Monthly Archives: February 2009

Right To Play Soccer

Soccer Babes With A Splash of Tonic Please
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Luca-Toni-Peppe-Roni: Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what this is all about, but it’s Luca Toni and it’s Friday and I get to have fun on my blog…Bayern Munich’s sexy Italian striker Luca Toni (L) played ‘table football’ on the world’s largest table against comedian Matze Knop (R) at the “f.re.e” travel and leisure trade fair in Munich. Seems that Toni is representing Italy at the stand…that’s about all I can figure out about the ‘event’ but it did lead me to this ridiculous video where Knop performs his latest single ‘Numero Uno,’ a bizarre and embarrassing tribute to ‘Luca Toni, pepperoni’…

The Beautiful Game for All
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While we have fun with our soccer babes, it’s important to remember the children around the world who don’t get the chance to play the beautiful game. Recently, there was a soccer tournament in Juba (Sudan), which was used to reach out to an entire generation of children who have been traumatized by the civil war. Although the war ended four-years ago, more than half the kids didn’t finish their primary education…as we know, they’ve all got a Right to Play, so let’s not forget to help.

The Right to Play World Cup is planned to take place at Stamford Bride May 22. If you’re like me, then the following info should warm your bones like a topless David Beckham or a knee-sliding post-goal Drogba…

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    The Right To Play World Cup is a unique opportunity to live that dream and play on the hallowed turf of one of the world’s biggest football clubs whilst supporting a global sport for development charity working in 23 countries across the globe. We believe that when children play, the world wins! It’ll be a chance for you and 9 of your colleagues to live out your playground fantasies while supporting the valuable work we do with young people around the world. When: Friday 22nd May. Where: Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FA full 5 a-side footy tournament on the pitch with full pitch finals. Form a team of 10 colleagues and compete for the title of Right To Play World Champs. Why: Enjoy a once-in-life time experience of playing at this famous stadium and support the Right To Play aims of providing sport and play programs to vulnerable children. Chelsea Quiz Evening – The World Cup will be followed by an evening’s entertainment at the stadium, with a sports quiz and exclusive sporting prizes.

Basically, you get to play at Stamford Bridge and party like a rock-star with the players while supporting a damn good cause. While I’m not really into running on the field, I’d make an amazing cheerleader or towel girl, so pa-lease, take me with you. RIGHT TO PLAY.

STOP IT
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David Beckham can play anywhere he wants…AC Milan or the Galaxy-I don’t care…but good gawd Beck’s…for the love of soccer, stop taking your shirt off and causing me to revert to ‘huh’ instead of ‘charity’.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Top Chef Season 5 Party & Sobe Food and Wine Festival for Charity

Top Chef Season 5 Party & Sobe Food and Wine Festival for Charity
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Last weekend I took my hungry-self to South Beach for the Food Networks Food and Wine Festival…now in its 8th year, the annual event raises a boatload of cash for South Florida charities. Massive tents were set up on the white sandy beaches for events such as the Whole Foods Tasting Village and the Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachel Ray. Admittedly, I don’t watch the Food Network but I am familiar with some of the chefs who were cooking it up.

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The first event we hit up was the Burger Bash. Over 20 different tasting stations were set-up to showcase the culinary treats from restaurants across the country. While Rachel Ray frolicked around tasting burgers, guests enjoyed such bite-sized bits of heaven from Top Chef ‘Spike’ (who won the Bash this year) and Bobby Flay. ‘Bobby’s Blue Crunchified Burger’ was to die for but that may have been because cutie-pie served it to me himself.

The best event though was one not associated with the Food and Wine Festival. The Top Chef season 5 party hosted by Jeff McInnis was the bomb. Jeff and his dimples hosted the party inside the suite of the historic Pelican Hotel. Without a doubt-the most memorable and classy event I’ve ever been to. (And trust me kids, I’ve been to a few). Props to everyone who held it down and worked it out…

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Congratulations to Hosea Rosenberg- Top Chef Season 5 Winner! Hosea laid down some tasty treats at the party Saturday night, and in between hugs, kisses and spoon-feeding us, we nibbled on his ‘shucked oysters, beer poached shrimp and chilled crab claws’…delicious. We also enjoyed the caviar and vodka station. And don’t ever question whether or not he’s a nice guy-dude is top notch, as were all the chefs that night.

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Gotta give props to the host Jeff McInnis. With that tussled blond hair and to-die-for-smile, I now understand why there is such a thing as “chef-groupies.” I had no problem flinging them outta the way to get my paws all over him and his Ahi-something-in-a-little-spoon (sorry I didn’t get a photo of the menu). We also enjoyed washing it down with one of his famous ‘cucumber mojito’s’. McInnis was awesome, period, and if you ever get a chance to nibble on his creations-do it.

