Friday, March 26, 2010

Tennessee v. Ohio State one for the ages, but no-foul-call a problem

The Tennessee Volunteers upset the Ohio State Buckeyes in a classic, down-to-the-wire 76-73 NCAA Tournament game that had the full attention of the crowd at The Royal Exchange in San Francisco (especially since the home region St. Mary's Gaels were being blown out by Baylor and eventually lost 72 to 49.

The Tennessee v. Ohio State game was great, but what's bothersome is the way it ended - the last shot. That foul not called. The one ESPN doesn't mention in its recap. The one that's the talk of every forum on the game. It's no way to end a game, and it's no wonder Ohio State's Evan Turner walked off the court without shaking anyone's hand.

It's a non-call that will be talked about or dismissed for years. But it's over. Tennessee beat Ohio State to be part of the NCAA Elite Eight.

Stay tuned.

Jesse James mistresses pictures new hot search - why?

The new never-ending story of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James is undoubtedly a sad one but it's ever sadder still with the new demand for photos of all four alleged mistresses, Melissa Smith, Brigitte Daguerre, an alleged Mistress 4 who's represented by Gloria Allred, and the Nazi-bikini-wearing Michelle "Bombshell" McGee. (Yes, the line has been used before here.)

Of all the so-called mistresses, none of them are as attractive as Jesse James' wife, Sandra Bullock, so the demand for pictures is a bit unfortunate, not to mention questionable.

Tatoos all over the body look like permanent dirt to this blogger; to each his or her own is certainly the rule here, but let's get serious. Sandra Bullock's a hot, successful, powerful woman without tatoos.

Jesse James allegedly cheating on Bullock is awful, but to do so with a group of women that combined can't even can't hold a candle to Sandra Bullock is an insult to Bullock let alone American celebrity culture.

Why can't he have an affair with some hot female Hollywood studio exec?  They do exist, you know?  Someone who could help Jesse get more high-dollar roles for his wife, Sandra Bullock.    Now that's called thinking with both parts of the body.

That Jesse James is associated with this crew is almost an assault on the senses. Hopefully none of these stories is true, but if they are, why select women who aren't as accomplished as Sandra Bullock?

OK, Brigitte Daguerre lacks the tats and isn't a stripper. Yeah! But she still doesn't look as good as Sandra Bullock, openly claims to have slept with Jesse James, and isn't a studio exec, so no points there. Plus, Brigitte Daguerre says she's kept 195 text messages allegedly from Jesse James.

But how do we really know the texts are from Jesse James? All James has to do is say "That's not my number" and her story's toast.

Unless Daguerre has a voicemail she saved. You know, like the one Jamie Grubbs saved from Tiger Woods. No record of that as of this writing.

Stay tuned.

The psychological impact of being in the spotlight: the emotional struggle of celebrities

Most of us imagine feeling happy and content should we ever achieve the wealth, fame and notoriety associated with being a celebrity. However, the experience of being a person who is highly visible in the media can take a tremendous toll on one’s psychological functioning. Even the most grounded actors, musicians, professional athletes, and high-ranking officials are vulnerable to the deleterious effects of being in the media spotlight. In his research, Jib Fowles, author of Star Struck: Celebrity Performers and the American Public (Smithsonian Institute Press), found that the average age of death for celebrities overall, was 58, compared to an average of 72 years for other Americans. His findings also revealed that celebrities are almost four times more likely to kill themselves than the average American. This article serves to explore the negative psychological impact of being in the media spotlight, which leads many celebrities to struggle emotionally.

As you read the following points, consider which celebrities have exhibited these traits to their own detriment.

No privacy. Everything celebrities do is publicized for the world to see, discuss, and mock. We love reading about the gaffes and gossip of the rich and famous, the more embarrassing, the better. A celebrity’s natural response to this level of intense scrutiny is increased self-consciousness and paranoia. Many celebrities, particularly those in the political arena, grow weary of the unrealistic standards they are held to, and begin to feel resentful of the limitations of being in the public spotlight. They may “act out” in response to feeling suffocated by their carefully constructed public image. Self-destructive, acting out behaviors often include unsavory sexual appetites, scandalous liaisons, volatile outbursts, or other destructive patterns such as uncontrolled substance use. Exposure of their behaviors by the media can lead to overwhelming feelings of shame when their public image is destroyed.

