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The Purple Trojan

June 20, 2010 6:45 PM

10 Most Disliked People in Sports

It's been a few weeks since I've pulled anything from Forbes.com.

 

Well, that long wait is over. 

 

The website recently published a list of the most disliked people in sports. Mind you, this is all people in the business, not just the athletes. Candidacy was limited to active athletes, coaches, managers, owners, agents and broadcasters

 

The following is the top 10 most disliked people, who earned the lowest on the public's likability scorecard. (From E-Poll Market Research) 

 

The information below comes from the latest list from Forbes. 

 

1.) Michael Vick (NFL player, Philadelphia Eagles) - 69% (dislike rating)

A year removed from his dog-fighting troubles, Vick's image rehab was probably slowed by his sparse playing time in Philadelphia. More time in the public eye could move things along.

 

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2.) Al Davis (Owner, Oakland Raiders) - 66%

A football owner who's always walked to the beat of his own drum. Davis has signed renegade players and yanked his team back and forth between Oakland and Los Angeles, spurring lawsuits and run-ins with the league. And his "Just win, baby" mantra hasn't been working in recent years.

 

3.) Ben Roethlisberger (NFL player, Pittsburgh Steelers) - 57%

Accused of but not charged for sexual assault (twice), not long after a motorcycle accident, Big Ben's wild ways finally caught up to him. At 28, it's probably time to stop partying with the college set.

 

4.) Tiger Woods (Golfer) - 53%

Tiger's tabloid year has taken its toll. Crisis management types believe he's taking the right road back--apologize and get back to the course--though it figures to be a long road.

 

5.) Jerry Jones (Owner, Dallas Cowboys) - 53%

Like Oakland's Al Davis, Jones is known as a maverick owner who has clashed with the league and with his coaches. Outside the home market, where winning tops all, fans don't generally take to boat-rockers.

 

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6.) Mark McGwire (Hitting coach, St. Louis Cardinals) - 48%

Baseball's steroid stigma still needs some time to pass, apparently. McGwire's recent tearful interview with Bob Costas got mixed reviews--he came across as genuinely sorry but refused to acknowledge the 'roids pumped up his home run total. Luckily hitting coaches spend little time on the field during the game.

 

7.) Terrell Owens (Free agent NFL player) - 47%

The wide receiver diva's antics are polarizing to the public--T.O. is the type people love or hate. But as his skills erode, the public grows less tolerant. At 36, he's now a free agent looking for an NFL gig.

 

8.) Alex Rodriguez (Baseball player, New York Yankees) - 45%

A-Rod is down five spots from last year, when steroid talk dominated the conversation and his (championship) ring finger was still bare. Then again, Tiger and Roethlisberger did plenty to jump ahead of him since then, while McGwire only became eligible this year after taking the Cardinals' hitting coach job.

 

9.) Allen Iverson (Basketball player, Philadelphia 76ers) - 45%

Returning to Philadelphia this season after a brief stop in Memphis didn't work out--Iverson left the club in February, citing his daughter's health. Some sports industry insiders say Iverson's tattoos, cornrows and sometimes brash nature give him a "bad boy" rep he doesn't deserve.

 

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10.) Gilbert Arenas (Basketball player, Washington Wizards) - 44%

A highly publicized bout with guns in the Wizards' locker room got Arenas a hefty suspension from the league and two years' probation from the law. With $80 million left on his contract, the club may want to consider buying out Arenas as it gets set to take a new franchise player with the first overall draft pick, likely to be Kentucky's John Wall.

 

Most of the names come to no surprise to a sports fan like myself. All have put themselves in terrible positions with the public. 

 

Although, I am somewhat surprised Michael Vick is still ranked as the most-disliked person in sports. And I was confused about Jerry Jones being at No. 5. 

 

But anyhow, the rankings are pretty spot on. I mean, they were taken from public opinion. 

 

Until 2011, when the next ranking is released, let's see what these 10 gentlemen do to repair their reputations.

June 19, 2010 9:33 PM

Lakers Win Title, Fans Riot

It's one of the strangest things. I just can't quite get it. 

