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Blue chip recruit Stanley McClover says he received money & sex at OSU, then even more money from Auburn

31 Mar

O-H…

Ut-oh!

Jim Tressel spent over an hour yesterday apologizing for disappointing OSU alumni & fans after being suspended for witholding emails from the NCAA & his own athletic office in Columbus.  The emails detailed star QB Terrelle Pryor’s involvement with a tattoo parlor dealer who was at the center of an FBI probe last April. 

Tressel kept the emails private until after the 2010 regular season was over, leaving OSU to try to buy off the NCAA by imposing 5-game suspensions on Tressel, Pryor, & 4 other players who violated NCAA rules. 

Tressel’s university-imposed suspension started at 2 games, then OSU upped it to 5.  It’s unclear whether the NCAA will make OSU increase its offer.

Luckily for OSU & Auburn, no real-life equivalent to Ed O'Neill's suspicious sports writer character in Blue Chips existed on campus back in 2003 to document any of McClover's allegations, so his claims have yet to be substantiated. Still, McClover's story would make one heck of a solid sports flick!

What is certain is that Tressel may have to schedule another press conference to address a completely different matter involving players under his watch & a recruit back in 2003.

In a story straight out of the movie “Blue Chips,” ex-Auburn DE Stanley McClover claims he was offered booster money & sex during a 2003 recruiting trip to OSU hosted by Buckeye star WR/CB Chris Gamble, who has played CB for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers since 2004.

McClover took up the offers, but then chose Auburn after asking the Tigers for “a lot” of money & allegedly getting it delivered in a backpack.

Wow. 

All we’re missing is Nick Nolte, a Lexus like Shaq’s character received in the movie, & a tractor delivered to McClover’s father & we’re all set for a “Blue Chips” sequel!

From South Florida.com, with Steve Gorten of the Sun Sentinel reporting:

McClover told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Jan. 12, 2003 that he had orally committed to Ohio State after an official visit. According to the SportsbyBrooks transcript, McClover’s decision had to do with more than a gut feeling. McClover told Andrea Kremer in the interview that during his official interview to OSU, he received money handskakes from alumni of about $1000.

“They send girls my way. I partied,” McClover reportedly told Kremer. “When I got there, I met up with a couple guys from the team. We went to a party and they asked me to pick any girl I wanted.”

Kremer asked McClover if they offered sexual services. “Yes,” he answered.

Did you take them, she asked. “Yes,” he said again.

Here’s Gorten’s full story:

FORT LAUDERDALE – Former Dillard High defensive end Stanley McClover, who reportedly admitted to accepting improper benefits from Auburn and Ohio State during recruiting, didn’t appear to have Auburn on his radar until very late in his recruitment.

McClover’s allegations were made in an interview with HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumble earlier this year. That interview, part of an overall story on corruption in college sports, is to air tonight at 10 p.m. Three other Auburn players allege NCAA violations by Auburn and other schools. The news was first reported by the website SportsbyBrooks.com. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel received an advance copy of the show.

McClover told the Sun-Sentinel on Jan. 12, 2003 that he had orally committed to Ohio State after an official visit. In the HBO interview, it seemed McClover’s decision might have been more than a gut feeling. McClover told Andrea Kremer that during his official visit to OSU, he received money handskakes from alumni of about $1,000.

“They send girls my way. I partied,” McClover told Kremer. “When I got there, I met up with a couple guys from the team. We went to a party and they asked me to pick any girl I wanted.”

Kremer asked McClover if they offered sexual services. “Yes,” he answered.

Did you take them, she asked. “Yes,” he said again.

McClover committed to Ohio State right after that weekend. He told the Sun-Sentinel at that time that former Dillard player Chris Gamble, now with the Carolina Panthers, was his host for his official visit at OSU. The Buckeyes’ 2002 roster featured two other players from South Florida – receiver Santonio Holmes (Glades Central) and guard Bryce Bishop (Miami Killian).

When he orally committed to Ohio State, McClover told the Sun-Sentinel that the University of Miami had been his second choice and that he would not be taking a visit to UM or Florida later that month. McClover did not mention Auburn as one of the schools he was strongly considering.

McClover told the Sun-Sentinel in January 2003 that the outcome of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, in which Ohio State beat Miami in a controversial ending for the 2002 national championship, “had a lot of effect on my decision.” In explaining why he chose Ohio State, he noted:

“I always had Ohio State as one of my top choices – you can recognize a good team – but I found some more respect for them when I saw how they played against Miami. It was, like, ‘Maybe these boys are for real.’ Instead of just being good, they’re great. And they’re bringing back the same guys next year, so we have a chance to repeat it.”

That changed 17 days later when he told the Sun-Sentinel that there was a 50 percent chance he’d sign with Auburn

“I’m still committed (to OSU), but I’m torn between Ohio State and Auburn,” McClover said on Jan. 29. “I’m going to end up making that decision on signing day with those two scholarships in front of me. I’m just going to go with my gut feeling when I wake up.”

McClover ultimately signed with Auburn.

McClover told Kremer in the HBO interview that he asked Auburn for “a lot” of money and he received that, delivered in a bookbag. The exact amount was unknown.

Kremer asked McClover what he thought when he opened the bookbag.