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More props to the Top Chef who cooked our favorite dish that night. Leah Cohen. We went back for seconds and thirds of her ‘Kampachi Ceviche, with black olive powder, shaved fennel and micro basil.’ Not sure if she knew just HOW good it was, as we overheard her talking about how surprised she was that people were eating so much.

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We also love, love, loved Jamie Lauren’s heirloom tomatoes, buratta cheese dish with smoked extra virgin olive oil, balsamic and charred onion vinaigrette. Think we ate about five of those…and one more shout out to chef Michelle Gomez (R). Girlfriend was manning McInnis’s station and whipping up some deliciousness worthy of second and thirds. Top Chef season three winner Hung Huynh was also there- nice as could be- and I’m pretty sure I saw him noshing on Michelle’s spoons.

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Once again, thanks to all the Top Chefs-you guys are awesome and we look forward to the next party, where we will in fact, end up in that hot tub.

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Soccer Stud Diego Sends Out An SOS

Soccer Stud Diego Sends Out An SOS
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Nothing warms my heart like a wickedly fine soccer babe doing good things for needy kids…case in point, Werder Bremen’s Brazilian midfielder Diego has been nominated as ambassador for the SOS Children’s Villages.  Hot stuff met kids in the German city of Worpswede yesterday as they celebrated his nomination…SOS Children’s Villages is an international non-governmental social development organisation committed to children’s needs and concerns…located in 132 countries and territories, their activities focus on giving serious love to children without parental care or kids of families in difficult circumstances….for example, you’ll find an SOS Children’s Village in Phuket that was built after the tsunami, and a program in Gaza which is currently helping approximately 900 children!

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Check them out at SOS Children’s Villages. It’s a great program that’s really doing some amazing things to improve the lives of children who really, really need help.

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Hard Hats for Humanity

Hard Hats and Hotties for Charity?

Love this one…Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity is auctioning off autographed hard hats for charity… more than 70 hats have been signed and donated for the charity auction…bid on hard hats signed by such artists/humanitarians as U2, Ricky Martin, Justin Timberlake, The Jonas Brothers and more… while there are no “athlete” signed hard hats on the chopping block, I can’t resist anything Bono related, especially when I see him swinging a hammer and building a house. Ditto goes for Ricky Martin.

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“I have had the chance to personally give the keys to several families moving into homes sponsored by the Ricky Martin Foundation in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, an organization I’ve been involved with for many years. I’ve been fortunate enough to see with my own eyes the difference a home makes in the life of a child,” said Ricky Martin. “Now, by simply bidding on an item in an auction, you have the chance to change lives and build hope.”

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles launched the online auction today at Clothes Off Our Back…the auction will run through March 6th at 5:00 pm PST with 100% of the proceeds helping to build more affordable homes in Greater Los Angeles. “Through our non-profit organization, Music for Relief, and our ongoing partnership with Habitat for Humanity we have had the opportunity to not only sponsor homes, but also to go and build the houses ourselves, and to meet the families that were moving into them,” said Dave “Phoenix” Farrell of Linkin Park. “We hope this hardhat auction will raise awareness for Habitat’s mission and help raise funds for families in need.”

The following is a partial list of celebrities who have autographed hardhats for the auction: 30 Seconds to Mars, Alejandro Sanz, Carrie Underwood, Chris Pine, David Archuleta, Enrique Iglesias, Gavin Rossdale, Governor Schwarzenegger, Green Day, Kate Beckinsale, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Kellan Lutz, The Jonas Brothers, Josh Groban, Justin Timberlake, Kyle Howard, Linkin Park, First Lady Maria Shriver, Michael Johns, Miley Cyrus, Neil Diamond, Ne-Yo, the Pussycat Dolls, Ricky Martin, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Third Day, U2, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron. A complete list of celebrity supporters of this auction can be found at the auction site: CLOTHES OFF OUR BACK.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Grant Hill Makes Getting Vaccinated Easy

Grant Hill Makes Getting Vaccinated Easy

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m seriously needle-phobic. As a kid, I would routinely blackout in the doctors office at the mere thought of getting a ‘sleeping shot.” But today, I’d be much more interested in getting vaccinated if I had a hot-baller holding my hand. Notorious for his love of kids and all things community related, NBA babe Grant Hill hosted the Vaccines for Teens Tip-Off event today at Cordova Primary School in Phoenix.

