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JERRY CROWE

Remembering Michael Jackson at the Super Bowl

Text messages from press row...

July 02, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Michael Jackson's career was in decline in January 1993, when the so-called "King of Pop" performed at halftime of the most recent Super Bowl played at the Rose Bowl. . . .

Jackson's lip-syncing appearance was even less engrossing than the game, won by Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys in a rout of the Buffalo Bills, and widely panned. . . .

Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post, calling himself a longtime fan, wrote that "Michael's performance wasn't much better than Buffalo's" and noted, "Ten-year-old dance steps and more crotch-grabbing than a major league baseball player stepping into the box. Talk about a guy who's lost a step." . . .

Jim Murray, making it clear he didn't grow up with the Jackson 5, said of the elaborate gray steel set, "All Bing Crosby needed was a microphone. This guy gets a battleship." . . .

The last time Lamar Odom was a free agent, in 2003, the Clippers declined to match his offer from the Miami Heat and then-General Manager Elgin Baylor said the decision to let Odom walk was based on "issues of character." . . .

Soon, the former Clipper will be wearing a championship ring. . . .

Fans of Quentin Richardson and the Clippers are touching their fists to their foreheads over the Zach Randolph trade. . . .

It seemed fitting that the final putout of the Dodgers' victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday was recorded by Juan Pierre, who now gives way to Manny Ramirez. . . .

Pierre deserved a standing ovation from Dodgers fans. . . .

Judging by the results of interleague play, Torii Hunter and the Angels would fare better in the National League West than the Dodgers would in the American League West. . . .

If UCLA is going to charge astronomical sums for fans to retain season seats at Pauley Pavilion, the least it could do is upgrade the nonconference schedule to include more games against the likes of Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina and fewer against the likes of Cal State Bakersfield and Delaware State. . . .

Reader David Stephan, 76, of Culver City, who worked as a volunteer at the 1984 Olympics, is "disgusted" that tickets for a July 18 celebration of the Games cost $184, noting, "The Olympics of '84 were built on the backs of 40,000 volunteers like me, and 25 years later in retirement, I can't afford $184." . . .

Of all Roger Federer's innumerable accomplishments, reaching at least the semifinals in 21 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments -- and counting -- ranks among the most remarkable. . . .

Only once since 1999 has the Wimbledon women's singles final not featured five-time champion Venus Williams, two-time winner Serena Williams, or both. . . .

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols racked up 14 home runs and 35 runs batted in . . . last month. . . .

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Capitals, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Blues, all ranked among the top 10 most fan-friendly franchises in an ESPN survey, have at least one other thing in common: None has ever won a championship. . . .

Lance Armstrong kicks off his bid for an eighth Tour de France championship Saturday in Monaco. . . .

Greg LeMond, a three-time Tour de France winner, will host an Aug. 8 fundraising ride in Montecito to benefit 1in6, an organization co-founded by LeMond to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood. . . .

Information: 1in6.org. . . .

Luc Robitaille is only the third player drafted by the Kings to reach the Hockey Hall of Fame, following former goaltender Billy Smith and ex-defenseman Larry Murphy. . . .

Candace Parker of the Sparks is not the only newborn-toting Olympic gold medalist eyeing a return to competition next month: Kerri Walsh still hopes to make her 2009 AVP Tour debut at the Hermosa Beach Open, minus Misty May-Treanor. . . .

Walsh would partner with Rachel Wacholder. . . .

The 10 worst choices to headline a Super Bowl halftime performance, according to Cracked.com: Sting, Phil Collins, John Goodman, Enrique Iglesias, Diana Ross, New Kids on the Block, 'N Sync, Gloria Estefan (1992), Estefan (1999) and, topping the list, Dorothy Hamill and Brian Boitano. . . .

CNN's Larry King, apologizing to actor and bodybuilder Lou "The Incredible Hulk" Ferrigno this week after calling him Lou Ferragamo: "He was a good quarterback." . . .

Presumably, King was referring to Vince Ferragamo, who 30 years ago led the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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