“I almost passed out,” McClover told Kremer. “I literally almost passed out I couldn’t believe it was true. I felt like I owed them.”

“You felt obligated to them [Auburn],” Kremer asked McClover.

“I felt totally obligated,” McClover responded.

“Because of the money?” she followed up.

“Yeah.”

McClover told the Sun-Sentinel at the time that he had started to sway from Ohio State and consider Auburn because it was closer to home and had shown interest in him since his freshman year.

“I guess we get caught up in the hype at one moment,” McClover told the Sun-Sentinel of his commitment to the Buckeyes. “Everything is going good, you go ahead and commit. Then when the smoke clears you think, ‘Dang I might have rushed it.”

sgorten@tribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @sgorten

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Ohio’s annoying Buckeye fans drive Herbstreit out, moves to tax-friendly Tennessee

22 Mar

This story sounds like it belongs in The Onion, but it’s actually true..Herbie up & left Columbus for Nashville, surprising many in the 614 area code – all he was missing was the Baltimore Colts’ yellow & green Mayflower trucks.

The Buckeye football hooligans who presumably razzed Herbstreit (& perhaps his family) for Kirk’s attempt at being an objective college football analyst finally drove him away. 

Here's Herbie in front of the house in U.A. where he used to call home...why not move back to Centerville or just bunk up with Chris Fowler & Lee Corso?

It probably also didn’t help that the IRS finally decided to put a stop to the fire training deductions in U.A. (the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington) that let homeowners there knock over an old house & gain a massive tax deduction before erecting a new mansion in its place.  Nashville is a much easier place to make a living than Ohio, thanks to no state income tax in Tennesee (though TN does have a 6% tax on income received from stocks and bonds not taxed ad valorem)

From Bob Hunter at the Columbus Dispatch:

Kirk Herbstreit and his family moved out of central Ohio yesterday, a change that the ESPN college football analyst said he had pondered for three years. Herbstreit said the move to Nashville, Tenn., was because of the constant criticism he has received from a vocal minority of Ohio State fans who don’t understand that his job at the network demands objectivity and fairness.

“Nobody loves Ohio State more than me,” said Herbstreit, a former Buckeyes quarterback. “I still have a picture of Woody Hayes and my dad (Jim, a former OSU player) in my office, and nobody will do more than I do for the university behind the scenes. But I’ve got a job to do, and I’m going to continue to be fair and objective. To continue to have to defend myself and my family in regards to my love and devotion to Ohio State is unfair.”

Herbstreit said he and his wife, Allison, visited several cities before deciding on Nashville. He will continue to do his Monday radio show on WBNS-FM (97.1) in the fall.

“From a sports perspective, this is rough,” he said. “I love Ohio State. Love the Blue Jackets. Love the Reds. Those are my hobbies. I don’t like moving. I love living here. I don’t want to leave. But I just can’t do this anymore. I really can’t keep going like this.

“Eighty to ninety percent of the Ohio State fans are great. It’s the vocal minority that make it rough. They probably represent only 5 to 10 percent of the fan base, but they are relentless.”

Scottie Pippen calls early ’90s Detroit Pistons’ teams classless & unathletic

16 Mar

Pip didn’t mind taking some swipes at Detroit’s “Bad Boys” from 2 decades ago, calling the Pistons a “classless” organization & team.  The Pistons eliminated the Bulls 3 years in a row (’88, ’89 & ’90 playoffs).  It took the Bulls a while to break through DET coach Chuck Daly’s “Jordan Rules” defense against CHI – good thing Pippen isn’t still fired up about it.

Thankfully for Pippen the Bulls swept the Pistons in the ’91 Eastern Conference Finals, so he wasn’t called upon to make any game-winning shots (it was a different story 3 years later against the Knicks, where Toni Kukoc bailed him out). 

Also, everyone forgets that while most of the Pistons did walk off the court with 8 seconds left in 1991’s Game 4, Joe Dumars, John Salley & Vinnie Johnson did stay behind to shake the Bulls’ hands.

Pippen still calls the Bad Boy Pistons classless for leaving their bench...ironically Pippen has been called classless for staying on his in crunchtime against NY in the '94 Bulls-Knicks Game 3.

Here’s the report by Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press:

It was supposed to be a joyous celebration in Chicago over the weekend, the 20th anniversary of the Bulls dethroning the Pistons, but Scottie Pippen went all Bobby Hurley on the Bad Boys.

“The Pistons were a nasty team,” Pippen told the Chicago Sun-Times. “… They’d go out of their way to be mean and try to hurt you. And because we had better athletes, coach Chuck Daly just let them play the way they had to play to win.

“Bill Laimbeer was no real athlete. The same for Rick Mahorn and Joe Dumars and James Edwards. We were faster, quicker, more competitive and smarter.”

It’s enough to give you a migraine. But Michael Jordan’s caddie wasn’t finished.

“It was gratifying to see the Pistons walk off the court before that last game ended,” Pippen said. “We didn’t expect anything less because they were a classless organization and everybody saw they were a classless team.

“I didn’t care to shake their hands anyway.”

