Only in LA

13 01 2010

Wow…talk about Holly-weird…this has been a crazy week in LA

First dealing with the Leno vs Conan debate ( has NBC lost their mind?).

Then we have the Golden Boy running from USC to become a head honcho in the Emerald City. ( Word on the street is that AD Mike Garrett wanted Carroll to clean house knowing that NCAA is about to impose some major sanctions, and Carroll wouldn’t, so Garrett “suggested” he take his new offer)

Who was going to be the new head coach? As of Tuesday, USC has already lost 6 committed freshman due to the coaching uncertainty. Cross-town the Bruins were getting all excited! Chaos at USC!!!

And then came the shocker – Lane Kiffin was coming back to town.

I have been fascinated with Lane Kiffin since the infamous Raiders press conference. Did they roll Al up from the crypt for this gem? What’s up with the overhead projector?Jesus that man is old! ( and CRAZY!)

On Tuesday, Kiffin was in Knoxville recruiting his pathetic heart out ( many people are saying the UT recruiting class is WAY better than USC’s class – sweet irony!), and on Wednesday night, he had left Tennessee and his $2MM + salary  and was back in LA and happy to be “home”.

You look like a traitor to me

To me, the most unfortunate part of this scenario is the players. If any player decided to do what Kiffin did, they would be denied athletic eligibility for a year. I understand that you don’t want kids running around and transferring every year, so it makes it a VERY BIG decision for an athlete to decide to switch schools.

But coaches can up and leave when they choose. Because Kiffin broke his contract with UT, he has to pay $800,000 back, but don’t think for a SECOND he  isn’t going to negotiate that USC actually pay for that for him.

So who wins? No one, except Kiffin.

Big time D 1 programs like UT & USC are all about recruiting. You need the players to elevate your status. So recruiting is everything. They go to homes, churches, grandparents homes of players, convincing them that their school will take care of their son. If a coach suddenly leaves, the players have no options, they are STUCK. And I think that sucks considering how much money the BCS, the conferences and schools are making from college football. Everyone is making so much money, and it needs to be approved for the players to get a $50 gift card.

Earlier in the season, Kiffin made a stir accusing Urban Meyer of “cheating”. Well, I think it’s safe to say that Knoxville feels pretty cheated right now.

Rock Solid!





My better half

28 12 2009

Happy Holidays!

ESPN LA launched last week – and my husband, Chris Raih, was able to give an interview to the Kamenetzy Brothers leading up to the Lakers v Cavs game on Christmas Day. ( Wow – are you sure Ron Artest didn’t hit his head BEFORE the game?)

The interview focuses on the Kobe v LeBron rivalry, and as hubs is a sports marketing expert, he is the perfect guest.

Take a listen – you won’t be disappointed!

ESPN.com Podcast – Dec 21st





Bat Man

12 11 2009

Hello friends-

To recognize Halloween and Friday the 13th, I have a special video for you.

Witness Manu Ginobili replace Michael Vick on PETA’S “Professional Athletes to Ruin” list

 





Wildcat – A Baby Cougar?

22 09 2009

I had the pleasure of watching MNF with Uncle Dave last night. Hubs was working late, and so does Uncle Dave usually, but since this week is a  bye week, he has been hanging around the house more.

For those of you who don’t know, Uncle D coaches football at the only university in LA that still is undefeated. ZING!

Go Bruins!!

Go Bruins!!

We watched the Dolphins work the Colts defense,  and despite having possession of the ball for 45 minutes of the game, the Dolphins still lost.

Watching Ricky Williams and co. on offense, Uncle D yelled “Wildcat”

Since I was folding laundry, I didn’t immediately ask what he meant, but when he yelled it again 5 minutes later ( “Wildcat AGAIN!”) I had to interject -“Dave, are you talking to me?”

