JoePa, Coach K and quality TV

i-3f518b009fb27baf9fdae5817631b75a-450x308-alg_joe_paterno_mike_krzyzewski_meet.jpg

ESPN could do well to orchestrate more programming like the special that will air tonight: “Difference Makers: Life Lessons with Paterno & Krzyzewski,” which lands on ESPN at 5 p.m. and continues on ESPNU at 6 p.m. as a combined 90-minute special.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski taped this on June 20 at the Eisenhower Auditorium on the campus of Penn State. Guests included Matt Millen and Michael Robinson, who played for Paterno, and Jay Bilas and Jay Williams, who played for Krzyzewski.

Rece Davis, not T.J. Simers, acts as the cordial host.

Topics explored: Ethics, integrity, legacy, pressures and NCAA-related issues. Among some of the sound bites:

== Paterno on the challenges of NCAA rules compliance: “I broke a rule the other day. We have an indoor place and the kids were working out. I walk by, stood there and watched them work out. Didn’t talk to anybody or anything. I go back in the office and said to the staff, you know, so-and-so looked pretty good running. (A staffer said) ‘Where’d you see him? You know you broke the rule.’”

Some video (linked here)

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

Social media rules for Olympic athletes: Just be smart

i-028a381fc62916548da5a9b7938c8364-twttering_athletes_100106_wl.jpg

The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The International Olympic Committee’s rules for athletes using social media at the 2012 London Games “actively encourages” competitors to “post, blog and tweet their experiences,” but warns that if rules are broken it can withdraw accreditation, shut down online operations and start legal action for damages.

Athletes can’t use Twitter, Facebook or personal blogs for commercial or advertising purposes or share videos filmed at Olympic venues.

Games-time rules — which apply from July 16-Aug. 15 — also protect the rights of Olympic broadcasters and sponsors.

“Postings, blogs or tweets should be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist,” the IOC document stated. “Participants and other accredited persons cannot post any video and/or audio of the events, competitions or any other activities which occur at Olympic venues.”

The IOC also urged athletes not to comment on their opponents or reveal confidential information, and to conform to the Olympic spirit and charter.

Posts, tweets and blogs should “be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images … Apart from that, we want people to share as much as possible their personal experience of the games,” the IOC said.

The IOC has drawn up the rules in the aftermath of violations during the last Winter Olympics.

At the 2010 Vancouver Games, United States alpine skier Julia Mancuso was asked to stop online merchandise sales after her double silver medal-winning performances generated interest in her official website.

“Unlike in Vancouver, where the rules were adapted to fit changed circumstances, the rules in force in London have been properly codified,” the IOC said.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

Charlie Esteves, to Charlie Sheen, to Ricky ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn … now it can (sorta) be told….

The new issue of Sports Illustrated plays the “Where Are They Now” card in the middle of summer — and this time around, in addition to tracking down Mark Eaton, Roger Bannister and the ’71 Pittsburgh Pirates, it’s a strange trip back to the 1989 movie “Major League” and whatever Charlie Sheen can remember about it 22 years later.

i-fa88825379bf02c424b373c315d88675-sicover1.jpg

Chris Nashawaty, a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, had a two-hour interview with Sheen, as well as other members of the cast and crew, to uncover some new tidbits. Such as:

== What got Sheen to agree to come onto the project: “When I saw the script it wasn’t like catnip, it was like crack. I was going to a premiere, and I had a meeting with (writer/director) David (Ward) in the morning, so I had the script in the limo, and I was late because I couldn’t put it down. Then I sat in my driveway for an hour to finish it. It was probably as good a script as ‘Platoon’ (a movie that he and Tom Berenger also appeared together in), seriously.”

== How Sheen, once a pitcher at Santa Monica High when he was known as Charlie Esteves, had some extra zip to his fastball: “Let’s just say that I was enhancing my performance a little bit. It was the only time I ever did steroids. I did them for like six or eight weeks. You can print this, I don’t give a f—. My fastball went from 79 to like 85.”