NFL labor dispute: Union claims NFL’s offer ‘a front’; NFL fires back

14 Mar

Apparently the NFL & its owners don’t realize how replaceable pro football is.  Any Browns’ fans who followed the team prior to its move to Baltimore after the 1995 season remembers life without the NFL.  Sure, there were games on TV, but they didn’t include any teams you really cared about, so after awhile you just stopped watching.  Browns’ teams since haven’t been a whole lot of fun to watch either for the most part, but at least we have a team to follow. 

The days when Sunday was about getting homework, business work, or chores around the house done don’t seem that long ago.  The first few weeks you would remember that football was on, but be a little sad you didn’t have a team to cheer for that day.  Incredibly, within a matter of weeks, new hobbies, ambitions, and interests sprang up.

And now, all those options are better.  There are more sports, more TV stations, most everything offered in high definition too.  We’ve got games to play on the Internet, and on our cell phones for that matter.  There’s MMA, competitive eating, amazing online gaming, and movies in 3-D…all things that practically didn’t exist back when the Browns left in 1995.

Yeah, we're not too excited about the work stoppage either. Attention owners & players: The average fan does not like to watch millionaires bicker about how to get even more millions.

Want a more current example?  It wasn’t that long ago the NHL had a big labor dispute, and the sport is still trying to recover.  Their games used to be played on ESPN, now you have to hunt around to find them on Versus.  ESPN replaced the NHL games with college & NBA basketball, & seemingly upped its reporting for the latter two while diminishing its NHL coverage.  Hockey would love to be relevant, but people are so used to life without it on a major channel several nights a week that it’s hard to be a factor anymore.

So now NFL owners apparently want a “safer” league where players play more games.  The more games you play, the more chances for a concussion.  This does not sound like a plan to make the game safer.

We all know the owners want a bigger slice of the pie, b/c they’re taking all the financial risk.  Nevermind the players are taking all the health risk.  Adrian Peterson runs “all day” now, but in 15 years he may struggle to walk into a room.  Worse, once he gets there, he might forget what he went in the room for in the first place.

Hopefully at some point the NFL administration, its owners & players will come to a new labor agreement & we’ll have a normal draft, training camp period, and regular season.  If they don’t, they’ll likely be shocked at how quickly everybody just moves onto something else. 

After all, some of us have better things to do than spend 3+ hours watching 4-5 minutes of live game action (when you add up the few seconds each play takes – the rest is mostly just talking heads & commercials).

I happen to be watching some great NBA basketball right now & enjoying it.  NFL what??

Here’s a nice story on the NFL labor dispute from ESPN.com: 

WASHINGTON — Had enough of the he-said, he-said rancor between the NFL and players? Don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.

The outcome of the league’s first work stoppage since 1987 could be decided in court; the first hearing on the players’ request for an injunction to block the owners’ lockout was scheduled for April 6. In the meantime, there probably will be more of the same as Monday, when Kevin Mawae — president of the NFL Players Association, the now-dissolved union — accused the league of spreading “complete falsehoods and complete lies.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, on the same conference call as Mawae, said the owners’ final offer Friday “was all a front.”

“I think it was all a show, with no real intent to get a deal done, other than just to say they made a proposal — that was no different than anything else that they proposed over the last couple years, couple months, couple weeks,” said Brees, a named plaintiff in the players’ antitrust lawsuit against the league.

Brees and Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, also a member of the players’ executive committee, complained that the players were not given enough time to assess and ask questions about the proposal owners made Friday morning.

“It just seems odd you would wait until Friday to put out a 20-point proposal, when each point has a number of different details in it,” Saturday said.

The NFL’s lead labor negotiator, Jeff Pash, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that Friday’s proposal contained various new provisions. He said owners offered a 10-year deal.

“I was frankly surprised that the [owners’ labor] committee supported an offer as forthcoming as that was,” Pash said.

He also said the league would have been willing to agree to a third extension to the collective bargaining agreement, which originally was due to expire at the end of March 3, before two delays. But another extension, he said, “wasn’t really discussed in a serious way, because it was perfectly obvious they weren’t interested.”

By the end of Friday, talks broke off, the union announced it no longer would represent players, Brees and others filed suit, and the owners imposed a lockout at midnight.

“If they were saying they were not going to negotiate, under any circumstance, after 4 p.m. on Friday, don’t you think you have to ask yourself: Who was it who was in Washington putting on a show?” Pash said.

“We answered all the questions they had at the time, and we never put a deadline on it. We’re not the ones who were filing a lawsuit at 5 o’clock,” Pash said.

For all the things the owners and players disagree on, the two main sticking points are clear: how much money owners would get up front before dividing the rest of $9 billion in annual revenues with players, and the union’s demand for full financial disclosure.

“If we’re going to talk about ‘trust,’ maybe you should ask the owners if they trust each other to see each others’ books,” Mawae said. “I think that’s a greater issue than the players trusting the owners.”

Under the old CBA, owners received more than $1 billion to cover certain operating expenses, before other money was split with players. When negotiations began on a new deal, the owners sought an additional $1 billion off the top. Both sides acknowledge there was movement in that area.

But as the NFLPA’s lead spokesman, George Atallah, put it Monday: “The perception is that we were really, really close. The reality is we really, really weren’t.”

Because the NFLPA says it no longer is a union, but rather a trade association — a distinction the NFL calls a “sham” — Atallah said any decision to return to negotiations would be up to the lawyers representing the players, rather than NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. Asked whether there would be talks before the April 6 hearing, Atallah replied: “As of now, no.”

