DP on the new ESPN book: The backstabbing is disheartening


Not to take any frantic buzz from the pending release next week of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, but former ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Dan Patrick tried to temper the anticipation a bit on his syndicated radio and TV show this morning, saying he thinks “people will be disappointed in the book because it won’t be as titillating as they thought.”

Still, Patrick added, “I think you’re going to find out things that will fascinate you.”

Patrick, who spent 18 years at ESPN as an anchor and host on both TV and radio before leaving in 2007 to start his own media venture, responded to the GQ excerpt of the book that came out Monday (previous blog post on this linked here). It’s the first real piece of meat dangled by the publishers to the mainstream media in anticipation of the release of the book next Tuesday.

Patrick is quoted in the excerpt, but offered much more background to that, his time at ESPN, and what he thinks will be a somewhat deflated response based on previous books done on the network.

“I don’t think people are going to read the book and come away with what they want,” said Patrick. “It’s because the previous book by Mike Freeman (“ESPN: The Uncensored History” in 2001) had a lot of sex in it, sexual harassment stories in it. I don’t know if Jim Miller and Tom Shales will have that approach. I think they’ll tell stories. They told me some stories that I didn’t even know took place. But I think that you will find with these writers is they did their homework. And they have just about anything they want to write, they have it at their fingertips.

“And people ratted on one another. That was really what was sad. People just turned and fired. It was ‘ready, fire, aim.’ And people just turned and stabbed everybody. That’s what I found out, which is really disheartening.

“It’s people who are still there, who work with some of the people they stabbed in the back. That’s the real sad part.

“You build friendships. It’s a great place. But there are people there who are conniving, backstabbing and jealous. I’m talking about talent to management. And that’s what’s sad, because it should come to this. And it will. There’ll be bloodshed, it’ll be ugly. It’ll be embarrassing.

“But the story after the book is out will be: What wasn’t in the book?”

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The first snippet of the new ESPN book, and a KO’d Olbermann already questioning it


For those blood-thirsty scallawags who can’t wait for eight more days, GQ has done the gentlemanly thing and published the first major excerpt of the new 770-page book, “ESPN: These Guys Have All The Fun” by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller (linked here).

And, as expected, Keith Olbermann is already questioning its base in factuality.

Not that he’s mentioned (yet) in any of the expected tales of sexual indiscretion, drugs or other illicit behavior. In-house battles were his forte. The former “SportsCenter” anchor, who left L.A.-based KTLA-Channel 5 and KCBS-Channel 2 to take the job in Bristol in 1992, gets first crack at being put in the spotlight by the authors’ publishers, Little, Brown and Company.

The excerpt has a quote from former ESPN Chairman Herb Granath: “I was enraged by Olbermann. Guys like that just piss me off, you know, because there’s no loyalty. It’s just me, me, me. There was no choice but to get rid of him.”


Olbermann, who has already plucked the humorous illustration of him from the GQ story as his new Twitter avitar, tweeted: “till I saw this on Friday I had never heard the name ‘Herb Granath.’ … What was he? A Nijna?”

The excerpt also says that a different ESPN exec said that in 1997 he decided “we would be better off without Keith” and decided not to renew his contract.

Olbermann’s Twitter response: “I told them in ’96 or early ’97 I was not coming back. The whole ‘we didn’t renew his option’ is untrue. There was no option.”

The GQ excerpt — which according to the New York Times’ Friday media column (linked here) wasn’t so easy to get, considering the cone of silence put over this project — also has a few other humorous responses, such as Charley Steiner, the current Dodgers’ radio play-by-play man and former ESPN colleague, who talks about how in 1992 Olbermann was put on this new ESPN2 channel, complete with a black leather jacket, to try to show how hip this new network could be: “The problem about the birth of ESPN2 was, you can’t try and be hip; either you are or you aren’t. It’s that simple. But putting poor old Keith in a black leather jacket like he’s heading for a dominatrix studio, come on!”

It was Olbermann who actually made that night famous by pronouncing: “Welcome to the end of my career” as he begain the first ESPN2 show, “SportsNight.”

