Clippers Need A Celebrity Make Over

The recent Bill Simmons piece about a Clipper image make over has had me thinking (something the wife had given up for dead). I’ve have had similar thoughts over the years about what it would take to bring the Clippers out from under the shadow of the purple and gold - new name, new uniform, etc. This being LA, it always seems to boil down to the “Cool Factor”. The Lakers are cool, the Clippers... well not so much.

Everyone wants to be cool. I’m going to go way out on a limb here and theorize that most us reading this blog on a regular basis have a long history - and hence strong tolerance - of not being cool. Most of us were probably the guys in high school who, had we dared to ask out one of the popular girls, would have been stared at with revulsion usually reserved for a Mumbai street beggar or like we just microwaved her cat. Following along with Simmons' use of movie references to the illustrate the point, I cite the 1978 classic “Animal House”. Most of us wouldn’t have been cool enough for the Omega house, and would have found ourselves with Belushi and Matheson in the reviled Delta house. Later we would grow up to be Clipper fans.

The late Jack Kent Cooke, then owner of the Lakers, undertook a specific plan to make the Lakers cool. In 1965, Cooke purchased the Lakers and moved them from the Sports Arena to the Forum. He changed their colors from royal and light blue to purple and gold. He also reportedly gave away the court side seats to movie stars like Doris Day, reasoning having the beautiful people in the building would make it the place to be, and that the rest of us not so beautiful people would pay for the privilege of partying with them. Sort of like an early version of a Las Vegas club giving big bucks to Paris Hilton to stop by its New Years Eve party, so the regular folk will pay top dollar to get in and be able to say they spent their New Years eve someplace happening. Wearing pointed party hats and blowing through a noisemaker just seems so much cooler if Paris Hilton is there, as opposed say, just you and a couple of buddies sitting around your depressing apartment.    

Which brings me finally to the point: what will it actually take to ever make it Hip 2 Clip?

Well it seems to me that one thing we need is a celebrity make over. I appreciate the support Frankie Munoz has given the Clippers over the years, but (1) he hasn’t been around the last couple of seasons, and (2) I’m not sure he’s even still a celebrity. He may have passed from that cute child actor stage to the can’t get work as an adult stage, ala Jerry “the Beaver” Mathers and McCauley Calkin.

Likewise, Billy Crystal only shows up once or twice a year. Other than Matthew Lillard (of “Scooby Doo” fame) what does that leave us?


Adam Sandler


(Adam Sandler seems to be wondering what he's doing at a Clipper game last season)


There are occasional celebrity sightings at Clipper games. Over in Section 115, I have personally had Lucy Liu sitting right in front of me and Jackie Johnson (the Channel 9 weather girl) and her enormous breasts sitting right behind me (thank you God!). Last season I spotted David Carradine sitting across the way in Section 116. Unfortunately a few months later he was found dead hanging in a closet wearing fishnet stockings and a wig (there’s no proof watching the Clippers play drove him to it). I’ve also spotted Duane “The Rock” Johnson and Adam Sandler at games, but they seemed to be slumming it. The Rock took off at half time and Sandler is normally only at Laker games. Must have got his schedule mixed up.

This as opposed your typical Lakers game, with Jack and Denzel and Andy and Wahlberg and Flea. When Baron joined the Clips last year he was asked if we could expect to see some of his Hollywood pals, like Kate Hudson, at the games now. He smiled and shook his head. “Nope, they’re all Lakers fans”.

I therefore propose a celebrity recruitment drive. Does anyone know any celebrities? The only one I know is Donny Most, and he won’t go. Anytime I offer him Dodgers tickets he’s free, and everytime I offer him Clipper tickets he’s busy.


Don and Morgan Most


(Donny Most has no love for the Clippers)

Maybe we could form a committee to spot up and coming Hollywood talent and cold call their agents to get them out to Clipper games before they become Laker regulars. Maybe DTS will donate some of the unused court side seats for this purpose, instead of dragging, er upgrading, season ticket holders out of the stands to fill them. Maybe Baron can beg Kate to come to a game, and bring Alex. Or maybe he can use his position as a partial owner of the Conga Room to pressure the acts playing there to attend a game or two as a condition of being booked.

Maybe we should focus outside the Hollywood mainstream. Look for cutting edge people in the arts who reek of cool while shunning the traditional trappings of celebrity. What if Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick had been regulars at Clippers games? Hey, how about someone like Captain Sean Doe?

(All together now: WHO?)

I had never heard of Captain Sean Doe either, until last week. I went to a bar to hear Wayne Hancock play, and the opening act was Joe Buck Yourself, who brought a long his friend Captain Sean Doe to sing a few songs. Apparently Captain Sean Doe is the lead singer of a psychobilly band called Throw Rag. Well Captain Sean killed, but the most amazing thing was his between song patter when he took the opportunity to announce to all present that he was a die-hard fan of the Los Angeles Clippers because “like you can sit court side for 30 bucks”.


Captain Sean Doe and Joe Buck Yourself


(Captain Sean with Joe Buck Yourself)

Trust me, Captain Sean reeks of cool, from the long sideburns to his peacock sequined jacket. And he’s got more tattoos than anyone affiliated with the Clippers since Cherokee Parks.    Captain Sean has exactly the type of street cool we need to start making the Clippers hip. A great start would be to bring in Captain Sean to sing the National Anthem opening night and then have him sit court side in that sequined peacock jacket.


Capt. Sean Doe

Any ideas who else should we go after? Who do you think we should get to make Clipper games the place to be?

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