 

If the Los Angeles Lakers lost, I could somewhat rationalize the outrageous acts. But that's not the case.


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After the Lakers won the NBA title last season in Orlando, riots broke out all over Downtown LA. Police seemed to not be ready for what happened last year. Cars were smashed, burned, completely wrecked. 

 

Because of last year's spontaneous events, LAPD made it clear they would be ready this time around--if, of course, riots did break out. 

 

I heard on al the local news channels Wednesday night that they were doubling the police force around Downtown LA on Thursday night. I also read that they were blocking off the area right at STAPLES Center and LA Live.

 

(This report actually forced my roommate and myself NOT to head to the stadium to experience the atmosphere.) 

 

Anyways, Thursday night then came. And the Lakers did win the NBA championship. 

 

Operation: Stop Riots officially began. 

 

The LAPD did a good job not allowing any riots right outside the stadium. It's just that 3 blocks away, all hell broke loose.

 

This video highlights some of the rioting that happened Thursday night.




And this one details one cruel incident. It shows a rowdy crowd vandalizing and burning a taxi cab.


  

To be honest, it's just pitiful stuff. After one of the most recognizable sports teamS in the U.S. wins another championship for your city, all these hooligans go tear up the city.

 

For what purpose?

 

Who knows. I just don't get it.

June 19, 2010 10:58 AM

Ron Artest: Greatest Champion

Fresh off the Los Angeles Lakers' 16th NBA Title, Kobe Bryant also celebrated his fifth ring. 

 

But winning a title is a collective effort.


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One of the key players for the Lakers' championship run this season was starting forward Ron Artest. Artest--who has had a wild career (Choke sign to Kobe and the Malice in the Palace) in the NBA--came to the Los Angeles last offseason for one dream: to win a championship. 

 

It only took him one year to accomplish the mission.


In a season of ups and downs, Artest ended on the up. In Thursday night's Game 7, he scored 20 points, hauled in 5 rebounds and managed to have 5 steals. 

 

And after the final buzzer rang, no one was happier than Ron Artest. He finally got his championship. 

 

Here is a clip from the immediate post-game interview with ESPN/ABC's Dorris Burke. He quickly thanked his "hood" and his psychiatrist. Classic interview, believe me.




But the BEST part of the night was Artest in his post-game presser. Entering the media room with such excitement, you can see the energy and enthusiasm he has on his face. Pure joy. 

 

Highlighted in this video:

 

  • The fact he was happy Kobe passed him the ball
  • He only answered three questions in a 10-minute span
  • He was happy--and surprised--he played 46 minutes in the game
  • He was ready to hit the clubs
  • He's the happiest person in the world right now

 


Yes, it's safe to say, Ron Artest is the greatest champion ever. The pure joy and excitement he had after winning his first title is something to remember.

 

It's nice to have these professional athletes jump around and get excited like little kids again. 

 

It's why I love sports. 



June 17, 2010 10:52 PM

Boston Celtics Scrub/USC Alum Gets Game 7 PT

Watching tonight's Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics is quite fun. The jitters are everywhere. The anticipation was there all week.

 

The stars from both teams are coming out to play. 

 

But all sports fans know championships are won from the team effort. The rest of the starting cast and bench players all help their team win titles. 

 

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One reserve player for the Celtics is USC alum Brian Scalabrine. Known for his good style of defensive play and red hair, Scalabrine is used as an energy guy. 

 

He averaged 1.5 points per game, 0.9 rebounds per game and 0.1 blocks per game. That's quality right there. 

 

During this whole NBA Finals series--and the majority of the 2010 postseason--he was sitting on the bench with a suit, not playing. 

 

But when it matters most, he got some playing time in tonight's crucial Game 7. Celtics coachDoc Rivers subbed him in during the final seconds of the 1st half and the 3rd quarter.

 

The news was so shocking and exciting, it made its way toTwitter. And boy, did it ever. It made its way to the third ranking of Twitter's Trending Topics. 

 

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As of now, the game is still going on. The Lakers just took the lead. We will see what players came up big in crunch time. And who didn't.