(Sheen also adds about his Santa Monica days): “I had a great arm. I was just born with it. I played at Santa Monica High, but because of academic s—, they pulled me off the team. I used to go to this place in Missouri called the Mickey Owen Baseball School. I went to get scouted. But I looked at the talent there and knew I couldn’t do it for a living. I think my baseball career would have been spent riding buses, not jets, if you know what I mean. So I figured, Hey, I’ll pursue a real idiot’s job instead. Acting!”)

i-5cd050bdbc9dba4c33e738d79a509218-Charlie-SHeen-wild-thing.jpg

== On having women fly in to Milwaukee, where the movie was filmed: “It wasn’t as bad as on ‘Young Guns’ (which he did a year earlier). We made that one in Santa Fe, and you would fly into Albuquerque and drive to Santa Fe on this two-lane highway. Literally, the girls that were leaving would pass the ones coming in. ‘Major League’ was so physically demanding that you didn’t have a lot of time for that. You’re lying in bed and everything [hurts], and you’re thinking, I have to pitch tomorrow?! But there were certain days that we’d look at the schedule for the next day and be like, ‘Gentlemen, tonight we ride.’ ”

== On Mitch Williams taking the “Wild Thing” personna in his major-league career: “Mitch Williams, that f—— guy never gave me credit. Come on, dude; you’re coming out to the Wild Thing song… . You changed your number… . Can I get a little nod? I have to tell you, though, Major League became my all-access backstage pass to baseball. Guys like Joe Morgan and Eric Davis would tell me they carried one movie with them on planes — ‘Major League.’ And I’m like, “Guys, you gotta get bored with it after a while!”

== On what Major League means to him personally: “We had this party at my place a few months ago to watch Major League. It was awesome. The beard was there–Brian Wilson, from the Giants. We had Eddie Murray and Kenny Lofton. And I got David Ward to introduce the film. Colin Farrell showed up. And when my big strikeout at the end comes on, the place goes nuts like we’ve never even seen the movie before. I’m in between my two girlfriends, and I look over and there’s Colin Farrell giving me a thumbs-up. I reach behind me for a fist bump from Brian Wilson, who goes, ‘Winning!’ I’m telling you, David Ward created a baseball classic, and baseball is all that matters in the world. You know, I always wonder what I’m going to be in the middle of when I die. And I just hope it’s not in the middle of the greatest f—— pennant race ever.”

Here’s the whole story (linked here), including this quote from former Dodger catcher Steve Yeager, on the set as the technical advisor as well as a coach for the Cleveland Indians: “I didn’t have to do much for Charlie. We had him on a radar gun, and he was throwing in the mid-80s. With Tom (Berenger) we started with the basics as if we were teaching a young kid how to play. He was blocking balls. I felt sorry for him because I was beating him up pretty good.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

Bankrupt, true and blue

i-893c015c09a8aa00c1e50f7cff89ea5c-614ce75555c6560ef10e6a7067000038.jpg

So now you’ve dragged the voice of God into this.

There is no more disheartening, despicable way for Frank McCourt to sully the legacy of the Dodgers.

Among the dozens of pages of legal documents that the Dodgers current steward filed in a Delaware bankruptcy court on Monday morning, one particular among the “list of creditors holding the 40 largest unsecured claims” was given the No. 32 spot.

Vincent E. Scully. Address: Dodger Stadium, Baseball Hall of Fame.

Due $152,778.

Mark Conrad, an associate professor of law and ethics at the Fordham University Schools of Business Administration, saw that name and gulped.

“I know Fordham considers Mr. Scully a loyal alum, and I know he’s so beloved in the L.A.,” said Conrad. “But it all just looks unseemly. The whole thing is unseemly. It’s just so terrible.”

i-aa4b7342d75414f2ed193aa078a4fe77-bankruptcy.jpg

Normal people file for bankruptcy, especially in this recession, to get away from their debt. McCourt, as a result of his transgressions, is trying to keep his.