Lost sense of self. Many celebrities feel unable to assert their individuality in a media world fraught with stereotypes. As the media and fans develop a false perception of a celebrity (which is often one-dimensional) a celebrity begins to lose track of the multi-faceted aspects of their own personality. This causes them to make choices that no longer reflect their true self, which further compromises their sense of identity. Over time, they feel increasingly isolated and alone and have difficulty trusting others.

Loss of challenges. The experience of reaching the pinnacle of your goals and realizing it’s not as fulfilling as you think can be disconcerting. You’ve landed your dream job and begin settling in after your first big break…at first it’s exhilarating, but then you eventually wonder, “Is this all there is?” When a celebrity begins to feel they have nothing left to strive for – i.e. they’ve “made it”, suddenly they are left struggling to fill that empty emotional space with something even more thrilling or risqué. Often celebrities turn to taking increasingly bigger and more dangerous risks, as a way to regain a sense of challenge.

Imposter syndrome. Some celebrities are bewildered by their fame, knowing that they are far from perfect. The feeling of being an imposter occurs when people don’t feel they deserve their success. Celebrities may also fear being discovered, i.e. that the public will find out that they’re not as talented, intelligent, or attractive as they are portrayed in the media. They become keenly aware that their fans have idealized them in a way that is impossible to match in real life. Consequently, celebrities can begin to feel their gifts are no longer enough, leaving them with a sense of inadequacy.

Quest for media spotlight immortality. Many celebrities fear their fame is fleeting, which leads them to constantly obsess about losing the attention of their fans and the media. After a celebrity’s fame peaks, it is often a brutal ride downward as they garner less attention from others. The loss of the spotlight can leave people feeling bereft of purpose and importance. As a result celebrities often become desperate to regain notoriety and in doing so, become prone to buffoonery. In the wake of this loss, they often turn to self-destructive behaviors as a means to cope with overwhelming feelings of failure.

This article was composed by Christina Villarrreal, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist in Oakland, CA

Golden State Warriors to SF just media chatter

The possible sale of The Golden State Warriors has got "Warriors to SF" fans excited once again. The last time there was this much interest in the possibility was 1997 through 1998, when the Warriors were temporarily playing their games at the HP Pavilion in San Jose until the newly refurbished Oakland (Oracle) Arena was finished.

Then, like today, the idea of the Warriors moving to San Francisco was floated in the media, and without checking with anyone in Oakland regarding the Warriors lease situation, and that's happening again today. The idea of the Warriors moving to SF has spread like wildfire online and offline.

Someone forgot to call Oakland City Attorney John Russo. Aside from representing the City of Oakland in legal negotiations with its sports teams, Russo was also an Oakland Councilmember and was there when the Warriors were waiting for the then-new Oracle Arena to be complete. Today, he says that the idea of the Warriors going to San Francisco is just "media chatter."

"Everything that's come up about the Warriors is just talk. No one who's an officer or an owner or a potential owner of the Warriors has said anything about leaving Oakland," Russo said Thursday. "It's quite different from the Oakland situation where the owner (of the Oakland A's) introduced the Mayor of San Jose at that mayor's State of The City Address, and that mayor saying he's trying to get them down there. No one who is lining up (to buy the Warriors) has said anything to me. There's nothing other than the speculation of different people. It's all media chatter."

Anyone with an idea of moving the Warriors anywhere would be wise to talk to Russo first. The City of Oakland's lawyer has openly stated a desire to file lawsuits against cities and organizations that try to pry Oakland's sports teams away from Oakland. Russo expressed it in my video interview with him last fall and regarding the Oakland A's brazen attempts to leave Oakland for San Jose. Russo sees it as economic tampering and tortious interference. The last legal term is when a third party tries to interfere in a contract between two parties. In this case, the "two parties" are Oakland and its sports teams.

In the matter of the Oakland A's lease situation of 1997 and the "East Bay Entities" clause allowing the City of Oakland to find a buyer that would keep the team in Oakland and the attempt to sell it to supermarket developer Bob Piccinini in 1999, Russo said "In the A's case that ("East Bay Entities" clause) was part of the workout of the lawsuit the A's brought against the City and the County by the Oakland A's. (Where the A's claimed the "leasehold", or their ability to gain value from using the Coliseum Stadium, was damaged by the return of the Raiders in 1995.) That settlement should have had a damage clause in case they (the A's or Major League Baseball) did not approve the sale of the team." Russo says that (aborted sale) was the only case where MLB did not approve a sale to an owner, and Russo's still smarting about it. Indeed, as Mayor Elihu Harris' Economic Advisor at the time, so is this blogger.

