Soccer Fans Suffocate, Player Arrested for On-Field Gesture, Jordan Farmar Wants You To Be His Guest at the Finals, Butterfly Ball Groupies
SOCCER GONE KRAZY
Our Italian soccer babes have landed at Vienna’s International airport ahead of their Euro 2008 championship later this month, but in Monrovia, things aren’t quite as pleasant. At least eight people suffocated at an overcrowded stadium during a soccer match between Liberia and Gambia on Sunday. The 33,000-seat stadium was packed beyond capacity- as the rowdy crowd pushed up against a metal bar-it snapped and sent dozens of fans onto the floor below, crushing those they landed on. “Spectators tried all sorts of means to save (them), but could not help,” said Liberian Red Cross rescue worker Emmanuel Johnson. UN peacekeepers had closed the gates of the stadium prior to the match but were unable to stop the thousands of people who had entered using fraudulent tickets. Officials could not tell the difference between real/ fake tickets and had allowed way too many people to enter before they realized they crammed the place to a dangerous capacity.
And what the hell happened here? Any of my bilingual readers with more info-please hit me up…Brazil’s Botafogo soccer player Andre Luiz, center, was arrested by police after making a “prohibited gesture” to the public during a game with Nautico at Aflitos stadium in Recife, Brazil, Sunday, June 1, 2008. My best guess is that he flipped off the crowd even though I don’t think that warrants an arrest.
JORDAN FARMAR INVITES YOU TO THE FINALS
Mad, mad props to Lakers beast Jordan Farmar. Whether you’re a Lakers fan or not, this kid is impressive both on and off the court. Only in his second year, Farmar is already out there giving back to the community, which is a lot more than I can say for some of these young players.
Jordan Farmar’s Foundation at The Giving Back Fund is raffling off tickets for fans to win the chance of attending Game 4 of the Finals in LA as a guest of Farmar…proceeds from the sale of the tickets will benefit the Jordan Farmar Foundation and his efforts to support the children of Southern California. The Foundation’s initial focus is on building playgrounds in So-Cal and providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children. Proceeds from this raffle will also benefit Mattel Children’s Hospital, the Special Olympics, Metropolitan YMCA, and other charities. Drawing date is June 10, 2008, so hurry up and buy your tickets-which are only available on-line. Please visit the Giving Back Fund for more details.
STAY THE HELL OUTTA HELL-A
This weekend I was asked by Look to the Stars to cover the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball in LA. This kick-ass event raises money and awareness for the many homeless people in LA. Among the heavy hitters who were there: Demi Moore and her cougar loving Ashton, Sex and the City boy toy Jason Lewis, most of the cast from Grey’s Anatomy, Chris Kattan-who hosted the event- and co-chair Rebecca Gayheart-Dane and her super hot hubby Eric Dane. I was there because I was dying to ask Jason Lewis about his recent outburst directed at the MP of New Zealand and his support of the Kid’s Can Charitable Trust. I wasn’t there to take photos of celebrities to sell on-line. I wasn’t there to ask about their TV shows, movies or promote anything other than their charitable efforts. But sadly, that wasn’t gonna happen.
The media frenzy during the ‘red-carpet’ arrivals was the saddest commentary on society that I have ever witnessed. Talk about changing lives…I was wedged among such “professional media outlets” as Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, E News, EXTRA, Getty Images etc..the first couple to arrive was Rebecca Gayheart-Dane and her McSteamy husband Eric Dane. The second they arrived, most of the media members rushed the end of the carpet in efforts to get a photo of her. Mind you, the way these events are set up-the stars arrive and stop in front of each media-outlet, smile, and give you a few quotes before moving onto the next media member.
So, much to my surprise, I couldn’t understand this “star-induced-frenzy’ from the alleged professionals in attendance. It was so bad that Gayhearts husband Eric told the media “to calm down, we’re going to be here all night, you’ll all get your photos, you’ll all get your interviews, just please calm down.” As soon as Rebecca inched forward another step-the frenzy increased despite her husbands plea to remain calm. My jaw seriously dropped and I was embarrassed to be lumped into the caliber of ‘reporters’.
But I did see something phenomenal as this was going down. Rebecca Gayheart’s behavior. She remained classy, poised, cool, calm, collected…smiling the entire time, seemingly ignoring the chaos and not giving rise to the aggression swirling around her. It was remarkable and I commend her for it. After about 20 minutes of abuse on the staging area, I decided I wasn’t gonna be shoved around anymore and firmly planted my feet next to Entertainment Tonight, as this was where I was assigned to be. Jason Lewis was right in front of me and I was waiting-like a professional- for my turn at him. At this point, some bozo comes up behind me and tells me to move. I said no. This guy had been monopolizing the staging area most of the night and like I said, I was tired of getting pushed around by these Los Angeles vultures that were foaming at the mouth. He told me again to move, “You’re not media” he said. I turned around, showed him my credentials and told him to back off.
The tension was rising-as Charlie Sheen had just arrived-obviously, the bozo behind me saw blood and couldn’t wait five minutes for Sheen to walk in front of us- so instead, he grabs me by the arm and throws me onto the red-carpet as ET was interviewing on one side and Sheen looking at me from the other. He and his friend continued to yell at me to get the hell outta there while blocking me from getting back onto the staging area. I had to literally push my way through these assholes to get off the carpet, from where I had very possibly interrupted an interview as the boom was directly above my head…included among the stars supporting the cause and creating a media frenzy during arrivals: Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Kate Walsh, Katherine Heigl, Eva Mendes, Mila Kunis, Amaury Nolasco, Brett Ratner, T.R. Knight and Justin Chambers, Jason Bateman, and the nights emcee, Chris Kattan.
Moral of the story- you don’t have to act like a star-struck groupie with a lack of professional courtesy to get some great photos. All mine are available on-line for you to check out. Hopefully, this incident doesn’t mar the importance of this yearly event, which really does some great work at getting homeless people off the streets and into the workforce.