Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tiger Woods news: sports agent Leigh Steinberg on Woods

All of these web titles: "tiger woods wife hospital", "joslyn james tiger woods", "gatorade drops tiger", and the seemingly endless parade of names from Rachel Uchitel and Jaimie Grubbs, to his wife Elin Nordegren, and even the word "mistress" have combined to alter our image of Tiger Woods and he's got to get out in front of the process. That's the advice of legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg.

Leigh Steinberg in his Newport Beach Office 

Curious to know how a sports agent would deal with Tiger Woods' enormous problems, I turned to Steinberg. Leigh Steinberg is credited with creating the era and the industry of the Super Sports Agent. The Cal-Berkeley (undergrad and Boalt Hall School of Law) graduate has represented a stable of number one NFL Draft quarterbacks, from Atlanta Falcons' Quarterback Steve Bartkowsky in 1973 to Warren Moon, John Elway, Drew Bledsoe,  Steve Young and others. Clients include Matt Leinart, Ben Roethlisberger, Howie Long, Mark Brunell, Ricky Williams, Lennox Lewis, Troy Aikman, Bruce Smith,Thurman Thomas, Kordell Stewart, and Warren Moon

Leigh's also had non-football clients like Olympic skater Katarina Witt, Eric Karros, Dusty Baker, Oscar de la Hoya, and John Starks to name some of them. Leigh played a cameo roll in and served as a consultant to the makers of the movie Jerry McQuire, staring Tom Cruise.   Steinberg's known as a popular media figure and hosts one of the hotest Super Bowl party tickets in town.  I should know as I've attended six of his celeb-filled events.

With his background, I knew Leigh would have a valuable perspective on Tiger Woods problems. First and foremost from an agents' view, will Woods' corporate sponsors dump him? Gatorade's decision to end the Tiger Woods drink wasn't a matter of a sponsor pulling away from Woods as the end of a specific product line. But if Nike were to jump ship that would be a different story. "Companies have millions and millions of dollars invested in an athlete like Tiger Woods," Leigh said, "so they're loath to just jump ship on such an investment."

"They are in the process of assessing what his 'Q rating' will be once all of this is done."

A "Q-rating" or "Q-score" is the number that's developed after a kind of survey process is done to determine a celebrity's level of popularity and visibility. Once that's done, Leign says companies will determine what their next move will be. In 2007 Tiger Woods was "a marketers dream" and called "golf's $6 billion man", but now that lofty position may be in jeopardy. Tiger Woods seemingly endless stream of news of alleged affairs is feeding the media beast.

"His timing is unfortunate," Steinberg observed. "All of this comes during the development of a massive industry designed and dedicated to chronicling the fall of the high and mighty." The "massive industry" Steinberg's referring to is New Media: the system of websites, blogs, social networks, television, radio, video, and cellphone cameras that work to advance the rapid transfer of information at never-before-seen rates.

"And he's hurt by the repetitive, relentless cycles of news and information, "Steinberg continued, "All of it effects how the public views him. It's like if you see the Rodney King beating over and over again. Your image of the LAPD (LA Police Department) is that they beat blacks. Ryan Leaf (Steinberg's famous melt-down story of a first-round NFL draft quarterback client) will always have the image of an angry person who yells at reporters because that (video of Leaf yelling at a reporter in the San Diego Chargers locker room in 1998) was replayed again and again."

Still is.

Steinberg says Tiger Woods needs to do what David Letterman has done: get out in front of and in control of the news cycle after revelations of his affair with aide Stefanie Birkitt came to light. The Jerry McGuire-star says Woods needs to first, assess his own behavior, second, own it or admit what he's done openly, and then make sure all of the known facts are gathered so Tiger Woods Management can rapidly answer any false claims in the future, and finally apologize and publicly explain that he's taken steps to control his behavior for the future.

The Tiger Woods Scandal is a big story because as Steinberg says, we're talking about someone who had a squeaky-clean image. "The problem is the shock value", Leigh offered, "the revelations come on a daily basis. Nike. AT&T, Buick, and all the corporate names are just hoping this all blows over.  We're talking about someone who's got a name bigger than everyone except Michael Jordan."  

Steinberg says that all of the negative news washes over the good things Tiger Woods has done through his foundation as well as his barrier-breaking success as an African American in a rich, white-man's sport: golf.    This isn't a case of there being no such thing as bad-PR because of his clean image being sullied by associations with porn stars.  Bad PR is hurting Woods.