Adds Michael Mandt, a production assistant: “I was working the teleprompter for that first show, and I can tell you that first line of Keith’s was not on the prompter.”

And another quote from producer Bill Wolff: “Chris Berman made that place. But the guy who made ESPN a household word, the guy who made ESPN mean something in the market to everyone, was Keith Olbermann. God, he was a genius. He just reinvented sportscasting by being the smartest guy who ever did it. And watching him in the mid-’90s was a pleasure. It was appointment viewing: What was Olbermann going to say that night.”

And one more from “Outside The Lines” anchor Bob Ley: “We felt not so much relief when Keith left as unrestrained fucking joy. And it may not be fair to him, because I don’t know what his issues are. Some of what happened with him back then is romanticized, but there are still people there who remember how people were treated, spoken to, referred to, and no amount of subsequent gentle behavior is going to erase that.”

The book comes out officially on Tuesday, May 24. If not sooner on the Internet with more sausy chapters characterized as deleted (linked here).

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Play It Forward: May 16-22 on your sports calendar


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


MLB: Dodgers vs. San Francisco, Wednesday and Thursday, Dodger Stadium, 7 p.m., Prime:


Over at Angel Stadium the other night, more than 40,000 red Lucha-Libre-inspired wrestling masks with a white halo “A” logo were given out to the crowd, and they set a supposed Guinness World Record by putting them on for 10 minutes between innings to become “the largest gathering of people wearing costume masks.” Quite a feat — and a promotion the Dodgers couldn’t even mask any interest in repeating. Not with the Giants back in town for the first time since opening weekend, after what happened to Bryan Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on March 31. This is the first meeting back at Chavez Ravine for the NL West rivals since the Dodgers finally beefed up security. The inspiring news last week is that the 42-year-old Stow appeared ready for a transfer to a hospital closer to his Bay Area home, and billboards donated by local company have started going up around L.A. with the wanted posters of the two suspects.


MLB: Dodgers vs. Milwaukee, Dodger Stadium, 7 p.m., Prime:


By this point in his career, Brewers’ All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun should be primed for an endorsement deal yet with Brawny paper towels. We went so far as to check the company website to see if that Brawny Man guy on their wrapper is even real.


Their answer: “The Brawny Man was created in 1974 as a symbol of Brawny paper towels. Although the Brawny Man has worn many styles and faces over the years, he is not based on a real person.” There you go. And the former Granada Hills High standout wouldn’t even have to change his nickname. When Braun left a game last week with a bruised ankle — he crashed into the out-of-town scoreboard along the left field fence in Miller Park trying to chase down a fly ball — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said: “Brauny was hurting. If he had to go back out there, then he would have.” You can’t get much tougher. He hit his NL-best 12th homer in a win Sunday and drove in four – that makes 11 RBIs in his last five games. Tuesday’s meeting (7 p.m., Channel 9) is a Clayton Kershaw bobblehead giveaway. After this, the teams don’t meet again until four games in mid-August in Wisconsin.


AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Oakland Athletics right fielder Conor Jackson catches a fly ball hit by Chicago White Sox’s Carlos Quentin, which doubled up Paul Konerko on the bases in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game in Oakland.

MLB: Angels at Oakland, 7 p.m., Channel 13:

The .500 Athletics have put up nasty offensive numbers (25th in the major leagues with a .235 team batting average, 27th in on-base percentage) countered by some very nasty pitching (first in the big-leagues with a 2.74 staff ERA and second in quality starts). Former El Camino Real High standout Conor Jackson is hitting a team best .282 in 85 at bats, pushing for more starting time in right field. After this one, just one more on Tuesday (7 p.m., FSW).



