This is the international trailer for Sony’s new movie “The Green Hornet” starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou as Britt Reid and Kato (respectively). This is based on the classic characters created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker in the 1930s, known best as a TV series in the 60’s with Van Williams & Bruce Lee. Sony is bringing The Green Hornet to theaters (in 3D) starting on January 14th next year. Enjoy!
George M. Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the New York Yankees since 1973, who returned the storied franchise to prominence both on and off the field and won seven World Series titles, died Tuesday. He was 80.
Steinbrenner suffered a massive heart attack at his home in Tampa, Fla. The Steinbrenner family confirmed his passing in a statement issued by the Yankees.
“He was an incredible and charitable man,” the family said in the statement. “He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again.”
Steinbrenner was the longest tenured owner in Major League Baseball. Through his purchase of a downtrodden Yankees franchise in 1973, Steinbrenner became one of the game’s best-known personalities; a demanding type who earned the long-standing nickname, “The Boss.”
Steinbrenner’s passing occurred nine months after the Yankees celebrated their 27th World Series title and first since 2000, a victory they dedicated to Steinbrenner. As the team hoisted the championship trophy over the infield at Yankee Stadium, they did so under a graphic that read, “This one’s for you, Boss.”
“On behalf of Baseball, I am very saddened by the passing this morning of George Steinbrenner,” said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “George was a giant of the game, and his devotion to baseball was surpassed only by his devotion to his family and his beloved New York Yankees. He was and always will be as much of a New York Yankee as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and all of the other Yankee legends.
“I have known George ever since he entered the game in 1972. He was my dear friend for nearly four decades. Although we would have disagreements over the years, they never interfered with our friendship and commitment to each other. Our friendship was built on loyalty and trust and it never wavered. We were allies and friends in the truest sense of the words.”
In New York, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that the flags would be lowered in City Hall Plaza to honor Steinbrenner’s achievements. A moment of silence was planned to take place prior to Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Angel Stadium.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Steinbrenner family,” Bloomberg said. “This is a sad day not only for Yankee fans, but for our entire city, as few people have had a bigger impact on New York over the past four decades than George Steinbrenner.”
Steinbrenner’s leadership style was perhaps best represented by a plaque he placed upon his desk at Yankee Stadium, which read: “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.” Steinbrenner led, and it was up to his employees to decide between their other two choices.
“George was The Boss, make no mistake,” said Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. “He built the Yankees into champions and that’s something nobody can ever deny. He was a very generous, caring, passionate man. George and I had our differences, but who didn’t? We became great friends over the last decade and I will miss him very much.”
Born on July 4, 1930, in Rocky River, Ohio, Steinbrenner grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Bay Village and established his connections to the sports world at an early age, as a multi-sport athlete at Culver Military Academy in Indiana and at Williams College, from which he graduated in 1952.
Steinbrenner served two years in the Air Force before launching a coaching career, first at Aquinas High School in Columbus, Ohio, before accepting football assistant coaching positions at two Big Ten schools: Northwestern in 1955 and Purdue in 1956.
Preceding his purchase of the Yankees at age 42, Steinbrenner had assumed control of the American Ship Building Company. He briefly owned the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball Association and flirted with acquiring both an NBA franchise and the Cleveland Indians baseball club before ultimately landing his treasured prize in the Bronx.
“Owning the Yankees,” Steinbrenner once said, “is like owning the Mona Lisa.”
On Jan. 3, 1973, a group headed by Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees from the CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting Company, for a net of $8.7 million, re-injecting funds — and more important, hope — into a franchise that had experienced a period of dormancy in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
At a press conference announcing the deal, Steinbrenner famously told reporters that he did not intend to be a hands-on owner, a statement that Steinbrenner himself would later laugh at.
“We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned,” Steinbrenner said. “We’re not going to pretend we’re something we aren’t. I’ll stick to building ships.”
