There’s a brick wall in right field at Wrigley Field waiting for a Northwestern wideout to run right smack into it this afternoon. It might as well be advertised as an outdoor Arena Football game.
Later today, there’ll be a bunch of Notre Dame football players fighting over Derek Jeter’s locker at Yankee Stadium. Then they’ll hike over to the monuments to see if Babe Ruth approves of this whole spectacle.
Laying a gridiron over a ball diamond can be a dicey, pricey proposition. But also, if done right, very cool.
So when do we start a campaign to push for a USC-UCLA college football game at Dodger Stadium?
In November, 1982, USC president James Zumberge asked Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley if the Trojans would be welcome to toss the pigskin around in his ballyard for the ’83 season. USC had a dispute with the Coliseum Commission over control of luxury boxes planned for the Coliseum (which were never built).
O’Malley tackled that request quickly: “It doesn’t make any sense to play football in Dodger Stadium. … We have the finest baseball stadium in the United States.”
The intersection of “Colin Cowherd” and “TV sit-com” as an Internet search for sanity turned up many strange-ish links, some more disturbing than others in the sports media world this week.
The fact, apparently, that CBS has green-lit a half-hour show based, or not, on his life (depending on who you talk to), would seem to heighten the brand name of the ESPN Radio and “SportsNation” TV show co-host and empower him to believe even more of his status in the world.
He comes off, granted, as a grounded, intelligent purveyor of the world, with sports as its context. But in giving him a show, it almost seems like a desperate case of a book publisher asking a fringe blogger to create a hardcover version of their craft, because there’s a market for multi-media beings and lateral expansion is the best way to cross promote and cash in on all different platforms.
The most troubling piece written on Cowherd this week came from Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, in his monthly “power rankings” (linked here). Still, ranking him this Top 10 list clearly acknowledges his current rise in the tide. But it’s hardly a flattering endorsement about how Cowherd has led a “character assassination” of Washington Wizards rookie guard John Wall with an incongruent basis of facts.
“I take no issue with Cowherd floating his opinion, even when I disagree with him. .. But there is opinion, and then there is getting your facts wrong, a thesis highlighted by Ted Koppel on Sunday in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post where he cited an environment in which everyone ‘flaunts opinions as though they were facts.’
“Cowherd’s attack on Wall’s supposed unselfishness (“J-Wow’s 37-second ‘Yo dawg look at me I’m the man’ [dance], and his wild, out-of-control style, everybody else is buying his stock, and it told me all I need to know”‘ was not factual. Nor was calling Wall ‘an idiot’ and saying ‘he was not a sharp guy.’ Those are reckless and unfair assertions. After talking to people who actually know Wall, as well as interviewing him myself, I believe that he’s a bright kid who plays the game like a professional. But I’m biased, having actually reported on him.
“I don’t expect ESPN to call Cowherd out in any meaningful fashion. (Perhaps the current ombudsman will weigh in after his Thanksgiving turkey.) The radio host is liked by ESPN brass and he’s delivered for his employer. He’s also entertaining. But unfair is unfair, so even though this is ultimately providing Cowherd with publicity, bravo to Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post and others such as Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, Bethlehem Shoals and Tom Ziller of AOL Sports, and Sirius Hardcore radio host Bomani Jones (who said he did not understand why such ‘racially-loaded language’ was used in Cowherd’s riff) for calling him out.
“Do not expect Cowherd to apologize. … Cowherd is charged with getting people to listen to him, and he’s always been honest that his job is to be entertaining and get ratings. But I expect more from someone who has reached the highest level of his profession and has the imprimatur of a powerful brand such as ESPN Radio. Perhaps that makes me an idiot, too. … The Hollywood Reporter reported that Cowherd had sold his life story to CBS for a sitcom deal.”
And, laugh track or not, Cowherd may have the last laugh.
Cowherd also noted in USA Today this week that he’ll have a book out soon, “”little vignettes” he compiled only while flying because “every time I get on a plane, I write.”
Can’t wait for the video game: $h*! our radio sports-talk show host says.