NBA playoffs: Western Conference finals, Game 1: Oklahoma City at Dallas, 6 p.m., ESPN:

Psst. Something’s up with Mark Cuban. The Dallas Mavs owner didn’t offer up a peep during the recent sweep of the Lakers, and now that his team is one step away from the NBA Finals, he’s still avoiding interviews. Asked recently by the Associated Press recently if there was a reason for his low profile, he replied: “Nope.” He’s even been tame on Twitter. After the series, all he tweeted was, “i’m proud of our guys and the MFFL Nation. One game at a time. We believe” (MFFL stands for “Mavs Fan For Life,” which he has on his license plate.) Would he rather have faced Memphis than Oklahoma City in this round of the playoffs? He won’t say. Kevin Durant vs. Dirk Nowitzki is a tall order to fill. The series quietly continues Thursday (6 p.m., ESPN) and Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN).

NBA: Draft Lottery, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

ESPN “Insider” Chad Ford has broken down the 2,184 potential lottery scenarios, and each time has the winning team taking Duke freshman guard Kyrie Irving. Except the Clippers. Even with their 32-50 record and missing the playoffs (again), they traded their pick to Cleveland with Baron Davis in the deal for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon last season. Minnesota (17-65) has the highest odds of winning this and claiming the rights to Irving when the actual draft takes place on June 23 — a week before the current collective bargaining agreement ends.

NHL playoffs: Eastern Conference finals, Game 2: Tampa Bay at Boston, 5 p.m., Versus:


Bow down to Sean Bergenheim, who had 14 goals in the regular season, but now has a league-best eight in the Stanley Cup playoffs after igniting the Lightning’s Game 1 victory and stealing home ice. Tampa is the site for Game 3 (Thursday, 5 p.m., Versus) and Game 4 (Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Channel 4).


MLB: Angels at Seattle, 7 p.m., FSW:

Just a quick in-and-out series against the Mariners, and the Angels, with Jered Washburn and Dan Haren, look to miss Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez and hard-throwing rookie Michael Pineda. The second game is Thursday (12:40 p.m., FSW). The Mariners had their games Saturday and Sunday rained out. Not unusual for Seattle? Both games were in Cleveland.

NBA playoffs: Eastern Conference finals, Game 2: Miami at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., TNT:


So what if the NBA had to work these two Bulls’ home games at the United Center awkwardly around the taping of the final two episodes of the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” We all know who runs the Windy City. The NBA should also realize that the United Center is already locked into a month-long creepy Cirque Du Soleil show starting June 30. By taking the opener of the series, the Bulls are in charge. Game 3 in Miami doesn’t come until Sunday (5:30 p.m., TNT). Did you hear what TNT’s Marv Albert had to say about LeBron James’ comments, where he said he picked Miami for the weather and schools: “LeBron had done a lot of intensive study and he liked the arts and crafts program.”

NHL playoffs: Western Conference finals, Game 2: San Jose at Vancouver, 6 p.m., Versus:

The Canucks don’t sell green body suits in their team store. Thankfully. Sully and Force, sit down and keep your pelvic gyrations to yourselves. We’ll change venues to San Jose for Game 3 (Friday, 6 p.m., Versus) and Game 4 (Sunday, noon, Channel 4).


Golf: PGA’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Fort Worth, Tex., first round, noon, Golf Channel:

Zack Johnson won the plaid jacket last year at Hogan’s Alley with a tournament record 21-under 259, the seventh career tour win for the former Masters champ. Golf Channel has round two Friday (noon), with CBS on the weekend (noon on Saturday and Sunday).



MLB: Dodgers at Chicago White Sox, 5 p.m., Prime:

At last, the interleague portion of the schedule. Because we can’t relive that ’59 World Series enough. This set on the South Side continues Saturday (11 a.m., Channel 9) and Sunday (11 a.m., Prime).

MLB: Angels vs. Atlanta, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

First baseman Freddie Freeman was taken by Atlanta in the 2007 draft out of El Modena High in the O.C. Save his family some seats. This continues with games Saturday (7 p.m., FSW) and Sunday (12:35 p.m., FSW).



