A look at SoFi Stadium's food options
The Rams and Chargers played their first game in front of fans at SoFi Stadium. It was supposed to be a celebration of the new stadium but the focus was on the ugly fights and uglier food options.
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1. 🏈 SoFi Stadium makes its debut
SoFi Stadium hosted its first NFL preseason game in front of fans on Saturday night as the Chargers defeated the Rams, 13-6. With both teams resting their starters, the stadium made more headlines for what happened off the field than on it.
The biggest story were the fights that broke out in the crowd, including one that went viral with fans looking at different angles like they were watching the Zapruder film.
One thing that sticks out from the clips is that there’s no security in sight for over two minutes of a massive brawl. Many fans who went to the game commented that the stadium and parking lots were short-staffed, which caused big lines, general confusion about everything from seat location to driving entrances and exits, and, yes, fights.
The viral fight at the game was instigated by the woman wearing the San Diego Padres hat, who chucked a full Coke at the Rams fan who ended up getting pummeled after trying to Ric Flair chop the entire row in front of him.
It was an ugly scene. Almost as ugly as the food options and prices at SoFi Stadium, which also went viral after Darren Rovell tweeted a photo of this $15 slice of pizza.
The issue with the food went beyond the pepperoni pizza with many fans complaining about the other stadium fare, ranging from the hot dog to the cheeseburger sub.
2. 🏀 The Sparks need a new home
The Sparks returned to the Staples Center to play their first game at their “home” arena since Sept. 15, 2019. I put “home” in quotes because they’re certainly not treated like the other teams that call Staples Center home. The Sparks won their 16th straight game at Staples Center on Sunday after defeating the Indiana Fever, 75-70, but it will be hard for them to build on that momentum as they are only playing five games there this season. That’s right, 11 of the team’s 16 home games are at the Los Angeles Convention Center this year. This is nothing new for the Sparks. The team had to move a playoff game two years ago to Long Beach. It was the fifth playoff game since 2015 the Sparks had to play away from Staples Center. Before the pandemic, the Sparks were averaging about 10,000 fans per game but have had to play some of their biggest games in front of less than 4,000 fans at Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach.
“We know that [Staples Center] is quite busy, and there were two men’s teams that were competing late into the playoffs and the Kings hockey team, and there’s a lot that happens here,” said Sparks coach Derek Fisher. “But we can’t continually say that we want to do better by our women and not do better. We just gotta keep working and figure out a way to create more space here so that this can feel like a home court every night.”
Perhaps the Sparks could look into moving back to The Forum, which was the team’s home from 1997 to 2000, or they could move into the Clippers’ new arena, which is slated to open in 2024. Then again, with the Clippers moving out, perhaps that will open up an opportunity for the Sparks to move into their own permanent home locker room (they currently use the opposing NHL team locker room at Staples Center) and get more priority when it comes to scheduling. Whatever they do, they need to change their current situation. The Sparks need an arena they can truly call “home.”
3. 🏀 Clippers trade Beverly, Rondo and Oturu for Bledsoe
The Clippers traded Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday for Eric Bledsoe. It’s a homecoming for Bledsoe, who was drafted by the Clippers in 2010 and spent his first three seasons in Los Angeles. He was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team in 2019 and 2020 but had one had a down year last season in New Orleans, averaging 12.2 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 71 games.
It’s an unfortunate end to Beverley’s time with the Clippers. Two years ago, Beverly turned down a three-year, $50-million offer from the Sacramento Kings to take a three-year, $40-million deal with the Clippers. Lou Williams also took less to stay with the Clippers before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Rondo. It’s another reminder that players should always take the money and fans should never blame players for leaving a team for more money because even if a player wants to stay with a team they are loyal to, they can always be traded to a team they have no interest in playing for.
4. 🎤 Catching up with Cedric The Entertainer
Cedric The Entertainer, who will be hosting the 73rd Emmy Awards next month, gathered many of his friends in sports and entertainment for the 8th Annual Cedric The Entertainer Golf Classic at the Spanish Hills Country Club to raise funds for the Kyles Family Foundation which benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo. Before the event, I caught up with Cedric to see which one of his celebrity friends thinks they can golf but can’t and his thoughts on the new-look Lakers next season.
5. 💵 Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada
Here are some odds on Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
6. 📆 Aug. 16, 1954: The first issue of Sports Illustrated comes out
On this day 67 years ago, the first issue of Sports Illustrated came out. The cover featured Braves third baseman Eddie Matthews at-bat along with Giants catch Wes Westrum behind the plate and umpire Augie Donatelli in front of a sold-out crowd at Milwaukee County Stadium. Interestingly enough, there is no story about Matthews, who would go on to be inducted into the hall of fame, or of that game in the issue. The theory behind the cover was it was chosen more because of the crowd than the players. It was the magazine’s first issue so selling advertisements inside was a big key to its success and they wanted to point to the cover and essentially say, “Look at that crowd! People love sports!” At least that’s the story I heard when I was an intern at the magazine and went on to work there from 2003 to 2009.
7. 🎂 Happy Birthday Yu Darvish
Happy Birthday Yu Darvis. The former Dodgers pitcher turns 35 years old today. Darvish will always be remembered in Los Angeles for his disastrous 2017 World Series performance, which prematurely ended his Dodgers career and dashed the team’s hopes of winning their first World Series in nearly 30 years. While the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal should have vindicated him, it’s still hard for Dodgers fans to fully embrace him, especially now that he’s on the San Diego Padres. The damage had already been done and it’s hard for fans to forget how bad he was in his Game 7 start at Dodger Stadium.
8. 🎟 Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets on StubHub if you’re thinking about going to a game today:
9. 📺 On The Air
⚾️ 4 p.m. – Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees – Bally Sports West
🏀 6 p.m. – Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers (Summer League) – NBA TV
⚾️ 7 p.m. – Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers – SportsNet LA
10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show
On Friday’s show, we talked about Kawhi Leonard signing a four-year contract to stay with the Clippers and what it meant for the Clippers beyond this season, which he might miss.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!