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By Leigh Steinberg | September 15, 2012
When I was a child growing up in the 1950s, Major League Baseball was the national pastime. Baseball dominated media sports coverage. But that is no longer the case. The extraordinary shift is confirmed by the television Nielsen ratings for Sept. 3-9. The NBC coverage of last week's Steeler-Bronco game had 27.5 million viewers and was the top-rated show. The second-rated show was NBC coverage of the Cowboy-Giant Wednesday night game with almost 24 million viewers. The third rated show was NBC's Sunday pregame show with an audience of 20 million.
By Leigh Steinberg | September 8, 2012
Are you ready for some football? The first full weekend of NFL games kicks off Sunday, but this won't by any normal opening weekend. Something critical is missing — real NFL officials. The league and its officials have been deadlocked throughout the summer on terms for a new contract. In a move reminiscent of President Reagan and the air traffic controllers, the NFL decided to start the season without them, turning to replacement officials. NFL games are the most difficult in team sports to officiate.
By Lauren Williams | August 10, 2012
A former NFL linebacker was sentenced Friday to life without the possibility of parole for the 1994 slaying of a wealthy Newport Beach businessman, prosecutors said. Eric Naposki, 45, and his then-lover, Nanette Packard, 47, killed Bill McLaughlin in a scheme to take $1 million in insurance money and live in McLaughlin's waterfront house rent-free for a year, prosecutor Matt Murphy told jurors at Naposki's trial last year. At the time, Packard dated and lived with McLaughlin.
By Joe Haakenson, Special to the Daily Pilot | July 14, 2012
Kevin Brown, a University High football player, recently was selected to be a part of the NFL's mentoring program, an opportunity exclusive to just four high school football players in the nation this year. Brown initially was nominated for the program by his coach, Mark Cunningham, and he was later selected after each player submitted an essay. "I wrote about how a Hall of Famer could change my future, how he could help me become a better leader and support my team," said Brown, who is getting ready for his senior season at Uni. "And, how we could help me out in all areas of my life.
By Lauren Williams | May 18, 2012
SANTA ANA — A woman who plotted with a former NFL linebacker to kill her Newport Beach boyfriend received a life sentence without the possibility of parole on Friday. Nanette Packard, 46, sat stone faced in Orange County Superior Court as the verdict was read. Dressed in a pink cardigan, a black shirt and skirt, with a faded blond streak in her curly brown hair, Packard did not speak or apologize to the 40 or so people gathered in the courtroom, some of them family and friends of the victim.
April 28, 2012
What was a private, low key NFL Draft 30 years ago, has become a three-day sponsored and promoted Ramadan of the annual player selection. What you didn't see was the excruciating tension the college players and their friends and families are experiencing in homes across the country. I have been fortunate to have represented over 60 first-round draft picks, eight of whom were the very first pick in the first round. I have also spent almost 40 years sharing this penultimate moment of pressure followed by joy at players' homes and in New York.
By Steve Virgen | April 24, 2012
Paul Salata, the creator of Mr. Irrelevant, has some history with the team making the final pick in the NFL Draft that starts Thursday and ends Saturday. Salata, a Newport Beach resident, played for the Colts when they were in Baltimore in 1950. He connected with future Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle, catching 50 passes in 12 games after being traded from the San Francisco 49ers early in the season. Salata, 85, likes to find connections to the team making the selection and later with the player drafted as Mr. Irrelevant.
By Leigh Steinberg | March 24, 2012
So it is a weekend in March with "March Madness" having the equivalent of their semifinals for the NCAA men's basketball championships. Countless millions of folks across the country, some of whom never watch a college game, have filled out brackets with their predictions. The amount of money changing hands in the next eight days is enough to finance a small country for a year. Spring training is drawing to a close with Opening Day not far away. The NBA is running it's accelerated schedule, with games being played more frequently than ever before.
By Steve Virgen | March 7, 2012
There's a part of a mission statement for a local youth basketball club that reads: OC Vision Basketball is dedicated to offering each member in our program the unique opportunity to enhance and build their talents, character, and confidence through motivation, dedication, self-discipline and commitment. As for leadership, Darius Durham provides the unique opportunity. He can speak from experience. At 50 his voice is treasured for this different basketball club based in Newport Coast.
By B.W. Cook | March 7, 2012
Athletes First, a Newport Beach-based sports agency that represents some 80 professional football players, joined forces with the Orangewood Children's Foundation to present the 2012 Athletes First Classic. The event attracted more than 700 guests for a major Friday night gala at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort. The weekend also included a golf event, which attracted 180 players on the field, including celebrity athletes Aaron Rodgers , Todd Heap , Brandon Jacobs , and Reggie Wayne , to name a few. The major event was chaired by Stephanie Argyros , Wing Lam and Jeff Roos . Funds are still being tallied but organizers expect to raise more than $600,000 net from both events, all benefiting the Orangewood Children's Foundation.
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