Friday, November 27, 2009

Notre Dame beats Stanford; Swarbrick keeps Charlie Weis

Notre Dame at Stanford's shaped up to be an epic battle. It airs Saturday at 5 PM PST; 8 PM EST on ESPN and has a storyline with more subplots than Gone With The Wind.

In fact that's what Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis will be if The Fighting Irish don't emerge from Stanford Stadium with a win against the Cardinal. Weis' team has lost against UConn and Pittsburgh the weekend before that and are out of the BCS picture. At 6 and 5, a win gives Notre Dame seven victories, which would be a one game improvement over the year before and a shot at a better bowl game.

Charlie Weis and Jimmy Clausen

But beating Stanford would give the Cardinal five losses and the same number as that for Notre Dame. A wild consideration given that just two weeks ago Stanford was in line for the Rose Bowl; Cal's Big Game victory last Saturday ended that possibility.

But Stanford's Jim Harbaugh's already looking at a better contractual future win or lose to Notre Dame; Weis is coaching for his job. In a New York Times interview, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick made a comment that gave me a clue as to the importance of this game as he was talking about former AD Kevin White...

He (White) is part of a group of athletic directors that I lean on and talk to and spend time with. Bowlsby, Wellman, Kevin, Gene DeFilippo at B.C. We’re schools that deal with similar issues. Jimmy Phillips at Northwestern.

"Bowlsby" is Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby, who will be in the stadium with Swarbrick Saturday. As often as they talk with each other and with their relationship, I just feel that a Weis win on Bowlsby's turf will save Swarbrick's face and Weis job.

I'm sure Weis knows that, and has already said "I'm ready to play Stanford", which means he's going to coach his butt off. Yeah, I could tell you that Notre Dame's got the perfect offensive approach to beat Stanford, but on defense Notre Dame needs to play tight and close to stop the run and Toby Gerhard to really have a chance. I could say Stanford's playing for an eight-win season and a good bowl game, but really they're playing to save face from being beaten by Cal.

I could say all that, and more. But the bottom line is Charlie Weis' coaching future is on the line and he knows it. Until today it seemed as if the media had all but fired Weis; it's Swarbrick's call. Look for Weis to come out swinging at Stanford. Look for Weis to come away with a win.

Tiger Woods car accident ends bad week for golfer

Tiger Woods car accident ends an unfortunate week for the star golfer. According to, Wood was in an accident in his 2009 Cadillac SUV, and ....

in "serious" condition after being involved in a single car crash near his home in Florida early this morning.

The crash occurred at 2:20 AM in Windermere. He was taken to Health Central Hospital with facial lacerations.

Woods struck a fire hydrant and then a tree on a neighbor's property. The fire hydrant is reportedly less than 100 feet from his driveway.

Police say alcohol was not a factor. There were no signs of alcohol on the scene. We're told the police have yet to speak to Tiger.

The latest is that he's released from the hospital.

Additionally, Woods was traveling at less than 33 MPH, according to the Telegraph UK.

UPDATE: The AP reports that Tiger Woods wife Elin Nordegren used a golf club to smash the window of the car and help him out of it.

It was a hard week for Tiger Woods, who last Saturday was inducted in the Stanford Sports Hall of Fame, then watched as his Stanford Cardinal lost to the Cal Golden Bears, 34 to 28 in "The Big Game."

Then Woods was the focus of an Internet rumor of an affair by the words of one Rachel Uchitel, who the Hollywood Reporter says is basically full of it and has a habit of such claims. Then finally this accident.

Let's hope it gets better for Tiger. Stay tuned.

Adam Lambert meet Elizabeth Lambert: the male/female double standard

From what I know as of this writing Adam Lambert and Elizabeth Lambert aren't related at all. But the fact that they share the same last name Lambert caused me to wonder if they were kindred sprits. After all, within the past 30 days, both have been the focus of internet chatter on their outrageous behavior.

That Adam Lambert openly kissed his male guitarist and ground one of his performers face into his crotch, then said he had nothing to apologize for, made me wonder what our reaction would have been if Elizabeth Lambert had said "I grabbed hair and punched my opponent to win; I have nothing to apologize for because that's the way the game's played."

