Interview with LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

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 (Photo: AJ DeLaGarza, left in yellow, and Omar Gonzalez, right in white, of the LA Galaxy)

Patrolling the center of the defense for the LA Galaxy for the past several seasons, including their 2011 and 2012 MLS Championship seasons, Omar Gonzalez has established himself as one of the best defenders in American soccer. Along the way, he’s become a regular member of the United States Men’s National Team set-up, as well, and is a hopeful for the squad as they prepare for the World Cup in Brazil in June.

For a player known for intensity and competitiveness on the pitch, Omar is a disarmingly nice dude in person. A Galaxy fan favorite, Omar has made Los Angeles his home for the past 4 years, exploring the city and following the LA culinary scene. He and fellow Galaxy defender AJ DeLaGarza repped their squad on Thursday night at UNDFTD in Santa Monica — unveiling a collab clothing line between the Galaxy and the LA-based sneaker shop.

Are you a sneakerhead? Earlier on in my life it was hard for me to get nice kicks, because I would get ‘em dirty so fast. But I do collect some sneakers now, and try to keep ‘em clean (laughs). This is a place I’ve come to get some pretty unique shoes because Undefeated has some cool collaborations.

Favorite classic kicks? I do like Chuck Taylors — I actually came here to get the Chuck Taylors when they collaborated with Missoni.

You wear adidas when you play — has it been interesting to see the technological innovations they’ve incorporated into soccer shoes? Yeah — any athlete wants an edge, some little edge to be a bit quicker, to be able to get to the ball faster, shoot better. And the colors that they’re coming out with are pretty insane.

How many soccer shoes do you go through, with training and games? I run through quite a lot of boots in a single season. In any given season, I go through something like 10 to 15 pair… but that’s because once a shoe starts to stretch a little bit I ask for a new pair. I like my foot to be nice and snug and a new boot always feels better to me.

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Lakers 3 Point Chime Sound Revealed

What’s the chiming sound they play at Staples Center when the L.A. Lakers score a three pointers? It’s the same type of sound as the famed “Westminster Chime“, which according to Wikipedia  is the most common name for a melody used by a set of clock bells to chime on each quarter hour. The number of chime sets matches the number of quarter hours that have passed. It is also known as the Westminster Chimes, or theCambridge Chimes from its place of origin, the church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge.

But the specific version the Lakers use is from the opening of 90′s tune “Workaholic” buy 2 Unlimited. Peep the video above if you don’t believe it. How was this tone selected? We’d love to find out– does anyone know someone at Staples Center or AEG?

Interview with Jeff Pearlman, Author of Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s

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Jeff Pearlman grew up in New York, but loved the Lakers. He’s now turned that love into a fascinating new book on our favorite team, and their exploits in the 1980′s. We caught up with Jeff for a quick Q&A… 

What fact that you uncovered surprised you the most about the Showtime Lakers?
 That, in 1979, Jerry Tarkanian agreed to become the Lakers’ coach. Then his agent was murdered and he returned to coach at UNLV.

What do you think is the biggest public misconception about Showtime?
That Magic was all about partying and sex and living the showbiz life. Truth is, the man was a dogged worker who put basketball far before anything else. Yes, he enjoyed the fruits. But he was a Laker.

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Lakers History ~ Kevin Yoshioka

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Painted by Kevin Yoshioka.

Will Kobe Debut the Same Night at the Lakers’ New Black “Hollywood Nights” Uniforms on Nov 27th in Brooklyn?

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Black Mamba in a black uniform? With Kobe now cleared for basketball activities and practicing with the team, could his return day coincide with the Lakers’ new black “Hollywood Nights” Jerseys? The black uniforms, which Mamba models above, will be worn 6 times this year– all of them at home, but curiously the first date will be an away game.

Kobe loves to play in NYC, and the jerseys are clearly designed to part Lakers fans with their money, and what better way to sell them to the public then at Kobe’s first game back with the team?

Here’s what the homies at Uni Watch had to say about “Hollywood Nights”:

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Mister Cartoon x LA Kings

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Mister Cartoon, the artist synonymous with LA’s street culture turns his pen to re-imagining the iconography of one of the city’s most well loved and recognized sports teams. Check out a completely dope collaboration between Mister Cartoon and the Los Angeles Kings.

This video, shot by Estevan Oriol, gives an overview of the Mister Cartoon x LA Kings collaboration. Merchandise will be available to purchase at the Los Angeles Kings home base, STAPLES Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and online at Team Store LA/. All the items are limited edition.

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Ice Cube ~ Dodgers Anthem 2013

DJ Felli Fel dropped this yesterday: Dodgers Anthem 2013 ft. Ice Cube, Ty Dolla $ign & Tyga. The Dodgers are down 2-0, are likely missing their best hitter, and have to face the Cards’ ace tomorrow but they’re not out yet. GO DODGERS.

Jose Romero’s Dodger Stadium Cranium Tattoo

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Jose Romero posted this on Twitter a couple of days ago “Ready for the Playoffs”. The tattoo work was done by Killer Tattoos in Pomona.

Yasiel Puig’s Custom Walk Up Music by Mr. Criminal

Rapper Mr. Criminal (AKA Roberto Garcia of Los Angeles) has created a custom walkup song for the Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, to be played when he comes to bat as soon as the Dodgers get back in town. The song begins like this:

Para todo mis latinos, unidos
arriba, los manos
representando por todos mi cubanos
y norteamericanos, mexicanos, argentinos, ecuatorianos
it’s Mister Criminal with that steelo
comin’ to bang and I’m comin’ to swing
number one in the major leagues
from the bottom to the top
it’s that homie Yasiel Puig
Viva Cuba
Viva Cuba libre siempre

Map of Dodger Stadium Proposal in 1957

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USC recently released this map from the Doheny Library. It’s from the original proposal for Dodger Stadium, and contains some interesting period details, such as the proposed “Riverside Freeway” south of the stadium, which is what the 5 Freeway is now except north of the stadium. First spotted at TrueBlueLA.com, which has a bunch of other cool details. Below, see a contemporary map of roughly the same area.

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Study Proves What We Already Knew: Dodgers Have the Best Fans in MLB

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Emory University’s Sports Marketing Analytics department does statistical analysis of various sports teams, markets, players, and fanbases. Their MLB study from 2013 ranked the Dodgers and Red Sox, who arrive at Chavez Ravine this Friday, as the teams tied for first place in their analysis of the sport’s “best fans”. Trot that out the next time some annoying Yankees fans talks about how our people leave games early, are “thugs”, or other nonsense that is now repudiated by rigorous scientific analysis.

Our hated rivals to the North were a distant 4th place, while the Angels were at the very bottom of the heap, ranked last in all of Major League Baseball.

From the study:

One of our favorite types of analyses at Emory Sports Marketing Analytics is to assess the brand equity (a proxy for fan intensity and loyalty) of sports teams. Today, we present our analysis of MLB fan bases. Thus far, in our short history, we have looked at the brand equity of college and pro basketball teams. For those who are unfamiliar, brand equity is a common concept in marketing. The basic idea is that well known and well regarded brands provide value to organizations. Examples of high brand equity brands include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Apple. These brands have value because consumers may have significant loyalty to the brand, or may be willing to pay a price premium. There are a wide variety of methods for calculating brand equity. Most methods involve surveys of consumers, and focus on data such as awareness levels, loyalty rates or consumer associations.

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