How did the #dodgers celebrate Clayton Kershaw’s first career no-hitter? Bubble Party!!!!!

Veggie doggin with the #dodgers

It was a pleasure watching games and working on all things World Cup with former USMNT captain Carlos Bocanegra today. We even got to have an interesting discussion about sports media, from both the athlete & reporter perspectives.

Landon Donovan: Most Memorable Goal in U.S. Men’s World Cup History?

Where were you on June 23, 2010?  

I was at work, sitting in the news room of CSN New England and watching the U.S. and Algeria duke it out on a soccer field in South Africa.  It was the World Cup, and the fever had once again taken over, as it does every four years.

During the weeks-long tournament, our office was very excited about the Cup and covered the games more than one might expect considering we were a regional cable sports network.  

The 2010 FIFA World Cup brought camaraderie to our office, which was comprised of folks from all over the country with allegiances to many different football, basketball, baseball and hockey teams.  

CSNNE hired then-MLS player Taylor Twellman as our in-studio analyst and he taught all of us a lot about the game, enhancing our experience of the World Cup.  

I remember sitting at my desk that day.  Most of the big screens in our newsroom had the U.S. vs. Algeria game on, as did the small TV at my desk.  The game was incredibly frustrating as the U.S. had so many great scoring chances, yet nothing was hitting the net.  Algeria was also in the hunt and each team struggled to gain traction against the other.

When Landon Donovan finally scored the only goal of the match in the 91st minute of the game, I’m pretty sure there was dust in my eyes, if you get my drift.  All of the tension, anxiety and adrenaline that had built up over 90 minutes had finally boiled over with one swift kick of the ball.

Did the U.S. win the World Cup that year?  No.  The American men have never won it all.  But that doesn’t change the joy and glory provided by that one moment.  

As a sports journalist and fan, I’ll never forget it. 

(video: Yahoo! Studios) 

You know what time it is … GM 4 Ducks v Kings at Staples Center.

Now THIS is how you party on a Saturday night/Cinco de Mayo weekend in Los Angeles.

                         Rapid Fire: Playoff Hockey Edition

L.A. Daily News sports columnist Jill Painter  and I dropped the gloves on KNBC Ch.4 in Los Angeles, debating all things hockey.  If it weren’t for host/referee extraordinaire Fred Roggin keeping the peace, who knows what might have happened! ;)  

To see the rest of our segments on the show, please watch on TV or live stream online (midnight every Sunday night/Monday morning) if you don’t live in the Los Angeles area.  

Thanks again to the producers of Going Roggin on KNBC for having two women headline a hockey show.  Enjoy, everyone.

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Today is proof that progress is and always will be an evolutionary process.  

"We are one." If only this rally cry posted on the Los Angeles Clippers website in response to the scandal involving owner Donald Sterling were a universal truth, well, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.  

While actions are now set in place to ban Sterling from the NBA for life, the incident prompting “we are one” should remind us that Sterling is not the end-all, be-all face of discrimination.  There are millions of other individual and institutional bigots around the globe.

Today, the United States inched closer.  Unlike many other countries around the world that do little (or nothing) to prevent or punish blatantly racist actions pertaining to sporting events,  NBA commissioner Adam Silver has done his best to implement justice.  Unfortunately, the emergence of Sterling’s vile views is not an isolated incident.  

For those of us who follow the Clippers and the NBA, as well as anyone who reads the newspaper here in Los Angeles, we’ve known all too well about Sterling’s rap sheet.  ESPN wrote a horribly damaging piece back in 2009 which detailed lawsuits filed against Sterling by both the Justice Department and basketball great Elgin Baylor, claiming disgusting instances of illegally bigoted business practices and workplace discrimination. 

What about the players, coaches and other team personnel who signed with the Clippers knowing Sterling’s smutty track record and reputation?  

Other NBA owners, the league office, and advertisers were also aware of these allegations throughout the years.  

I’m guilty too.  As a young adult, I became conscious of Sterling’s reputation when lawsuits against him were covered by the Los Angeles Times and other news sources I followed.  I remember discussing Sterling and his nauseating practices (both in his other business ventures and running a basketball franchise into the ground) with my friends, family and co-workers. For some reason my distain for the man never stopped me from watching Clippers games on TV or buying tickets and merchandise.  Why didn’t I - as someone who comes from a family of activists and Holocaust survivors, and has had the pleasure of spending time with people like Tommie Smith and John Carlos - take any proactive measures to voice my views in such a way to make a tangible difference? Why didn’t I put my money where my mouth was, instead of straight into Sterling’s filthy, sexist, racist pockets? 

