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HBO picks up fictional football series ‘Ballers’

The-Rock-Swears-on-SportscenterRemember the ESPN original series “Playmakers?” While no actual NFL teams or logos were used in the show, it was quite clear that “Playmakers” was supposed to be an inside look at what life is like for NFL players. When the events in the show included binging on cocaine and submitting fake urine samples for drug testing, ESPN was pressured to nix it.

On Thursday, Deadline.com reported that HBO has picked up a similar series called “Ballers.” The show will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington, who will be making his acting debut. The Rock is also producing the series with Mark Wahlberg.

The Rock will play a retired professional football player and Washington will be a “highly competitive and highly spiritual” pro athlete.

As Pro Football Talk noted, the series could create some issues for HBO if it is anything like “Playmakers.” The NFL works with HBO on “Hard Knocks,” and the league is almost certain to have an issue with “Ballers” if it paints the NFL in a negative light. Should the show become a success, HBO will probably have no issue giving up on “Hard Knocks.”

Renee Fleming goes under on national anthem (Video)

Opera singer Renee Fleming did an absolutely terrific job on the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII. I mean she just owned it in one of the best Super Bowl anthem performances I can remember. Of course, what most people were interested in was whether Fleming went over or under on the Super Bowl prop bet. I clocked her anthem at 2:02, or 122 seconds, and RJ Bell at pregame.com says she went under on the prop bet. Bovada had the over/under line at 2:25 for the anthem.

There was also another prop bet about whether Fleming would be wearing gloves and what color they would be. The answer for that? She didn’t wear any gloves:

Renee Fleming Super Bowl

Philip Seymour Hoffman let it rain in Along Came Polly like a boss (Video)

Philip Seymour Hoffman let it rainI didn’t think anything could possibly ruin the Super Bowl, but the news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death certainly killed the mood. Hoffman died on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment of a drug overdose at the age of 46. He was an incredibly talented actor and had critical roles in some of our favorite movies. We loved him in “Boogie Nights,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Almost Famous” and “Moneyball.” But one thing we will never forget was his awesome work as Sandy Lyle in “Along Came Polly.” Man, was he great portraying that washed up child actor. His “Let it Rain” scene on the basketball playground was tremendous. Ball in! I seriously cannot watch that scene without busting up.

Hoffman also was pretty awesome playing former Oakland A’s manager Art Howe. His preoccupation with his contract was great, as was this scene about Carlos Pena:

Oh man, and how can we do a tribute post to Hoffman and not include his laugh in Lebowski:

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Nicki Minaj thinks ESPN the Magazine retouched photos to make her forehead bigger

Nicki-Minaj-Kobe-Bryant-ESPN-Magazine

Nicki Minaj recently did a cover shoot for ESPN the Magazine alongside Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. She does not seem too pleased with the results.

On Thursday, Minaj posted the photo you see above on her Instagram account with a caption that read, “When retouching goes wrong.” She also posted these photos, which she claimed were not retouched to make her forehead look bigger.

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Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Jason Alexander filming at Tom’s Restaurant

Tom's Restaurant

Excuse me for a second while I try to contain my excitement, because I’m pretty stoked about this development.

Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Larry David were at Tom’s Restaurant in New York — the restaurant called Monk’s in “Seinfeld” — filming on Monday. Reports have said they were either filming a Super Bowl commercial or episode for Jerry’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” web show.

If they are filming for the Super Bowl, isn’t it a little late for that? I mean the Super Bowl is in less than three weeks.

I don’t know. There is a big part of me that secretly hopes Jerry and LD are working on a project that will blow everyone’s mind. Maybe a movie. Or even better — a TV show. Dammit I miss them. I need another “Clear History.” Or give me a season of Curb. For goodness sake, I just want a TV camera following Jerry and LD around for like five minutes showing me what they’re talking about. That’s all I ask for. Is that too much?

Larry David yawning is for some reason a hilarious GIF

Larry-David-yawnThose of you who are loyal LBS readers have probably picked up on the fact that LB and Del are two of the biggest fans Larry David has. We love “Seinfeld” and are borderline obsessed with his work in “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” If you’re not a huge LD fan, you might not get why the GIF of him yawning at the New York Knicks game on Monday night is so mesmerizing.

Cameras caught David at the perfect moment, with 2.5 seconds remaining in overtime and New York leading 98-96. Fortunately for Larry, the Knicks held onto the lead and the Suns were unable to force a second overtime. Our man LD clearly couldn’t have taken another five minutes of basketball. It looked like he was ready to call it a night. Either that or he had something stuck in his throat again.

GIF via @danecarbaugh
H/T @cjzero

Rihanna makes Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks her Man Crush Monday

Rihanna

Mychael Kendricks’ career is looking up. The Philadelphia Eagles linebacker not only had a great season, but he is also the object of affection for singer Rihanna.

There’s a game on Instagram where women can list their “Man Crush” on Mondays by posting a photo of a guy and tagging it #MCM for “Man Crush Monday.” The same goes for guys with #WCW on “Woman Crush Wednesday.”

On Monday, Rihanna listed Kendricks, a second-year linebacker from Cal, as her “Man Crush Monday.”

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