Normally, companies seek relief with Chapter 11 to freeze their assets. Several chapters ago in this long, drawn-out saga, McCourt froze out Dodgers fans. And have you seen who he’s employing as relief pitchers?

For years, spectators have gone to Dodger Stadium to escape reality, not to have it thrown in their faces.

It’s time for Dodger liquidation.

Then the team had the gall to release a statement relative to their latest court filings, words that scrolled across the bottom of every ESPN news show Monday in five-minute intervals: “There will be no disruption to the Dodgers’ day-to-day business, the baseball team or to the Dodgers fans.”

In a moment that ranks among the most embarrassing in the history of Major League Baseball, the destitute, defaulting, defrauded Dodgers have gone into disaster mode.
McCourt, ironically, is now trying to buy time.

Manny Ramirez, give us another few months, OK? Andruw Jones, considering your imput, there should be no problem if we just take a few more months to compensate you, right?

Juan Pierre, Kaz Ishii, Marquis Grissom . . .

Trust us, the Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, the LA Holdco LLC, the LA Real Estate Holding Company LLC, the LA Real Estate LLC, the Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Company LLC, the McCourt-Broderick Limited Partnership, the McCourt Company and whatever other shell properties we can’t recall at this time have not forgotten about you.

“You can’t blame him for using this aggressive legal strategy,” Conrad said of McCourt, not defensively. “He’s just looking for any kind of opening to extract whatever else he can before he loses it all for good. Most of us if we owned a business would likely do the same thing.

“But the problem is the residual effect is of a public nature that’s untenable to most people.”

Meaning, when we see Vin Scully’s name among a couple of tax lawyers, a stadium concession company, a couple of team sponsors, the flagship radio station and the City of L.A., we have just entered “one of the uglier weeks in Dodgers history,” David Carter, the executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, said in the most elegant way possible.

It’s come to this because of McCourt’s innate ability to mortgage the future to pay for the present. He’s done that with sponsors, seeking cash advances on contracts now after he sweetens the deal down the road.

You’ve had a sense he did it with players. But now there it is in black and white.
There’s more of that in previously dealing away top minor-league talent – Carlos Santana to Cleveland, Josh Bell to Baltimore – in exchange for players with big deals that were overvalued, like Casey Blake and George Sherrill.

A week ago, MLB commissioner Bud Selig rejected the current media offer from Fox Sports – a 17-year deal valued somewhere between $1.7 billion to $3 billion. His reasoning wasn’t surprising: Too much of a $385 million upfront loan was going to be skimmed to take care of outstanding lawyer fees, standing personal debt and “discretionary” needs.

McCourt says he intends now to hold a “competitive sale process” to secure a new cable TV contract within 180 days, even though the team’s current deal with Fox extends through 2013 and prevents anyone else from negotiating with them before Nov. 30, 2012.

Time Warner Cable, which recently struck a deal to start two cable channels with the Lakers, could be in position to save the Dodgers, McCourt thinks.

Or not.

Because no matter how you cut it, media money can’t be used for personal use. Period. That’s Selig’s rule. One he enforced with Tom Hicks when the former Texas Rangers owner tried to do that to save his team from being auctioned off, after he declared bankruptcy.

Money is supposed to be used to pay players. And peanut vendors. And new yogurt dispensers. And parking lot security.

And the most treasured media member in the game’s history.

“The average fan reading all this, they may sense there’s some crazy things going on and sort of understand the process,” said Carter. “But the fact that Frank McCourt owes money to Vin Scully is like someone forgetting to call their mother on Mother’s Day.”

God help us.