Steinberg asserts that Woods can't expect to be a private person; the secrecy Woods craves is unrealistic.  Leigh counsels his athletes that they're always in the public eye in the age of the cell-phone camera.  One of his clients, Matt Leinart, learned that the hard way when photos of the Arizona Cardinals quarterback with an allegedly underage girl were taken using a cell phone... at Leinart's home.

If Tiger Woods wants to reclaim his image he should follow Leigh Steinberg's advice, and the sooner the better.

Joslyn James is Tiger Woods latest alleged affair

Joslyn James is Tiger Woods latest alleged affair? Who's she? Ok, maybe Fox News was right to go ahead and claim there was a 9th and 10th affair without naming names, because now we have Joslyn James, who's said to be another (drum roll please) porn star!

This time the news doesn't come from TMZ.com or RadarOnline.com; it comes from the ever-snarky DAl Daulerio of Deadspin, in a blog post called "Chaos In Tigerland: A Deadspin Investigation Into The Sexual Habits Of Pro Athletes".

Unlike the other blogs and articles on Tiger Woods alleged mistresses, one has to read deep into this one before the identify of one "Veronica Siwik-Daniels aka Joslyn James" becomes known. But the path to the information is worthwhile, because Daulerio gives the reader an excellent view into the dark social underbelly of the entertainment lifestyle of the wealthy athlete.

Veronica Siwik-Daniels aka Joslyn James

Now Veronica Siwik-Daniels has not issued a statement as of this writing, but Daulerio claims the Las Vegas owner of 'Itty Bittys by Joslyn James" according to her Linkedin page, was Tiger Woods mistress who provided him with "years of fateful service." Daulerio writes:

But here's what we've learned throughout this Tiger mess, which, in many ways, may change how some of these athletes are covered. Athletes have utilized the VIP service to engage in their affairs (and meet possible mistresses) for the sake of (supposed) privacy, philandering without the hassle of having to do any work themselves to land these women. It's a dirty business all around. But what to do now, since Tiger has gone and messed it up for a bunch of people who were pretty safe from prying eyes and camera lenses whenever they stepped out on their wives and girlfriends during Vegas weekends? CHAOS REIGNS ...

So for those who thought my innocent Super Bowl video was nothing, read Deadspin, then read my conversation about Tiger Woods with legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg.

Rush Limbaugh talks like a white supremacist

What the hell does Rush Limbaugh know about the "black frame of mind"? Nothing. Today, Tuesday, Rush, apparently upset that people are paying more attention to Tiger Woods than he, decided to say something so totally nuts I can only believe that he's paling around with white supremacists.

Rush uses a selection of an interview that Jesse Jackson did, not with Rush, talking about how urban blacks are being impacted by the poor economy. Limbaugh says we're (blacks) all livid and that we're especially upset about it and we feel abandoned.

Then Rush ends it all with a blast against Tiger Woods because his girlfriends were white, thinking that, again "we" have an issue with Woods racial choice of woman to sleep with.  

Well, I'm African American, Rush, and I don't feel abandoned by President Obama or upset him. But one thing I cam really tired of today is some black or white telling me what I think as a black person. Moreover, Tiger Woods can marry or whatever any kind of woman he wants to and it has no bearing on me.

We live in the 21st Century, Rush. And while I'm at it, I'm still unhappy with the Associated Press' Jesse Washington writing that hilarious article that the "Black Community" has alienated Tiger Woods. (And what's the heck's going on with the East Coast media and race? Is the Right Coast media segregated or something? Don't they know we're in the 21st Century?)

I'm beginning to think a low I.Q. and the desire to group people entirely by race go together. Racism is a mental illness. The idea that "the other" is just that can lead to all kinds of anti-social behavior. Just take what Rush said today.

Rush opens his mouth and makes these statements then wonders why the NFL rejects him. If Rush can't put two and two together, I'll help him.

Rush, the problem is you make hurtful statements about people who happen to be black, such that your statements add up to an attempt to marginalize and put down African Americans. As long as you keep doing that, Rush, the only part of an NFL team you'll ever own is a bobblehead.

Did Tiger Woods overdose before the car accident?

The news is at the top of search patterns and on television and shows no sign of going away. The possibility that Tiger Woods, the World's Greatest Golfer, had overdosed possibly on a combination of Ambien and Vicodin has colored the story of what happened to Woods on the night he wrecked his SUV.

Rather than the idea that Woods was hit with a golf club by his wife Elin Nordegren, (who as of this writing is back at home with Woods and her Mother-in-Law Barbro Holmberg who's out of the hospital after an emergency trip to deal with stomach pains ) it now looks that she may have smashed the windows of the 2009 Cadillac SUV if only to wake up the possibly groggy Woods.