Russo says the Warriors lease contains provisions for what the Warriors have to do in consideration for the City of Oakland should they try to leave Oakland or are sold. Again, Russo has not had that conversation with Warriors owner Chris Cohan or anyone else connected in any way with the Warriors. He said he had one phone call from a sports executive who asked about the Warriors lease agreement, but Russo did not disclose who that person was.

Russo has a great deal of respect for Chris Cohan, who has had a great working relationship with Russo. "Cohan ownership has been easy to work with," Russo said. "I can't speak to why they had such a hard time putting a winning team on the court. They did put money into it. Gave two rich contracts to people. I feel bad for Chris."

Stay tuned.

Sandra Bullock and Jesse James: James had four mistresses?

The last time this space turned to the matter of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, there was one alleged mistress: Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, and Bullock's publicist overwhelmed with trying to put out the fire that were divorce rumors. Now, in the space of just over one day, one alleged mistress has expanded to four according to and other sources: Melissa Smith, Brigitte Daguerre, an alleged Mistress 4 who's represented by Gloria Allred, and the Nazi-bikini-wearing Michelle "Bombshell" McGee.


And from the account, the alleged relationship with Mistress 4 "just recently ended after the scandal broke." Which makes one wonder if Jesse James had more than one affair going on at once, in addition to his marriage to Sandra Bullock. And at least two of the women, Michelle McGee and Melissa Smith are strippers. Melissa Smith was uncovered after she agreed to an interview that's in The Star Magazine and as reported by The NY

The third woman, Brigitte Daguerre, is an LA-area photographer according to CNN. According to, their affair was in 2008, after Jesse James hired Brigitte Daguerre to do a West Coast Choppers photo shoot. TMZ reports James' rep had no comment.

All of this is becoming a story of Tiger Woods proportions. Fortunately, as of this writing, there's no other "white supremacist" charge leveled against any of the new alleged mistresses.

Stay tuned.

Urban Meyer owes Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler an apology

Florida Football Head Coach Urban Meyer owes Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler an apology after ripping into him about quoting Florida Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson. Was Urban really upset about the chance that Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow's value in the 2010 NFL Draft will be negatively impacted?

Urban Meyer was terribly out of line in scolding and arguably threatening Orlando Sentinel sports reporter Jeremy Fowler. When news of the confrontation first came to light, the logical expectation was that Jeremy Fowler wrote something inappropriate about either Urban Meyer or one of his players. For example, asserting that someone committed a crime they didn't do. But that's not what happened at all.

What happened was that Florida Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson was quoted by a number of reporters and is seen in this video below as explaining that...

(John) Brantley is a pure passer. He ain't trying to run; he's just going to straight pass. Any receiver would be happy. You have a guy like Brantley throwing the ball, spreading it around to everybody. ...You never know with Tim. You can bolt, you think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything’s with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback."

All the Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler did was write blog entry with that quote. This one:

Florida Gators WR Deonte Thompson sounds happy to usher in post-Tebow era

And that's what sent Urban Meyer through the roof. Here's the video where Urban Meyer confronts Jeremy Fowler:

Yes, Coach Meyer cares about his players, but that care has to extend to teaching them when to talk and when not to. As anyone can see, Deonte Thompson ran off at the mouth in talking about John Brantley versus Tim Tebow. That's not Jeremy Fowler's fault. Why didn't Coach Meyer go after the person who made the video? What was that person supposed to do? Turn the camera off?

Deonte Thompson told the truth about Tim Tebow from a valuable perspective: that of a receiver who's worked with him. Even Tim Tebow himself agreed with Deonte Thompson according to the Palm Beach Post:

I think (Thompson) was just saying how it is. (I) might be scrambling for a while, and throw it up to you. Brantley's more of a guy who throws on timing. You know when it's going to come there or it's not going to come there. It's how me and Brantley are. Just stating facts, I think.

And that, the ability to just agree with an opposing point of view, even if it's against him in a way, is one reason why Tim Tebow is so highly valued. Urban Meyer was wrong and should apologize to Jeremy Fowler ASAP.