Celebrity Scenes, Dream Teams and Defection Schemes

Justin June 16, 2012 0

The President of the United States of America, Barack H Obama, was in New York City on Thursday.

He visited the World Trade Center site, then attended a pair of fundraisers. The first event was held at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house in the West Village. The President was scheduled to arrive at a little after 7.

My office is also in the West Village and I got out of work at 7, so a colleague and I decided to take a walk over to Sarah Jessica Parker’s block to see if we could spot the Commander in Chief.

We were less than a block from the office when I spotted a dark SUV parked on the curb in front of another building, with the back door open and a driver standing by. In other words, someone famous was about to get into this car. I saw that person come out of the building, but while he looked familiar, I couldn’t quite place the face. Someone on the sidewalk took care of that for me by yelling, “Hey Victor!”

It was Victor Cruz. The Giants wideout and I happen to share a rather close acquaintance, so I decided to walk over and introduce myself. We chatted for about five minutes. He introduced me to his girlfriend. Then we said goodbye.

And then my friend and I continued down Hudson Street in search of President Obama. We were discussing how random it was for us to run into Victor Cruz on the street and what a nice guy he was, when, all of sudden, I just stopped talking in the middle of a sentence. After a couple of seconds, she asked me what was wrong.

“Well, Susan Sarandon just walked right by us,” I responded, “Didn’t you notice the famous red headed woman in the giant sunglasses?”

She did not. And then she spent the next few minutes looking back over her shoulder at Susan Sarandon, as the actress continued on the other way. We continued on as well, on to see the President.

We took a few turns and then noticed a ton of police barricades. As we got closer, we saw a building with red velvet ropes and women checking id’s out front. There was also a huge American Flag being displayed. This must be the place! I’m gonna meet President Obama and we’re going to bro hug.

There was a cop standing there. He burst my bubble. “No, this isn’t the President. His motorcade just passed. This is some Nike event.” Before I could get too dissapointed, though, I looked at the entrance to the building and saw Carl Lewis walk out. The event was the unveiling of Nike’s uniforms for the US Olympic track team. Lewis was there to add some star power.

And then, the Presidential stalking mission carried on. We finally figured out the correct block and made our way over. How did we know it was the right block? Well, there were twice as many barricades as we had seen anywhere else. There were about a dozen police vehicles. And there were huge sanitation department dump trucks blocking traffic on both sides. This was as close as we were going to get.

I did not see the President.

It’s too bad. That would have been a cool thing to have happen during an otherwise normal walk through the neighborhood.

Sports Illustrated: June 18th, 2012

Kevin Durant, Basketball, Oklahoma City Thunder



Richard Deitsch writes about NBAtv’s documentary on the 1992 “Dream Team.” This gives me an opening to talk about just how great that movie was. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you do. The worst thing about NBAtv is that they have almost no programming, so they show the same shit over and over again. In this case, however, that is a huge benefit. Watch this movie. The footage from the practices and scrimmages is amazing. And everyone rips Isiah Thomas, which makes me happy. I hope the network follows up by airing some of the actual games this summer. I would love to watch the US take apart Angola or get to see Jordan and Pippen crush Toni Kukoc for myself.

Let The Rivarly Begin by Ian Thomsen

I don’t really see the point of this page and a half NBA Finals preview. It’s not long enough to shed any real light on the LeBron James/Kevin Durant matchup, nor is it thorough enough to really paint their rivalry as anything close to Magic/Bird.

Leading Man by Chris Mannix

Chris Mannix guest-hosted the Dan Patrick Show earlier this week. During commercial breaks, the tv simulcast of the radio show includes little drop ins of the host and the behind the scene’s staff chatting with each other. One of the conversations they showed this week was Mannix speaking to one of the producers about how Chris Ballard was the magazine’s Kobe guy and Lee Jenkins had developed a good relationship with LeBron, but Mannix really wanted to get in good with the Thunder. I guess this profile of Russell Westbrook is an indication that he was able to do so.

The Plot Thickens (Again) by L. Jon Wertheim

Its the French Open article. Rafael Nadal won again. I don’t know if the plot has actually thickened at all. It seems like Groundhog Day on red clay.

What Was Lost In Vegas by Chris Mannix

This article about the Pacquiao-Bradley fight is less than a page long. That’s about a page too long for me to give a shit about.

Being The Natural Isn’t Enough by Joe Lemire

Joe Lemire is a new name at Sports Illustrated. I don’t recall ever reading anything by him in the past. I’m not sure if he was trying to write a profile of Pirates star Andrew McCutchen or a discussion of draft strategy. The article sort of sits on the fence between the two.

Revolution Games by Alexander Woolf

Wow, this was really interesting. I had absolutely no idea about the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet Union, nor the brutal Russian response. And how about Sports Illustrated taking an active role in helping athletes defect? Fascinating stuff.

Point After by Phil Taylor

Taylor tells the story of Casey Martin, who is back at the US Open nearly a decade and a half after he went to court in order to use a golf cart to compete. Its a good column.

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