What do retired NFL star Brett Favre and Jonas Brothers singer Nick Jonas have in common?
They were the only two participants at EA Sports’ “Madden NFL ’13” flag football game Friday in Grant Park who were booed. Of course, that’s what happens when you’re a hated former Bear rival like Favre or a teeny-bopper pop star like Jonas playing in front of football fans.
Former Detroit Lion great Barry Sanders, on the other hand, received a warm reception, as did fellow NFL Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders and Marcus Allen. Also participating in the game, which airs August 26 on NBC, were pop star Ne-Yo and actors Terry Crews and Jesse Metcalfe.
There always seems to be one celebrity or athlete during these sort of competitions who tries way too hard. Asked to name names before the game, Jonas, who has played in several of these types of games, chose himself.
“That would be me,” Jonas said. “I’m pretty intense when it comes to this stuff. This is my opportunity to live out my dreams and be a professional athlete.”
Crews, known for his roles in “The Expendables” and “White Chicks,” is a former NFL player, but he doesn’t try to relive his glory days during exhibitions. He does, however, know people who do.
“Most of the time it’s the athletes,” Crews said. “They’re diving on the ground, smacking people on the shoulder. It’s like ‘Hey man, there are no scouts here. This is an exhibition.’”
Ne-Yo admitted he gave it his all during the Celebrity Game at NBA All-Star weekend in February – it just didn’t show in his performance. The “Closer” singer said basketball is not his strong point.
“I was trying and failing,” Ne-Yo said. “…In this (football) game, I think most people are out here to have fun. But there’s always that one person. I don’t know who that is yet, but we’ll identify him very quickly and try to get him out of the game because we don’t want anybody to get hurt. I have a whole nother career to think about. Everybody knows you tackle me, you get sued.”
On the record: “Trick is to look really old when u are young...” – Actor Jeremy Piven’s response, via Twitter, when asked “Do you just not age? I don't get it.”
“This point in my life has been the most fun, sexual extravaganza. … I feel 100 billion times more sexual, and that comes in this pictorial.” – Jenny McCarthy, who is currently dating the Bears’ Brian Urlacher, in the latest edition of “Playboy.”
About this week: Jane Lynch will sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during Wednesday’s Cubs-New York Mets game. The “Glee” actress and Dolton, Ill. native had dinner Sunday at RPM Italian. … Retired Cub Kerry Wood will host his Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament, which benefits the Wood Family Foundation, Wednesday at 10pin Bowling Lounge. WWE Champion CM Punk and Plain White T’s frontman Tom Higgenson are expected to attend. ..."Love in the Wild" cast member and fellow Tribune employee Yanina Beccaria will host a viewing party for the NBC reality show Tuesday at Angelo's Taverna.
Help wanted: Most people probably can’t name the last two winners of “American Idol,” but the show is still going strong and has already begun auditionins for season 12. If you want to to try out, auditions take place July 12 at the United Center. Go to RedEye’s Show Patrol blog for details.
Big ups: It was nice to see one of my favorite bars get a little extra exposure recently. The Fifty/50 in Ukrainian Village was featured on Travel Channel’s “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” Wednesday and VH1’s “Mob Wives Chicago” Sunday. Coincidentally, I ran into “Mob Wives Chicago” co-stars Renee Fecarotta and Christina Scoleri at The Fifty/50 June 16. Fecarotta returned on Sunday.
Homecoming: Jeremy Piven stopped by Sunda, as usual, while in town Saturday for his Piven Theatre Workshop gala, which raised $125,000. The Evanston native hosted the gala’s after party at The Underground and was joined by actors Sanaa Lathan, Josh Henderson and Jesse Williams. Earlier in the day, Piven was spotted at The Goddess and Grocer in the Gold Coast. You can read my interview with Piven by clicking here.
Sightings: Ne-Yo and retired WWE Superstar Shawn Michaels each threw out the first pitch before Friday’s White Sox-Milwaukee Brewers game at U.S. Cellular Field.... The Bears’ Jay Cutler and fiancee Kristin Cavallari were spotted Friday on the new outdoor patio at Mastro’s Steakhouse. ... The Bulls’ Derrick Rose had dinner June 16 at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. ... The Bulls’ Joakim Noah dined Thursday at Japonais. Noah also hung out that night at Paris Club’s upstairs lounge, Studio Paris, as did NBA All-Star Deron Williams and past and present NFL stars Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Donovan McNabb and Pierre Thomas. McNabb was spotted at Market Friday and Saturday ... Jesse Metcalfe dined Friday at Roka Akor. ... Diego Boneta and his “Underemployed” cast mates had dinner at Paris Club Saturday before heading upstairs to Studio Paris and hung out at Drumbar in the Raffaello Hotel Sunday. … Former Blackhawk Chris Chelios and Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein visited Streeter’s Tavern June 18. … Barry Sanders had dinner Friday at Hub 51.