An NFLPA source seconded that notion to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday afternoon. The source expects a ruling on the players’ injunction request within a week of the hearing.

“No chance whatsoever,” the source said when asked if a settlement was possible. “There is no union anymore so it is impossible for collective bargaining to occur and there will be no settlement or even the discussion of it before this injunction is ruled on.”

The league, meanwhile, would prefer to return to the negotiating table. Starting Feb. 18, the sides met 16 times at federal mediator’s office.

“We would get back together with them tomorrow if they wanted to. We’re not the ones who walked out. We’re not the ones who renounced our status. We’re not the ones who filed litigation,” Pash said. “So we would get back together with them tomorrow. And if they have questions about our proposal, we’d answer them. If they have alternatives they want us to consider, we’d consider them.”

Mawae said that if the NFL contends the union walked away from mediation, “that’s a fabrication and a lie. We sat in that room … Tuesday and Wednesday of last week for 16 hours. … We met face-to-face a total of 30 minutes.”

Sights from The Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH this past weekend featuring Ray Lewis & Jay Cutler

7 Mar

The 2011 Arnold Classic was filled with its usual bevy of fitness babes & bodybuilders, plus a few A-listers & top-flight athletes.  This year’s headliners included “The Governator” Arnold himself, Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzalez, Carmen Electra, Franco Harris & Kurt Angle. 

While it consistently rained just about all of Friday & Saturday outdoors, indoors the climate was wildly different from 1 day to the next.  Friday afternoon had the lightest amount of foot traffic I’ve ever seen at The Arnolds – it was a relative piece of cake to get where I needed & make my way around almost all of the main aisles in under a few hours. 

Saturday was a horse of a different color – purely wall to wall visitors, at times making it almost impossible to get where you needed to go in a timely fashion.  In fact, it was the most crowded I had EVER seen the EXPO (& that’s saying something).  Despite the packed environment on Saturday, Day 2 of The Arnolds was worth experiencing as well due to surprise photo ops in the EXPO hall with Franco & Kurt, who had otherwise only been available at the adjacent Hyatt hotel on Friday afternoon. 

Take a look below to get a slice of the action!

The Arnold Classic is about the only place not titled "The Rhinestone Cowboy" where a guy looking like this can have girls looking like that who are all too happy to wrap their arms around him for a photo.

 

The main competetion stage at the EXPO featured bodybuilding's elite coming out to their theme music (the "Gladiator" movie score was popular) along with 2 silver screens showing their highlights. That will get your adrenaline pumping!

 

Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis had crowds waiting over 75 minutes for a photo op with him. Thanks to his supplement sponsor, Twinlab, fans came away with a free picture in protective plastic plus some free samples/gear. Even if you hate the Ravens, it was tough not to respect Lewis, the off-field gentleman.

 

Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler had fans lining up for hours at his Muscletech command center, & appeared totally engaged & thrilled to meet every one of them! This is a Jay Cutler whose toughness cannot be questioned.

 

This is a fitness expo, not a car show...still, I didn't see any guys complaining about the presence at this booth.

 

BSN had quite the outpost for the 2011 Arnolds, but didn't seem to be giving away quite as many free samples. If you wanted their super-durable bag to haul your supplement loot in this year, you had to buy something from their kiosk to get it.

Here's some man candy for the ladies just to keep things fair - this guy looked familiar, perhaps he's in the Bowflex ads or hawks TotalGyms with Chuck Norris.

 

Bodybuilding legend Dexter Jackson had his usual table set up near BSN's headquarters.Here's some man candy for the ladies to keep things fair - I think this guy does the Bowflex ads or hawks TotalGyms with Chuck Norris - he definitely looked familiar from TV but I couldn't place him.

Arnold Classic weekend 2011: Celebrities scheduled to appear at The Arnold Sports Festival include Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzalez & Franco Harris

3 Mar

The Arnold Classic website posted its official list of celebrities you may get to meet & greet this weekend, & perhaps get a photo op or autograph as well if the opportunity allows.  NFL headliners this year are future Hall of Famers BAL LB Ray Lewis, ATL TE Tony Gonzalez, & retired Hall of Fame PIT RB Franco Harris. 

The Governator will be making pit stops throughout the weekend; hopefully Schwarzenegger will hit the EXPO at the Columbus Convention Center while he’s in the 614.  Should be a great event!

A list of celebrities scheduled to attend the 2011 Arnold Sports Festival.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
@ Ask Arnold Training Seminar at Veterans Memorial
Sunday, March 6, 9-10 a.m.
(Ask Arnold Training Seminar runs from 9-Noon)
Sunday, March 6, 10:30 a.m.
@ Arnold 5K Pump & Run start (at Goodale Street outside Convention Center)

Kurt Angle
@ Kurt Angle Ultimate Teen Championships at Hyatt Regency
Friday, March 4, 4-5 p.m.
Meet & Greet with Franco Harris and other sports celebrities

Randy Couture, MMA Superstar
@ MMA Workshop at Martial Arts Festival at Greater Columbus Convention Center
Friday, March 4, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Friday, March 4, 2:30-3:20 p.m.