 

If I didn't say it before, Go Lakers!

June 15, 2010 10:42 PM

What's Up With That College Football Expansion?

During the past few weeks--if you have watched ESPN--you would have noticed some talk about college football and possibilities of conference expansion. 

 

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't even sure with what was actually happening. 

 

But the past week has created shock waves in the college football world. With many conference T.V. deals expiring in the upcoming years--and many conferences upset with decision-making--a lot of teams were eager to look for other alternatives. 

 

The foundation of the entire shake-up: The Big 12 Conference

 

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There were reports from nearly every main sports network that the Big 12 was about to dissolve, sending each of its members to newer conferences. 

 

Nebraska was the first to jump ship, officially joining theBig Ten last Friday, which coincidently now has 12 teams. 

 

Colorado was the second, venturing over to the Pac-10 last week. 

 


 

ESPN's Joe Schad was then reporting all weekend that 5 teams from the Big 12 would be joining the Pac-10.

 

A move he believed to be imminent. 

 

Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M all believed to be very close to merging with the Pac-10, all being dependent on Texas' decision. 

 

Texas, who was expected to join the Pac-10 Monday morning, got interesting news that afternoon. With a new T.V. deal for the conference, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said Texas could make $20-25 million per year in T.V. revenue, $5-10 million more than any other team in the conference. 

 

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Momentum then started to shift to the Big 12. 

 

After Texas officially declined Pac-10's invitation, the other major schools followed suit. And the Big 12 (with 10 teams) was officially saved. 

 

Other conference news includes national Cinderella team Boise Stateleaving the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) for the Mountain West Conference.


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The current ongoing struggle is now with the University of Utah. There have been many rumors of the Pac-10 sending them an invitation to become the 12th member of the conference. But, also reports of the Pac-10 commissioner, Larry Scottdenying reports of the conference sending Utah an invitation. 

 

To put it in simple terms, check this out: 

 

Leaving Big 12:

Nebraska

Colorado

 

Leaving Mountain West: 

Utah (pending)

 

Leaving WAC:

Boise State

 

Entering Big Ten:

Nebraska

 

Entering Pac-10:

Colorado

Utah (pending) 

 

Entering Mountain West:

Boise State

 

The rest of the teams in college football are staying put, as of now. We will see if anything else comes out. Don't get your hopes up, though. This may be it for now. 

 

The changes will take place either in the offseason of 2011 or 2012, depending on current conference regulations. 

June 9, 2010 10:43 PM

The Ultimate Twitter Guide for World Cup

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa officially kicks off Friday. For those of you who are on Twitter and fans of the World Cup, check out some of these guidelines to maximize your World Cup watching, borrowed from Mashable.com

 

Hashtags

 

As most Twitter experts know, using hashtags is a great way to promote your tweets and gain access to real-live updates about a certain person or event. 

 

As of now, the hashtag #worldcup is the most popular World Cup-related hashtag. Then followed by #wc2010 and #CopaMundial, the meaning of World Cup in Spanish. 


Another way to use appropriate hashtags is to name countries, like#England, #USA or #Brazil.


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Twitter Lists

 

There are also numerous Lists on Twitter that include people related directly to the World Cup and will provide ground-breaking Twitter updates. 

 

Check out Mashable's great site for numerous lists. 

 

World Cup Twitter Pages

 

Of course, the best way to learn interesting World Cup news is through official Twitter news sources. Below, you will find some of the best news sources for World Cup info: 

 

2010 FIFA World Cup

 

TheFA.com

 

US Soccer

 

CNN Soccer

 

NY Times Goal 

 

AP World Cup

 

Sports Illustrated Soccer

 

World Cup Scores

 

I, by no means, consider myself a big fan of soccer. I had an internship with the Los Angeles Galaxy and watch the UEFA Champions/Premier leagues finals. And other than the rarely-occurring World Cup, that's about it.


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But I love the thrill of competition. And the World Cup is the essence of global competition. 

 

It's a month of complete chaos. 