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“Being a parent and certainly understanding what’s important in having a healthy family and healthy children,” said Hill. “Anything I can do to promote health and considering what I’ve gone through with a number of issues regarding health personally it’s very rewarding.”

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More than 250 squealing kids welcomed the seven-time All Star as he visited the school along with Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA Cares Ambassador, Bob Lanier. The two mighty-mighty fine men are part of the national multimedia campaign designed to educate teens and their parents about the importance of getting vaccinated.

Both the NBA and the WNBA have joined forces with the Society for Adolescent Medicine (SAM) to launch Vaccines for Teens. Hill is a spokesperson for the campaign and filmed a PSA which will debut nationally during the Friday, February 27 broadcast of the Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic game on ESPN at 7:00 pm EST. Look for another PSA by Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks to begin airing nationally soon. Also, Pistons guard Richard Hamilton and NBA Legend and Hall of Famer George Gervin will appear in PSAs that will be aired in Detroit and San Antonio areas respectively.

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“I know they’re a little nervous so I’m just trying to distract them. I don’t know if I’m doing a good job though,” said Hill. (Um, Grant…you are indeed doing a phenomenal job.)

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Jamie Gold Lands Richest Online Sponsorship Deal in History

Jamie Gold Lands Richest Online Sponsorship Deal in History
I am looking for, and will find a (poker) site that we can all trust, accepts US players, and will teach and support their players without worry of impropriety or monies not being safe,” Jamie Gold stated late this past week.

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Most of you will scratch your head while asking ‘Who is Jamie Gold?’ Unless you’re addicted to Poker After Dark, the humor of Phil Laak, the sex appeal of Antonio Esfandiari and the philanthropy of Don Cheadle, Jennifer Harman and Phil Ivey, then I wouldn’t expect you to recognize his name. But take notice, Jamie Gold is the 2006 World Series of Poker champion and the all-time money leader in the game – And he has just inked the industry’s most lucrative multi-year contract in history with upstart poker brand Aced.com.

“We’ve been careful and patient in waiting for the right deal,” stated Gold’s agent Sean Fredericks. Now here’s the 8-10 kicker, Gold turned down several endorsement offers over the past two years because they didn’t mesh with his philosophy of charitable giving. Since his 2006 WSOP win, Gold’s been heavily involved with over 50 charity related events, he’s helped raise more than $110,000 for such charities as MDA/ALS Division, The Sunflower Organization, Montel Williams MS Foundation, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation. He’s not just a poker player-he’s a philanthropist.

“I’m really proud of the example we, as a poker community, are setting,” he said, “Professional poker players, celebrities, athletes, and captains of industry have worked tirelessly and participated honorably in support of charitable gaming events to impact important world causes. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to give back,” added Gold. “But it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Aced and I plan to leave our mark, not just on poker, but on the world, making it a better place for future generations.”

So, how much is the deal worth? Mums the word…but according to “sources,” Gold is about to earn upwards of eight figures. Aced.com will also fund Gold’s participation in major USA, European, and Asian events. “I am not at liberty to disclose details of the arrangement,” commented Gold’s attorney Les Abell. “However, I can say that this contract is valued at more than any deal I’ve ever heard of.”

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Not convinced that Jamie Gold is worth the price of Tiger Woods? Think again. His name is one of the most searched on the Internet and his compassion is infectious. I dare you to read this amazing piece Gold wrote about Parkinson’s Disease and Michael J Fox without being moved. It appeared in Bluff magazine in 2006. In part, Gold wrote:

    I have a new hero, not to replace my others, but one who has already motivated me to be a better person. For years, I have been aware of the fight to cure Parkinson’s disease. I have been intimately aware of the issues facing those who have PD, but had yet to get involved in the cause. I heard about a Hollywood poker event for PD and I just had to be a part of it. The more research I did about the organization behind the event, the more impressed I became. Then I attended the event and was blown away. From an opening speech to tireless involvement throughout the evening, the force leading this charge was truly inspiring. His name is Michael J. Fox.

Aced.com launched in September 2008…Aced poker room manager Brandon Berndt stated in regards to signing Gold, “We are extremely excited to have Jamie on board, not only because of his obvious value as an ambassador for us within the poker world, but for the unparalleled enthusiasm, insight, and creativity he brings to the ongoing development of our brand. He could have chosen so many other sites, but we share his values and vision. He is worth every penny — or billion pennies.”