I think it would have gone something like this: Lambert would have been suspended but gained a ground-swell of support from both male and female athletes, who then would be countered by their teammates claiming to support "clean play". Lambert would be quickly booked on all of the morning talk shows. On The View Whoppi would challenge Elizabeth to a fight saying "Girl if you ever dreamed of grabbing my hair I'd wipe the field with you," to which Lambert would just smile and flex a bicep.

Elizabeth Lambert

On Larry King Live, Lambert would advocate for female athletes to use "tough, hard, and win-at-all-costs" play tactics and eliminate the idea of the weak, defenseless woman once and for all. Lambert would then reach over and tweek King's suspenders, giving him another YouTube moment on the heels of Carrie Prejean.

Eventually, Elizabeth Lambert would be offered a deals for a book called "Why I Did It" and a reality TV show named "Female Tough: Elizabeth Lambert On Sports". Within two year's Lambert would be rich, a new era of dirty but online-media-ready-play would take over female athletics, and guys all over would be turned on by and drawn to the new, hard, take-no-prisoners attitude of female athletics. Women's sports program deficits would end, recruiting efforts would accelerate, and TV ratings would skyrocket.

And all of that because Elizabeth Lambert dared speak what was on her mind rather than hide behind the socially-acceptable role crafted for women athletes, basically telling the New York Times that person on the field woman-handling BYU wasn't her.


I'm not condoning dirty play in sports, but as I've said before Elizabeth Lambert is the modern female athlete. I just wish we'd accept her as she is and stop trying to control her. Elizabeth, that was you out there, just let go and admit it.

Oakland Barnes and Noble may close Jan. 31, 2010

According to Sanjiv Handa of the East Bay News Service the enormous Oakland Barnes and Noble bookstore at 98 Broadway in Jack London Square may close Jan. 31, 2010. Barnes and Noble is expected to make an official disclosure next week, baring any intervention from the City of Oakland to persuade them to remain open.

Sanjiv Handa reports that the anticipated closure will cost the City of Oakland's government $125,000 in annual general fund revenue. (He forgot the additional revenue from the predatory parking ticket policy, but admits its harder to quantify.)

The closure of Barnes and Noble is a blow to Oakland but the problem of its low profitability comes as no surprise. Chain bookstores around the Bay Area and around America have closed under the weight of the transition to online sources for news and information and the growth of online booksellers like 

San Francisco's Stacey's Book Store on Market Street closed in 2008 for similar reasons.

This would not leave Oakland without a bookstore.  The popular  independent bookseller Walden Pond Books on 3316 Grand Avenue is still open; no reports of a planned closure.   Just keep the Oakand parking attendants from chasing the customers away and it will do fine.

But that aside, the loss of Barnes and Noble would be a blow to the image of Jack London Square as the space the bookstore occupies is so large that it was an major anchor tenant. What will the Port of Oakland do to replace them?

Stay tuned. 

OSCAR ALERT - Screen Credits and Music Entry Form Due December 1 for Academy Awards

OSCAR ALERT. You have until December 1 to get your Screen Credits and Music Entry Forms in to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) if your movie is to be considered for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. From the press release, AMPAS explains:

For a feature film to be considered for the 2009 Awards, the film’s distributor or producer must file an OSC form with the Academy by 5 p.m. PT on December 1. If a feature film is released in 2009 and the completed OSC form is not submitted by the deadline, the film will be ineligible for Academy Awards in any year.

OSC forms may be submitted online only, at Information about submission and feature film eligibility can be obtained by contacting Credits Coordinator Howard Loberfeld at (310) 247-3000, ext. 113, or via e-mail at

For an achievement to be considered in the Original Score or Original Song category, the principal music writer(s) for a feature film must submit an official music submission form by 5 p.m. PT on December 1.

To request music submission materials, contact Dave Hanson at (310) 247-3000, ext. 151, or via e-mail at

While the credits submission deadline is December 1, feature films have until midnight, December 31, to open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days to be eligible for 2009 Oscar® consideration.

Entries in the foreign language, animated feature, documentary, and short film categories are subject to special rules and must meet other qualifying criteria. The entry deadlines in these categories have already passed.

The deadlines have been communicated before; it would be sad to learn that a great film missed being nominated because of paperwork issues. Hopefully those responsible will pay attention to this deadline notice.