Barbro Holmberg out of the hospital

TMZ.com reported the story early this morning and - even with all of the other Woods news - it's caught fire. If we look back, Windemere Police did not report an overdose and in retrospect may been protecting the privacy of Woods, since it seems they have known far more than they communicated to anyone, including the Florida Highway Patrol.

Stay tuned.

East Oakland man tasered, another rolls a joint; sideshows in East Oakland

Followers of my blogs may remember a YouTuber by the name of EASTOAKLAND106 (his capitals, not mine) who uses video to capture life as he experiences it in East Oakland between 106th and International Blvd, and the San Leandro boarder.

In the first blog post we saw two young men exact a unique form of street justice in dealing with an alleged drug dealer, and EASTOAKLAND106's camera took us to a side show.

This time he has more videos. The most recent one was of an obviously out-of-control person; our fearless YouTuber describes the event in this way:

This man was on a few pills and some drank i guess. As you seen in the street he was throwing hella shit in the street bottles pots, pants, pipes he was doing way to much so he came from the other side of his gate and they tased his ass you can hear it when they shoot the taser and the red marks on his clothes he went down for the count.

The second video has his friend from our first drug dealer video rolling a joint and describing the special features of his Buick Park Avenue that he wants to sell:

In this video, uploaded October 3, a group of young women are hanging out of a car turning in a circle in an intersection in East Oakland where Sideshows took place. One of the women falls off the trunk of the car as its moving.

And unless you think, as I did, that the Sideshow only happens at night, not so. Here's a video uploaded in June that has a daylight street party. In the video another group of women drive up to a set of young men twice: first to flash them, then to stop and talk to them. And no the women were not stopped; they slowly drove the car up to the men and stopped.

That Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid and others want to have a legal venue for these "happenings" is a good idea if only to stop the kind of traffic interruptions and safety threats the Sideshows bring. It's also clear there's little in the way of alternative entertainment geared for this demographic anywhere in Oakland, let alone East Oakland.

For those who may ask why I'm presenting this, it's because the vast majority of Oakland or San Francisco bloggers don't show it. What we get is a kind of upper-middle-class view of another part of Oakland on the North end of town. Few blogers, if any, pay attention to East Oakland.

Moreover the view of some in general is to want to sweep Oakland street culture under the visual rug. The mainstream media only shows East Oakland when someone's shot but it does not give anyone a view of what happens in the area on a regular basis. That should change.

Cowboys' Flozell Adams should be suspended for Justin Tuck hit

Dallas Cowboys Offensive Tackle Flozell Adams should be suspended for a series of potentially career-ending actions against New York Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck. What Adams has done in both games against the Giants this year are more than just personal fouls, they're personal cheap shots.

Adams has made no statement of contrition as of this writing. Have a look at Adams actions for yourself:

Oakland Parking upsets this Oaklander; she's shoping in Walnut Creek

The City of Oakland shows no sign of changing its aggressive and unnecessary parking enforcement policies and actions and the result is upsetting Oaklanders so much, some are shopping in places like Walnut Creek. Take this example: a message left at the Adams Point Neighborhood Yahoo Message Board:

Curious if others are experiencing the same thing.

I feel the parking enforcement has gotten a little out of hand. I usually get 1
or 2 tickets a year for parking during street cleaning. My error, but it would
be nice if the street cleaning actually cleaned the streets.

Recently I received a ticket when I had a paid & visible parking receipt in my
car window. On another day, I received a ticket while I was purchasing a
parking ticket. Another issue is after paying tickets weeks later I get "late
payment" notices asking for more money, even when I paid on time.

I'm curious if the parking issuers have new standards and quotas that are
causing them to be overzealous w/ the ticket issuing. I'm hoping our city
officials can look into this and respond.

I'm also curious about the late notices. How can they not know who has paid?
Do they return the money that gets sent in by people who pay when they don't
need to?

Oakland Resident/Wayne Ave.

P.S. I recently went to Walnut Creek (which I never do). Parking was plentiful
and only $1 an hour. This convenience is very important to me and unfortunately
I will be "shopping oakland" less.

The City of Oakland and Mayor Ron Dellums claim $65 million in Economic Simulus money, but can't stop gouging its people with parking tickets. Something's really wrong here. Visit the Oakland City Council tonight at 7 PM.

