King Kaufman's Sports Daily

ESPN's Page 3 brings much-needed relief to the Jay-Z and Beyonce drivel-deprived. Plus: New A-Rod trade rumors denied so fiercely they must be true.


Salon Staff
January 23, 2004 1:00AM (UTC)

ESPN.com has a new site, Page 3, which, a press release says, "focuses on the crossover of sports and pop culture." You may have thought that the popular Page 2 focused on the crossover of sports and pop culture, but that just goes to show how you don't know anything, and neither do I.

Here's the press release to explain: "With roots in Page 2, the new Page 3 will differentiate itself by focusing exclusively on the two often-overlapping spheres of sports and scene. Page 2 will remain as the place that ESPN.com turns an edgy, humorous eye towards the world of sports. Page 3, incorporating some of the pop-culture-centered elements originally found on Page 2, will also now be on deck to talk to the Cavaliers' Darius Miles about his upcoming movie debut, or to give the low-down on a new CD featuring an athlete as a guest performer."

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Wednesday there were pictures of Britney Spears and Pink dressed in sexy gladiator gear for a soft-drink commercial, but precious little else of what on some continents causes male ears to prick up at mention of the words "Page 3."

Alongside a feature giving famous athletes tips about how to succeed as a guest host on "Saturday Night Live," quickie items had Suns center Jake Voskuhl proclaiming himself addicted to the show "24" on DVD and dreamy actor Gary Dourdan of "CSI" saying he's been listening to "Alicia Keys, India.Arie, Roy Hargrove, Dwele, and a lot of really fast music so I can get to work on time."

If you don't understand how the CD changer of dreamy actor Gary Dourdan is about the crossover of sports and pop culture, not to mention how photos of Britney and Pink in gladiator bikinis are sports-related, you're not very smart. Neither am I.

Page 3 appears to be a marriage of front-of-the-book People magazine photo features with Maxim dude snarkiness, with a nod, when convenient, to sports personalities. Bottom line: Call it "The Jay-Z and Beyoncé Take in a Knicks Game Page." If it's your bag of doughnuts, enjoy.

What I'm wondering is how far ESPN can spin off this sports-pop culture thing. "While Page 2 will continue to turn an edgy, humorous eye towards the world of sports, and Page 3 will keep focusing on the crossover of sports and pop culture, and Page 4 will go right on probing the intersection between extreme sports and porn, and Page 5 will persist in examining the nexus of athletes who make bad hip-hop albums and hip-hop stars who are jock wannabes, and Page 6 will persevere in delving into the convergence of fashion and sports in the oeuvre of Nelly, Page 7 will survey the confluence of PDAs and MP3 players in the lives of developmental-league basketball players named Andre."

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A-Rod traded? Nah! [PERMALINK]

The Alex Rodriguez-for-Manny Ramirez trade rumors popped up again this week when ESPN cited a high-ranking baseball source who said the talks between the Rangers and Red Sox were back on. Here's what everybody had to say about that, according to wire reports:

Rangers owner Tom Hicks: "There is no truth whatsoever to the Alex Rodriguez trade rumors."

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein: "That report is baseless. We just learned about it. I was surprised by it. John Henry was surprised by it. Larry Lucchino was surprised by it. Tom Werner was surprised by it. It's unfortunate that someone can fabricate a story and then Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez have to read about it in the press."

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Rodriguez agent Scott Boros: "It's inaccurate and I don't know where it's coming from."

Why am I more convinced that the trade is going to happen after reading those quotes than I was before?

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