After today’s media column on how people like Cowherd can confuse fact from fiction with the sports consumer these days (lined here), we blather forward:
The latest edition of ESPN’s magazine is called the “movie spectacular,” and getting past the cover is a chore.
Why would Sharon Stone from “Basic Instinct” be on the front? Because it’s really skiier Linday Vonn.
OK … we’re ready to play along.
How about Tank Johnson, Dhani Jones and Chad Ochocinco recreating an elevator scene from “The Hangover.” Suspend your imagination there.
Ryan Miller, the Buffalo Sabres goalie, as Bill Murray’s Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack.” The eyes give it away.
Seattle Mariners pitchers Felix Hernandez and Garrett Olson as Jules and Vincent in “Pulp Fiction.” Hernandez kind of pulls it off; Olson …
Clippers guard Baron Davis, and pro skateboarder Terry Kennedy, as Doc and Marty McFly in “Back To the Future.” Again, Davis hardly looks like Christopher Lloyd, and Brown isn’t even close to Michael J. Fox … that should have been Steve Nash).
== The first runner-up to Vonn: Danica Patrick, as Christina Applegate from “Anchorman.” Nice legs. Great attitude. Again.
Another feature of this magazine’s issue is a poll: On a scale of 1 to 10, how accurately did Hollywood portray you in your movie:
== Muhammad Ali, from “Ali”: “Nine and a half. Great movie, but Will Smith wasn’t as pretty as me.”
== Leigh Anne Tuohy, from “The Blind Side”: “Nine and a half. It was scarily authentic. Sandra Bullock copied my nail color, my eye shadow palette, everything.”
== Jim Brown, from “The Express,” about Syracuse’s Ernie Davis: “Eight. Was it a bad performance? No. Was it excellent? No. But was it very good and a fair portrayal? Yes.”
== Bob Muzikowski, from “Hardball,” where Keanu Reaves played him: “Five. It’s my story, but only half of it was true. That’s why I sued. I’m a better hitter than Keanu Reeves. With a better arm, by the way.”
== Tony Alva, from “Lords of Dogtown”: “Eight. The way Victor Rasuk transformed from a New York City basketball kid to a stoner California surfer was impressive.”
== Jackie Kallen, the boxing promoter in “Against the Ropes”: “Three. Meg Ryan got my Midwestern accent, but she put too much emphasis on sex appeal. I don’t believe I did that.”
== Jake LaMotta, in “Raging Bull”: “Ten. It was perfect. When I got through with Robert De Niro, he could have fought professionally.”
== Rudy Ruettiger, played by Sean Austin in “Rudy”: “Nine. We kept the integrity of the journey intact, but we had to make some embellishments for the story to work.”
The Dodgers Dream Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation and the L.A. City Department of Recreation and Parks, will open a new Dodgers “Dreamfield” Saturday at the Northridge Recreation Center.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt plans to be at the ceremony that starts at 9 a.m. with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and former Dodgers Ron Cey, Steve Yeager and Lee Lacy.
The field, at 18300 Lemarsh Street in Northridge, is the 10th site refurbished by the team, along with their partners. This “Dreamfield” is the first in the San Fernando Valley, with the commitment to build 18 total.
In an interview airing later this week on CBSSports.com, Lakers forward Ron Artest revealed that he intends to try out for an NFL team when his contract with the Lakers is up after the 2013-14 season.
Artest, who taped the interview at the Lakers’ practice facility on Saturday — his 31st birthday — has also said he’s training for a second career as a heavyweight boxer when his basketball days are over.
“God willing, after my NBA career, God willing I’m still athletic enough – which I’m trying to take care of my body as best as possible and be prepared for this day, for this tryout of an NFL team,” Artest said.
“Boxing, I’m not worried about. I’ve been training for two years. That’s not going to be a hard part. I think football … what team is going to give me a shot? It’s a fantasy of mine. It’s an opportunity because I’m athletic. So if that fantasy can be fulfilled, and if it’s something that can really be reached as far as a goal, I’m going for it.”
Sure, he could run the Wildcat.
Here’s a preview clip (linked here). As you can see in the background, KCBS Channel 2’s Jim Hill is already texting about it.