Horse racing: The 136th Preakness, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Channel 4 (post time: 3:05 p.m.):


As poet Ogden Nash wrote: “The Derby is a race of aristocratic sleekness, for horses of birth to prove their worth to run in the Preakness.” Animal Kingdom outslicked 18 others to win the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, but no one gives him much of a chance for Triple Crown honors. Robby Albarado, who was taken off Animal Kingdom the day before the Derby and replaced by John Velazquez, returns to ride King Congie in this one. Mucho Macho Man, who finished third at the Derby, should be back in this one again and could be a betting favorite. The other events during the wek include the Preakness Classic (Friday, 1 p.m., Versus), the Black Eyed Susan Stakes (Friday, 2 p.m., Versus), and Saturday’s pre-race show (10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Versus) and wrapup show (3:30 to 4 p.m., Versus).

Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs. Jean Pascal, 7 p.m., HBO:


The 46-year-old Hopkins, attemptiing to become the oldest to ever win a major boxing title, had to accept a controversial draw against last December against Pascal, 18 years his junior. Pascal knocked Hopkins down in two of the first three rounds, but in the last eight rounds, Hopkins roared back. “If we glean one lesson (from that match) it’s that Hopkins still has something left in the tank,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. “Hopkins outclassed a young lion. He took Pascal into deep waters and exposed him as a fraud, a five-round fighter whose chiseled physique pretties up magazine pages but doesn’t yet have the stamina to be a true champion.” The draw necessitates this WBC-mandated rematch — which will be Hopkins’ 59th career pro bout. Hopkins has two more fights on his HBO contract after this one, a light-heavyweight bout taking place in Montreal. Hopkins could eventually meet up with Andre Ward, who outlasted Arthur Abraham at Home Depot Center last Saturday to keep his WBA middleweight title belt.

MLS: Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, Home Depot Center, 7 p.m., ESPN2:

The Galaxy (5-2-5), four points ahead of Real Salt Lake in the West, has taken the last four meetings in the so-called SuperClasico (or El Clasico Angelino, or L.A. Derby). David Beckham was limping around after the Galaxy’s win over Kansas City, but said he should be ready for this one. “It’s only a dead leg,” he said, “but sometimes those are the most painful ones.”


Red Bull Soapbox Race, Grand Ave. and 5th Street in downtown L.A., 1 p.m.:

A follow-up to the 2009 event that captured the energized hearts and minds of Angelenos, they say gravity and imagination are the only two requirements for this non-motorized race, according to the official website (linked here). Some 40 cars are already entered, with five-people teams usually involved (as the pit crew). Among the sports-related entries are “Lakers FanWagon” from East L.A., the “Southern California Bobsled Team” from the Theta Xi fraternity at USC, and “Chivas!” from San Bernardino — in honor of the soccer team, spurred on by drums and vuvuzelas. The winners get (and this is real) a NASCAR experience, touring the pits, meeting the Red Bull Racing drivers and a chance to “enjoy the race up close and personal in true Red Bull fashion.”


Cycling: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 8 7: Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks, 3:30 to 6 p.m., Versus:


Latest look at the Doppler shows no snow expected for this last leg for Levi Leipheimer (left) and his friends, but it wouldn’t be out of the norm. The race, now cut from 763.8 miles to 645.1 after the Stage 1 storm, concludes after what could be a treacherous trip to Mt. Baldy on Saturday (4-to-6 p.m.). On this final 80-mile stage starting out on Highway 126, there’s a steep climb up Balcolm Canyon, through Moorpark and up the Norwegian Grade before a downhill sprint and a four-mile circle through Thousand Oaks. Training wheels optional. The network coverage is live Monday through Friday from 2 to 4 p.m.

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It’s Out of the Question: Tiger has some explaining to do


It would be a weak-knee, jerky response to start speculating what’s major-wrong with Tiger Woods.

So here goes . . .

Will he ever compete again for a major rager?

What major endorsement deals will collapse on him next?

Does he have enough juice to even get a cameo in the next “Major Payne” movie?

Don’t stop there. What about the other major issues that smack into his clubface.


How in the name of Eric Gagne to you explain the coincidence that Tiger’s body parts, and his mental approach, and his on-course game are crumbling simultaneously?


Of the doctors he says he’ll confer with before he plays again, will one of them be that noted Canada-based blood expert that he’s used in the past but can’t get a license to practice in the U.S.?

Is bad karma a glitch?