 

And I know I will be in World Cup heaven with Twitter on my side. You should, too. 

June 8, 2010 9:38 AM

The Beauty of Ray Allen

With the NBA Finals knotted at 1 win apiece for the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, tonight's Game 3 will be crucial.

 

Since the NBA Finals changed to the 2-3-2 format, the winner of Game 3 has won the championship ALL 10 times. And when the series is tied at 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win the series 28 of 32 times. 

 

Point is, the odds are in the favor of the Game 3 winner. 

 

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Looking back on Sunday night's Game 2, the difference maker for Boston was three-point assassin, Ray Allen. 

 

He buried 8 three-pointers on 11 attempts, making 7 in the first half. HIs 8 made three-pointers is good for the single-game NBA Finals record now. Not too bad. 

 

Allen wasn't just on fire. He was "NBA Jam on fire."

 

NBA.com put together this awesome video of one of Ray Allen's historic three-pointers in a slow-motion movement, behind piano music. 

 

Not only is the video cool, but it's a great way to slow down--and examine--greatness. Take a look:

 




June 4, 2010 10:54 PM

Farewell to a Legend: Coach John Wooden

Today, everybody is a Bruin. Trojans and Bruins are uniting everywhere, in respect for one simple man.

 

A simple man. Yet eloquent and significant enough to make people admire his every whisper. 

 

It's still hard to believe it when I read all over the Web that John Wooden has passed away at the age of 99. But that is reality. 

 

John Wooden is far and above the greatest coach of all time. One of the greatest leaders of all time. And a wild success story.


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Believe it or not, it took Coach Wooden 17 years to win his first National Championship. From then on, it was cake.

 

He ended up winning 10 NCAA national championships in a 12 year span from 1963 to 1975 at UCLA


Basketball aside, Coach was an amazing person. He lived a brilliant life, full of success, 

family and faith. And he will be the first to tell you basketball was behind family and faith in his life. He was married to his wife, Nellie, for 53 years. And loves her more than ever. 

 

It is definitely the time for them to reunite up above. 

 

And coincidently enough, Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, founder of the Wooden Award and USC graduate, also died today. Just hours before John Wooden. Remarkable.

 

I learned a lot about John Wooden from my dad, who grew to admire the man. (like just about everyone else) He gave me a card the size of a credit card. One one side, it included the Pyramid of Success. The other, some of Wooden's famous maxims. Still have it today. And it changed my life. 

 

From then on, I bought two of his books: "Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success" and "The Essential Wooden." Both books focused on his great success of a basketball coach. But more on his spectacular life as whole.


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I was then fortunate enough to get a John Wooden personally-signed basketball and Pyramid of Success. Those pieces of memorabilia are sitting right next to my desk at home--sandwiched among various USC memorabilia. And they mean so much more now. 

 

As a student at USC, my eyes and ears have picked up a lot of John Wooden references. Pete Carroll, former head coach of USC football, spoke loudly on his admiration for Wooden. And borrowed many of his principles to motivate his players--and aided him in becoming one of the most successful college football coaches in recent memory. 

 

I also took a great class freshman year in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, called "Sports, Business and Media in Today's Society" It was taught by Jeff Fellenzer, an adjunct professor at USC. He really engrained the Wooden principles into us, with his 'Weekly Woodens.' 

 

With this exterior knowledge i received from proven successful professionals, I continued to grasp this man's amazing principles, philosophies and stances on life. Incredible.

 

He lived a model life. He makes you want to do better in everything. I can only imagine what it was like to play for him.


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Although it may be hard to realize, he didn't use forceful coaching methods with his players. It was actually near the opposite. 

 

From arguably the greatest college basketball player of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), "There was never any, 'You gotta go out and kill these guys' talk from Coach Wooden to get us keyed up. He'd say, 'I want you to go out there and do your best the way we practiced it."

 

That's what he wanted every day. With every play: For you to try best. And he preached that principle through so many of his maxims. ("Woodenisms")

 

The man transcended so many people. And throughout so many generations. He will forever remain one of my few idols. 

 

I have grown up learning Wooden's philosophies. And I will die trying to perfect them.