I soon learned that wildcat is an offense formation in football, where the quarterback is taken out of the play, or made a receiver. In order to run this type of play, the running back in essence acts as the quarterback snapping the ball to confuse the defense.

sneaky

sneaky

Look for more sports jargon updates – or if you have any suggestions feel free to drop me an email!





Double Standards are Alive and Well

19 09 2009

I have two qualities that give me great perspective on double standards

a) Being a woman

b) Being a bitch

Growing up with a younger brother, I had certain rules that he didn’t have.

Baby Brother could spend the night at  a friend’s house, I could not.

I had the strict curfew of 11:30pm, if Baby Brother came home at 1am – no big deal

But then again, Baby Brother  didn’t get suspended for being drunk at the prom, so maybe these rules had their reasons.

 

With 10 years of professional work experience under my belt, I have become familar with certain phrases and words that have peppered my performance reivews over the years.

“Aggressive”

“Gets the job done, but sometimes a little cold”

“Business-like”

I’m sorry, is this about work or a debutante ball?

 In most contexts, these words are positive. But once put in the context of WHO the person is doing the job, the reaction can change.

If these words were used to describe a man, no doubt he would be viewed as a leader. He’s doing his job well and effectively – a real “go-getter” .

Now when the same words are used to describe a woman, she is seen as a bitch. A cold, emotionless person, who is great at her job, but can’t she just smile a little bit more and be friends with everyone?

 So in essence, a woman leader is a bitch. And a male leader is just a leader. Watching Mad Men, you can’t help but root for Peggy Olson, who as the only female member of the creative department makes just a few dollars more than her secretary. But I guess she can smoke and drink scotch in her office all day. Even when pregnant.

Mad Men ( also if you aren’t watching this show – start NOW!) highlights the double standards in the workplace  in the 60s, and yes we have made strides in equality in the workplace,  but we still have a long way to go. And we can’t even drink scotch in our offices anymore during the day.

Case in point, this year’s US Open. The Serena melt-down debacle created a media frenzy.  

This article  from The Nation highlights the biased scrutiny of the fallout.  

I have a newsflash for you: Players have been losing their SHIT on the court for decades.

Have we forgotten about McEnroe and Connors? They basically invented the word “FUCK”.  I was so pissed to see the wrap-up article about the US Open spending so much time on the Serena blow-up instead of the inspiring win by Kim Clijsters. ( Another Double-Standard Challenged: You can Be a World Class Athlete AND a Mom!!)

There is SOME good news, Grand Slam prize money for men and women is the same. Actually the US Open has been paying equal pay-outs to men and women since the 80s ( yea America!). The last tournament to change the unequal prize money was Wimbledon (typical) in 2007.

Now, let’s keep in mind that Serena is a champion. She has played at the highest level for a decade amassing  over 20 Grand Slam titles ( singles, doubles and mixed doubles). And she is not known for her on court antics, a la McEnroe, she just had a bad day. She flipped out, but she is moving on, as should everyone else.

On that note, I will leave you with some quintessential McEnroe moments. This guy is a GEM!





Bromance?

9 09 2009

 After watching Roger Federer advance to the semi-finals of the US Open, my friend Sara twittered me tonite asking

“What is up with Gavin Rossdale sniffing Roger Federer’s jock?”

Great question Sara. Although this is nothing new. Gavin has been on the tennis scene for quite some time.

Every sport has their celebrity champion.

Billy Crystal and the LA Clippers. Russell Crowe and rugby. Celebrity fans can elevate your sport –  we can thank the Kardashians for the surge in slutty Saints fans.

 

Gavin likes to think of himself as a serious tennis player and fan. He frequently plays in celebrity tourneys from time to time, and says he hits 4-5 times a week.

An interview excerpt from Tennis Magazine earlier this year –

Have you had to cut back on your tennis at all since the arrival of your second little one? (Rossdale’s son Zuma was born in August 2008.)
No way, I’ve got to stay good for him. Being a musician, unless you’re doing promo, your day really doesn’t start until 12 or 1 p.m. It may go on until 1 a.m., but you have the mornings. So most mornings, five or six days a week, I’m doing stuff.

