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Marcus Vanderberg

Familiar Names in Obit of Matt Groening’s Mother

The obit of Matt Groening‘s mother, Margaret Ruth, is circulating around the Web because of some familiar names from the town of Springfield.

The creator of The Simpsons clearly was influenced by his family when it was time to name the characters on the show.

Groening had a Marge (Margaret), Homer, Lisa, Maggie and Patty in his family and his mother’s maiden name was Wiggum — the last name of Ralph and Chief Wiggum.

[H/T Bleeding Cool]

Former Local Newsman Dies at 78

Mario Machado, best known for his stint on The Big News and numerous movie cameos, died on Saturday at the age of 78.

The eight-time Emmy Award winner died of complications of pneumonia and was battling Parkinson’s disease, his daughter told the Los Angeles Times.

Machado was a reporter on The Big News in the 1970s and was the host of Noontime for seven years on KNXT (now KCBS-TV).

His film credits included the RoboCop franchise, Rocky III and Brian’s Song. Machado was also the first Chinese-American on-air reporter in Los Angeles.

Matt Kemp Travels to Sesame Street

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is the latest local athlete to pay a visit to Sesame Street, appearing on the iconic children’s show Thursday.

And since the kid inside of you is wondering, the word of the day was attach.

As in I hope the surgeon who performed offseason shoulder surgery on Kemp made sure to attach it back to his body.

[H/T Big League Stew]

Dustin Penner Has No Issues with White House

 

As you probably know, one of the perks of winning a championship within your respective sport is the opportunity to meet the President at the White House.

But in recent years, more and more athletes have skipped out on the opportunity, including former Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas in 2012.

Thomas made it clear that his politics didn’t match up with President Barack Obama, releasing a statement saying he felt the federal government has grown out of control and was threatening the rights of the American people.

Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner managed to take a jab at Thomas on Twitter prior to the team meeting President Obama at the White House on Tuesday. Based on some of the tweets from the official Los Angeles Kings account, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Penner has a sense of humor when it comes to this topic.

Also taking part in the festivities at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were the Los Angeles Galaxy, who returned for a second straight year after winning the 2012 MLS Cup.

Not a bad day for Southern California teams in the District.

[H/T Larry Brown Sports]

Robin Roberts to be Honored at ESPYS

Former ESPN anchor and current Good Morning America host Robin Roberts will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYS in Los Angels on July 17.

The award is presented annually to “individuals whose contributions transcend sports,” and Roberts definitely fits the bill.

In the past six years, Roberts has battled and defeated not only breast cancer but myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disorder.  Roberts was able to bring public awareness to both diseases during her fight and recovery. After five months off following a bone marrow transplant from her sister, Roberts returned to GMA last month.

“Robin brings an amazing amount of energy, compassion and determination to everything she does.  Those qualities made her an incredible asset during her time here at ESPN, and they have served her well as she battled the terrible health challenges that she’s had to face,” said ESPN president John Skipper. “Robin’s accomplishments in so many areas – as an athlete, a broadcaster, a cancer survivor and more – demonstrate her ability to shine regardless of adversity and we could not be more proud to honor her as the recipient of this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”

The 2o13 ESPYS will take place once again from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.

Mark Cuban Takes a Jab at LA Times for Bleacher Report Content

Add Dallas Mavericks owner and businessman Mark Cuban to the list of folks who are skeptical when it comes to content on Bleacher Report.

And while the sports websites has made strides towards improving their credibility by hiring writers you’ve actually heard of, they are still the king of the pointless slideshows.

This hasn’t stopped the LATimes.com from featuring Bleacher Report content on their website.

I know I can’t be the only person who has gone to LATimes.com and clicked on a story, only to discover that it wasn’t content from their website but from Bleacher Report.

And by content, I mean a list, slideshow, or article dripping of sensationalism.

Glad to know I wasn’t the only person turned off by that partnership.

Bill Walton Goes Bill Walton During Broadcast

What happens when you give a loose cannon like Bill Walton a live mic in Las Vegas?

A couple of cringe-worthy moments for the suits at ESPN.

Walton was calling Oregon vs. Washington at the Pac-12 tournament Thursday night and dropped a couple of broadcasting bombs that had Twitter buzzing.

First up, Walton on Ray Lewis:

Walton is making a reference to Lewis’ 2000 arrest following a Super Bowl party in Atlanta. The retired linebacker officially joined ESPN as an analyst on Wednesday. Maybe the murder joke was just hazing on Walton’s part? Welcome to ESPN, Ray.

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Report: Jeopardy! Eyeing Matt Lauer

Even though he doesn’t actually look 72, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is getting up there in age, which means replacement talks are in full swing.

The New York Post reports Today co-host Matt Lauer is at the top of the short list when Trebek steps down, as expected, in 2016.

The timing works as well from a contract standpoint — Lauer’s deal is up at 2015 and Trebek recently signed a new three-year deal that will run out in 2016.

The other name the NY Post tossed out was CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who’s a reported free agent at the end of 2014. Any official decision on Trebek’s replacement isn’t expected for another 18 months.

Next year will mark 30 years as host of Jeopardy! for for Trebek.  In recent years, he’s battled two minor heart attacks — the most recent one in 2012.

Kobe Bryant Vents About Ankle Injury

 

Just when you thought this season couldn’t get any worse for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant suffered a sprained left ankle in the final seconds of Wednesday’s 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and is out indefinitely.

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AEG No Longer for Sale, Leiweke Out

The Anschutz Entertainment Group is no longer for sale and longtime president Tim Leiweke is leaving the company “by mutual decision.”

“From the very beginning of the sales process, we have made it clear to our employees and partners throughout the world that unless the right buyer came forward with a transaction on acceptable terms, we would not sell the company,” Phil Anschutz said in a statement Thursday.

Dan Beckerman was promoted from COO and CFO to president, replacing Leiweke, who had been with AEG since 1996.

“We appreciate the role Tim has played in the development of AEG, and thank him for the many contributions he has made to the Company,” Anschutz added. “We wish him well in his new endeavors.”

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