Not so much a throw-away new Dodger promotion

It’s a nice idea to push new merchandise at the Dodger Store, so what better way than to offer the first “Throwback” uniform promotion at six midweek home games this summer?

Of the three choices fans can start casting their votes for starting today (linked here), we’d opt for this little number:


The games they’ll wear ’em are all noon starts:

Thursday, April 21 vs. Atlanta
Wednesday, May 4 vs. Chicago Cubs
Wednesday, June 15 vs. Cincinnati
Wednesday, June 22 vs. Detroit
Wednesday, August 10 vs. Philadelphia
Wednesday, August 31 vs. San Diego

The other part of the promo: Half off prices on all food and drink. Including beer.

Voting on what uni for the team to wear ends Feb. 17. Tickets go on sale for all home games online starting Feb. 26.

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Play it forward: Feb. 7-13 on your sports calendar

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:



NBA: Lakers at Memphis, 5 p.m., Channel 9:

If the Grizzlies really do want to trade O.J. Mayo, why would the Lakers want him again? And be careful picking up any energy drink at a local Memphis gas station during your stay. It could get you a 10-game NBA suspension, right? You’d think someone named O.J. would know better.


NBA: Clippers at Orlando, 4 p.m., Prime:

Our records indicate these are the two worst free-throw shooting teams in all of the NBA — the only two squads under 70 percent. You’d think with the ineptness of Dwight Howard (59 percent) and Blake Griffin (61 percent), teams would just smack them around more often.


NBA: Clippers at New York, 4:30 p.m., Prime:


Justin Bieber showed up to a Knicks game the other night and when they put him on the Madison Square Garden video screen, there was a smattering of boos – but a few shrieks from the young female fans. If Bieber pops in on the Blake Superior Show, it won’t be next to Spike Lee. It’s more reasonable to think that Bieber could be seated next to Timofey Mozgov, who may beg out of playing based on being posterized by Blake during their last meeting. (By the way, that’s New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist sitting next to Bieber in the video above, not Patrick Dempsey).

NHL: Ducks at Vancouver, 7 p.m., FSW:

This has been Ryan Getzlaf’s target date for a return to the Ducks’ lineup since he started rehab, recovering from taking in a puck in the face hit by Phoenix’s Shane Doan on Dec. 28.

Series, “Mr. Sunshine,” Channel 7, 9:30 p.m.:

Episode one of a new series where Matthew Perry plays the manager of a second-tier sports arena in San Diego called the Sunshine Center — which by all accounts is filmed at the abandoned Forum in Inglewood (check the orange and yellow seats) and they’re using the L.A. Sports Arena for exterior shots. Does it shut down for the Grammy’s too? One of their regular events is the Lingerie Football League. See how that storyline hangs by a thread.



The Associated Press

NBA: Lakers at Boston, 5 p.m., TNT:


What stands out the most about their last meeting just days ago? Kobe Bryant’s game-high 41 points on 16-for-29 shooting, trying to win it all by himself in the fourth quarter? Or the Celtics being allowed to shoot better than 60 percent, hit nine of 17 three-pointers and pile up 34 assists, 16 by Rajon Rondo (while the Lakers as a team had 10 total)? The Celtics’ 109-96 win was fresh ‘n’ easy. “It’s always balance that makes us better,” said Derek Fisher. “We’re not going to accomplish our goals by relying on Kobe to score 30 or 40 points every game.” And even if they keep holding Shaq scoreless.

College basketball: UCLA vs. Oregon, Pauley Pavlion, 7:30 p.m., Prime; USC vs. Oregon State, Galen Center, 8 p.m., FSW:

The Ducks had a 25-13 lead over UCLA in the first half of their last meeting last month in Eugene before the Bruins ran off with an eight-point win. This despite the fact Reeves Nelson fouled out in 15 minutes without scoring a point. The Trojans, meanwhile, have lost four in a row to the Beavers.

NHL: Kings at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m., FSW:

The Kings actually returned home after their game Saturday in Calgary to start the second leg of their longest road trip of the season. Will Sidney Crosby see clearly enough to play through his concussion issues?


Golf: PGA’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, first round, Golf Channel, noon:

Savor again the courses used in this event, which amateur celebs trample over in the course of a weekend: The 6,816-yard Pebble Beach Golf Links, built in 1919, site of the upcoming U.S. Open, ranked the No. 1 public course in America by Golf Digest, with the 543-yard 18th hole supporting a new tee box that’s actually pushed farther out to sea; the 6,858 Spyglass Hill, inspired by Robert Lewis Stephenson’s Treasure Island, rated one of the toughest courses in the world from the championship tees, and the 6,838 yard, par 70 reshaped Monterey Peninsula Shore Course, replacing Poppy Hills this year with a rebirth. Tiger Woods will have none of it: He’s supposed to be in the Middle East to play the Dubai Desert Classic, the European Tour event. CBS has the third- and final-rounds of this one on Saturday and Sunday.



NBA: Lakers at New York, 5 p.m., Channel 9, ESPN:

The back half of the L.A. train stops through Madison Square Garden. When they last meet at Staples Center, the Lakers’ 22-point win was punctuated by Andrew Bynum’s strange ejection and Ron Artest taking Amar’e Stoudemire down with a clothesline tackle in the third quarter.

NBA: Clippers at Cleveland, 4:30 p.m., Prime:

The Cavs’ losing streak could be up to 27 in a row by the time these two meet. And Cleveland has won only twice since Thansgiving. The two get one more meeting after this, in March, in L.A., by which point Byron Scott may have left the country seeking asylum in some country that knows nothing about basketball.