Okay, okay. I am some major issues with some of the above statments.

“Being a musician” – your last top ten hit was in 1995, so I think that now makes you a “producer”.  

Also – “most mornings I am doing stuff” – does that include spending time with your kids if you are out all night? Or is this when you get in your tennis time?

 

I guess you are doing sit-ups 5 days a week instead of carpool

I guess you are doing sit-ups 5 days a week instead of carpool

I don’t blame the guy – he should be staring in the new “Househusbands of Hollywood” show – with Gwen raking it in from music and her clothing line – all Gavin has to do is sit around and be British.

So, since Gavin has some time on his hands – what better way to spend it then by becoming a rabid fan of the #1 mens tennis player in the world.  It appears that where Roger goes, so does Gavin.

 

Why the fuck are you waving? Are you the Queen?

Why the fuck are you waving? Are you the Queen?

Is he just trying to sit close to Brooklyn Decker?

Is he just trying to sit close to Brooklyn Decker?

 

Gwen: "Don't Speak"

Gwen: "Don't Speak"

 

Mirka finally says "ENOUGH!"

Mirka finally says "ENOUGH!"

So take note my friends. When you finally become rich and famous, and then become not famous but still rich, but then marry someone who allows you to become even richer – it is important to take up an important cause. This cause will continue to keep you relevant in the public’s eye, even if it continues to remind the public that you are a total douche-bag.





10 Years Later

31 08 2009

 

I can’t believe that this picture was taken 10 years ago

 

July 10, 1999 – the US Women’s World Cup soccer team beat China in a shoot-out. And the sports bra was never the same.

10 years? How did time go by so quickly? I know I might be dating myself – but 10 years ago, I was still in college, Clinton was President and cell phones were the size (and weight) of bricks. ( GAWD! I realize I am sounding like my parents – still talking about the 70s like “it’s yesterday” as my brother and I roll our eyes. After looking at pictures of my parents skiing during 70s for my entire life, I just realized the the “coral and orange one-piece ski suit” was actually being worn by my father. Please tell me this is not hereditary.)

But I digress- July 10, 1999 was one of the biggest (IF not the biggest) moments in women’s sports history. And where are we 10 years later? What is the state of women’s soccer today?

Riding of the high of the World Cup victory, a women’s soccer league was assembled in the summer of 2000. The Women’s United Soccer Association started in spring of 2001, and lasted only three seasons. It’s estimated that $100MM was invested (and lost) – and the only thing left is this website.

During the World Cup, the largest stadiums in the US were filled to watch women’s soccer. These women were used to playing in front of a few thousand, but to enter Solider Field to a sold out 55,000?! You could see the marketing executives drooling. This type of attendance was an anomaly, but WUSA officials estimated attendance of 10-15K per game, even in markets like San Jose and North Carolina.

The 1999 Women’s World Cup was a syzygy of many things – a tournament hosted every 4 years being played on US soil – young, attractive, down to earth players (aka – MARKETABLE) -and “soccer moms”.  As soccer moms’ warm embrace of Slick Willy was waning; they were looking role models for their young Title IX-entitled daughters. Nike and Procter & Gamble answered the call – MIA HAMM.

 

The veteran of the 1999 Women’s World Cup team was Michelle Akers. No doubt, Michelle is one of the best players to ever play the game. But women’s soccer needed their MJ, their Tiger – and Mia Hamm was quickly anointed. Mia Hamm was the main marketing tool for success. She was young, a threatening goal scorer, and didn’t have an afro.

Where are the stars of the 1999 team now?Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain & Julie Foudy retired in 2004. Since then they have all gone on to start foundations and families. Kristine Lilly hasn’t officially retired, but did have a child last year. They have all moved onto the next phase of their lives, and we are grateful for what they did for soccer and the sports bra….

 

...and the soccer ball

...and the soccer ball