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons and NFL All-Pro
@ All Pro Science Booth at Fitness EXPO
TBA 

Franco Harris
@ Kurt Angle Ultimate Teen Championships at Hyatt Regency
Friday, March 4, 4-5 p.m.
Meet & Greet with Kurt Angle and other sports celebrities 

Ray Lewis
@ Twinlab Booth at Arnold Fitness EXPO
Friday, March 4, 2-3:30 p.m

Gray Maynard, UFC
@ MMA Workshop at Martial Arts Festival at Greater Columbus Convention Center
Friday, March 4, 2:30-3:20 p.m.

Here's a shot of Arnold congratulating Muscletech's bodybuilding icon & reigning Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler

Court McGee, UFC TUF Season 11 Winner
@ Sports Research Corp. / Sweet Sweat Booth
March 4-6, 2011

Tosca Reno
@ Arnold Fitness EXPO
March 4-6, 2011

BODYBUILDING.COM BOOTH LINEUP
@Arnold Fitness EXPO
March 4-6, 2011

Special Appearances

Brandon Curry, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Friday, March 4, 3-4 p.m.
Sunday, March 6, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Rampage Jackson, UFC Fighter
Saturday, March 5, Noon-1 p.m.

Robert Hatch, NPC Bodybuilding Champion
Friday, March 4, 10 a.m.-Noon
Saturday, March 5, 2-4 p.m.

Brandy Leaver, IFBB Pro Bikini
Sunday, March 6, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Alicia Maria, IFBB Pro Figure
Friday, March 4, 3-4 p.m.

Jennifer Nicole Lee, Fitness Industry Star
Saturday, March 5, 3-4 p.m.

Alison Rosen, IFBB Pro Figure
Alicia Harris, IFBB Pro Figure
Shelsea Montes, IFBB Pro Bikini
Skip LaCour, Bodybuilder
Dorian Yates, 6-time Mr. Olympia
Frank Mir, UFC Champion
Markus Ruhl, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Lee Labrada, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

Bodybuilding.com Booth Team Members

Michael O’Hearn, 4-time Mr. Univere
Ashley Johns
Aubrie Richenson, NPC Figure
Big Poppa Schnake, MMA Personality
Brandon Johnson, Exercise Specialist
Brian “All American” Stann, UFC Fighter
Jacquelyn Kay, Fitness Model
Jen Rankin, 2011 BodySpace Spokesmodel
Kathleen Tesori, NPC Figure
Kelechi Opara
Kizzito Ejam, Tae Kwon Do
Lauren Abraham, Action Sports Representative
Michelle Hanson, NPC Bikni
Nicole Moneer Guerrero, IFBB Pro Bikini
Nick Scott, Wheelchair Bodybuilder
Pam Wilson, NPC Bikini
Rachael Labender
Sean Hardge, Bodybuilding.com Military Contest
Steve Cook, 2011 BodySpace Spokesmodel

BSN BOOTH LINEUP
@ Arnold Fitness EXPO
March 4-6, 2011

Jennifer Nicole Lee, Fitness Celebrity 
TBA

GNC BOOTH LINEUP
@Arnold Fitness EXPO
March 4-6, 2011

Cheryl Brown, IFBB Pro
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tina Durkin, IFBB Pro
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Adela Garcia, IFBB Pro
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sonia Gonzalez, IFBB Pro
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m

Julie Palmer, IFBB Pro
Friday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Camala Rodriguez, IFBB Pro
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Allison Frahn, WNBF Pro
Friday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Desha Rodriguez, IFBB Pro
Friday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Heidi Fletcher Sullivan, IFBB Pro
Friday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Christine Wan, IFBB Pro
Friday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Brad Gillingham, Strongman
Karl Gillingham, Stongman
Wade Gillingham, Strongman
Friday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

GASPARI NUTRITION BOOTH
@ Arnold Fitness EXPO
March 4-6, 2011

Rich Gaspari, IFBB Hall of Famer and 1989 Arnold Classic champion
Brian Stann, UFC
Flex Lewis, IFBB Pro
Mark Alvisi, IFBB Pro
Hidetada Yamagishi, IFBB Pro
Ryan Hughes, NPC Bodybuilder
Marzia Prince, IFBB Pro Bikini
Stacey Oster-Thompson, IFBB Pro Bikini
Krissy Chin, IFBB Pro Figure
Cathy LeFrancois, IFBB Pro
Ava Cowan, IFBB Pro Figure
Trish Warren, IFBB Pro Fitness
Felicia Romero, IFBB Pro Figure
Courtney West, IFBB Pro Figure

Four Javan Rhinos Captured on Camera in Indonesia

2 Mar

Here’s a feel good story from the AP not involving Charlie Sheen, who seems to be channeling his inner psychotic Mel Gibson of late.  A couple of days ago, four Javan rhinos, one of the worlds’ most rare and critically endangered species, were spotted by camera traps in a national park in Indonesia, raising hopes that this elusive animal can successfully breed and survive in the wild.  The Javan rhino is just one of a group of animals critically endangered that are facing severe survival challenges due to various human and environmental factors.  To learn more about the Javan rhino, as well as other animals, reptiles, insects, and even plants facing extinction, visit the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) website.  

