The NCAA is about to have to open its books to the discovery process in former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against the organization. The NCAA had asked a judge to dismiss the case altogether, and they were shot down. O'Bannon's suit asks a perfectly reasonable question: why can the NCAA continue making money off of his image in a video game fifteen years after he actually played without compensating him? Regardless of how the case is eventually resolved, the chance to get some real figures on just much the organization is taking in from this kind of activity has tremendous value. Keep an eye on this case - it's going to be extremely important.
The media circus will be in full swing over in Daytona this week, as Danica Patrick has announced she will take part in the Nationwide Series race. She's not going to win, and she doesn't have much chance of finishing in the top ten. Despite all that, Patrick will be the center stage figure leading up to the sport's supposed Super Bowl. I have no problem with her doing it, but I hope this storyline won't get beaten into the ground like Michelle Wie's repeated failing PGA Tour attempts were. What I am wondering is how much longer Patrick's other sponsors are going to put up with the Go Daddy people putting her in commercials that resemble bad porno scene setups. You'd have to be pretty stupid at this point to think there's going to be any truly "naughty" content on the company's website, and the two ads they ran with Patrick finished 60th and 63rd out of a possible 63 in USA Today's viewer ad ratings. Surely there's a company willing to pay for Patrick to race that won't be embarassing in their marketing attempts.
The NFL is unhappy about an ad that aired during the Super Bowl, but it's not any of Patrick's awful ones. No, they're upset about Kia's ad featuring assorted toys on vacation. What was the problem with that? The toys were IN LAS VEGAS! The NFL is just shocked and appalled at someone connecting its league with a city synoymous with gambling. Sure, they offer Fantasy Football on their league website. True, teams couldn't wait to make their logos available for scratchoff games with state lotteries. Yes, lots of franchises have casinos as key local sponsors. But other than that, the league is pure as the driven snow when it comes to gambling of any kind.
Rumors began swirling yesterday about a possible bidding war for the services of Chris Berman. Supposedly both NFL Network and Directv would like to lure him away from ESPN. Am I missing something here? While I do think football's Berman's best sport, most people I know have grown tired of his shtick because he hasn't done anything in years to keep it fresh. I certainly don't know anyone who would begin demanding their cable systems add NFL Network so they won't miss a minute of Chris Berman. The Directv offer suposedly would involve a radio show, because anyone can do that. You almost never hear Berman do guest shots on the radio, and people who've worked with Berman closely say he doesn't care for the format. Gee, a Chris Berman show sounds like a great idea. "Hotel California" references everytime someone from San Diego calls in should be hilarious fun.
People were killing the Who on my radio show Monday, which is a shame. This was a great band once - compare "Won't Get Fooled Again" done live correctly to what you saw last night. Meanwhile, the guesses are already flowing in for the next halftime show, and I'll call my shot now. The NFL wants a spectacle, and they like the idea of presenting something rare and unique. Garth Brooks is performing in Las Vegas a few days a month now at the Wynn, doing an acoustic solo show that apparently is going over well. Brooks is a marketing wiz, and he knows what the Super Bowl audience can do for record sales. Brooks playing halftime as a rare return to the big stage spectacle he was known for is right up the NFL's alley, and with the game in Dallas it's a great fit. If I had to guess who's next, Garth's the guy.
I''m happy to have a cool dog, but you couldn't get me to own a cat. First of all, I'm allergic to them. More importantly, if a dog did this to its owner, he'd at least look like he felt bad about it.