== We’ve been told that the Fiesta Bowl reportedly generated $15 million in revenue last year, yet the NCAA decided that a $1 million fine was appropriate punishment for all the junk that former CEO Jim Junker got buried under during his unethical administration of funds.

The NCAA also directed all that penalty cash be directed to local Arizona charities.
Stopping short of punting the entire bowl out of the BCS lineup, what do any of these actions taken do to serve as a deterrent for the corrupt business practices from ever happening again?

I’ve got a Pasadena non-profit with designs of reaping some Rose Bowl-type windfall. Should my strategy now be to figure out ways of enticing this kind of rogue behavior from the guys in the pink sports jackets?

== It may seem kind of Pfund to watch all these darts blindly thrown in the reporting of who could be the next Lakers coach – the names range from Jeff Van Gundy to the late Butch van Brenda Kolff.

But no Del Harris?

== When does the announcement come that Blake Griffin will be honored with the NBA’s Kia Comeback Player of the Year, which can go right next to his Wrangler Rookie of the Year honor?


== Dodgers left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo is on the DL with performance anxiety issues. Milwaukee Brewers left-handed reliever Zach Braddock has been on the DL with a sleep disorder.

And you wonder what keeps big-league managers up all night?

== When does Don Mattingly realize he’s the best hitting first baseman left on the Dodgers’ current roster?


== Journalistically, what would upset ESPN’s Erin Andrews more – that was included on the latest Maxim magazine’s list of the “2011 Hot 100,” or she only came in at No. 91?

== Dennis Rodman made it to his 50th birthday. Surprised?

== Of all the internal-bleeding injuries that a UFC mixed-martial artist could possibly disclose as a reason to back out of a match . . . diverticulitis?

From taking too many dives?

== With the plethora of TV talking heads now labeled as an “insider,” who among us is honestly left on the outside anymore?

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Sure, I get all my NHL news from Twitter pranks

The Toronto Suns reports (linked here):


WINNIPEG – How out of hand has the NHL-to-Winnipeg hysteria gotten in this town?

Well, it’s so bad a 17-year-old girl in Edmonton was able to sucker the Twitterverse into believing a news conference announcing the Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg had been slated for Friday afternoon at MTS Centre.

Parminder Sahota made the faux announcement to the 2,000-plus people who follow her Twitter feed — @EpicPuckBunny — about 1 p.m. Thursday:

TSN reporting that Thrashers to Winnipeg will be announced tomorrow at 1pm at the MTS centre.

“I told my girlfriend I could get my (Twitter) followers all riled up,” Sahota told the Winnipeg Sun, explaining the motive behind her decision to tweet out the misinformation between classes at W.P. Wagner School. “A lot of my followers are Jet fans, so I knew they’d respond.”

She was right. But Sahota couldn’t have possibly envisioned the frenzy she created with one single tweet.

Within minutes, the Grade 12 student’s statement had been retweeted a number of times by Winnipeg puck fans, the Thrashers became one of Twitter’s top trending topics in Canada, and hockey reporters throughout North America — including those at TSN — were forced into publicly denouncing the tweet as inaccurate.

On Thursday night, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman even waded into the story, refuting Sahota’s tweet.

Not bad work for a mischievous kid killing time during her lunch break.

“I think it’s pretty funny,” said Sahota. “I can’t believe anybody would take a joke from a 17-year-old girl from Edmonton so seriously.”

Sahota, who grew up in North Kildonan and has lots of family still living here, said she’s grown tired of everyone taking the NHL’s possible return to Winnipeg so seriously. She said she wants the NHL to return to her hometown as much as anyone, but thinks everyone should stop stressing over it and lighten up.

Some followers took her tweet and the subsequent frenzy with good humour, congratulating her on a prank well done. Others were less appreciative and chided her for floating misinformation.

Still, Sahota said she had no regrets about putting one over on gullible puck fans.

“Would I do it all over again? Oh, hell yeah,” she said. “This was hilarious.”