Don’t expect anyone to pull up a chair wondering if someone is about to pull it out from under them.

i-f14b48b7b8cfe542e77ae6ebf91fc6ec-mccourt.jpg
Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

Your Monday morning wakeup call: We’re bankrupt, and ‘there will be no disruption to the Dodgers’ day to day business, the baseball team or to the Dodger fans’ …

i-57dbb8efb55a8826c1deff796be80fc8-bankrupt-monopoly.jpg

Frank McCourt ran off and aired his dirty laundry very early this morning in Delaware.
Where?
Because that’s the earliest court open for business to start the business week?
The Dodgers’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing — actually listed as the Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Company LLC, LA Holdco LLC, LA Real Estate Holding Company LLC, and LA Real Estate LLC — means that if McCourt is allowed to restructure, he’ll get through this upcoming June 30 payroll issue, keep the Dodgers a little longer, and buy more time to figure out how to escape with a new TV deal — maybe from Time Warner this time around instead of Fox.
McCourt will go to court Tuesday and tell a judge he can make payments for now with $150 million on hand, reorganize, and fend off MLB Commissioner Bud Selig taking the team away.
Meanwhile, according to the document (linked here), those owed money by McCourt is spelled out quite clearly.

i-79209ced418f8fa4f7f2328e27de2d00-amd_manny-ramirez.jpg

Embarassingly so.
Top of the list: Manny Ramirez, just shy of $20 million.
Andruw Jones: $11 million. Still owed for hitting .158 with three homers.
If only either of them were still with the team, it might be a little easier for fans to stomach.
Hiroki Kuroda ($4.48 million) and Rafael Furcal ($3.7 million) are first up as active players. There are only six active Dodgers on the list of the top 40.
The Chicago White Sox are next, at $3.5 million. That’s because the Dodgers agreed to keep paying part of Juan Pierre’s salary after they gave him away.
Ted Lilly ($3.4 million) and recent draft signing Zach Lee ($3.4 million).
Former Dodgers pitcher Kaz Ishii – a name we haven’t heard since 2004 — gets $3.3 million.
Juan Uribe ($3.2 million) and Matt Guerrier ($3.09 million) are next.
Pierre shows up again, as a person: $3.05 million.
Another ex-Dodger, Marquis Grissom, at $2.7 million.
Jon Garland needs $1.2 million.
Levy Restaurants is owed $588,000. That’s more than Andre Ethier ($559,000).
The list goes on the top 40 — including KABC Radio ($273,321) ahead of Matt Kemp .
And then there’s Vin Scully ($152,778).
He has to be dragged through this now? And he isn’t paid more?
Agent Scott Boras isn’t listed, but his clients are Ramirez and Jones.
If the MLB wants to protect any more innocent victims, it might want to act quickly.
“The Dodgers have delivered time and again since I became owner, and that’s been good for baseball,” McCourt said in a statment today.
“We turned the team around financially after years of annual losses before I purchased the team. We invested $150 million in the stadium. We’ve had excellent on-field performance, including playoff appearances four times in seven years.
“And we brought the Commissioner a media rights deal that would have solved the cash flow challenge I presented to him a year ago, when his leadership team called us a ‘model franchise.’
“Yet he’s turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today. I simply cannot allow the Commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn’t achieve with the Commissioner directly.”
MLB had no immediate comment.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

Play It Forward: June 27-July 3 on your sports calendar

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

i-ae0396aebe116f158168582614c32400-Hope_Solo-nike.jpg

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET

i-0859ea9f596ec0fef8a798fb570ad879-hope-solo2.jpg

Soccer: Women’s World Cup: Opening round: U.S. vs. North Korea, Tuesday at 8:45 a.m., ESPN; U.S. vs. Columbia, Saturday at 8:30 a.m., ESPN:

In the American’s first stop in the event, from Dresden, Germany, we’re trying to figure out the mind state of U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, still recovering from shoulder surgery, often a little cranky, maybe in need of some Jeremiah Weed premium malt beverage — if that can even be found in Deutschland. We’ve checked her Twitter account (@HopeSolo) and so far, nothing caustic. Nothing crazy. Nothing at all since June 20. “First of all, I’m not outspoken,” she told ESPN.com before her team’s first send-off game against Japan. “Say what you want about the tweets, say what you want about ‘opinionated.’ I would tell you right now, people don’t know me. They don’t know where I came from, they make their judgments off some stupid social media thing, and I’ll take my critics for what it is. Nobody really knows … what’s in my heart, why I believe in the things I believe, what I see behind the scenes and they don’t see.