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

MLB Takes Another Hit With Roberto Alomar HIV/AIDS RUMOR

MLB Takes Another Hit With Roberto Alomar HIV/AIDS RUMOR

Just when I thought I was out, it pulls me back in again…I speak of the smut we call MLB…. For those who missed the landslide news, Ilya Dall, ex-girlfriend of baseball great Roberto Alomar, is suing the slugger for $15M because he continued to have unprotected sex with her after learning he was HIV positive. According to the LAWSUIT, her relationship with Alomar began in 2002…Alomar retired in the spring of 2005 while with Tampa Bay…Around that time Alomar told his girlfriend he “was raped by two Mexican men after playing a ball game in New Mexico or a southwestern state, when he was 17 years of age.” The court papers say the couple started having unprotected sex shortly after meeting in 2002. In 2005, she claims he was diagnosed with a blood disorder sometimes linked to HIV.

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Roberto Alomar Official Statement February 11, 2009: This is a very private, personal matter and I greatly appreciate all the support I have received in the past few days from my family, friends and colleagues in baseball. I am in very good health and I ask that you respect my privacy during this time. As for the lawsuit, it is filled with lies and I am deeply saddened that someone I cared for would make such terrible accusations and try to hurt me in this way.

One thing I’m having a problem with is that DALL continued to have sex with Alomar after seeing signs that he was unhealthy. In the complaint, she alleges how sick he was and how sick he appeared-yet she still had unprotected sex with him even after urging him over and over and over again to get tested? Come on. How about taking responsibility for your own actions Dall?

Now, we don’t know if any of this tale is true. I suspect that yes, Alomar is ill. I suspect-based on his statement- that he was victimized (raped) when he was 17 and this is in fact a very private matter. In the complaint, Dall speaks of the fear she had for her children who were exposed to Alomar-who “kissed them”-and gasp-was near their toothbrushes! Give me a Fucking break. Instead of taking this opportunity to educate people on the dangers of the disease-Dall is freaking out because Alomar was in the same room as her kids’ toothbrush? (I’m not making this up).

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If Alomar does suffer from this disease, its sad and scary and this situation should be used as Magic-educate the public. Anyone suffering from AIDS deserves compassion, respect and love. Anyone who was raped deserves the same. But anyone foolish enough to have unprotected sex with someone they are pretty sure is infected with AIDS- deserves nothing short of pity. Sorry Dall- my compassion goes with Alomar.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Yao Ming Foundation Cut Out of the Loop by the NBA

Yao Ming Foundation Cut Out of the Loop by the NBA
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The Yao Ming Foundation has been cut out of the charity loop and is no longer one of the beneficiaries of next week’s Tux & Tennies Charity Gala. Apparently, there are some new “NBA Guidelines” is place to prevent salary-cap circumvention…now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m well versed on all these ‘rules’ but apparently, because Yao can opt out of his contract with the Rockets after the 2009-10 season, the ‘league’ office said donations to his foundation could be interpreted as influencing negotiations. “I know, it’s all about 2010,” Yao said. “They have rules. All we want to do is help people who were hurt by the earthquake in the Sichuan Province.”

The NBA is also claiming that after the Rockets named Yao’s Foundation as a beneficiary, commissioner David Stern’s office received complaints from several other NBA teams…if I were to guess…my money would be on the Cav’s and the Lakers as the cry babies who messed it up for Yao. “We appreciate the league’s position and will work with them and will certainly abide by their wishes and work according to their direction on how we can make the event as successful as possible while supporting Yao to the best that we can,” said Tad Brown, Rockets chief executive officer.

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This is straight-up BS if you ask me. Even though the proceeds from the event still go to charity, the Rockets have one of the hottest rosters in the NBA-in terms of charitable work. Between Dikembe Mutombo, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Yao, and yes, even Ron Artest, they’ve got some mighty-mighty fine men shooting hoops, helping kids, and bettering humanity.

Since 1996, the Tux & Tennies Gala has raised nearly $5 million. Last year and in 2006, proceeds benefited the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, with a portion of the proceeds being used to help build the Women & Children’s Center of the Biamba Maria Mutombo Hospital. The NBA takes issues because Deke twice signed free-agent contracts to return to the Rockets during that period. GOOD. That’s how it should be. Wouldn’t it be great to see the NBA encouraging free-agent signing by greasing players-foundations with hefty donations? Or would you prefer to see players driving around in $100,000 vehicles purchased with bonus money or bribe money or whatever you want to call it?