The postscript:

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN (@Real_ESPNLeBrun), who writes for ESPN.com as an NHL columnist and CBC ‘Hot Stove’ regular, posted a followup Twitter:

Thrashers to Winnipeg not a done deal at this point. But it remains a strong possibility.

He followed it up three hours later with this story (linked here).

“So people just make this stuff up, right?” said Bettman, who was attending Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks. “Where’s the accountability from all the people who a month ago were saying that Phoenix was definitely going? Whatever is being written [about Atlanta] is being made up.”

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Billboards go up around L.A. in search of Stow attackers at Dodger Stadium


The Los Angeles office of Lamar Advertising Co. (linked here), has donated some 200 billboards around the Dodger Stadium area to publicize the $100,000 reward and help police find the two men who attacked San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on Opening Day back on March 31.

NBC4.com reported that after Lamar employees declined to go on a company-wide day at the ballpark, the company’s VP and General Manager donated the ad space throughout L.A. and Orange Counties.

“I think it’s a great thing that this company’s doing this,” L.A. police detective P.J. Morris told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “I think it will certainly generate more people calling. Anything out there that can generate interest in the public, the better.”

Detectives said Thursday they had received 500 clues on the case since the attack about six weeks ago on Stow, 42, who suffered a severe skull fracture and has been in and out of a medically induced coma at L.A. County-USC Medical Center.

The attackers wore Dodgers apparel and were 18 to 25 years old, police said.

The paper reports that his family is considering moving him to UC San Francisco Medical Center as early as this weekend.

In a statement released today, LAC-USC officials said: “The medical team for Mr. Bryan Stow has deemed Mr. Stow’s condition stable to be able to be transferred to San Francisco General and Trauma Center in San Francisco as early as Monday morning. Please note that his overall condition remains critical and he continues to be in a coma.”

His youngest sister, Bonnie Stow, says her brother is more responsive now and the situation is a little more upbeat.

Los Angeles police asked anyone with information to call the anonymous tip line at 800-222-8477 or detectives at 213-847-4261.

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Golf Channel’s Chamblee called Woods’ early exit

During a conference call with media writers on Wednesday — the day before the Players’ Championship began — Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee had this observation about Tiger Woods, who pulled out of last year’s event in the last round because of injury:


“I think there’s a really good chance that he’ll be gone here before he was last year, even though he said yesterday that his knee was fine and his ankle felt fine. It’s very likely that he’s going to reinjure himself playing this course and maybe just hobble out here.

“It’s kind of sad. We watched Tiger age so rapidly right before our eyes and maybe right before our eyes we’ll watch Tiger Woods play where he’s literally shuffling off the course. It’s quite sad to see and it’s really sad to watch what’s going on with Tiger Woods on the range where this phenomenal athlete with perhaps the best former swing of all time is now kind of an old man out there and trying to rehearse the moves that don’t come naturally to him.

“It’s really sad to see somebody of that talent going through what he’s going through.”
After his worst nine holes ever at the tournament, Woods withdrew on Thursday.

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8-Ball Foundation helps local media members


In response to a plea to friends on Facebook.com to help him find work because he and his wife were “well behind on bills and are about to be evicted” from their apartment, USC football radio play-by-play man Pete Arbogast has told Don Barrett at LARadio.com that he is thankful for the help provided by a local non-profit organization that helps media members in need.

The 8-Ball Welfare Foundation (linked here), which since 1954 has supplied financial aid, was able to assist Arbogast after he said in April that his only income has been from doing the 12 Trojan football games a year for KSPN-AM (710) as a free-lancer and “they are not enough on which to make a living,” nor do they provide health or dental insurance.

“This is a drastic step to take, but I’m not sure where else to turn,” Arbogast said in his Facebook post. “While there are certainly people who would (and will) chide me for doing this sort of thing, I can’t think of a group of people I would rather put my trust in to help see me through than longtime friends and colleagues.”

After the 8-Ball Wellfare assistance, Arbogast told Barrett: “These guys really came through in a very tight spot, and I will repay it either monetarily or through service as I can.”