i-6edaaaee6bcbdb4c5e22b54996b88139-hopesolosi.jpg

“Unfortunately, people think I’m negative and bitter all the time and that’s not the case. It’s all about perspective. I have high expectations on the U.S. team, I always push for more. And I think that’s something that is our responsibility as older players. I’m 30 now, and I think that when we lost the Julie Foudys and the Mia Hamms, we lost that voice. And I think it’s our responsibility to push the envelope and try to get the best that we can get to be professional athletes.” OK, we got it. ESPN soccer analyst and former U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco said it about Solo’s performance needed for the American team to succeed: “It’s hard to win at this level, at these types of events, without a top goalkeeper, and Hope Solo right now in my opinion is the best in the world. She’s a great athlete. She has a great mentality when she gets in goal. She has almost an arrogance of how she plays.” By the way, DiCicco predicts a U.S. win over both Germany (in the semifinals) and Brazil (in the final). Before this U.S. opening match, catch Columbia vs. Sweden (5:45 a.m., ESPN).

MONDAY

i-e0f6e82a35d28ec2149ba92917e698fa-chad-billingsley-jon-soohoo-la-dodgers_large.jpg

MLB: Dodgers at Minnesota, 5:10 p.m., Prime:

Think Frank McCourt is being singled out? Chad Billingsley must feel like there’s got a target on his back. He fired his glove against the Dodgers’ dugout wall after manager Don Mattingly took him out of his last start with one out in the sixth inning — the right-hander had logged 110 pitches already, and just walked a batter to load the bases. The fact Billingsley had a 4-1 lead against Detroit at the time may have been the clincher — his teammates had only been giving him a little more than two runs at a time during his six losses. He ended up winning this one to improve to 6-6, but his 4.48 ERA and 40 walks (fourth worst in the NL) is hardly impressive for someone making $6.27 million this year. His next start, against a resurgent Minnesota, will be his first look at Target Field. This series includes games Tuesday (5:10 p.m., Channel 9) and Wednesday (10:10 a.m., Prime).

MLB: Angels vs. Washington, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., Channel 13:

i-000e0b3e5411e45842a2d9bb7698da0d-haren_bobble_promo.jpg

Another week, another series for the Angels facing a team with a new manager. After Nationals skipper Jim Riggleman suddenly resigned despite the team winning 11 of its last 12, former Dodgers manager Davey Johnson is now in charge. For those who show up on Tuesday (7:05 p.m., FSW), it’s Dan Haren bobblehead night, although he’s not scheduled to pitch in this series until Wednesday (4:05 p.m., FSW). The Angels also say every night of the series, they’ll do that crazy racing presidents race like they do in D.C. If only Richard Nixon was alive to watch it.

i-cf5cbf4fc07677d6a50ec27285101c4f-jennbrown4-480x360.jpg

College World Series: Florida vs. South Carolina, 5 p.m., ESPN:

The defending-champion Gamecocks (53-14), who have won an NCAA record 14 consective CSW tournament games now, took two out of three from the Gators (53-17) down in Gainesville back in March. To the winner, a post-game live interview with ESPN’s Jenn “How important was is it to pick up this win today?” Brown. The best-of-three between the SEC foes continues Tuesday (5 p.m.) and if necessary on Wednesday (5 p.m.).

TUESDAY

WNBA: Sparks at Connecticut, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

Back-to-back losses to San Antonio and New York was made worse by the latest injury to Candace Parker. This is the third stop in the Sparks’ seven-game road trip, and Parker is already back in L.A. getting her knee examed.