Tiger Woods ambulance update: 911 call came from Woods' home

An update in the Tiger Woods ambulance to hospital story: the 911 call that one Fire Department spokesperson told TMZ.com came from Woods home and then backed off on the report, then another source claimed came from another residence in the area is confirmed to have come from Tiger Woods home.

And while that was going on, Jaimie Grubbs, another alleged mistress of Tiger Woods, is revealing just how much she hates men. According to Radar Online.com, Grubbs said that "boys" were "like toys" to her.

Jaimie Grubbs is not showing a good side of herself and the media's not helping her cover it up. The public news is that she worked or works in a medical marijuana store and was arrested for shop lifting. But what's more terrible is that Jaimie Grubbs opens up and first allegedly sells a voicemail of a person said to be Woods to US Weekly for $150,000, then uses an affair that's obviously contributing to the emotional harm of the Woods family to develop her own fame.

Very bad behavior.

Stay tuned.

Tiger Woods ambulance news: 911 call for Barbro Holmberg, Woods mom-in-law

In the Tiger Woods ambulance story this update: the 911 call was made for Tiger Woods mother-in-law, Barbro Holmberg.

Barbro Holmberg

TMZ.com reports Barbro Holmberg, Elin Nordegren's mother and a Swedish Social Democratic politician, was rushed to the hospital after complaining of stomach pains.

According to the New York Daily News, Homberg she was appointed Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy in the Swedish Government on October 10, 2003 and left office October 6, 2006 after the Swedish government election.

For more on the Woods hospital story, click here.

Tiger Woods hospital news: woman on advanced life support released

An as of this writing unidentified middle-aged blonde woman was rushed to Health Center hospital early this morning and is now released. According to TMZ.com, the Orange County (Florida) Fire Department spokesperson reported that 911 call came from Tiger Woods home, but then the Fire Department rep backed off the story.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren (Zap2it.com)

TMZ explains that sources have told them the mother of Tiger Woods' Wife Elin Nordegren had traveled from Sweden to the United States to be with her daughter.

There are conflicting reports. Some claim that the 911 call came from Woods house; others say it came nearby. The second report may be the case, as it matches with Monday's new of Woods wife moving out of their home and into that of a friend in the area.

According to WKMG a woman was taken to the hospital and followed by a blonde woman in a black Escalade from Deacon Circle to Heath Center Hospital. The same hospital that Woods himself was taken to after his car accident. Here's the video link from TMZ.com (embed code was not operating): LINK

RadarOnline.com reports that the woman has been released from the hospital as of 9:41 AM EST.  They describer her as in her 50s with "blondish-gray" hair. 

Stay tuned.

Oakland got $65 million in Economic Stimulus; where's the jobs?

I received this email from Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' Oakland Community Task Force late Sunday night:

Hear Mayor Dellums report on stimulus funding (some of which will fund task force-related recommendations). Oakland has received $65 million in stimulus funding, including half from competitive grants.

A preliminary review of selected cities indicates that this makes Oakland second after Chicago (my emphasis) in the amount of competitive funding received. And Oakland is not, by any means, the second largest city. Congratulations to the Mayor, the wonderful city staff led by task force member Margaretta Lin, and other task force members who participated in the planning process and grant writing.

Ok. Great.  The Mayor's giving a City Council report tonight on Economic Stimulus money to Oakland for ...$65 million?  Wow. 

But here's the question: where are the jobs?

Oakland is a city of just around 400,000 people; the Chicago Metro area's about 4 million. To compare Oakland to a much bigger city in terms of monies received is one thing but it also means what's done with the cash is to be questioned.

$65 million is a lot of money.

I check the City of Oakland's Economic Stimulus Website and found something disturbing: a list of program grants applied for that had not been updated in months. Under the estimate of jobs to be created most of the boxes had TBA which I guess means "To Be Added".

And for those areas where jobs were listed, the total was just over 2,500 positions.  But 1,750 of those were from a block grant program that the website doesn't report the City got money for.   It doesn't read that the City of Oakland was rejected either - it really doesn't tell you much of anything beyond the application due date and the program description.  


This website has not been updated in months!   Terrible!  

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is scheduled to present the Oakland Economic Stimulus report tonight, Tuesday, at 7 PM at Oakland City Hall. Ask him what happened to the $65 million.

He will tell you that most of the money has not been claimed, but how much has not? Also, when will the jobs become available? Now, or in stages over the next year? And if it's in stages will that be enough to offset projected higher unemployment rates?

And then ask him with $65 million, why does the City of Oakland gouge its residents with high parking ticket costs and overly aggressive enforcement?