Bob Tarlau, a board member and treasurer for the organization, told Barrett that the group came into being when the original downtown Los Angeles Daily News closed nearly 60 years ago. While some of the reporters got jobs with the L.A. Times or other papers, many wer eout of work and turned to the L.A. Press Club for help.

(The current L.A. Daily News took the name in the early 1980s, changing over from the Valley News and Green Sheet).

The creation of the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation is to help media members in Southern California receive grants to pay for necessities such as rent, medical care or food when they are in trouble.

“So many from the journalism world have been consistent donors over the years but we would like to do more to reach out to the radio community,” Tarlau said.

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Oregon State play-by-play man admits that’s him on the video eating the napkin

Mike Parker, the radio voice of Oregon State sports for the last 12 years and a five-time state broadcaster of the year winner, offered a tearful apology this week to the school and his broadcast employers for a YouTube video that has circulated showing him so intoxicated at a West Hollywood Denny’s restaurant back in February that he eats a napkin before nearly passing out.

The video, posted in two parts lasting more than five minutes by a group of diners who are laughing at Parker the entire time, appeared in February when OSU was in L.A. to face UCLA and USC in basketball.

“I’m deeply ashamed for putting myself in a position,” the 52-year-old said. “To be in that kind of state, and so obviously terribly impaired from the alcohol that I could not be aware of what I was doing, is very frightening. It’s embarrassing, it’s shameful, it’s humiliating.”

The school said it would keep Parker employed while he seeks treatment.

The video was shot without his knowledge, and Parker told KGW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Ore., that bears no ill will to the people who posted the video.

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A statuesque Shaq on the LSU campus … but not one of Maravich?


Photo courtesy of LSU

By Jordan Blum
The (Baton Rouge, La.) Advocate

Louisiana State University will soon have a permanent fixture of Shaquille O’Neal executing one of his rim-rocking dunks.

The university plans to unveil a bronze, life-size statue of a young Shaq dunking in his LSU basketball uniform outside of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center’s new practice facility, said Herb Vincent, LSU associate vice chancellor for communications.

The 900-pound statue would represent the first on campus of a former LSU student athlete.


O’Neal attended LSU from 1989-92, leaving after his junior season. He eventually got his degree in 2000.

“We’re just waiting for him to come down so he can be a big part of it,” Vincent said.

The tentative plan is to unveil the statue during the NBA off-season, Vincent said. It would have to be prior to October. O’Neal’s Boston Celtics are currently one game from being eliminated in their playoff matchup against the Miami Heat.

Vincent said the four-time NBA champion — three of them with the Lakers — was a natural selection to be LSU’s first statue of an athlete because he is an “iconic figure” worldwide. O’Neal also is the only LSU student athlete in any major sport to win a national player of the year award in college and an MVP award in the pros.

“We’re honoring him for his accomplishments . and it’s a good recruiting tool,” Vincent said.

The $70,000 project is privately funded, he said.

“It’s already been done,” Vincent said. “It’s in storage.”

Vincent said an online blog report by SportsByBrooks.com (linked here) that O’Neal is resisting having the statue installed is inaccurate.

“He’s never been resistant about it,” Vincent said.

He also denied information in the report that LSU has plans to erect statues of former basketball greats Maravich, Bob Petit and current WNBA star Seimone Augustus.

“It’s designed for one statue right in the middle,” Vincent said, referring to the entrance outside of the PMAC practice facility. “We have no plans for other statues at this time.”

The only other athletic statue at LSU is of former women’s basketball coach Sue Gunter, who died in 2005. The statue is in the concourse area of the PMAC.

However, the Tiger Manor apartment complex near LSU has statues of former football greats Billy Cannon, Warren Rabb and former LSU football coach Paul Dietzel.

Vincent said it is just a “coincidence” that LSU will unveil its O’Neal statue at a time when other universities like Auburn, Alabama and Florida are all erecting statues of athletes or coaches.

Alabama recently completed a statue of football coach — and former LSU coach — Nick Saban. Auburn is building statues of its three Heisman Trophy winners, including 2011 winner Cam Newton. And Florida now has statues of its Heisman winners, including 2007 winner Tim Tebow.

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