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Old 11-07-2007, 09:19 PM   #145
Obi-Wan Phillips
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Amazing racers
Posted by Rich Hammond at 4:26 PM

The Kings had a day off Tuesday, at least from hockey. They were told to assemble at the training facility at 7:30 a.m., at which point they were told to hand over their wallets and cell phones. (No, it wasn't Tim Leiweke collecting them to sell on EBay to pay for L.A. Live.) The players divided up into four teams for an amended version of The Amazing Race, CBS's Emmy-winning reality show. Jerry Bruckheimer, a huge hockey fan, is the show's executive producer.

The teams were sent out in vans to different locations and had to complete the first of five tasks. The first team to complete all five tasks won the competition. The tasks were:

A) To hit a fly ball beyond the infield grass at Dodger Stadium. Tommy Lasorda was there to provide assistance and, I'm told, a profane pep talk, as only Tommy can provide.

B) To have an artist in Venice Beach sketch a portrait of one of the players.

C) To teach a 10-minute lesson in a classroom at Torrance Elementary School.

D) To stand on a surfboard for at least five seconds in the Manhattan Beach water.

E) To find Jim Fox in Hollywood. A clue was posted near Bob Miller's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which the players also had to locate.

The teams took cabs to each location, but for one of the cab rides, they were not given money. They had to ``beg or barter'' for that ride, and they could only go on to the next task when they had completed the previous task.

All of this was taped and will be made into a show on FSN in the near future, so I've been asked not to reveal the winners. But the players' competitiveness did come out, and the winners were quite proud of themselves.

Only one of the teams did not complete all five tasks. A member of that team said, ``We just didn't want to leave Dodger Stadium. I think we hit about 100 balls. That was so much fun.''

The team-building exercise got a general thumbs-up from the players, although one did say, ``It was a lot of work. The last thing I want to do on a day off is exercise. But it was still a fun thing.''

Jason LaBarbera, a big fan of the Toronto Blue Jays and baseball in general, particularly enjoyed the day.

``It was cool,'' LaBarbera said. ``We didn't know what the next task was going to be. To hit baseballs at Dodger Stadium was awesome. I wanted to stay there all day. ... We all had to do our part and act like a team, so that was a good lesson to take away.''
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