Instead, Steinbrenner helped the Yankees build a dynasty through heavy utilization of the free-agent market. Though once critical of free agency, saying that it could “ruin baseball,” Steinbrenner soon became one of its biggest proponents.
Pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter received a record-setting $3.35 million contract in 1974, and slugger Reggie Jackson netted a five-year, $3.5 million deal after the 1976 season.
“George Steinbrenner’s passion for the game of baseball helped revive one of the game’s most storied franchises, and in the process ushered in the modern era of baseball business operations.” said Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. “Mr. Steinbrenner understood and embraced the power of the players, and he put this knowledge to good use in establishing the Yankees as one of the sports world’s most iconic brands.”
Steinbrenner brokered deals with stars face-to-face, famously leading Jackson through the streets of New York during their courtship. It took Steinbrenner just five years to turn the Yankees into World Series champions once again.
Steinbrenner’s ownership of the Yankees spanned seven championships, 11 American League pennants and two dynasties, one of which — the team’s run of two World Series victories and three appearances from 1977-1981 — is remembered as the controversial “The Bronx Zoo” era.
In that time period, Steinbrenner became famous for his headline-grabbing statements and frequent changes of managers and general managers, all in relentless pursuit of a victorious Major League club.
“Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing,” Steinbrenner once said. “Breathing first, winning second.”
In his first 23 seasons, Steinbrenner switched managers 20 times — including hiring and firing Billy Martin on five occasions — and went through 11 general managers in 30 years. The payoff came in the form of back-to-back World Series titles over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 and 1978, the Yankees’ first consecutive titles since 1961 and 1962.
The Yankees also appeared in the 1981 World Series against Los Angeles, though the end result was unacceptable to Steinbrenner, who issued a public apology to the city of New York for the six-game defeat. The Yankees did not win a World Series championship throughout the 1980s, the first decade since the 1910s in which they failed to do so.
“George was like a father figure to me,” said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, a former Yankees player and two-time manager who, like Steinbrenner, was a Tampa resident. “He treated me well, he treated me fair and he gave me a wonderful opportunity to play and manage the game we all love.
“George will be remembered as one of the most influential and renowned owners of a franchise in sports history. He leaves a legacy of winning and an unwavering passion for success. My wife Anita and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Steinbrenner family and the Yankees organization. George was very special to me and I loved him.”
The Yankees’ more recent dynasty of four World Series championships from 1996-2000 was constructed behind Steinbrenner’s decidedly more hands-off approach. Joe Torre lasted as manager for 12 seasons, and a blossoming farm system allowed the Yankees to reap the rewards of developing players like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams to great success, while still adding free agents to round out talented rosters.
“I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a great humanitarian, and a dear friend,” Torre said on Tuesday. “I will be forever grateful that he trusted me with his Yankees for 12 years. My heart goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed in New York, Tampa and throughout the world of baseball. It’s only fitting that he went out as a world champ.”
Steinbrenner’s ownership of the Yankees was by far the longest of any owner in the storied franchise’s history, exceeding the stewardship of Col. Jacob Ruppert, who purchased the club in 1915 and served as owner for 24 years until his death in January 1939.
“Today we lost a great person, a great leader and a great American,” said Yankees president Randy Levine. “There will never be anyone like George Steinbrenner. He was a winner.”
Steinbrenner’s reign endured its share of controversy. In 1974, Steinbrenner was suspended by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for two years, 15 months after pleading guilty to a felony crime of making illegal contributions to Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. The suspension was later reduced to nine months.
In July 1990, Steinbrenner was handed a lifetime ban from baseball by Commissioner Fay Vincent for paying $40,000 to a gambler named Howie Spira in exchange for damaging information about outfielder Dave Winfield. Steinbrenner’s ban was lifted by Vincent in March 1993, allowing Steinbrenner to resume his role as general partner of the club.
