Play It Forward: July 1-7 — Wimbledon winds down, Game On Dude has another Hollywood Park spotlight

It’s on the schedule for this coming week:

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

Novak Djokovic changes his shirt during a break in his men's second round singles match against American Bobby Reynolds at Wimbledon on Thursday  (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Novak Djokovic changes his shirt during a break in his men’s second round singles match against American Bobby Reynolds at Wimbledon on Thursday (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

TENNIS: WIMBLEDON in London, England
Women’s final: 6 a.m., Saturday, ESPN
Men’s final: 6 a.m., Sunday, ESPN:
How much did nagging injuries, or pure exhaustion, account for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer making early exists at Wimbledon last week? Forced to endure grueling five-set matches, tournament after tournament, could finally be taking their toll, says Martina Navratilova. “It’s really becoming so taxing that I believe one day we will have two out of three sets in the Grand Slams, otherwise they’re going to be taking people out on stretchers, Navratilova, the 18-time Grand Slam singles champ, with half of them coming at Wimbledon, recently told Laureus.com. England’s top men’s performer, Andy Murray, missed the French Open with a bad back recently but has plowed through the competition in the first week and, with a No. 2 seed, is aligned to meet up in the men’s final against top-seed Novak Djokovic, who has had ankle issues himself. On the women’s side, Serena Williams continues to make quick work of her opponents. Keep an eye on the only other American left in the men’s or women’s field – Sloane Stephens, who has to face 19-year-old Puerto Rican Monica Puig in the fourth round next.  And the Bryan Brothers of Camarillo remain alive and well in their quest to reach the men’s doubles final on Saturday (with the semifinals on Thursday).
Women’s semifinals are Thursday (5 a.m., ESPN); men’s semifinals are Friday (5 a.m., ESPN). Channel 7 repeats the women’s and men’s final Saturday and Sunday at noon.

BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

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It’s Out of the Question: Serena vs. Murray wouldn’t be a dandy, Andy

murray-serena_2600609bOur wish list from a wishy-washy first week at Wimbledon: Upset, upon upset. Slipping, upon sliding. A ban on wrong-colored shoes. A little rain, a little pain.
We got that, and more, when a couple of reporters started to beg the question — could Serena Williams handle a courtship battle against Andy Murray?
Seriously, the men’s big banger from England said he’d gladly be an exhibitionist if she was involved.
Maybe something’s been lost in the translation.
Put it this way: If there was a battle of the sexes exhibition to be staged between the top woman in the world and one of the best male players, “I doubt I’d win a point (against Murray),” said Williams.
Without a doubt, she’s correct.
_45968305_tarango_mic“She could test a lot of men on this planet, probably seven and a half billion, but Andy Murray is not one of them,” Jeff Tarango, the former touring pro in the 1990s from Manhattan Beach Mira Costa High who once studied at Stanford under existentialist philosopher Albert Camus.
“Let’s go to the depth of it,” he continued to the BBC Radio. “What they’re asking is, ‘How low do you have to go in the men’s game before Serena pulls off a win?’ I’m going to say (players ranked) 300-350. . . . They might start getting a little nervous and I think on a good surface on a good day, she could maybe take someone out.”
Tarango sounds like he’s up for the challenge, eh?
serena-williams-boyfriendWe know too much already about the kind of men Serena’s been taking out, even without Maria Sharapova’s scouting report.
Get to the real point here: Given her domineering ways, how many games will any women left in this Wimbledon field get off Serena before she officially raises the giant silver plate again? Continue reading

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Weekly media column version 06.28.13: Lakers taking to the media for D12 love more like ad naseum?

The latest from the @Lakers twitter account, adding Kobe Bryant to the campaign to bring back Dwight Howard.

The latest from the @Lakers twitter account, adding Kobe Bryant to the campaign to bring back Dwight Howard.

What made it into this week’s media column:
dog stay-1
A little more explanation on the media backlash to the Lakers trying to keep Dwight Howard around by resorting to, well, big-time media. We posted it on Thursday.

What didn’t make it in, but maybe should have: Continue reading

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Already bored of the #StayD12 billboards? The Lakers took that into consideration, but did it anyway

lakers_billboard_stayd12_dwight_howard_062713bDwight Howard was doing some tremendous trending on Twitter during the course of today. Just not so much with the #StayD12 halo affect that the Lakers could have anticipated with their latest billboard campaign throughout the city.

The Lakers’ Instagram and Twitter accounts announced in a somewhat coy way early Wednesday that giant overhead signage with the simple message “Stay” had been placed at various locations, including one slapped onto the side of Staples Center.

“If you’re walking Hollywood Blvd. looking down at the stars, don’t miss the one above you #StayD12,” read one tweet, with a photo of the billboard featuring Howard above the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

dwight_howard_lakers_billboard_stayd12_062713_1The hashtag reference was to create similar conversation, at the very least, about what the benefits might be to have the 6-foot-10 enigmatic star extend his welcome to L.A. past one season.

By this morning, the team had more than 1,000 retweets and hundreds of “favorites” respondents. They also had the media seizing upon it, adding their own twist:

“If you’re the Lakers, you don’t beg people to stay,” said Dan Patrick on his syndicated radio show. “You say, ‘We’re all in, are you D12?’ Sacramento did this with Chris Webber (in 2001). You’re the Lakers. You don’t beg. Take down those silly billboards. ‘Stay’ … ‘Please’… ‘Pretty please.’”

BNzPa6DCUAA7s9V.jpg largeA tweet from Ben Maller, who has a syndicated show on Fox Sports Radio: “On same day Clippers hire championship winning coach (Doc Rivers), Lakers put up billboard begging Dwight Howard to stay. #minorleague.”

Deadspin.com called the campaign “kind of sad.” USA Today referred to it a resorting “to desperation.” NBC Sports Radio said it was “desperate, embarrassing & kind of hilarious #HesJustNotThatIntoYou.”

Lakers vice president of public relations John Black admitted that “a significant amount” was spent on the seven billboards around town – with possibly more to come. Estimates, based on the costs of billboards in prime Southern California spots, could easily push this past $50,000 for a month’s worth of exposure. Continue reading

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