The biggest winner of the 2012 Olympics was gymnast Gabrielle Douglas. The London Games were not yet over when she inked a $100 million endorsement deal with Kellogg’s and her face was quickly plastered on Corn Flakes boxes. She also made the cover of PEOPLE.
Douglas hails from Virginia Beach and I guess it’s safe to say that Mets third baseman David Wright is now the second most famous athlete from the Tidewater area.
Even though she did not earn a medal, track & field star Lolo Jones should also clean up on the endorsement front since she is the quintessential MAXIM hottie athlete. Jones has bristled at the notion that she is the Anna Kournikova of track because she has actually won some competitions whereas Anna never won even a Mickey Mouse tennis tournament.
No athlete has ever had more economically riding on the outcome of one game than US Women’s Soccer goalie Hope Solo. Last year she, and her IMG agent, watched millions of dollars of endorsement deals fly right out the window when the US team blew a pair of late leads and lost the Women’s World Cup to Japan. Let’s face it; in this country you might was well come in 200th if you are going to finish second.
Solo and her equally attractive teammates, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan (both easily pass muster with MAXIM), certainly knew what the stakes were when they met Japan in a rematch. This time they did not blow the lead as they held on for a 2-1 victory for the gold. You can bet that we’ll be seeing a lot of this comely soccer trio in the immediate future.
The Mets unveiled the 2013 All-Star Game logo two earlier this month and it now has a permanent place under the centerfield scoreboard. It’s an eyesore in my opinion. It’s basically the Mets’ Manhattan skyline and bridge logo (no problem there) that is marred by oversized lettered “ALL STAR GAME” underneath it.
At the press conference NYC deputy mayor Patty Harris claimed that the game will have upwards of a $200 million positive economic impact for the area. Tim Brosnan, the MLB vice president of business affairs, promises that New York charitable organizations will have the coffers enriched by at least $5 million.
The New York Post’s Kevin Kernan has long been one of my favorite sports columnists but I have to disagree with his column a few weeks ago that made Mets catcher Josh Thole a poster boy for what’s wrong with the team. Granted, Thole may never be Buster Posey or Yadier Molina but he is a solid contact hitter who is well respected by the Mets’ starting pitching staff. While it seems like he has been in Flushing forever, one has to keep in mind that he is only in his third year. Other Thole critics have claimed that he has “regressed” but learning to be a big league catcher is not a linear experience. In a team that is frankly bereft of leadership, Thole has become the player most sought out by media after a game right behind David Wright.
I realize that I am in a vast minority on this one, but I still have faith in Mets outfielder Jason Bay, who has now been relegated to being a platoon player at best given his anemic batting average. Baseball is a results-oriented business, a point that Jason acknowledges, and he doesn’t take exception to the booing from the Citi Field faithful.
While I understand the fans’ frustration with Bay never having lived up to his big contract which was signed just as the Bernie Madoff fiasco was unfolding (the combo has certainly helped doom the Mets), everyone should keep in mind that few athletes play the game harder than he does. I don’t know how many highly paid athletes would dive for baseballs or crash into walls trying to catch them as Bay does. There is no doubt that the frequent trips to the disabled list has had to have a deleterious effect on his skills but I would like to see a healthy Bay in training camp next spring before the Mets consider eating the last year of his contract.
Irrepressible Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, whose team is one of the biggest disappointments in baseball, claims that he has no regrets that his club was chosen to be showcased on Showtime’s weekly verite drama, “The Franchise.” “I did not have any input in the decision,” he told me and then added, “The Showtime guys are nice.” When I asked him if he was watching HBO’s “Hard Knocks” to see how his city’s NFL counterparts, the Miami Dolphins, are handling the camera crews, he laughed, “Nah. I don’t watch football.”
Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes seems at peace with why the Mets did not seek to retain his services. “I realize that they had serious financial problems,” he told me in the Marlins clubhouse. He smiled when I told him that he shouldn’t use the past tense when discussing their fiscal situation. Reyes still makes his off-season home in Manhasset.
Mets manager Terry Collins was equally gracious talking about Reyes after the Mets stopped his 25-game hitting streak. “I don’t take any pleasure from that. Jose gave me everything that he had when he was here. I hope Jose gets lots of hits; just not when he’s playing against us!”
Given his surname, it was only natural to ask Atlanta Braves centerfielder Michael Bourn what he thought about Jeremy Renner taking over for Matt Damon in the latest installment from the film franchise, “The Bourne Legacy.” “Surprisingly, I have only seen one of the ‘Bournes’ so I am not in a position to comment” he told me before last Friday’s Braves-Mets game.
Bourn’s teammate Justin Heyward is a film buff and he offered some historical perspective on the change in lead actors for “The Bourne Legacy.” “There have been numerous actors playing James Bond over the years, so why not for “Bourne,” he said.
Boxing has been down in the dumps for the last decade but the September 15 middleweight championship fight between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez taking place at Las Vegas’s Thomas & Mack Center and shown on HBO Pay Per View is the best boxing match to come along in years. Even more remarkable, it doesn’t involve either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. You can save $25 bucks on the telecast if you purchase specially marked multi-packs of Tecate Beer, the Mexican brand that is trying to increase its presence in the US.
Can NBC be trying to get back in the baseball televising business? NBC Sports Network will begin televising a weekly hour-long baseball highlights show called “Caught Looking” that will run through October 4. Major League Baseball would obviously love for NBC to bid on the broadcast rights that are now held by FOX, ESPN, and TBS.
If you are looking for quality inexpensive timepieces, check out the stylish Eco Sprout made by Long Island City’s own Armitron that is up of recycled and biodegradable materials, and the Phosphor World Times Sport (www.PhosphorWatches.com) that gives you the time in any time zone at any given moment without adjusting your watch. This is perfect for those who travel frequently.
Many of us have put off cleaning because of the hot summer but we are going to have to get back to our chores when the weather cools off. Bissell’s Lift-Off Floors, Featherweight, and SpotBot vacuums are easy to tote around the apartment and get off both big globs of dust and tiny particles at a price that is easy on the budget compared to Dyson.
For keeping counter and bathroom surfaces spotless and germ-free, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Surface Wipes have a delightful citrus smell, and most importantly, get the job done.