Sports picksJune 3, 2007

A lesson in Aussie “Blingology”

Celebrities and athletes know how to live The Life. They hang out with movie starts and date supermodels. They own their own record labels and boy do they know how to bling!

From exotic sports cars to lavish luxury digs drawing the line between athlete and celebrity is often blurred. But for all the extravagancies, entourages and illicit stripper-filled liaisons north of the border, perhaps our athletes need to look to the land down under for a lesson in real celebrity acquisitions.

Australian actors Russell Crowe and Anthony LaPaglia have announced that they are going to build a stadium for Crowe’s Rugby team and Lapaglia’s soccer team  – ahem, football squad. The teams currently do not have a home field of their own and plan to share the facility between the two clubs. In addition to a 25,000 seat stadium the project would also include adjacent practice facilities.

Now talk about who’s dropping some serious coin.

Crowe is the co-owner and director of the South Sydney Rabbitohs of the National Rugby League and LaPaglia is also a co-owner/director of Australian A-League Sydney FC. Neither team has a playing field of their own and Lapaglia referred to his team as gypsies when stressing the importance of building the new stadium.

The whole idea came from a plane ride form Sydney and LA between Crowe and LaPaglia. Oh to be a fly on the wall during that meeting of the great sports minds. But I guess asking the Law and Order star for his football picks would yield a completely different result than I would probably hope.

 What surprises me about this down under wheel-and-deal is that more US athletes haven’t tried this. With all the money that our American entertainers and athletes earn why not buy a sports team? Then for the truly indulgent why not opt for your own stadium? I mean a team without their own home is like AI leaving his Lamborghini out in the rain.

So after this deal goes through and the killer Rabbitohs win whatever the hell their championship trophy is called and proud owner Crowe is again stateside he can say to LaBron “yeah, you’re Bentley is nice, and I especially like the casino you built in your house, but if you truly want to live it up, come to Sydney and watch the ‘Russell Crowe’s’ play at the Russell Crowe-Is-great Municipal Stadium.

Now that is Aussie opulence!