“I don’t begrudge either Commissioner that suspended me,” Steinbrenner told the Sporting News in 1998. “I have no ill feelings for either Bowie Kuhn or Fay Vincent. They did what they felt they had to do. I’m not saying that they were right, but they felt they had to do it and they did it. I put that behind me. I’ve moved on.”
Steinbrenner was a brilliant capitalist, and changed the face of the Yankees again in 2002 with the formation of the YES Network, which created new revenue streams for the organization and swelled the value of the team past $1 billion.
In 2002, Steinbrenner was honored with the Gold Medal Award from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame for a lifetime of “outstanding commitment, dedication and dynamic leadership in both his business and personal lives.” It is the highest and most prestigious award bestowed by the College Football Foundation.
Steinbrenner was also known for his support of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Steinbrenner served on the NCAA board of trustees, was chairman of the U.S.O.C. Foundation from 1997 through 2002 as well as the Olympic Overview Commission in 1988 and 1989, which was created to evaluate the structure and efforts of the United States Olympic program.
He also served as vice president of the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1989-96 and was honored with both the Gen. Douglas MacArthur USOC Foremost Award and the Dom Miller U.S. Olympic Award.
Many of Steinbrenner’s philanthropic endeavors were performed without fanfare. However, he was repeatedly recognized by the communities in which he immersed himself. In March 2008, Steinbrenner tearfully attended the renaming of the Yankees’ Spring Training facility to George M. Steinbrenner Field, following unanimous resolutions by the Tampa City Council and the Hillsborough County Commissioner’s Office.
In fall 2009, George M. Steinbrenner High School was opened in Lutz, Fla. The school was named after Steinbrenner by the Hillsborough County School Board in recognition of his philanthropic involvement in the community, particularly with the school system.
“In the end,” Steinbrenner was earlier quoted as saying, “I’ll put my good acts up against anybody in this country. Anybody.”
He had endured two public health scares in recent years, limiting his public commentary mostly to statements released through his longtime publicist, Howard Rubenstein, and passing on control of the team to his family. He once acknowledged his stepping down by saying, “It’s time to let the young elephants into the tent.”
Steinbrenner’s final legacy was completed in 2009 with the opening of a dazzling new ballpark in the Bronx, in the first-class image that Steinbrenner had demanded the Yankees represent.
Steinbrenner’s last appearance at Yankee Stadium was on Opening Day of this season, when manager Joe Girardi and shortstop Derek Jeter ventured up to the owner’s suite and presented Steinbrenner with his 2009 World Series ring.
“The Stadium wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,” Jeter said then. “None of us would be here. To get the opportunity to present him with the ring was probably the thing I’ll take most out of today.”
The “House that Ruth Built” may have been the Stadium that Steinbrenner called his office, but the one that the Yankees will occupy for the foreseeable future is, clearly, ‘The House that George Built.’
He is survived by his wife, Joan; sisters Susan Norpell and Judy Kamm, children, Hank, Hal, Jennifer and Jessica; and his grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements will be private, the family said. There will be an additional public service with details to be announced at a later date.
Story by Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
These kicks dropped back in 1987 and have always been highly regarded for being really comfortable. They also happen to look nice on your feet. Shouts to the people over at CRSVR in the west coast who posted these throwback kicks. (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)
First let me start saying I’m not mad and I congratulate LeBron James’s decision to go play for the Miami Heat. It was his choice and I feel he had the right to move on with his career because things were not going to improve for the Cavaliers in the immediate future. That being said the thing that bothered me the most is the manner in which he dealt with this whole free agency process, and the total lack of respect that he showed the fans of Cleveland. In a world where actions speak louder that words, his actions clearly let everyone know that he didn’t care about anyone in his supposed hometown. If he knew he was going to leave several weeks ago, he should have spoken to the Cleveland Cavaliers and let them know privately that they were not going to be one of the teams he was interested in and gracefully thanked them. This circus stunt that he pulled on television leads me to believe that maybe he needs to surround himself with REAL management instead of letting the guys that he grew up with manage is career and brand (Whatever is left of it).