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I’d like to see players hold out from signing unless there is a guaranteed yearly donation to the players foundation or charity of choice. But hey, that’s just me…

Proceeds from the event this year will go to the ‘Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund’ and to various organizations providing humanitarian relief to earthquake victims in China…

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Athletic Champions Pose Naked for AIDS Awareness and Charity

Athletic Champions Pose Naked for AIDS Awareness and Charity
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I don’t know how this one snuck by me…it opened October 30 at the National Portrait Gallery in London and runs through March 8, 2009…Terrell Owens (above), Matt Dawson and Thierry Henry are just a few of the beautiful sports babes who participated in ‘Champions,’ an amazing black and white nude portrait project by photographers Anderson and Low that benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

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The ‘Champions’ exhibit has over 30 previously unseen nude portraits on display, of some of the hottest athletes shot by photographers Anderson & Low. The collection of images took several years to complete-making me wish I had been along on that road trip…they visited three different continents to shoot the hotties after the photographers conceived the idea to support the Elton John Aids Foundation and to raise awareness of the global issue of HIV/AIDS…consider my awareness ‘raised’…

“Transcending cultural and socioeconomic boundaries the universal appeal of these athletes made them the ideal subjects for this project,” reads the press release. “Their nudity in the portraits is symbolic, illustrating both their physical beauty and prowess alongside their vulnerability and humanity.”

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If you’re in London and want to check out the images, admission to the Gallery is free…they are also selling a book in the gallery’s bookshop: The ‘Champions’ book by Anderson and Low, which contains 138 images of the participating athletes…and yes, I would love a copy from someone for my birthday next month. For more images and information about the incredible photography of Anderson and Low click here.

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Camilo Villegas Getting Quite a Bit of Love From Nick Faldo

Camilo Villegas Getting Quite a Bit of Love From Nick Faldo
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Well, so far, Camilo Villegas is giving one hell of mouthwatering performance at the Buick and although his participation isnt going to do much good for the Eagles for St. Jude program (as of this post, the kitten has only bagged one through 3 ½ rounds) he’s sitting pretty in more ways than one. Despite the fact that I’m not at the Buick (as I was scheduled to be)-it is indeed a delight to see his paws creeping across the wet greens as he hunts the elusive trophy. It is also a delight to watch it from home otherwise I’d be missing Nick Faldo and his comments.

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If you’ve been watching the Buick on TV, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Seriously-and without exaggerating- Faldo has used the following words to describe our sexy lawn crawler: Fit, cut, tone, phenomenal, sensational, strong, outstanding, flexible, limber, unbelievable, popular, stylish, improved, friendly and hot. Okay-so he didn’t say ‘hot’ but he might as well have. Faldo was also very quick to let us know that he’s the one who got Camilo into biking-and that Camilo is “very, very good at it” and would do “very well” in a 100-mile ride.

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On Saturday, Villegas wasn’t performing as a proper kitten would on the 9th hole. He kept hitting it left or right-I don’t know, but there was a lot of heavy breathing coming from Faldo and friend. Luckily, we were giving a very welcome slow-mo video-analyses of Camilo’s swing…This is the running commentary as he was swinging: “In the PGA tour media guide, Camilo Villegas is listed 5’9 160, yet Camilo is one of the longest players on tour…he has very quiet knees, the net result of the quiet knees, he has quite hips-very little hip turn as he goes back-but at the top he still has coiled his shoulders fully- well past 90 degrees- as he starts back down, he increases that separation between his hips and shoulders, the amount of torque he puts on his core and the amount of rotation he gets is absolutely phenomenal. If you can be strong enough and flexible enough to get that degree of separation between your hips and shoulders as you change directions, then maybe you can hit it as far as Camilo…he will thrash it out of the rough, which is deep and gnarly” …

Naturally, my mind was in the gutter ready to be thrashed from the rough by those quiet hips and coiled shoulders while remaining flexible enough to hit it as far as he does…

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Mike Sweeney Lost in the Mix

A Reason to Smile About Baseball

Thanks to one of my readers, and a player, I found myself smiling about ‘baseball’ for the first time in years…Seattle Mariners’ Mike Sweeney has earned some serious mighty-mighty-good man love from me for organizing a baseball camp at Ontario High to raise funds for Michael Ortiz’s family.

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According to an LA Times article, Sweeney has been dealing with health issues surrounding his own kids when he received a call from a student at Sweeney’s alma mater, Ontario High, asking if Sweeney would help organize a fundraiser for Michael Ortiz’s family- Michael was one of the school’s baseball players who had been among the nine killed in a Christmas Eve massacre in Covina.

“When I heard the story repeated to me; when they told me Michael valued himself as a student first and athlete second, like myself, and that he was a wonderful Catholic kid who lived his faith, it absolutely broke my heart,” Sweeney said. “When I held my 3-week-old baby in my hands all I could feel was his spine and ribs, he was shriveling away, below his birth weight of eight pounds. I didn’t really know what his disease was . . . I was a terrified father…I knew I was going through a crazy time, but someone had a heavier burden than me.”

