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Morning Briefing

Pay-to-play just a drop in bucket

January 26, 2007|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

How does one go about paying David Beckham's substantial contract?

Let us count the 250 million ways.

Of course, the Galaxy isn't on the hook for that massive sum but even so, hot dogs and beer sold at the Home Depot Center will carry the freight only so far.

So the club has to start somewhere to cover its part of his five-year deal. Thus: "The Los Angeles Galaxy have announced that the club will hold open tryouts for male soccer players ages 18 and older who believe they can succeed at the Major League Soccer level on February 10th and 11th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California."

An application online, along with a $130 registration fee -- actually this isn't the first time the team has charged a fee for tryouts -- are the opening requirements for this American-Soccer-Idol-Comes-to-Carson experiment. Hey, $130 a player adds up quickly. One hundred applicants bring in a quick $13,000.

In other words, one fast afternoon of shopping on Melrose Avenue for Posh.

Trivia time

Where did Serena Williams win her first professional tennis title?

Serena's world

Inspiration for Briefing HQ's daily dose of Beckham items came from another sports figure, who, a lot like Beckham, has faced immense criticism for non-sports activities and a perceived lack of devotion to the game: Serena Williams.

Like Beckham, she is fond of herself, and unlike him, isn't afraid to say so. She once joked about liking to look at her reflection, and proclaimed such at a event in Manhattan Beach in August 1999: "I love to get my daily dose of me. My house, I'll have a lot of mirrors."

All about the kids

It's not exactly headline news that Shaquille O'Neal does nearly everything in a larger-than-life way. But Brian Shaw had a funny observation on the trickle-down effect, speaking about a recent birthday party in Thousand Oaks that O'Neal held for one of his kids.

"There were 200 kids there," Shaw said Wednesday at Staples Center during the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission's Basketball 101 seminar.

"He had California Pizza Kitchen and In-N-Out Burger and they came right in and made the stuff there. He really puts you in a bind.

"I have a birthday party for my kid, invited 10 kids from the neighborhood, take them to Red Robin and my kid looks and me and says, 'What's this?' "

Stay off the

Internet

His demolition by Roger Federer in the semifinals of the Australian Open was one thing for Andy Roddick, who won six games in three sets Thursday.

Now there will be the considerable challenge of avoiding the reviews.

"I read the sports section every day of my life," Roddick said at his news conference after the match. "I'm going to have to maneuver my way around it somehow."

His coach, Jimmy Connors, knew what exactly Roddick needed afterward.

"He gave me a beer," Roddick said.

Trivia answer

At an indoor tournament in Paris in 1999. She defeated Amelie Mauresmo in the final.

And finally

Phil Jackson, at the Basketball 101 seminar, on Kwame Brown's bad hands: "Don't let him pick up the baby."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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