Being a fan of basketball I have to say that it will be fun watching the Miami Heat play games especially against teams like the Lakers, Magic, Celtics, & Chicago. Lebron will win a couple of championships with the Miami Heat because of their immense talent, but it won’t feel the same as if he would have done it with the Cavaliers. A team that has never been good until he arrived to play there, and a city in dire need of something to cheer for. It won’t be the same as watching Pierce, Allen, & Garnett win their first championship at the twilight of their careers. It won’t be the same as Kobe winning another championship again after many believed he couldn’t do it without Shaq. It won’t be the same as watching Michael Jordan win his first championship after getting beat up by the Detroit Piston “Bad Boys” for three years. It’s just won’t be the same…..
There is something to be said for having class and perseverance, just look at Derek Jeter and that will say it all. He won the World Series once again after going 9 years without winning, and he is still the same classy player he was when he started. Maybe that’s just not the type of player that LeBron is and maybe he was right in not coming to New York because like Jay-Z says on one of his songs “It’s Not For Everybody”.
LeBron is now playing for the Miami Heat but it will never be his team, that distinct honor belongs to Dwayne Wade who has already brought a championship to that city. I don’t agree with the owner of the Cavaliers blasting LeBron in the media. As an owner you can’t let your emotions take over without the benefit of intellect. I will however agree with him on one thing, LeBron QUIT on his team, coach, organization, and fans on the last game he played in that uniform against the Boston Celtics because I saw it with my own eyes. I have played and watched sports for a long time and his body language said it all. An athlete never quits playing until the game is over, and that’s the rule on the streets, college, and professional level. Now he is surrounded by great talent and the pressure of the world is no longer on his shoulders maybe his days of quitting are behind him. Good luck to Lebron in Miami hopefully he has learned something from his mistakes in this process and let’s see how this plays out.
Read this article by ESPN’s Bill Simmons, pretty much on point.
Five thoughts and then we’ll turn it over to my readers, because honestly, they did a better job of summing up last night’s LeBacle than I ever could: (CLICK HERE TO READ READERS OPINIONS)
1. One of my first ESPN.com columns was titled, “Is Clemens the Antichrist?” It covered how my relationship changed with Roger Clemens as a Red Sox fan — in five years, he went from my favorite baseball player to my least favorite athlete in any sport — and how the turning point happened in 1996, when Clemens signed with Toronto and showed no remorse at the ensuing news conference.
I still remember seeing that Blue Jays cap squeezed on his fat stupid face for 45 solid minutes, waiting for him to throw Red Sox fans a bone, waiting for him to say anything that would make me think, “Regardless of how this turned out, the past 12 years meant something to me,” or “Just know that this happened because of Boston’s front office, not their great fans.” He only threw us a couple of canned comments, the same way someone would throw table scraps to a dog. I remember how angry it made me. I remember wanting to whip my remote control through the television, then realizing that I couldn’t afford a new one. I remember taking down my autographed photo of Clemens’ 20th strikeout against Seattle and sticking it in a closet. I remember thinking that I would never like sports quite as much ever again.
So when Clemens went to Toronto, got in shape, won two straight Cy Youngs and forced a trade to the Yankees, really, a column called “Is Clemens the Antichrist?” became inevitable as soon as I found a bigger forum to write it. I hated that guy as much as you could hate a professional athlete without things getting creepy.
And you know what? What LeBron did to Cleveland last night was worse. Much worse.
It’s one thing to leave. I get it. You’re 25. You don’t know any better. You’re tired of carrying mediocre teams. You want help. You want the luxury of not having to play a remarkable game every single night for eight straight months. You want to live in South Beach. You want to play with your buddies. I get it. I get it. But turning that decision into a one-hour special, pretending that it hadn’t been decided weeks ago, using a charity as your cover-up and ramming a pitchfork in Cleveland’s back like you were at the end of a Friday the 13th movie and Cleveland was Jason … there just had to be a better way.