Actions speak louder than words and Sterling’s actions were heinous long before the words on this tape were recorded.  Sterling’s actions were far more harmful to our society than Sterling’s words.  Shame on us for taking the easy way out and doing nothing while leaving people like L.A. renters hoping to live in safe, healthy residences and Elgin Baylor to fight the good fight alone.  

It’s a shame that many of us ignored Donald Sterling’s discriminatory actions for so long thus further enabling him, but today is finally a step in the right direction.  

Finally, we can, in a way, pay homage to the struggles and sacrifices made by so many in the sports world over the last 65 years.  Hopefully the NFL will take a page from the short-but-brilliant Adam Silver playbook and get its ass in gear to change a racist team name that has been tolerated for way too long.

Thankfully, the Sterling debacle doubles as a teachable moment in which we can learn valuable lessons about history, justice and ourselves.  This is the evolution of progress. 

Are you still up?  If so, tune into KNBC ch. 4 here in L.A., or click the link above to watch the live stream of Going Roggin.  I’m on with the man, Fred Roggin, and am570’s Tim Cates debating the hottest topics in sports.  Up next?  Clippers, and the always exciting, Rapid Fire segment.  Tune in ASAP and tweet me @jackie_pepper.  Thanks everyone!

Awwwkward!!! Did you miss Going Roggin yesterday on NBC? Not to worry, you’ve got one more chance! Set your DVR or live tweet with me at midnight PST. KNBC ch4 here in LA. Fred Roggin, Tim Cates and I are debating the future of both the Lakers and Clippers, what to do about the mess that is the NCAA, our web browser search histories, and much much more. Plus, the show takes you inside one of the most amazing celebrity homes you’ll ever see (here’s a hint…you’ll recognize it from famous movies). As always, thanks for tuning in. I appreciate it.

We’re debating the #Lakers future, how far Doc Rivers can take the #Clippers, how to fix the NCAA and how to pay players, our browser histories and much much more on Going Roggin. Please tune in to KNBC here in Los Angeles on Saturday at 3pm PST and Sunday night/Monday morning at midnight. Please join Fred Roggin, Tim Cates and I as we tackle the biggest topics in sports! Thanks for watching.

It was a pleasure chatting with US soccer great Cobi Jones about all things World Cup. He has such great takes on the past, present and future of soccer in the US and worldwide.

Two @LandonDonovan interviews in a week! Thank you to the Skin Cancer Foundation for giving Landon the opportunity to share his experience with us and also, talk soccer. We had a lot of fun.

Looks like the city is ready to run. Wishing everyone here in Boston a happy and safe Marathon Monday. It’s the best day of the year in this city, hands down.

To all of the new followers of PepperOnSports.com, welcome and thanks for hopping on board!  I wanted to share this post with you.  This story embodies what I love most about sports.  Please watch the video and enjoy.  

pepperonsports:

             Tragedy inspires magical NCAA Tournament run 

Sometimes the athletic competitions we love transcend sports to strike a deeper chord with a widespread audience.  

When Loyola Marymount University’s star basketball player Hank Gathers died of a heart attack during a game on March 4, 1990, the athletic community was devastated.  The incident was a nightmare not only for those who knew Gathers personally, but also for the NCAA and professional leagues as the worst possible outcome at a sporting event, once unimaginable, became a sickening reality.

The game in which Gathers died would be the LMU Lions’ last before the start of March Madness.  The video above chronicles the emotional journey of Gathers’ teammates as they played the Tourney of their lives with heavy hearts, transfixing the nation with every miracle win and implementing a breathtaking tribute that made their story the most moving in NCAA Tournament history.  

24 years after Gathers’ death, his LMU teammates reunited on the Loyola campus to not only talk about their fallen friend and gut-wrenching Tourney run, but also to reconnect with the son of Hank Gathers, who the team had last seen as a 6-year-old at his father’s funeral.  

via Yahoo Sports