Sweeny’s son Donovan had just undergone surgery for pyloric stenosis, a rare condition that stops food movement from the stomach to the small intestine…but Sweeney didn’t hesitate to organize a camp to benefit the Ortiz family. The camp was held yesterday, and so far more than $200,000 in donations have been secured. Additionally, an anonymous donor has declared he’ll double whatever the proceeds were for Saturday.

“The kind of person Mike Sweeney is, the way he conducts himself — that’s what’s made this possible,” said Ontario High Vice Principal Cary Wilborn, who said he has received checks from as far as Dubai. (LA TIMES)

And you can find our more info on Sweeney and his Foundation, the Mike and Shara Family Foundation HERE. According to their site, the foundation exists to bring youth into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ; to grow the ministry of Life Teen, an outreach to youth; to assist pro-life ministries, particularly crisis pregnancy centers; to bring unity between Catholics and Protestants; to host Christian baseball camps all across the country; to reach out to urban youth and urban missions; and to use music ministry to bring the Gospel to the lost.

I love a good Foundation, and while I may be one of the ‘Lost’, I still thank Mike Sweeney for giving me a little hope about the kind of men who still decorate the sport.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Michael Phelps, His Bong and the Hypocrisy of Kellogg

Michael Phelps, His Bong and the Hypocrisy of Kellogg

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Seeing as today is Bob Marley’s birthday, I though it would be fitting to give ya my two cents on Michael Phelps, his bong and the ridiculous reaction to his toke because thanks to Michael Phelps, the entire world now knows what a bong is. Yes, Phelps was at a party where some bozo snapped a photo of him taking a hit from a bong. Yes, bongs are used to smoke weed.  No, it’s not the monster-piece of drug paraphernalia rampantly portrayed in the media. It’s a pipe. That’s all. Its not going to turn you into a drug addict and it certainly doesn’t’ mean Phelps has a drug problem.  More importantly, it doesn’t mean that he’s a bad guy. (I do suspect if he were photographed smoking a joint there wouldn’t be so many starry-eyed fans gasping at the thought of their Golden Boy getting high.)

But alas, Phelps does smoke weed just as several of our Presidents have, most of our ballers do, and just about any artist with a gold record does. We’ve come a long way since Reefer Madness and I believe Phelps can usher in a little bit of understanding when it comes to the herb-if only the hypocrites would open their minds. First of all- respect for several of Phelps’ sponsors: SPEEDO, OMEGA and PURE SPORT have all said they support Phelps. Aside from the fact the he’s made gazillions of dollars for them-they get “it.” It being – it’s no big deal.

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Perhaps the biggest hypocrisy comes from “cereal and snack maker KELLOGG.”  The company has reportedly said it will not renew a sponsorship contract with Phelps on the grounds his behavior is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg“.  Let me rephrase that- the makers of POP TARTS and FROSTED FLAKES don’t feel that smoking weed and their products mesh well. I’ll give yall a million bucks if you can find a box of Pop Tarts not located within arms reach of a bong. And what about the KEEBLER elves? Are you telling me they weren’t conceived by someone who was high? Pa-leeze. And do I even have to mention that the amount of sugar in most Kellogg’s products are far more deadly than smoking weed?

I also wonder if Kellogg’s had any issues with the fact the Olympics were held in a county which supplies weapons to rebels who are hacking off the arms and legs of children, raping women and burning villages. Yet I don’t see Kellogg’s supporting any of the athletes from Team Darfur? In fact-its looks as if Kellogg’s will soon be opening a manufacturing plant there? If they actually cared about something more than making money, they’d be sending those Keebler Elves to Africa instead of indirectly funding a war.

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I’m also a bit miffed about the gratuitous ‘three month suspension from competition’ dolled out by USA Swimming. The sport’s (US) governing body said no “anti-doping rule” had been violated but they wanted to send “a strong message” to Phelps because he had disappointed so many people. HUH? Disappoint how? He still has 8 Gold Medals? You still enjoyed watching him swim, didn’t you? If the photo came out before the Olympics and he still won 8-what would the reaction be? Would you have ignored race number 7? Doubt it…When I young and got too starry eyed about someone- my mother was always quick to remind me: ‘They wake up in the morning with bad breath just like the rest of us.’ While her words were quick to kill many a fantasy-it always kept me in check. Michael Phelps has a god given talent in the pool. He is loved, adored and worshipped for these talents. And he also wakes up with bad breath just like the rest of us. He also gets smelly and showers just like the rest of us. And yes, he just happens to be one of the world’s greatest athletes who was dumb enough to get photographed while getting high…Phelps ridiculous ban from who-knows-what will end in time for him to get wet at the US Championships on 7 July-which act as a trial for the World Championships in Rome two weeks later. Hopefully, Phelps will behave himself and NOT get photographed drinking a glass of Chianti while there.