I blame the people around him. I blame the lack of a father figure in his life. I blame us for feeding his narcissism to the point that he referred to himself in the third person five times in 45 minutes. I blame local and national writers (including myself) for apparently not doing a good enough job explaining to athletes like LeBron what sports mean to us, and how it IS a marriage, for better and worse, and that we’re much more attached to these players and teams than they realize. I blame David Stern for not throwing his body in front of that show. I blame everyone.
We are already fools for caring about athletes considerably more than they care about us. We know this, and we do it anyway. We just like sports. We keep watching for moments like Donovan’s goal against Algeria, and we keep caring through thick and thin for moments like Roberts’ Steal and Tracy Porter’s interception. We put up with all the sobering stuff because that’s the price you pay — for every Gordon Hayward half-court shot, or USA-Canada gold-medal game, there are 20 Michael Vicks and Ben Roethlisbergers. Last night didn’t make me like sports any less — my guard has been up since 1996 — it just reinforced all the things I already didn’t like.
For LeBron not to understand what he was doing — or even worse, not to care — made me quickly turn off the television, find my kids, give them their nightly bath and try to forget the sports atrocity that I had just witnessed. He just couldn’t have handled it worse. Never in my life can I remember someone swinging from likable to unlikable that quickly. I will forgive him some day because I like watching him play basketball, and whether you’re rooting for or against him, his alliance with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami created one the greatest “Holy s—, how is this going to play out?????” scenarios in recent sports history. Sports are supposed to be fun, and eventually, this will become fun — for everyone but people in Cleveland — because we finally have a Yankees of basketball.
But I will never, ever, not in a million years, understand why it had to play out that way. If LeBron James is the future of sports, then I shudder for the future.
2. One silver lining for LeBron: No other professional athlete in any team sport could have generated the interest that he generated last night. No baseball player, no football player, no basketball player, no hockey player. He truly is the King … of something.
3. I posted this clip on Twitter last night, but it’s worth posting again: the 1996 Bash on the Beach. I won’t even tell you the context (a reader will explain in a few paragraphs). Just watch what happened, listen to the announcers and choke on the irony. (CLICK HERE FOR CLIP, MUST SEE. LOL)
4. Michael Jordan would have wanted to kick Dwyane Wade’s butt every spring, not play with him. This should be mentioned every day for the rest of LeBron’s career. It’s also the kryptonite for any “Some day we’ll remember LeBron James as the best basketball player ever” argument. We will not. Jordan and Russell were the greatest players of all time. Neither of them would have made the choice that LeBron did last night. That should tell you something.
5. Sports shouldn’t mean this much.
I promise more thoughts later in the month. See, there’s an incredible basketball story here that really has no precedent: Only when Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant played together in 2001 and 2002, after Kobe had ascended to top-three status and Shaq hadn’t drifted out of that group yet, have two of the best three NBA players played on the same team. I have no idea how Miami will fill out the team, or whether you can win a championship by being so good offensively that defense, rebounding and role players don’t matter. We’re about to find out.
A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to watch this documentary on ESPN directed by Michael & Jeff Zimbalist called the “The Two Escobars”. The film gives you insight on Colombian Soccer Teams in the 90’s and it’s ties to the Colombian underworld of drug cartels. The directors focused on the two key figures in Colombia during that that era, drug lord Pablo Escobar and national soccer hero Andres Escobar. Both men had national pride and were trying to help their country escape poverty, but both also had different views on how to achieve that goal. Everything came to a climatic end after the World Cup in 1994 which was held in the United States that year. The Colombian National team came in highly ranked and favored to win the tournament but left with their heads down as well as a fear for their lives. The aftermath of what happened after that World Cup has damaged the sport of soccer in Colombia ever since and it continues to the present day.
If you do not believe that Colombia was a SUPER POWER of soccer at one point, please watch this film and watch it for yourself. These guys were amazing. One word, WOW!!!
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