WEDNESDAY

MLB: Boston at Philadelphia, 4 p.m., ESPN2:

Red Sox starter John Lackey comes off a tough loss against San Diego: Five earned runs, four hits, four walks in 3 1/3 innings.

THURSDAY

i-5e49a8b8c07cdd5908cc299ec3e1dbb0-pgatour_com-inside_the_course-0.jpg

PGA: AT&T National, first round, noon, Golf Channel:

Rory McIlroy has gone home, and the tournament from the Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa., that benefit Tiger Woods’ foundation will go on — even if the host isn’t around to play in it. Maybe he’s just resting up for the July 14 British Open at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, where he’ll see Rory again.

FRIDAY

MLB: Dodgers vs. Angels, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., Prime, FSW:

A rematch of Clayton Kershaw against Jered Weaver is set for Saturday (6:05 p.m., Channel 9, FSW). They’re also on track, if it works out, to face off as starting pitchers in the MLB All-Star Game on July 12 in Phoenix. Sunday’s finale (5:05 p.m.) goes to ESPN.

SATURDAY

i-605503152464415089e7d4f2449bdffb-alberto_contador_bg_01.jpg

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 1: 5 a.m., Versus; 11 a.m., Channel 4:

The favorite will be Spain’s Alberto Contador, known as the world’s best climber and winner of this year’s very hilly Giro d’Italia. But there’s still an on-going doping investigation after he tested positive for clenbuterol at last year’s Tour. Contador says it’s all related to tainted beef. Maybe he’ll soon join the Mexico national soccer team. Keep an eye on Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck, Italy’s Ivan Basso and American longshot Chris Horner. This three-week event starts here from Passage du Grois to Mont des Alouettes.

i-cfc405935286ea8b217b15ade29d4e55-e65f3bb50424f90ef00e6a70670051f7.jpg

Tennis: Wimbledon women’s final: 6 a.m., Channel 4:

Naw, we wouldn’t be all that disappointed if Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, who knocked China’s Li Na out of this thing late last week and could encounter Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, was here for the final curtsies. The semifinals are Thursday at noon (delayed), the quarterfinals are Tuesday at 10 a.m. (delayed).

MLS: Chivas vs. Chicago, Home Depot Center, 7 p.m., Prime:

Couldn’t have pushed this back a couple days, made it a July 4 doubleheader with the Galaxy, and all the fireworks that went with it?

Boxing: Wladimir Klitschko vs David Haye, 1:45 p.m., HBO:

Klitschko, the WBO, IBF, RING and IBO heavyweight champion, is finally trying to get Haye’s WBA title. They were due to fight once before, but Haye pulled out with a suspected back injury. Haye then tried talking to Wladimir’s older brother, WBC champ Vitali, but backed away, then took the WBA title from Nikolai Valuev. This one in Germany will be replayed at 9:45 p.m.

SUNDAY

i-dcc8ee7fbce141b2ca0b0e0a1a8031a3-bf7ec3a004bafc0ef00e6a706700ea44.jpg

Tennis: Wimbledon men’s final, 6 a.m., Channel 4:

You take Rafael Nadal. We’ve still got Roger Federer. Until further grass-stained notice. The semifinals are Friday at noon (delayed), the quarterfinals are Wednesday at 10 a.m. (delayed).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

More Q-and-A with Marshall Ulrich

i-8bb57ba60d8907db42dc2a691c6ae101-94537122.jpg
i-313160e00e651a09148c11fe112c35c9-Marshheadshot2.jpg

Following up from today’s column (linked here) on Marshall Ulrich’s plan to run again in the July 11-13 Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley (linked here) and then fly to Switzerland to scale both Mt. Eiger and the Matterhorn in the Alps, the author of “Running On Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss and A Record-Setting Run Across America” (linked here) about his run across America (linked here) adds some insights on how it’s not all that difficult to get to a point in your life where you can consider yourself to be an athlete, too.