Let me remind everyone too, that Phelps laid down the $1M post-Olympic Speedo bonus to start his own foundation. “Thanks to a lot of hard work, some good fortune, the inspiration I drew from so many supporters around the world, and incredible teammates, I was able to achieve that dream by winning eight Gold Medals in Beijing,” said Phelps. “Now, my goals reach beyond the pool, to helping others realize their dreams, and continuing to grow the sport I love so much. I feel it’s only appropriate that I continue the momentum that Speedo helped to create, by committing my bonus to the establishment of the Michael Phelps Foundation, which I hope will help me inspire others to achieve their dreams, and give back to the sport that has given me so much.”

And that, my friends, you can put in your pipe and smoke.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Adonal Foyle Putting His NBA Skills to Good Use

Adonal Foyle Putting His NBA Skills to Good Use
As I continue to snoop around the private lives of celebrities and athletes, I’m finding quite a few mighty-mighty good men who are sorely lacking in the publicity department. Case in point: Adonal Foyle. In 2006, he started the Kerosene Lamp Foundation to help ‘empower children in the Eastern Caribbean (and US) and give them the right tools to navigate life’s challenges.’

As a child, the Magic Baller grew up in the tiny island of Canouan, where he was raised by his grandmother and had to use a kerosene lamp for light while doing homework. After coming to the States, he lit up the Golden State Warriors (for ten seasons), and received numerous community service awards while remaining historically relevant to the team. (He is also the only player in Warriors history to have over 3,000 career blocks and over 1,000 career blocked shots.)

Now with the Magic, the baller and his foundation continue to give back Love and host numerous off-season pow-wows…Foyle returns home every year to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to hold his Athletics & Academics Island Camps (A & A Camps). To date, they’ve held 12 free basketball camps, which benefited over 1000 kids…In addition to teaching the kids how to shoot hoops- Foyle addressed such issues as healthy eating, HIV/AIDS prevention, and the importance of education.

His generosity is further enhanced by the fact that in 2001, he founded Democracy Matters, a non-partisan organization that gives students a voice in issues of democracy. DM is active on over 50 college campuses nationwide-encouraging hundreds of students to focus on issues of campaign finance reform…and as with most of the world, he celebrated the fact that Hot Stuff is our new President. Foyle’s Kerosene Lamp Foundation partnered up with Majella’s on the beach on Canouan Island and hosted 200 or so plus kids for a special Inauguration viewing party.

On behalf of all the baller loving fans who can only cheer for those doing good-thank you Adonal Foyle-we see you now.

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Ryan Sheckler and His Foundation Are All Right By Me

Ryan Sheckler and His Foundation Are All Right By Me

Ryan Sheckler first caught my eye in 2003 after watching him do amazing things in the X Games…I put my finger on the pulse of his career and waited for the rest of the industry to catch up. Granted, Tony Hawk took notice way before I did (I’m not one to step on the godfather of skate’s toes)…next came a nod from the Sports Business Journal…then MTV sniffed him out and just like that, the kids a multimillionaire teen-aged heartthrob with his own TV show (Life of Ryan), throngs of squealing girls chasing after him and maybe, just maybe, he’s going to come out of this circus we call ‘fame’ with his morals in check.

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The more athlete charity related events I cover, the more Sheckler pops up on my radar. The photos here are from the Mia Hamm/Nomar Garciaparra celebrity soccer event last month. Sheckler was one of the few guys to go into the stands and sign autographs. These two little girls waited patiently until Ryan noticed them, signed their soccer balls, then knelt down and signed their shirts. Not something I see very often from someone his age or of his caliber. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen much scandal associated with him. I’ve only seen a smiling skater loving life and giving back when he can. Seriously, he’s only what 19?

Anyway, for you Sheckler fans needing more, the young buck, along with his Ryan Sheckler Foundation, will be hosting ‘FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS’ (February 6, 2009, at 7pm) at the Grove at Anaheim. The evening will feature a multi-disciplined fight night with proceeds from this event benefiting Road 2 Recovery and TACA; Talk about Curing Autism. SCHEDULED TO FIGHT: Kit Cope (4 time Muay Thai Champion); Danny Abbadi (The Ultimate Fighter); Andy Wang (The Ultimate Fighter); Craig Wilkerson (The OC submission expert); & Jason Ellis (Professional skateboarder and Sirius radio host will be making this professional MMA debut) More to be announced…*fight card subject to change. Plus Special Musical Guest: LIL’ JON.