By The Associated Press (CP) – 2 days ago

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Four of the world’s most rare rhinoceroses were captured by camera traps installed in an Indonesian national park, an environmental group said Monday. The footage from movement-triggered hidden cameras showed two mother Javan rhinos and two calves in Ujung Kulon National Park in November and December last year, said a release from the WWF-Indonesia. Javan rhinos are one of the world’s most endangered species with an estimated population of no more than 50 in Ujung Kulon. A few others live in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park. “This is good news to ensure that the population is viable,” said Adhi Hariyadi, WWF project leader in the park. The first “video trap” footage recorded in November showed a mother and calf, identified later as a male, walking steadily toward the camera. Several more videos of the family were obtained later. In December, another 30-second video showed a larger calf with its mother. It was later identified as a female about a year old. The national park’s chief, Agus Priambudi, said the footage provided substantial information about population dynamics of Javan rhinos as well as feedback about survey and monitoring system of the survival of endangered species. After identifying 14 rhino births within the last 10 years using camera and video traps, the Javan rhino study will now focus on the animal’s habits, distribution, genetic diversity, diet and nutrition, as well as pathology and cause of stress, WWF-Indonesia said. “This female calf documentation is a breath of fresh air for us — and Javan rhino conservation in general — since majority of calves we identified previously was male,” said Hariyadi. Rhino numbers in Indonesia over the past 50 years have been decimated by rampant poaching for horns used in traditional Chinese medicines and destruction of forests by farmers, illegal loggers and palm oil plantation companies. Last year, three Javan rhinos were found dead within the 297,881-acre (120,551-hectare) park, and one of them was suspected to be the victim of poachers.

Dancing with the Washed Up Stars: A Look at This Season’s Contestants

1 Mar

Last night, ABC announced the contestants for the 12th season of “Dancing With the Stars.”  The list of “stars” more closely resembles a list of “burning out stars in danger of morphing into black holes”, but the beauty of the show is its ability to entertain viewers by creating a need for us to develop rooting interests in one or several of these “stars.”  This year promises to be no exception to the rule.  So The Floor Seats has conducted some scientific research to determine which contestants stand the best chance of winning Season 12.  Some facts to keep in mind as you get amped up for the season premiere on March 21st:

  • An athlete has either won or placed second in 8 of the 11 seasons of DWTS.
  • Musicians have also fared quite well, with a combined 3 first place finishes and 3 times finishing as runner-up.
  • Actors/actresses (a relatively loose term if you include models that have an acting credit to their name) have had mixed success so far on DWTS, with 3 first place finishes but also 2 last place finishes.
  • An athlete has never finished last.
  • Two musicians have finished last.
  • Reality stars have had the worst success so far on DWTS, with 7 last place finishes in 11 seasons.

11. Petra Nemcova (80:1)  – She’ll be easy to root for, considering she’s attractive, has performed quite a bit of philanthropic work in her young career, and has survived her share of tragedy (she and her fiancée were in Thailand during the 2004 tsunami:  she suffered serious injuries; her fiancée lost his life).  But she has 11 seasons of DWTS history working against her.

10. Mike Catherwood (75:1) – When your own Wikipedia page doesn’t even have a single photo of yourself, it’s probably a sign that you aren’t really a star.  Apparently Mr. Catherwood is a radio personality who has experience as a personal trainer.  His athleticism gives him a puncher’s chance to win.

That kind of dancing won't earn you 10's from the judges Kendra.

9. Kendra Wilkinson (60:1) – If the show was entitled “Pole Dancing with the Stars”, her odds of victory would improve exponentially, but in its current format, she faces an uphill battle.  She probably won’t garner many votes from viewers possessing strong traditional values, and as our research indicates, reality stars almost never fare well on the show.

8. Kirstie Alley (55:1) – There will be plenty of DWTS viewers that will remember Kirstie as a camera darling from her roles as Rebecca Howe in “Cheers” and Mollie Jensen in “Look Who’s Talking”, but then those same viewers will remember her in her other roles that required her to be in front of a camera, like Mollie Ubriacco from “Look Who’s Talking Too” and “Look Who’s Talking Now”, and as Kirstie Alley in “Fat Actress.”  That’s too much bad and fat acting to make up for her quality acting. 

7. Ralph Macchio (40:1) – It was tempting to include Ralph in the athlete category due to his legendary role in “The Karate Kid” franchise, but executing a killer crane kick to power 80’s ballads isn’t enough to make us forget the fact that his last relevant role in TV/film was in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

6. Wendy Williams (40:1) – Wendy promises to be a polarizing figure on this show.  Viewers will either quickly warm to her larger than life personality, or cast her aside for the same reasons.  Her Wikipedia page states that musicians such as Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, and Lil Wayne have all negatively criticized her in their music lyrics.  The Wiki page also states that a movie chronicling her life, entitled “Queen of Media”, wrapped in August 2009 and was set to be released some time in 2010.  A quick check of imdb.com provides no further details about the film.  A wild card contestant in every sense of the term.

5. Chris Jericho (25:1) – Yes, wrestlers are athletes, which automatically makes Chris somebody to take seriously in this competition.  He has prior dancing experience from prancing around the wrestling ring for WWE, and has even taken a stab at television game shows as host of ABC’s “Downfall”.  His decades of experience in front of the camera will allow him to charm a lot of viewers (or at least make him think he can charm them).  As long as avoids getting into altercations with the judges (such as the one in this link), he’ll be okay.

