh is kayaking. I’ve written about this amazing man before…he’s the one who wore nothing but a pair of trunks, a swimming cap and goggles as he swam all three of the worlds oceans, the River Thames and the sub-zero waters at the North Pole- all in efforts to raise awareness of global warming and its affect on polar regions.


And now, this mighty-mighty-fine man has began a 745-mile kayak-trip to the North Pole to raise awareness of how global warming has melted the ice sheet. No one has ever attempted this before-mainly because it’s been impossible, but now, sadly, scientists predict that the North Pole could briefly be ice free, a prediction that has inspired Pugh to try to find a way through. “There’s one side of me that desperately wants to get to the North Pole to be able to shake the lapels of world leaders to get them to understand what has happened there,” he said. “But then there’s the other side of me that says I really hope I don’t get there. I hope I fail because if I am able to get there we really are in deep trouble.”


The Times of India has daily posts from Pugh. In part, he writes: “Last year, after I swam at the North Pole, I predicted that within the next ten years the Arctic would be largely free of sea ice in the summer months. This prediction was scoffed at by some commentators and scientists – the latter claimed that their models showed that this would not occur for another 50 to 100 years. However, this year the Arctic sea ice has already broken two records – the sea ice is the thinnest on record and the sea ice is also the lowest in terms of volume on record. We will find out in the next two weeks whether or not the sea ice this summer has also receded so much as to cover the smallest surface area on record.” Pugh also states his objective: ‘I want to bring home to world leaders, on this expedition, the reality of what is now happening here in the Arctic. The rate of change is clearly faster than the scientific models had predicted.’


And hello to the crew…particularly, Sam Branson, as in Richard Branson’s son…not only is he hot, but you would think a kid who’s father is worth a billion dollars might be more prone to nightclubs and comfort-but instead, baby Branson is out helping save the world. From Pugh’s blog: ‘Sam is the next member of the group I want to tell you about. He is twenty-three, blonde, stubble beard, and has a great sense of humor. He also has a real can-do attitude, and a persistence that you need on a trip like this one – he’s the guy that is making sure that the photographs and the blogs make their way back to the UK through the satellite uplink – a painfully slow task that would drive me mad. He is writing a companion blog to this one, but one that is aimed at his age group. This is his second expedition to the Arctic this year – from March to June he dog-sled from Cornwallis Island to Ellesmere Island around Axel-Heiburg.’

For a great video and daily blogs from Lewis Pugh, please visit the Times of India.

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Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Rafael Nadal Topless in New York and James Blake Suited Up in Men’s Vogue

BOOTILICIOUS

Men’s Vogue recently hosted a party for James Blake and his delicious booty. The bootlicious tennis beast has honored his papa- who passed away from cancer- by establishing the Thomas Blake Sr. Memeorial Research Fund…the coctail party delivered us James Blake in a Huge Boss suit as he expressed gratitude for Men’s Vogue’s help with setting up an online auction at charityfolks.com. Bid away kids…they got ‘a chance to hang out with Blake at a 2009 tournament in Miami’ up for bids, as well as a trip to the Evian Resort in France, a Maurice Lacroix watch, and a Niketown shopping experience. “All this support get me closer to my goal of raising $1 million by next year,” Blake said. And yes, that is indeed John Mayer chatting away with James Blake.

RAFAEL NADAL’S NEW LOOK

Rafael Nadal has also earned some serious love from NY Magazine and has shown his gratitude by finally taking off his shirt to grace not only the cover, but also several pages inside. Rafa’s manangers say our Tapa is in the process of tapping into his marketing potential and has been working with designers at Nike to ‘come up with a new look’. “It is fair to say that it is more mature,” Nike spokesman Kilee Hughes said of the new on-court look Rafa is sporting for the first time at the U.S. Open. Rafa came up with the idea for an image makeover and ‘the new look was developed gradually over the past couple of years, with sponsors, Mr. Nadal’s communications team and the player himself working together’…the new gear reflects the player’s personality. They write: Mr. Nadal doesn’t like black, but prefers bright colors that are more “Latin.” Nike says the short-sleeve polo shirts — complete with mesh side panels — will allow him to “counterpunch with color.” The company says, “With colors as vibrant as the culture of Majorca, Rafa will burst onto the court in chlorine blue, orange blaze, white and concord [purple]. Rafa’s contrasting tones are set to shine, day and night in the city that never sleeps.” And what about those capri’s? His shorter shorts will be loose, as opposed to their tight, sometimes see-through predecessors. They will have Velcro fastenings. And who doesn’t love Velcro, no?

Enjoy yourselves kids…I’m taking a much-needed sabbatical…I’ll be back when the urge strikes.

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Delinda Lombardo
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