QUESTION: On Page 24 of your book, you go through all the things that were written about you in different running magazines — “Trail Runners” called you “one of the legends of the trail,” and “Outside” referred to you as “Endurance King,” and “Adventure Sports” had you on their list of an athlete “Over Fifth and Kicking Your Butt.” Your response in the book is: “Good for me. I was a badass.” I’m laughing because I’m sure at the time that was the last thing you thought of yourself, as you’re trying to finish this Badwater Quad, and now you were in a tough spot and couldn’t figure a way out of it.
ULRICH: That was definitely tongue in cheek. I was totally humbled at that point. I never considered myself a ‘bad ass.’ I was just making fun of myself. I had to chuckle: ‘Yeah, right, all I’m doing is trying to survive like everyone else.’

Q: Would you consider yourself some kind of freak of nature at least?
ULRICH: I don’t consider myself extra ordinary, but I admit that because I’ve been able to do this for so long and do some remarkable things, just holding up, that’s simply genetics. Some are predispositioned to have bad joints and knees. So in some respects, I lucked out. But I think a lot of what I am is learned behavior, more of a work ethic. That’s just the way I grew up. I’ve been on some adventure races with people from New Zealand or some Aussies, and they grow up paddling and all those activities that’s just a way of life for them. It’s so ingrained in them, they don’t have a preconceived idea about how it should be.

Q: Is the Badwater Ultramarathon still a challenge for you year after year?
ULRICH: Many things are a challenge. I just know I’ve done so many times and I have a good history there.

i-1b735c0c7fee7fea41ac842ed5ceeb65-4532355950_dae046eed3.jpg

Q: What has the reception to your book been like?
ULRICH: It’s been great. Some excellent reviews. It’s really over the top of what I’d hoped for. There is a lot of word of mouth about it. I’m the most pleased that people find that it’s not just a book about running. Some have told me it’s not about running at all. There are so many elements of life, so many layers that many can relate to. Honestly, I think I did my homework and the book I wrote is exactly how I thought it would turn out. I think it speaks not just to runners, but there’s a demographic of women from 40 to 60 who really seem to get it.

Q: As cathartic as the book may have been for you to write, which is easier for you: Running or writing? Can you compare the two?
ULRICH: Of course, running is much more physical, but, that’s about right, this was as much of a mental challenge as running is a physical challenge for me sometimes in more difficult races. It was very emotional and kind of a healing experience also. I tried to peel all the layers back and get to the core of my issues, open up the sores, make it very honest. That’s the greatest compliment I get about it.

Q: Would it have helped you years ago to read a story like this, to help you through your life struggles?
ULRICH: I think so, but so much is dependent upon how your perspective is in hearing what another person is saying. If I wrote this when I was 40 or 50, it might be more event orientated, about running achievements. With a lot of detail about those things. Instead, I take a lot of my races with a grain of salt today. It’s the journey I took to get here, and it led to overall getting me to this place. The run I had across America really brought me and my family together, and I think the reason was because it also allowed them to open up. That’s the key. They connected with me on a deeper level. That really caught me by surprise.

i-3eab13ec64f4509b2b8911b44c225356-ulrichsolo3.jpg

Q: What advice are you giving to those 50-plus year-old people who feel as if they’re in no shape to get off the couch and attempt anything like this?
ULRICH: More than anything, they literally have to take the first step. Maybe it’s swimming, or golf or tennis, riding a bike. Anything that’s physical, but also something that’s enjoyable. You can’t force a square peg into a round hole. Then the trick is to just say you’re going to do it maybe three minutes a day. You’ll know it’s hard. It’s hard for me to convince myself to run all the time. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself the luxury of not having to do it every day.

Q: You even mention in your book that the first time your doctor suggested you run, you did it, and it was miserable.
ULRICH: I think I was just curious as to why I wasn’t running. I knew there would be a point when I’d get over that uncomfortable feeling. You have to have the faith that will happen. Just take it a step at a time.

