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Morning Briefing

August 17, 2008|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

It's not compelling TV, it's HBO

It seemed like a can't-miss deal -- HBO's "Hard Knocks" series and the Dallas Cowboys -- but so far, it's no big deal at all.

That's the way it's going down in Dallas, according to Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News, who said that HBO needs to start heating up the action or the whole show is going to turn out to be one huge snoozefest.

And this is from a heavyweight-branded franchise with such built-in story lines as volatile receiver Terrell Owens, the heart-throbbing Tony Romo-Jessica Simpson duo, and wheeler-dealer owner Jerry Jones?

Sounds like a shame, so to help out, here are a couple of ideas:

Owens descends onto the playing field just before kickoff through the hole in the stadium roof.

Simpson sings the national anthem, signs a free-agent contract, becomes boyfriend Romo's new batterymate.

Jones sells team to Ringling Brothers and becomes ringmaster.

Trivia time

How many players did the Cowboys send to the Pro Bowl last year?

Replay is coming

Now that baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has said replay is on the way, word is leaking out it probably is going to be in use about Sept. 1.

All right, if you're looking ahead, the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Padres on Sept. 1 at Dodger Stadium and the Angels are in Detroit for a three-game series beginning Sept. 2.

Jersey boys

There are about 60,000 Brett Favre No. 4 New York Jets jerseys about to hit the store shelves, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, who said that NFL players, in their merchandising deal, get 6% from the sale of each jersey.

Hot corner

Doug DeCinces was an All-Star third baseman with the Angels, and apparently his son, Tim, is also an all-star. It's a different field, though.

The younger DeCinces runs Beach Pit BBQ at Angel Stadium, which is famous for its brisket sandwich. It was recently voted the top cuisine item at the stadium by the New York Times in a survey of food at all 30 major league ballparks.

Mighty Nick

Any time Forbes magazine weighs in about sports, it's worth noting, because Forbes is about investments, wealth and the economy. So that's why a grinning Nick Saban got himself on the cover, as the most powerful coach in sports.

It's not just his $32-million contract with Alabama, but also a combination of money, control and influence, according to Forbes.

Best/worst

Meanwhile, in the same issue, Forbes also listed its choices for the best (USC's Pete Carroll) and worst (Iowa's Kirk Ferentz) college football coaches.

Trivia answer

An NFL-record 13.

And finally

Unless he wins the U.S. Open, it's going to be a year without a major title for Roger Federer, who lost to James Blake at the Olympics and then assessed his play in Beijing: "I'm not happy with this tournament."

--

thomas.bonk@latimes.com

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