 

Reality is tough to live by sometimes. But, as hard it as it may be, we have to face reality. After all, we know Coach Wooden sure would like us to.

 

---------

 

Below you will find only a few of my favorite "Woodenisms" from Coach Wooden, that I dug up from over the years. 

 

  • "Be quick, but don't hurry.
  • "Be more concerned with how you treat others than how others treat you. You'll be surprised
  • "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
  • "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
  • "Don't complain; don't whine; don't make excuses."
  • "Don't steal; don't cheat; don't lie."
  • "Don't think you're better than anyone. Believe you are as good as everyone else."
  • "Worry more about character than reputation. Character is what you are, while repuation is what people say you are."
  • "Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
  • 3 Ps:  Passion. Preparation. Performance.
  • 7 Point Creed:

                  Be true to yourself.

                  Make each day your masterpiece.
                  Help others.

                  Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
                  Make friendship a fine art.

                  Build a shelter against a rainy day.
                  Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

 

And one of my favorite sayings from Coach Wooden: "Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."

 

John Wooden won 12 national championships. 10 at UCLA. 1 as a player at Purdue. And 1 one life. What a man. 


Good night, John Wooden.


Click here if you want to see a full list of Coach's "Woodenisms," from the Los Angeles Times. 

 

And please admire Wooden with this great video from ESPN's Rick Reilly:

 



June 2, 2010 11:04 PM

MLB Umpire Ruins Perfect Game

26 batters up. 26 batters retired. 

 

That was the situation that Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was facing entering his final batter of the ninth inning. 

 

He was one out from completing one of the rarest feats in all of sports: the perfect game. It would have been only the 21st in MLB history. And miraculously, the 3rd since May 9. 

 

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But it all came down to a controversial decision by 1st base umpire Jim Joyce

 

Jason Donald of the Cleveland Indians fired a grounder to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, forcing Galarraga to cover first. On first glance, it appeared he wasn't touching the bag. 


But from every conceivable angle available, there is evidence the runner is out. 

 

And there should be some fans celebrating a perfect game right about now. 

 

Jim Joyce even knows it, admitting, "I just cost that kid a perfect game."


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I think it's safe to say he will not be sleeping too well tonight. I feel so bad for Galarraga, as he will most likely not have another chance for a perfect game. (They're kind of hard to come by.)

 

But I also feel bad for Jim Joyce. Innocent mistake. But a mistake that is costing a lot of people. 

 

Check out the video for all the details. Awful, just awful. 

June 1, 2010 9:38 PM

LeBron James is Center of Universe

In the NBA world, outside of the pending Lakers-Celtics Finals, the other growing news revolves around star LeBron James.

 

James, the seven-year veteran who grew up in Ohio, resurrected the city of Cleveland and created a following of "Witnesses," is facing free agency this offseason. 

 

There has been much speculation that he may leave Cleveland for a few reasons, including having a bigger contractimproving his odds for a championship and expanding his global brand.

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Possible destinations include: ChicagoDallasNew YorkNew Jersey,Miami and--of course--Cleveland.

 

News came out today via CNN's Larry King that Cleveland has the "edge" to keep James during the years for his new contract, citing what the city has done for him and that he's "comfortable" there. 

 

James headlines possibly the greatest free agent class of all time. Other names include Dwayne WadeChris BoshAmar'e StoudemireDirk Nowitzki and Joe Johnson

 

There are also rumors of a Free Agent Summit, where a few of these stellar free agents may team up together and could find themselves playing in the same same city for the next few seasons.

 

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Not a bad plan when championships and global branding are on the horizon.

 

The Summit has become such a big deal now, that you can play the "Free Agent Slot Machine" on ESPN.com--where a simple spin will randomly place the 8 top free agents into possible destinations.


But once July 1 hits--the day when free agency begins--we will know a lot more. For all we know, James could sign with Cleveland next week. 


And until the date he actually does sign with whatever team, he will just sit back and enjoy the glory. He is the most wanted NBA player of all-time.

 

Not a bad way to look at yourself.



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