== More on Marshall Ulrich on his website: www.MarshallUlrich.com.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

The Manhattan Beach Grand Prix at 50, and why Ted Ernst still matters in the world of cycling

i-6624e4de9354c2b5000f6e67383570d6-20110625_010304_TS00Erns_GALLERY.jpg

Staff Photo by Brad Graverson

i-7c159b5275b29e72663ea17ac23032a2-SMMBcover1.jpg

From a large blue-ringed binder, Ted Ernst comes upon the black-and-white mimeographed program from the first Manhattan Beach Grand Prix cycling event.

“This is the only one we know to still be in existence,” the 79-year-old says with a twinkle in his eye, carefully pulling it out of the protective plastic sleeve.

It’s just four total pages – a standard sheet of paper, with information on the front and back, folded in half.

Complete with a coffee cup stain on the top left corner.

“Somehow, we rescued this one,” he laughs.

According to a Daily Breeze story that appeared on Saturday, Sept. 1, 1962 — a younger Ernst is pictured with the race’s queen — that inaugural event was sponsored by Manhattan Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce as part of “a statewide program by the California Jaycees to help keep residents home and off the road during the three-day (Labor Day) holiday.”

Whatever it takes to get things rolling.

i-becde78623b13590ccb0621529192a7b-SMDBstory1led-5.jpg

It was also “authorized” by the Manhattan Beach City Council and “sanctioned” by the Amateur Bicycle League of America

“It was a legitimate, legal bike race, from that first day on,” Ernst says
.
A half century later, some things may have change, but the things most important stay the same. Ernst’s vision to stay the course – literally and figuratively, on Valley Drive and Ardmore Avenue between 15th Street and Pacific Avenue – has made the difference.

When the 50th Manhattan Beach Grand Prix arrives Sunday, Ernst will take modest credit for having the vision to get it started long before a majority of the participants were even born. But everyone else knows better. His photo albums and newspaper clipping portfolio have all the history right there.

An avid cyclist who started the South Bay Wheelmen club a year before the first MBGP and was inducted five years ago into U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame in Davis, Calif., for his contributions to the sport, Ernst reflected on how this special day has become a South Bay tradition:

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized

Dykstra nails it on Twitter from orange jumpsuit land … and directs people to www.savelenny.com

i-3ebb238af3e65e7df86a085331723c7e-061611-Lenny-Dykstra-court-hearing-PI_20110616155919621_660_320.jpg

The update came from a Charlie Sheen Twitter post:

“#NAILS warlock welcome to my pal @lennydykstra on twitter!! He’s a rockstar and he’s got a lot to say!! follow him cadre!! @lennydykstra.”

Yes, Lenny Dykstra is sold on social media. From jail.

We’ll see how far that goes before it bankrupts either one of them.

Dykstra’s bio says he “Batted: Left Threw: Left New York Mets & Philadelphia Phillies” and is “forced to tweet from a jail cell, but with your support I will slide home any day! – Nails http://www.savelenny.com.”

Some of the first posts from the (former?) Sherwood Country Club resident (in Wayne Gretzky’s home) who has had a bit of a legal skirmish involving money and things he’s owed to people, and things he’s hidden from bankruptcy courts:

== 16 June: “HOW ABOUT THEM PHILLIES!!!! DOUBLE HEADER SWEEP!!!! TAKES ME WAY BACK”

== 15 June: “@MikeVick PHILLY LOVES A COME BACK….WATCH FOR MINE #7!”

== 11 June: “(with a link to a Wikipedia page): STOP THE GREEDY BANKS by educating yourself!”

== 27 May: “”THE COMEBACK” WHEN A MAN LOSES EVERYTHING HE IS CAPABLE OF ANYTHING”

== 27 May: “David Einhorn got the mets for 200M? Wow What A Bargain! If He keeps this up with the mets, he will have more steals then (sic) Mookie Wilson.”

== 27 May: “This is my first tweet in a year. Why? Because the Phillies won in the 19th tonight! Motivates me to get back with my fans!!!!!”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized