Day one of the UAW contract talks kicked off with union leaders shaking hands with Chrysler executives at company headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Already I'm tiring of the news reports, talk shows, commentators and general public portraying these talks inaccurately. If I had a nickel for every time a talk show host blamed the rank and file guy at GM for all of that automakers problems, I'd be rich. So with that in mind, let's play fact or fiction.
Full-timers. Part-timers. Class 'A'. Towables. Toy Haulers. Monaco. Country Coach. Winnebago. Airstream. What is it? It's 'The Rally'. Close to four thousand RV's of all shapes and sizes and nearly 10,000 people living right now at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon. The largest RV 'rally' or gathering in North America, and maybe the world.
Nike has a new statement out, which I have just received. They are suspending the release of the Vick V shoe, which was scheduled to be in stores on Aug. 23. Here is the text: "Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent. We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore, we have not terminated our relationship...."
My nipples are erect right now. They are like this because I'm in the midst of an experiment which I'm calling "Operation Red Sunday." A couple weeks back, just a few days after I saw Tiger Woods in his tight-as-can-be Sunday magenta shirt at the U.S. Open, I called Nike Golf and asked them to send me what Tiger was planning to wear for the British Open on Sunday.
Some time between yesterday and today, the NFL banned the word "Ookie" and the word "Dog" from the back of jerseys in light of Michael Vick's indictment related to dogfighting. Yesterday, I was able to get those words, as well as many others, through the first step of personalization on NFLShop.com. Today, the site rejects anyone who hopes the league will put Vick's nickname "Ookie" on the back of his number 7 jersey or any other team jersey for that matter.
As a man who spent his teenage years tooling around in my parent's big Buick, I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for big sedans. Doesn't mean I want one now, but I do like the romantic appeal of a big ol' car. So when I heard Chrysler is scrapping plans to further develop its Imperial large sedan, it made me wonder: is the big car dead?
Wal-Mart is test marketing religious action toys, hoping there's a Goliath-like appetite out there for something other than Bratz dolls or Dragon Ball Z. The toys are being made by One2believe in California, and they'll be rolled out in August at 425 Wal-Mart stores. The test stores are not just in the Bible Belt, but in places like California. The action figures include a 3" tall figure of Daniel in the lion's den, and a foot-tall talking Jesus. What would Jesus do? Ask him! He talks!
When Michael Vick's latest Nike shoe hits the warehouses at Dick's Sporting Goods in a couple weeks, they aren't going into the trash or back to Nike, as a result of the quarterback's recent indictment. The Vick V shoe, which retails for $100, will go out on shelves as scheduled on Aug. 23, the company's chief marketing officer Jeff Hennion told me this afternoon.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that David Beckham may not debut Saturday with his new American team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, due to a swollen ankle. I was assured last Friday that his ankle, which had been giving him trouble earlier this year, was "great." REALLY? Beckham shirted up with his new teammates for his first practice yesterday, but he did not practice with them.
The Final Table of the World Series of Poker begins today at 3 p.m ET. You can order it on ESPN.com for $19.95 and watch it live if you want. I’m not going to talk about specific names, so there’s no need to turn away if you don’t want to know who made it the finals. Enough of the disclaimers. Now let’s get to the point.
Kevin Durant will be a Nike guy, the question is how much did Nike pay him? The contract has been drawn up, but the paperwork has not yet been completed. I believe I'm going to be wrong on my prediction that Durant, when including signing bonus, would not get more than $6 million a year. The adidas deal was the larger deal, but Durant in the end seemed to go with the brand he was more comfortable with.
I have been reading Runner’s World for the last 10 years or so and I have never stopped at an ad like I did when I saw this Pearl Izumi ad in their August issue. What made me stop? I thought it was so outrageous. So over the top. I read the thing four or five times and wasn’t quite sure what the point was. Was I more likely to buy Pearl Izumis from reading the ad? Were these Pearl Izumis going to help me find dead bodies? Would they give me a free pair if I found one?
I get mail. Here's some of it with my responses back: From Randy Sheridan:I couldn't disagree more with your opinion that (a number change for Dale Earnhardt Jr.) would be good. A lot of fans are disheartened to learn that he will no longer be in a red Bud #8 next season. I do not drink the beer but will miss seeing that car synonymous with only him, in my mind. And I'm sure there will be several times next season where I'll see it fly by the screen and I'll think there goes Earnhardt.....
Welcome to Buck's Place. I'm talking about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the 18th and Vine neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. What you find here is a history lesson wrapped in a sports legend with a hint of just how supercilious 'organized' sport too often is.
I was given the assignment of covering David Beckham’s official introduction to the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Major League Soccer team that has invested millions in him. His base salary is $5.5 million a year, about 50 times the norm. But that salary could balloon to as much as $50 million a year, based on performance bonuses, new sponsorships, and revenue sharing. Galaxy ticket sales have already soared $20 million since announcing Beckham would join the team.
Hendrick Motorsports announced moments ago that Budweiser will not in fact be the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr. While it's a really bad thing for Budweiser--any other driver they get won't be as big as Dale Jr,--I think in the end, it's better for Dale Jr. It's just another signal of a fresh start. New team, new logo and I'd advise him and Hendrick to give him a new number as well.
Just because I've labeled Freddy Adu as an absolute failure, people think I'm a soccer hater. Let's get this out of the way. I'm not by any means a huge soccer fan, but I don't hate the sport. That being said, because the sport can't be called a true major league here in America, the media gets the impression that a league like the MLS in need of a savior. That's going to be David Beckham's downfall. David Beckham is going to be better than the average MLS player. But he's not going to be good enough to regularly appear in the highlight reels.
With Kevin Durant set to sign a shoe deal in the next couple days, Bodog.com has posted odds on what company will sign the Sonics draft pick. Nike, which is believed to have the lower offer of the two but more of Durant's heart, is the favorite. Which company will sign Kevin Durant to a shoe endorsement contract?
After a long wait, it's expected that Kevin Durant will sign with either Nike or adidas in the next couple of days and that the wait is only being delayed by certain language that is being reviewed. The total value of the deal is expected to exceed $40 million, the second largest deal ever signed by an NBA rookie.
As Barry Bonds heads into the All- Star Break with 751 home runs, five shy of the all-time record, I have to admit I'm looking at the calendar and laughing. It's interesting to imagine what would happen if Bonds hit his grand shot in either Milwaukee (July 20 to July 22) or in San Francisco at home against Atlanta (July 23 through July 26).