4. Hines Ward (15:1) – Despite his reputation as a dirty football player, the fact remains that he plays WR for one of America’s most popular and successful football franchises, and possesses the athletic ability to execute any dance move required of him.  One thing to keep an eye on: considering NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s penchant for using large fines to Steelers players, will Goodell attempt to fine Ward for any “inappropriate conduct” or “excessive celebration” during the show?

3. Sugar Ray Leonard (12:1) – An all-time great in the boxing ring, Leonard now jumps into the dancing ring to try his hand at DWTS.  Despite being 54, he looks like he’s about 40, and more than capable of handling the physical rigors of the show.  2 fun yet unrelated facts: he’s Khloe Kardashian’s godfather; and he’s a very popular motivational speaker within Fortune 500 circles.

2. Chelsea Kane (10:1) – A relative unknown to most viewers, she has acting and singing experience, and comes from the Disney Channel’s family of young, energetic, and talented performers.  Last season, a fellow alum of the Disney Channel, Kyle Massey, finished second.  Is Chelsea poised to follow in Kyle’s footsteps?  Will people even know who she is if she does finish as runner-up?

1. Romeo (5:1) – Romeo is a jack of all trades that has everything it takes to win the competition.  Just look at his impeccable bloodlines: son of Master P and Sonya C, and nephew of C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker.  Nothing says ballroom dancing phenom like having those rap legends at your annual Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Although it’s probably best if you hide the turbo powered turkey carving knife from anybody with Murder or Shocker in their names.  Oh, and Romeo also was a good enough high school hoops player to earn a full ride to USC.  A combination of athlete-musician-actor?  You’re looking at your season 12 winner.

Romeo, oh Romeo, we dost think thou shall win the competition.

Misery Loves These Cities’ Company: Does Forbes Magazine’s List of the Most Miserable Sports Cities Fall Short?

1 Mar

Forbes Magazine published its list of the 10 most miserable cities for sports in all of America, using criteria such as postseason heartbreak in addition to overall championship futility to determine which city truly is most miserable (view the article here).  Below is Forbes’ top 5 most miserable cities, with The Floor Seats take on this list, followed by our own top 5 List.  After you compare the two lists, tell us which one you think is more accurate and why.  And if you can make a case for a city that isn’t on either list, let us know that as well.  After all, misery does love company.

Forbes Top 5:

 

1.   Seattle:  Any list comprised of downtrodden sports cities must certainly include Seattle.  Having the Sonics franchise relocated to another market due to incompetent ownership, a baseball team that has been largely irrelevant the past half decade after some successful seasons during the Ken Griffey Jr era, and a football team that only made the playoffs this past season due to a historically bad division after losing Super Bowl XL to the Steelers because of some questionable officiating would make even the most optimistic sports fan depressed.  And that just covers the past 10 years.  But is it really more depressing than some other cities across America?

 

2.   Atlanta:  OK, the Hawks have ranged from irrelevant to pointless to laughingstock to NBA playoffs doormat for a long time, and the Thrashers have been trying to thrash their way out of the NHL’s cellar since their inception, but this is also a city that has enjoyed a consistently successful baseball franchise (even though its captured only one World Series despite making the postseason the past 74 years in a row) and a football team that made the Super Bowl in 1999 and appears to be poised for continued success with an exciting young core of talent.  That doesn’t even count the fact that Atlanta hosted the Olympics in 1996, which helped modernize and transform the downtown area and brought in millions of dollars in revenue to the city. 

Take solace, Phoenix fans: at least the Coyotes are still in existence.

3.  Phoenix:   Yes, all four of Phoenix’s franchises have had their awful stretches of ineptitude, but this is also a city that has experienced two championship appearances in the past 10 years (the D’backs won the World Series in 2001, and the Cardinals lost Super Bowl XLIII in 2009), a fun and entertaining Suns team until this year (Steve Nash deserves a better end to his career than this rebuilding team), and a Coyotes team that has managed to avoid relocation/contraction.  Combine that with an idyllic year-round climate, and it doesn’t sound all that bad to be a Phoenix sports fan.

4.   Buffalo:  Very deserving of top 5 status; more below.

5.   San Diego:  It’s a city that is in danger of possibly losing the Chargers franchise and that has already lost the Clippers franchise (a blessing in disguise?).  The baseball team has been to 2 World Series (losing by a combined 8 games to 1) and just recently traded away its star first baseman for prospects, but they contended for the postseason last year and have a beautiful stadium in which to lose baseball games in.  Come on, we’re talking about San Diego here, a city that has remained classy irregardless of the sports futility it has experienced over the years.  It’s sparkling blue waters, beautiful beaches and temperate climate (we conveniently left out its high cost of living and proximity to violence stricken Mexico) permanently guarantee its exclusion from any Top 5 Misery List.

 

Floor Seats Top 5:

Yes, this Browns fan has plenty to be sad and embarrassed about, not including the fact he's wearing a dog bone on his head.