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If you can’t make it to the event…how about some stylish support, which helps a great cause. The Sheckler Foundation supports causes benefiting children and injured action sports athletes…for a donation of $6.00 or more, they’ll send you a Sheckler Foundation-Down for Life bracelet. All the INFO HERE.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Michael Phelps Smokes Weed

Michael Phelps Smokes Weed

Michael Phelps is heating up the newswire with some wonderful news…he smokes weed. Yeah, stop the press right? Our Olympic poster-child got caught smoking out of a oh-god-NO- bong! (I pegged him for a joint kinda guy) Someone at the party snapped a photo, Phelps admitted it was him and then apologized: “I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”

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His favorite artist is Lil Wayne and your surprised he enjoys the herb? Regardless of what side of the bong you smoke from, smoking weed is a victimless crime…more people are killed by drunk drivers every year than by stoned drivers. But you don’t need a lecture. The only person losing out here is Phelps. He’ll lose some sponsors and some fans, but come on people, he’s as close to godly in the water as one can get, he’s physically close to perfection, he’s a nice guy, STILL has 8 Olympic gold’s and he’s still the same babe you LOVED yesterday when he was making you money. The only bad judgment by Phelps was smoking around people with cameras

Who knows, maybe he’ll pick up a new sponsor? I mean, Michael Phelps just could be the answer NORML has been looking for.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

NADAL BRINGS FEDERER TO TEARS

NADAL BRINGS FEDERER TO TEARS

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This is the first thing I read this morning on Yahoo:
Rafael Nadal held off Roger Federer in another momentum-swinging, five-set final to win the Australian Open on Sunday, keeping the Grand Slam singles record safe for now. After coming through the longest match in the tournament’s history to reach the championship match, Nadal needed 4 hours, 23 minutes Sunday to win 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2. Federer, who was trying to equal Pete Sampras’ 14 major titles, has lost to Nadal the last three times they’ve met in Grand Slam finals. The 27-year-old Swiss star couldn’t hold back tears at the presentation.

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“Maybe I’ll try later. God, it’s killing me,” Federer said, sobbing. He returned to congratulate Nadal within minutes, saying: “You deserved it. You played a fantastic final.” Nadal collected the trophy and put his arm around Federer. “Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now,” Nadal said. “Remember, you’re a great champion, you’re one of the best in history.” He accepted the cup from Rod Laver, who was in Australia to mark the start of the 40th anniversary of the last Grand Slam season. “To receive this trophy from Rod Laver is a dream for me,” Nadal said. Federer, so dominant when he won three of the four majors in 2006 and 2007, has now lost finals on three different surfaces to Nadal. (Yahoo Sports)

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First of all, I am going to relish this moment and say I told ya so. Federer- you can NOT beat Rafa if you don’t practice. Federer- you can NOT be one of the greatest if you don’t practice. Federer- you can NOT claim a title if you don’t practice. It’s really as simple as that. How many times have I ripped the Swiss Mister a new one because he’s out frolicking ala Hollywood-style cruising along on his fame while his Girlfriend manages his career? Historically, it’s a recipe for disaster. “Maybe I’ll try later. God, it’s killing me,” Federer said, sobbing. Maybe you’ll try later? Try what? To practice? Did you really think Rod Laver was gonna hand you the Sampras equalizing trophy just because you showed up? You gotta win first! Props to you though for recognizing that Rafael ‘deserved it’ and ‘played a fantastic final’. Hard to believe a compliment slipped passed those lips. Perhaps when we are at our lowest it’s easier to recognize the greatness in others?

The greatness that is Rafael Nadal never ceases to amaze me. From his grunts to his capri’s, the kid is a tennis machine. We are witnessing one of the most remarkable tennis careers to hit the courts, while at the same time witnessing the downfall of another. Sure, R-Fed could theoretically pull himself up by the boot-strings, hire a great agent and trainer, leave Mirka at home and focus on winning instead of jetting off to chill with other Gillette men who have also mysteriously lost career-traction…but would that even be enough? Doubt it. Nadal has remained focused…unshakable…determined…humble…and hot. He basically picks up where Federer leaves off.

And before I forget…Congratulations my precious Tapa! You want make me to be happy, no? Thank you Rafa for making this day about something more than the SuperBowl. Vamos for life you sexy little beast, Va-mos.

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com