College basketball: UCLA vs. Oregon State, Pauley Pavlion, 1 p.m., Prime; USC vs. Oregon, Galen Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:

UCLA blew a 17-point second-half lead but scored the game’s final seven points to defeat Oregon State by five earlier this season in Corvallis. Three of these four teams could be sucking wind near the bottom of the Pac-10 standings when this weekend is over. And one of them isn’t the Bruins.

NHL: Kings at Washington, 9:30 a.m., FSW:

In back-to-back games, the Kings play their own Winter Classic. Indoors. Where they still need points.


Special: The Grammy Awards, Staples Center, 8 p.m., Channel 2:

Cee-Lo Green (in the video clip at the very top of this posting, and echoed by Gweneth Paltrow above) says it rather harshly with his Grammy nominated album of the year: Forget you. (That’s the clean version). Forget the Lakers, Clippers and Kings, who are all sent as far away as possible – even Canada – while the Grammys take over Staples Center (8 p.m., Channel 2). When this “Glee” club is over, it’s NBA All-Star Game on the way.

NHL: Kings at Philadelphia, noon, FSW:

It was originally picked as an NBC regional game. Then, it wasn’t.

NBA: Lakers at Orlando, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:

Gilbert Arenas may not even be up to play in this one against his home-town team.

NBA: Clippers at Toronto, 3 p.m., Prime:

You want to talk contraction? Start here.

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And now, a word from (another) Super Bowl sponsor, at $3 mil a click

By Ryan Nakashima
Associated Press business writer was almost unheard of six years ago. Then it ran the most talked-about ad of Super Bowl XXXIX — a spoof of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in which a busty woman appears before a censorship board and a strap breaks on her skimpy top.

The spot was so racy that Fox yanked a second airing scheduled for later in the game.

The other fallout? The Super Bowl ad rolled out each year by GoDaddy, which registers Internet domain names, is now almost as eagerly awaited as the halftime show.

Fox is charging about $3 million for 30 seconds of ad time this Sunday during Super Bowl XLV. So is the gamble worth it for companies?

“It’s not a bet,” GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons says, “if you know the outcome.”

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It’s Out of the Question: Can Farmers Insurance give us a no-fault policy?


Before you ascent from the podium Mr. Commissioner of the National Football League of the United States of America and to the republic for which we stand, just a couple more questions …

Over here, to your left, the contingency from L.A., in the business-ware flip-flops and Billabong T-shirts with the Planet Funk tags still on ’em . . . sorry, we didn’t think we’d have to drag out our Mammoth Mountain gear to North Texas this time of year:

== From your throne of thumbs-up or thumbs-down, which of the current L.A.-based profiteers would you suggest we quietly endorse with all our non-tax dollars as we await the launch of this reality show that looks like “Extreme L.A. Makeover” meets “Amazing Race” to build a stadium-sized kingdom fit for the celebration of your sport?

You say you can’t pick sides right now? It’s too early? There’s not enough information in front of you about either?

In that case, do you tend to agree that this what you (or even Vince Vaughn) would term the true definition a dilemma: a problem offering at least two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable?


== Have you looked yet at the fine print of this cagey AEG downtown L.A. proposal?

After consulting with our Farmers Insurance agent about writing a policy that could somehow protect our citizenry from having an NFL team pick up and leave when our local elected officials rightfully refuse to dig into our deductions to make a balloon payment on a little-known stipulation that requires 300 more luxury suites to be installed at our expense by 2020, and discovering that no such security blanket exists, we are supposed to be resting assured that we can go forward on this?

And by the way, where does an insurance company that proclaims to protect a farmer’s best interest in a dying business come up with $700 million in stadium advertising?


== And about this roskifarian City of Industry swapmeet proposal . . .

Not to start name dropping, but isn’t it a little shifty that the industrious organizers of this plan intend to rename the area surrounding their stadium to make it sound like a more euphemistic destination? So our OnStar systems won’t just tell us to take the 110 to the 10 over to the 60 and stopping just east of South El Monte, south of West Covina, and somewhere north of the PetSmart and LensCrafters?

== What does your subcommittee on The Future of Printing Money in Southern California have to say to potential ticket-buyers who’ll be required to cough up more than the $1,200 – the face value for some seats at this Sunday’s Super Bowl in upper Dallas – if the Super Bowl 50th Anniversary party comes here?


== Will there be any conflicts of interest if future L.A. mayor Magic Johnson is also a part owner of an L.A. franchise?

== If Al Davis were alive today, wouldn’t he have the right of first refusal to move his Raiders back here again?

== And finally: Can we be like the Packers and Steelers and go about this without cheerleaders?

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By any measure, the NFL can’t afford to wipe out its money-making bowl machine


By Rachel Cohen
The Associated Press

To understand just how good the NFL’s ratings have been this season — the best in about 15 years — it helps to take a moment and compare the league to the rest of TV.

Games on CBS, Fox and NBC averaged 20 million viewers. The average for the prime-time programming on the four major networks, the most coveted slots on the schedule?

Around 8.2 million viewers.

That means NFL ratings are 144 percent better than television’s top non-football lineups, and here’s the kicker. That difference was 61 percent just five years ago.

Even CBS Sports president Sean McManus, whose network has committed billions of dollars to broadcast the NFL, is wowed by the figures.

“I’m continually pleased and really amazed by the kind of ratings that are being generated by all the networks during the regular season and postseason,” McManus said on a recent conference call.

“Go figure,” he added. “The NFL is just on fire this year. Fan interest seems to be at an all-time high.”

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