 

1.   Cleveland:  Cleveland and Buffalo will always be at the top of any miserable list, but a few factors give Cleveland the (dis)honor of the most miserable sports city in America.  We all know about how Cleveland lost its only certifiable star athlete via a tasteless and public breakup on national television.  But before LeBron came to the city by the lake, who was the biggest star in town?  Sorry to say that Omar Vizquel, Terrell Brandon, and Chris Gardocki don’t count.  Let’s go back further.  Bernie Kosar?  Yeah, he was a local hero, but he only made 1 Pro Bowl and never made it to the Super Bowl.  Brad Daugherty?  He was a solid player, but never catapulted the Cavs to league champions.  As for the Indians….dare we say Charlie Sheen’s “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn character from Major League?  You have to go all the way back to Jim Brown to find a truly revolutionary and famous sports athlete hailing from Cleveland.  And anytime your sports franchise is defined by two words (“The Fumble”, “The Drive”) that immediately trigger sympathy and jeering by fellow sports fans, you know you’ve experienced more than your fair share of heartbreak and failure.  Finally, if you had to bet your life savings, mortgage, and two major bodily organs on one of Cleveland’s three franchises winning a championship in the next 5 years, who would you pick?  The Indians, a team that is breaking in a lot of minor league talent that has to contend with the Twins, Tigers, and White Sox every year?  The Browns, who have less team speed than a senior citizen bocce ball team that has to face Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice a year?  Or how about the Cavs, who are eagerly trying to rebuild by buying as many first round draft picks for the upcoming 2011 draft as possible, considered by many experts to be the worst draft class in many years?  How does a core of Eyenga-Varejao-Erden-2 years of soon to be obese Baron Davis-Hickson sound to you?

2.   Buffalo:   Which is worse:  losing 4 straight Super Bowls, or never having been to one at all?  At least the Bills gave their fans reasons for optimism during the early 1990’s, and almost delivered on that promise not once, not twice, but four times.  Heartbreaking, yes.  Devastating, sure.  But as the famous quote goes:  it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.  Buffalo Bills fans have loved.  They’ve been to the altar.  They’ve said their vows.  Unfortunately, those vows weren’t returned.  But at least they got to play dress up and be the center of attention four straight years.  Now it appears they may never get to stand at another altar based on the last 10 years of failure they’re currently going through.  This upcoming NFL Draft will be vital for the franchise.  Do you select a high risk/high reward prospect in Cam Newton, assuming he’s even there at #3, or do you play it safe and try to build your team through the trenches (as long as you don’t select a defensive lineman from Penn State or an offensive lineman from Texas, you should be ok Bills fans).  And we think that Buffalo has a hockey team, but aren’t quite sure.  Are the Sabres relevant?  It poses another question:  is it better to toil in relative obscurity or infamy?  We’ll let Sabres fans decide that.  Actually, Brett Hull’s triple overtime Stanley Cup winning goal back in 1999 has made that decision for us.

3.   Seattle:   See above.

 

4.   Minneapolis:   The Timberwolves appear content to accumulate point guards and small forwards to ensure a permanent spot in the NBA draft lottery, the North Stars/Wild franchise is as relevant as the acting career of Jake Busey, and the Vikings haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 1977 thanks in part to an epic postseason collapse during their 15-1 season and an epic brain fart by Brett Favre last season.  At least the Twin Cities have the Twins, who have a couple of World Series titles over the past twenty some odd years and a beautiful stadium in which to lose postseason games in.

5.   Kansas City:    Royals fans remember what it’s like to cheer for a winning team, don’t they?  We hope so, since it doesn’t look like this year’s version of the Royals will offer fans much to cheer for.  But GM Dayton Moore appears to have the franchise heading in the right direction with an elite farm system and $18 stadium BBQ ribs that will provide enough revenue to allow the Royals to vastly overpay free agents for years to come.  The Chiefs also appear to have a bright future, assuming they ultimately figure out that handing the ball off to RB Jamaal Charles is something worth repeating 20 times per game.

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars free demo available now on PS3 & XBOX 360

24 Feb

I’ve already played this demo & I must say it sports even greater play control & features than the prior LEGO Star Wars games!  Finally we have a LEGO SW game with trophy support & top-notch graphics to go with fantastic gameplay & fun for all ages. 

This game should almost certainly be a hit – I’ll provide a review when I get my hands on a full version copy of the PS3 game.  For now, go out & snag the free d/l from the PSN (Playstation Network) & get a taste of what’s coming in late March.

The Force is strong with this latest LEGO SW installment, which should line George Lucas' pockets with about as many coin studs as it takes you to get "True Jedi" status to 100% the game.

From The HD Room.com:

LucasArts today released a free playable demo for Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars on Xbox 360, the next installment in the hugely successful and timeless Star Wars Lego series of video games. The same demo will be available for Playstation 3 owners to download for free starting tomorrow, February 23.

In addition to the demo release, LucasArts confirmed that Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars for 3DS will be one of 18 3DS launch titles that arrive in stores on March 27.

I just completed played the Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars demo and as expected it’s a great time for either a single player or two players cooperatively. There’s quite a bit of moving objects and droids with the Force, puzzles and battling Separatists.

Both short demo levels are set aboard the Malevolence, a prototype Separatist cruiser capable of incapacitating any ship within the range of its sonic weapon. Three episodes of the Clone Wars television show revolved around the ship and it appears as if the full game will include a level representing each Malevolence episode.