Our Daily Dread: Jim Brown is still one bad mutha … shut your mouth


Bill Russell (front left) joins Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Lew Alcindor in an historic meeting on June 4, 1967, to hear Ali (formerly Cassius Clay) give his reasons for rejecting the U.S. military draft.

An excerpt from former NFL great Jim Brown, and former NBA great Bill Russell, as they discuss things with Bryant Gumbel in the next episode (and 147th edition) of “Real Sports” (tonight, 10 p.m., HBO):

On whether Brown, a longtime social activist, is surprised or disappointed in the lack of activism among today’s top athletes:

“There are one or two individuals in this country that are black that have been put in front of us as an example. But they’re basically under a system that says, ‘Hey, they’re not gonna do a certain thing.’ Yes, that disappoints me because I know they both know better.”

Gumbel: “Tiger (Woods) and Michael (Jordan)?”

Brown: “Yeah, I know they both know better, OK. And I know they both can do better without hurting themselves.”

Brown on Woods:
“You know what’s so interesting about Tiger to me? If it was just a matter of me looking at an individual that’s a monster competitor, this cat is a mamajama, he is a killer. He’ll run over you, he’ll kick your ass, but as an individual for social change, or any of that kind of s*** Terrible. Terrible. Because he can get away with teaching kids to play golf, and that’s his contribution. And in the real world, man, I can’t teach no kids to play golf and that’s my contribution, if I got that kind of power.”

Russell: “We’re losing a whole generation of kids. And, I for one, would not give up on them. And Jim will not give up on them because we know that when we were kids, there were certain influences that made our lives livable.”

Gumbel: “Why did you choose to get so intimately involved with helping young black men who were engaged in gang warfare?”

Brown: “Because simply, it’s the most devastating culture to come along that affect black people in a long time. How can we act like we don’t see young black men killing each other? Rome is burning and so there can be no education, there can be no economic development, there can be no family structure. There can be nothing as long as we allow this particular culture to exist.”

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A night at the races, Hollywood Park style


Once upon a time, it was much easier to round up the boys, scrape up some loose change, and make the commitment to head out to one of the area’s majestic venues and pretend, after carefully decoding all the charts in the newspaper, there was a method in guessing which particular jockey would guide a 2,000-pound genetic beast into one of the top three spots and earn me 40 cents on my $2 bet.


How does the sport of kings embed itself into my regal lifestyle these days?

Hollywood Park’s “Fan-tastic Fridays” of $1 beers and hot dogs, plus a live concert afterward by bands with some recognizablity, has been trying to cultivate a new breed of fans for years now. But as the park seems to be waiting for a wrecking ball to take it all down, these promotions seem to be past their prime.

We’re looking more into with today’s column (linked here), while still enjoying a night on the town, even if it means throwing good money after good money in an attempt to win that 40 cents back.

The crowd Friday night was about 8,000 strong to see the eight races plus the English Beat. A month ago, about 14,000 turned out for Steel Pulse, pictured below:

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Coming Sunday: The $1 beer and hot dog hangover of Hollywood Park

The English Beat performed during the “Fantastic Fridays” series at Hollywood Park race track last night. I confess, I didn’t know the band was still around.

This is a clip of a recent performance of “I Confess”:

Compared to how they did it back “in the day”:

Confessions aside, we had a decent time at the event that still tries to lower the demographic as it raises cheap beer consumption on a night that otherwise is reserved for those much younger having a rowdier time.

Sunday’s column rants about the situation with today’s horse racing fan, where they go for a good time, and whether $1 beers and hot dogs are working.

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Guess who’s the hottest shot on your Los Angeles Lightning roster?


Certainly, a big jolt in the Los Angeles Lightning (team site linked here) of the International Basketball League getting off to a 10-3 start is a healthy home schedule. Their last four games, in fact, are on their Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks site, including Saturday and Sunday against the Phoenix Red Rock Raptors, and then June 27-28 against the Nevada Pride. Tip off is 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 5:30 p.m. on Sundays.

There’s one more road game (June 30 in Tacoma) before the IBL playoffs on July 1-3 in Seattle.

Six former NBA players dot the roster, including leading scorer (and former Clipper) Lamond Murray (25.3 points a game). Ex-UCLA stars Darrick Martin, Billy Knight and Toby Bailey are also there, plus Byron Russell, Juaquin Hawkins and Fred Vinson (a current Clippers assistant coach). Former UC Irvine 7-footer Adam Parada had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 160-123 win over Grand Rapids on June 14 — the same night Bailey had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists.

But the player who leads the team in field-goal percentage? Tony Strickland, the Republican state senator from Thousand Oaks, who is 16-for-23 shooting (69.6 percent). The former Whittier College standout is averaging 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10 games this season.

Obama that one, prez.

The Lightning plan to honor 10 firefighters, law enforcement and correctional officers from Ventura County, the CHP and Santa Barbara at Saturday’s game at the Gilbert Sports Arena.

Fathers and sons are admitted free for Sunday’s Father’s Day game.

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C’mon, Homer, a Home Depot run for fun … and kickball


Usually, we’d be among the first to run away from a soccer game. Sunday, we may run into one.

The first Home Depot Center 5K/10K run on the 125-acre facility on the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus starts at 8 a.m. to benefit the facility’s charitable foundation with a $35 online registration fee.

With that payment, you get two tickets to the June 28 Galaxy-Houston MLS game and that day’s Sol-FC Gold Pride women’s pro soccer game at 3 p.m.. Register in person, and it’s $45.

The event starts and ends at the 10,000-seat track and field stadium and goes through the 27,000-seat soccer stadium, the 8,000-seat tennis stadium as well as on some dirt trails along Avalon Blvd. and Victoria Street in Carson.

Registration is online through 3 p.m. today (www.homedepotcenter.com/run) or by calling 877.234.8425.

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